Not all rainbows and butterflies in Rentville

From the Boston Globe:

Do renters have it tougher?

Home buyers and owners have certainly faced their share of misery over the past decade.

And the return of escalating home prices is fast undoing any minor increase in affordability created after the real estate market – and the world economy – tanked back in 2008.

But all is not well in Renter Nation either.

No, it’s not the happy land of footloose and fancy free Millennial types we have all been hearing about, who are choosing to rent because it fits their evolving, earth friendly lifestyles.

What hogwash.

Rather, renters across the country are increasingly finding themselves cash strapped, having to devote ever greater amounts of shrinking or stagnant paychecks just to keep a roof over their heads.

So says the Harvard Joint Center on Housing Studies in a new report just out this morning.

Adjusted for inflation, rents nationally have risen by 6 percent over the past decade. Meanwhile, renters have seen their incomes plunge during the same period by an ugly 13 percent, the Harvard study finds.

“The gravity of the situation for the large proportion of renters spending so much of their incomes on housing is plain,” said Eric Belsky,

managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, in a press statement. “We are losing ground rapidly against a chronic problem that forces households to cut essential spending.”

More than half of all renters across the country now shell out more than 30 percent of their income to their landlords, thrusting them into the land of the so-called “rent burdened.”

This entry was posted in Demographics, Economics, National Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

144 Responses to Not all rainbows and butterflies in Rentville

  1. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Harvard Study Finds: The Rent Is too Damn High

    If you can’t afford to own, you can rent. But what if you can’t afford to rent, either? Millions of Americans are in precisely that situation, according to a study released today by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The availability of apartments, especially cheaper ones, hasn’t nearly kept up with demand, and the problem has worsened since the 2007-09 recession, the study says.

    “In 1960, about one in four renters paid more than 30 percent of income for housing. Today, one in two are cost burdened,” according to the study, America’s Rental Housing.

    “Cost-burdened” means you’re paying more than 30 percent of income for housing and “severely cost-burdened” means you’re paying more than half. “By 2011, 28 percent of renters paid more than half their incomes for housing, bringing the number with severe cost burdens up by 2.5 million in just four years, to 11.3 million,” according to the Harvard study, which was conducted with partial funding from the MacArthur Foundation.

    The boom in housing prices made ownership unaffordable for many families, and the subsequent bust forced others into foreclosure. You would think that all of those foreclosed homes would make great rental properties, and they have. “Remarkably,” though, the study says, “soaring demand was more than enough to absorb the 2.7 million single-family homes that flooded into the rental market after 2007.”

    The result of the spike in rental demand is a seller’s market: “From a record high of 10.6 percent in 2009, the vacancy rate turned down in 2010 and has continued to slide, averaging 8.4 percent in the first three quarters of 2013.”

  2. grim says:

    Trulia’s price and rent monitor had the NY Metro’s asking rent up 2.8% YOY in October, putting the median rent on a 2br at $3,150 (again, this is the full NY metro), second most expensive rental market in the US – SF coming in only slightly higher.

  3. Street Justice says:

    One of the remaining advantages of renting is better mobility. Really, I think if you’re moving somewhere, you have to be open to renting or owning depending upon the neighborhood and your plans for the future.

  4. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    fourthst

  5. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [1] There’s another exacerbating factor, I believe. Not only is rent going up while income is going down, but my guess would be that fewer early 20-somethings are in a position to (or choose to) rent compared to the recent past. I don’t have a recollection of any of my college friends moving home for any longer than a single summer post-graduation. I fear it is now completely the opposite situation, where 21 year-olds not attending college are more likely to be found living in their parent’s house. I guess it would be nice to know the median age of renters and how that stat has moved over time.

  6. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    The 30% of income is a meaningless figure in New York City.

    But could be very meaningful outside NYC

    Meaning, parts of county folks rent houses or condos and tenants have heat, gas and water bills. Plus car payments, transportation etc. And lower incomes.

    A person in NYC making 6k a month take home after taxes who is single living in a luxury 3k apartment can easily do it. After rent, you have wifi, electric, metrocard some food.

    Make 2k a month and spend 1k on rent a nightmare

    .

  7. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Daytime TV ads – When I was a kid it seemed like daytime (and late night) TV was chock full of commercials hawking industrial schools. Truck-driving, Refrigeration repair, Auto repair, DeVry electrical etc. All these ads targeting those sitting at home without income. I think the demographic is still strong, but the ads appealing to the modern-day unemployed seem to revolve on suing your way to riches.

  8. grim says:

    3 – Mobilization is an expensive proposition, whether you own or rent. It is likely even more expensive for a family than a single person. Also, in the family situation, there are numerous other factors that play into the timing of executing a move (school year, lease term, a need for two spouses to find jobs in the new location, etc) thus negativing impacting said mobilization.

    Dare I say it, having a kid probably destroys any mobility benefits that renting provides. Single male or female with few possessions, sleeping on a mattress in a 1br? Moving is no problem, it’s like going on vacation, pack some bags and go, leave your broken Ikea dresser and mattress at the curb. It’s an opportunity to cull the wardrobe and get some new clothes.

    Secondly, how often can someone (and again, especially a married couple with kids), actually take advantage of that mobility? Once? Twice maybe? At what point does one spouse’s career moves essentially destroy the others? Sorry, but we can’t leave the two income trap out of this.

    I’m not talking about moving two towns over, I’m talking moving from state to state, or country to country. (moving two towns over isn’t mobility, it’s buying a nicer house).

    Taking all of this into account, and assuming that the person mobilizing isn’t underwater, is there really a big difference in the two scenarios?

  9. anon (the good one) says:

    shame on you

    @forewit: NYT Healine: “There’s 20K Homeless People in New York”
    DeBlasio: “Can we tax them?”

    @FranklinBlog: NYT’s Andrea Elliot rocks, great, terrible, humbling story on homeless children. This is why journalism matters
    http://t.co/7d7bBQ6sMO

    @NickBryantNY: Such a powerful report. NYT on homeless children in New York http://t.co/EHdGHeIR2O

  10. JJ - The War Lord Welfare King says:

    Move where? If I cant find a job in New York City or within 40 miles of New York City I am already a loser in a dead end career.

    There are not many “dual career” couples. Most folks over 40 and nearly all folks over 50 no longer have careers that have jobs. Odds both husband and wife have careers is pretty rare. Look at times article this weekend about women wall street executives who have stay at home husbands. She has a career he had a job the one with a job has to quit to support the one with a career.

    Careers are tough. Pretty much to be considered sucessful and on a career path you have to keep it at 10x your age in salary. That is hard.
    grim says:
    December 9, 2013 at 8:32 am
    3 – Mobilization is an expensive proposition, whether you own or rent. It is likely even more expensive for a family than a single person. Also, in the family situation, there are numerous other factors that play into the timing of executing a move (school year, lease term, a need for two spouses to find jobs in the new location, etc) thus negativing impacting said mobilization.

    Dare I say it, having a kid probably destroys any mobility benefits that renting provides. Single male or female with few possessions, sleeping on a mattress in a 1br? Moving is no problem, it’s like going on vacation, pack some bags and go, leave your broken Ikea dresser and mattress at the curb.

    Secondly, how often can someone (and again, especially a married couple with kids), actually take advantage of that mobility? Once? Twice maybe? At what point does one spouse’s career moves essentially destroy the others? Sorry, but we can’t leave the two income trap out of this.

    I’m not talking about moving two towns over, I’m talking moving from state to state, or country to country. (moving two towns over isn’t mobility, it’s buying a nicer house).

    Taking all of this into account, and assuming that the person mobilizing isn’t underwater, is there really a big difference in the two scenarios?

  11. toomuchchange says:

    Things are going from bad to worse for too many Americans.

    Yet I don’t see much concern — much less panic — from the people in charge.

    Do they have a secret formula that will allow us to keep functioning as a First World country as good jobs disappear, wages stagnate or decrease and as prices continue to go up for the most expensive things in our lives, like college, healthcare and housing?

    It is funny. Our elites are very astute when it comes to seeing opportunities to get things for themselves. Yet they seem to live in a dreamworld where reality never enters when it comes to what’s really going on in America.

  12. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [8] Correct on all counts grim, but I’ll give you one more. If a family has chosen to be an urban family (and of some means), the family is even more locked in if their kids are on a good school trajectory. We’re a single income family but I would change jobs to not move because even if we moved for one year I couldn’t get my kids back into the schools they are in right now and the money it would cost to put them in comparable private schools elsewhere would be a huge deal breaker.

  13. joyce says:

    10
    I guess all those losers in Palo Alto should move to? New York.

  14. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Only adults rent. Luckily, the US isn’t producing many of them anymore.

  15. grim says:

    Also – there seems to be a misperception here that mobility is defined as the ability to move to a lower cost area. This is probably not the case except for retirees. For many, mobility means moving to higher cost areas.

    If this new urbanization of the US continues, realize that “mobility” will be moving into the major urban centers from the minor urban centers (note, I didn’t say from suburb to city). This means increased migration into the NY, LA, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Philly, Washington, Miami, Atlanta, Boston, SF metros, and away from smaller, more isolated “metro” areas (especially those metros heavily dependent on a single, decaying industry).

    So what happens when mobility means a higher cost of living for many?

  16. yome says:

    6
    JJ hit it spot on. Affordability of paying 50% or more rent of your income, depends on the size of the income.

    “A person in NYC making 6k a month take home after taxes who is single living in a luxury 3k apartment can easily do it. After rent, you have wifi, electric, metrocard some food.Make 2k a month and spend 1k on rent is a nightmare”

  17. Don’t have to worry about rent when you live with an armed pack and sleep in the open.

  18. grim says:

    http://www.nmhc.org/Content.cfm?ItemNumber=55508

    Group – Rent/Own Percentage
    Under 30 Years Old – 43%/57%
    30 to 44 Years Old – 37%/63%
    45 to 64 Years Old – 22%/78%
    65 Years and Older – 16%/84%

  19. Street Justice says:

    8 -The company I work for has offices in major cities around the country and across the globe. People who are willing and able to pick up and move are the once who get the promotions. It’s not the rule but I see it often enough. Some are DINKs but others have spouses who can work from anywhere or are stay at home mothers or fathers.

    That said, some of the people in my office who’ve done a cross country move also had homes with mortgages. Some told me horror stories of having to be a cross country landlord for a few years but others were able to sell quickly. It was still easier to break a lease then sell a home though. I imagine there were lower transaction costs in breaking a lease too.

  20. grim says:

    19 – Moving to Fargo to take a higher position isn’t a promotion, it’s a trap. Company probably doesn’t need to worry about you leaving, where you going to go? Cashier at Staples? Maybe the hostess at Olive Garden? What happens when they close the Fargo office? You going to find another gig in Fargo? Probably not.

    Moving to the LA or Chicago office is going to carry living expenses equal or higher than here, while your address might change, the calculus of living expenses won’t.

  21. Street Justice says:

    20 – Yes that’s true, I’m only reporting my own observations. I see people come and go all the time in my office. Sometimes within the company, sometimes to other companies. JJ talks like NYC is the only place in the world people are doing finance these days, but it just isn’t true anymore. One lady that just left came originally from the Toronto office, spent a few years on Florida (one of our campus locations), then came here to our office in NJ for a few years. She just took another position as a Director in Des Moines, IA.

  22. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [20] In the late 70′s, early 80′s in was commonplace for big companies to transfer executives around the country for a couple years and then they would often move back to where they came from. Families I knew moved somewhere in fly-over country, bought a much bigger house, only to be transferred back to NJ and find out they could no longer afford the house they used to own.

  23. Nomad says:

    Of all aspects of the relocation, selling of the home may be the easiest. Trying to pick the school district that is best for the kids and then having 2 48 hour shopping sprees to buy a house is a killer, even with a lot of prior research. Actually best to just rent in the good school district to save stress, make a much better purchase decision down the road and if the new job doesn’t work out…

    Always fun to have the 54′ semi pull up to your home, 6 guys jump out and start to load boxes. For those of you going to move, don’t skimp on the moving company, cheaper will cost you. Ironically, the best moving company in the country is located on Schoolhouse Rd in Somerset NJ.

    I know some that if the promotion comes when the kid is in HS they just commute it – not without stress but given the lack stability, not an unwise decision.

  24. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    There are not many C-level positions outside NYC. You want to at least work in same building as CEO. Same floor even better. You cant get a seat at the table in Idaho.

    And outside NYC makes me nervous the few amounts of firms in financial services.

    I did a project at a broker dealer in Milwaukee, great firm, paid well, great quality of life, but if you lost your job you were screwed.

    Street Justice says:
    December 9, 2013 at 9:38 am

    20 – Yes that’s true, I’m only reporting my own observations. I see people come and go all the time in my office. Sometimes within the company, sometimes to other companies. JJ talks like NYC is the only place in the world people are doing finance these days, but it just isn’t true anymore. One lady that just left came originally from the Toronto office, spent a few years on Florida (one of our campus locations), then came here to our office in NJ for a few years. She just took another position as a Director in Des Moines, IA.

  25. joyce says:

    Erin Norton is another high-salary policyholder who is nevertheless fighting the system over high deductibles and maddening medical bills. Norton has a $2,000 deductible and, when shopping for a better deal on the Connect for Health exchange, was dismayed to see comparably priced plans demanding a $5,000 deductible.

    Norton’s theoretical deductible became all too real earlier this year, when a 15-minute diagnostic test produced a bill for $1,838, and her share after the insurer’s negotiated discount would be $1,011.

    Norton called Rose Medical Center to see what she could do about that charge, a step few consumers ever take. Rose told her that if she had no insurance, a 90 percent discount would reduce her bill to $183.75. But since she had insurance, the best they could do was knock another 10 percent off her share “as a courtesy,” to $910.

    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_24683362/castle-rock-couple-fights-hospital-over-sky-high

    Good thing we’re extending insurance to those without, so we can financially rape them as well

  26. grim says:

    25 – Was listening to NPR this weekend and heard a story about keeping patients for “observation” without being formally admitted. Why? They make a fortune, insurance doesn’t pay at the same levels, and patients are left holding the bag (Observation is apparently considered outpatient and not admitted).

    Boils my blood, argh! How is anyone supposed to know this? You go to the ER, they tell you they are keeping you for “observation”, you think, ok, I’m being cared for. At what point does a patient stop and think to question this? Medical billing experts don’t even understand medical billing, and here a lay person in the hospital for an unexpected emergency is supposed to be an expert? Every time a nurse or doctor walks in, they should clearly state the price. I suggest you take this Tylenol, it’s going to cost you $28 dollars. Do you still want the Tylenol? By the way, I’m going to charge you $78 for asking you that question.

    Bait and switch, I’m disgusted by the medical and insurance establishment.

  27. Relocation of middle-to-upper level execs is just another part of the big swindle. Companies who are good at it create impoverished white-collar slaves who eventually become wholly dependent on their employers.

  28. Back in the day, I started my RE “career” by doing scores of relos. Trust me, the vast majority of these people- and their families- are the real walking dead.

  29. joyce says:

    26- The other example in the article the guy is assuming (and accusing) his insurance company & the hospital of “negotiating” the charge down to an amount which is just within his remaining deductible for the year, and we’re at the end of the calendar year. So the hospital gets a little more than it usually does (usual discount is more) and the insurance company doesn’t have to pay out anything. Brilliant. I am as cynical and mistrusting as they come, and I never considered this. It’s beyond repair.

  30. Nomad says:

    Spine, 27 – when they relo they figure they should reward themselves after all, they just got promoted and they deserve it. What they are actually doing is putting the big ball and chain around their neck and to your point, become servants of their corporate masters. I just don’t get it, economic freedom provides far more gratification than the big mtg payment, BMW, swiss watch etc. If you have the massive income > $700k then I guess you can truly afford some (not all) of those things but I can’t imagine too many people in that bucket.

  31. 1987 Condo says:

    Healthcare Costs:

    ICYMI — NEW YORK TIMES: RESEARCH SHOWS “HOSPITAL CHARGES…ARE THE LARGEST DRIVER OF MEDICAL INFLATION”

    Posted on December 3, 2013 by AHIP Coverage Admin

    An article in the New York Times highlights evidence showing that exorbitant prices for medical services are driving costs higher, making health care coverage more expensive for individuals, families and employers. The article identifies provider consolidation, a lack of transparency in hospital pricing, and the rising costs of drugs and medical equipment as primary factors that are increasing the costs of care. Highlights from the article:
    • “In a medical system notorious for opaque finances and inflated bills, nothing is more convoluted than hospital pricing, economists say. Hospital charges represent about a third of the $2.7 trillion annual United States health care bill, the biggest single segment, according to government statistics, and are the largest driver of medical inflation, a new study in The Journal of the American Medical Association found.”
    • “The main reason for high hospital costs in the United States, economists say, is fiscal, not medical: Hospitals are the most powerful players in a health care system that has little or no price regulation in the private market. Rising costs of drugs, medical equipment and other services, and fees from layers of middlemen, play a significant role in escalating hospital bills, of course. But just as important is that mergers and consolidation have resulted in a couple of hospital chains…dominating many parts of the country, allowing them to command high prices from insurers and employers.”
    • “There is a big flurry of consolidation and the effects depend on what the objective of the health care system is… If the objective is to corner the market and demand higher rates, then that will happen,” according to one health care expert quoted in the article. “Indeed, research shows that today’s hospital mergers tend to drive up prices,” the article says.
    • “There is little science to how hospitals determine the prices they print on hospital bills… ‘prices are basically arbitrary, not connected to underlying costs or market prices,’ said Professor Melnick, the economist. Hospitals ‘can set them at any level they want. There are no market constraints.’

  32. grim says:

    Corp relo? Sounds like a dream. I know folks that have relocated for their company ON THEIR OWN DIME.

  33. AG says:

    It should be a gentle slide toward 3rd world status. Don’t worry. I’m off to Walmart to sign up for obamacare and sit my fat, busted knee, sloppy American -ss in a motorized scooter to shop for doritos with my EBT card.

  34. AG says:

    America f-uck yeah!

  35. yome says:

    Why is there a sudden louder complaints with O’care deductibles and premiums going up? Was this not happening the last few years? Let us just wait what the law can do.Better than nothing being done the last few decades

  36. joyce says:

    Why… because it’s getting worse at a faster pace and affecting nearly everyone as opposed to just some. And yes, the people who are only noticing now are at best borderline hypocrites (and perhaps full blown hypocrites). The law can and will do zero to lower costs, which pretty much will sort most of the problems out. So no, we should be of the mind to wait and see.

    yome says:
    December 9, 2013 at 10:47 am
    Why is there a sudden louder complaints with O’care deductibles and premiums going up? Was this not happening the last few years? Let us just wait what the law can do.Better than nothing being done the last few decades

  37. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    Only suckers relocate for work thinking it is fast track to top.

    Back when I was in Big Four there was a “huge opportunity” at GM. Huge project. Many Many Millions. Anyhow. Folks moved to Detroit for 36 months to run project and project was a success. When it ended it actually was a rare success the project was done well, bill paid. But GM wanted no more work and GM was started on road downhill.

    Guess what we laid off half of those folks in first year back. Who needs auto skills in NY and they had no book of business. Plus Partners and Senior Managers who promised them promotions and fast track to Partners half of them left.

    Finally, folks who stayed in NY were bonding with Partners and moving ahead, out of sight out of mind.

  38. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Here’s another game health care providers like to play with the calendar at the other end. If someone has chronic medical needs such as catheters or dialysis, the providers play a game of chicken in the form of who can bill the latest into the beginning of the new year. Why? Because if you delay billing long enough the harder to collect patient-paid deductible has already been used up in earlier provider’s billings, so by holding your billing back until March, all of your invoices get paid 100% and speedily by the insurer, or better yet, medicare(which pays the fastest).

    26- The other example in the article the guy is assuming (and accusing) his insurance company & the hospital of “negotiating” the charge down to an amount which is just within his remaining deductible for the year, and we’re at the end of the calendar year. So the hospital gets a little more than it usually does (usual discount is more) and the insurance company doesn’t have to pay out anything. Brilliant. I am as cynical and mistrusting as they come, and I never considered this. It’s beyond repair.

  39. yome says:

    It is very good to have this debate on O’care and health care now. Solutions and alternatives are being discussed. Putting O’care down without a solution is putting as back to where we were. Again, I love the debates.But with solutions with it.Complaining about paying $200 more does not solve the problem. Let us start posting links of proposed solutions and debate that.

  40. joyce says:

    Why couldn’t they be discussed during the so called reform movement in which this billed lived? wasn’t it like 18 months of time

    yome says:
    December 9, 2013 at 11:00 am
    It is very good to have this debate on O’care and health care now. Solutions and alternatives are being discussed. Putting O’care down without a solution is putting as back to where we were. Again, I love the debates.But with solutions with it.Complaining about paying $200 more does not solve the problem. Let us start posting links of proposed solutions and debate that.

  41. joyce says:

    “your invoices get paid 100% and speedily by the insurer, or better yet, medicare”

    Do insurers really pay speedily? (or is it just in comparison)

  42. Juice Box says:

    Grim – #26 -re: keeping you for “observation”

    How about “stable”then balance billing your emergency room visit because your vitals were “stable”.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-doctor-balance-billing-case-20131205,0,4955388.story#axzz2mzewgWxu

  43. yome says:

    If this was discussed during that time.will anything have happened? It was discussed during Clinton’s time nothing happened.Sometimes it has to be shoved before it gets the spotlight. Today,the law is here,only two choices.Accept the law or win elections to repeal the law.Hopefully there will be better solutions when repeal is put forth. I personally like to see a one payer system which I hoped O’care will be.

  44. Fast Eddie says:

    I personally like to see a one payer system which I hoped O’care will be.

    Who pays for the one payer system?

  45. yome says:

    Who pays for charity,medicaid, uncollectable bills etc. Will that not come out the same?

    “Who pays for the one payer system?”

  46. joyce says:

    Good thing national single payer is on it’s was to us

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/08/tpp-trade-agreement_n_4409211.html

    The U.S. has reintroduced a proposal that would hamper government health services from negotiating lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. The proposal appears to have been universally rejected earlier in the talks, according to the memo.

    Australia and New Zealand have medical boards that allow the government to reject expensive new drugs for the public health system, or negotiate lower prices with drug companies that own patents on them. If a new drug does not offer sufficient benefits over existing generic drugs, the boards can reject spending taxpayer money on the new medicines. They can also refuse to pay high prices for new drugs. The Obama administration has been pushing to ban these activities by national boards, which would lock in big profits for U.S. drug companies. Obamacare sought to mimic the behavior of these boards to lower domestic health care costs by granting new flexibilities to U.S. state agencies for determining drug prices.

  47. Fast Eddie says:

    Who pays for charity,medicaid, uncollectable bills etc.

    How do you classify charity and medicaid in the same bucket? I don’t even understand the comparison. Again, I’ll ask: who pays for the single payer system?

  48. Bystander says:

    Nomad,

    Seen it all too often – my previous IB moved all Treasury and FA roles to Raleigh in 2007 then proceeded to let most of them go by 2009. They were given their big NYC salaries and thought they would live like kings. LE controller at my current IB was promoted and moved family from NJ to CT over summer. He was let go two months ago. Now wishes he never moved.

  49. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    Thank god I am irreplaceable.

    Although next financial crisis and there will be a next financial crisis I will finally be the one who gets let go. Somehow I feel I survived way too many financial crisis. Hopefully, by then I get packaged out and can do some bs job for last few years.

  50. yome says:

    Charity – State reimburse hospitals for charity care
    Medicaid- Paid by the state with Fed help

    Where is this money coming from?

    “How do you classify charity and medicaid in the same bucket?”

  51. grim says:

    50 – Would probably be wise for someone in college now to change their major from Interpretive Dance to Forensic Accounting.

  52. Fast Eddie says:

    You’re avoiding my question; who pays for the single payer system?

  53. Street Justice says:

    53 – The Chinese?

  54. yome says:

    53. How about you answer the question

    “You’re avoiding my question; who pays for the single payer system?”

  55. grim says:

    Eddie – Bend over already, you pay for it now, what’s the difference?

  56. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Post-recession first: Mortgage debt climbs

    Home-mortgage debt in the third quarter rose for the first time since the Great Recession, according to the latest data showing consumers beginning to add leverage as the economy improves. Home-mortgage debt rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.9%, or $87.4 billion, in the third quarter, the first gain since the first quarter of 2008, the Federal Reserve said Monday. The rise in mortgage debt comes as consumer credit, led by auto and student loans, continues to expand. That led the total increase in household debt to reach 3%, the biggest rise since the first quarter of 2008. The gain in the stock market as well as the rise in home prices helped household net worth swell by $1.9 trillion during the quarter.

  57. Street Justice says:

    The myth of the American Dream

    http://money.cnn.com/2013/12/09/news/economy/america-economic-mobility/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

    The American Dream is supposed to mean that through hard work and perseverance, even the poorest people can make it to middle class or above. But it’s actually harder to move up in America than it is in most other advanced nations.
    Economists aren’t certain exactly why some countries have a greater degree of mobility than others, but they do point to certain similarities.

    Greater current inequality: The more unequal a society is currently, the greater the chance that the children will be stuck in the same sphere. This is because wealthy families are able to provide things like tutors and extracurricular activities — and the time to pursue them — that poorer families often cannot.

    Also, education matters a lot more now than it did 100 years ago in terms of getting a good job.

    “The rich can pump a lot more money into their kids’ future,” said Corak.

    This helps explain why counties like China, India and many South American nations also exhibit relatively little economic mobility.

    Families: Having a stable home life is also associated with the ability to climb the economic ladder, said Corak. The United States tends to have higher rates of divorce, single-parent homes, and teenage pregnancy than many other industrialized counties.

    Social policies: Counties that redistribute wealth — through, say, higher taxes on the rich and more spending on the poor — tend to have greater social mobility, said Francisco Ferreira, an economist at the World Bank.

    This is especially true when it comes to education spending. Critics have long contended that the U.S. system for funding education — where school funding is largely based on property taxes — perpetuates inequality far more so than a system that taxes the whole country for schools, then redistributes that money to the districts that are most needy.

  58. chicagofinance says:

    The End Is Nigh (FIFA World Cup Edition):
    Best part is at 3:00 and after with the gun blasts…..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo3FTMCtG6Y#t=161

  59. Fast Eddie says:

    I have nothing further, your honor.

  60. nomad (30)-

    I used to do bus tours of NJ for 40-50 potential corporate relo spouses at a time. The best were the groups from places like Kansas, Michigan and small-town Texas. The typical pharma/telecom relo packages back in those days- although they did include 100% assistance with moving expense and short-term loss of spousal income- involved only small raises and usually no help with cost-of-housing differential. Basically, people would be selling 100K houses in the flyover and buying equivalent housing in NJ at 500K.

    The crying would start when we took the bus from places like Basking Ridge into towns like Manville to show what a 1:1, straight-up housing swap would be like.

    Needless to say, very few families ended up taking the packages offered…one of the dirty little secrets of the boom years in NJ real estate. And, I’d say virtually all those who didn’t come here are glad they didn’t.

  61. grim says:

    Interesting new study out from Pew the other day:

    http://www.pewstates.org/uploadedFiles/PCS_Assets/2013/Mobility-and-the-Metropolis.pdf

    Check out Table 1, Page 4

    NY Metro? Below average mobility. Newark and Philly MSAs – Average mobility.

  62. grim says:

    And the NY Metro area (including NJ) has the most economically segregated neighborhoods in the country.

  63. grim (32)-

    Spot on. The era of corporate relo in NJ ended in about 2004.

    Now, the only benefit in doing a good job is that you get to keep your job (maybe). Period.

    “Corp relo? Sounds like a dream. I know folks that have relocated for their company ON THEIR OWN DIME.”

  64. Essex says:

    The reloc is a good move for those who want a paid exit strategy. Of course you can be a wage slave anywhere in the USA, but a reloc gets you from one place to another. Gratis.

  65. joyce says:

    joyce says:
    November 9, 2013 at 1:38 pm
    Hospitalization is terribly expensive. False — it is only expensive because you are being ripped off. In general hospitals are paid 1/4 or less of what they bill. That is, most so-called “terribly expensive” health care — the worst kind — costs one quarter of what you’re told. Could you afford that, if you had to pay cash? Probably — but you are charged 4x as much if you try to pay cash. Isn’t threatening you with bankruptcy if you don’t buy something by jacking up the price for cash .vs. so-called “insurance” better described as extortion?Drugs are terribly expensive, especially for chronic conditions. False — for a whole plethora of common chronic conditions you can today buy a year’s supply of drugs for a couple hundred bucks. Literally. You’re led to believe otherwise, so you sign up for “insurance” that then winds up costing you more for your drugs (in co-pays), usually double or more, than if you paid cash! The insurance companies love this. How do you feel about being systematically robbed?Medicare supplement insurance coverage is a good idea. Generally false, for the same reason. What it costs exceeds what it pays in nearly every instance. Now you know why there are ads all over the TV for it — it is, for most people, a zero-value rip-off.Malpractice insurance is terribly expensive and thus drives up the cost of care. False — it is a vanishingly-small part of the cost of operation for a doctor, hospital or other facility.”Uncompensated” (or “charity”) care is a big cost of operation and is responsible for the cost problem. False — this is a raw lie. Most hospitals spend far less than 10% of their revenues on “uncompensated care.”Tests are expensive. False — most tests are very cheap, with many under $20. They’re only expensive because you allow “insurance” to pay for them, and the providers mark them up for so-called “list prices” by as much as 1,000%. The real problem is monopoly and other unfair practices, all of which in other industries would lead to immediate felony indictment under consumer protection statutes or The Sherman and Clayton Acts, with the latter carrying 10 year criminal felony penalties and $1 million fines per occurrence. TRUE.

    joyce says:
    November 9, 2013 at 1:40 pm
    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=225859

    http://truecostofhealthcare.org/

  66. joyce says:

    The red herring of cost of charity,uncompensated care as well as costs for malpractice are a small percentage.

  67. yome (40)-

    Great. Here is my proposed solution:

    http://cdn01.dailycaller.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Ak47-e1363724603451.png

    “Let us start posting links of proposed solutions and debate that.”

  68. grim says:

    66 – I pick up prescriptions for my dogs at Target and Walmart – I pay less paying cash than I would paying co-pays. I pay $4 for generics.

    My co-pay to use insurance on the lowest-tier generic is $15. My uninsured dogs pay less for human drugs than humans do.

    WTF??

  69. Nomad says:

    Bystander, had a friend who worked for a big med device/pharma mfg up here and she would tell me stories all the time about how families got moved up here and then the breadwinner got canned in less than a year. This is going back a decade so not even a horrible economy when this was happening.

    Spine, remember when Roche bought Boehringer Mannheim, the diagnostics company out of Indiana. All the Nutley people were offered relos as their jobs were moving to the heartland and all took the package. Their cost of living dropped by 65% and apparently their quality of life would have dropped even more.

  70. If somebody would pay me to move to Indiana right now, I’d take it in a heartbeat.

  71. Essex says:

    71. Lived on the Ohio river for a few summers….not literally on the river but in a town in Indiana. Had fun. Place was terribly depressing in the winter months.

  72. Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:

    Poking my head up for a minute to comment before getting back under the covers (wicked head cold so sorry if I sound nasal).

    Grim, our plan doesn’t charge for generics. But FWIW, the wife doesn’t like using generic and will pay extra for brand-only. As she has decades of experience in pharma, mostly as a lawyer, I have to trust her on that.

    Interesting that someone here recently mentioned a company and I have since learned that this company is trying to recruit the wife. Will have to find the info and pass it along. Once again NJRER may have saved our azzes.

    Clot, we got rather generous relos in 2008 and 2012. Just saying.

  73. chicagofinance says:

    com: the only exception is that your spouse lost a rocket ship of a stock; one of my clients got fcuk the same way with a similar Boston-based company….he is probably out about $300-$500K in equity based comp…don’t know for sure…and he was just middle management….

    Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:
    Clot, we got rather generous relos in 2008 and 2012. Just saying.

  74. plume (74)-

    Deals like yours are the proverbial needle in a haystack. Much more common is the one where the employee is told his job is moving…and he can either move on his own dime to take it, or GTFO.

  75. Fast Eddie says:

    Listed at $849,900 back in April, currently at $699,900. Good deal? If you think so, go for it. Oh, I forgot, it will cost you an additional $1600 in taxes and insurance on top of the mortgage. It’s a good thing we don’t have to worry about job security around here. :o

    http://www.trulia.com/property/3116671981-177-Oakland-St-Hillsdale-NJ-07642

  76. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    We just did that to a small division in Baltimore. They got told in November “Move to Massachusetts for January 1st or make other plans.” I think two are coming North.

    Deals like yours are the proverbial needle in a haystack. Much more common is the one where the employee is told his job is moving…and he can either move on his own dime to take it, or GTFO.

  77. 1987 Condo says:

    #78…my rule, never move for a company, unless, of course, you want to relocate to that area, than it works out!

  78. AG says:

    Life in NJ is real simple. Make money until the music stops then GTFO. Getting out is a bit trickier. You have to find some sucker to buy your overpriced/overtaxed sh-tbox. Good thing theres a sucker born every day.

  79. Fast Eddie says:

    1987 Condo,

    Agree. Totally! To move your family for a job, especially from this area, just boggles my mind.

  80. Just get me the f>ck out of here. I’ll go anywhere except South Dakota or Alabama.

  81. njescapee says:

    Quit Your Job and Move to Key West – The Complete Guide
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006M37J8A/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb#_

  82. grim says:

    83 – Step 1 – Win Lottery

  83. njescapee says:

    I took my job with me. Been working for a Big 4 Firm for 15 years 8+ of them virtually. Travel to the Miami Office to refresh my PC once every 3 years.

  84. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    Check out this duckweed:

    Begin paste********
    Tuition increases are constantly in the news these days. Private colleges have become incredibly expensive (as I know personally, with a daughter currently attending one). Public colleges also have been raising tuition sharply in many cases, mostly to offset cuts in the funds they receive from state budgets. Yet, by the standards of the economic marketplace most colleges are still underpriced.

    Harvard University accepted only 5.8 percent of over 35,000 applicants this year. Stanford only admitted 5.7 percent of their nearly 39,000 applicants. The University of Southern California only accepted 19.7 percent of their over 47,000 applicants, while Georgetown University let in 16.6 percent of their 20,000.

    In most businesses, when you have such overwhelming demand for your product, you raise the price (and increase production). Many colleges, especially private ones, do not want to increase the size of their student bodies, but why would they not increase prices when they have so many prospective students desperate to attend?
    **************End paste

    And guess what else? He’s a college professor himself. Read some of his reviews as a teacher: http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=508258

    Here’s the referenced article (on Forbes site, no less. I doubt they have it in the actual mag):
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2013/09/12/theres-no-college-tuition-bubble-college-education-is-underpriced/

  85. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    Sadly I have no place to go to in an odd way. I have no mortgage here. Now Cause my house got damaged in Sandy they are doing some type of property tax abatement for last two months of 2012, all of 2013 and 2014. If I get it I get a refund of half my taxes from last two months of 2012, all of 2013 and 2014 tax bill cut in half. Some taxes I have to pay. So anyhow I am down to like 5k a year in property tax.

    Where the heck can I move to? House is almost at the point where a McDonald worker could afford it.

  86. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    KPMG is the big four firm voted having the best Corporate Anthem

    PwC, DT and EY have lousy theme songs.

    njescapee says:
    December 9, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I took my job with me. Been working for a Big 4 Firm for 15 years 8+ of them virtually. Travel to the Miami Office to refresh my PC once every 3 years.

  87. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    Your ties of friendship cannot sever,
    Your glory time will never stem,
    We will toast a name that lives forever,
    Hail to the IBM

  88. nicholas says:

    Relocation Packages:

    Deals like yours are the proverbial needle in a haystack.

    I think that this is categorically wrong. Relocation packages are not rare events but happen quite regularly. I received a relocation bonus in 2007 moving to my company (based in NJ but they moved me to MD).

    1. It wasn’t offered as part of the initial package.
    2. I had to ask for it.
    3. I felt it was pretty generous for my family.

    I may be wrong but I thought that relocation packages are tax deductable so it is a better way to give you a signing bonus than other methods. Often times the employer just doesn’t know that relocation compensation is important to you. If the move incurs a large expense on your part then have them sign an 3 year agreement of employment to keep you from getting riffed within the first year. Give them the option to buy you out at the remainder of your salary for the remaining years.

    In my case I was moving to Maryland and was looking for a position there. It worked out great and they helped me with the move. This goodwill is probably why I’m still with the company.

    Don’t think just because you didn’t get a relocation bonus that they are rare events. It is probably because most American’s are terrible negotiators. Nom and his wife (the lawyer) are probably ace negotiators; don’t cheapen his win to make yourself feel better.

  89. chicagofinance says:

    Sell right now and rent…..

    AG says:
    December 9, 2013 at 2:57 pm
    Life in NJ is real simple. Make money until the music stops then GTFO. Getting out is a bit trickier. You have to find some sucker to buy your overpriced/overtaxed sh-tbox. Good thing theres a sucker born every day.

  90. grim says:

    Getting out is a bit trickier. You have to find some sucker to buy your overpriced/overtaxed sh-tbox.

    Price it correctly and you can get it sold in a day or two, this is no problem at all.

  91. HouseWhineWine says:

    Why can’t medical offices and hospitals have posted rates for their services, just like every other kind of business? We aren’t supposed to charge a different price based on the insurance coverage a patient has. Of course, how much reimbursement offered for each service will vary by the provider. Patients must start demanding this. BTW, I work in a medical office and the only prices we post are “by request”.

  92. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    When we first bought our place I told my friends I have a McDonald’s mortgage. They would ask “What’s that?” I said that’s a mortgage that I can tell my boss to eff off, get a job at McDonalds, and still pay my mortgage. I love my family, but I love almost just as much that no boss has any leverage over me.

    Where the heck can I move to? House is almost at the point where a McDonald worker could afford it.

  93. grim says:

    94 – Life was good when we didn’t have to compete with anyone else in the world.

    Perhaps it’s time to go to war with far east, we could probably buy a good ‘nother 40 or 50 years if we play our cards right.

  94. Bystander says:

    Ex pat,

    Oh, I don’t know…maybe bc they were set-up to be non-profit educational facilities and most were affilated with religious institutions to get tax breaks
    . If you want to run like a profit business then remove govt. backing and tax loopholes. Lets see them fund themselves.

  95. 1987 Condo says:

    #92…what are details of so called “Exit Tax”…?

  96. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    grim is exactly right. Put 40 % down, either get a 15 year mortgage or systematically overpay your 30 year mortgage and you have not only mobility, ability to sell, but also equity as a parting gift. If you’re married, get a mortgage you can easily pay with one income and then you will also have the option to stay as long as you want or can stomach your taxes.

    Price it correctly and you can get it sold in a day or two, this is no problem at all.

  97. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    [96] Bystander – Exactly. Watching BC, BU, and Harvard converge on each other and gobble up RE (and remove tax revenue from the City) is like watching a bizarro world Civil War reenactment where there are 3 combatants and all of them are happy to burn Georgia to the ground.

    . If you want to run like a profit business then remove govt. backing and tax loopholes. Lets see them fund themselves.

  98. clotluva says:

    Whatever happend to the Lowballs! and Comp Killers? Or is everybody lining up to pay asking price these days?

    Visited a few houses in Summit a few weeks back. Inventory sucks. Good chance I’ll keep renting in the city until I’m forced to decide whether the NYC public school system is a total deal breaker.

    Anybody know where the kids who end up at Bronx Science, Stuyvesant, or BK Tech go to elementary/middle school?

  99. grim says:

    NJ’s real estate “exit tax” is simply a mechanism for collecting the income tax associated with a sale for someone who will become a non-resident at the time of sale (or is currently not a resident). This is the exact same tax a resident would pay if they were staying in-state, the only difference is that it is structured in a way that protects NJ’s tax revenue. Think of it as any other non-resident income tax.

    Much ado about nothing.

  100. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    Nuts. I meant burn Atlanta to the ground, but hey, maybe they’ll take the whole state after they’re done with Boston.

  101. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The Treasury Department announced Monday it has sold its remaining shares of General Motors GM +1.22% , ending another chapter of the financial crisis. The U.S. invested $49.5 billion in GM and received $39 billion back, a Treasury official said. At one point in 2009, Treasury held 912 million GM shares or 60% of the company’s outstanding stock.

  102. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a Captain Justice says:

    [75] chifi

    That was covered. New employer covered potential bonus loss with stock which has performed equally well. And she was vested in options and grants and is continuing to cash those. Was there potential upside loss? Possibly but it was future comp and impossible to quantify. And she/we felt it was the right move.

    Now I am in a house comparable to the one I had in the brig, but with three acres and a pool, in an area comparable to Warren in terms of density, money, and access to the city (tho it takes me less time to get to Philly than Warrenites can get to manhattan.)

    But I miss access to good pizza and bagels. You cn find them here but you have to hunt.

  103. nicholas (90)-

    I have never worked for a large corporation and have never been associated with any company that offers benefits more than you get to keep your job (maybe) if you do a good job.

    I did, however, do probably close to 100 relo transactions at the beginning of my RE career. Trust me, none of those drones had any leverage with their companies, even in the best of times. These were pharma/telecom grunts for the most part, not anyone close to high executive level.

    You must be in an industry that has held up well and in which there’s benefit to company and employee to relocate and do it the right way. Good for you, but this is an exception, and not the rule.

    “Don’t think just because you didn’t get a relocation bonus that they are rare events. It is probably because most American’s are terrible negotiators. Nom and his wife (the lawyer) are probably ace negotiators; don’t cheapen his win to make yourself feel better.”

  104. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    grim switched teams. You know, how you have to shave your beard when you put on the pinstripes and attend the Derek Jeter school of dance etiquette?

    Whatever happend to the Lowballs! and Comp Killers? Or is everybody lining up to pay asking price these days?

  105. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a Captain Justice says:

    [90] Nicholas

    Appreciate the props. Clot knows me well so I am not the least bit offended, and he may well be correct. Heck, you both might be.

    My last law firm job didn’t give me relo but I did get a nice signing bonus.

  106. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    Flushing, Bronx Science is 99.9% Asian

    If you are white, male and Catholic the smartest of the smartest kids in Manhattan go to Regis HS

    Regis High School (New York City)
    55 East 84th Street
    Upper East Side
    New York, New York, 10028
    United States
    Type Private, All-Male
    Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic;
    Jesuit
    Patron saint(s) St. John Francis Regis
    Established 1914
    Founder Julia M. Grant
    President Rev. Philip Judge, S.J.
    Principal Dr. Gary Tocchet
    Asst. Principal Kristin Ross
    Faculty 61
    Grades 9-12
    Enrollment 530 (2008)
    Average class size 12
    Student to teacher ratio 11:1
    Campus type Urban
    Color(s) Scarlet, Silver and White
    Song Regis Alma Mater
    Athletics Baseball, Basketball, Soccer, Track and Field, Cross Country, Volleyball
    Mascot Owl
    Team name Raiders
    Rivals Xavier High School, Fordham Prep
    Accreditation(s) Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[2]
    Publication Images (literary magazine)
    The Crow (opinion journal)
    The Sports Corner (sports magazine)
    Newspaper ‘The Owl’
    Yearbook ‘The Regian’
    Endowment $58.97 million[3]
    Tuition $0 (full scholarship only)
    Admissions Director Eric DiMichele
    Athletic Director Kevin Cullen
    Website http://www.regis.org

    Regis High School is a private Jesuit university-preparatory school for academically gifted Roman Catholic young men located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.[4] Annual class enrollment is limited to approximately 135 male students from the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut tri-state area. The school’s motto, “Deo et Patriae” (For God and Country), speaks to its intention to produce men committed to devoting the advantages of their education to the service of society and the underprivileged. All students at Regis receive a tuition-free education. Regis is widely considered a “feeder school” to the top colleges and universities in the United States.[5]
    clotluva says:
    December 9, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Whatever happend to the Lowballs! and Comp Killers? Or is everybody lining up to pay asking price these days?

    Visited a few houses in Summit a few weeks back. Inventory sucks. Good chance I’ll keep renting in the city until I’m forced to decide whether the NYC public school system is a total deal breaker.

    Anybody know where the kids who end up at Bronx Science, Stuyvesant, or BK Tech go to elementary/middle school?

  107. clotluva (100)-

    Kids who go to those HS come from all over NYC. They take a test to get into these skools. I have friends in Cobble Hill whose kid went to the local grade school, did well on the test and went to Stuyvesant. He then got a 100% free ride to Hunter and will graduate this spring with 0 student debt. Kid is smart and motivated, but no Einstein.

  108. joyce says:

    Whenever I call and ask how much something costs, they think I’m speaking a different language. And when I ask a second time, they think I’m being difficult.

    HouseWhineWine says:

    the only prices we post are “by request”.

  109. clotluva says:

    106.The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    Totally! “There will be no more spitting in the dugout!!!”

  110. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    Idiots. The correct answer is “How much do you think you could afford to pay monthly?”

    Whenever I call and ask how much something costs, they think I’m speaking a different language. And when I ask a second time, they think I’m being difficult.

  111. clotluva says:

    109 Clot “O.G.”

    Thanks. I just don’t know wtf they might be exposed to in a NYC public elementary school that could impede their future motivation or success. Wife and I are both products of terrible public high schools, but managed to come out the other side extremely successful. So I’m kind of ambivalent to the advice to “get your kid into the best school you can afford”. Not sure hanging with progeny of the entitled finance crowd will the difference between junior’s success or failure…

  112. grim says:

    106 – Don’t follow baseball, respectfully request an alternate analogy.

  113. grim says:

    I would have fared better if we’d checked into the hospital under a false name, Stanislaw Polkadinski and wife, “undocumented residents”. No speak English. If I tried it today, would they hand me an Obamacare application?

  114. grim says:

    Oh by the way, interesting implication of spousal carve out. If you are even in a situation where mother is covered under a different insurance policy than baby, god help you – you will drown in paperwork/bills/appeals. Hospitals are woefully unprepared for this situation.

  115. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    [116] My company introduced a “spousal surcharge” for 2014, so you get whacked even before you make a claim. I think it’s something like $50 per month if your spouse is even eligible for any other coverage through employment. So if my wife had any kind of crappy job (…I almost peed myself laughing…OK) and they offered her any kind HC at any price that would be an automatic $600 out of my pocket.

    Oh by the way, interesting implication of spousal carve out. If you are even in a situation where mother is covered under a different insurance policy than baby, god help you – you will drown in paperwork/bills/appeals. Hospitals are woefully unprepared for this situation.

  116. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    [117] Oh! – I almost forgot. I was paying little attention to open enrollment over the last couple months because our plan wasn’t changing and I wasn’t changing anything. If I didn’t sign the “Spousal Surcharge Affidavit” declaring my wife’s lack of access to any employer-sponsored HC plan, I would have been whacked with the Spousal Surcharge for all of 2014 anyway.

  117. toomuchchange says:

    Here’s a nice sentiment. One of England’s retailing elite comes right out and says, we are cheap labor lovers and implies the native workers should just shut and volunteer to cut their wages too:

    “High street veteran Sir Stuart Rose claims it’s not the fault of Bulgarians and Romanians if they are prepared to come to the UK and work longer hours, and for less money, than Britons are prepared to”

    “High street veteran Sir Stuart Rose has told people complaining about immigrants coming to work in Britain to go out and find a job of their own.

    The former Marks & Spencer chief executive said it was not the fault of Bulgarians or Romanians or any other nationality if they were prepared to work hard for less money than Britons would like.

    He told Sky News: “I’m a free market economist, we operate in a free market. If these people want to come here, and work the hours they are prepared to work for the wages they are prepared to work for, then so be it.

    “It’s up to people to decide what they want to do. I think there are a lot of people who complain about their lot. Life is tough for everybody at times.

    “I know people will look at me and ‘It’s alright for you’ but I started off with pretty well nothing, I did a lot of menial jobs when I was young.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10503821/Stuart-Rose-Bulgarians-taking-our-jobs-immigrants-low-pay-wages-Romanians-EU-benefits.html

    Of course when Sir Stuart was young, he figured his crappy jobs would lead to better things. How many people can think that today — with confidence based on realistic expectations, not just wishful hope?

    These companies just want cheap labor. They are completely unwilling to deal with the social costs and government costs of replacing native workers with foreign workers. The thought that people who make less will spend less doesn’t seem to have crossed his mind, nor the thought that taxes will have to go up as the use of government benefits goes up.

    Just as in the US, the use of benefits will go both by the unemployed native workers who are replaced by foreign workers out of work and by the still employed who make less money, as well as the new low-wage foreign workers.

  118. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    OK – You tend to miss your pull at the front of the pace line, whereas you used to lead the pack often when it wasn’t your turn?

    106 – Don’t follow baseball, respectfully request an alternate analogy.

  119. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    [120} You're no longer a cutter since the Italians took you in?

  120. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    Couldn’t resist, but back to baseball: You’re a “homer” now.

  121. clotluva (113)-

    I am not at all certain that sending your kids to exclusive, expensive private skools does anything more than identify you as a patsy (willing and ready to pay full tuition) to the arse r@pists in college admissions departments.

  122. My friends who sent their kid to Stuyvesant told me the only downside to the whole NYC public skool experience was the occasional mugging for lunch money.

  123. The Original NJ ExPat, cusp of doom says:

    They found a costly way around that in Boston recently. Universal breakfast, lunch, and snacks. All free to everyone, regardless of income. Interestingly it wasn’t done to stem corruption or promote fair-handedness, according to what I hear. Apparently the illegals wouldn’t fill out the forms and the Blue-staters couldn’t figure out any other way to feed them without admissions of poverty. Anyway, my kids like the pizza on Fridays, they bring their lunch the other day. Saves us a few bucks a year out of pocket, who knows how much it costs us on the other end, but our property taxes are pretty cheap.

    My friends who sent their kid to Stuyvesant told me the only downside to the whole NYC public skool experience was the occasional mugging for lunch money.

  124. Libturd at home says:

    Clot (61): Was Frank’s Chicken House part of the house tour of Manville?

  125. Frank’s Chicken House IS Manville.

    I could speak of a few late nights (back in my cooking days) in that place with tasers, Hebrew Nationals and vaporizers, but I invoke the right not to incriminate myself.

    I also fervently believe it is not a crime if you do not remember committing the crime.

  126. Grim says:

    Not a party until someone pulls out a taser.

  127. And in any event, I’m pretty sure that pertinent statutes of limitation have run their course.

  128. Tasers can reveal an NFL-like agility in people you’d never imagine.

  129. Besides, Frank’s is where all the Manville cops and politicians hang out.

  130. Libturd at home says:

    Back in the day, I saw Marilyn Chambers clean some bottles without using her hands. The funny thing was that the chicken was actually pretty good there. Strange strip joint that Frank’s. The risers for people to stand and watch in the back was pretty creepy.

  131. chicagofinance says:

    http://www.hunterschools.org/home

    clotluva says:
    December 9, 2013 at 4:45 pm
    Anybody know where the kids who end up at Bronx Science, Stuyvesant, or BK Tech go to elementary/middle school?

  132. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    I went to PS 86 in the Bronx for Kindergarten. And by far was the worst behaved kid in class and most likely to ruin your day. So what, I got street cred. I think I would have been ruined at private school. Pretty much elementary school was great back then. Pretty much best time in your life if age 5 to age 10. We used to do a lot of graffiti. Old school style where you start off by stealing the spray paint can, a little Arson, stolen bikes, assult, vandalism, gang attacks. Kinda nice to know you cant get arrested. By HS good to have it out of your system. Cause then you can get in trouble.

    Maybe white collar crime could be eliminated if we let them go to public school in the bronx.

    I recall my first week of kindergarten. Two black kids on top of me swinging on me punching me in the fact to get my milk money. Took like 20 blows never gave it up, even spit on then and blew snot on them finally, one goes there gots to be easier way to get the money and went to next kid. Pure Madoff, had to be jumped into to prision in his 60s. Me, I would get about time from my homie and peeps. I got mad props built up.

    chicagofinance says:
    December 9, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    http://www.hunterschools.org/home

    clotluva says:
    December 9, 2013 at 4:45 pm
    Anybody know where the kids who end up at Bronx Science, Stuyvesant, or BK Tech go to elementary/middle school?

  133. chicagofinance says:

    JJ: getting your bike stolen at 7 years old by a kid in your grade who brings his older brother along as an enforcer is a good experience; mugged for Star Wars watch; tomato smashed on my head during Trick-or-Treating.

    There are some good experiences too. I found an M-80 in the school yard and blew up the third rail of the LIRR Port Washington branch and also found a firecracker and blew up a great big wet mound of dogsh!t…….my friend got it all over his neck and I clenched my teeth. Too bad I was 8 and was missing one of my front teeth. The sh!t went right into my mouth. My mother wondered why I wanted to take a bath and brush my teeth that night. I always would protest.

  134. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    New CEO of GM

    Mary Barra

    SVP, Global Product Development, General Motors
    Age: 51
    Country of Citizenship: United States
    Education: Bachelor of Arts / Science, Kettering University; Master of Business Administration, Stanford Graduate School of Business
    Marital Status: Married
    Children: 2

  135. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    I used to put stuff on tracks all the time between little neck and great neck stop. You have that swamp behind Great Neck Terrace Coops. Tons of places to hide.

    We did coins, then rocks, then bigwheels then bikes. Once we took a kids bike who left it in yard overnight, put it on tracks at night, train cut it in half, we found the two halfs and put it back in his yard. FUNNY.

    Then we realized if it can do a bike we can it do a shopping cart. But we needed speed. So we did the express train so it had speed put shopping cart on rail closest to third rail so cart would not just get bounced into swamps. And got up on a garage roof to watch from like a a thousand feet away.

    Damm cart did not get bounced it wedged between third rail and inner rail and was dragged as train skidded then damm old wooden cover on third rail caught fire. DAMM. Cops everywhere, even a helocopter. My and my buddy was safe as we were on a roof but third guy, a nut who was smaller than us maybe five foot back then, the cops saw him duck into a coop building in great neck terrace. So he is gone. Like we never see again that day. Next day I go what happend?. He was like the cops had me cornered in basement of coop so I hid in laundry room and they were about to search it so I climbed into dryer closed the door put someones laundry over me and hoped for best. Funny I was caught for like two hours till some lady came to use dryer and man did she scream when I popped out and I ran home. Funny. Now I would be furious if someone like me shut down whole port washington line for like one hour over a practical joke at start of rush hour.

    chicagofinance says:
    December 10, 2013 at 8:49 am

    JJ: getting your bike stolen at 7 years old by a kid in your grade who brings his older brother along as an enforcer is a good experience; mugged for Star Wars watch; tomato smashed on my head during Trick-or-Treating.

    There are some good experiences too. I found an M-80 in the school yard and blew up the third rail of the LIRR Port Washington branch and also found a firecracker and blew up a great big wet mound of dogsh!t…….my friend got it all over his neck and I clenched my teeth. Too bad I was 8 and was missing one of my front teeth. The sh!t went right into my mouth. My mother wondered why I wanted to take a bath and brush my teeth that night. I always would protest.

  136. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a Captain Justice says:

    [136] JJ

    So, did you nail her decades ago?

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  138. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a Captain Justice says:

    [136] JJ

    From what little I read, she seems a logical choice and has been groomed for this for some time. I like her “no more crappy cars” quote as my experience with GMs decades ago turned me off to them and they’ve done little to earn my business back. But perhaps I can look again. You seem to like GMs and as much as I tease you about inspiring the Dos Equis commercials, your judgment on many things seems solid and I should consider it.

    Being the devotee of inside baseball that I am, there is one inside pitch I expect from hardcore detractors: GM didn’t have her groomed and elevated, Obama did. Haven’t heard it though and expect it would be quickly squelched.

  139. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a Captain Justice says:

    Snowing like a mofo here in ChesCo. Again. But the one advantage of living on a street with local pols is that it’s already been plowed twice while many major roads are tough sledding. And my neighbor, one of the town supervisors, came over and plowed my driveway. His wife, a ward judge, made sure I was registered. Hope they aren’t democrats.

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