Here are some of the personal finance articles from around the blogosphere that I have enjoyed over the past week. There have been quite a few of them, actually:
All Financial Matters wrote a post about the economic role of government. In particular, one quote from the article rings true: "Unless restrained by constitutional rules, special-interest groups will use the democratic political precess to fleece taxpayers and consumers." Couldn't agree more. However, that's not to say that government should stay on the sidelines in this economic tsunami. Government should continue to take some pretty dramatic measures to prevent this serious recession from turning into something worse. Yes, there will be an economic price to pay later, and taxpayers will no doubt be fleeced, but the alternatives are worse.
Blunt Money is advising his readers to worry about their own darn economy - he thinks that when making economic decisions one should focus on his own economic situation and disregard the economic environment as a whole. I disagree. When making a large purchase, it is wise to consider the possible impact on your finances in case you lose your job. When making a decision to leave your current job and take a new offer, it is wise to consider the economic situation: do you want to be the new guy in the office if your new company starts laying people off?
Boston Gal is commenting about the drop in household electricity usage in recent months. She is wondering whether the reason is the economic downturn or folks starting to save. I am really hoping people are consciously saving, but I am willing to bet that the recession is to blame (or credit). Some of the commenters seemed to suggest global climate change is the culprit.
My blogger friend Frugal Zeitgeist is out to defend her frugal street cred after making some big purchases recently. In my opinion, frugality is not about living like a beggar. It's about making smart purchases, living below your means, and most importantly not robbing your future self to pay for your current wants. Don't worry Frugal, your street cred is intact, at least from this bozo's perspective.
Millionaire Mommy posted a really cool inspirational photo essay telling folks to get off their "buts". That's not a typo. That's the specific point of the essay. I laughed myself silly. However, while I am a big believer in self-help, I don't believe that a simple shift in attitude can solve all problems. There are some objectively very difficult problems that will not yield to a simple desire for change - here's one example I wrote about earlier this week.
Finally, Mrs. Micah is going through some job interviews and offers good advice to fellow job applicants.
Finally, this week I participated in the Carnival of Personal Finance which was hosted by Money Ning, with my call for no bail-out of homeowners.