Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Eight-Year Loan

I was looking at business news last night and came up on the newest concept....a 97-month car loan.  Eight years of a loan.  I just shook my head.

It creates an interesting scenario.  There are these $50k cars that guys dream about and desire....but readily admit that they just don't have the money to buy those kinds of cars.  But with a eight-year loan?  Well....that changes everything.  The banks are awful happy about this latest concept.

The car dealers and car makers?  Well....they aren't as happy.  This means a guy is kinda locked down and won't be browsing for anything.....for the next eight years.  It'd be acceptable if one guy out of twenty went this direction for a eight-year loan, but you can't have ten guys out of twenty doing this....it'd destroy the dealers and their current strategy.

Years ago....I watched a junior airman buy a $28k Mustang, fully loaded with every single extra that you could imagine.  I sat and asked him how he could afford this.....this was in the late 1990s.  He was lucky in that he had his dad give him $10k for the down payment.  He could make that work easily.

A $50k car with a eight-year loan?  You could go and talk to the Audi dealer and suddenly buy some hyped up Audi TT.  Or you could walk into the Porsche dealership and suddenly talk Boxster.  With the Boxster, you'd have a high-quality car with performance standards that you'd sit and plan out an eight-year life to the Porsche, and probably still get $8k at the end of the eight-year loan.  Fully loaded?  It's round $64k (not counting state sales tax).

Smart idea?  I see one major problem.  If you screw up and buy a Chrysler vehicle that has some obvious negatives that you find to bother you over six weeks....it's hard to imagine how you survive for eight years with this type of "bond" that you've entered into with with the bank.  I am reminded of that Smart Car I owned for 2.5 years and how I dreamed of dumping it almost daily after twelve months.  So my advice is simply.....if you ever wanted that dream vehicle that was in the $50k range, and could put down $10k on the down payment.....now is the time to talk to the Porsche dealer.  Don't dream of anything less.

Just Observations

There's a county school down in Florida.....Deland High School....where the locals got into a finance issue, and kinda let their janitor staff go.  The idea was that they would transition over to private contracts, instead of actual employees of the school.  Well....it's a funny thing.  This hiring of private folks hasn't started, and apparently won't start until this fall.  The present old folks working there (employees of the school)?  They've been taking tons of sick leave.  This past week, the health inspectors for the county came out.  They wrote the school up for fifty-odd violations.  If it'd been a restaurant or bar....they probably would have closed the operation down.  To get by, the county is shifting some resources around and trying to clean up the violation issues.  I sat there pondering....here a parent does all this effort to have a clean respectable place for their kids, and sends them off to school....where it's the most unsanitary place on this earth.  Something doesn't add up on this deal.

The Air Force came out and said their finance issues because of sequestration are so bad....that around sixteen flying squadrons will be stepping down and not flying until October.  What this means is that a bunch of pilots will be sitting around and mostly idle.  Having spent all those years in the Air Force.....I can imagine the scene.  Captain Joe and Captain Cal sit at the squadron desks....discussing bear hunting techniques for eight hours out of the day.  Occasionally, Lt Col Marty comes around, and discusses his best choice of bait for trout.  Major Dunn comes through and recites Shakespeare lines.  And Lt Jack actually brings his car into the squadron warehouse and rebuilds the engine with the help of Sarge and his five helpers.  Everyone will be playing softball and volleyball.  Golf tournaments will occur daily.  Everyone will sit in amazement at the free time they have.

Finally, Kentucky Senator McConnell.....says that someone bugged his election strategy meeting from months ago.  They are ll worked up that a secret recording was made.  The odds?  Probably a hundred percent chance.  All of these handheld devices can now easily fit in a suit pocket and record an hour of chat.  The answer for future strategy meetings for the Republicans?  I'd suggest the meeting members all enter a room with no clothing and just a pad and pencil.  You can imagine six Republicans....male and female.....all sitting around in the nude and discussing voting strategy.  It's the only way to protect the secrecy required.  

A Little Knife Story

Shortly before noon today....all heck broke loose at Lone Star University.  The best that we can say is that some nut got loose with an exacto knife, and wounded around fourteen, perhaps even fifteen folks.

The attacker?  Don't know much about the guy.  Cops are still investigation mode ten hours later.

The threat of an exacto knife?  Years ago, I had to work in a briefing shop and we did graphics work. Every couple of months, we'd buy a box of exacto knives and kept them around the office.  There are a thousand and one ways to cut yourself....if you aren't careful.

Should we worry about exacto knives?  The fact that fourteen folks are wounded might play into this.  It is a mass knifing....if there was a FBI database for such.....but I seriously doubt that they'd collect such statistics.  Should we hustle Senators out to limit the sale of exacto knives?  Goodness, that's about as stupid as writing eight hundred pages of anti-gun legislation....which doesn't do much of anything.  The number of exacto knives out there in public hands?  Probably enough for every single American to have three each.

What's the jest of all of this?  Simply that we've got crazies in America, and you need to tote a baseball bat, a billy-club, a sock of quarters, or a Walther PPK pistol in our jacket.  When the crazies present themselves in a threatening fashion....put them six feet under.  If their relatives couldn't put them in a safe place, and if the government wouldn't do their job to put them under control.....then it's a job for each citizen.  It's the sad truth over this.