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(NPR)   The bad economy makes people rethink renting rather than home ownership, soon be followed by rethinking living with parents, then living on the street, then the sweet sweet release of death   (npr.org ) divider line
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2719 clicks; posted to Business » on 22 Aug 2010 at 11:44 PM (6 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-08-22 11:47:06 PM  
I'm in the latter stages of that rethink process, but I skipped a step or two.
 
2010-08-22 11:57:35 PM  
Condos are the way to go in terms of my circle of friends. But at 200k a pop, and the cost of having babies, Its gonna be a hell of a long time before we all get that ball rolling. Hell I just got a friend who just had his 1st kid after 5 years of marriage at the age of 33.

I really don't know how those people with just a HS diploma and 3 kids do it. And for the guys with child support payment, how the hell do you do it, if you do actually do it. And really, was that booty worth that 18 years of monthly bills?
 
2010-08-23 12:09:39 AM  

pvd021: And really, was that booty worth that 18 years of monthly bills?



The booty isn't but hopefully the kid is.
 
2010-08-23 12:10:28 AM  

pvd021: I really don't know how those people with just a HS diploma and 3 kids do it.


Government assistance, lower standard of living and a healthy serving of personal debt.

pvd021: And for the guys with child support payment, how the hell do you do it, if you do actually do it.


I don't know. I watched my father do it. fark biological imperative. First loose $500 I have, I'm seeing a urologist.
 
2010-08-23 12:14:01 AM  

pvd021: Condos are the way to go in terms of my circle of friends.


To paraphrase Sartre "Condos are hell".
 
2010-08-23 12:27:33 AM  

pvd021: Condos are the way to go in terms of my circle of friends. But at 200k a pop, and the cost of having babies, Its gonna be a hell of a long time before we all get that ball rolling. Hell I just got a friend who just had his 1st kid after 5 years of marriage at the age of 33.

I really don't know how those people with just a HS diploma and 3 kids do it. And for the guys with child support payment, how the hell do you do it, if you do actually do it. And really, was that booty worth that 18 years of monthly bills?


Double wides aren't that expensive.
 
2010-08-23 12:29:04 AM  

HempHead: pvd021: Condos are the way to go in terms of my circle of friends.

To paraphrase Sartre "Condos are hell".


It's like an apartment you can't move out of when you get shiathead neighbors. Your shiathead neighbors also have power over you in the HOA.

Just be patient, houses will drop to where people can afford them again. The government can't prop up this horseshiat forever.
 
2010-08-23 12:29:41 AM  
As much as I would like to own a home someday I don't see it happening, jobs are too elastic and insecure. If you want to work you must be willing to travel and relocate, having a house is going to hold you back. I suppose in certain situations, financially it would make sense but even then it is a stretch and people aren't financially smart to begin with. Maybe when homes return to their 2.5x the median income of the neighborhood, but that will never happen. Too many industries won't allow it.
 
2010-08-23 12:33:46 AM  
Condos are the real problem in the recent bubble.

2-3 Bedroom condos were built all over Seattle in the 2003-2008 era, with an asking price of $400,000. Which is really stupid because you can buy a cute little 4 bedroom vintage 1920s to 1960s house for $300,000 to $400,000 in the north part of the city (anywhere above the Montlake cut), which is the nice part of town.

Anyway, in 2010 all these condo unit are sitting empty. Seriously, like a 90% vacancy rate. So these unnecessary condos were built - driving the asking price of all residential units (houses and condos).

Even worse, many of these new condo building were built with cheap material, cheap labor, and corrupt management. There is a 25-30 story condo in Belltown that has to be removed because some one screwed up and didn't put rust-proof paint on the wires that are in concrete.

So some greedy banks and contractors said, "Hey, if a family will pay $400G for a house, why shouldn't they pay the same for an urban Condo?" In reality, all these condos should be the starter residencies for young families, and they should be priced at about $50,000. Yes, 50 grand. About 2 years wages for a working person, which was the rule of thumb measure for income-to-cost of house for the 1950s until the 1980s or so.
 
2010-08-23 12:37:16 AM  

AmazingRuss: Just be patient, houses will drop to where people can afford them again. The government can't prop up this horseshiat forever.


And then it'll be the next bubble.

The real problem here is money. We disguise our pathetic living wages with illusions like credit or marketing bubbles. We can't keep doing this. The sad truth is that unless we all start making a lot more money, our economy is going to tank. And this isn't a problem that can be solved by the American populace unless real change starts happening.

And by that, I mean we start taking the companies to task big time as they have failed us in this regard. Housing, student loans, credit card debt all has one thing in common: a lack of wages. We are borrowing because we have no immediate money to spend in an economy that requires constant unlimited growth. How does this happen?

Henry Ford said it best: if you don't pay your workers anything, don't expect them to buy your crap. While many things have changed in that time, his basic reasoning is right: without jobs that give Americans a leg up and put a lot of money into their possession, we won't have an economy. Then we'll see how fast your average American making 30k a year changes their tune about capitalism. I'm surprised businesses aren't catching this attitude. Health care reform, financial reform, various types of debt-related reform....honestly, what company will be the one who the government lets sink beneath the waves here?

But back to the point: the housing market is a symptom of the real issue. Put real money back into pockets, give Americans jobs that will line their pockets with far more cash than they will need, and watch the economy grow like mad. But it starts with jobs and a lot of money. And that's where business is failing us now.
 
2010-08-23 12:50:04 AM  

Guntram Shatterhand: But back to the point: the housing market is a symptom of the real issue. Put real money back into pockets, give Americans jobs that will line their pockets with far more cash than they will need, and watch the economy grow like mad. But it starts with jobs and a lot of money. And that's where business is failing us now.


The real issue is that globalization is making Americans not worth the amount of money it takes to keep this extravagant consumption farce going, and automation will come along right behind it to make 80% of the global population unemployable. The number of people that nobody has any use for is skyrocketing.

If people don't get over this unlimited wants thing and start valuing each other for non-material reasons, it's going to get really ugly over the next few decades.

So it's going to get really ugly over the next few decades, as the excess people are purged from the system.
 
2010-08-23 12:54:16 AM  

pvd021: Hell I just got a friend who just had his 1st kid after 5 years of marriage at the age of 33.


Oh, the horror.
 
2010-08-23 12:58:45 AM  

Guntram Shatterhand:
But back to the point: the housing market is a symptom of the real issue. Put real money back into pockets, give Americans jobs that will line their pockets with far more cash than they will need, and watch the economy grow like mad. But it starts with jobs and a lot of money. And that's where business is failing us now.


You make several good points, but you forget the most important one - these businesses that you named: health care/insurance, finance, credit; as well as housing, telecom/internet access and many others, all feel entitled to make obscene profits, um, forever.

They will no more have their grip on Americans' wallets broken free than a leech will freely release from a host while feeding. You've got to burn those little farkers off, and that's basically what's going to have to happen to get all these bloated, overgrown leeches to stop creating massive, unbelieveable DRAG on our economy.

Think about it - if the economy worked like basic supply/demand (yes, I know that's all the trolls understand; humor me) said it should, then these services should be approaching maximum quality for minimum cost. Instead, we seem to be approaching maximum cost for minimum utility because nobody's telling these farkers "No, you can not rape your customers".

It seems basic, but there you go. I'm starting to think that we should just give these companies an ultimatum: reach a minimum efficiency of (X value/Y dollars) within 5-10 years (depending on the business), or we either nationalize your ass or create competing government-run companies to FORCE the costs down and quality up.

It'd work awesomely for insurance, internet access, financial brokering, credit/debit card (dear GOD you have no idea how many hidden costs those add to every transaction you make, even if you don't use one!) transactions, basic banking services & ATMs... I could go on. There are many places that a federal/state/municipal-run alternative would create incredible consumer benefits... And can you imagine the screaming?

/Sweet, sweet corporate tears... MMMMmmmmm....
 
2010-08-23 01:06:13 AM  

pvd021: was that booty worth that 18 years of monthly bills?


I've got someone to plant me.
 
2010-08-23 01:12:09 AM  

AmazingRuss:
The real issue is that globalization is making Americans not worth the amount of money it takes to keep this extravagant consumption farce going, and automation will come along right behind it to make 80% of the global population unemployable. The number of people that nobody has any use for is skyrocketing.

If people don't get over this unlimited wants thing and start valuing each other for non-material reasons, it's going to get really ugly over the next few decades.

So it's going to get really ugly over the next few decades, as the excess people are purged from the system.


No, the real issue is that our income distribution models are no longer even pretending to keep up with our economic realities.

Let's say that only 10% of able-bodied adults need to work to keep everything going in 50 years; should the other 90% just go die, or try to sell BJs or their children's organs or something to the employed 10%?

That's insane. That violates all kinds of basic concepts of human dignity in our society; as we gradually move towards a post-scarcity economy, where only a very few need to/can work to provide the goods and services to everybody else, the economy will IMPLODE because, um, nobody can buy them.

If you've got a country of 300,000,000 people but only 2% can afford to buy diddly squat, then you only really have 6,000,000 people to buy from each other. Then the 6mil won't be anywhere near as rich as if they were selling to 300mil, but they're so damned greedy that they think letting any pennies spill forth from their fingers will impoverish them forever.

*Sigh*. Money, by itself, is useless to an economy. It is by changing hands that it produces "work", and it takes a hell of a lot of that to evolve an economy. As long as we keep pretending that ultra-low corporate & individual taxes will somehow make a thousand janitors well-off, instead of 1 or 2 CEOs, then we're going to be heading for a rapidly shrinking economy.

Yes, trolls. It's wealth redistribution; as automation takes over higher and higher-function jobs, you HAVE to do it, or your economy collapses. You don't just throw the money at everyone, of course; that's stupid. You create jobs that have SOME sort of function (even, honestly, if it's just dig-hole-fill-hole shiat if you can't think of anything else, but you're better off building next-gen infrastructure) that benefits you down the road, paving the way for the next generation of wealth-creating technologies.

You think private capital will do that? Yeah, call me when they build a toll freeway from coast to coast, or recreate the great dams and internet backbones the government paid to have put in place. THOSE still serve us today, and we're falling behind in creating the next generations of those things. Like, 20 years behind.
 
2010-08-23 01:25:44 AM  

MC O'Brien: Condos are the real problem in the recent bubble.

2-3 Bedroom condos were built all over Seattle in the 2003-2008 era, with an asking price of $400,000. Which is really stupid because you can buy a cute little 4 bedroom vintage 1920s to 1960s house for $300,000 to $400,000 in the north part of the city (anywhere above the Montlake cut), which is the nice part of town.

Anyway, in 2010 all these condo unit are sitting empty. Seriously, like a 90% vacancy rate. So these unnecessary condos were built - driving the asking price of all residential units (houses and condos).

Even worse, many of these new condo building were built with cheap material, cheap labor, and corrupt management. There is a 25-30 story condo in Belltown that has to be removed because some one screwed up and didn't put rust-proof paint on the wires that are in concrete.

So some greedy banks and contractors said, "Hey, if a family will pay $400G for a house, why shouldn't they pay the same for an urban Condo?" In reality, all these condos should be the starter residencies for young families, and they should be priced at about $50,000. Yes, 50 grand. About 2 years wages for a working person, which was the rule of thumb measure for income-to-cost of house for the 1950s until the 1980s or so.


$50,000!

Cool!

I can pick up a few, fix them up nice and flip'em for $60,000 for SURE! Hell, if they can afford 50k what's 10k more!!!!

/you can't go home again
//can't put the genie back in the bottle
///can't put the toothpaste back in the tube
////In the 50's to 80's no one knew shiat
 
2010-08-23 01:36:59 AM  

Britney Spear's Speculum: pvd021: Hell I just got a friend who just had his 1st kid after 5 years of marriage at the age of 33.

Oh, the horror.


My best bus conversation overheard were these teenage girls. They were making fun of this other girl cuz she didn't know who her baby dady was. I was giving her a mental high-five cuz fark yea we've turned the corner. Teenage pregnancy is no longer cool.

She then turns to the dude next to her and rubs her belly. At least mines gonna know who her baby daddy is. *mental facepalm*
 
2010-08-23 01:52:32 AM  
At least when I'm dead your inability to drive won't matter to me anymore.
 
2010-08-23 02:22:02 AM  
FTFA: "Being a renter has very little security"

Less security, but more mobility when the less secure job and economic markets do what they do.
 
2010-08-23 02:55:29 AM  

Drakuun: FTFA: "Being a renter has very little security"

Less security, but more mobility when the less secure job and economic markets do what they do.


Some degree of realism and some degree of fatalism. Stability is always a good thing
 
2010-08-23 03:11:26 AM  
I have a half chinese/Jewish friend that uses his guile & insane work ethic to actually manufacture gold coins from air. Plus he is a smart investor.

He was talking about the nonsense of using a home as an investment vehicle in 2005. He's a proud renter that could be buying up short sells like mad if he wanted now. Still doesn't.

He'll be a millionaire by 35, if he isn't already.
 
2010-08-23 03:23:43 AM  

NovaeDeArx: Guntram Shatterhand:
But back to the point: the housing market is a symptom of the real issue. Put real money back into pockets, give Americans jobs that will line their pockets with far more cash than they will need, and watch the economy grow like mad. But it starts with jobs and a lot of money. And that's where business is failing us now.

You make several good points, but you forget the most important one - these businesses that you named: health care/insurance, finance, credit; as well as housing, telecom/internet access and many others, all feel entitled to make obscene profits, um, forever.

They will no more have their grip on Americans' wallets broken free than a leech will freely release from a host while feeding. You've got to burn those little farkers off, and that's basically what's going to have to happen to get all these bloated, overgrown leeches to stop creating massive, unbelieveable DRAG on our economy.

Think about it - if the economy worked like basic supply/demand (yes, I know that's all the trolls understand; humor me) said it should, then these services should be approaching maximum quality for minimum cost. Instead, we seem to be approaching maximum cost for minimum utility because nobody's telling these farkers "No, you can not rape your customers".

It seems basic, but there you go. I'm starting to think that we should just give these companies an ultimatum: reach a minimum efficiency of (X value/Y dollars) within 5-10 years (depending on the business), or we either nationalize your ass or create competing government-run companies to FORCE the costs down and quality up.

It'd work awesomely for insurance, internet access, financial brokering, credit/debit card (dear GOD you have no idea how many hidden costs those add to every transaction you make, even if you don't use one!) transactions, basic banking services & ATMs... I could go on. There are many places that a federal/state/municipal-run alternative would create incredible consumer benefits... And can you imagine the screaming?

/Sweet, sweet corporate tears... MMMMmmmmm....


I don't like pulling this out, because I hated it and everything it stood for, but it made me realize one thing: Nationalizing everything is not the answer.
movies.popcrunch.com
Although I disagree with the stance she takes that corporatons are nothing but adorable little ragamuffins that have more money than others and when you make rules they can't POSSIBLY follow them, so they end up nationalizing them, I don't think complete gov't takeover of free enterprise is the answer.
 
2010-08-23 03:30:33 AM  

MC O'Brien: Condos are the real problem in the recent bubble.

2-3 Bedroom condos were built all over Seattle in the 2003-2008 era, with an asking price of $400,000. Which is really stupid because you can buy a cute little 4 bedroom vintage 1920s to 1960s house for $300,000 to $400,000 in the north part of the city (anywhere above the Montlake cut), which is the nice part of town.

Anyway, in 2010 all these condo unit are sitting empty. Seriously, like a 90% vacancy rate. So these unnecessary condos were built - driving the asking price of all residential units (houses and condos).

Even worse, many of these new condo building were built with cheap material, cheap labor, and corrupt management. There is a 25-30 story condo in Belltown that has to be removed because some one screwed up and didn't put rust-proof paint on the wires that are in concrete.

So some greedy banks and contractors said, "Hey, if a family will pay $400G for a house, why shouldn't they pay the same for an urban Condo?" In reality, all these condos should be the starter residencies for young families, and they should be priced at about $50,000. Yes, 50 grand. About 2 years wages for a working person, which was the rule of thumb measure for income-to-cost of house for the 1950s until the 1980s or so.


Did you see House Hunters last night on HGTV? It was the one where this 26-year-old woman wants to move out of her parents' house into a $300K condo in Kirkwood to go live the Seattle lifestyle on her own. Don't know when it originally aired, but I couldn't help thinking during the whole show that she needed to go rent instead, because in four or five years she'll be married and want to have kids and then have to get rid of this condo so they can buy a house with a yard somewhere.

I had a condo when I was in my 20s too, but it was family-friendly and I lived there for nine years. Long enough to build up some decent equity.
 
2010-08-23 03:46:36 AM  

NovaeDeArx: No, the real issue is that our income distribution models are no longer even pretending to keep up with our economic realities.

Let's say that only 10% of able-bodied adults need to work to keep everything going in 50 years; should the other 90% just go die, or try to sell BJs or their children's organs or something to the employed 10%?


Okay, but who has to be in the 10%? Right now I'm a well-compensated and productive IT worker, but if I thought I could support my family sitting on the couch in my underwear playing Farmville all day instead of having to wake up early every morning to accomplish something useful it would be awfully hard to resist the temptation. That's why Communism doesn't work, remember?
 
2010-08-23 03:56:23 AM  

Jaws_Victim: I don't like pulling this out, because I hated it and everything it stood for, but it made me realize one thing: Nationalizing everything is not the answer.


You're right, but 100% free enterprise doesn't work either.

There are only two sides arguing flawed points anymore.
The answer is a government that provides boundaries and rules that corporations can operate inside of freely. Examples would be Glass-Steagall Act or government mandated projects ran by private companies like TVA or the Hoover Dam.

The government can't compete with business, but it can't fail either. So it just ruins business.
And we can't trust corps to be fair or honest.

But I haven't heard either side mention restoring the laws that worked for 50+ years. Nor does anyone want to come up with hard government mandates on how things should run, but without the government actually running things.
 
2010-08-23 04:05:08 AM  

MC O'Brien: 2-3 Bedroom condos were built all over Seattle in the 2003-2008 era, with an asking price of $400,000. Which is really stupid because you can buy a cute little 4 bedroom vintage 1920s to 1960s house for $300,000 to $400,000 in the north part of the city (anywhere above the Montlake cut), which is the nice part of town.


My company had a good part in designing many of them. We just opened up a new project on 6th and Denny. It was originally going to be $500k plus condos, but in the current market, they've been built as apartments, with the idea of selling them later. The place opened up about 2 months ago, and have been renting like hotcakes.

800 sq/ft? $1,600 a month. Link (new window)

/location
//location
///Space Needle
 
2010-08-23 04:12:46 AM  
Yeah, it's not that we built a ton of condos, it's that they are ALL "luxury" condos. Every single builder was aiming to capture the highest 3-4% of the market. So now the buildings are all full of granite counters and stainless appliances, and empty. Many builders were building Section 8 condos, they just didn't know it at the time...
 
2010-08-23 04:17:04 AM  

NovaeDeArx: AmazingRuss:
The real issue is that globalization is making Americans not worth the amount of money it takes to keep this extravagant consumption farce going, and automation will come along right behind it to make 80% of the global population unemployable. The number of people that nobody has any use for is skyrocketing.

If people don't get over this unlimited wants thing and start valuing each other for non-material reasons, it's going to get really ugly over the next few decades.

So it's going to get really ugly over the next few decades, as the excess people are purged from the system.

No, the real issue is that our income distribution models are no longer even pretending to keep up with our economic realities.

Let's say that only 10% of able-bodied adults need to work to keep everything going in 50 years; should the other 90% just go die, or try to sell BJs or their children's organs or something to the employed 10%?


What the heck are you babbling about? Even if automation allowed 10% to do the work that everybody's doing today, everybody else will still have jobs. Don't you know that 200 years ago 95% of the country's working population was involved in food production, and today it's less than 5%? Why do you think that we don't have 90% unemployment today, with the rest starving in the street? Because efficiency frees resources that can then be used to make other things, and the economy grows. Increased automation (which is why an American farmer has a higher standard of living than a Cambodian farmer) ALWAYS results in a higher standard of living for everybody. ALWAYS. Oh, and, by definition, if 10% were doing "all the jobs" then all those unemployed people would have what they need, unless the 10% who made everything hauled 90% of what they made to the garbage dump. If the 10% who made everything only made 10% of what's produced today (so that they could have theirs) then we're already there automation-wise... 10% of today's workers could (and do) produce 10% of what the whole country puts out. In that case, the "useless" 90% would start producing, just like they do today.

The rest of your post was to mindless and illogical to even bother with. I think you must be trolling... nobody could be that misinformed about how the world works (people so greedy that they are poorer than they could be because they don't give away their money so people can buy more stuff from them... sheesh!)
 
2010-08-23 04:24:16 AM  

ScubaDude1960:
What the heck are you babbling about? Even if automation allowed 10% to do the work that everybody's doing today, everybody else will still have jobs. Don't you know that 200 years ago 95% of the country's working population was involved in food production, and today it's less than 5%? Why do you think that we don't have 90% unemployment today, with the rest starving in the street? Because efficiency frees resources that can then be used to make other things, and the economy grows. Increased automation (which is why an American farmer has a higher standard of living than a Cambodian farmer) ALWAYS results in a higher standard of living for everybody. ALWAYS. Oh, and, by definition, if 10% were doing "all the jobs" then all those unemployed people would have what they need, unless the 10% who made everything hauled 90% of what they made to the garbage dump. If the 10% who made everything only made 10% of what's produced today (so that they could have theirs) then we're already there automation-wise... 10% of today's workers could (and do) produce 10% of what the whole country puts out. In that case, the "useless" 90% would start producing, just like they do today.

The rest of your post was to mindless and illogical to even bother with. I think you must be trolling... nobody could be that misinformed about how the world works (people so greedy that they are poorer than they could be because they don't give away their money so people can buy more stuff from them... sheesh!)


Right - this is why the flying car manufacturing and Strong AI adaptive programming sectors did so great this quarter... Wait, no...

Dude, I recognize your handle; I know you're a troll here. What's the old saying, "And by their fruits, ye shall know them"? The attitude of "Oh, new jobs'll magically appear if you automate away or offshore THESE jobs..." is no longer valid if there's no infrastructure supporting it.

Your proposition is only valid in an environment where labor SHORTAGES already exist, and so it is economically beneficial to automate or offshore. It does not work the other way around, where you just save money by automating out - that does not CREATE jobs. Your argument - it is backwards.

And no, by the way, you completely misunderstood my statement - not that 10% are doing 100% of TODAY'S work, but 100% of ALL NEEDED work; those are just... They're completely different, okay?

Now, can you please address my actual argument instead of the strawman you wanted to rage against? Okay, thanks.
 
2010-08-23 04:34:54 AM  

pdieten: NovaeDeArx: No, the real issue is that our income distribution models are no longer even pretending to keep up with our economic realities.

Let's say that only 10% of able-bodied adults need to work to keep everything going in 50 years; should the other 90% just go die, or try to sell BJs or their children's organs or something to the employed 10%?


Okay, but who has to be in the 10%? Right now I'm a well-compensated and productive IT worker, but if I thought I could support my family sitting on the couch in my underwear playing Farmville all day instead of having to wake up early every morning to accomplish something useful it would be awfully hard to resist the temptation. That's why Communism doesn't work, remember?


Well, I kind of already said, but I'll be happy to reiterate.

The idea is that if 10% are doing 100% off all needed work, then it is beneficial to try and employ as much of the remaining 90% as possible in jobs where they build the infrastructure for the next major economic revolution.

Right now, people are pissed that we don't have a FDR-esque public works program laying in massive internet bandwidth and structural redundancy upgrades, sustainable energy upgrades, power grid upgrades (it's way more fragile than you think)... I could go on. These are all kick-starter programs that could help America draw back and reconfigure itself for the 21st century. Instead, we got mortgage modification and pointless quasi-stimulus legislation that does little to nothing to improve our country. It's pathetic.
 
2010-08-23 04:50:11 AM  

NovaeDeArx: ScubaDude1960:
What the heck are you babbling about? Even if automation allowed 10% to do the work that everybody's doing today, everybody else will still have jobs. Don't you know that 200 years ago 95% of the country's working population was involved in food production, and today it's less than 5%? Why do you think that we don't have 90% unemployment today, with the rest starving in the street? Because efficiency frees resources that can then be used to make other things, and the economy grows. Increased automation (which is why an American farmer has a higher standard of living than a Cambodian farmer) ALWAYS results in a higher standard of living for everybody. ALWAYS. Oh, and, by definition, if 10% were doing "all the jobs" then all those unemployed people would have what they need, unless the 10% who made everything hauled 90% of what they made to the garbage dump. If the 10% who made everything only made 10% of what's produced today (so that they could have theirs) then we're already there automation-wise... 10% of today's workers could (and do) produce 10% of what the whole country puts out. In that case, the "useless" 90% would start producing, just like they do today.

The rest of your post was to mindless and illogical to even bother with. I think you must be trolling... nobody could be that misinformed about how the world works (people so greedy that they are poorer than they could be because they don't give away their money so people can buy more stuff from them... sheesh!)

Right - this is why the flying car manufacturing and Strong AI adaptive programming sectors did so great this quarter... Wait, no...

Dude, I recognize your handle; I know you're a troll here. What's the old saying, "And by their fruits, ye shall know them"? The attitude of "Oh, new jobs'll magically appear if you automate away or offshore THESE jobs..." is no longer valid if there's no infrastructure supporting it.

Your proposition is only valid in an environment where labor SHORTAGES already exist, and so it is economically beneficial to automate or offshore. It does not work the other way around, where you just save money by automating out - that does not CREATE jobs. Your argument - it is backwards.

And no, by the way, you completely misunderstood my statement - not that 10% are doing 100% of TODAY'S work, but 100% of ALL NEEDED work; those are just... They're completely different, okay?

Now, can you please address my actual argument instead of the strawman you wanted to rage against? Okay, thanks.


There was no straw man. If 10% did 100% of ALL NEEDED WORK, then everybody would have WHAT THEY NEED!!!!! And there has been a continual labor shortage since the dawn of man. Desire for consumption is almost infinite... everybody, if given the choice, would live like Bill Gates. The only thing stopping them is PRODUCTION. Why is half the planet living in abject poverty (and half the rest not doing much better)? Lack of production.

Let's say that I have a machine that will do EVERY job on the planet simultaneously. I flip the switch. Does that put EVERYBODY out of work immediately? How? The only way it would is if EVERYBODY stopped buying from the old producer and started buying from me. In which case, everybody loses their jobs and can't buy from me. I can't sell all the stuff I'm putting out. Either give it away or stop producing it. If I give it away, everybody has what they already have and don't have to work for it. If I keep everything to myself (what would I do with millions of cars every year?) then nothing has changed... everybody keeps working at their jobs (in which case, I haven't eliminated any jobs). Or I could cut production down to just what I want... again, nothing has changed for anybody else and no jobs are lost. The concepts of "10% doing every conceivable job" and "90% starving in the street" are mutually exclusive and logically inconsistent.
 
2010-08-23 04:54:23 AM  

NovaeDeArx: pdieten: NovaeDeArx: No, the real issue is that our income distribution models are no longer even pretending to keep up with our economic realities.

Let's say that only 10% of able-bodied adults need to work to keep everything going in 50 years; should the other 90% just go die, or try to sell BJs or their children's organs or something to the employed 10%?


Okay, but who has to be in the 10%? Right now I'm a well-compensated and productive IT worker, but if I thought I could support my family sitting on the couch in my underwear playing Farmville all day instead of having to wake up early every morning to accomplish something useful it would be awfully hard to resist the temptation. That's why Communism doesn't work, remember?

Well, I kind of already said, but I'll be happy to reiterate.

The idea is that if 10% are doing 100% off all needed work, then it is beneficial to try and employ as much of the remaining 90% as possible in jobs where they build the infrastructure for the next major economic revolution.


Ummm... wouldn't building infrastructure be included in the "100% of all needed work" being done by the 10%?
 
2010-08-23 07:25:17 AM  
Renting is also perceived as something that really divides Americans by class. So I think for a lot of potential renters, or people who own and are thinking of making that transition to renting, they have to overcome this sense that they are giving up a sense of status.

Owning an house isnt everything. It has to be a big house and in the right neighbourhood. It has to have a 2 car garage with right kind of cars. It should also have wooden floors, marble ceiling, granite countertops, designer furniture and fittings, expansive staircase, swimming pool, jacuzzi, decking, yard, potted plants and whatever the joneses are getting next. It never ends.
 
2010-08-23 08:01:22 AM  
Home ownership is great! How else could you get taxpayers to help subsidize your gamble? Prices always go up! Mortgage interest tax deduction! Stability!
 
2010-08-23 08:06:42 AM  
I'll take my DW on 7 acres over a condo any day. Nearest neighbor is over 400 feet away. And a single guy that keeps to himself.
 
2010-08-23 08:23:57 AM  
dem-o-rats wasted a trillion dollars

where are the frakin jobs?
 
2010-08-23 08:48:26 AM  

HempHead: To paraphrase Sartre "Condos are hell".


Condos suck. Even if it weren't for the outrageous monthly fees, it's not much better living than being in a slum apartment complex. Oh but look, this one has granite!

AmazingRuss: It's like an apartment you can't move out of when you get shiathead neighbors. Your shiathead neighbors also have power over you in the HOA.


This.

Just be patient, houses will drop to where people can afford them again. The government can't prop up this horseshiat forever.

And especially THIS.
 
2010-08-23 08:51:02 AM  
Why don't we just go back to feudalism? That's what corporations and Randroids want, anyway.
 
2010-08-23 09:03:36 AM  

mcoctopus: Renting is also perceived as something that really divides Americans by class. So I think for a lot of potential renters, or people who own and are thinking of making that transition to renting, they have to overcome this sense that they are giving up a sense of status.

Owning an house isnt everything. It has to be a big house and in the right neighbourhood. It has to have a 2 car garage with right kind of cars. It should also have wooden floors, marble ceiling, granite countertops, designer furniture and fittings, expansive staircase, swimming pool, jacuzzi, decking, yard, potted plants and whatever the joneses are getting next. It never ends.


I think you've hit the nail on the head. The root cause of a lot of these problems is that people want a lifestyle NOW that our parents and grandparents worked a lifetime to build up to.

We want the huge flat panel TV, the best new car, hardwood floors, 2 car garage, etc. And we aren't disciplined enough to save, and acquire each one as we can afford it over several years.

It's a hard mindset to overcome, as my wife and I are finding out. Our friends sometimes make us feel poor when we visit, because they have so much stuff that is far nicer than we have. But they also don't own any of it, really. They have thousands in loans to finance the lifestyle they didn't earn. Maybe their happiness of having and using the best things NOW is worth the costs of debt, to them. It isn't worth it to us, so we make do with what we can.
 
2010-08-23 09:13:23 AM  

AmazingRuss: HempHead: pvd021: Condos are the way to go in terms of my circle of friends.

To paraphrase Sartre "Condos are hell".

It's like an apartment you can't move out of when you get shiathead neighbors. Your shiathead neighbors also have power over you in the HOA.

Just be patient, houses will drop to where people can afford them again. The government can't prop up this horseshiat forever.


lulz. "Helicopter" Ben disagrees and has stated such publicly.
 
2010-08-23 09:15:06 AM  
The idea of a SFH in the suburbs is deeply ingrained in folks. It's also creating donut cities -- well off cities and inner suburbs (in the DC area, that's Northwest, North Arlington, Old Town Alexandra, McLean), slummy middle suburbs (Seven Corners, South Arlington, Route 1 south of the Beltway), then better-off outer suburbs (Stafford, Loudoun, Fauquier). This is in contrast to the European model where the slums are in the suburbs.
 
2010-08-23 09:18:59 AM  
If you have a job, and the down payment, home prices are dirt cheap right now. We just had a house in Lansing sell for $5. Yes, five dollars.
 
2010-08-23 09:23:40 AM  

stpickrell: The idea of a SFH in the suburbs is deeply ingrained in folks. It's also creating donut cities -- well off cities and inner suburbs (in the DC area, that's Northwest, North Arlington, Old Town Alexandra, McLean), slummy middle suburbs (Seven Corners, South Arlington, Route 1 south of the Beltway), then better-off outer suburbs (Stafford, Loudoun, Fauquier). This is in contrast to the European model where the slums are in the suburbs.


I live like a king in Stafford while making DC money, so I'm getting a kick out your reply.
 
2010-08-23 09:25:55 AM  

Asako: If you have a job, and the down payment, home prices are dirt cheap right now.


I've been hearing the same thing for years now. Funny that prices keep dropping. People say "houses are cheap" because to them the universe was created four years ago and there's no temporal understanding of where home prices would be had there never been a housing bubble.

Granted, Lansing is way cheaper than where I live, but don't be surprised if you buy a house there today for $200k and in a few years it's worth only $150k. "But, we bought when it was cheap" will hardly be an adequate consolation.

/has a job
//and a down payment
///just watching the circus of delusional sellers while renting
 
2010-08-23 09:31:11 AM  
mavexe
Although I'd like the "3000 square foot castle for what I'm paying now and OK schools" thing, I'm not sure I'd like the "sit on I-95 for 90 minutes" thing.

wolvernova
How much do you think, for example, one of the 1000-1100 square foot ramblers from the 50s that still form 1/2 of the town of Vienna's housing stock *should* cost? (I mean, since I live in one and all.)
 
2010-08-23 09:34:34 AM  

Guntram Shatterhand: AmazingRuss: Just be patient, houses will drop to where people can afford them again. The government can't prop up this horseshiat forever.

And then it'll be the next bubble.

The real problem here is money. We disguise our pathetic living wages with illusions like credit or marketing bubbles. We can't keep doing this. The sad truth is that unless we all start making a lot more money, our economy is going to tank. And this isn't a problem that can be solved by the American populace unless real change starts happening.

And by that, I mean we start taking the companies to task big time as they have failed us in this regard. Housing, student loans, credit card debt all has one thing in common: a lack of wages. We are borrowing because we have no immediate money to spend in an economy that requires constant unlimited growth. How does this happen?

Henry Ford said it best: if you don't pay your workers anything, don't expect them to buy your crap. While many things have changed in that time, his basic reasoning is right: without jobs that give Americans a leg up and put a lot of money into their possession, we won't have an economy. Then we'll see how fast your average American making 30k a year changes their tune about capitalism. I'm surprised businesses aren't catching this attitude. Health care reform, financial reform, various types of debt-related reform....honestly, what company will be the one who the government lets sink beneath the waves here?

But back to the point: the housing market is a symptom of the real issue. Put real money back into pockets, give Americans jobs that will line their pockets with far more cash than they will need, and watch the economy grow like mad. But it starts with jobs and a lot of money. And that's where business is failing us now.


What is this "real money" that needs to go into American pockets? Supply = demand. The problem is the insatiable demand of Americans outstrips the supply of wages for most people. Each incremental increase in wages results in inefficiencies of spending that money while increasing the demand for more shiat. Americans seem incapable of maintaining a lifestyle as wages increase during their lifestyle.

No money for a car > shiatbox > econo car > new cars > luxury cars > etc

You can do this with anything including renting/condos/homes.

We need to kill the "debt monsters" that fuel this bullshiat economy which is the federal government mainly through housing and student loans.
 
2010-08-23 09:40:01 AM  

stpickrell: The idea of a SFH in the suburbs is deeply ingrained in folks. It's also creating donut cities -- well off cities and inner suburbs (in the DC area, that's Northwest, North Arlington, Old Town Alexandra, McLean), slummy middle suburbs (Seven Corners, South Arlington, Route 1 south of the Beltway), then better-off outer suburbs (Stafford, Loudoun, Fauquier). This is in contrast to the European model where the slums are in the suburbs.


And once you "buy" into the American dream of suburbs/SFH/etc you become part of the problem. Once people get the keys to their new overpriced albatross, they do whatever possible to convince themselves they are better than the scum that rents.

/See jackass below

Pick: I'll take my DW on 7 acres over a condo any day. Nearest neighbor is over 400 feet away. And a single guy that keeps to himself.

 
2010-08-23 09:45:22 AM  

NovaeDeArx: Let's say that only 10% of able-bodied adults need to work to keep everything going in 50 years; should the other 90% just go die, or try to sell BJs or their children's organs or something to the employed 10%?


Work-sharing. Fewer hours.

Did you know that the US Senate *passed* a 30-hour workweek bill. Nearly 80 years ago. Really. That Nixon campaigned, in his early political career, on the 30-hour workweek?

I know lots of unemployed people. And yet a lot of the employed people I know are swamped with overtime and unpaid late night work. Farked the hell up, if you ask me.

A lot of government regulations push toward that (the penumbra of 'benefits' and 'full-time' and 'exempt positions'). I think regulations should push toward hiring more people, even if they don't get 40-50 hours of work a week. Single-payer health care would have been a decent step in that direction.
 
2010-08-23 09:53:49 AM  

ScubaDude1960: Let's say that I have a machine that will do EVERY job on the planet simultaneously. I flip the switch. Does that put EVERYBODY out of work immediately? How? The only way it would is if EVERYBODY stopped buying from the old producer and started buying from me. In which case, everybody loses their jobs and can't buy from me. I can't sell all the stuff I'm putting out. Either give it away or stop producing it. If I give it away, everybody has what they already have and don't have to work for it. If I keep everything to myself (what would I do with millions of cars every year?) then nothing has changed... everybody keeps working at their jobs (in which case, I haven't eliminated any jobs). Or I could cut production down to just what I want... again, nothing has changed for anybody else and no jobs are lost. The concepts of "10% doing every conceivable job" and "90% starving in the street" are mutually exclusive and logically inconsistent.


They are inconsistent if you assume current social norms about having to earn a living.

Let's suppose you automate things such that 100 people can do the work of producing anything. They certainly could just give the stuff away, creating a "post-scarcity economy", then nobody would need to starve.

But if you don't get some "sea change" like that, you would indeed end up with just those 100 people forming an economy, with everyone else subsistence-farming or starving. Who would invest in such a factory when there's no profit in it? Therefore, the 100 would have to charge for their stuff, but there aren't jobs for the rest...

I personally think eliminating scarcity is the only hope for the future. Globalized capitalism can only lead to a planet full of starving people (with a tiny handful of ultra-rich reaping the spoils).
 
2010-08-23 10:04:47 AM  

NYZooMan: M
///can't put the toothpaste back in the tube


Wait a minute??? How do they get it in there in the first place....???? Are you trying to say that they build the tube around the toothpaste? That's incredible! I had no idea. Genius!
 
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