Our Plan

I think Mrs. Yeoman Farmer and I have figured out how we’re going to weather the upcoming financial crisis: get our family farm reclassified as a bank! Then we will be eligible for, oh, a few billion dollars from the Fed.

Or maybe we should call ourselves an auto manufacturer. I’ve done so much work on my own old cars, I sometimes feel like a car company. Looks like “car companies” are going to be getting a pretty good chunk of change, too.

God help this country.

UPDATE: After publishing this post, I went out to check the mail. Once again, my mailbox was stuffed with credit card offers. And a couple of weeks ago, I had my ultimate “would you like fries with that?” moment. While finishing up a phone call with our bank about a completely unrelated issue, the customer service agent pointed out that I was eligible for a $50,000 auto loan…and was I interested in buying a car? No, I replied. And if I was, we’d probably get something cheap and second-hand, and pay cash. (I couldn’t imagine ever spending anything in the ballpark of $50k for a car.)

Okay, but the fifty grand is there if you want it, the agent assured me.

I thanked him politely, and wrapped up the conversation. But couldn’t help asking myself…where are all these frozen credit markets?

And how much of our current financial mess is due to people accepting loans they really had no need for, when a more basic house or car would’ve done perfectly fine? When we bought our first house, the bank told us we qualified for about twice as large of a mortgage as we ended up using. We would’ve loved a larger house, but the only way we could’ve paid that larger mortgage was to send Mrs Yeoman Farmer back into the workforce. It’s becoming clear that during those same years, many other people were making different decisions than we were about debt. I suppose we can only hope that the current dislocations help people choose to prioritize differently in the future. A lot of us may not have any other choice.

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