The other day I was talking about paying off one’s mortgage early, against the advice of many experts. (Here.) Here’s another point to consider. As the length of the term of the mortgage goes up, the extra money one can supposedly make from investing one’s money elsewhere presumably goes up as well. But at the same time, the risk of losing the house goes up, too. Consider the difference between getting a loan from a relative and getting a mortgage from a bank. If you lose your job and can’t make a payment, your relative will generally understand and will allow you to skip payments until you get back on your feet again. Not so with a bank. They just continue to expect payments. And with a mortgage of thirty years, that is 360 consecutive months in which you must make a payment. That is a long time, of course, and during that time any number of things may happen to you that would make it harder for you to continue to make house payments. Besides losing your job, your spouse may lose their job, or you or a family member may rack up large hospital bills, or relatives may move in with you due to the recession with the result that your expenses go up, etc. From the standpoint of risk management, it’s better to have a mortgage with a shorter term so that the risk is lessened, or else to pay it off early. Naturally, some (those who are upper-middle class or upper class) don’t need to worry much about the risk of losing their homes, but others do.
The Uselessness of Professional Academic Organizations
I have often in this blog railed against tenured leftists who have done nothing about the adjunct situation, even though it is happening on their watch, so to speak. Since they have done nothing, that then is their solution, which means they have chosen the laissez-faire solution. Yes, despite all their complaining about free-market solutions, that is basically what they have chosen to solve the adjunct problem. One aspect of this situation is that the professional organizations for various disciplines have been completely worthless in terms of even acknowledging the problem. “But what could we have done?” was the response of one clueless progressive, Elaine Showalter, from the Modern Language Association. You could have talked about it a lot, you could have explored various solutions, but you didn’t even want to do that, Elaine.
Now comes word that some art historians are forming a new professional organization. The old one is called College Art Association, and this new one is the Art History Guild. See here . The woman who is advocating for this (and who wrote this on an ancient typewriter) argues that the older people in CAA don’t care, and that a new organization is needed that will be formed by young people. Good luck!
Protection via Muhammad!
The monks at Saint Catherine’s monastery in the Sinai desert supposedly have a guarantee of protection from Muhammad himself. See here.