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Old 10-08-2013, 01:27 PM   #736
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It's also the case that when houses are rising at 10-12% per year, you get into the situation where a lot of people start thinking, "I'll be priced out of the market if I don't jump in now" which leads them to take on large debt.

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Historically, house prices increase an average of 2-3% annually. Home prices usually mirrors inflation targets (2-3%). A 10-12% increase every year, for multiple years, is unprecedented and unsustainable. Especially considering the foundation of the prices - household income - is not following the same trajectory.
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Old 10-08-2013, 01:49 PM   #737
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The increase in housing prices followed the huge influx of new homeowners into the residential market.
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:11 PM   #738
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You own a home in a desirable urban area? I guess I miss your source of discontent.
I don't have a source of personal discontent because I'm one of the lucky ones. But that doesn't mean that I am willing to turn a blind eye to the reality of most people in my age group. And I really resent the "you're not working hard enough" commentary because the implication is that they are lazy and not that the numbers are stacked against them.

You seem to think that things are just dandy they way they are. I see deep inequalities that did not exist in the 1970s. That much is factually true, and there is paper after paper written about it, some by Nobel winning economists. If you are not aware of this, you can start with Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty, both world-class economists who have devoted their academic careers to measuring inequality levels in the US. Some great work done by the pair.
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:15 PM   #739
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While we're into graphs:







Anyone who maintains that things today are the same and we are just not being "patient" is clearly ignoring actual data.
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:16 PM   #740
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And I really resent the "you're not working hard enough" commentary because the implication is that they are lazy and not that the numbers are stacked against them.


agreed. i find it strange that people believe that some have more money only because they've worked harder than most.

i don't think that skilled professionals, even with our long hours and weekends of email and instant responses, really work harder than people who juggle 3 minimum wage jobs. i know i'd much, much rather spend 50 hours a week doing what i do than spending 40 hours a week changing bedpans in a nursing home. that seems much harder.

the reason skilled professionals earn more is the same as the reason we actually work less hard — we have more valuable skills, and people with valuable skills get more money and better working conditions.

it's not as if the working poor are lazy. in DC, it's entirely plausible that they were born in El Salvador in the middle of a civil war and made it to the US however they could.
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:26 PM   #741
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the reason skilled professionals earn more is the same as the reason we actually work less hard — we have more valuable skills, and people with valuable skills get more money and better working conditions
Absolutely!

My father was a labourer - he worked HARDER than I do and I'm a corporate lawyer. Maybe I put in more hours at the margins (though not by a lot) but guess what I don't have to stand on my feet in an un-airconditioned factory and lift heavy things in my 60s and have machinery fall and crush my hand.

People are willing to pay more for my expertise, but I don't think I'm working harder than people with two jobs or people who are doing physical labour. Not at all.
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:26 PM   #742
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Even highly paid, skilled professionals have less of the "pie" than they used to. As you can see in Anitram's charts...

Although I think if we could zoom in on the bottom two charts, we would probably see the top 1 percent is truly sucking out the wealth.
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:05 PM   #743
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And I really resent the "you're not working hard enough" commentary because the implication is that they are lazy and not that the numbers are stacked against them.
I don't mean to touch a nerve. You've twisted my words, however, to create the image you resent.

I am just wondering to what you attribute your achievements.

If you believe others should also be able to obtain the achievements you have obtained, is it reasonable and rational to believe other would employ the same efforts you employed?

The idea that "the numbers are stacked against them" by itself is too vague to create anything that is a meaningful action.
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:31 PM   #744
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The idea that "the numbers are stacked against them" by itself is too vague to create anything that is a meaningful action.
I think the argument is that from Generation X and younger, most people - even the ones with higher education - will have a much more difficult time attaining the American Dream (home ownership in a nice area, new car, health insurance, money for kids to go to college...)

In the 1970's - the American Dream could be had with a high school education. Now, even with a college degree - the only way you can get into the same standard of living is to "borrow" it.
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:33 PM   #745
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The increase in housing prices followed the huge influx of new homeowners into the residential market.
Yes - because of easy leverage. Easy leverage has inflated the price of homes, college, and everything in-between. If you choose not to go into debt, then you probably do not have the same "level" of success as your parents.

Easy leverage masks the true "value" of things.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:37 PM   #746
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I think the argument is that from Generation X and younger, most people - even the ones with higher education - will have a much more difficult time attaining the American Dream (home ownership in a nice area, new car, health insurance, money for kids to go to college...)

In the 1970's - the American Dream could be had with a high school education. Now, even with a college degree - the only way you can get into the same standard of living is to "borrow" it.
My dad's dad worked for the same company for 30+ years and was able to retire. My dad worked for a different company for 30+ years, retired w/ a good pension and good health benefits. I went to work for the same company in the late 90's and was laid off six years later. Today that plant is not even operable, once employing as many as 4,000 people. My brother worked for a different company employing about 2K. It's gone too. I have at least two more good friends that worked for totally different companies that went through the same thing. All in one city. All within the last 10-12 years. All blue collar work. Most of them union jobs, with good pay and good/great benefits. All gone.

It is what it is. Labor is cheaper elsewhere. It makes good business sense for them to ship jobs to Mexico and India and China, etc. NAFTA created the space for this to happen (at least in part) but NAFTA also helped to bring down the cost of common goods. At least that's my understanding of it. There is no Big Bad Villain here outside of the most wealthy wanting to be more wealthy. Appeasing the shareholders. And labor is the easiest thing to cut.

And who protects the most wealthy at all costs? While (once again) both parties are corrupted by the campaign finance system, there is no true equivalence on this issue. The Republicans are not only worse about this issue they actually convince people to vote against their best interests in order to effectuate it.

Why are so many American religious folk somehow also conservative economically, in a specific Friedman-like way? That's not a coincidence.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:09 PM   #747
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Great post U2DMfan.

I think in all the discussions from the 90s onward about the negative effects and consequences of globalization on the developing world, we somehow lost sight of what globalization has meant for the first world. And many of its effects have been negative and have directly contributed to the rising inequality that we see today.

Unfortunately this ship has clearly sailed (can any of us see the US or Canada or the European countries pulling out of the WTO for example?) and we're stuck now with a system that is anything but sustainable for the long term.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:23 PM   #748
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The increase in housing prices followed the huge influx of new homeowners into the residential market.
That cuts off in 2008 - this is current:

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Old 10-08-2013, 07:45 PM   #749
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It makes good business sense for them to ship jobs to Mexico and India and China, etc.
Only for the top - and only for so long. You still need a population that can afford to buy your products. If all the jobs are lost to slave labor - who's going to buy the car, house, stereo...etc. They put in a temporary fix by giving everyone a credit card, student loan, and easy mortgage - but eventually we'll realize this is a ponzi scheme that will eventually crash (not the whimper in 2008 - a real crash).

Yet - I do have hope. If we can make it through another decade or so - automation will decrease China's influence significantly and cheap solar will reduce the Middle East threat. Additionally, automation and abundant energy will make EVERYTHING cheaper - and if that happens, most of the globe can experience a high standard of living.
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