Monuments of the Times

Sunday March 08, 09:35:02

Sunday March 08, 14:46:54

From the blog-all-curious-monuments desk, Sunday morning coming back from Lake Arrowhead California on a clear, crisp March morning, came across this on a pull-out along the bold mountain road. A monument. To one Donald S. Wieman, for his handiwork..I guess for contributing to the construction and design of this “rim on the world”. It’s quite a nice road, with a steep, boldly winding swerve up to some amazing views. This road was part of a large public works effort during the “Great Depression”. Lately we’ve been learning more about public works and their stimulus effects, with varying opinions on whether and to what degree they may work for this particular “crisis.”

Later that day, doing the hyperspace jump from the mountains to the beach with concomitant shifts in pretty much all parameters — altitude, weather, temperature, air quality.. — I found myself on a merry afternoon perambulation. I came across this bucolic portrait of modest living except — what’s that? A sporty roadster in the garage, clearly an owners favorite pet. There are racing stripe floorings and the clean, well-kept settings of a diligent mechanically-inclined individual. The contrast I saw, without any substantiation was to wonder the ratio of house value to car value. Given its location and other factors, (and personal insights from perusing the local listings) I thought it could in fact be the case that the car may in fact be worth more than the house. Probably not, but the factors are closing in on one another.

Why do I blog this? Are the goodies that many people debt-financed, or financed based on their speculation about tomorrow’s values of their house — their largest ever investment — now like a taunting by the proverbial Albatross-around-the-neck? How will people and their practices change in the coming years? The coming generations? Will their be a “Credit Crisis Generation” to go along with all the other generational monikers? This one defined by its reluctance to trust; its simple ways; its avoidance of credit financing?

Just some musing.