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Saturday 16th February 2013
My solution to the economic crisis is for anyone with any spare money at all to go out and SPEND IT ALL. I am not an economist and don't know if this is a sound policy, but it seems logical that the way to turn things around and to get consumer spending up is for people who can afford to (or who can even just about afford to) to get the ball rolling. There's got to be a trickle down effect and you'd think it would be in the interest of the rich to get the economy rolling so that they can make even more money. Maybe it won't make that much difference. Maybe the economy really works on the majority who have very little spending it all rather than the minority who have loads spending a bit of it. Maybe we really need people out there buying Findus lasagne to avoid a triple dip (it's almost like someone is trying to stop getting things back on track by whatever means necessary - they've started shopping again, stick weird meat in everything!).
I have certainly done my best to put this theory into practice and I've merrily been spending the bank's money for the last 12 months: getting married, renovating my house and today finally buying a new car. And even if that doesn't save the economy it is a practice that works for me. I know that if I have some money in the bank (it's happened a couple of times in my career) that that makes me relax and wonder what the point of working is, but if I have a pile of debt (should probably be a pit of debt or a cavern of debt) then I have to get off up my arse and then get back down on my arse at my office desk and write something (something that actually pays, unlike this blog - though thanks to the kind folks who have subscribed on the kindle this blog now makes me a cool two pounds a day). It works for me. Fear of having my house repossessed is a great aid to creativity. I am extremely lucky as the recession does not seem to have affected my income, but I've never been one who saw the point in having money that you didn't spend. Plus if you do spend money you get loads of cool stuff. At least until the loan sharks come and take it off you.
Having said all that buying a new car (aside from my house the most expensive item I have ever purchased) has left me feeling more terrified than excited. I didn't enjoy the haggling aspect of fixing up a price. Was I being duped? Probably a little bit. Could I have got it cheaper if I was a real man? Indubitably. Has anyone who uses the word "indubitably" ever got a good deal on anything? Indubitably not.
I liked the man who sold me the car though, though he nearly blew it at the last minute by telling me that his favourite comedian was Stewart Lee. It would have been fun to get up and walk out. The car I was going to buy had been sold whilst I made my decision, but they discovered another one in Chester that fitted my requirements. Having pondered carefully (for two days) what I would offer for the first one, I took up the deal on the second one in about 45 seconds. I am sure these men are trained in psychology and they knew that when I came back to their showroom for the third time that I was going to buy something. I think the deal was OK and I've indubitably got a great car, but it cost lots of money and I am bound to crunch it against a bollard within a fortnight. There are so many things to worry about, but I think that when I'm driving the car away I will feel a bit happier about it. And think of all I have done for the economy by helping out those poor poverty stricken people in the car industry.... yeah maybe my theory doesn't work after all. Plus I've bought a VW so I've mainly helped some Germans. But that means I've also helped some Greeks.
I part exchanged my old trusty car for less than 30 pieces of silver. But I don't get the new one for a couple of weeks and I have to take the old one out for one last spin on the last week of February leg of the tour. If it has any pride it will break down in South Wales at 1am. I will deserve it.
So I mainly feel like an automobile Judas filled with unease and queasiness at the moment, but hopefully that will subside and I can enjoy the purchase. And if the bank take my house off of me I can at least live in this car. It's very nice.
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