Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I finally found out what the total student loan debt load was in this country.  It is 527 billion dollars.  Less than the bailouts we gave to Wall Street but a burden that our young people will carry with them, along with the deficit, into their senior years.  What enrages me most is the interest rates that these kids need to pay. 7% and more.  Yet I can go buy a new car for 1.9%.  What the hell are the Congress, bankers and financial institutions in this country doing to these kids futures?  And the Universities bear lots of blame too.

Speaking of buying a new car, that is what I need to do soon.  I have leased my last four cars and have decided most likely I will buy the next one since I am retired.  I am struggling with buying a small SUV I will need because of some planned photo essays that will require a little off highway travel.  Their mileage is not great.  We own one hybrid now but the SUV Hybrids are very expensive.  What to do?  The Subarus, Hondas and Toyotas are all nice so picking one is difficult.  My one vice in life is insisting on all the bells and whistles in a new car.

I need to get busy today and write Governor Richardson a letter asking him to veto the guns in liquor licensed restaurants bill that is on his desk.  As a former state liquor director I can state unequivocally that this is a stupid thing to allow.  I asked a waitress yesterday at such an establishment what she thought about the law and she was dumbfounded anyone would pass a law like that.


Randall Jackson said...

You might also suggest to the Governor that he ask Ben Lujan to introduce legislation to change the applicable statutes so that members of the legislature and the public can carry their firearms into the state capital, since this might introduce a measure of personal accountability that's increasingly absent in the legislative process. I'd also suggest that the current law (Article 20, Crimes Against Public Peace, 30-20-11 http://law.justia.com/newmexico/codes/nmrc/jd_30-20-11-c937.html) which makes dueling a fourth degree felony be revoked, in order that the insults between individual legislators and those which are committed against public intelligence that routinely take place during legislative sessions can be redressed in an honorable manner.

Derek Bill said...

The Ford Escape Hybrid is worth a look. Ford is acting like the old Toyota (great value and build quality), while Toyota is acting like the old Ford (remember the exploding Pintos?)

And no, I do not sell cars.... I just try to buy American when I can, preferably something made in a Northern/full-wage state.

Also, I'm not sure how I feel about the gun law change. I understand that a lot of people are shot with their own guns. But a lot of guns are also stolen from homes of people out for dinner (or from the parking lot of the place they're dining.)

Of course a restaurant would still have the right to post a sign asking patrons not to bring guns in (or inviting them to, for that matter). And I wonder how many people regularly violate the current law.

NewMexiKen said...

A used luxury SUV coming off a lease, say a BMW X3 still under factory warranty, is by far the best way to get all the bells and whistles for a good price. You pay a little more buying from the dealer (rather than from a private party) but you get some peace of mind.

BMWs, for example, are covered for 4 years in full -- right down to the wipers and oil changes. I bought mine with a year to run — and two years beyond that for the major components. And got it for about 55% of the original MSRP with less than 20K miles.

And I didn't have to get all anxious about the first a-hole in a parking lot because, while beautiful, it wasn't pristine. That was actually a big plus.

wanrey said...

You have no idea how hard student loans make my life at times. I pay on time almost always, but I fall into some hard times and miss one payment and those guys are calling me 24/7. Its a very frustrating process.

Anonymous said...

Subaru Jim, handsdown!! Can do stuff most trucks can't do.

Jim Baca said...

My last two cars have been BMW and there is nothing better. They would be hard to give up, but in these times spending that kind of money in a purchase would be hard.

Anonymous said...

I recommend the bus, a bicycle and walking.

NewMexiKen said...

Derek Bill, just so you know, according to Wikipedia the Ford Escape is assembled in Jhongli City, Taiwan; Rayong, Thailand; Hai Duong, Vietnam; Hōfu, Yamaguchi, Japan; Santa Rosa, Laguna, Philippines; and St. Petersburg, Russia.

Jim, that's why a used BMW is such a good deal. I bought mine for 55 cents on the dollar and it's guaranteed by BMW.

Derek Bill said...

I saw Jim on TV last night discussing the gun issue. I wish they'd interview him more often, as I'm tired of seeing Darren White every time I change the channel.

NewMexiKen, the version of Wikipedia I pull up says the U.S. version of the Ford Escape is assembled in Kansas City. Buying one in Asia will get you one assembled in those places you listed. Meanwhile, American Automobile Labeling Act sources indicate domestic content of the vehicle at around 60%.

BMW SUVs are built in Jim DeMint's South Carolina and the current generation X5 has a domestic content of around 15%. BMW says they don't sell enough of these to source the engine from North America.

How fortunate we are to now have the internet to weigh reliability, safety, retained value, American content, performance, pricing, and all the other factors in deciding what fits our individual needs.