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Comments of the week, debt ceiling edition

One of the best parts of running Bargaineering so far is getting to read all the incisive comments left by readers. Here are a few that stood out on some of the big issues we blogged about this week, including the debt-limit fight going on in Washington, D.C. [3]:

Here’s one comment from Freeby50, who’s seems to be feeling a little more confident than I am that Congress will work this out:

No. I am not worried about a default because I don’t believe it will happen. What’s happening right now is just politics and I don’t believe they have any intention of letting the government default. Just like the last time… and the time before. There have been over a dozen government shutdowns in the past and they’ve debated the debt ceiling every time it comes up lately.

Of course if it did happen it was be a major disaster. And that’s why they won’t let it happen. Even though our politicians act like idiots, we have to see through that and realize they are (almost all) very clever people who know what they’re doing. They’ll make a lot of noise about stuff that scares people for political reasons. That is what they’re doing right now. Fear tactics.

I agree it’s still unlikely we’ll see a default, but I do think there are some legislators who truly believe a default wouldn’t be a big deal, and that’s scary.

Jim doesn’t share my confidence in the new nominee for Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen:

What is downright scary is that she was blindsided by the Great Recession and the housing crisis. A business executive who studied business in college was telling me at the time that the recession was the perfect inverted curve and easily predictable. Real estate investors who had no college education saw it coming. Yet she saw nothing wrong. Amazing, just amazing!

Jim, I probably should have been a little more precise with my words in the original post. Yellen definitely saw a recession coming. She said this in 2007: “The possibilities of a credit crunch developing and of the economy slipping into a recession seem all too real. At the time of our last meeting, I held out hope that the financial turmoil would gradually ebb and the economy might escape without serious damage. Subsequent developments have severely shaken that belief.”

But she’s also admitted since that, like a lot of people, she didn’t expect to see one of the worst financial crises in the history of the country. Don’t know if that makes it any better, but I figured I’d provide some context.

This one from Sue F. on getting the most from HOA fees [4] brought some real-world experience into the conversation:

Our subdivision’s HOA is extremely overpriced for what we get. Firstly, some residents pay a lot more than others. No one can figure out why that is. We are one of the higher ones, paying almost $400 a year. Yeah, they clear the snow off the streets sometimes, but blow it right up into owners’ driveways, making it difficult for us to get onto the street. Sometimes, we have to shovel the snow that they put there. What kind of beneficial service is that? Also, Christmas wreaths at all the entrances are hung in early December; good timing on that one. But the removal is some point in March or April, months after the wreaths have died. I’m curious if anyone else has problems like this.

Sue, I’ve definitely heard some horror stories about HOAs around here, and I think the majority are fairly overpriced relative to the services they provide.

This one from Don, who could relate to a reader’s story of messing up her first car purchase [5]:

That is the exact same thing that happened to me when I bought my first vehicle out of college. I regretted the decision so much I ended up driving the truck for 10 years as a reminder. I was going to drive it into the ground until a policy at my work changed and I had to get something new. I just bought a new vehicle and did it the right way this time and have no regrets. That first vehicle taught me so many lessons that I’ll never forget.

And this comment from Fabclimbers on Miranda’s post about student loans [6] really struck a cord for me, as a guy trying to make time for my daughters while working a lot of long days:

When I was starting college, I read that accounting was going to be in demand. I was pretty good at it in school, so I pursued that as a career. Someone failed to include the fact that in order to hold a good job I would be working 60 to 70 hours a week, on holidays and many weekends at Christmas time, not to mention every New Year’s day for the last 25 years.

I have never been unemployed, but my family doesn’t even know who I am. My grown children don’t call me because I never spent enough time with them.

I’d stay away from accounting if I were you.

Thanks to everyone who came to the site and commented. You make the site a much better place to spend time!

(Photo: Flickr user geishaboy500)