When Losing is Winning (aka Reverse Pyrrhic Victory?)

From the Wall Street Journal:

Would-Be Hovnanian Condo Buyer Lost Bid, But Saved Cash

David Bartz doesn’t regret the one that got away.

About a year ago, Bartz wanted to buy a $1.4-million unit at 77 Hudson, a 48-story condo project now being finished in Jersey City, N.J., across the river from New York City. But another buyer, he says, snapped it up just days before he was set to sign a contract and plunk down his 10% deposit.

The project is one of many local high-end condo developments – gleaming with granite, concierges and rooftop decks – launched during the housing boom, when easy financing fueled what seemed to be insatiable consumer demand. Bidding wars weren’t uncommon between buyers.

While he was disappointed someone beat him to the dotted line, that person probably did him a favor. The sizzling real-estate market cooled after last fall’s collapse of Lehman Brothers. With New York transformed into a buyers’ market, buyers are trying to get out of those pricey contracts they inked during the bubble, fearful of closing on a unit already worth less than what they paid. Even committed buyers are having trouble lining up financing, and condos across New York and New Jersey are sitting empty.

Hovnanian, the nation’s sixth-largest builder by annual closings, won’t say how many of its units are sold or under contract.

Bartz, who decided to stay in the townhouse he’s now owned for five years, says his desired condo’s price would be “far away” from $1.4 million today.

“I was taken in by the emotion of the project and the views,” he says. “It would have been a tough financial hit.”

This entry was posted in Housing Bubble, New Jersey Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

243 Responses to When Losing is Winning (aka Reverse Pyrrhic Victory?)

  1. freedy says:

    grim:

    i guess its safe to say Condo’s are taking a hit. just a few for sale in NNJ?

  2. grim says:

    Case Shiller Day!

    From Bloomberg:

    Home Prices in U.S. Probably Fell at Slower Pace, Confidence Up

    Home values in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas probably declined at a slower pace and consumer confidence improved, signs the recession is abating as the real-estate crisis eases, economists said before reports today.

    The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index fell 14.2 percent in July from a year earlier, the least in 17 months, according to the median forecast of 35 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The Conference Board may say its gauge of consumer sentiment rose this month to the highest level in a year.

    Foreclosure-driven price declines, low borrowing costs and government tax credits for first-time buyers have lifted home sales for much of this year, helping to slow the decline in prices. Stability in real-estate values and rising stock prices may help set the stage for a recovery in the consumer spending that accounts for two thirds of the economy.

    “The year-on-year decline in home prices is slowing considerably, showing a bottoming in home prices,” said Michelle Meyer, an economist at Barclays Capital Inc. in New York. “We look for overall confidence to improve in the near term as the general economy rebounds.”

    The S&P/Case-Shiller figures are due at 9 a.m. Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from declines of 12.5 percent to 15 percent. Year-over-year records for the gauge, which was down 15.4 percent in June from a year earlier, began in 2001, and the measure has fallen every month since January 2007.

  3. shore (42, last thread)-

    Machine gun social? If I hadn’t already spent a lot of time in SC, I’d be packing up the family and moving us there now.

    Fortunately, I’ve had plenty of experiences with the Mark Sanford set down there, too. It’s nothing for a seemingly mild-mannered, button-down guy to disappear for a few days (for a whole variety of legit and non-legit reasons). Those folks are a little unhinged.

  4. Nothing cements a friendship like emptying an AK-47 clip together.

  5. grim says:

    Magazine, not clip, you sound like a hoodlum.

    With that, a little Eazy-E to start the morning:

    Woke-up quick, at about noon
    Just thought that i had to be in Compton soon
    I gotta get drunk before the day begins
    Before my mother starts bitchin’ about my friends
    About to go and damn near went blind
    Young niggas at the pad throwin up gang signs
    Ran in the house and grabbed my clip
    With the Mac-10 on the side of my hip
    Bailed outside and pointed my weapon
    Just as I thought the fools kept steppin’

  6. Herring123 says:

    And of course, the white kids’ version of Boyz n da hood, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMlPVpXtkJY

  7. Shore Guy says:

    ” Boyz n da hood”

    Boyz on da hood of da Lexus, a well-known band in Holmdel.

  8. kettle1 says:

    Herring,

    a little south carolina Gangsta Style!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCAM3C3dpIA&feature=related

  9. Shore Guy says:

    Or, for BC, a different car-related lyric:

    I remember us riding in my brother’s car
    Her body tan and wet down at the reservoir

  10. kettle1 says:

    Shore,

    starting next week i will be down by lakewood for a while. I believe that you are lcate din that general area.

  11. BC Bob says:

    And for my 19th birthday I got a union card and a wedding coat.

  12. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    but, but, but, but, but, liberals said soaking the “rich” would raise a ton of money so that tax cuts on the middle class could be funded. What gives?

    “CBO Head Expects Only ‘Modest’ Increase
    In Revenue From Higher Capital Gains Rates

    A return of the capital gains tax rate to 20 percent in 2011 for most long-term investments is unlikely to result in a significant increase in tax revenues over the next several years, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf said in a Sept. 25 letter.

    The capital gains tax rate is scheduled to rise from 15 percent to 20 percent in 2011, but historical experience suggests that taxpayers will take steps to moderate the impact of the pending tax increase, Elmendorf said in a letter responding to questions from Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.).

    Investors may choose to take some of their investment profits in 2010 to take advantage of the lower rates, but over time investors are expected to hold assets longer and realize fewer capital gains, he said.

    Elmendorf said the shifting of the realization of gains from 2011 to 2010 will reduce revenues “modestly” over that period. Over time, however, fewer investors cashing out will keep tax revenues from rising despite the higher tax rate.

    “On net, we project that federal revenues will increase in response to the higher tax rates, but that reduced realizations will temper that increase,” Elmendorf said. “The increase is well within the range of past changes, and substantial shifts have not been identified in response to those changes,” Elmendorf wrote.
    Elmendorf said the change in capital gains rates could have the effect of discouraging innovation and risk-taking, but “CBO does not anticipate that the pending change in the capital gains tax rate, by itself, will cause much shifting of investment to tax-exempt instruments such as state and local bonds.”

  13. Shore Guy says:

    Ket,

    Maybe we can connect in late morning/early afternoon in TR. If not, I will be up in Jersey City area on the 20th and could meet that evening.

  14. kettle1 says:

    Oh, Toms river… got it!

  15. kettle1 says:

    early lunch one day? e-mail me about when would be good for you.

  16. John says:

    I love EZ E and NWA rocks. I was out in LA in the very early 1990′s and brought back a nice cassette with F*CK the Police on it. Girl at work’s finance was a complete jar head and was now a NJ State Tropper. Said no way there is a song like that when his fiance told him, so I made him a mix tape and even threw in some “we want some pu##Y”, thought the guy was going to arrest me, anyhow the NJ state troopers loved it and the tape was copied and passed along, EZ-E got his 15 minutes in spotlight ended up on FBI’s watch list and died of AIDs. Although his buddy got on law in order for like a million years.

    My favorite part was I had a red wrangler back then with a 500 Watt Radio with Speakers in Doors and I bought speakers for my roll bar. Even cooler I had extra wire on speakers so I could open the doors while driving and clip then to the side without taking them off. Well pulling up to a club in the hamptons three or four white guys blasting NWA at 500 Watts in 1990 in the Hamptons literally blew people out of their shoes. I actually had to point the speakers outward and put them on the roll bar as if I had hardtop on and doors closed 500 watts would make you deaf. Once or twice I had the back up center on Michael Jordans 1982′s championship team in the car with me. We litterally entourage style pulled up through keys at valet with music blaring lifted the valet ropes and walked right in front of a 500 person line without even paying the cover, total shock and awe. Of course within a few weeks that west coast rapster stuff hit east coast and I lost the shock in awe. Damm Studio G’s who had no street cred was playing my music so I called it a day.

  17. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Can we still buy marks???

    “Germany’s Merkel Seeks Tax Cuts;
    Partner FDP Aims to Simplify System

    BERLIN—German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union CDU and the country’s Free Democratic Party (FDP) began talks Sept. 28 to form Germany’s new center-right government, with Merkel seeking tax cuts of over 15 billion euros ($21.9 billion).

    The FDP, meanwhile, is looking for greater cuts and would like to simplify the country’s tax system.
    Merkel regained office Sept. 27, when her party, the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), received 33.8 percent of votes. The FDP took 14.6 percent.

    “The Free Democratic Party really gained a lot of popularity over the last four years because of their clear program on tax cuts,” Richard Hillmer of Infratest dimap, an electoral and political research institute, said in a Sept. 28 analysis of the elections. . . . ”

    No wonder my Europe fund has been doing so well.

    And no wonder Europeans are leaving the U.S. and taking their positions and incomes back home. Used to be that the US was a tax haven compared to Europe. That is no longer the case, and if the Eurozone can avoid our structural deficits, watch out.

    Got Kroner?

  18. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [18]

    anyone notice how John’s life seems to have mirrored HBO’s programming???

  19. John says:

    With a murder record like Charles Manson

    AK 47 is the tool, don’t make me act the Mutherf#cking fool.

    You an me can go toe to toe in minute

    checking the car looking for the product

    thinking every ni##a is selling narcotic

    Don’t let it be a black and a white one

    Black Police showing up for the white one

    F7Ck the Police.

  20. John says:

    Playa Hata

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    September 29, 2009 at 8:35 am
    [18]

    anyone notice how John’s life seems to have mirrored HBO’s programming???

  21. John says:

    John Paulson mulls CIT and IndyMac merger: report
    REUTERS — 6:06 AM ET 09/29/09
    (Reuters) – Hedge fund manager John Paulson is considering merging troubled U.S. finance company CIT Group (Symbol : CIT with failed mortgage lender IndyMac Federal Bank , the New York Post said, citing people familiar with the matter.

    According to the paper, the merger, a plan floated by a number of CIT’s creditors including Paulson, is not part of any formal discussions between CIT and IndyMac.

    The New York Post also said the plan of merger was one of several being discussed.

    Paulson was part of the consortium that purchased IndyMac from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp earlier in the year.

    A merger between the two banks would diversify IndyMac’s portfolio from mortgages to commercial loans, since the CIT Group is one of the largest lenders to small and mid-sized businesses in the U.S, the paper added.

    Representatives of CIT Group and John Paulson could not immediately be reached for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

  22. John (23)-

    Another example of Beavis meets Butthead.

  23. still_looking says:

    Nom, 20 re HBO programming –

    That is, everything but “Hung.”

    sl

  24. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [22] john

    Hater??? Heck, no, I am constantly amused by the Johnscapades, which are so much more interesting than my youthful exploits.

    And now the Jeep. Just how many cars have you owned over your life? I know auto dealers that haven’t driven that many cars.

  25. Stu says:

    “CIT and IndyMac”

    Two steaming turds combined to make one large steaming turd. Put away the plunger for it will take a taxpayer funded toilet snake to flush this one down.

  26. Stu says:

    Prior Actual
    S&P/Case-Shiller Composite 10 153.20 155.85
    S&P/Case-Shiller Composite 20 141.86 144.23

  27. Shore Guy says:

    Maybe we can merge the Fed or all of FedCo with Kimberly Clark, at least that way there will be a use for all the paper they are spreading about like fairy dust.

  28. Shore Guy says:

    Stu,

    But that is fertilizer, which promotes growth. So, all is good.

  29. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Baucus has been taking quite a few for the team. But his Taxachusetts styled tax on nonparticipants is getting a lot of flak.

    One tax expert had this to say:

    “A more interesting question is whether the Baucus excise tax is a direct tax, one that is required to be apportioned to the states based on census data as required by Article I, Section 9, Clause 4 (“[n]o Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken”). . . .

    While the 16th Amendment removed the apportionment restriction on direct taxes that are “taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived” (applied by Pollock), the restriction is unabated as to direct taxes that are not “taxes on incomes.” Since the Baucus excise tax is not a tax on income, 10 the relevant question to determine its constitutionality is whether it is one of the rare species of “Capitation, or other direct, Tax” that is prohibited without apportionment. . . .”

    What it means in essence is that the Feds may be legally barred from enforcing an excise tax or penalty on folks who decline to purchase insurance.

    Further, several states are considering laws that purport to make it illegal to assess a penalty on its citizens for not purchasing insurance. What this portends is not exactly clear, but it has the makings of a pretty juicy constitutional issue.

    In any event, I predict that the personal tax provision, if not the entire Baucus bill, will soon end up in the recycling bin. It was Baucus’ job to float a trial balloon for the administration and take the hits. That trial balloon drew more ack-ack than a dayflight of B-17′s over the Ruhr in WW2. It has crashed and burned.

    Obama owes Baucus big time since Baucus is going to be pulling shrapnel out of his butt for a long time to come.

  30. chicagofinance says:

    JJ: I got to go to Montefiore on Thursday. Can I walk from a subway stop or is that just stupid sh!t? I think it’s taking the 6 to Westchester Square. It’s basically right off the Hutch/NE Thruway. I drive throught there at it just seems gritty, but not pure Boogie Down. Why couldn’t this place be in Woodlawn? I’d drive, but I may need to drive other people home, and 2 cars would be a PIA.

  31. John says:

    A list of my cars I have owned in order from oldest to newest. I am on my 15th car.

    1963 Dodge Dart GT Convertible
    1967 Pontiac Firebird Convertible
    1968 Buick Skylark 2 door Hardtop V8
    1969 Plymouth Belevedere 2 door Hardtop
    1971 Dodge Demon 2 door
    1973 Dodge Dart 2 door Hardtop
    1974 Mercury Capri – V6
    1975 Mercedes 450sl – Convertible
    1976 Jeep CJ7
    1980 Fiat Strada
    1986 Jeep Wrangler
    1996 Toyota Camry
    1998 Mercury Sable
    2005 GMC Envoy
    2006 BMW 5 Series

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    September 29, 2009 at 8:52 am
    [22] john

    Hater??? Heck, no, I am constantly amused by the Johnscapades, which are so much more interesting than my youthful exploits.

    And now the Jeep. Just how many cars have you owned over your life? I know auto dealers that haven’t driven that many cars.

  32. Shore Guy says:

    Nom,

    What is this obsession you seem to have with the Constitution? When one has Hopium, that is all one needs for The One will make everything better, just pay up.

  33. Veto That says:

    I tried that starbucks instant coffee this morning… i thought i was being poisoned.
    Thats how i know it will sell like hotcakes.

  34. lostinny says:

    32 Chifi
    Take either the 4 or the D. Directions are on their website. Depends which building you’re going to.
    http://montefiore.org/guide/

  35. Shore Guy says:

    Remember that pic of the Spanish Prime Minister’s kids? Oy! it seems the B.O. Administration goofed on THAT one:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/ynews_ts930

  36. lisoosh says:

    Surprise, surprise:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20090929-707079.html

    Delinquencies Rise Further In Freddie’s Shrinking Portfolio

  37. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Anybody get the Case data for the Metro NY area??

  38. Richie says:

    Ahh.. nothing like driving around in a ’88 Ford Bronco with 5 15″ subwoofers in the back blasting Eazy-E..

    The good ol’ days.

    I’ve since had to downsize to a single 10″ woofer. Just no room for 5 15′s anymore…

    -Richie

  39. Danzud says:

    96 Camry….. Great car. Bought one used that ran over 165k before I gave it up.

  40. Veto That says:

    NY Metro Case Shiller…

    Date NY Metro YoY Change
    Jan-09 180.93 -9.73%
    Feb-09 177.84 -10.31%
    Mar-09 173.59 -11.66%
    Apr-09 170.67 -12.36%
    May-09 170.97 -11.97%
    Jun-09 172.22 -11.56%
    Jul-09 173.66 -10.35%

  41. grim says:

    Prices up all you suckers missed the bottom.

  42. Chaotic Child says:

    Re 43 Grim.

    Buy low now…..and sell high later. 8-)

  43. Stu says:

    “Prices up all you suckers missed the bottom.”

    And the 8K tax credit. Oh wait…

  44. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Thanks, Veto-

    Where do you find just those numbers ??
    I don’t need the whole excel and all that.

  45. pricedOut says:

    Just let the homebuyer tax credit die
    It didn’t help sales much and it’s just prolonging a real recovery

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33059733/ns/business-the_big_money/

  46. Danzud says:

    From the reuters article:

    The monthly price increases helped the annual rates, with the yearly pace of declines in home prices slowing to a 12.8 percent drop in the 10-city index and 13.3 percent downturn in the 20-city index.

    All 20 metro areas showed an improvement in the annual rate of decline in July compared with June. On a monthly basis, only Seattle and Las Vegas showed declines.

    Average home prices across the United States are now at levels seen in the autumn of 2003.

    I can wait until autumn of 1999……..

  47. Veto That says:

    Fiddy… Just google S&P Case Shiller and it will take you to the S&P site with all the data.Y ou can download the pdf summary if you dont want the whole excel file but the summary usually talks mostly about the nation and doesnt spend alot of time describing the ny metro region.
    I’ll post the updated Veto/Kettle charts soon.

  48. John says:

    VERY HEAVY TRADING ACTIVITY RIGHT NOW. What up?

  49. Veto That says:

    Here is the link to the updated Veto/Kettle Case Shiller charts…

    http://tinyurl.com/y8kl428

  50. scribe says:

    From the WSJ:

    Subprime Uncle Sam

    The FHA makes Countrywide Financial look prudent.

    The Treasury has announced new “capital cushion” requirements for financial institutions to reduce excessive risk and prevent taxpayer bailouts. Seems sensible enough. Perhaps the Administration will even impose those safety and soundness standards on federal agencies.

    One place to start is the Federal Housing Administration, the nation’s insurer of nearly $750 billion in outstanding mortgages. The agency acknowledged this month that a new but still undisclosed HUD audit has found that FHA’s cash reserve fund is rapidly depleting and may drop below its Congressionally mandated 2% of insurance liabilities by the end of the year.

    At a 50 to 1 leverage ratio, the FHA will soon have a smaller capital cushion than did investment bank Bear Stearns on the eve of its crash. (See nearby table.) Its loan delinquency rate (more than 30 days late in payments) is now above 14%, or from two to three times higher than on conventional mortgages. Its cash reserve ratio has fallen by more than two-thirds in three years.

    The reason for this financial deterioration is that FHA is underwriting record numbers of high-risk mortgages. Between 2006 and the end of next year, FHA’s insurance portfolio will have expanded to $1 trillion from $410 billion. Today nearly one in four new mortgages carries an FHA guarantee, up from one in 50 in 2006. Through FHA, the Veterans Administration, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, taxpayers now guarantee repayment on more than 80% of all U.S. mortgages. Sources familiar with a new draft HUD report on FHA’s worsening balance sheet tell us that the default rates have risen most rapidly on the most recent loans, i.e., those initiated or refinanced in 2008 and 2009.

    [snip]

    So far Congress has pretended that these liabilities don’t exist because they are technically “off budget.” They stay invisible until they move on-budget when a Fannie Mae-type cash bailout is needed. The Obama Administration is at least finally catching on to these perils and last week proposed some modest reforms. These include appointing a “chief risk officer” at FHA, tightening home appraisals, requiring that FHA lenders have audited financial statements, and increasing the capital requirement of FHA lenders to $1 million up from $250,000. The scandal is that these basic standards weren’t in place years ago.

    Unfortunately, Washington won’t touch more significant reforms for fear of angering the powerful nexus of Realtors, mortgage bankers and home builders. As we’ve written for years, the FHA’s main lending problem is that it requires neither lenders nor borrowers to have a sufficient financial stake in mortgage repayment. The FHA’s absurdly low 3.5% down payment policy, in combination with other policies to reduce up-front costs for new homebuyers, means that homebuyers can move into their government-insured home with an equity stake as low as 2.5%. The government’s own housing data prove that low down payments are the single largest predictor of defaults.

    Private banks know this. Burned on subprime mortgages, they are back to requiring 10% or even 20% down payments. Congress should at least require a 5% down payment on loans that carry a taxpayer guarantee. If borrowers can’t put at least 5% down, they can’t afford the house.

    As for rooting out fraud that contributes to high loss rates, the obvious solution is to drop the 100% guarantee on FHA mortgages. Why not hold banks liable for the first 10% of losses on the housing loans they originate, a reform that has been recommended since as far back as the early Reagan years? No other mortgage insurer insures 100% loan repayment. Alas, while offering its minireforms, the Obama Administration reassured its real-estate pals that FHA insurance will continue to carry “no risk to homeowners or bondholders.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204488304574428970233151130.html

  51. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Veto-

    I have the SP/CS web-site bookmarked, but I didn’t see the PDF summary….gotta look harder.

    Watch the NAR Spin Doctors go to work on the numbers. Of course July’s numbers were an improvement. Wait two months til they release Sept data.

  52. scribe says:

    NY Magazine has an interesting piece on Zero Hedge and other financial bloggers this week:

    The Dow Zero Insurgency

    The nothing-can-be-believed chaos of the financial crisis created a golden opportunity for a blog run by a mysterious ex-hedge-funder with a dodgy past and conspiracy theories to burn.

    http://nymag.com/guides/money/2009/59457/

  53. John says:

    Best one was the 1963 Dart, bought it from original owner and guy kept records. Made it to 163K before two major accidents and vandalism made it not worth fixing. But still ran fine. The amazing part is first owner and myself changed the oil ourselves and did own repairs. So car made it to 163K without one visit to a mechanic, not even for an oil change. Talk about cheap re-thread tires put on one at a time at $9.99 a pop unbalanced, ten dollar muffler clamped on with a 99 cent tube of muffler liquid weld and $$7.99 brake pads were like major expenditures. The car was on road for 20 years and total maint and parts were around $200 bucks over 20 years. Take that camry.

    Danzud says:
    September 29, 2009 at 9:37 am
    96 Camry….. Great car. Bought one used that ran over 165k before I gave it up.

  54. Veto That says:

    Fiddy,
    Go to the site and click on the ‘Index News’ tab and the top pdf file is the most recent.

    I would agree that Sept will show weakness compared to Aug. But thats only from what i saw in my county as a potential buyer.

    I’m worried that Aug will show a huge rebound, which might only further delay this painfully slow train-wreck. But im also open to the idea that the steepest drops are behind us.

  55. Alap says:

    Report says police pay drives up N.J. property taxes
    By The Associated Press
    September 29, 2009, 7:14AM

    NEPTUNE — New Jersey has the nation’s highest property taxes, in part, because of collective bargaining and binding arbitration.

    According to a study by Gannett New Jersey, the average salary for a patrolman in 17 Morris communities for 2008 was $86,187. Some 46 municipal employees, a majority of them police, received at least $20,000 in overtime.

    Mayor Robert Bergen of Keyport in Monmouth County, where some patrol officers make more than $80,000 a year and want 5 percent annual raises over three years, said police salaries are not sustainable.

    New Jersey Taxpayers’ Association president Jerry Cantrell said a “safety valve” is needed to allow contracts to be renegotiated.

    Jim Ryan of the Policemen’s Benevolent Association said public employees are trying to work with their communities.

  56. John (51)-

    Without even looking, I can surmise that heavy trading volume means the markets are down.

    They only go up on low volume.

  57. So what’s so wrong with a command-and-control economy?

    As long as you have rules that always change and the governmental and corporate willingness to commit fraud, it seems to work pretty well.

  58. scribe (53)-

    The explosive charge is being attached to the FHA plutonium bomb. Should make quite a bang when it goes off.

  59. Stu says:

    Speaking of cars, I went to pick up some BBQ from Ruthie’s on Chestnut Street in Montclair for my fantasy hockey draft on Saturday and came out to see two playas playing with my car locks. I told them, “Get the ‘F’ away from wheels.” They responded, “My bad, my bad.” I told them I already called the cops and those kids took off like Ben Johnson. After 14 years and 5 robbery attempts, I think my $99 engine kill has paid for itself many times over.

  60. Anybody who thinks that the current vintage of FHA loans are one iota better than steaming, rotten garbage paper better think again.

  61. make money says:

    http://www.chrismartenson.com/blog/federal-reserve-buys-more-100-mortgages-issued-2009/28343

    Feds own every single mortgage issued in 2009!!!Could this be right?

  62. A.West says:

    Alap,
    Unionized government employees are the real mafia in NJ. They run a protection racket. It’s perfectly clear who are the masters and who are the servants in this state. In many towns, the local property taxes for a 5br/4bath house on half an acre is $25,000/yr. There are a lot of places in this country where those local property taxes can pay the mortgage for a similar house.

    My boss and I were shooting the breeze about the housing bubble last year, and he asked me who I thought gained the most from the housing bubble. “The teachers union” I immediately answered, and he chuckled and nodded his head. Investment banker salaries come and go, but teachers and other town employees will forever be paid as the overlords of “million dollar neighborhoods” long after the prices have declined.

  63. John says:

    So Bill Gross says we are in for long term deflation. Who the heck would want to own an expensive home when home prices, rents and salaries fall every year. Not me.

  64. chicagofinance says:

    lostinny says:
    September 29, 2009 at 9:15 am

    32 Chifi Take either the 4 or the D. Directions are on their website. Depends which building you’re going to.

    lost: I saw that..but those directions are for the UWS/UES pansies. There are closer subway stops, and I think there is a reason that they send people off in the other direction. It is why I asked JJ. I am bullet proof though. I would walk through there in suit and tie if need be….maybe to after dark ;-)

  65. chicagofinance says:

    maybe NOT after dark ;-)

  66. Secondary Market says:

    i recently had my realtor pull a list of sold and pending purchases in my area to get a feel for comps. 98% of the deals were fha and 2% were all cash. it seems like people have no idea what a conventional mortgage is. these prices prices ranged from upper 200s to the low 400′s.

    @61 Cyclonic Action Vacuum says:
    September 29, 2009 at 10:31 am

    scribe (53)-

    The explosive charge is being attached to the FHA plutonium bomb. Should make quite a bang when it goes off.

  67. Shore Guy says:

    Why would any thinking person go conventional when Uncle B.O. and FedCo stand ready to back them up?

  68. Stu says:

    Shore Guy (70):

    Exactamundo. We had this conversation already.

  69. still_looking says:

    Um, is this a problem??

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/fdic-discloses-deposit-insurance-fund-now-negative

    (you know, from those tinfoil hat wearing, paranoid cybergeeks at ZH.)

    sl

  70. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [34] shore

    Obsession with the Constitution? Well, I took an oath to protect it, so that may be borderline obsession.

    As for hopeium, does it leave a dull ache like Victory Gin? And will I love Big Brother?

  71. plg says:

    AWest said: “Unionized government employees are the real mafia in NJ.”

    Instead of directing frustration at bankers, wall street and our tax code, which heavily favors the wealthy, you are trying to divide the middle class by blaming public servants for our problems.

    A teacher with a masters degree and 30 years of experience making $100,000 is the least of our problems. That teacher is a great resource to educate children who will need to compete in a world against much hungrier students from all over the world.

    Meanwhile billionares pay lower tax rates than firemen, banks pilfer the public and CEOs make more today then ever in history. But a teacher or firemen making 80,000 is our problem? That is bizarre logic.

  72. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [72] still

    Only if you need the insurance.

    This is not unprecedented, it just means yet another bailout.

    BTW, did you know that large businesses that are US taxpayers must effectively prepay their taxes?

  73. Danzud says:

    #65 Think about it. In a deflationary, environment, the only people evenutally left in NJ to be able to afford the previoulsy million $ plus homes or any high end homes and the taxes on them will be the state unionized employees thanks to their future guaranteed 4% raises per year. I’m not saying John can’t afford it but he’s made it clear that high-end housing isn’t his thing….

  74. still_looking says:

    Nom, 75 re businesses prepaying taxes.

    How far in advance? Is that like sending in quarterly estimates?

    FDIC wants banks to prepay premiums thru 2012?!?

    “The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. made the projections as its board voted to propose requiring banks to prepay an estimated $45 billion in regular insurance premiums for 2010-2012.

    It’s funny… I was asking my FIL about what happens if the FDIC runs out of money… [I didn't have any idea what happens] — I suppose *that* is what happens.

    FWIW, his answer was they/we’d print more money.

    sl

  75. still_looking says:

    ….I feel my midlife crisis coming on.

    sl

  76. Danzud says:

    #74. Are they the least of our future problems or obligations? By the way, where have these teachers been then in keeping our competitive edge over the last 30 years then? We have created a system in NJ where we can’t afford the future obligations.

  77. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [74] plg

    (rant on)

    ” teacher with a masters degree and 30 years of experience making $100,000 is the least of our problems. That teacher is a great resource to educate children who will need to compete in a world against much hungrier students from all over the world.”

    yeah, if they actually did that.

    Recent history is teaching us otherwise, and this is most evident, ironically, in the ranks of today’s newer teachers.

    FWIW, once testing for teachers became more commonplace, it also became common knowledge what today’s teachers don’t know. IMHO, there are a lot of them out there that are borderline idiots. They were warehoused by the prior generation of jaded NEA automatons, so they learned nothing, and took that ethic (and lack of knowledge or skill) with them to teacher’s college.

    I may be well-educated, but I do not, by any stretch of the imagination, consider myself as well schooled or as innately intelligent as many of my peers. But when I meet some who are recently in the profession, or want to be teachers, I feel like I have to speak slowly and use small words. I honestly don’t think some of them can balance a checkbook, let alone conjugate verbs.

    I sure as hell hope what I observed is the exception rather than the rule. Perhaps they are just lousy at the spoken and written word, but are, in fact, scientific geniuses. That would be great, but I simply don’t know if that is the case.

    But at these salaries, which are supposed to attract really smart people that would otherwise go into more lucrative professions, there should be few, if any, exceptions to the rule.

    (rant off, flame away)

  78. Schumpeter says:

    Can’t go conventional with less than a 20% DP on most purchases, because the PMI premium would be through the roof.

    The only viable mortgage insurer left in the US is the taxpayer.

    If this doesn’t cause congresscritters sleepless nights, that should be this final piece of evidence needed to show that they’re part of the gubmint conspiracy to impoverish the next two generations of US citizens.

  79. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [77] still

    Yes, it is a prepay quarterly. Large businesses are expected to pay roughly 115% of their estimated tax liability, so in effect, the government makes larger businesses give it interest-free loans.

  80. Schumpeter says:

    OTOH, we’ll all be so much healthier and stress-free once we embrace our new fascist/soci@list/Third World status.

  81. Schumpeter says:

    Once we have reached the nadir of Third World existence, will we begin intense persecution of Hispanics or Jews?

    Any thoughts?

  82. Schumpeter says:

    sl (78)-

    Aim higher, and join me in my wrenching crisis of identity, purpose and meaning of existence in a society devoid of meaning. It’s so much more worth your time that way.

    “…I feel my midlife crisis coming on.”

  83. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [83] schump,

    My children will be taught the truth, but also taught (like those kids in Burlington Twpship) to “love” Big Brother in public.

    They will also be the beneficiaries of offshore accounts that they will be blissfully unaware of, thus insuring plausible deniability. The lifeboats will have sailed before the USS USA sinks.

  84. chicagofinance says:

    strumpet: why not real estate brokers?

    Schumpeter says:
    September 29, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Once we have reached the nadir of Third World existence, will we begin intense persecution of Hispanics or Jews?

    Any thoughts?

  85. Schumpeter says:

    plume (80)-

    Hear, hear! I’ve rarely encountered a bigger set of jackasses than the band of morons currently “educating” my two kids at their respective “blue ribbon” schools.

  86. Schumpeter says:

    plume (86)-

    Gonna be like squeezing an elephant through the eye of a needle to time out that gambit.

    Good luck.

  87. Veto That says:

    Danzud, plg, a west.
    I like this conversation, i think i’ll bust in.

    Taxes have grown increased proportionately with the bubble. When your home is appreciating 15% per year, or 30-$60K per year, then you dont care if your taxes are growing 10% per year, because in dollars its equates to only $1,000 increase. But now that the magic revenue stream has been turned off, taxes will become center stage. Its no wonder that tax burden is the #1 concern of the voting public for this gubernatorial election year. The representative who talks to that concern will gain the public’s support and action will eventually be taken.

    As soon as the wall st spigot turns dry, all the greedy people who used to make $250k per year selling cdo’s all of the sudden want immediate redemption against some 3rd grade teacher who has been feeding their family on $40-60k per year during all of the bubble years. But govt doesnt react quickly like that and nor should it. Dont forget many of the good teachers were tempted to work in the private sector when we were at full employment so the public sector had to compete for that pool of workers. You couldn’t offer a math teacher $25K plus pension when all his college buddies weren going to work on wall st for $200K and seriously expect to recruit anybody who is halfway motivated.

    Police and teachers are getting paid too much right now but dont forget there is a lag before that corrects itself.

    I used to get all burned up about this stuff but then i did a degree on govt and we read and talked about these issues all the time and now i have a more balanced perspective and have since put my pitchforks away a long time ago.

  88. still_looking says:

    Nom, 80

    [Preface: this is not a "kudos-to-me" story. Any knuckle-dragging idiot could have figured this out...]

    Me, in summer college chemistry class. We have a lab— given hydrated salts, weigh them, heat, reweigh, figure out ratio of salt:water.

    I’m neurotic. Do the experiment and calculate down to the 4th decimal point. Get a 1:1 ratio. I get mine back: fail.

    I go around the room. Everyone with the “1:1″ ratio go a “fail.” I bring all the papers to the teacher. He checks with the lab assistant, wrong bottle code used: we all were correct, all of us with the 1:1 ratios credited.

    Yep. Quality teaching going on in NJ.

    sl

  89. Schumpeter says:

    veto (90)-

    Can I borrow a pitchfork from you?

  90. Schumpeter says:

    sl (91)-

    Too bad you weren’t playing with nitroglycerince instead.

  91. pricedOut says:

    They will also be the beneficiaries of offshore accounts that they will be blissfully unaware of, thus insuring plausible deniability. The lifeboats will have sailed before the USS USA sinks.

    Obsession with the Constitution? Well, I took an oath to protect it, so that may be borderline obsession.

    Comrade: that’s protecting the Constitution… bailing??

  92. still_looking says:

    Schlump 93

    Do you know that f*cking c*cksucker downgraded my work on every single exam question that he could after that??

    I wound up with a “C” At a f*cking community college, no less.

    I *wish* I had nitroglycerin at that point. He needed a bath in NitroPaste.

    /yeah, yeah, rant off.

    sl

  93. kettle1 says:

    Grim, Veto

    You have mail

  94. gary says:

    still_looking,

    NitroPaste… sounds like the newest street drug to me! :)

  95. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [89] schump

    Yep, it will. But I am already on it.

    [94] priced,

    And your point is what exactly? When laws have no meaning because they are bent to the whim of the majority, what exactly are you protecting?

  96. plg says:

    Veto, A West

    As far as teacher quality goes, for every idiot teaching I could point to a highly dedicated professional.

    And by the way if you are judging a 1st grade teacher based on how smart you think they are I would argue you are using the wrong metric. 1St grade teachers are skilled at working with children, not calculus. A high school math teacher should know calc, but an elementary teacher has a different skill. I dont want a rocket scientist teaching 2nd grade, I want someone skilled at handling children.

    Finally, what do you propose we pay people to deal with your children all day? Teachers in NJ start at 45K per year. If they have a masters they start at 50K. Over the course of 30 years, there pay goes up to a max of maybe 100,000. Is this unreasonable?

  97. still_looking says:

    gary, 97

    Don’t even *think* about it… the hangover/headache will make you sorry :)

    The IV version is worse!

    [In reality, if you are in congestive heart failure (CHF) this stuff will save you from being intubated and possibly even dying.... uh.... that is..... when used properly.]

    Disclaimer: don’t try this at home… I am a trained professional with years of experience.

    sl

  98. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [95] still

    “Do you know that f*cking c*cksucker downgraded my work on every single exam question that he could after that??”

    That is why the Nomettes will be taught to regurgitate the lesson in fuzzy courses, other than science, math, languages, etc. (where there is a clear right or wrong answer), and will hopefully get A’s for being good little indoctrinates, yet at home, they will be taught to know how things really are, and how the world works.

    And as for teachers like the one you had, well, the Nomettes will be lawyered up, and preemptive strikes launched. Saw this firsthand at UMass, where I had a writing instructor (female) that hated attractive women. Liked the guys just fine, and I did well in her classes, but her contempt for anyone cute and female was well known. Eventually she was “encouraged” to take early retirement. So someone eventually lawyered up and got this woman fired. Don’t know how her female students made out though, but I suspect that their grades were adjusted or the courses quietly dropped from their transcripts.

  99. still_looking says:

    Nom, 98

    And your point is what exactly? When laws have no meaning because they are bent to the whim of the majority,

    I love it when you talk dirty…

    What about the constitutionality of generating a new tax law to recoup monies distributed as bonuses to some ill-run, taxpayer bailed out comp(cough AIG, cough)any employess?

    How far has our f*cked up country gone?

    sl

  100. lostinny says:

    So let me tell you a story and then you all can give me an answer. I won’t go into the specifics except to say I was assaulted by a student at work and I have been laid up since. I’ve seen a couple of doctors, none of which seem to have a clue about how to help me. (SL not included there as she’s had more helpful advice then all of them.) Since I started working with younger children, I have been punched, kicked, slapped, pinched, you name it. There are some days when I think all the money in the world couldn’t make me go back there. So how much money would it take you to deal with that on a regular basis? Remember, whatever you say, the majority here think it’s too much.

  101. still_looking says:

    Nom 101

    Alive and well in mid 80′s Rutgers.

    I don’t know where to begin with the stories.

    Dyke tennis/bowling instructor. Mistook my most endearing quality — my dad raised me with a very male attitude about life — as a gaydar positive strike.

    When rebuffed (sorry, no dick, no deal — I’m straight) also ensured my transcript reflected her having been scorned.

    Just one of many “professor” abuses. And yet I still made it to grad school. Go figure.

    sl

  102. r says:

    Correction: A teacher making $45K a year (180 days) is approximately equivalent to $63K a year for someone working 262 days (includes two weeks vacation.

    Similarly, a teacher making $100K is making about $138K on a full year basis.

    Also, do not tell me that teachers must do more work when they get home, so do I.

    This year’s “Teacher Goof Off Day” is scheduled for Monday November 9th. You know what day I’m talking about. It’s the NJEA’s annual convention in AC that they insist on holding on a school day instead of in the Summer.

    Not that many teachers actually go to the convention.

    In any event, it would be great to organize a protest demanding accountability from the NJEA and its minions. The NJEA needs to be challenged for a change.

  103. #99 – As far as teacher quality goes, for every idiot teaching I could point to a highly dedicated professional.

    Sorry for adding fuel to the fire here, but: Just because they’re dedicated professionals doesn’t mean they’re any good at what they do.
    I don’t think anyone has a problem paying good teachers what they are worth. The problem is there doesn’t seem to be a way of rewarding those who deserve it without creating furhter problems.
    The current system is bad the potential solutions are just as bad, if not worse.

  104. lostinny says:

    95 SL and 101 Nom

    I had a professor in college that was known to have it in for certain kinds of women in his class. When I tried to argue my grade, which was terrible as far as I was concerned, the students who were supposed to show up to the hearing, couldn’t be bothered attending it nor could most of the other staff. So I lost my argument because the specific parties weren’t there to hear it. His department just let this type of behavior go on and on. When brought up to a higher level, it was dismissed back down to the department. So in the end, I might have been better off not fighting the grade but at least I got to get my frustration off my chest.

  105. r says:

    Another Correction: The NJEA “Teacher Goof Off Days” in AC are scheduled for Thurs Nov. 5th and Fri. Nov. 6th.

  106. John says:

    What have been some of the best-performing U.S. stocks this year? According to Morningstar (MORN.NaE), the top performer through September 24 is Diedrich Coffee (DDRX.NaE) , up about 5,000% from its December 31 close of 36 cents a share.

    Also high on the list are such powerhouses as car renter Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (DTG.NaE) , up about 2,000%, and modem maker (ZOOMD), which zoomed (naturally) 2,100%. Oh, and by the way, American International Group (AIG/PA.NaE) , Fannie Mae (FNM.NaE) and Freddie Mac (FRE.NaE) have risen 43%, 113% and 164%, respectively, this year, despite their well-documented problems.

  107. ruggles says:

    Actually its New Jersey’s children that are the morons. They’ve been rendered unteachable by idiot parents who either don’t care one bit about their children or put them on such high pedestals that they don’t feel the need to learn. (And I’d say a large number of parents and kids fall into both categories).

  108. John says:

    Lets all kill Juan Epstein. He was my least favorite sweathog anyhow.

    chicagofinance says:
    September 29, 2009 at 11:56 am
    strumpet: why not real estate brokers?

    Schumpeter says:
    September 29, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Once we have reached the nadir of Third World existence, will we begin intense persecution of Hispanics or Jews?

    Any thoughts?

  109. pricedOut says:

    Comrade:
    My point?
    Your posts are hypocritical.

  110. PGC says:

    Actual quote from a friend who made it through CC to become a teacher.

    “No only, do I have to teach Math, they expect us to understand it!”

  111. A.West says:

    My view on education?
    It’s too valuable to be left in the hands of government. I think great teachers should get paid a lot, and babysitters get paid accordingly.
    I think there should be a market for education, and some families will send their kids to the equivalent of Bloomingdales, some to Macys, most to Wal-Mart, and some to K-Mart. Teachers do a job, just like everyone else. It’s not a priesthood, and it’s not something the government runs well.

    If we had genuine free market competition in education (not just around the fringes for people not satisfied with what the government decides to offer them in return for taking property taxes), then education would be better, and taxes would be lower. Some people woudn’t like it because then poor people in wealthy towns might end up going to worse schools than at present. In contrast to the current situation when rich people live in rich cities with good schools, and everyone in a poor city pretty much gets bad schools. On average, schools would be better under free markets, with the potential for economies of scale, differentiation & innovation, merit based compensation for teachers rather than tenure based compensation, “star” teachers actually earning financial rewards for their innovations.

    But of course private education would be decried as infanticide because families of 9 might actually have to consider the costs of educating that 10th kid.

    The people who hate this are the egalitarians who pretend that all students are the same and all deserve the same education, that all schools can be equally good, all teachers should be equally paid, etc.

    Anyway, this ideal is so far from what we have now, it’s like describing life on Mars. But the difference between a private-enterprise education model can be seen as the difference between Soviet grocery stores of the 1970s and US grocery stores of the 1970s.

  112. Danzud says:

    #99 That is the question, isn’t it. Should a 1st grade teacher with 30 years of experience make $100k per year with guranteed benefits for the rest of her life as that $100k rate? Better question, at what salary can NJ afford a 1st grade teacher with 30 years experience with future retirement/health benefits without bankrupting the state and why?

  113. John says:

    The state should pay them 100K but giving a guaranteed pension and free medial for life is insane. If a guaranteed pension and free medical for life for a married couple was a tradable asset it would be worth one million dollars. When people in private sector retire they get a slice of cake and a cup of coffee while a first grade teacher gets a million dollars.

    Danzud says:
    September 29, 2009 at 1:00 pm
    #99 That is the question, isn’t it. Should a 1st grade teacher with 30 years of experience make $100k per year with guranteed benefits for the rest of her life as that $100k rate? Better question, at what salary can NJ afford a 1st grade teacher with 30 years experience with future retirement/health benefits without bankrupting the state and why?

  114. Stu says:

    Keep the salary, cut the outrageous benefits. 20 kids in a class, $5,000 per kid per year equals 100K. Now add the overhead, the administration, the energy costs, buses, sports, gym teacher, nurse, janitor, librarian, maintenance, etc. Just something to think about.

  115. When people in private sector retire they get a slice of cake and a cup of coffee while a first grade teacher gets a million dollars.

    Then the problem may be on us for not demanding the same.
    A few powerful unions have managed to maintain compensation for their members that allow them to maintain a middle class lifestyle. The rest of us have been victims of sustained inflationary pressures.

  116. voice_of_reason says:

    117,
    Don’t they switch to Medicare when the time comes?

  117. Schumpeter says:

    lost (103)-

    No problem with the pay. Big problem with many (not all) of the people manning the positions getting the good pay.

  118. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [112] pricedout

    Really? How so?

    You obviously see my willingness to up and leave (or arrange for my kids to leave) as diametrically opposed to my belief in, and support for, the constitution. I don’t see it that way.

    So, rather than resort to the liberal playbook and hurl out a name (and by the way, aren’t you supposed to call me a rac1st too?), why don’t you back it up with a little argumentum and less ad homimen?

  119. Against The Grain says:

    #119

    Exactly. Also, the Public Employees have had the only unions that never allowed themselves to become subsidiaries of the Mafia, which is what has destroyed almost all of the others.

    “Then the problem may be on us for not demanding the same.
    A few powerful unions have managed to maintain compensation for their members that allow them to maintain a middle class lifestyle. The rest of us have been victims of sustained inflationary pressures.”

  120. lostinny says:

    121 Clot

    Agreed. Unfortunately, there is bad in every field. I think one of them problems, as I’ve experienced, is the quality of education of the teacher vs. pay. Because teachers “don’t make as much as they would in private industry” when starting out, they are often encouraged to go to state and city schools for bachelor and master’s degrees. This way they have a viable chance at paying back their student loans and being able to eat. When they go to private schools for their degrees, they may have a higher quality of education, but have far less chance of being able to pay those loans back. I can tell you from personal experience, and I probably already have, that my brain has turned to mush since I started working in education. It’s not that everyone I work with is an idiot. It’s that many of the people I work with have not been exposed to the quality of education I have, and if they have, did not have the ability or possibly, not want to absorb it all. And of course, the nature of what is taught is not what I would consider mind-blowing, especially during early childhood education.

  121. Veto That says:

    “what do you propose we pay people to deal with your children all day?”

    plg,

    In light of the depression that is upon us, teachers probably get paid about $10K too much especially at the senior tenured level and their pension terms are too rich compared to the private sector. Thats not much of a cut from current levels, and im confident it will happen in due time, thats why i gave all my pitchforks away to clot a few months back.

  122. Danzud says:

    Let’s put it another way about our great public teachers. How many of you heard this line in college?

    “Barbie dropped out of her education major because it was too hard so she transferred into…”

    A. Accounting
    B. Engineering
    C. Nursing
    D. You see how full of s*** this question is?

  123. lostinny says:

    125 Veto

    I am confident that within 10 years, pensions will no longer exist for teachers. I may be extreme in my time frame, but whether that happens 10 or 20 years from now, I do believe the end of the teacher’s pension is coming. The UFT which represents NYC teachers, just allowed a 5th pension tier for new teachers back in June. That opened the door to negotiate down the pension, and IMO, to negotiate it away.

  124. Danzud says:

    #123. Really? OK. Teachers are smarter than I thought if they kept them out.

  125. Veto That says:

    Another reason for the big pay increases for public education was a direct result of the housing bubble. The convenient argument was that thie poor teacher cant even afford a 2/1 starter home on her salary. But what was left our of the logic was that home prices were on an unsustainable bubble that has since collapsed. So that argument has collapsed with the house bubble and we will see adjustments in due time, not overnight.

    The other problem that is easy to overlook is that the administrators of these schools have become an increasingly higher percent of the budget. If a teacher wants to progress and get paid more, they know they have to get out of the dead end classroom, and make it into the central office to become an administrator, where they get paid 150K plus car and 3 trips to conferences per year. Not to mention that each district now has super and assistant super and ba and assist ba and on and on. There are more administrators than teachers now. Once we merge our 600 disricts into 350, this problem will become less of an issue but remember that we will never get to the point where the massess think they are paying the right amount of taxes.

  126. Danzud says:

    To continue #126, How many nurses and engineers with 30 years make over 100k or how many engineers have you seen with long layoff periods and no pension at the middle or end of their potential careers. And accounting, if there are still accountants in the US in ten years assuming their jobs aren’t transferred to India, good luck.

  127. jcer says:

    I agree SALARIES are not the issue in the public sector. The issue is the benefits. Anyone working for 10-15 years at the same job, a difficult and thankless job easily deserves 100k provided they are good at their job. We need to remember how expensive this area is. The issue is the NJEA provides equal compensation to people who are not really any good at their jobs and don’t deserve it. That is an education quality issue! Now the cost issue comes from 25-30 years of retirement pay and health benefits. Notice private schools have no problem attracting quality teachers with arguably better credentials for similar salaries and much poorer benefits packages. That is where the system is out of line, that is a key sustainability issue for the government in NJ. If we resolve the pension/benefits liability issue and stop sending money to the ghetto, and eliminate crushing debt NJ would not have financial problems.

  128. LTLV says:

    *124 Many of the private colleges are just as krappy 40 to 50K for a straight BA/BBA, insane. Private does not mean better in many instances just something these collges use to convince parents thst small Liberal Arts “Brandywine” College in the butt end of nowhere is worth all that money.

  129. jcer says:

    130 engineers in NJ make way more than 100k with 30 years of experience granted it is a much more difficult field but is less aggravating(No children).

  130. plg says:

    Although I do not feel that teachers are overpaid, I do agree with some of the sentiments being expressed about teacher accountability.

    In the future I would bet that teachers will be paid similiarly, but actually can be held accountable and will work longer. Tenure is ridiculous and summers are too long.

    I know Obama is strongly in favor of 1) raising accountability for teachers and 2) lenghtening the school year and school day. Both of which make sense.

  131. yikes says:

    Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:
    September 28, 2009 at 11:03 am

    yikes :58

    If your business is in any way involved with local, county, state or federal gubmint….they often give preferential treatment to businesses owned by women or minorities.

    Do you provide services under contract to gov ??
    Do you Bid on anything, at any level of gov ??

    Check with your CPA about salary / bonus tax advantages.

    As far as leasing Beemers for your whole family thru an S-corp or LLC…..maybe you’re better off buying American. Caddy CTS is a nice set of wheels. Or maybe the new Mustangs.

    Your mileage may vary.

    sadly, no to the govt stuff. we thought about the car angle … but the biz is internet based and i work from home, so what is the point of paying $400 a month to drive a high-end car?

    (400 x 12 = 4800 toward the pool fund)

    i drive a toyota from the mid 90s that cost me under 5k. no payments. point A to point B ride. i drove under 6000 miles in the last year.

    just stacking the chips (perhaps foolishly, based on some comments here).

  132. freedy says:

    anybody know Sun Pharma in Cranbury?

  133. lostinny says:

    132 LTLV
    I’m not saying all private colleges are better. What I’m saying is that in my experience, I see a difference in the quality of the educator. I don’t see how
    spending 40-50K on a liberal arts degree is prudent. I mean, is that thinking that someone is being educated, just for the sake of being educated and not the kind of position the degree will lead to? The only position I see that leading to is bent over.

  134. John says:

    Gossip, Just heard that kpmg whose year end is 10-1-09 canned a few and was telling selected individuals that they’d need to take a 20% pay cut to stay on board. Times are u-g-l-y in consulting. The winners get to keep their job with a zero % raise.

  135. LTLV says:

    *137 Agreed.

  136. John says:

    Teachers are a funny bunch they say they care but ask them for their cell phone number, home number, personal email and they won’t give it out. They have some school email they check once a week and you can leave a message with the principal. Imagine a consultant on wall street who told a client he could not have any contact informaton. Just Crazy. If they want higher pay be on call 24/7 like the rest of us.

    Veto That says:
    September 29, 2009 at 1:42 pm
    “what do you propose we pay people to deal with your children all day?”

    plg,

    In light of the depression that is upon us, teachers probably get paid about $10K too much especially at the senior tenured level and their pension terms are too rich compared to the private sector. Thats not much of a cut from current levels, and im confident it will happen in due time, thats why i gave all my pitchforks away to clot a few months back.

  137. BklynHawk says:

    Nom, other lawyers on the board…not sure why I thought of this today…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZJEhlIefxA&feature=related

  138. Schumpeter says:

    lost (137)-

    Pop goes that bubble.

  139. Schumpeter says:

    I’ll also agree to pitchfork-impale any asst principals or other useless factotae that cross my path.

  140. Mikinwaiting says:

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/163935-reviewing-july-s-s-p-case-shiller-housing-numbers

    Sorry to interrupt the teacher debate but this link has some very interesting charts on housing.

    “Also, looking at the 1990s-era comparison charts below its obvious that even after the main downward thrust has been reached, the housing markets have a long tough slog ahead with the ultimate bottom likely many years out…. Or if we are currently experiencing the Japanese model… decades out.”

  141. zieba says:

    Speaking of attorneys, a good read on Marc Drier. It’s fascinating to learn just how hard he tried to keep the wheels on the bus. The Ontario impersonation was his final act:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2009/11/marc-dreier200911?printable=true

  142. pricedOut says:

    Really? How so?

    You obviously see my willingness to up and leave (or arrange for my kids to leave) as diametrically opposed to my belief in, and support for, the constitution. I don’t see it that way.

    So, rather than resort to the liberal playbook and hurl out a name (and by the way, aren’t you supposed to call me a rac1st too?), why don’t you back it up with a little argumentum and less ad homimen?

    Comrade:
    My argument stands on your words which I view as hypocritical. Yes, I do see them as diametrically opposed. How do you see it?

    Race has absolutely nothing to do with my comment; I wonder why you would bring that up at all?

    There has been no name calling on my part.

  143. A.West says:

    I don’t assume that any individual teacher is overpaid or underpaid. It’s only in voluntary markets when freely contracting individuals can fairly determine how much someone gets paid.

    In todays world, teachers are “assigned” compensation, and taxpayers are told what it would cost. There is currently minimal connection between customer value provided, and teacher pay, nor is there much connection between services demanded and fees paid.

    Given this, it’s no surprise that teacher compensation and school results (customer satisfaction) are so messed up.

    The whole system is out of economic equilibrium, because it’s operating on a faulty model.

    The real estate market gets tied up in it because schools are mostly local monopolies controlled by local governments, and the only entry ticket into most good schools is via paying a real estate price premium.

    Education is an economic service, like any other service. Nothing more, and nothing less. The guardians of the status quo would have people believe it’s a mystical pursuit, a right for all, simultaneously free and infinitely valuable. And only they should decide the method and amount to charge for it. As a token of their appreciation, they let you cast a meaningless vote on a mysterious budget once a year. Like the “elections” in Soviet Russia.

  144. #143 – I’ll also agree to pitchfork-impale any asst principals or other useless factotae that cross my path.

    If we start eliminating useless bureacratic functionaries I’m not sure how much of a population this country would have left.

  145. Stu says:

    “As a token of their appreciation, they let you cast a meaningless vote on a mysterious budget once a year. Like the “elections” in Soviet Russia.”

    Unless you live in Montclair, where the mayor appointed BOE passes the budget every year without question.

  146. Shore Guy says:

    “I took an oath to protect it,”

    So did Bush, Cheney, and Nixon for that matter, and we saw what that got us.

  147. Shore Guy says:

    Peoples’ Republic of or is it the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of?

  148. Sean says:

    They don’t call the NJEA the all-powerful Teachsters Union for nothing.

    Corzine is counting on them, wait till your kids are sent home with anti-republican literature.

  149. Veto That says:

    A west.
    I hear tones of ‘voucher system’ in your posts, but realize that was a huge failure in the chicago and DC for many reasons. The first one being that education has been deemed a mandatory right by our forefathers, not a voluntary service so when you set up voucher systems, you have the smart parents in the know who play it up and maximize their access to the the good schools but then the inner city parents who cant read the newspaper wont take advantage of the voucher benefits and the net result would be what we have now, a split system of good education for the affluent and bad education for the poor.
    I’d be all for the opposite extreme – equalizing (and capping) funding across all districts, and this would mean slashing funding for the poorest and richest districts. At the same time that we slash funding, we’d also have to raise standards for teachers and the kids otherwise cutting budgets wont do anything and our public schools would continue to churn out students who are indifferent and dispassionate about academics.

  150. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Stu 152
    The party is just getting started and the media is telling us to go home. This fellow seems to have a handle on it.

    Russ Wetherill: Comments (78) FollowDirk, you are correct in that the bear market in home prices does appear to be over. But, appearances can be deceptive. It is important to assess the impact of underlying market drivers to determine whether or not the appearance can be believed.

    For instance, the $8k buyer credit has artificially increased the purchasing power of thousands of new buyers. It has also allowed buyers who did not have the present savings for a down payment to move their future home purchase forward to today.

    The artificially low mortgage rates have also dramatically increased the purchase power of your average buyer. Once rates rise again to historic averages (7-8%), purchasing power will drop and take home prices down with it.

    Also, consider that foreclosure moratoriums have limited supply of “distressed” homes on the market. This has both reduced the supply of housing and shifted the mix of housing from distressed to non-distressed sellers – moving the negotiating power back towards the sellers.

    The two government GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as FHA, are also funding everything under the sun, regardless of whether they have the reserves.

    The point is that none of these practices are sustainable, and therefore the nascent recovery is not sustainable. Once the scaffolding supporting this market is removed then we will find out whether the housing prices remain at current levels or fall lower.

    Also consider that the price-to-rent ratios are still too high in many areas of California – it remains far better to rent than to own in the more desirable neighborhoods. And the rental prices are falling rapidly due to the glut of underwater homes sitting vacant, unsalable at market prices.

    Finally, the Case Shiller index, seasonally adjusted, or not, is a trailing indicator. It merely tells you where the market was two months ago. It’s actually worse than that since July numbers are a three-month moving average of May, June and July data.

    Leading indicators like delinquency rates, foreclosure rates, unemployment, and consumer sentiment are much more predictive of the economic state of future buyers and the state of distress for future sellers. And, by the way, these are all bad. Sep 29 02:27 PM | Link | Reply 00

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/163932-housing-prices-rebounding

  151. Barbara says:

    politically, its a losing battle. Think of every couple you know in NJ, and out of them, how many where one spouse is govt employed. That family is getting all health insurance from that spouse and overall job security. Roughly 70% of people I know have at least 1 spouse on the NJ payroll.

  152. Shore Guy says:

    Maybe Corzine and B.O. should get breast implants, since they seem to be intent on saving the exonomy via the government teat.

  153. Barbara says:

    157.
    heroin is all over affluent burbs in NJ. They smoke it now so its lost its “hard drug/junkie” taboo.

  154. Shore Guy says:

    Now children, cross at the green, not in between, or you may not be lucky enough to make it to the hospital to have an emphatetic ER doc say, “No dick. No deal.”

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/09/bicyclist_killed_on_route_35_i.html

  155. yikes says:

    John says:
    September 28, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    That’s my point soon money markets won’t be insured. People have been hiding there for safety and that is going away.
    Investing in something where you could lose your money for 1/10 of 1% interest is nuts.

    i would say it’s smart.
    if you DON’T have a 6-12 month savings buffer in the bank, i’d be saving regardless of interest.

    that should be the top priority of everyone considering all the job losses.

  156. Shore Guy says:

    Yikes,

    A reverse problem exists for those with a year or more of cash, where to put excess assets? It is a problem more people should have but it is a real problem nevertheless.

  157. yikes says:

    #

    #
    Cyclonic Action Vacuum says:
    September 28, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Tonight’s GG has Emmy written all over it.

    Vanessa in the wrapper thingy cut open to the sternum has given me another reason to live.

    vanessa, huh? I’m more of a Serena fan. And perhaps Hilary Duff, too, when she joins the show next week.

  158. Shore Guy says:

    Do economists REALLY believe that people are riproaring and eager to spend? If so, spend what?

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090929/ap_on_bi_ge/us_economy

  159. Stu says:

    Mike:

    What you posted is pretty much my mantra. Is the recession really over when all growth has been obtained through government subsidy?

    It’s kind of like starting a cold gas engine. It takes a bit of extra air (consider the government the primer) in the mix to get it started, but if you leave the air mix open too wide, the engine stalls. Likewise, if you reduce the air to rapidly, the engine also stalls. I think right now and made overly apparent by the massive increase in our public debt, the carburetor is wide open and the government is claiming the engine is idling along smoothly. The only real question is whether it will be China (buying significantly less US debt) or perhaps someone will show some intelligence up on the hill and will slowly reduce the air mix. The latest I heard, they want to extend the housing credit to 15K and make it available to everyone. I’m leaning towards the wise China-man as the impetus to the removal of the subsidy.

    We are just delaying the inevitable I suppose.

  160. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Stu
    I like this one , notice the up turn monthes 17-21 then follow the chart. Interesting. To compound this think about all the Gov props. Once gone………

    http://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2009/9/29/saupload_csi0709peakline.jpg

    Party just starting.

  161. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Stu 165 you posted while I was, agreed.
    Anybody else want to chime in on the RE board about RE ?

  162. A.West says:

    Veto,
    The only vouchers I favor are dollar bills, paid out of pocket.

    All of a sudden, the consumers have some skin in the game and start paying a lot more attention to getting value for money, which then provides a feedback effect on the supplier of services.

    Even though I don’t like it, maybe treat it the same way as mandatory health care insurance. If the parent doesn’t pay for the kid to go to school, a third party counselor places the kid in a school and charges the family the difference. I honestly don’t think most families would refuse to send their kids to school, just like even poor families provide their kids with clothes, shoes, junk food.

  163. Sean says:

    Toll Booth convo from yesterday.

    A Bayonne man, Sari Ahmet, 32, went through toll booths more than 2,000 times without paying, according to State Police.

    http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2009/09/bayonne_man_sari_ahmet_went_th.html

  164. A.West says:

    Stu,

    Extending the house tax credit to everyone? Including to “the rich” like me? Where are you seeing this?

  165. Sean says:

    Even the teachers think the Cops make too much money.

    Report says police pay drives up N.J. property taxes

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/09/report_says_police_pay_drives.html

  166. Mikeinwaiting says:

    West 170 Heard that also.

  167. A.West says:

    I think it probably won’t be safe to buy a house until at least 75% of the many home-buying, home-remodelling, home-flipping TV shows are concelled. Is anyone keeping a death count on these?

  168. John says:

    since being a cop is a part time job and being a teacher is a part time job and nowdays you really need a gun and a nightstick to control your class can’t we just fire the bottom 50% of teachers and 50% of cops and combine the jobs?

  169. Mikeinwaiting says:

    I’m waiting for my 15K! Believe it or not 4bd 1.5 bath house for 149 up here. Not a huge ctr hall but will do. Small as I can with 3 kids for low heating & taxes is my goal. Don’t have to impress anyone. My neighbor just sold the same house as mine on a better lot for 90 k less than I sold for in June of 06. I sold for 297 just to give you perspective.

  170. Secondary Market says:

    so i accepted a sellers counteroffer and now being told they need time think about it! they are barking up the wrong tree with me. i’ve already called their bluff over the weekend and they came back to me w/ a new offer today. i gave them a 5pm deadline. wtf?

  171. John says:

    FYI she is my favorite economist, always spot on way ahead of everyone else, a fab speaker and a very nice lady. She called the whole thing back when no one heard of what was going to happen.

    It’s a little hard for households to look at their paychecks, or the lack thereof, and feel more confident,” Ellen Zentner, a senior economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. Even so, “we should continue to see consumer confidence turn around,” because the recession is over and hiring eventually will rebound, she said.

  172. Mikeinwaiting says:

    West 173 you may be on to something there. When there is no interest, that is the time to buy.

    John 174 from your lips to gods ears.
    What am I saying!

  173. leftwing says:

    “There is currently minimal connection between customer value provided, and teacher pay, nor is there much connection between services demanded and fees paid.”

    Isn’t the above logic part of the Chosen One’s rationale for government intervention in the healthcare insurance sector – to provide real choice?

    How long until He comes up with a plan to challenge the union monopoly in the education?

    Whew! Sorry, almost wet myself from laughing so hard at the thought….

  174. d2b says:

    John-
    Here I thought you were authentic. EZ-E’s boy is Ice Cube not Ice-T. You mixed up your Ices.

    (Embarrassed that I know this)

  175. John says:

    That’s it I no longer have the 8-ball rollin!

    I have been out of rap for years now. Even crazier back in day I used to go to rap concerts, saw RUN DMC three times, Beastie Boys Twice, NWA, Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Naughty by Nature (Even Performed with them on stage), Rock Master Scott etc. After a near riot at the Together Forever Tour where there was a 40 on 40 metal chair throwing fight I called it a day. My obsession started in 1980 with White Lines, loved to flip it to side two jam the mike in and throw it on down. Even won a contest at Neptune Beach beach once for white lines, winning was twice as sweet as sugar twice as good as salt but if you get hooked baby it ain’t nobody elses fault. CANE SUGAR!!!Peace Out

  176. chicagofinance says:

    voice_of_reason says:
    September 29, 2009 at 1:27 pm
    117, Don’t they switch to Medicare when the time comes?

    vor: Even on Medicare you still have a lot of out of pocket costs. Medicare is basically just catastrophe insurance with a high deductible. People buy gap policies to cover stuff. Generally if you have post-retiree benefits covering healthcare and prescriptions, it can be worth $5K-$15K of saved out of pocket costs….mostly on the drugs…

  177. chicagofinance says:

    JJ: I saw Run-DMC in Elizabeth NJ in 1984. It was pure balls and naivete on my part. I have no clue what my mom was thinking…..

    John says:
    September 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    That’s it I no longer have the 8-ball rollin!

    I have been out of rap for years now. Even crazier back in day I used to go to rap concerts, saw RUN DMC three times, Beastie Boys Twice, NWA, Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Naughty by Nature (Even Performed with them on stage), Rock Master Scott etc. After a near riot at the Together Forever Tour where there was a 40 on 40 metal chair throwing fight I called it a day. My obsession started in 1980 with White Lines, loved to flip it to side two jam the mike in and throw it on down. Even won a contest at Neptune Beach beach once for white lines, winning was twice as sweet as sugar twice as good as salt but if you get hooked baby it ain’t nobody elses fault. CANE SUGAR!!!Peace Out

  178. grim says:

    DMC goes to my gym, he is a very nice guy. I’ve met Rev. Run before, he gave a talk over at the BN on rt 17.

  179. chicagofinance says:

    Associated Press

    PAGO PAGO, American Samoa — A powerful 8.3-magnitude earthquake struck in the South Pacific between Samoa and American Samoa around dawn Tuesday, sending terrified residents fleeing for higher ground as a tsunami swept ashore, flattening at least one village. There were no immediate reports of fatalities.

    The temblor hit at 6:48 a.m. Tuesday midway between the two island groups. In Apia, families reported shaking that lasted for up to three minutes. The U.S. Geological Service said the quake struck 20 miles below the ocean floor, 120 miles from American Samoa and 125 miles (200 kilometers) from Samoa.

    The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a general alert for the South Pacific region, from American Samoa to New Zealand. It said there were indications a tsunami wave could be “destructive” along some coastlines.

    New Zealander Graeme Ansell said the beach village of Sau Sau Beach Fale was leveled.

    “It was very quick. The whole village has been wiped out,” Mr. Ansell told National Radio from a hill near Samoa’s capital, Apia. “There’s not a building standing. We’ve all clambered up hills, and one of our party has a broken leg. There will be people in a great lot of need “round here.”

    A tsunami swept into Pago Pago, capital of American Samoa, shortly after the earthquake, sending sea water surging inland about 100 yards before receding, leaving some cars stuck in mud.

    The staff of the port ran to higher ground, and police soon came by, telling residents to get inland.

    In Fagatogo, water reached the waterfront town’s meeting field and covered portions of the main highway, which also was plagued by rock slides.

    In Samoa, the powerful quake jolted people awake.

    “It was pretty strong; it was long and lasted at least two minutes,” one resident told local radio.

    “It’s the strongest I have felt, and we ran outside. You could see all the trees and houses were shaking,” he said.

    Sulili Dusi told New Zealand’s National Radio that “everything dropped on the floor and we thought the house was going to go down as well. Thank God, it didn’t.” Along with neighbors, they fled to high ground.

    She said the tsunami hit the south side of the island, and some “cars have been taken.” She did not elaborate, but added “we just thank God no life has been taken yet.”

    Another resident, Dean Phillips, said the southern coast of Upolu island had been struck by the tsunami.

    “The police are sending everybody up to high ground,” he said.

    Local media said they had reports of some landslides in the Solosolo region of the main Samoan island of Upolu and damage to plantations in the countryside outside Apia.

    There were no immediate reports of injury or serious damage from local emergency services, but people reported cracks in some homes and items tossed from shelves.

    The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu issued a tsunami warning for numerous islands in the Pacific, including the Samoas, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji, New Zealand, French Polynesia and Palmyra Island.

    The center posted a tsunami watch for Hawaii, Vanuatu, the Marshall Islands, Solomon Island, Johnston Island, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Wake Island, Midway Island and Pitcairn.

    In New Zealand, a tsunami alert was issued by national Civil Defense, and the nation’s national emergency center was activated.

  180. chicagofinance says:

    grim says:
    September 29, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    DMC goes to my gym, he is a very nice guy. I’ve met Rev. Run before, he gave a talk over at the BN on rt 17.

    grim: For a frame of reference, in TN guys at the gym are at best Elvis-impersonators……

  181. BC Bob says:

    Chi,

    Surprised he didn’t overthrow a punch.

  182. lostinny says:

    I’ll throw out a RE question- If you didn’t already live in NJ, would you move there? And, would you move there knowing that moving there would mean that you would probably never buy a home?

  183. d2b says:

    One of the articles mentions longivity pay? I think I understand but is it an annual bonus? How much would it typically be?

    I stay out of the teaching/public employee debate for the most part except to say that nobody forces people do do the job. So I have no patience for the question, “how much is it worth to have someone watch your children all day?”

  184. lostinny says:

    191 d2b

    Yes you are correct. Longevity pay is like an annual bonus based on how many years of service beyond the top step of pay. For instance, if the top step is 80K for 8 years of service, there might be longevity increases for 10 years, 15 years, 20, etc. They receive this increase after they’ve finished the year the pay is for. There is no raise in-between those longevity increases unless a new contract is negotiated. Every district is different as far as what the increase is.

    BTW, I agree that no one forces people to do the job. I wonder how on earth people last 30 years in the NYC system.

  185. House Hunter says:

    is it common knowledge that the case shiller index does not include jumbo mortgages? I suppose that logically means no short sales or foreclosures also. Grim? Clot?

  186. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [146] pricedout

    I see neither of us are willing to assume the mental mantle today. In my case, I have a lot to do. I assume its the same with you.

    So here goes:

    “My argument stands on your words which I view as hypocritical. Yes, I do see them as diametrically opposed. How do you see it?”

    You are conflating an attorney’s obligation to uphold the constitution with, well, I am not really sure what exactly. You took two random posts and decided that they were logically and rationally incompatible. The only takeaway I have is that you believe one who is an attorney (or who takes a similar oath) has a constitutional duty to go down with the ship, or open a vein and pay more taxes, and encumber your kids as well.

    Sorry, but I fail to see how taking that oath rises to the level of a constitutional duty to remain here and submit to whatever the government wishes to exact. Nor do I see how that would bind my children to servitude under this government. Perhaps you can point me to the article or clause in our Consitituion that is offended by my obvious lack of unbridled, unqualified and absolute patriotism? I’m not being sarcastic here, I really do want to know.

    “Race has absolutely nothing to do with my comment; I wonder why you would bring that up at all?”

    Seems like the thing to do when one is arguing just about anything from the left. In fact, its all the rage on the leftie blogs. Though I shouldn’t presume you are arguing from the left. My bad.

    “There has been no name calling on my part.”

    Soooo, you didn’t call me a hypocrite earlier? Or is it that calling one’s statements hypocritical is somehow distinguishable from calling that person a hypocrite? Or, perhaps it is your position that “hypocrite” is not really an epithet? (but then, if the Baucuscare levy for not getting coverage is not a “tax,” I suppose anything is open to debate).

  187. Essex says:

    Interesting debate regarding schools. In fact they are at the very heart of the real estate question. The very heart my friends.

  188. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [104, 107] sl, lost

    Wow, you both had some bad experiences. I really did not have any at UMass (even from the lesb1an, who I really liked, and I was P.O.ed when she didn’t get tenure).

    I only had one bad experience, with a royal dick named Hadley Arkes at Amherst (anyone who knows him will agree, even his supporters). He did not much care for having an, ahem, state univ. consortium student in his oh-so-exclusive (meaning white, male, privileged) seminar in the Octagon, and made his feelings very clear through his questions and comments. In fact, one of the Amherst students apologized to me once for the professor’s behavior.

    My last laugh (sort of) was on the term paper. I had strained my neck on my second jump that spring (wind whipped up over the DZ and I forgot to adjust the risers, so I came in backwards with a T-10 style chute (reserve behind the neck)). Health Svcs said mild strain and to rest it. I asked for a cervical collar and they gave me one. After class on a Thursday, everyone was lining up to ask for extensions on their papers. When I asked for an extension to the next day to finish typing mine, he said “what happened to you?” I replied “skydiving accident.” He looked at me for a few seconds and said “take the weekend.” I went back to Health Services and gave them back their collar.

    And the bast*rd gave me a C+. Lowest fcuking grade in my major.

  189. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [134] plg

    ” know Obama is strongly in favor of 1) raising accountability for teachers and 2) lenghtening the school year and school day. Both of which make sense.”

    They do make sense, but there will be a catch, and it will come in the form of more compensation and higher taxes.

  190. Essex says:

    My hardest knock was a photography class that I took. I wanted to do well, but the guy was distant and never really defined what he wanted. Or maybe I never approached and kissed his a** I dunno. I think I got a “C”. I was bummed. My mom’s family were pro photographers.

  191. Essex says:

    Schools are highly personal. I was educated in the midwest and then the sunbelt conference. All I can say is that it means so many things to so many people. To me it was always a place to meet women. Period.

  192. Sean says:

    re: 202 – watch em crash the stock markets if they try. We are addicted to cheap money and bailouts.

  193. Sean says:

    Here is a good one.

    7 million new foreclosure properties are about to hit the market.

    http://www.dsnews.com/articles/new-housing-crash-looms-as-shadow-inventory-climbs-past-7-million-analysts-2009-09-25

  194. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    The more I read stuff like this from the WH, the more I find myself saying “all animals are created equal. But some are more equal than others.”

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Word-from-the-White-House-Common-Ground-on-Health-Insurance-Reform/

    “What President Obama is proposing is not a tax, but a requirement to comply with the law.

    o People are required to obey the speed limit and have to pay a penalty if they get caught speeding? Does anyone consider that a tax?

    o People are required to have car insurance and can be fined if they are caught without it. Is that a tax?

    o What we’re talking about is a penalty for the few people who will refuse to buy health insurance – even though they can afford it – and who expect the rest of us to pick up the tab for their care.”

    Sorry folks, but I go back to the conventional wisdom that if it quacks like a duck, and swims, and flies, and has feathers and a bill, and webbed feet, and waddles, ITS A FCUKING DUCK.

    The levy is imposed in the Internal Revenue Code and collected by the IRS.
    And to suggest that because it is avoidable that it is not a tax is specious. I can avoid taxes too—I just need to quit my job and move all my investments into munis. Then I pay no taxes. Genius.

    But lets go with the Penalty angle. I like that. Wonder how many obamanauts are happy that the One promised them riches from the rich, but not so happy now that they got hit with this bill?

  195. Essex says:

    If I had your money, I would throw mine away.

  196. kettle1 says:

    Veto 154

    Its not the voucher system that fails, but t eh corrupt bureaucracy underneath it.

    Voucher type system have worked in many different forms around the world and have worked well. Not using a system because part of your population might be to stupid or to undereducated is not an excuse.

    DO you believe that inner city schooling would be any worse under a voucher system?

    Providing the tool to the parents to maximize the education of their children is a good thing. All children should have the opportunity to go to school, but the effectiveness and utilization of that opportunity is up to the parents. Its a classic case of you cant help someone who wont help themselves.

    Of course a voucher type system will never happen because it would wipe out the teachers union and would put the majority of the power back in the parents hands. The politicians dont want that and the overwhelming apathy of the general public means they wont fight for it.

  197. Essex says:

    The last time I checked most teachers do not choose their classes. They teach whoever shows up. Good classes. Bad classes. Good Schools and bad. I am not sure how a voucher system would do anything for those who want to attend a public school. Now if you want to go to a private school, buck up and pay the tuition. No one is stopping you. Seriously.

  198. Essex says:

    I for one applaud teachers. They work extremely hard. Mostly good teachers are very patient people. Seems like those who chose that career path we actually pretty darn smart. Looking at the current employment situation.

  199. Shore Guy says:

    BC,

    BC! BC! Did you see this?

    Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band will be performing full album sequences during all 5 shows at Giants Stadium.

    Sept. 30 – Born To Run
    Oct. 2 – Darkness On the Edge of Town
    Oct. 3 – Born in the USA
    Oct. 8 – Born to Run
    Oct. 9 – Born in the USA

  200. Shore Guy says:

    So I get One Darkness and Two Born in the USA.

    If they play Crush on You and Sherry Darling over the course of the 3 shows I see, it will be a perfect end to Giants Stadium.

  201. kettle1 says:

    essex 208

    i do put up, out of pocket. However in the bigger picture the current system favors the families with above average resources.

    A voucher system is about allowing a family to use a free market model in education. In such a system, you will generally see poorly performing schools fail and close if it is due to teachers and/or administration.

    A voucher type system essentially removes the black and white line between public and private schools. If pingy only wants to accept cash as payment then so be it, but you would have a whole other set og “private schools perfectly willing to accept federal/state vouchers.

    The benefit to an inner city family or someone in a bad school district is that instead of being stuck with the public school you are districted to, you could move to the school of your choice. Such a move is currently beyond the reach of many average to lower income families in bad school districts.

    What you would see and is highly politically incorrect, is self selection of those individuals and families who have a desire to excel at learning and those who do not.

    This would actually be a benefit to society and the individual groups overall.

    Voucher systems are not all puppy dogs and icecream cones, but they are a world beyond what we have now

  202. kettle1 says:

    Essex,

    I am not attacking teachers or administrators or anyone else personally. Its the system. It is broken beyond repair and should be burnt to the ground, before rebuilding.

    As with any other field there is a range of performers in teaching and administration.

    As long as the local pols have control of the money and the schools, as opposed to the families that the schools are meant to exist for, there will be no substantive changes.

  203. Essex says:

    This is what I know. (A) You can go to the school near where you live. Generally speaking this school, unless something really unusual is afoot, will reflect your area. Where you live. (B) You can pay the ‘out of town’ tuition and attend school in a neighboring town usually about $11k or so. (C) You can write a check to “pingry”.

    So let me understand this one. You get a voucher for “X” amount of money. That let’s you approach a private or parochial school and say…hey I got this voucher to attend any school I want and I choose you….here.

    Two things come to mind. Don’t these schools “interview”. And if they do so, why would they take your kid?

    Help me understand.

  204. Essex says:

    I love Bruce Springsteen, but for some reason, I am just not in the mood to see him this year. He played a perfect show last year in Giants Stadium. He was in excellent voice. This year I let my daughter choose who we see and it’s Miley.

  205. pricedOut says:

    I see neither of us are willing to assume the mental mantle today. In my case, I have a lot to do. I assume its the same with you.

    Fair assumption…

    So here goes:

    “My argument stands on your words which I view as hypocritical. Yes, I do see them as diametrically opposed. How do you see it?”

    You are conflating an attorney’s obligation to uphold the constitution with, well, I am not really sure what exactly. You took two random posts and decided that they were logically and rationally incompatible. The only takeaway I have is that you believe one who is an attorney (or who takes a similar oath) has a constitutional duty to go down with the ship, or open a vein and pay more taxes, and encumber your kids as well.

    Sorry, but I fail to see how taking that oath rises to the level of a constitutional duty to remain here and submit to whatever the government wishes to exact. Nor do I see how that would bind my children to servitude under this government. Perhaps you can point me to the article or clause in our Consitituion that is offended by my obvious lack of unbridled, unqualified and absolute patriotism? I’m not being sarcastic here, I really do want to know.

    Fair enough argument. It appears I am mistaken. I did take your comment about taking an oath to protect the Constitution in a patriotic vein. There are men and women who put their lives on the line every day with that very commitment. There are many men and women who gave their lives in an effort to protect the ideals incorporated in that document. Your comment about your ‘oath’ struck my idealist nerve. The Constitution was, after all, born of ideals. There is nowhere in the Constitution that is offended by your “obvious lack of unbridled, unqualified and absolute patriotism”. I do not measure patriotism by one’s allegiance to “this government”. I measure patriotism by one’s allegiance to the Constitution, which grants us all the freedom, power and responsibility to change that government.

    “Race has absolutely nothing to do with my comment; I wonder why you would bring that up at all?”

    Seems like the thing to do when one is arguing just about anything from the left. In fact, its all the rage on the leftie blogs. Though I shouldn’t presume you are arguing from the left. My bad.

    “There has been no name calling on my part.”

    Soooo, you didn’t call me a hypocrite earlier? Or is it that calling one’s statements hypocritical is somehow distinguishable from calling that person a hypocrite? Or, perhaps it is your position that “hypocrite” is not really an epithet? (but then, if the Baucuscare levy for not getting coverage is not a “tax,” I suppose anything is open to debate).

    Did I call you a hypocrite? No. My comment was that I see your statements as hypocritical. I do not see everything in black and white and I don’t like labels. Does making hypocritical statements make one a hypocrite? I suppose to you then I am a liar because albeit rarely, I have spoken untruths in my past. Semantics? I don’t think so, but I am not going to debate this.

  206. Shore Guy says:

    B.O., for all the hype, is teetering on the edge of being a spent political force. He actually reminds me a bit of the Shrub in pre 9-11.

    For those who know my politics, it is not just me thinking this way, take a look at Richard Cohen’s recent column in the Times.

  207. Shore Guy says:

    Essex,

    I saw two of the GiantsStadium shows last year (first and last) and they were great. The final one in particular, it was just outstanding. If the shows this week and next week are 80% as good it will be money well spent.

  208. Essex says:

    Obama is becoming a bit of a joke. Funny thing about information and a desire for effective government. The web makes it really hard to hide.

  209. Essex says:

    Yeah shore guy I hear you. I am just to laid back to leave the house these days. I think I was at the “last show” you mentioned. He was flawless. I have caught him a few times since 1981.

  210. Essex says:

    The thing about teaching and schools that no one seems to recognize is that good schools function on some really sublime levels. They have this amazing mix of trust and positive energy. Everyone who is lucky enough to attend one will understand this. The faculty are great and often this is reflected is the track record and the scores that these schools deliver. But I do not believe that this is exclusive to private schools.

  211. PGC says:

    #126 pricedOut

    There is no point debating that with him. He lives by the Tax attorneys mantra “My fair share is no share”.

  212. PGC says:

    #211 Shore.

    So you got tickets to three of the five nights and you miss out on the best two nights ….. :*) What are the odds!

  213. comrade nom deplume says:

    (222) Pgc

    Ha. I wish.

    Actually, read Gregory v. Helvering for the mantra.

    And you are correct–ther is no use debating with me. Mess with the best, lose like the rest. :-)

  214. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Nom 198 my first thought on reading O’s position. More pay more taxes.

  215. Essex says:

    So as a lawyer you must be pleased that bankers have replaced you as the most hated individual vocation-identified douche bags on the planet.

  216. sas says:

    the OCt 1st meeting in Geneva will be interesting.

    things are sure heating up.

    SAS

  217. PGC says:

    I’ll see your Gregory v Helvering and raise you a Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific

    Most of the times I try to debate you a end up in mod and can’t be bothered to rewrite the post.

  218. Sean says:

    re#227 -SaS what can we offer the Russia or China on this? They are both heavily vested in Iran.

  219. sas says:

    wow, just got wind of a string of foreclosures out in Hackensack.

    load up on the copper pipes.

    SAS

  220. sas says:

    “SaS what can we offer the Russia or China on this? They are both heavily vested in Iran”

    well, not much. there is supressed weaponary that helps the US.

    we will see.

    I’m pretty much expecting Iran to give everyone the one finger soda bottle.

    SAS

  221. Stu says:

    Speaking of bad professors…I had a terrible English professor at Montclair State College. This old coot thought he was F. Scott Fitzgerald. Well, besides making us compete against his adolescent nieces in spelling bees, he was a senile WWII veteran. I think tenure was the only thing keeping him employed. At the time I took his class, his wife had just dumped him so he was definitely going through a tough time. The term paper for the class was a really silly topic where we had to somehow relate automobiles to the Great Gatsby. He provided us with a list of about 10 books in which we could use and were not allowed to use any others. I think he wrote all of those books actually. Well I couldn’t find any of them within a 30 mile radius of the college so I strayed and wrote the paper using a couple of books that he did not write nor include on his book list.

    Needless to say, he failed me after I was carrying an A average into the final which I certainly did not fail. I was curious if the old man was still teaching and it appears they still allow this imbecile to teach. Read some of the comments about him on rate my professors dot com. What a freak!

    http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=13849&page=1

  222. sas says:

    speaking of “supressed” technology…

    its very inflationary.

    alot of supressed technology in healthcare, weaponary, and energy.

    You think those guys want prices to deflate?

    wanna fix healthcare? don’t suppress

    wanna save a cops job and close the budget gap? legalize drugs. (i don’t know how that fits in, but I like to say it).

    SAS
    SA

  223. NJGator says:

    Hey Shore – Well I did offer to sell you tix for the first Born to Run night :) I think my dad is going to like that one.

  224. Sean says:

    SaS – make sure you pen a book before you “circle the drain”

    Cheers

  225. sas says:

    what happens when the sun goes down around this joint?

    everyone goes night..night?

    SAS

  226. sas says:

    where is John after 5 o’clock?

    he out wearing his best white capezios and getting a lap dance at Cherri Bombs, out on Long Island?

    :P
    SAS

  227. Firestormik says:

    Sas,
    He is getting paid to entertain people here from 8am to 5pm only :)

  228. Shore Guy says:

    PGC,

    Story of my life. After all we got Obama, what were the odds of that 2 years ago?

  229. Shore Guy says:

    Gator,

    Actually, I have heard BTR and the songs from that album to death. Well, Spirit and 10th I can listen to aver and over. Frankly, I am thrilled to get Born in the USA twice. I have always wanted to hear Darlington County, but never have.

  230. still_looking says:

    Well, finally officially canceled my NYT subscription.

    Did agree to the Sunday only for a few months – I don’t read it or watch TV for news anymore. Used to do the puzzle, but now why even bother.

    I am really digging my Netflix subscription though…

    sl

  231. danzud says:

    Went over to youtube to see some old Bruce songs. Caught some of him live at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic back in 1978. Looking forward to hearing meeting across the river tomorrow