Aaron Gadberry

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What to expect in the Housing Market

3rd October 2008 - By Aaron Gadberry

We are approaching a time of change in the United States. The $700 billion dollar bailout passed this morning and is being signed by Bush at the time of writing. For the past few days I have been considering what position this whole situation will leave me in. I’ve been trying to determine the best course of action for myself and my family, and I think I’ve found it.

First let me explain what I expect to occur and why. Predatory lending, naivety and irresponsibility on the part of the home buyer have led us to our current situation. Many people who should not have received mortgages did. Being already squeezed by their mortgage, rising oil and food prices left no way to make ends meet. In combination, a bubble on housing prices burst, leaving many actual responsible homeowners upside-down in debt, with seemingly no hope to recover.

The current result is an overreaction in the other direction. Lenders have all but stopped giving out mortgages. While requirements and qualifications will eventually become reasonable again, it will take time for an average American to be able to get a mortgage. Most importantly, no one will ever give out another sub-prime mortgage. This will reduce demand on housing drastically. With reduced demand comes reduced value. With an estimated 50-65% reduced housing demand I expect to see a 20-40% overall reduced home value. This is on top of any bubble burst experience some have already had.

At the same time there will be an inverse increased demand for rental property. Currently rent prices are just below mortgages, but that relationship will reverse. I expect to see rent prices stabilize around 150% of a standard mortgage payment.

These increased rental revenues will prop up home values, and perhaps even return them to their original position. Investors will pick up massive amounts of real estate for the sole purpose of collecting rent. I expect to see large firms build entire neighborhoods with the intention of renting out 95% of the property.

We will see a massive reduction in the percentage of home owners in the United States. Instead of paying a mortgage and trying to make ends meet while building equity, we will instead see people simply unable to afford rent. This forms a cycle of debt, leaving no way to work up the 20-40% cash soon required to put down on a house. Anyone who doesn’t already have a mortgage is in for a world of hurt.

Somebody wins here, and it can be you. Be ready to buy property when the price drops. Do your best to become a landlord. The more private landlords out there the smaller the impact will be.

Posted in Political | 2 Comments »

Teather a Laptop to a Sanyo PRO-700 for Internet via Bluetooth

29th August 2008 - By Aaron Gadberry

Update: This may no longer work without a tethering plan

After 7 calls and 2.5 hours on hold with Sprint I have finally done it.
It was really not that difficult, I just needed the special number to dial (#777) to make it happen.
For the rest of you here is a step by step guide.

  1. Turn bluetooth on for the PC and the phone (Menu, Settings, Bluetooth, On)
  2. Add the computer as a trusted device on the phone (Shouldn’t be necessary but it seems to not work without this configured first)
    1. On the phone visit Menu, Settings, Bluetooth, Trusted Devices, Add New
    2. Choose search. Select your PC name from the list and choose “Add to Trusted”
    3. Enter a NUMERIC pin on the phone. Press Done
    4. The System Tray on the PC will pop up with a pair request. Click on it and enter the code you just entered on the phone. Press OK.
    5. Name the device on the phone (or leave it the same) and press OK
  3. Make the phone visible (Menu, Settings, Bluetooth, Visibility, Visible for 3 min.)
  4. Open My Bluetooth Places on the PC (Right click on Bluetooth System Tray Icon)
  5. Choose Bluetooth Setup Wizard link on the left of My Bluetooth Places.
  6. Choose “I know the service I want to use and I want to find a Bluetooth device that provides that service” and press Next.
  7. Choose “Dial Up Networking” and press next.
  8. Choose the icon representing your phone and press next.
  9. Press “Configure”
  10. Press “Configure” again
  11. Put in the phone number #777 and press Ok twice. Press Finish
  12. Bubble will appear from System Tray asking about pairing. Click on it.
  13. Enter an security code using NUMBERS and press Ok
  14. Phone will alert you of an attempted pairing. Choose Yes, enter the security code you just made up and then choose ok.
  15. Connection will succeed and Dial Up Networking dialog will appear on the computer.
  16. Username and password should be empty and phone number should be #777. Press Dial
  17. It should connect. Your phone will ask you if you want to accept the connection. Say yes
  18. The phone screen will change to read Data Connection.
  19. Your computer is online!

Other things you can do to improve your experience…

  • Turn on auto-accept on the phone for the trusted device
  • Stop the PC from asking you the username, password and phone number by…
    1. Right click on the phone in the My Bluetooth Places screen and choose properties
    2. Choose Configure, then the options tab
    3. Uncheck prompt for name and password and prompt for phone number
    4. Choose OK and then OK again

Posted in Computers | No Comments »

What’s that green paper in your wallet?

30th July 2008 - By Aaron Gadberry

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the currency of the United States. What is a dollar? If you ask an average person they will respond that a currency exists to make wealth easily transferable. Without currency you’re trying to pay at Wal-Mart with a goat. Most people stop thinking here and just assume that our currency is implemented in the best possible manor. This is what I’ve begun to question.

Looking back throughout history most people are aware that we used to have sound money. No one seems to know what that means though, and mentioning the gold standard results in virtually no intelligent conversation. Technically our country was never on the gold standard, but was on the silver standard. Here is an excerpt from the Coinage Act of 1792.

SEC. 9.

Dollars or Units—each to be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current, and to contain three hundred and seventy-one grains and four sixteenths parts of a grain of pure, or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver.

Cents—each to be of the value of one hundredth part of a dollar, and to contain eleven penny-weights of copper.

What did the currency look like after the Coinage Act of 1792? It was pretty simple actually. The requirements for currency were set forth in that act and included a standard amount of copper, silver or gold to be in each coin, certain markings on the coins, and that it had to be coined in a United States Mint. You could bring your copper (for half cents and cents), silver (for half dismes, dismes, quarter dollars, half dollars and dollars) and gold (quarter eagles, half eagles and eagles) to a United States Mint and have it coined for you. This made precious metals very easy to use in trade, because every coin had a guaranteed standard value.

At this time the value of the currency was contained within the currency itself. Yes, the value of metals fluctuate on the market, but so does everything else. It just depends on what you view as your base. It’s hard to adjust your thinking because the dollar has become so ingrained in our lives, but try making a transition to look at gold (or worth) as the base and the dollar as fluctuating.

The truth is the dollar has had 7.5% devaluing from Jan 1st, 2008 through June 30th, 2008. Thinking of the dollar as the base means that’s your default holding. Your salary, bank account, and retirement fund just took a 7.5% loss! If you were paid in oil futures instead of dollars you’re salary would have doubled over that same period of time.

The removal of a commodity backing from our currency made the currency itself an independently tradeable item on the market. No longer was it tied to the supply and demand of gold or silver or copper, but only to the demand of itself. Given that paper has little to no intrinsic worth, that’s a pretty dangerous position to hold. If the IRS stopped accepting Federal Reserve Notes then they would become worthless overnight.

The four steps of currency in our country:
1) Currency is made (literally) of our wealth
2) Currency is a note exchangeable for wealth (but easier to carry with you)
3) Currency is a note exchangeable for wealth only if you are a foreign country
4) Currency is no longer a note and not directly exchangeable for wealth

The problem with our current position, (4), is that the Fed prints money, not wealth. They bail out Bear Sterns, Fannie and Freddy by printing money. There is now more supply and therefore less demand.

Imagine yourself in a simpler time. You have a bunch of gold. Would you rather hang on to the gold or trade it for a note? Many would put it in a bank vault and take a note in return (remember the note is for your original gold, not for dollars). A note is easier to store, easier to trade, etc. Maybe the bank comes out with a currency, and instead of giving you a note for your original gold, they will buy your gold from you in exchange for some of this currency. The problem is they control the currency, and have ability to flood the market at any time. All of a sudden your gold could cost twice as much to get back. Sound like a deal?

Posted in Political | No Comments »

Macroevolution vs Microevolution

24th July 2008 - By Aaron Gadberry

I recently read an article called How Blind Salamanders Make Nonsense of Creationists’ Claims. While raising an interesting question, the author took quite a leap to the conclusion. In short, evolution went in reverse and salamanders lost their eyes. Therefore God doesn’t exist.

Macroevolution and microevolution are very different beasts. The development of the eye would be macroevolution, while the loss of the eye sight would be microevolution.

A salamander is in a cave in the dark and it’s eyes are completely useless. It’s very possible that random chance would allow a deformed blind salamander to be the producer of the population, and all would be blind henceforth. The same probabilities do not exist for the evolution of the eye.

The very notion that the eye could evolve is absolutely ridiculous. The eye is made of up many different parts, all working in harmony to produce sight. By and large, if any one of these intricate parts were missing or damaged or even slightly altered then the eye would be completely non-functional. The very notion that the eye evolved at once is so statistically improbable that to consider it as inevitable is just naive. In an alternative theory, which is more probable but still naive, the author quotes that the development of the eye started with some light sensitive cells. They just happened to be equally spaced and positioned on the creature, and these light sensitive cells just happened to be connected to the brain in a way that the light sensitivity could be registered, and that creature happened to be the one who lived and fathered all other creatures, and those children creatures happened to somehow gain eyesight out of light sensitive cells?

I call bull. Any idiot can make an argument based on infinity. Here’s one for you. Given as space is infinite and at least one habitable planet exists, it is assured that there is another habitable planet out there. As it is assured that there is at least one other habitable planet and space is infinite, then it is assured there are actually an infinite number of habitable planets. Given that there are an infinite number of habitable planets, then it is assured that there is at least one habitable planet very close to the earth in terms of atmosphere, temperature, etc. It follows that there are an infinite number of planets very close to the earth, an infinite number of planets exactly like the earth, an infinite number of those planets supporting life, and infinite number of those life forms exactly like us, an infinite number of those life forms that have followed the same evolutionary paths, made the same decisions, and as such are exact replicas of us today. In other words, using the infinite argument suggests that there are an infinite number of earth “clones” floating around in space. This does not even address the earths that are more advanced or less advanced than us by a few billion years, nor the other species that are slightly or vastly different than us. It’s kind of amazing we’ve never met any of them.

The probabilities against this sort of thing are so vast that only an argument of infinity can satisfy them. I guess the question is whether you believe space is infinite. If you do then get excited, because an infinite number of you “clones” are reading this same article and thinking this same thought right now!

If you found this interesting, or you are curious about the probabilities, you should go read The Mathematics of Monkeys and Shakespeare.

Posted in Theology | 6 Comments »

Freedom

17th March 2008 - By Aaron Gadberry

You only retain the freedoms you defend.

Posted in Political | No Comments »