Town Mergers – Elegant solution or are we the suckers?

From the APP:

Gov: Mergers can help towns save tax dollars

Gov. Chris Christie threw state support behind the successful effort to consolidate the Princetons into one town, but said he is not sure how many more town mergers are in the forecast.

“This has been an effort in the works since 1953,” Christie said of the merger of Princeton Township and Princeton Borough, which is expected to be complete within a year and will reduce the number of New Jersey municipalities to 565.

“In New Jersey, as you know, it’s slow and steady. We eventually got there,” he said.

Christie held a town hall meeting Tuesday at the Princeton Public Library, here in the borough, taking a victory lap two weeks after residents of the two towns approved a merger referendum.

A study commission said combining the governments would save more than $3.2 million mostly through elimination of redundant administration and services. Christie sweetened the pot with a proposal for the state to pay for first-year consolidation costs and allowing towns to spread other transition costs over five years.

There had been three failed previous efforts to consolidate the Princetons, most recently in 1996.

Christie, accompanied by Princeton Township Mayor Chad Goerner and Princeton Borough Council President Kevin Wilkes, told an audience of 150 people that merging towns is one way to achieve local government savings and “challenge the status quo.’’

But consolidation is not for everybody, Christie said, and added that it can be encouraged by the state, but should not be mandated.

“I think locally driven discussions are the only way to do it,” he said. “It’s a contentious and emotional issue for some and also a complicated one.”

Currently, there is little other formal movement toward connecting towns aside from proposed unions of tiny Merchantville and larger Cherry Hill, and of Scotch Plains and Fanwood.

This entry was posted in Economics, New Jersey Real Estate, Property Taxes. Bookmark the permalink.

155 Responses to Town Mergers – Elegant solution or are we the suckers?

  1. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  2. grim says:

    Sorry folks, but I think this is just plain idiocy.

    From the Star Ledger:

    N.J. Assembly panel passes bill requiring sprinkler systems in new homes

    Legislation to require sprinkler systems in new homes passed an Assembly panel today, but not before reigniting a debate about whether the safety measure would be worth the added cost amid a staggering economy.

    The bill (A3278) would direct the state Department of Community Affairs to withhold occupancy permits for new one- and two-family homes unless they are equipped with sprinkler systems similar to those required in hotels, dormitories and apartment buildings.

    “Sprinkler system have been protecting lives for 100 years throughout the United States,” Timothy Travers, a spokesman for the National Fire Protection Association, told the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee. “Building homes without fire sprinklers equates to building substandard housing.”

    Fire safety officials support the legislation, saying the systems have been proven to save lives and limit property damage caused by blazes. But opponents fear adding any additional costs to new home construction, an industry struggling to rebound after the recession.

    “Unfortunately, this bill adds thousands of dollars in costs to the housing that middle and modest income families are already struggling to afford,” Dominick Paragano, president of the New Jersey Builders Association, said in a statement opposing the bill.

    The Christie administration last year doused an effort to require the residential sprinklers when it chose not to implement the provision contained in the 2009 International Residential Code. Lori Grifa, head of Community Affairs, said the department was worried the requirement “might impede the recovery of the residential construction sector.”

  3. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim 2 Agree WTF, I can just see a small kitchen flare up covering a home with water.
    Fab Max you behind this one?

  4. grim says:

    I guess if it’s too dangerous for me to pump my own gas…

  5. grim says:

    I mean, if we are really talking about saving lives, requiring retrofit hardwired/interconnected smoke and heat detectors to be installed in *all* homes would make more sense to me (one goes off, they ALL go off!). Would never fly, I know.

  6. Mikeinwaiting says:

    If want sprinklers have them put in your home , nanny state horse crap.

  7. Mike says:

    A nice bright red fire extinguisher hanging by the doorways would look much better than looking at sprinkler heads.

  8. seif says:

    when i moved (rental) into my bergen county town from NYC 2 years ago it was hard to find any listings with a 4 or 5 handle…as of this morning 20 listings at $599K or less (all on the “lesser” sides of town…but its a start.

  9. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [1] grim – Next they’ll want all new homes to be handicap accessible and peanut free.

  10. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I meant [2] grim, but Mike should be aware also.

  11. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Expat, Grim to get a CO you need to have a fire extinguisher in kitchen like 5 ft from stove hanging on wall already. That was in 06 when I sold mine, could have not gone away only gets worse as with this new bull.

  12. Mikeinwaiting says:

    seif 8 just give it time. Sell, sell to whom, got demand.

  13. reinvestor101 says:

    If you short stocks, you should be hung from a damn tree as far as I’m concerned. You don’t do that when the damn stock market is struggling. This just like the damn vultures who want to pick the bones clean of home sellers. I can’t stand people like this and I don’t think that they should ever be given any damn publicity. They need to stand trial. Here’s a BBC interview of this punk Kyle Bass. Something needs to be done about people like him.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsCGI7s1SBg&feature=related

  14. Bocephus says:

    Are we suckers? Uh, Yeah.

  15. Fabius Maximus says:

    #3 Mike,

    Not totally against it.
    I see all these timberframe c/shacks full of toxic junk where a small kitchen fire will burn it to the ground. I come from a land where almost all houses are built of brick. So think of me as the third little pig saying if your going to build a house that will burn down if you so much as light a match, then sprinklers are not that bad an idea.

  16. grim says:

    She’s a brick … houuuuuuusseeeee.

  17. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim 16 thanks, now that song will be playing in my head all day.
    Fab 15 I should have known.

  18. Mikeinwaiting says:

    How does Shore put it “off to the salt mines”, later folks.

  19. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    maybe the should mandate all rooms be made of a rubberized compound with round edges also. It is for the children after all. wonder who was on the take from the national fire safety council for this one.

    Grim I’m already a sucker I got married, have kids on the way, and I’m stuck in this damn state because I choose to buy and support the cities at my expense. Other than that sure things are great

  20. gary says:

    seif [8],

    Which town are we talking about?

  21. Outofstater says:

    How much money could be saved if NJ had 21 school districts, 21 fire depts and 21 police depts?

  22. evildoc says:

    —–If you short stocks, you should be hung from a damn tree as far as I’m concerned. You don’t do that when the damn stock market is struggling. This just like the damn vultures who want to pick the bones clean of home sellers. I can’t stand people like this—-

    You are being facetious, right?

  23. JJ says:

    I find if funny all this fuss about people paying people to take their SATs in Great Neck and calling it cheating. Pretty much what is cheating?

    I had teachers in great neck who did tutoring on side? Is it no amazement to me my Spanish teacher who charged $40 bucks and hour for tuturing and went to his own students home to tutur them all got As, SAT tuturs who actually wrote SAT questions in past used to go to students houses for a fee, asian kids who enrol in five day a week massive study cram session classes, parents who become class Mom or head of PTA, Parents who are constently at the school arguing and bickering till teachers give better graders, parents who help children do homework, parents who spend a ton on stuff like PC, printers , oaktag paper etc so their kids projects look the best, how about Parent who gives best Xamas gift and end of year gift. In my book it is all cheating.

    Back in the day you went to school, came home did homework by yourself got whatever grade you got and that was it. Now what do grades mean? Nothing. The least productive workers are the micromanged A students who come to work where Mommy and Daddy cant help them any more. We are doing them no favors. Great Should go all Penn state and stop it all. Then maybe Moms don’t have to waste Thansgiving week “volunteering” to help prepare class party or risk the wrath of the teacher who not only controls kids grades but what teacher they get next year and if they go to special ed or advanced placement.

  24. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (23) JJ,

    It’s an arms race mentality, and it became prevalent under Clinton. I’m sure it existed before, on a smaller scale, but I saw it start to take off in the early 90’s.

  25. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    These town mergers won’t help in the near term, as each little fiefdom will take care of their own high-salaried employees. No Police Chiefs are going to be laid-off. No School Administrators are going to be fired.

    But it is absolutely necessary in the long run, as the current system is so inefficient that it can’t continue as it exists today. How many times have we read about towns having to issue bonds to cover the Sick Day Buy-Backs of retiring Police Brass ?? If these guys never get Sick, how come they need a Cadillac Healthcare plan ??

    I’d also like to know how Pennsylvania pays for their School Systems. I’m going to my BIL’s home for Thanksgiving…..I’m going to ask him. He has a big house on 2 acres with nice mountain views — and he pays less per year than I do per quarter. !!

  26. Fabius Maximus says:

    And on the sprinkler topic, just for you Grim.

    http://consumerist.com/2011/11/learn-thanksgiving-turkey-fryer-safety-with-william-shatner.html

    Happy Safe Thanksgiving.

  27. Happy Renter says:

    [15] “think of me as the third little pig saying if your going to build a house that will burn down if you so much as light a match, then sprinklers are not that bad an idea”

    The ease at which you and your ilk make the leap from “not a bad idea” to “mandated by the government” never ceases to amaze me.

  28. JJ says:

    People were doing it in the 70s and 80s in Great Neck too. But it was less about getting into Harvard or Yale as back then if you were a legacy or Dad gave a donation it was much easier to get in given a huge recession was underway and much less applied to those schools. But I know guys on the football team played to have people take it as they need a certain score to get into their college. Mind you they were hoping someone could break, 900, 1000 or 1100. They just wanted the min score need to get in with their scholorship. Also back then there was something called the NYS Regents Schlorship. Was something like 1,200 if you just scored a certain score on SAT. Easy money to pay someone $200 to take test and have said person get $1,200 you can even hit up the poorest students. I recall the football guy bragging I am taking SAT in Hawaii at very moment. He was telling whole class. We thought it was funny and he was dumb as a brick. But he needed 900 on his SATs in order to get into school he wanted to play football at. In reality the School, Football team and College backed him into a corner. Guy can’t get that score, test is mainly IQ focused, guy played or practiced football and went to school 7 days a week and was not smart. Was he supposed to ruin his whole life at 17 or just let his buddy take the test. His buddy was not smart or charged him. His buddy was just bright enough to get an average score. Football player said I need 900 but keep it under 1,000 as he did not want to set off red flags. Big freeking deal.
    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    November 23, 2011 at 9:21 am
    (23) JJ,

    It’s an arms race mentality, and it became prevalent under Clinton. I’m sure it existed before, on a smaller scale, but I saw it start to take off in the early 90′s.

  29. Shore Guy says:

    I would suggest that town mergers should be done in odd numbers, say three towns at a time. Then take the mayors of the towns and convert them into the merged town’s council and let the council elect a weak mayor, for a term of two years, just to get the ball rolling. Thereafter, the mayor would be elected by the residents.

  30. Shore Guy says:

    “the leap from ‘not a bad idea’ to ‘mandated by the government'”

    There are a whole lot of things that are good for us, that government has no business mandating: eating five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, for instance.

  31. Shore Guy says:

    I’dd like to buy back a comma.

  32. Shore Guy says:

    And a d

  33. hughesrep says:

    OT.

    Last day at my current gig.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that they are not coming through with the two months of vehicle allowance they owe me. It’s only about $1300, but it is still mine.

    Besides a baseball bat what recourse do I have if this drags out past a month? Small claims?

    I’m sure they expense it in the current month. They’ve been behind on them, my September check was dated 9/1 but physically handed to me in November.

  34. Shore Guy says:

    What were the odds that putting foods in constant contact with a plasticizer could possibly lead to problems? I am shocked. Shocked!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-15834072

  35. Shore Guy says:

    Hughes,

    As it is compensation for employment, the Department of Labor may also be appropriate.

  36. Fabius Maximus says:

    #27 Happy

    Me and my “ilk” get annoyed that we have to rely on gvmt mandates to protect us from the greedy and stupid, that interject themselves into our lives by their actions.

  37. JCer says:

    Merging towns is a toughie, but I’ll say this most of suburban Bergen county could get by with a county police force and that would be a savings, fewer chiefs, detectives, etc. what is needed to protect suburbia is beat cops. There is no need for all of the overhead in each tiny little town, also 100k plus cops to patrol Ridgewood or Saddle River is insane, Newark cops take 40k a year and there is a good probability they’ll get shot, why should a cush job rolling around suburbia making sure kids aren’t being a menace and making sure the “Wrong” element isn’t hanging around. In lower crime areas going to a regional police force makes tons of sense, merging towns is one thing, shared services are another, cuts can be made, costs can be brought under control, and the tax payer won’t notice anything different. Unfortunately that’s not how government works, I hear from a green govt employee I know, that when cuts are made it is never the bloated and overpaid, it is always the lowest paid, most productive or important people. Simply put the government wants to punish the tax payer when cuts are made, it is disgusting, our local governments do everything to dissuade efficiency and promote the bloated government gravy train. The unions must be broken as they perpetuate this, also the most productive employees are usually not in the union and are compensated very poorly comparatively. I also heard from said govt worker that it was suggested forcefully that certain campaign contributions be made, because if this person didn’t they’d look “bad” in the eyes of their superiors. I’ve also heard about having to babysit someone who was given a job because they were related to the powers that be in this town and the person barely shows up, sleeps on the job but because they are so and so’s cousin they are totally safe from reprimand. Our municipalities still operate like AC in Boardwalk Empire, that show is like their playbook, and what’s scary is most people are oblivious to this.

  38. Fabius Maximus says:

    Shore,

    A school lunch mandate would not be required if the districts and the food suppliers could put up a reasonably healthy meal that met basic nutritional needs. Instead we have to fight the corn sugar lobby, transfat lobby, soda lobby, french fry lobby etc etc etc

  39. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I wonder if the writers that penned Chris Matthews latest ad for MSNBC intended for the end of his narrative to be a paraphrase of “from each according to his abilities” that we all remember from our studies of Marx.

    Not surprised; just curious if it was intentional.

  40. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Wow. Not only do the GE channels cover the turkey pardoning live (such a newsworthy event), the Messiah said he was going to “give them a little symbol” and actually made the papal-styled sign of the cross over them when dispensing the pardons.

    Trying to revive the hero worship, I guess.

  41. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (36) fabius,

    that’s all well and good for you, but what about those of us who are smart enough to see through the greedy and stupid? ;-) Why should we have to live a bubble wrapped life?

  42. JJ says:

    But fun part is they still eat turkey in the white house except once cameras stop rolling they just cut off anohter turkeys head

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    November 23, 2011 at 10:49 am
    Wow. Not only do the GE channels cover the turkey pardoning live (such a newsworthy event), the Messiah said he was going to “give them a little symbol” and actually made the papal-styled sign of the cross over them when dispensing the pardons.

    Trying to revive the hero worship, I guess.

  43. Happy Renter says:

    [39] “A school lunch mandate would not be required if the districts and the food suppliers could put up a reasonably healthy meal that met basic nutritional needs.”

    “Food suppliers” — previously known as “parents.”

    Double plus good logic there, Fab. I see a bright future for you in the Ministry of Food Supply.

  44. ricky_nu says:

    so when does this sprinkler law go into effect? what if I am in the middle of building a home (no C of O yet), do I have to tear down ceilings to put this stuff in?

  45. ricky_nu says:

    oh wait – if you can afford to build a new home, you can afford it.

  46. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (44) renter,

    I appreciate fabius’ suggestion that parents have abdicate that responsibility, but he also suggests that they have been intentionally duped, a common refrain from the nanny statists who seek to impose their “enlightened” views upon us under the guise of “knowing better.”

    People criticize McDonald’s for selling fatty foods and/or not selling enough healthy foods, but never think to ask if people want them. Indeed, there are those on the left that openly call for such temptations to be removed because, by their own admission, they are too stupid or weak.

    I suggest we revive the intelligence tests so reviled for voter suppression and retask them. Those that pass get into bars, restaurants, cigar stores, gun shops and casinos. Those that don’t must stay out. But we all know that the same people who push the nanny state would kill that bill in a New York minute.

  47. Juice Box says:

    German bond market imploded.

    I wonder if Bernake will call the Germans and tell them he cannot buy their gold since it is not money?

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/23/markets/gold_eurozone/

  48. 1987 Condo Buyer says:

    #25, Penna towns and municipalities can levy an income tax in addition to the property tax to pay for schools.

  49. JJ says:

    You my sir have gone one step too far and if it was the 1800’s we would be dueling. If stupid and guilable girls who have a tendency to drink too much are prohibitted from getting into bars what is the purpose of bars? If fact 99% of my best nights in a nightclub involved one or more drunk guliable women, like the time my friend put johnsons baby powder on end of nose so girls thought he had coke. Or time he took them for a ride in “his” Ferrari parked out front only to realize he lost keys to his car that also contained his house keys. Girl actually was looking under car for keys and trying all the doors. I can imagine a bar full of Sheldon type girls when we all want Snookie like girls. Oh the horrow. Might as well bring back Borders books stores where we can read oversized art history books with a fancy pants coffee drink while he check out the Vlema looking girls.

    “I suggest we revive the intelligence tests so reviled for voter suppression and retask them. Those that pass get into bars, restaurants, cigar stores, gun shops and casinos”.

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    November 23, 2011 at 11:14 am

  50. JJ says:

    Lots of sour Krouts over there.

    Juice Box says:
    November 23, 2011 at 11:15 am
    German bond market imploded.

    I wonder if Bernake will call the Germans and tell them he cannot buy their gold since it is not money?

  51. Shore Guy says:

    “if you can afford to build a new home, you can afford it.”

    Not only that, you can afford to pay to put the systems in several other families’ homes as well. After all, it is only fair.

  52. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (51) JJ,

    Surely you don’t suggest that the Ultimate Male needs help in procuring an endless supply of willing beaver???

    As for dueling, Weehawken is nearby, and the gunshot probably won’t be noticed. Pistols at dawn? I’ll let you borrow one of mine.

    Clot, will you second?

  53. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    CNBC all over Euroland right now. Carlos visibly panicked.

  54. Fabius Maximus says:

    #42 Nom
    I forgot that you are the all seeing eye that can see all wrong doing. Me as a mere mortal rely on that regulation that forces my water company to send me a letter informing me that the lead levels have spiked in my tap water.
    I find it funny that doing the right thing in a corporation is actually illegal. It can only be done if its to meet a regulation standard or in defense of the brand. Otherwise the costs of lawsuits and settlements must be factored against maximising shareholder value. Does McD care about obesity rates if it does not impact shareholder value.

  55. Fabius Maximus says:

    #44 Happy

    Parents as provider is a good point, but should there be s realistic expextation that a district is looking out for the best interests of the kids and not the cheapest level of service.

    Thee food supplier debate is too big for a post and is more a GTG topic.

    On that subject anyone up for a holiday GTG. I’ll suggest Hoboken.

  56. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    That imbecile Chris Matthews probably thinks he’s quoting a Bible verse.

    I saw on Drudge earlier in the week, he says “he’s heard things about O’bama that you wouldn’t believe”

    Mr. Tingles, if it’s coming out of your mouth, you’re right…..I wouldn’t believe it.

  57. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    Nom unless JJ is shooting with his wanker at short distance, I think you may have him bested before entering the dueling field

  58. Fabius Maximus says:

    #54 nom

    Do I have to remind you that for you to duel, your weapon has to match your wit … :*)
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B002XK2MCO/ref=redir_mdp_mobile

  59. Juice Box says:

    JJ – tendency to drink too much & Snooki type

    I had to carry one drunk and knocked out Snooki type girl out of The Limelight one night. She wore a necklace that should only be taken out for weddings and got rolled in the ladies bathroom. Only reason I even bothered to end my night early and carry her out was the fact that she was only 16 and I was dating her older sister. Should have seen the look on Mom and Dads face when I carried her over my shoulder through the front door. Dad also was a mid-level “associate” in the local social club and I really was worried about starting my car for quite a while after that episode. I swore off the Snooki types after a few more drama sessions with others, it became really tiresome having all of their Joey type old boyfriends coming after me. Besides the women in NYC are so diverse why only date one type?

  60. gary says:

    Does McD care about obesity rates if it does not impact shareholder value.

    If it doesn’t impact shareholder value, who gives a flying f*ck. Perhaps the fat f*cks should realize that exercise, fruits and vegetables should counter the occasional fast food indulgence. It’s called common sense and if one is too stup1d to know when to stop stuffing ones face with fried sh1t, then let the ivory tower charlatans take care of the zombies out of their own pockets.

  61. JCer says:

    The issue with the govt is that they mandate sprinklers to protect us, something that costs money, there was probably some lobbying in place for this. But rather than forcing companies to really label what’s in our food and push to ban harmful food ingredients, that would be a benefit don’t tell me what to eat, tell me what I am eating. The problem is the pigs at the statehouse are looking at our wallets, instead of looking out for our best interests.

  62. speedkillsu says:

    lordy a bill like this will kill the market for people who take out fire insurance on one’s neighbor house …

  63. Juice Box says:

    Bloomberg must be running for president. You don’t end up at Rikers because you were jaywalking. So these illegals get arrested the charges are dropped and then the City won’t cooperate with ICE if they have no previous criminal record? How the F did they end up getting arrested in the first place. Basically this adds another 13k illegals with arrest records to the streets of NY every year.

    http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/wnyc-news-blog/2011/nov/22/city-limits-cooperation-ice-rikers/

  64. Nicholas says:

    I’m with you guys in the “don’t mandate me to have sprinklers” but I think that there are other sides to the argument. I think here in Maryland we have some of those same laws that require sprinklers, GFIs on kitchen and bathroom circuits, and other goofy regulation that seems to be a tax to the home owner.

    I think that the primary reason why they are requiring these on homes is two fold. Stupid people do stupid things and injure themselves and others. It isn’t my home that I’m worried about it is the neighbors home that is going to go up in a roaring flame and catch my house on fire. The second is that there are unscrupulous people in this world that will and have burned down their own homes to collect insurance money.

    If you think that this doesn’t affect you try taking another look at your insurance rates. You pay for other people’s stupidity, carelessness and misbehavior through higher insurance rates. A small side effect would be a drop in insurance rates.

    With that said, I think that sprinkler systems on single family homes that don’t pose a fire contagion hazard with other near by homes is not appropriate. Those resources could be better spent.

  65. JJ says:

    The guy who owns Sabrett hotdogs who ate hotdogs five days a week just died at the age of 86! Hotdogs are good for you!

    NORWOOD, N.J. (AP) — Gregory Papalexis, whose Sabrett hot dogs have become a part of the New York City experience, has died. He was 86.

    Papalexis was president, CEO and chairman of Englewood-based Marathon Enterprises, a supplier of hot dogs, buns, onion sauce and other products, and the owner of the Sabrett trademark.

    He died Friday in Rockleigh, N.J., according to the Barrett Funeral Home in Tenafly, N.J., which is handling arrangements.

    His son-in-law, Mark Rosen, Marathon Enterprises’ vice president of sales, told The Record of Bergen County that Papalexis was “the single biggest hot dog lover in the world.”

    And Papalexis, who retired two years ago, practiced what he preached: He ate Sabrett hot dogs four or five days a week, relatives said. Mark Rosen said franks-and-beans casserole was part of the Papalexis family’s Christmas table each year.

    gary says:
    November 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm
    Does McD care about obesity rates if it does not impact shareholder value.

    If it doesn’t impact shareholder value, who gives a flying f*ck. Perhaps the fat f*cks should realize that exercise, fruits and vegetables should counter the occasional fast food indulgence. It’s called common sense and if one is too stup1d to know when to stop stuffing ones face with fried sh1t, then let the ivory tower charlatans take care of the zombies out of their own pockets.

  66. House Whine says:

    Eating healthy isn’t anything but common sense. Buy yourself some bananas or some apples, even that pre-cut salad stuff in a bag. Add some baby carrots and cut up one more veggie. Buy a pre-cooked chicken or just add a hard-boiled egg and throw it in your salad.
    Open a can of black beans, red beans, etc. throw that in too. No excuses for not eating veggies cause you have to time to shop for fresh. Frozen are picked at their peak and are healthy as long as you don’t overcook them. Put down the useless snacks and take a walk instead. It ain’t rocket science and even a grade-schooler can figure it out. We don’t need more studies sponsored by the gov’t to tell us what to eat, do we?

  67. JJ says:

    I get my exercise dancing on the graves of healthy people.

  68. JJ says:

    Hard to believe PMI only filed for BK today, thought it should have been three years ago.

  69. make money says:

    JJ[70],

    “Capitalism without bankruptsy is like Christianiuty without Hell.”

    Kyle Bass

  70. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Outofstater, if yourethe going toto propose that craziness, let’s just gut all and go top down federal. That oughta fix property taxes. Right?

    “How much money could be saved if NJ had 21 school districts, 21 fire depts and 21 police depts?”

  71. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Its amazing to me that we all of the sudden have too many municipalities. Let’s completely overlook $120k police salaries in towns with no crime and $400k superintendents in schools where students are already smart.

  72. Fabius Maximus says:

    #66 Nicholas

    That is a fairly good summation of the issues. Nothing like your neighbors burning your house to the ground.

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/12/more_than_100_left_homeless_af.html

  73. chicagofinance says:

    Function of too many municipalities. Treat the cause; do not focus on the symptoms….

    Neanderthal Economist says:
    November 23, 2011 at 5:53 pm
    Its amazing to me that we all of the sudden have too many municipalities. Let’s completely overlook $120k police salaries in towns with no crime and $400k superintendents in schools where students are already smart.

  74. Outofstater says:

    #72 Laughing! I just asked a question I’ve always wondered about. There are other places in the country that do things differently and they manage to have good schools and low property taxes. Perhaps NJ could do the same. Or not. Sometimes I think that people convince themselves that NJ is a wonderful and special place because they pay so much for the privilege of living there. If you like it and are willing to pay for it, that’s great. I’m just suggesting that there are other options for the state.

  75. cobbler says:

    Most of the “regionalization” savings (without losing the local control over schools) can be achieved if a statewide curriculum is developed and implemented. A bunch of high-paid staffers doing this job in each district could thus be sent to something more productive – I guess statewide something close to $200 mln can be saved. Once it is done, the districts can centralize/privatize payroll and maintenance – and concentrate on things that are best done locally.

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  77. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (60) fabius,

    Fishers scissors are sharp enough. I could perform surgery with those. As I could with my 9mm.

    I won’t say if my wit is sharp. That is for the assembled to decide. As I frequently tell those with whom I argue, I don’t have to convince you, I just have to convince the guy in the black robe.

  78. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Fiskars even. Android kept telling me it knew better. Must’ve been programmed by a liberal.

  79. Theo says:

    The McDonald’s argument is bs. In the free market, I have the choice whether or not to take my daughter to Burger King or Smashburger, but once I decide to send her to school on a meal plan or with some money in her pocket, she is captive the the school cafeteria. I don’t think it’s asking took much to ask they they not serve her crap.

  80. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (81) theo,

    Or you could not opt for the meal plan.

  81. plume (54)-

    How could I pass on a chance to be part of a pistol duel?

    “Clot, will you second?”

  82. I think the sport of dueling used to be sponsored by the makers of corn whiskey.

    Again, how can I turn my back on such an opportunity?

  83. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    The McDonald’s argument is bs. In the free market, I have the choice whether or not to take my daughter to Burger King or Smashburger, but once I decide to send her to school on a meal plan or with some money in her pocket, she is captive the the school cafeteria. I don’t think it’s asking took much to ask they they not serve her crap. lu

    got lunch box?

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  85. NjescaPee says:

    Hey NJRER! Happy Thanksgiving!

  86. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Happy Thanksgiving. Now what’s with all the leaf blowers at 8 in the morning on Thanksgiving?

  87. chicagofinance says:

    Where’s Mike with Happy Thanksgiving New Jersey? :(

  88. Mike says:

    Sorry for the late greeting Chigago, slept late for a change. HAPPY THANKSGIVING NEW JERSEY!

  89. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to all ! Grim must be knee deep preparing for his 40 guest, the joys of home ownership.

  90. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Nom 88 Been up since 530 but you got to be kidding me, nice quiet morn with wife before we wake the kids. Those guys need a beaten.

  91. Fabius Maximu says:

    Lets celebrate the time time the Pligrims came to Occupy America!

  92. Fabius maximus says:

    Lets celebarate the time the Pilgrims came to Occupy America.

    Don’t forget to throw your local foodbank a few bones.
    http://www.njfoodbank.org

  93. Fabius maximus says:

    This tablet’s going into the garbage. Time for a new laptop,

  94. Juice Box says:

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!.

    My contribution to our family gather this year is this
    masterpiece of a cheesecake.

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Double-Decker-Raspberry-and-White-Chocolate-Cheesecake-104844

  95. cobbler says:

    Yeah, the cat woke us up very loudly demanding turkey liver.

  96. NJCoast says:

    Thanks Grim for the food for thought.

  97. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Got to dinner and told BIL from the UK that my daughter and I were Geordies now. He replied “I won’t hold that against you.”

    At least he isn’t a Gooner.

  98. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (92) Mike

    No kidding. Heard them all morning, and later saw a crew with its equipment working my street.

    Guess the holiday means less with so many here whose background never included the uniquely American holiday.

  99. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (93) fabius,

    Does it gall you that this country was founded by right wing religious zealots and tax cheats?

  100. cobbler says:

    nom [101]
    If we are talking Pilgrims, they’d rather been left-wing religious zealots…

  101. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (102) cobbler,

    Really? News to those of us that grew up in the old Mass an Plymouth Bay Colonies. Purity society was conservative and functioned as a theocracy. In fact, Rhode Island was formed as the liberal alternative to the Puritans.

    You must be thinking of the Penns.

  102. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Chi, not at all. This is a problem in all union states across the country, not just nj. I heard of one ny county on long island just gave all of their unions contracts with 5% per year raises for the next five years. According to your logic they should merge with Suffolk to solve the spending problem.
    “chicagofinance says:
    Function of too many municipalities. Treat the cause; do not focus on the symptoms….”

  103. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Outofstater, nj is a highly desireable state because of the demographics and access to professional jobs, which enable us to bloat out the local govts without all the property tax payers leaving. western pa townships dont choose to keep property taxes low. The toothless residents simply can’t pay more so the schools and towns are forced to live within their means. Im not arguing against consolidation by any means but you can only take it so far if you want to keep govt small. Plus, larger govt is necessarily more efficient. But im surprised that everyone is so supportive that towns will literally dissolve themselves into consolidation to avoid addressing the elephant in room, 120k police and $300k superintendent salaries

  104. Neanderthal Economist says:

    In fact one can argue that more municipalities is free market capitalism, since residents have more choices and can decide what govt structure to support by moving to that community.

  105. Shore Guy says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  106. cobbler says:

    nom [103]
    Actually, I’ve been thinking of the Pilgrims of the Mayflower and Thanksgiving fame, as opposed to somewhat later Puritans. Some soporific reading on the distinctions between the groups can be found here: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~cap/puritan/purhist.html . The Pilgrims had been pretty egalitarian…

  107. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (108) cobbler,

    I will look at that sometime. As for egalitarian structure, I don’t know that a flat hierarchy is indicative of political philosophy. Also, it may have been a function of necessity, i.e. survival.

  108. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (109) cobbler,

    Whether a euro style economy works here remains to be seen. I can tell you that it is incompatible with our current constitutional form of government, and some freedoms will have to go.

  109. cobbler says:

    nom [111]
    To me, the piece is somewhat naive however something to think about. In the globalized world the only way to long-term retain the median person’s quality of life level in this country above the world’s average is protectionism. Depending on how it is implemented, the result can be anything from the geographically restricted but otherwise free market (equal and high tariff on anything imported), to quasi-socialist society (no tariff, but government controls such a large part of the economy that its “buy American” policy works as an effective tariff). Once we are there, a discussion can be had on what to do with the excess labor. Methinks if we switch to a single-payer healthcare system and reasonable higher education there will be a lot of people happy to trade proportionately lower pay for more time off.

  110. Fabius maximus says:

    #101 Nom

    Why would it gall me. I do find it funny that 400 years later that description still holds.

  111. Fabius maximus says:

    Note to Niners.

    West coast offense should negate blitz and pass rush!

  112. Fabius maximus says:

    #110

    “I will look at that sometime”

    This is Nomspeak for “Hmm, maybe you have a point there I can’t defend. Let me punt and hope they don’t come back to it … :*)

  113. Thanks for the good work. Especially the New Jersey Real Estate Report.

  114. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (115) fabs,

    Or it could be nomspeak for I ain’t reading this on a phone late at night. Further, I ain’t commenting until I actually know what I’m commenting on.

    Ordinarily I don’t reply to your rhetorical mashups, like your previous one, but here I’m making an exception.

  115. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (115) fabius,

    You do realize that you are likely contradicting yourself in 113 and 115, or did you not follow cobbler’s implied argument?

  116. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (112) cobbler

    I’ve been saying here for some time that our only way out is protectionism, odious as that might be. And the unspoken point of the article is that even that might not be enough so we need more of a Luddite mentality.

    The solution per you and the author is much more government in the form of more services, both to nationalize two industries, and expand government’s largest industry. If you think the NJEA is powerful now, just wait.

    My take is that there would still be class divisions, and that those lines will actually harden. There would be an overall realignment in the standard of living because of higher prices on some things, lower prices on others, and generally higher taxes cuz some of those unpatriotic rich likely aren’t going to stick around, and will instead decamp to an American version of Monaco. At a minimum, we will be rid of Blankfein.

    American exceptionalism will finally be a memory and as a society in the industrialized west, we will have reverted to the mean. Get used to awful service, regular strikes, high taxes, and governance that borders on a Stasi police state, enforcing everything from taxes to a ban on dodgeball and verbal insults.

  117. gary says:

    American exceptionalism will finally be a memory and as a society in the industrialized west, we will have reverted to the mean. Get used to awful service, regular strikes, high taxes, and governance that borders on a Stasi police state, enforcing everything from taxes to a ban on dodgeball and verbal insults.

    Oblama is working hard to make it happen!

  118. The end is nigh. Smoke ’em if you got ’em.

  119. Extinction before recovery.

  120. Young Buck says:

    Real estate moguls in the making

    These real estate investors are buying up properties as fast as they can, taking advantage of rock-bottom prices (and mortgage rates) with the knowledge that the markets have to recover at some point. While they wait, they’re making a pretty nice return on their investments as landlords.

    http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/real_estate/1111/gallery.investors/

  121. cobbler says:

    nom [119]
    I am actually more optimistic than you here… We are not Singapore that can only exist in a fully globalized system; U.S. as a country is big enough to prosper with the economic borders largely closed. We will always export enough ag commodities, jets and military hardware to buy what we are unable to produce here.
    So, from the two protectionist routes I’d much rather take the open one, rather than set it up via clumsy govt buying power; and I am not of the same mind as an op-ed author, btw. We should realize though that very large part of the currently existing private sector white-collar jobs do not add any real value – so arguably, hiring more teachers (maybe at a lower rate than today) and paying people $12/hr directly from the budget to remove graffitti is not such a bad idea.

  122. Milagros says:

    Hey this is kinda of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  123. JCer says:

    I still think stealth protectionism is the best avenue, as the Asian countries develop and the energy costs rise, manufacturing in the USA will not be at as much a disadvantage as in the past. My thought is somethings will simply never really be made here and we can put a sales tax on said items and use that to promote local manufacturing. We could reduce consumerism on the low-end(a 5% sales tax is nothing to the wealthy) in the US with a nominal tax on non-consumable items, with exceptions for large items like cars and boats/yachts as they arguably are productive for the American economy(they provide a lot of local jobs). Also maybe an increased port tax to fund capital improvements could assist. We need to in small ways ding chinese imports to make domestically produced goods more competitive. Right now we are not playing a free market game, how can a US manufacturer exist when the Chinese basically dictate their prices unrelated to the real cost? The more efficient producer is losing and giving up, this is the opposite of free market. The europeans are doing stealth protectionism and it is working, they have far less in the way of Chinese imports. We should be following suit.

  124. yo says:

    Fox shows a business owner has a sign “Not hiring until Obama is gone” Are they for real?This guy should have just said business sucks not hiring.If this guy is over loaded to capacity,are you going to tell me he his not going to hire.He will start loosing business.Demand is what keep the business and hiring goes with that.

  125. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (125) cobbler,

    Not sure it would be enough to make a difference. Either hard protectionism or wage and cost deflation (hurts less when we spend less) would work, but both are bitter pills.

    There will also be soak the rich taxes but how they are structure determines whether they work. I think going after carried interest is safe.

  126. Confused in NJ says:

    122.There Went Meat says:
    November 25, 2011 at 10:24 am
    The end is nigh. Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em

    Bloomberg keeps a pack of Camels in his desk for “End of Days”.

  127. Bloomberg should make sure he has a fresh lighter next to those Camels.

  128. cobbler says:

    nom [129]
    In any case, I don’t think any of these changes may happen before 2017 or even 2021 – and by then we quite feasibly may slide into the situation when they will be too late. So far, we are in a hole, and we continue digging.

  129. It’s all over, but the crying.

    It is the end of days.

  130. Have no fear. Sarkozy, Merkel and that crazy bitch, Lagarde, will save Eurp.

    Uh, yeah.

  131. yo says:

    If the EU just forget about the stupid 2% inflation target and let the ECB guarantee the loans.Hard headed Merkel

  132. yo (136)-

    They just need to let Lagarde spin the presses like the Bernank.

  133. Debase, then default.

    There will be no other outcome. No other outcome is possible.

    16th century, here we come.

  134. ECB should buy all sovereign debt of failing periphery and hold it on their balance sheet, marked at par.

    Yeah; that’s the ticket.

  135. yo says:

    Meat,it is exactly what the bond vigilantes are looking for

    There Went Meat says:
    November 25, 2011 at 8:48 pm
    yo (136)-

    They just need to let Lagarde spin the presses like the Bernank.

  136. yo says:

    Austerity=no growth=decrease in GDP=downgrade of rating agency.

    Merkel should start looking at keynes

  137. yo says:

    Bondholders just wants to get paid.They don’t care if it is a useless,no value piece of paper

  138. cobbler says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/26/opinion/the-death-of-the-fringe-suburb.html?hpw

    …Over all, only 12 percent of future homebuyers want the drivable suburban-fringe houses that are in such oversupply, according to the Realtors survey. This lack of demand all but guarantees continued price declines. Boomers selling their fringe housing will only add to the glut. Nothing the federal government can do will reverse this.

    Many drivable-fringe house prices are now below replacement value, meaning the land under the house has no value and the sticks and bricks are worth less than they would cost to replace. This means there is no financial incentive to maintain the house; the next dollar invested will not be recouped upon resale. Many of these houses will be converted to rentals, which are rarely as well maintained as owner-occupied housing. Add the fact that the houses were built with cheap materials and methods to begin with, and you see why many fringe suburbs are turning into slums, with abandoned housing and rising crime…

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  140. morpheus says:

    143: “It was predominantly the collapse of the car-dependent suburban fringe that caused the mortgage collapse.”—WTF? so no money down, liar loans and overpriced housing didn’t cause the mortgage collapse? Am I reading this wrong? what an ass****.

    BTW…closing very soon.

  141. NjescaPee says:

    Plan to meet with a realtor today @ 10 am to look at a few condos up near Ft Lauderdale.

  142. cobbler says:

    morpheus [145]
    Overbuilding that went hand in hand with ridiculous mortgages certainly contributed a lot to the RE implosion; we still have several million houses too many. And huge majority of the overbuilding took place in the outer suburbs. Pricing as such was more of an inducer of the buying frenzy (buy now or be priced out forever), if the lending was prudent and the builders were restrained, we’d now have a price drop but no crisis.

  143. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim must be in the recuperation mode after the Thanksgiving 40 plus crowd.

  144. Jill says:

    Milagros: If you start out with Blogger you can use their templates and just plug in widgets. No coding required. Of course it helps to know some coding to tweak things, but with Blogger you don’t need it.

  145. chicagofinance says:

    How to capture the Holiday 2011 Real Estate Zeitgeist…….

    Home builder Lennar, based in Miami, is pitching multigenerational “homes within a home” designed to accommodate both children and aging parents. The “Next Gen” dwellings include a private living area, bathroom and bedroom, as well as a separate entrance. On its website, Lennar says the homes, which it began marketing in September, can “comfortably accommodate…kids who’ve returned home.” Other builders such as PulteGroup and KB Home also are marketing houses geared to multiple generations.

  146. Magpies split the points with Man U! All 11 were in our box for the last 5 minutes, but we pulled it out. Gutierrez getting sent off won’t help us next week vs. Chelsea.

    Best result of the day was the Arsene Wankers drawn by Martin Jol and his Fulham fools. The pregame shows were all barking about how the Wankers are back, so it was baked in the cake that they’d shit a brick today.

  147. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Timmay getting some love from the US Tax Court and taxprofblog.

    http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2011/11/for-first-time.html

  148. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [151] meat,

    Good result. I was traveling, but FSC doesn’t have any love for Toon so I would have been home cheering for Fulham.

    Still, that’s the second game in a row that the Magpies averted loss or draw with some divine intervention. Can’t rely on help forever.

  149. Bocephus says:

    150. If it has a bidet then I am sold.

  150. plume (153)-

    We can rely on luck all the way to a Champions League spot.

    God owes us for 1996.

Comments are closed.