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Tai Toh

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    February 2009

    At one level this should come as no surprise. For most of the last decade America was a nation of borrowers and spenders, not savers. The personal savings rate dropped from 9 percent in the 1980s to 5 percent in the 1990s, to just 0.6 percent from 2005 to 2007, and household debt grew much faster than personal income. Why should we have expected our net worth to go up?

    Yet until very recently Americans believed they were getting richer, because they received statements saying that their houses and stock portfolios were appreciating in value faster than their debts were increasing. And if the belief of many Americans that they could count on capital gains forever sounds naïve, it’s worth remembering just how many influential voices — notably in right-leaning publications like The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and National Review — promoted that belief, and ridiculed those who worried about low savings and high levels of debt.

    from Paul Krugman regarding America’s Decade at Bernies [via NY Times Op-Ed]

    Crazy. The numbers above are absolutely scary. I think the world is in for a lost decade similar to what happened in Japan. It will take years for families to work off the debt that they incurred, and consumer confidence hasn’t even hit rock bottom.

    When you buy a book, you’re also buying the right to read it aloud, have it read to you by anyone, read it to your children on long car trips, record yourself reading it and send that to your girlfriend etc. This is the same kind of thing, only without the ability to do the voices properly, and no-one’s going to confuse it with an audiobook. And that any authors’ societies or publishers who are thinking of spending money on fighting a fundamentally pointless legal case would be much better off taking that money and advertising and promoting what audio books are and what’s good about them with it.

    He definitely gets it right. I mean, I can make my mac read out loud as well—are they going to outlaw that? Next thing you know, I won’t be able to read a book with my daughter.

    Pixels & Widgets

    A blog by Tai Toh