Saturday, December 13, 2008

Refinancing through the Productivity Lens

I'm impressed, the Feds accomplished something they set out to do: they said they wanted mortgage rates to be lower, and now they're lower.

That means good news and bad news for me personally. The good news is that I can refinance my mortgage and pay less to live in my house (the phrase "the rich get richer" seems pretty relevant; I'm incredibly rich compared with most people in the world).

The bad news is that refinancing a mortgage is not a productive activity. I have better things to do with my time than talking to a loan officer, filling out paperwork, yada yada yada. And all the people who will be involved in the refinance (the appraiser, my lawyer, the loan officer) will be getting paid to do unproductive work, too.

I have no idea where the money to pay for all of that unproductive activity comes from. I suspect that we're in the middle of a really big inter-generational Ponzi scheme-- that the government is running up huge debts that will eventually be paid by my kids (or maybe their kids). And maybe that's OK, because our kids will be rich.

But I bet they could be even richer if we spent more of our time doing productive work to make the world a better place.

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