Weekend Open Discussion

This is the time and place to post observations about your local areas, comments on news stories or the New Jersey housing market, open house reports, etc. If you have any questions you wanted to ask earlier in the week but never posted them up, let’s have them. Also a good place to post suggestions, requests for information, criticism, and praise.

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158 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion

  1. WIll re-post the link to this tremendous piece by Kessler. A must read.

    “Imagine Bill Gross, except he’s not the rictus-faced, lizard-skinned purveyor of woozledust we’ve come to know.”

    Now, read this:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/20555028/KESSLERcommentary0820200KESSLER9

  2. grim says:

    Poconos train finally coming? 30 years too late?

    From the Star Ledger:

    Lackawanna Cutoff rail line clears environmental hurdle

    The long-planned restoration of the Lackawanna Cutoff commuter rail line from the Poconos to Hoboken, which will run along a route parallel to traffic clogged Route 80, has cleared a key environmental hurdle, officials said today.

    After evaluating various environmental studies, the Federal Transit Administration issued a “finding of no significant impact” for the 81-mile segment of track stretching from Andover in Sussex County, westward to Scranton, Pa.

    The announcement means work can proceed pending financing for the estimated $551 million project, officials said.

    The proposal would restore commuter rail service from Scranton to Hoboken along the Lackawanna Cutoff, a line nicknamed for the miles it cut off train trips from Pennsylvania to New Jersey. Proposed stops in New Jersey would be Blairstown in Warren County, Andover in Sussex County and Port Morris in Morris County, where the line would connect with existing NJ Transit service.

    Restoration of the Cutoff has been in the planning stages for more than three decades, inching through a burdensome bureaucratic process. But the FTA’s finding this week is a major breakthrough for the line, said Norman Ressler, an officer with the Penn Jersey Rail Coalition.

    “I’m so elated to hear this,’’ Ressler said last night. “If this is true, we’ve passed a major hurdle. It’s so great.”

  3. grim says:

    Hearing lots of rumors about Continental layoffs in Newark.

    Anyone got details?

  4. freedy says:

    good morning grim . so it’s the fall selling season. How will it go?

  5. grim says:

    I’m about ready to pack it up and call it a year.

  6. Clotpoll says:

    freedy (4)-

    Short sales and REO are fast & furious.

    Look for more and more absolute auctions in the trophy towns. The market for properties over 750K is in zombie mode.

  7. freedy says:

    the gov. has got a real problem.
    the housing short sale process and
    foreclosure /reo is a monster.

    i don’t think most americans understand

  8. Clotpoll says:

    freedy (7)-

    Got bulldozers?

  9. freedy says:

    that’s a start. some of the towns would be better off

  10. Cindy says:

    Grim @ 5 – “I’m about ready to pack it in and call it a year.”

    More news from Nashville?

    Would you pursue R/E in some capacity there? Any updates to report?

  11. House Hunter says:

    Clot and feedy..if that is the case there is a major managing of inventory

  12. Essex says:

    The time to upgrade is now!! Double your tax contribution and square footage. Act now or be locked out…..

  13. Shore Guy says:

    I’d that Poconos rail link means that fantastic bridge over 80 and the river will finally get some repairs, I am all for it.

  14. Cindy says:

    Clot – I read the Kessler report – Thanks for posting…

    “The U.S. needs to make up half a trillion dollars to get back to the GDP of 2008.” Whoa…

    “The end of recession means that GDP stops falling – not that the economy has recovered.”

    This is gonna take a while….

  15. BC Bob says:

    “Imagine Bill Gross, except he’s not the rictus-faced, lizard-skinned purveyor of woozledust we’ve come to know.”

    ESPN Instant Classic.

  16. BC Bob says:

    Shore/Sean,

    Will be in the lot 12:30-1:00 PM.

  17. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (14)-

    He’s actually much more optimistic than I am. I figure at some stress point (one that we’ll hit in the near future), the wheels will simply come off, and we’ll be faced with systemic failure, martial law and global economic collapse.

  18. House Hunter says:

    As much as I want to say it isn’t so, I agree with Clot…I do not think the average joe gets it….very scary. Too many people I know live like “not here it won’t”…

  19. House Hunter says:

    Clot. Do they use jumbo mortgage data in the case shiller reports? I think not, however I am not sure

  20. Cindy says:

    http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/JOBSHISTORY09.html

    Clot @ 17 – as you know…I’m an optimist BUT – It is going to take some time…a long time…

    We need to see a lot more “red” on this chart….

  21. freedy says:

    martial law ,, na,, americans are just to stupid to see whats going on.

    most will go as sheep ,, over the cliff

  22. House Hunter says:

    Barrons article today: a household survey says jobless claims were 785,000 in Sept compared to 200,000+ the government reported….these job losses are massive

  23. House Hunter says:

    Cindy 20…they need black on that chart…also, when did the US start calculating the unemployment # differently…it gets thrown around here quite often, but were are “really” much higher than 9% more like acutally high teens

  24. BC Bob says:

    HH [22],

    It’s a total blowut. Much worse than reported. The govt #’s are outright lies. They strip apart different tranches of unemployment and report a fraction. We are over 20%, real unemployment, when you include off balance sheet job losses.

    Don’t worry, the fed is navigating the ship. There will be no contagion.

  25. Cindy says:

    House @ 23 – Right. After cuts in everything imaginable, businesses around here are still letting people go. Even my school is offering a mid-year early retirement to reduce staff.

    All of the other cuts have been done. This is a structural problem.
    Jobs in construction, lending etc.in CA simply disappeared here – never to return.

    We have less students – people moved – the families are gone and no one else is buying the house.

    I think both CA and NJ are dealing with the loss of taxpayers.

    As Clot says: Only the strong will survive.

  26. Clotpoll says:

    hunter (19)-

    Dunno. I thought the basis of Case-Shiller was same-home sales, regardless of price/mortgage type.

  27. Clotpoll says:

    BC (24)-

    According to Mish & others, the adjustment for all of 2009’s birth/death modeling errors will be made in the Feb, 2010 BLS UE report. The whisper number is around 800,000.

    Whump!

  28. Clotpoll says:

    Allegedly, almost the entire 800K adjustment will be attributed to Q1/09.

  29. House Hunter says:

    BC and Cindy…both true…it is sort of spooky though…the feeling that we are holding on by a thread, and the real pain comes fast and furious. and our pres is out of the country more than he is in…is it planned that way?

  30. House Hunter says:

    Clot 28, I heard that as well..kick the can to 2010

  31. grim says:

    S&P Case Shiller includes all financing types. It is the FHFA (formerly OFHEO) Home Price Index that does not include non-conforming loans.

    Case Shiller is a repeat-sales index, which uses resales of the same home to gauge changes in value in the broad market. This is very different from the simple aggregate statistical approach used in the other indices (anything quoting a median or average price), since those are easily swayed by changes in mix.

    S&P CS does not include condos or coops, nor does it include new home sales, since they obviously wouldn’t have a pair. The fact that condos and co-ops are excluded makes the NY Metro Area Commutable index very interesting, since it excludes a large part of NYC itself. I imagine this index would look something like a donut with the hole centered over NYC. Makes sense when you look at the “commutable” part of the index name.

  32. Clotpoll says:

    Just in case anyone out there doesn’t believe we’re governed by monkeys:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLB7Vb8qK7g&feature=channel_page

  33. Cindy says:

    http://www.news-to-use.com/2009/10/abelson-downright-scary.html

    Here is a recap of the Alan Abelson piece set for 1-5 in Barrons. They alluded to it at TBP but I wanted to read more so I went searching….

    ..people will still have to cut costs to meet 2010-1011 expectations…

  34. House Hunter says:

    thanks Grim…

  35. Cindy says:

    OOppps dtd… 10-5 not 1-5

    Abelson calls it downright scary…

  36. Cindy says:

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/10/the-more-you-dig-into-the-numbers-the-worse-they-get/

    The More You Dig Into the Numbers, the Worse They Get..TBP – refers to the Abelson article @ Barrons…

  37. Shelley says:

    Meantime the lack of reality still reigns supreme in Chatham, Madison and Harding. We looked at a home on Park Lane and another on Highland in Madison. The first was $1.95 mil and the second $1.8 mil. Both homes are $500K to $600K overpriced according to my realtor. She had discussions with both listing agents who said that these people are selling the homes for the price they paid. Both must have been in bidding wars to get these homes and now they are stuck.

    In Chatham its much of the same as sellers did in their heals. Many houses have been on the market for 6 months to a year and a half with no price reduction or minimal price reductions (5% or less). These sellers continue to believe we are coming out of this by the spring and they refuse to drop their numbers.

    The level of denial is unprecedented in my mind.

  38. 3b says:

    #37 We will be in this even deeper by the Spring.

  39. BC Bob says:

    Cindy [35],

    Ableson is a blast, my Sat morn fix. Would luv to see him and Jim Willie as guest hosts on CNBC. However, the plug would be pulled after 5-10 minutes.

  40. db says:

    Did Barney Frank really ask ….If Wio got the summew owympics and theiw wintew happens duwing ouw summew since they awe in the southewn hemisphewe, won’t it actuawwy be the wintew owympics ?……

  41. Orion says:

    db @40

    Peeed in my pants:)

  42. yikes says:

    John says:
    October 2, 2009 at 9:28 am

    He made 120K base. Did some OT to pump it to like 160K and retired at the age of 42 with a 80K a year pension and free medical for life. Sold his junk home for 550K after RE commission and only had a 150K mortgage, bought a 300K house down south and put the remaining 100K into bonds. Wife was going to work part time 20 hours a week to keep herself sane. They only had two kids and that was that. I would shoot myself after two weeks doing what he did.

    are you kidding? that sounds awesome. i would love to be retired at 42.

  43. yikes says:

    just checked the portfolio … from our previous high in 08 before the market tanked, we lost 37k.

    now 10k above our max in 9/2008.

    thank, you, Mr. Market! still not on our way to retiring at 42, like John’s cop friend. 10 years to pull it off …

    now just find a way to beat this deflation/inflation …

  44. 3b says:

    Gary I found your Mc Mansion, in a blue ribbon train town too. This dramatic colonial sold in Sept of 2006 for 760K, it is now bank owned asking 470k. The asking price is almost 300k less than the 06 sales price. Taxes are 13k a year.Oh before I forget the house fronts the train tracks, but hey you did want a train town.

    http://www.njmls.com/cf/details.cfm?mls_number=2939302&id=999999

  45. stan says:

    Wife and I decided 10/1 to sign a lease for a year and move to a bigger place. We were month to month.

    1.5 months free. Minimal security deposit, actual rent down 11% from where it was last year. Nice place. Sock away some more money for another year.

    The main reason was we felt prices still heading lower, and most leftovers homes starting in september were the really overpriced dogsh!t.

  46. BC Bob says:

    Shore/Sean/Others,

    Will be in 5D, maroon/gold, BC shirt. Heading over to the racetrack to see the B-Street band around 1:30, then back to 5D. Not sure what time, I will be in 5D until.

    Let it rain, let it raine, let it rain.

    Nom,

    If you are attending and are close to 5D, please don’t wear your maroon/gold. Don’t want to confuse Shore/Sean.

    Unfortunately, I won’t be online the remainder of the day. Would love to view Nom’s response.

  47. Frank says:

    Buy now, before prices go up.

    $2,500 Incentive Will Spur Short Sales, Says John Burns

    http://www.housingwire.com/2009/10/02/2500-incentive-will-spur-short-sales-says-john-burns/

  48. BC Bob says:

    Stan the Man!

  49. BC Bob says:

    [48],

    Another arrow shot in the wrong direction.

  50. Cindy says:

    BC – Sean – Shore – Nom

    Enjoy

  51. Sean says:

    BC won’t be there till 5ish, good luck with the wristbands for the pit.

  52. lisoosh says:

    BC Bob says:
    October 3, 2009 at 9:27 am

    “HH [22],

    It’s a total blowut. Much worse than reported.”

    Can’t be right. Stock market just sees green shoots!

  53. Kettle1 says:

    Hh, lisoosh et all

    if you compare u3/u6 with CPS data you can early see u3 and u6 are clearly being manipulated downwards

    clot

    you have mail

  54. crossroads says:

    does anybody subscribe to realty trac? is this the best way to find foreclosure info? is there a free easy way? stress easy

  55. Shore Guy says:

    BC,

    I am in Ocean Grove right now. Where in the lot will you be after getting numbers?

  56. Shore Guy says:

    BC,

    I am in Ocean Grove right now. Where in the lot will you be after getting numbers?

  57. Shore Guy says:

    oops,

    Just saw the later post. If I don’t catch you before the show, just look UP, my daughterand I will be about the last people still in the stadium.

  58. yikes says:

    make money says:
    October 2, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Camry is a good, reliable commuter car. As a matter of fact, for people who have a long commute to work and put on a ton of miles Camry is your best bang for the buck.

    That being sad I hope I never get cought dead in a Toyota Camry.

    surprised at the Camry hate yesterday. great point A to point B car. durable. good gas mileage.

    “millionaire next door” strategy, baby …

  59. still_looking says:

    Grim,

    Didn’t get my email? I doubt I will continue looking anyway…

    .sl

  60. New in NJ says:

    yikes (59) –

    I agree. While I have never owned a Camry I have driven them as rentals often enough. Looking for luxury and excitement? Look for something else.

    By all accounts the Camry is a perfectly competent, inexpensive and reliable transportation appliance. But dinging the Camry because it isn’t your cup of tea is like marrying a good, attractive and faithful woman, and then complaining that she’s not as selfless as Mother Teresa AND as beautiful as Giselle.

  61. Barbara says:

    when I saw Bruce last yr at Giants, observed deplorable baby boomer behavior. Across the isle, 12 yr old girl with middle aged mom and dad. Dad feeling up Mom. Mom all tattooed, rocking out and drunk eventually blows chunks all over daughter’s shoes. Classic. Daughter looked horrified even before that.
    Leave the rock and roll to the kiddos.

  62. schabadoo says:

    and our pres is out of the country more than he is in…is it planned that way?

    No offense, but why write this? Beside being wrong, that is?

    Go and try and get Olympics=absentee pres
    He doesn’t go=hates American jobs

  63. yikes says:

    gary xan@x says:
    October 2, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    meter,

    I’d rather be laying dead in the gutter at East 4th Street and Avenue D than be living in Singapore.

    would your mind be changed if it was Bangalore instead of Singapore? what about Buenos Aires?

  64. still_looking says:

    Can’t tell if this is posting from my blackberry

    sl

  65. Mikeinwaiting says:

    sl, it is.

  66. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Gary from last nights thread Blue Moon JC, been there done that. Around when?
    Things that went on there are for a gtg.
    Never put in print.

  67. Shore Guy says:

    Cindy,

    Thank you.

    Barbara,

    The behavior of some “adults” who, God help us, amazes me. Today, the Parkway, 18, 138, and environs, it is like people get extra points for being dangerous pri-cks. Watched a guy cut from slow lane across 4 lanes, barely missed clipping 3 cars, only to immediately do the same in reverse — net gain passed two cars and nearly plowed into the line of cars in the exit que. In sum, he gained at most 4-5 car lengths, which, at 70 mph is what, 1 second? Would that he were the only yahoo on the road.

    The quest to grab a meaningless advantage is the root of many problems around here, methinks.

    If anyone is near the Sheraton at the Meadowlands after the show (or before 7) let me know. Right now I am leaving the beach and heading to get some lunch.

    NJC,

    Rock on with the death metal/speed metal guys tonight.

  68. Shore Guy says:

    Oh, and since noneof the cars he passed exited, net gain = NOTHING.

  69. Shore Guy says:

    Oh, and since noneof the cars he passed exited, net gain = NOTHING.

  70. Barbara says:

    Shore, I observe that zero net gain thing all the time. I think people just drive angry.

  71. d2b says:

    My ride to the shore today reminded me of this weeks conversation about driving in the left lane and the guy that makes people go around him. One thing worth mentioning is that I prefer to get out of the way of people that want to go too fast. I’m doing 70 to 75. If you need to go noticeably faster than me, I would prefer that you are as far away from me as possible.

  72. Kettle1 says:

    Nom

    In 2009, roughly 47% of households, or 71 million, will not owe any federal income tax, according to estimates by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center

    -CNN money

  73. NJCoast says:

    Shore-

    Enjoy Bruce & Co. I’m already deaf from Seethers’s sound check. Their amps definately go to 11.

  74. still_looking says:

    thanks Mike,

    Finally home. pain in the ass to post with it.
    Gave up.

    sl

  75. GerryAdams says:

    d2b,
    70 or 75 is slow on NJ high ways even 80 in the fast lane is considered by some to be the norm.

  76. Clotpoll says:

    shel (37)-

    They will be carried out on their shields.

  77. Clotpoll says:

    yikes (44)-

    I know of this stuff that works well in environments of both extreme deflation and inflation.

    Just don’t keep it in a safe deposit box.

    “now just find a way to beat this deflation/inflation …”

  78. Shore Guy says:

    NJC,

    Tonight was awsome, blew away last night. In fact, this would make a good concert DVD.

    If he had ditched Pete and Dream and replaced them with Sherry Darling, Crush on You, Rosalita, and The River, it would have been beyond compare. Maybe Friday.

    Beyond the sound check, how did it go? As I was heading up to the Meadowlands from the Shore, and passed the exit for Sayreville, I thought of you and the nice metal boys. Sounding very middle aged, I know, I hope tp goodness they wear good hearing protection and use some form of noise-cancelling monitor earplugs.

    Oy! Kids today. At least they are well fed.

  79. Sean says:

    Great show! Glad the weather cooperated.

    Also happy to see so many families at the concert!

  80. Shore Guy says:

    BC,

    C’mon over to the Sheraton. Oh, and bring food.

  81. Shore Guy says:

    Not even SAS is up tonight.

  82. Shore Guy says:

    Sean,

    At least tonighthe kid picked to sing Waiting on a Dunny Day knew the words.

  83. Shore Guy says:

    BC,

    When was the last time Springsteen (playing with the e-street band) did NOT play Badlands?

  84. Essex says:

    Looks like the fat guy did not really have anything to say at his debate. Tax relief? Simple. 1. Sell your home and rent. 2. leave.

  85. Essex says:

    I recently had the pleasure of touring a very, very nice home in Livingston. An upgrade to what was a nice small place in the same town. The new tax nut? $18k. But of course that money is being well spent. But can anyone say on what?

  86. Essex says:

    We need massive audits into where the cash is going. Huge changes in the status quo that could include any number of tightening measures and perhaps, gasp, involuntary consolidation of infrastructure. As an NJ resident since 1995 I am somewhat ‘new’ to this state, but I certainly think that anyone who owns a home here has “sucker” stamped on their heads. Your mileage may vary.

  87. Outofstater says:

    #87 I bet the taxpayers could save a bundle by consolidating schools, police and fire at the county level. Maybe I’m missing something, but why does the superintendent of the Bedminster school district, which has one school with 620 students, make $169,000 per year? That’s just nuts.

  88. lostinny says:

    88 Outofstater

    but why does the superintendent of the Bedminster school district, which has one school with 620 students, make $169,000 per year? That’s just nuts.

    Why is that even it’s own school district if it only has one school? How is a whole school district justified, much less a superintendent at all that makes that much. That is ridiculous.

  89. Outofstater says:

    Lost – Exactly. Have 21 county school districts, pay the superintendents $250,000 each and watch the savings pile up.

  90. yikes says:

    if the jets happen to beat the saints today (dont think they will – im a pessimistic jets fan), they are going to the SUper Bowl.

  91. willwork4beer says:

    # 89 – 90

    I believe there are still school districts in NJ that have ZERO schools. It happens in areas with very small populations. The few students in the district are sent to a nearby, larger, district. Someone else can undoubtedly explain it better.

    Here in Lower Cowpie, Hunterdon County, we have one elementary school which must have a superintendent, principal and business administrator.

  92. lostinny says:

    90 Outofstater

    I really don’t know much about the way school districts are organized in NJ. But I can say that you don’t want anything too big. Look at NYC’s system. Over 1 million kids is an absolute nightmare.

  93. lostinny says:

    92 ww4b

    But why does there need to be a school district in an area where there are very few students? Are there administrators for the areas with no schools? Please don’t say yes.
    In your one school district, how many students are in that school? You need a principal. I don’t see why there is a superintendent and a business administrator. Those jobs could be combined and actually disappear if the one school was absorbed into the closest school district with more then one school. Really one school? That’s just unreal. I guess because I grew up in NYC, I couldn’t imagine living somewhere where there were so few people, there was only one school for a whole district. Does that school have grades K-12 in it?

  94. ruggles says:

    Glen Gardner just lost its school district. I think another 6 or 7 were recently consolidated as well. NJ has spent the past 150 years splitting into tiny fiefdoms. There are about 600 school districts and only 566 towns. And its not just schools–There are plenty of towns that are less than 2 square miles. For absolutely no reason other than people can’t get along.

    Oh and taxes in Bedminster are actually very low for NJ. I lived next door in Gladstone and from what I remember they don’t pay their teachers well at all. Perhaps thats changed in the past 5 or 6 years, I don’t know.

    http://www.nj.com/hunterdon-county-democrat/index.ssf/2009/07/merged_glen_gardner_and_clinto.html

  95. ruggles says:

    lostinny – yes. although its going away. if you live in a town with no schools you still need someone to negotiate with another town to make sure the kids in your town are getting a good education for a good price.

  96. lostinny says:

    96 Ruggles

    That’s absurd. You can have an accountant do the same thing.

  97. Outofstater says:

    #95 “people can’t get along.” That’s why I think NJ won’t consolidate its schools. But with county schools, the “best,” schools, meaning those in wealthier areas, still remain the best because the parents are more involved and the PTA can raise a lot more money for their schools than those in less affluent areas. That won’t change. What would change is that the savings at the adminstrative level could help improve the poorer schools. At least all the schools in the county would have the same basic supplies of textbooks, etc. Ah well, maybe I’m dreaming.

  98. ruggles says:

    97 – That’s how New Jersey works. Seriously, the reason why so many towns have broken apart over the years (why we have a Chatham boro and township, Morristown and township, Edison and Metuchen, Freehold boro and township. winfield park, guttenburg, lebanon, etc, etc,) is because no one wants their neighbors telling them what to do. The schools and districts are just a symptom of the bigger issue.

  99. freedy says:

    nj is a welfare state , has been now for
    many years. the state is now third world
    and someone said suckers to own in NJ.

    That is correct, this state is just to far gone. Watch as the unions get Corzine
    reelected to continue the scam.

  100. freedy says:

    central schools, cops,fire,municiple,
    thats how they get away with it.

    high paying jobs in NJ. gone, tax base,
    gone, business gone

  101. lostinny says:

    98 Outofstater

    If districts combined and administrator’s salaries were used at the school level, how much would be saved in a year? I’m just wondering if the districts aren’t consolidated because someone running numbers is saying it wouldn’t be worth it financially. I would think if you had 3 administrator’s jobs, that combined, totaled around the $350-400K mark in income, is that enough savings to consolidate districts?. I have worked in schools where the operating budget in the school alone (not the district) was 10 million or more.

  102. willwork4beer says:

    #94 lost

    School is K-6 and has a little over 200 kids. After that, they go regional. In another school district, naturally.

  103. lostinny says:

    99 Ruggles

    If that is the case then the people are spiting themselves.
    I remember when Staten Island tried to secede from NYC. Apparently, people who live here think they pay more in taxes then anywhere else in the city. And they feel that money does not go to making things better in SI. It goes to other areas or organizations in the city. The attempted secession didn’t go very well.
    But we all know how I feel about SI so I won’t go into except to say that not seceding from NYC was probably the best idea.

  104. lostinny says:

    103 ww4b

    Wow.

  105. lostinny says:

    100 & 101 Freedy

    I can’t speak for anyone else but in my experience, my union only cares about the union. They have to negotiate the higher salaries so they can collect those dues.
    And btw, if one chooses not join the union, they will take dues from your checks anyway in NYC schools.

  106. Essex says:

    But what about *gasp* corruption?

  107. confused in NJ says:

    Geithner Says ‘Very Important’ to Have Strong Dollar

  108. Outofstater says:

    I don’t know but I suspect that making financial sense would be way down the list of priorities. I just checked our county and the district has 114 schools, 106,000 students, a budget of $907 million and the superintendent makes $206,000/yr.

  109. Outofstater says:

    #109 was for Lost at 102.

  110. Essex says:

    109. And he will take home 1/2 of that salary for the rest of his life. Once he or she retires. FYI

  111. Essex says:

    Education aint a bad place to be. You won’t get rich, but you will live a very consistent lifestyle. There are many issues to consider when navigating the ‘system’ however. One being the moronic nature of many the administrative staff that you will encounter. These are people with little or no expertise in management. Often folks who went from school to school with absolutely no ‘survival’ (real world) skills to speak of. You will find a few corporate transplants there, refugees from the real world. Often they are skilled comedians because you will need a sense of humor.

  112. lostinny says:

    109 Outofstater

    Maybe you’re right. I’m not sure how they decide how to do what they do. 206k is very high. I just found the numbers for the district I’m on a medical vacation from now. These numbers are from 2 years ago- almost 60K students, 972.25 million in expenditures. Grades pre-K through 8. I have no idea what the superintendent’s salary is.

  113. Essex says:

    And just what can we expect from the other branches of government? What can we expect from the literal billions that flow to government coffers that when times are baaaad (sheep reference) the cry will go. The waaaaail of lost wages and how it affect our “lifetstyle”. *cough*

  114. ruggles says:

    112 – don’t forget the perfect children and their all knowing parents.

  115. ruggles says:

    “If that is the case then the people are spiting themselves.” – Have you never heard of home rule?

    109 – I agree. Assuming they could save $1 million, exactly which neighboring town does anyone think Westfield would volutarily merge schools with?

  116. Essex says:

    Besides the Superintendent is the CEO of the school. A non profit making entity…but hey….it is prestigious…and these leader chart of course of excellence for the children. Even though they are supervising a whining, entrenched, possibly mediocre group of employees. Collective bargaining is a double edged sword.

  117. Essex says:

    Hey, it is gorgeous outside. FYI

  118. lostinny says:

    116 ruggles

    It doesn’t make it the smart thing to do.

  119. ruggles says:

    119 – I thought this board already established that people living in NJ are idiots. otherwise we would all move.

  120. Essex says:

    You have a federal bureaucracy for the schools….You have a state bureaucracy for the schools….and you have the locals. Three giant layers of staff that analyze data (Yeah right) and ponder the issues of the day. Eliminate the state and federal layers. Use the state to simply archive data. Let the local districts hire and fire. Make sure the leadership is competent and accountable. Problem solved.

  121. Essex says:

    You will find that once the dust settles, this country will be a different place. I can imagine that the Depression era folks had completely different ideas about “living” the good life as opposed to the borrow and spend generations that followed.

  122. lostinny says:

    120 ruggles

    Think about the idiots that want to move to NJ. Either it’s worse where they are, or they have no idea what they’re getting into.

  123. Essex says:

    New Jersey is a place that does provide some interesting benefits and for many a nice lifestyle, but at ridiculously high prices.

  124. Essex says:

    123. No idea what they are getting into. At least that was my story — yet at a household income of $300k….we are just breaking even. Go figure.

  125. Outofstater says:

    #116 Plainfield, of course.

  126. ruggles says:

    123 – well i’m not a native either –moved in for school (rutgers), stayed for work and love. tried to move out to PA a couple of times but didn’t quite make it. Have to say I finally love NJ because where I live now is very much like PA or New England–job loss or retirement and we will be out of here.

  127. lostinny says:

    125 Essex
    Breaking even at 300K is frightening to me. Of course, if I wasn’t saving a boatload of my take home salary I’d probably feel less squeezed myself.

  128. hoodafa says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Pain in Spain May Linger as Banks Seek to Avoid Property Losses

    Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) — Maria Jose Lozano, a civil servant from Madrid, left a recent property fair empty-handed after discovering that home prices were still out of reach in a market where sales have dropped 50 percent from their 2006 peak.

    “We came here expecting to find a bargain, or at the very least some reduced-price homes, but we’ve seen nothing,” said Lozano, 49, after browsing through the offerings, including properties that lenders such as Banco Santander SA and Caja Madrid acquired in exchange for canceling developers’ debts.

    Banks bought about 110,000 homes to keep losses off their books as Spain’s property bubble burst, according to real estate researcher RR de Acuna & Asociados in Madrid. Now they’re using strategies reminiscent of the boom times — 100 percent mortgages, low interest rates and free cars — to sell homes, potentially slowing a drop in prices that’s needed to spur recovery from Spain’s worst recession in 60 years.

    More at: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aXWVn3mlVH4c

  129. Essex says:

    128. I stopped being scared of money and debt and dollars years ago. I have ridden waves up and down. Our earnings have been consistent for 10 years….yet, we are finally getting around to really making concrete changes in consumption (doh!) My five year plan? Pay it down — live moderately. Spend quality time with the little one. And by 50 years old…be shredding in the snow on the alps for a couple of years.

  130. freedy says:

    look around on the streets of nj.

    a complete welfare state, getting worse
    by the day. wait till the REO’s get rolling

    think we have an falling tax base now?
    how will the muni’s handle that? raise
    taxes of course. and it will be all for
    the children. his not yours

  131. scribe says:

    From the WSJ:

    What Happens When Landlord Stops Paying the Mortgage?

    By JUNE FLETCHER

    Q: Three years ago, I began renting a brand-new house. I want to stay here. But there are a lot of foreclosures in the neighborhood, and some of my friends who are also renters have had to leave when their landlords stopped paying their mortgages. I’m scared this will happen to me. What should I do if it does?
    —Miami

    A: RealtyTrac.com has reported almost 430,000 foreclosure filings this year alone in Florida, so I understand your worries. But you have an added reason for concern: You live in a house that was built at the height of the housing boom. Home prices have declined precipitously since then. It’s quite possible that your landlord owes more than the house is worth. That heightens the temptation to stop paying the mortgage, and let the house revert to the bank.

    Should that happen to you, section 702 of a federal law that was passed in May, the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, allows you to stay until the end of your lease, plus an additional 90 days. However, if the new owner plans to occupy the house full-time, he can terminate your lease immediately and give you 90 days to find a new place. Similarly, you’ll have 90 days notice if you are on a month-to-month lease. (Unless it is extended, this new law will end on Dec. 31, 2012.)

    In order for you to enjoy this protection, however, you must be current on your rent. Unfair as it may seem when the landlord isn’t paying his bills, he still owns the property until it goes on the auction block. If you don’t pay what you owe, he can write to you giving you three business days to pay up or move. If you don’t, he can start legal action to evict you. If the court rules in his favor or you don’t respond to the lawsuit, you could be evicted within 24 hours.

    More here:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125449733612259627.html?mod=article-outset-box

  132. DL says:

    We used USAA to find us a buyer’s agent in Montgomery Co PA. They use Century 21. Have we already made our first mistake?

  133. Outofstater says:

    #133 I think you can trust USAA. I have always considered myself very fortunate that I am able to be one of their customers.

  134. HousingStorm says:

    What’s the real reason that banks aren’t foreclosing?

    Banks make more money by NOT foreclosing on homes. Banks are dragging out the foreclosure process for their own selfish reasons. Until the day they foreclose, the amount of money owed to them is an asset…sure, it’s an asset that isn’t paying interest payments…but it is still an asset. The day they foreclose, a $400,000 asset could become a $150,000 asset and a $250,000 loss.

    Multiply that loss by 10, 20, or even 30 times leverage and there are several million dollars worth of new loans that the bank can’t make.

    More here: http://housingstorm.com/2009/09/whats-the-real-reason-that-banks-arent-foreclosing/

  135. Shore Guy says:

    “Geithner Says Very Important to Have Strong Dollar”

    So, Timmy is all in favor of having a strong dollar. Heck, I am all in favor of having a romp in the hay with Sela Ward. I think we are both equally unlikely to achieve our desired end. Fortunately for the country, my failure to achieve my goal will not adversely affect the nation. Geithner and B.O.’s failur, on the other hand, hurts us all.

  136. Cindy says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEZFBozWg8E

    Shore @136 re B.O. failure…

    SNL skit – Obama accomplishments: Jack and Squat

  137. kettle1 says:

    Nothing to see here move on…

    Cities Too Poor To Bury Dead
    In morgues across the country the corpses of dead poor are stacking up as the the government runs out of money to bury them. State and county budgets for interring indigent and unclaimed bodies have been drying up faster than usual in the current economy, as more families are unable to come up with the money to lay their loved ones to rest. CNN’s Assignment Detroit project released a report Thursday detailing how 67 people lie in wait at the Wayne County morgue. Unemployment, at a staggering 28% in Detroit, prevents many from affording to provide their family members a final resting place, and Detroit’s $21,000 annual budget to bury unclaimed bodies ran out three months ago. More bodies are being left to the control of the state, who are having a harder time picking up the slack.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/01/cities-too-poor-to-bury-d_n_306702.html

  138. Shore Guy says:

    Cindy,

    For real they did that?

  139. Shore Guy says:

    “We just stack the bodies by the door”

  140. Shore Guy says:

    Ket,

    Bring out yer dead!

  141. Shore Guy says:

    Gary,

    Thanks for the gift of Sela. It fit perfectly.

  142. Clotpoll says:

    freedy (100)-

    Corzine is a lock to win. Look at all the betting sites.

  143. Clotpoll says:

    sx (122)-

    A lot of that generation only had the thought that it’d be good to make it off the beach in places like Normandy and Guadalcanal.

    “I can imagine that the Depression era folks had completely different ideas about “living” the good life as opposed to the borrow and spend generations that followed.”

  144. Clotpoll says:

    Oblivion calls.

  145. Clotpoll says:

    My Mom’s b-day is today. All she wanted to do was get stories from me about stuff I see…so that she can decide for herself whether this is worse than the 1930s depression.

  146. Clotpoll says:

    I tried to tell my Mom that this is a depression with WiFi, but it’s hard to get that concept through to a total Luddite.

  147. lostinny says:

    147 Clot
    Happy bday to your mom.

  148. yikes says:

    Essex says:
    October 4, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Education aint a bad place to be. You won’t get rich, but you will live a very consistent lifestyle.

    that’s my plan, sooner rather than later. plus, there’s the pension.

  149. Essex says:

    144. My grandmother was a Depression era woman whose own dad offed himself with a pistol due to his own economic disaster. She saved and didn’t blow any of her money eventually leaving enough for my dad to have a little breathing room in his own retirement. I was crazy about her. Tough minded but so supportive of the family. I remember her lament that somehow she hadn’t traveled like all of her east coast counterparts in the old folks home she lived in during her twilight years in Florida. And where were most of the people from who loved to regale her with stories of their world travels and gilded life…..yep…..New Jersey.

  150. yikes says:


    DL says:
    October 4, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    We used USAA to find us a buyer’s agent in Montgomery Co PA. They use Century 21. Have we already made our first mistake?

    No.
    1st mistake was Montgomery over Bucks.

  151. james says:

    Here come the militias again. Any of these in NJ?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5n0c9vM44x8

  152. Essex says:

    “….may you live in interesting times…”

    Amazing times really. I am fascinated with the whole thing, but it is tiring to me. I need to spend a couple of years overseas. I need a break from the crap over here.

  153. Shore Guy says:

    “Here come the militias again.”

    Just wait and see what happens if (when?) SCOTUS striks down state/city gun laws, the case is in their docket.

  154. kettle1 says:

    clot, bc

    i wonder if it has come to Beware the ides of March

    Last i checked i believe that the BLS is set to update their unemployment #’s to reflect the real data as opposed their Birth/death model. If they really do this it will easily put us over 10% U3 and 20% U6. the timing would actually fit nicely for a significant downturn in the market.

    batten the hatches!

  155. kettle1 says:

    shore:

    bull market in kevlar?

  156. veryapporia says:

    Hi People
    How are you doing?

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