Saturday, January 08, 2011

Paying Debt With More Debt

_jeffrey-perren Guest Post by Jeff Perren

514px-USDebt

U.S. Debt 1940-2010

The U.S. Government is staring into the maw of its self-made debt crisis. This week, it crosses a Rubicon—or would like to. As Tad de Haven at Cato explains:

_Quote The [U.S. Government’s] present debt limit is $14.3 trillion, and total outstanding debt subject to the limit currently stands at just under $14 trillion. Given that policymakers don’t have the will to cut spending immediately in order to keep the debt from hitting the limit, a political battle over raising it is unfolding.
    The Obama administration is basically warning that congressional (i.e., Republican) intransigence over raising the limit could potentially lead to the federal government defaulting on its debt, because it needs to borrow money in order to make its debt payments…

Borrowing money in order to make its debt payments. Once again we see that something the U.S. Federal Government does routinely, if practiced by a private individual (Bernie Madoff, say), would be seen as financial suicide.

The Feds get away with it, of course. You and I (and Bernie) don't, of course, because unlike the government we can't force others to pay our debts — not without going to jail, that is.

Say, that gives me an idea...

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Thursday, January 06, 2011

The History of the Yo-Yo

_jeffrey-perren Guest post by Jeff Perren

One of my favorite pastimes is reading about inventions. About.com has a good, short article on the surprisingly long and colorful history of the Yo-Yo.

Enjoy!

yo-yo1_Quote They have been around for over twenty-five hundred years... Around 1800, the yoyo moved into Europe from the Orient...
     It is a Tagalog word, the native language of the Philippines, and means "come back." In the Philippines, the yoyo was used as a weapon for over 400 hundred years. Their version was large with sharp edges and studs and attached to thick twenty-foot ropes for flinging at enemies or prey...
    Modern inventor Donald] Duncan's first contribution to yo-yo technology was the slip string, consisting of a sliding loop around the axle instead of a knot. With this revolutionary improvement, the yo-yo could do a trick called "sleep" for the first time…

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