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Notes from the Mountaintop

Just in case anyone was on pins and needles waiting for another book review or some Romans 13 tidbits, I'm afraid I must apologize. We're up in the mountains and nine of us are sharing one computer with internet access, so blogging opportunities are minimal; and in any case, I can't post anything off of my computer.

But, I will offer a random slice of life--in fact, a big milestone in my life: I learned to snowboard today! Every time I've skied for the past few years, I've had terrible foot pain, and yesterday it was worse than ever. The boot man told me my feet were quite misshapen and that pretty much only a podiatrist could help me. I'd heard that learning to snowboard was likely to prove a very painful experience, but I figured that if I was going to be in a lot of pain either way, I might as well learn something new while I was at it. And so I did...and there wasn't even much pain involved! (Of course, I've still got a lot of Advil in my system, so I may be singing a different tune this evening.) I can't do anything fancy yet or go too fast, but I can handle an intermediate slope just fine. Tomorrow I'll probably try some of both.

On another note, I never replied to another nit-picky comment by the statistics-monger regarding the national debt. Suffice to say that I mostly agree with your points and shall probably moderate my national debt alarmism, but I would still insist on two major differences from the WWII debt situation. For one, the national debt reached 130% of GDP by the end of WWII...but that was at the end of the crisis. At the end of this fiscal year, the national debt is expected to be at nearly 80% (without counting many off-balance sheet liabilities)...and my guess is that this crisis has a ways to go yet. Hopefully we won't hit 130% again, but...it's possible. The second point is that the total domestic debt is far higher now--corporate, personal, municipal, federal. In WWII, everything besides federal debt was quite under control; the private sector was in solid fiscal condition, and could support a deficit-heavy government. Now, the private sector (whether individual households or businesses) is virtually bankrupt, and it's the deficit-heavy government that's having to help it out. Anyway, enough with that subject. I've got skiing (or snowboarding, rather) to do.

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