Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

The sweat smell of philosophy

I had a really nice walk to work this morning -- maybe it was theweekend, maybe it was the trip back to Bville, or maybe the recentweather did it, but the trail smelled really fresh and floral. Iwasn't yucky at all when I arrived at work, which is nice.

On the way to work, I was thinking about two ideas people gave me,at different times. My first boss McLeod once explained somethingto me. Financially, I've always had the aim of minimizing debt --I don't like owing money to people, and I ideally want to be payingas close to zero (dollars, not percent) interest as possible. However,businesses don't work this way -- for them, debt is natural, and it'snot even a bad thing, because they're based on the idea that they earnmore on their capital (at least in the long run) than however much onecould get with a 'safe' investment. For companies where that's not true,it's best not to invest in them at all, instead doing that safe investment.It's thus best, according to this idea, for those companies to borrow asmuch as they can at rates under what they think they can earn, using thatcashflow to improve their effectiveness at pulling in cash.

The other idea was from my friend Tim, who suggested to me that the nationaldebt is not something we should be worried about at all -- the governmentshould consider it a plus that that money is available to it because it usesit (presumably) to keep itself and the economy flowing smoothly, and thatincreases the tax revenue it gets.

So, I was thinking on the way to work today, is this stuff right? Well, Iwas starting to chew on the second one, and I realized that I was lookingfor a different sort of answer than what was driving me to say 'no', soI stopped. No doubt I could find some kind of economic or commonsenseargument against the second, but it wouldn't really be honest -- the problemis that I think government should be simple, that it shouldn't be a moneymakingopportunity for investors, and that unneeded entanglement with investorsexposes it to vulnerability. There may be other reasons, but they're nottouching on what's important to me on this issue.

As for the first, it's probably true, and I'm just too risk-averse to beentirely comfortable with it. I do wonder though -- there may be levels ofinvestment where additional money has a sharp decline in usefulness to thesmall company -- if you need an engineer to do research for a year on aproduct before it comes to fruit, or any other case where more money won'thelp much, then the company would probably be better off not taking theVC funds (beyond perhaps a certain cushion), as it does mean a certain lossof control.

On the trip home, I grabbed a lot more of my stuff I left at home last time.I'm still missing some stuff though.. *sigh*On that note, I've found that I still have some of Debb's stuff thatshould go back to her. I'll probably stick it in a box on her car or somethingone of these nights when I'm relatively certain it won't be raining. Hmm..I probably should wrap it in Saran anyhow.

Oh, as you might've guessed by this, I have my netdiary back in one pieceagain now, thanks to the USB disk I got the other day. This does NOT meanthat I have good, healthy access to my email again. That's still a mess.Gonna call Verizon and nag them again today.

I should probably get to work improving my netdiary code again.

Tags: blog, philosophy

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