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A grand unified theory of buying stuff.

Hey, money nerds. It’s J.D. here at the helm of Apex Money this week. My posting may be sparser than normal this week. I’m dealing with Big Stuff in my personal life at the moment, which means I haven’t really read anything about money over the past two weeks. The links I’m sharing today are articles I read a while back.

Anyhow, I’ll do my best to keep you supplied with fresh, juicy personal-finance stories…but I may miss a day or two.

To start, though, let’s look at a l-o-n-g article that I found fascinating. It’s a deep dive into why the town of Galesburg, Illinois has fallen on hard times. And it’s a story that simply re-inforces my own recent decision to move to Corvallis, Oregon — a city that has deliberately taken steps to preserve its downtown core while placing strict limits on growth and development.

If you have even a passing interest in local government and/or city planning, this article is interesting.

Why Galesburg has no money. [Inland Nobody on Substack] — “This isn’t a story about how the factories left or greedy union pensions, this is a story about how we’ve chosen to develop our town over the years. We have mostly chosen to build single family homes with large lots and commercial buildings that are auto dependent. It’s what every town was doing so I’m not here to shame anyone for what has happened. But the numbers tell us that we can’t keep going down this path.”

A grand unified theory of buying stuff. [Wired] — “Years ago, I asked a friend what kind of case she planned to buy for her shiny new flip phone. She paused, a little offended. ‘I don’t like to buy stuff for my stuff,’ she said. Those words drilled directly into my hippocampus, never to depart. She’s right! I thought. Don’t buy stuff stuff! So simple! I have tried to keep to that principle ever since, and it has gone about as well as you would expect…”

After the Beanie Baby bubble burst. [Vox] — “Looking back at a mad rush around often-colorful, often-cutesy, questionably useful odds and ends, it’s hard not to see what’s currently going on in the NFT market and wonder whether it’s Beanie Baby-esque. There’s a similar level of unbridled optimism and a rush to claim ownership over relatively arbitrary items in the belief that their value will go up. The nascent arena is also plagued by scams and potential crimes.”

Sorry, no video today. I’ve been reading few money stories and watching even fewer YouTube videos. But you know what? When I head to bed here in a few minutes (I generally write my Apex installments they night before you see them), I intend to watch random YouTube stuff, so I may have a good video for you tomorrow. 😉

Anyhow, that’s it for today. More good stuff Tuesday…or Wednesday, if my personal life is as crazy on Monday as it has been the past couple of weeks.