Jersey Shore – GTL? Nah. TBTF.

From the NYT:

Back to the Jersey Shore

With beaches replenished, boardwalks rebuilt and stores reopened, the Jersey Shore is gearing up for a summer busy enough to make last year’s anemic one a distant memory.

As renters rush to book their summer houses and buyers snatch up newly vacant land, a different Jersey Shore is taking shape one and a half years after Hurricane Sandy, one in which the small working-class bungalows that once defined communities like Ortley Beach are being replaced with spacious dream homes intended to entice wealthy vacationers.

Warnings of climate change and rising sea levels have done little to deter buyers who see opportunity in disaster. For some, the storm-tossed shore is a blank canvas, awaiting new construction that could redefine the look and feel of the coastline. Others, in the market for a safer bet on the beach, are zeroing in on areas that emerged relatively unscathed. In short, Hurricane Sandy hit the reset button on the Jersey Shore.

“At the end of the day, we’re going to be in a better spot,” said Eric J. Birchler, the owner of Birchler Realtors, which sells properties in Ortley Beach and Lavallette, two of the hardest hit areas. “You just stepped the entire gentrification of Ortley Beach forward five years because everything had to be rebuilt.”

Soon after Hurricane Sandy destroyed the vacation house and seasonal business of Chris Marino and Joanne de França-Marino in Lavallette, the couple began putting their lives back together. At first they planned to rebuild their 2,500-square-foot house across the street from the bay. But then they saw a listing for a nearby 12,000-square-foot parcel on a cove with 180 feet of bulkhead on the bay.

Before the storm, the property had been listed for $1.898 million. But the Marinos bought it in March for $999,000. They plan to tear down the existing 1,600-square-foot brick house and invest about $1 million in a 4,200-square-foot, two-and a-half-story replacement. Outside will be a gazebo and an in-ground pool.

“It’s a phenomenal buying opportunity,” said Mr. Marino, whose family has been summering on the Jersey Shore for generations. “It’s one of the largest bulkheads on the whole island.”

As for the home the storm destroyed, the couple will replace it with a five-bedroom house with 2,800 square feet that they plan to sell for about $900,000. Ms. de França-Marino hopes to reopen her home décor store, the Beach Home, at a new location in Lavallette in time for the Memorial Day rush.

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72 Responses to Jersey Shore – GTL? Nah. TBTF.

  1. Fast Eddie says:

    I’m curious to know what the Seaside Park/Heights Boardwalk looks like. Does anyone know if it’s being rebuilt? I mean, I’m sure it is but what’s the progress? Any pictures, post-fire?

  2. Fast Eddie says:

    Here’s the most I can find right now. How surreal. Back to back years of disaster. There are so many memories as a kid, you would like to see the next generation enjoy it as well.

    http://newjersey.news12.com/features/sandy/seaside-park-seaside-heights-boardwalk-set-to-be-built-by-start-of-beach-season-1.7557758

  3. WickedOrange says:

    APRIL 2, 2014 DOWN THE SHORE
    Report: Potential setback with Seaside Park boardwalk reconstruction

    http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/down-the-shore/item/66444?linktype=hp_blogs?utm_source=down-the-shore&utm_medium=social&utm_content=test&utm_campaign=social-inbound

    The reconstruction of the Seaside Park boardwalk may be in jeopardy of not being done for Memorial Day weekend or even the entire summer, according to a report on NBC10.

    Negotiations between boardwalk property owners, who plan to rebuild with private capital, and three leaseholders have hit a potential roadblock, the report states.

    But the parties are still talking without involving lawyers, according to the report.

    Officials have hoped that the privately-owned Seaside Park stretch of boardwalk, which was destroyed by a massive fire in September 2013, would be ready by Memorial Day weekend.

  4. joyce says:

    When I saw the headline, I just assumed they were talking about any shore location other than Lavallette / Ortley. I was just there a few weeks ago and it’s just barely no longer a war zone from the road construction, to the sewer/storm drain rehabs, to several houses being knocked down / rebuilt. Yes, it will look nice but I put the eta on that easily over 5 years.

  5. joyce says:

    To be fair I should say most of Lavallette is in much better shape than all or Ortley.

  6. joyce says:

    Comrade,
    I guess you don’t remember or don’t agree with past conversations, either of which is fine. The US is already a party to several one-sided trade agreements either independently or as part of the WTO. If we ended those to make them more even, sure other can and probably will respond if they want to cut their nose off to spite their face. The majority of developing nations rely on access to the US mostly, but also others, to export to.

    If the US, for example, flushed all of Title 16 in favor of flat tariffs with some excise taxes, (I wish for other reforms as well but let’s start with these), I contend that not only will US based firms move more jobs/production back on shore but other foreign companies will want to relocate and / or start up here.

  7. joyce says:

    16 = 26

  8. joyce says:

    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=228909

    The Hubris – And “Privilege” – Of Health Care On Display

    If you’ve read here for any length of time, and certainly since Obamacare first became a matter of discussion, not to mention Leverage, you know that one of my “hammer points” is the outrageously-abusive medical system we have in the United States — a system that does what it does because our government has granted special dispensation from laws that operate in virtually every other area of commerce.

    In virtually every other area of commerce The Sherman and Clayton Acts (15 USC) prohibit, under penalty of law with both civil and criminal felony provisions, virtually any collusive behavior between putative competitors that have the impact of restraining trade or fixing prices.

    Also, in virtually every other area of commerce, you are free to transact in goods as you wish, and once you own a good you may resell it should you so choose to another party without interference.

    And finally, in virtually every other area of commerce, you may not bill someone for a good or service unless three acts have occurred giving rise to the contractual obligation to pay: Offer, acceptance and an act in furtherance of performance.

    But in medicine none of these protections apply because the health “industry” has lobbied for and received special dispensation from laws that are supposed to prevent you from being abused.

    Now we have a poster child for this abuse — Gilead’s Sovaldi.

    “”"”" Gilead wants to tier its pricing based on a country’s per-capita income. So patients in the U.K would pay about $57,000, Reuters reports, while Germans would pay $66,000 and Americans are paying $84,000. “”"”"

    In an actual free market this would be impossible to enforce. Gilead could price the drug however it wanted, but you would be free to buy as much of it as you wanted in one place and sell it in another.

    Ex transportation and storage costs this would cause the prices worldwide to converge.

    This doesn’t happen because it is illegal for you, as a person who purchased and thus owns the particular doses of the drug, to bring them into the United States and sell them. That prohibition is a special restriction that the medical industry “enjoys”, and it makes possible this sort of outrageous behavior.

    Without the ability to throw you in prison should you attempt to break Gilead’s pricing model — a model that can only work so long as Gilead has the government shoving a gun in your face — this sort of nonsense would be flatly impossible to maintain.

    “”"”" For now, Gilead has a pretty tight lock on the market, but competitors such as AbbVie (ABBV) are expected to debut treatments later this year. But Congress has no power over individual drug costs, so it’s unlikely that all the carping will lead to anything, writes Nathan Sadeghi-Nejad in Forbes. There are plenty of ironies here, not the least of which is that medical innovation is revealing the shortcomings of our health care system.

    “The drug is a microcosm of the U.S. healthcare system’s structural problems,” Sadeghi-Nejad adds. “We want big scientific advances, but are not prepared to handle the costs of a drug so effective and tolerable that every patient wants it at once.” “”"”"

    Oh really?

    If everyone wants it at once and the particular condition is relatively common (and Hepatitis C is) then the drug should be cheap due to economy of scale.

    Markets work because there is a natural set of forces between buyers and sellers. If the seller demands something that is unreasonable the buyer can either say “No” or find an alternative that costs less. In the extreme case the seller makes no money and his or her patent expires worthless, at which point the substance becomes available for little more than the cost of manufacturing, as anyone can then make and sell the product.

    But in the medical system none of this applies. You can be (and in fact more frequently than not are!) treated without consenting to the price first, and if you are in an exigent circumstance and can’t consent then the sky is the limit; the provider can perform anything he or she can defend as “medically necessary” irrespective of cost and you get charged for it despite not having formed a contract to pay. But even in a case where exigence doesn’t apply (at least in the first instance) this occurs all the time — you go into the hospital for a routine procedure, walking in, and yet during your stay providers will come in and perform procedures from examinations to administering drugs to various other acts and yet at no time did you consent in advance individually or in bulk to either the procedure and the price.

    Try this in the auto repair business and you’ll find yourself on the wrong end of an attorney general civil and criminal action. Try this, in fact, in virtually any other line of work and you will find yourself being sued for fraud and possibly criminally prosecuted.

    The exception? The medical industry.

    If you want to solve the problem with health care costs the only answer is to remove those privileges — stop allowing those firms to use the power of government to compel you to buy only where, when and at the price they wish. In other words, allow the market to work.

    If Gilead wants to sell their drug for some price they’re free to do that. But the minute they try to sell it for a different price in different places anyone should be free to buy it where it’s cheap and sell it where it’s dear, arbitraging the difference. Since in a market economy many people will choose to do so the amount of money those performing the arbitrage can pocket for the service of doing so is limited; if someone gets too aggressive the market will resolve the problem as another person will enter that market and charge a lower fee. This will continue until the market determines that the incentive to enter the market is insufficient — that is, there is an insufficient amount of profit available to the next potential competitor to make it worth the effort.

    Virtually all of the problems we have in America with our health system and affordability of care are caused by the extreme and outrageous legal protections that the industry has managed to bribe and cajole Congress into providing, and which it then uses to trash you as a consumer. Medical care in a market without those special protections would cost about one fifth of what it does now, and as a result virtually everyone could literally pay cash for everything they need in that regard. The reason governments at both the state and federal level refuse to do so is that they are well-aware that should these laws be repealed and the existing anti-trust and consumer protection laws be enforced that same 80% drop in health spending will instantly reflect into GDP and produce the mother of all recessions until that spending and those resources are reallocated into other areas of the economy. It will also result in a huge number of lobbyists and “advocates”, along with many lawmakers, becoming unemployed.

    Until we confront where the problem lies and remove the special protections that make this abusive behavior possible we will have no resolution — or affordable health care.

  9. Hughesrep says:

    4

    35 is going to be a nightmare for a while. They are just starting to get the mains in from what I understand. I doubt they get both sides open this summer.

    The rides at Point Pleasant Boardwalk open up on the weekends starting today.

  10. Michael says:

    Very good point!

    “If the US, for example, flushed all of Title 16 in favor of flat tariffs with some excise taxes, (I wish for other reforms as well but let’s start with these), I contend that not only will US based firms move more jobs/production back on shore but other foreign companies will want to relocate and / or start up here.”

  11. Michael says:

    Amen!!! Legal extortion!!!

    “Virtually all of the problems we have in America with our health system and affordability of care are caused by the extreme and outrageous legal protections that the industry has managed to bribe and cajole Congress into providing, and which it then uses to trash you as a consumer. Medical care in a market without those special protections would cost about one fifth of what it does now, and as a result virtually everyone could literally pay cash for everything they need in that regard. The reason governments at both the state and federal level refuse to do so is that they are well-aware that should these laws be repealed and the existing anti-trust and consumer protection laws be enforced that same 80% drop in health spending will instantly reflect into GDP and produce the mother of all recessions until that spending and those resources are reallocated into other areas of the economy. It will also result in a huge number of lobbyists and “advocates”, along with many lawmakers, becoming unemployed.”

  12. Cronut Nom Deplume says:

    Sadly ironic. The Fort Hood shooter was against civilians having semiauto weapons.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/05/us/fort-hood-gunman-facebook/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

  13. Joyce, the whole sickcare industry is now perfectly poised to be the permanent kill shot to middle class Amerika. All is going according to plan.

    Wake me up when it’s time to start shooting the fcuktards who rigged up this whole thing.

  14. Create the chaos, then seize more power by swooping in to “save the broken system”.

    Different era, same playbook. Meh.

  15. Blood will be shed. Of that, there is no doubt.

  16. grim says:

    Preliminary reports show March inventory having set new recent lows.

    Good chances March contracts see a solid year over year decline. Looks like Q1, on aggregate, will be lower YOY.

    Weather? Inventory? Affordability? A mix of the three? Preliminary numbers even have the stalwart Bergen County seeing a strong decline in March contracts, down 12% YOY.

    One positive here is that the low inventory will create a situation where the impact of REO coming to market is blunted by demand. There are many areas where current absorption is less than 3 months, which is generally considered to be very strong.

    More to follow in the next few days once data is updated.

  17. Fast Eddie says:

    Preliminary numbers even have the stalwart Bergen County seeing a strong decline in March contracts, down 12% YOY.

    Nothing to buy. Bag holders are underwater. There’s a sea of dwellers making payments and getting nauseous every time they write that monthly mortgage check. They don’t want to even think about the fact that their house is worth 20% less than what they paid. Not my problem and it shouldn’t be yours either.

  18. grim says:

    g – you need to look at 68 Fisk in Wayne..

    http://www.trulia.com/property/3148538566-68-Fisk-Rd-Wayne-NJ-07470#photo-2

    God, I can’t wait for this, this is going to be good.

  19. Cronut Nom Deplume says:

    [16] Joyce,

    Don’t remember but that’s fine, as you said.

    Disagree with first para. insofar as it suggests the current structure benefits us (you weren’t suggesting that, were you?). And fact that some, not all, individual foreign companies rely on the US market is irrelevant. I expect massive market shift should the US throw up a lot of barriers but international growth is huge and we would be locked out of that.

    Agree that second para is possible but unlikely.

  20. Cronut Nom Deplume says:

    [6] Joyce

    S/b 6, not 16. Haven’t had coffee yet.

    To elaborate on trade agreements, access to the US market is important but if it were that important relative to our access to foreign markets, why are all the agreements so one-sided? An answer may be in how foreign producers, in part, access our markets: through US multinationals. Also, there are far more moving parts in these issues than just trade. I don’t pretend to know them all but we trade trade for financial stability, defense agreements, environmental issues, protection of targeted industries, etc., etc., etc. . . . This greatly complicates analysis in this area.

    As for tariff and trade reform, aren’t you now advocating the very barriers to entry that I earlier said were necessary for any hope of putting Americans back to work? Changing the cost structure through tariffs to make it more cost effective to manuf here is a protectionist measure. Not as hard as a stone wall barrier to entry but can be almost as effective. Further, you can expect backlash domestically as some industries protected by the patchwork now in place will have less under a flatter regime.

  21. Michael says:

    Barbara Ehrenreich quote from Time interview this week.

    Connecticut is going to raise the minimum wage to 10.10 an hour by 2017. In your experience, is that enough?

    No. MIT is constantly monitoring what you need to live on, on a pretty bare bones level. In New Haven it would work out to be about $20-plus an hour to pay rent and, say, child care for one child. And this is not internet access, this is nothing.

    What about businesses that can’t afford even $10.10?

    Well, part of me says, “I don’t care.” This is a moral issue. If you have people working for you who cannot make enough to live on, you don’t have much of a business plan. Your business plan is really exploiting other people’s pain and suffering.

  22. grim says:

    Well, part of me says, “I don’t care.” This is a moral issue.

    Moral issue? What’s the worse situation, unemployment and welfare or minimum wage?

    If you have people working for you who cannot make enough to live on, you don’t have much of a business plan.

    What about those who do not need to make enough to live on, for example teenagers or college kids working in fast food? So a 16 year old burger flipper living at home aught to make as much money as a single mother trying to support herself and kids?

    Some 50%+ of minimum wage earners are between 16 and 24, and if you look at the demographics, it looks like a big portion are suburban kids, whose families don’t need the income. Roughly 25% of minimum wage workers are teenagers, 16-19.

  23. Michael says:

    Grim, you should reword this. What’s worst, unemployment, or working to go in debt? What is the purpose of working if you can’t even survive on it? Only person making out here is the boss paying someone so little that they can’t even survive on it. Based on logic, where in the state of nature does a action exist with a negative result. Putting in more energy than you get out. Would a lion continue to hunt, if it will only grow hungrier and closer to death with each hunt? Meaning the energy used to hunt was not enough to maintain your survival.

    That’s the way I look at low wage jobs, they are there to serve their master, they are nothing more than slavery, except it’s better, you don’t have to house or feed them, just work em till they can’t anymore, and replace em with the next guy in line.

    There is no logic involved in working a job you cannot survive on. Minimum wage jobs, you cannot survive on.

  24. Michael says:

    Should we go back to the guilded age where industrial Barron’s willingly got rich off the backs of children? Yes, we had to make a law to protect 4 and 5 year olds from the hand of exploitation by rich heartless greedy bastards, who used children to make their fortune.

    There is no end to these men’s greed. We already saw what happens when you create a class of citizens who control the govt with their wealth, it’s called the gilded age, looked nice from the outside, but if you look inside, you will see the truth. Been there, done that. So why are we going back in the direction of that hellish scene?

    “If you have people working for you who cannot make enough to live on, you don’t have much of a business plan.

    What about those who do not need to make enough to live on, for example teenagers or college kids working in fast food? So a 16 year old burger flipper living at home aught to make as much money as a single mother trying to support herself and kids?

    Some 50%+ of minimum wage earners are between 16 and 24, and if you look at the demographics, it looks like a big portion are suburban kids, whose families don’t need the income. Roughly 25% of minimum wage workers are teenagers, 16-19.”

  25. grim says:

    23 – I’ve stated my position here, I’m agnostic on the minimum wage increase – frankly – I believe, on net, it will have little impact. While some might be able to pull out of poverty, it comes at the price of those who will lose their jobs, and be pushed further into poverty. From a broader macroeconomic perspective, the percentages we’re talking about here are tiny.

    The problem I have with the argument is that those who haven’t looked at the demographics believe that each dollar in additional wages will benefit the poor. The fact is, that isn’t the case. The 16 year old burger flipper, living in a household that is not in poverty, will also gain. Now maybe there is some multiplier effect as a result of spending his money on Xbox, Halo, and energy drinks – but that isn’t what we’re talking about here.

    Those who hold up increased minimum wage as an unarguable solution to poverty are idiots.

  26. Michael says:

    They don’t need to pay for school or anything? 20-24 is rough to try and live off of minimum wage, don’t you think? Talking 9 dollars an hour, you can’t even buy a car, never mind paying 5,000 for insurance and 3 thousand for gas.

    Some 50%+ of minimum wage earners are between 16 and 24, and if you look at the demographics, it looks like a big portion are suburban kids, whose families don’t need the income. Roughly 25% of minimum wage workers are teenagers, 16-19.”

  27. grim says:

    You want a zero cost solution to reduce poverty? Make it illegal for unemancipated minors to work. If you 17 and younger, and live with your parents or guardians, you can not be employed.

    Simple way to move approximately 1 million unemployed workers onto payrolls and eliminate income going to families that don’t need it. Suspect employers might need to raise wages to attract new workers to those vacant positions, but you need not touch the minimum wage.

  28. Michael says:

    You do understand what kids are working these minimum wage jobs? 90% are from poor or lower middle class families, whose parents don’t make enough to support them. I would love to see the % of kids working minimum wage jobs who come from a family whose parents are low wage earners or don’t have a job.

    grim says:
    April 6, 2014 at 10:28 am
    You want a zero cost solution to reduce poverty? Make it illegal for unemancipated minors to work. If you 17 and younger, and live with your parents or guardians, you can not be employed.

    Simple.

  29. Michael says:

    And I do agree, we should not allow anyone under 17 to work. This time should instead be focused on school. Maybe setup a system where we take all this money on testing and instead put some kind of monetary reward system in place for school kids. That would have to motivate poor kids and show them a direct correlation of making money and school.

  30. grim says:

    You do understand what kids are working these minimum wage jobs? 90% are from poor or lower middle class families, whose parents don’t make enough to support them.

    Cite your source, or did you just completely make this up?

  31. Michael says:

    30- I will try to do some research and see if I can put something together. I was just throwing a number out there based on my experience from growing up and at college. Almost every kid I knew that was upper middle or wealthy, did not work. Hell, my good friend is going to be 31 and getting married this year, still has not worked a day in his life.

  32. grim says:

    Here is my source:

    http://epionline.org/downloads/Sabia_Burkhauser_SEJ_Jan10.PDF

    We find that 11.3% of these minimum wage workers live in poor households. When workers living in near-poor households are also included (households with income-to-needs ratios between 1.0 and 1.5), this number rises to 23.4%. However, 63.2% of minimum wage workers live in households with incomes over twice the poverty line, and 42.3% live in households with incomes over three times the poverty line ($61,950 for a four-person household).

    Our results show that recent minimum wage increases between 2003 and 2007 had no effect on state poverty rates. Moreover, the proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $9.50 per hour is unlikely to be any better at reducing poverty because (i) most workers (89.0%) who are affected are not poor, (ii) many poor workers (48.9%) already earn hourly wages greater than $9.50 per hour, and (iii) the minimum wage increase is likely to cause adverse employment effects for the working poor.

  33. Cronut Nom Deplume says:

    [32] grim

    You know, if we can get the rest of the world to raise its own wage levels dramatically, this problem should largely go away.

  34. Michael says:

    What else is hard….how many people are paid minimum wage in cash. Far more under the table jobs are minimum wage jobs. Tough to account for that.

  35. grim says:

    I just heard PA propose a $12.00 minimum wage. See what happens when a large percentage of ex-NJ residents settle in a state?

  36. Cronut Nom Deplume says:

    [35] grim,

    Yup. Same way New Hampshire got ruined.

  37. Cronut Nom Deplume says:

    [35] grim,

    I propose dynamiting the Delaware River crossings.

  38. Michael says:

    Check out graph 10. Tells you something. The current minimum wage % is so low compared to 1979, why? I would think that the current minimum wage participation rate is so low due to the notion that only a small percentage of the workforce will still work at this wage. This is where our high unemployment comes from today, the wages are so low that these people would rather not work.

    http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2011tbls.htm#7

  39. Cronut Nom Deplume says:

    [38] Michael,

    True, unemployment pays more than that.

    A couple of things your comments point out. First, the min wage stats are based on compliant reporters. These reporters are also paying employment related costs, direct and indirect, well in excess of the min. wage. That can add a few bucks per hour of cost for each min wage hire.

    Also, you mention under the table employment. This is a good deal for most workers. If you pay illegals $8 per hour in cash, your cost is $8 per hour and their tske home is $8 per hour. On a tax equiv basis, more like paying $10-11 per hour and the employer isn’t hit. The burger flipper making $8 per hour costs more like $13 per hour and takes home $6 per hour.

  40. Michael says:

    Lol…will use this site’s own statistics against their own agenda. From table 1 graph.

    Avg family income of all minimum wage workers….53,113

    Avg family income of min wage workers 16-24 (I’m sure this # leaves out the under the table working families which would drag this # down even more)….65,896

    Avg family income of min wage workers 25 and up…42,462

    Guess I was right, those are poor or lower middle class family earnings.

    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/02/who-earns-the-minimum-wage-suburban-teenagers-not-single-parents

  41. grim says:

    At this point, I’m ready to rally for the minimum wage to be increased just to shut people up.

    Unfortunately, this will mean upwards of 500,000 minimum wage workers will lose their jobs, making this more than just a thought experiment, but a change that will impact a half a million Americans for the worse. These aren’t my numbers, these are the CBO numbers. I’ve seen some numbers that indicate that this will disproportionately impact the working poor, making this even worse.

    My comment about making it illegal to employ unemancipated minors wasn’t a joke.

  42. Michael says:

    Exactly why we can’t account for under the table minimum wage workers. It’s win win for both parties, hence, it must be rampant. Who gets screwed here again, the middle class worker who actually pays taxes. Now he has to pay more taxes to subsidize the under the table workers food stamps, and child’s education. This is why I hate under the table. It’s the poor and rich coming together to screw the middle class.

    “Also, you mention under the table employment. This is a good deal for most workers. If you pay illegals $8 per hour in cash, your cost is $8 per hour and their tske home is $8 per hour. On a tax equiv basis, more like paying $10-11 per hour and the employer isn’t hit. The burger flipper making $8 per hour costs more like $13 per hour and takes home $6 per hour.”

  43. Cronut Nom Deplume says:

    [41] grim,

    I’m supporting it because it’s disruptive. There are going to be investment opportunities in tech and professional work generated by the collateral effects.

  44. Michael says:

    I agree, kids in the workplace do one thing, drive down wages.

    “My comment about making it illegal to employ unemancipated minors wasn’t a joke.”

  45. grim says:

    40 – exactly my point, the 16-24 group, which is more than 50% of all minimum wage earners, are largely secondary or tertiary incomes for households/families that are not in poverty.

    Median household income for this group is $65,896? This is higher than the US median household income for the same period. Poverty? This group belongs to the richer half of Americans, not even remotely “poor”. $65k is something like 3x higher than the federal poverty level for a family of 4.

    Go ahead, give these kids raises.

    But when your feel good economics put half a million people out of jobs (the ones that ain’t kids) – don’t tell me you need to raise the minimum wage, or my taxes, again to fix it.

  46. Michael says:

    In any place that matters in the U.S., that family income puts you just above poverty. Try living on that in sf or north jersey.

    “Median household income for this group is $65,896? This is higher than the US median household income for the same period. Poverty? This group belongs to the richer half of Americans, not even remotely “poor”.”

  47. Cronut Nom Deplume says:

    [42] Michael

    The vast majority of under table employment is self employment and small businesses serving individuals and homeowners. It’s the poor and middle class screwing their neighbors, not some rich guy running a 200mm per year business with illegals.

    I’ve no illusions that my sitters are declaring the $15 per hour I’m paying, or that my lawn guy is giving W-2s to the guys cutting my grass. But if I tell them that I’m not using them unless they give me SSNs so I can 1099 them, they will disappear.

  48. Cronut Nom Deplume says:

    [47] redux

    And if you want anecdotal proof of that, look up which division at IRS has the most attorneys and enforcement agents. It isn’t LMSB.

  49. grim says:

    Median household income in NJ is $71k, there are plenty of people that are able to do more than just “try”.

    Given that NJ’s household income is about 30% higher than the national, I’d wager a guess at the median income for the 16-24 minimum wage group is 30% higher as well, putting it somewhere north of $80k. Hardly subsistence income.

  50. chicagofinance says:

    I wonder whether this was staged…..seriously…..

    Oppressed by the Ivy League
    What Dartmouth’s president should have told bullying students.

    Academia has been obsessed over identity politics for two generations, so there’s some justice in the newest addition to the matrix of oppression: an Ivy League education, according to the Dartmouth College students who this week took over the president’s office.

    On Tuesday Dartmouth’s finest seized the main administration building and disrupted college business. The squatters were allowed to remain until Thursday night, when the dean of the college negotiated and signed an exit settlement assuring them the non-dialogue would continue.

    The demonstrators had a 72-point manifesto instructing the college to establish pre-set racial admission quotas and a mandatory ethnic studies curriculum for all students. Their other inspirations are for more “womyn or people of color” faculty; covering sex change operations on the college health plan (“we demand body and gender self-determination”); censoring the library catalog for offensive terms; and installing “gender-neutral bathrooms” in every campus facility, specifically including sports locker rooms.

    We rarely sympathize with college administrators but we’ll make an exception for Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon, an accomplished mathematician who for some reason took the job last year. The occupiers filmed their confrontation and uploaded the hostage video to the Web, where Mr. Hanlon can be seen agog as his charges berate him for his “micro-aggressions.” Those are bias infractions that can’t be identified without the right political training.

    Mr. Hanlon left after an hour and told the little tyrants that he welcomed a “conversation” about their ultimatums. They responded in a statement that conversations—to be clear, talking—will lead to “further physical and emotional violence enacted against us by the racist, classist, sexist, heterosexist, transphobic, xenophobic, and ableist structures at Dartmouth.” They added: “Our bodies are already on the line, in danger, and under attack.”

    If that sounds more like Syria than Hanover, N.H., meet the resurgence of the anti-liberal campus left. The intellectual mentor of the protestors is a history professor named Russell Rickford, who calls Dartmouth “White Supremacy U.” Hostile to free expression, open debate and due process, their politics of anger and resentment can’t be pacified. Reality is not an admissable defense.

    To wit, the most tolerant-to-a-fault places in America are unlikely bastions for white male privilege. Dartmouth’s elaborate diversity bureaucracy is designed to accommodate any need or desire. Some 37% of its freshman class comes from a background “of color,” and 10% are first-generation college students. Note to any of them taking on loans for the $65,133 annual tuition, room and board: The special locker rooms will be itemized in the next term’s invoice.

    These downtrodden souls also have powerful allies—namely, the U.S. government. Since 2011, the Education Department has used enforcement discretion to expand the legal scope of Title IX (on sex discrimination) and the Clery Act (on campus crime). The civil-rights shop encourages activists to file legal complaints and threatens to withhold federal funding unless schools acquiesce. Dartmouth has been a target of this method for two years, but there are cases against Yale, Stanford, Berkeley, Occidental and others.

    Thus it is understandable that nominal authority figures like Mr. Hanlon seem helpless to defend their reputations or maintain discipline and public order. But it is still unacceptable. An institution more confident in its character and mission would defend itself. A college that purports to support free inquiry ought to be able to muster the courage to speak up for its own rules and for debate that respects the rights of others.

    Mr. Hanlon might have told the kids occupying his office that most of mankind—forgive the micro-aggression—would love to be as oppressed as they are. Few young men and women in the world are more “privileged” than those admitted to the Ivy League. The takeover’s benefit to Dartmouth is that it might inspire the small minority of like-minded high schoolers to find another college to terrorize. Most elite U.S. students are well adjusted and grateful for their opportunity.

    Dartmouth and any other school in this position should tell the students they have an hour to leave the premises, and if they don’t they will be arrested for trespassing and expelled. Since Mr. Hanlon missed that chance, he and the school’s trustees should now tell the students that if they are so unhappy they should transfer. Surely the occupiers would be welcomed by at least one of the other 4,431 universities or colleges in the U.S. But they may discover the problem is their own sense of privilege, not Dartmouth’s.

  51. Comrade Nom Deplume again (now that cronuts are banned). says:

    [46] Michael

    One final thing to Grim’s observation: those kids working at McDs and earning min wage don’t have the expenses you rail about. No housing or utility expenses, little good costs, no healthcare spend, and often no car payments. Min wage jobs are a good deal for them because everything they keep is discretionary, much more do than the welfare mom for whom a min wage job is a backwards step.

  52. chicagofinance says:

    Clearly the best passage…..

    covering sex change operations on the college health plan (“we demand body and gender self-determination”

  53. Comrade Nom Deplume again (now that cronuts are banned). says:

    Good = food

  54. chicagofinance says:

    and installing “gender-neutral bathrooms” in every campus facility, specifically including sports locker rooms.

  55. Comrade Nom Deplume again (now that cronuts are banned). says:

    [50] chi fi

    The best part is that, unlike prior generations, they won’t be able to simply cut their hair, take a shower, rewrite their resumes, and assimilate after graduation.

  56. Comrade Nom Deplume again (now that cronuts are banned). says:

    I like the part about “ableism”. It right up there with looksism.

    Fortunately, the democrats have proposed legislation to deal with that.
    http://www.wnd.com/2013/02/the-americans-with-no-abilities-act/

  57. grim says:

    54 – Reminds me of a particularly well hydrated evening at the Loop in Passaic, 1am-ish, pissing in the dirty urinal, when two particularly good looking girls walk in bitching about the line to the ladies room. One in a skirt proceeds to squat over the toilet (if you were ever in the Loop, you’ll know the mens toilet is not in a stall) and take a piss, while the second ‘dropped trou’ and sat on the sink (which was literally right next to the urinal) to do the same.

    Now, look, I had no problem with this, but I understand that some might (and yes, she did look over).

    I have no idea what the hell gender self-determination means, but if I need to pay for it, it’ll either be a strap-on for the first case, and a wonder bra and duct tape for the second.

  58. Michael says:

    65,900

    Family income, meaning 2 or more.

    Two people earning 32,600—-poor if living in north jersey.

    Three people earning 21,9666

    Not going to go further, you get the point. Joke money.

  59. Comrade Nom Deplume again (now that cronuts are banned). says:

    [55] redux

    And if word gets around that employers or grad schools will shun you if they learn you belong to certain groups or took Professor Rickfords class, that will have an effect. But not a large one since the folks who plan on meeting campus recruiters are likely not in the protestors camp . . .

  60. Comrade Nom Deplume again (now that cronuts are banned). says:

    Clot, did you enjoy the Everton-Arsenal match?

  61. Comrade Nom Deplume again (now that cronuts are banned). says:

    Now if the Hammers can down the scousers, that will make up for a sh!tty Saturday.

  62. grim says:

    58 – I have no idea what point you are trying to make here, you’ve become almost completely incomprehensible.

  63. Michael says:

    Sorry, was trying to type fast using as little words as possible.

    65,900 median family household income. This income level is borderline poor in north jersey.

    If you have two people in this household that comes out to two people making 32,950 dollars each. Again, this is considered poor for jersey standards.

    Three person household making 65,900 in total, comes out to 21,966 each. Again, really poor for north jersey standards.

  64. Grim says:

    Those income levels have nothing to do with minimum wage. In fact, your examples are double minimum wage.

    So what do you posit increasing minimum wage will do for folks already making more than $15/hr?

    In my opinion, not much.

  65. joyce says:

    Comrade,
    You guessed correct; I was suggesting the opposite the one-sided agreements do not benefit us (and by us, I’m saying the average pereson in this country). They do benefit the US multinationals for whom the current credits, deductions, loopholes, tariffs, et al to infinity were intended to benefit. You’re concluding sentence said there will be backlash cause you’re taking away advantages for some. Of course there will be. If we’re not even going to try to reform anything by leveling the playing field because certain industries, companies, individuals are going to cry that their gravy train is being taken away… then what are talking about? In my opinion and I’ve said this before (probably regarding this same exact topic), you at least in your words here love to coddle the multinationals… heaven forbid we do anything to them. And what I’m referring to isn’t about placing any undue burden on anyone, just taking away “legel” advantages that they never should have had in the first place.

    “As for tariff and trade reform, aren’t you now advocating the very barriers to entry that I earlier said were necessary for any hope of putting Americans back to work? Changing the cost structure through tariffs to make it more cost effective to manuf here is a protectionist measure.”

    I’m not referring to any protectionist measures. I’m not advocating any barriers to entry. I always couple the setting up of low, flat tariffs across the board with scrapping the entire US Tax Code. Raising revenue via tariffs and excise taxes is not protectionist, unless it is targeted at specific things (you mentioned that we already have that in some areas) or unless it is high enough to try to prevent any imports from entering. How much business do US based companies already do with various countries around the globe that have tariffs (some very high)? Some of those tariffs are meant to raise revenue; some are meant to protect; some both.

  66. yome says:

    Put a floor on wage depreciation. No question with so many unemployed and taking any jobs they can, $15/hr jobs will not be there for long.

    “So what do you posit increasing minimum wage will do for folks already making more than $15/hr? “

  67. Ragnar says:

    Grim,
    When it boils down to it, Mike wants to raise the minimum wage because that will keep those young minorities in their place – unemployed, in their towns, and on welfare. Except for that 5% that can magically jump from zero earnings to $15/hr. Everyone must either earn above the median income, or they shouldn’t have to work at all, and get a check in the mail instead, paid by those who do. Oh wait, won’t that mess up the math of “median income”? Welcome to common core math.

  68. WickedOrange says:

    Money magazine asked over 1,000 adults to tell us how they’re feeling about their finances, what worries keep them up at night, and how their money habits have changed since the Great Recession. Here are some of the highlights.
    http://money.cnn.com/infographic/pf/money-survey/?iid=SF_M_River

  69. chicagofinance says:

    It is so refreshing not to have that clod Flabmax around these parts…..

  70. chicagofinance says:

    New York state has a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. So do Los Angeles, Quebec and France. Polls show rising opposition to this controversial oil field technique, which cracks open rocks to free oil and natural gas, and some critics want it banned unless it can be proven safe.

    Meanwhile, U.S. energy companies are drilling and fracking about 100 wells every day across much of the country. Whether you think that it is an economic godsend or fear that it is an environmental disaster, whether you spell it fracking or fraccing (as the energy industry prefers), that is a lot of holes in the ground.

    Fracking is a fairly straightforward process. You drill a well straight down for a few thousand feet and gradually turn the shaft until it runs horizontally through the shale. Then you isolate a section of the rock and inject water, sand and chemicals under high pressure. This makes the rock fracture—hence the name. The sand stays behind to prop open the new network of fractures, and oil and gas flow out.

    Like it or not, fracking will continue. It is big business for giants such as Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM -0.58% to smaller firms such as Range Resources Corp. RRC -1.47% From railroads to petrochemicals, many sectors of the economy are reliant on the business of the energy boom, creating a broad coalition to support it. Fracking generates middle-class jobs and pays checks to mineral-rights owners. It can help U.S. national security by making the country less reliant on foreign oil, and it provides plenty of relatively low-carbon, affordable energy that makes North America the envy of the world.

    But fracking is an industrial process, and its many critics have some real and legitimate concerns about its impact on the environment and the communities near the wells.

    Since we’re fracking so much, what can we do to make it safer for people and the planet? I’ve asked this question, in one form or another, to hundreds of engineers, executives, academics and environmentalists since touring my first frack site more than a decade ago. I’ve heard many answers. Here are three that seem eminently reasonable.

    Fix the leaks.

    Natural gas is an efficient fuel, and burning it emits significantly fewer greenhouse gases than burning coal. But natural gas is mostly methane, a very potent contributor to climate change. If too much methane leaks, natural gas stops being part of a climate solution and becomes part of the problem.

    We don’t really know how much methane is leaking from wells and pipelines. A recent article in the journal Science suggested that leakage rates are well above current federal estimates.

    “If you want to argue that gas is part of the climate solution, you have to deal with methane leakage,” says Hal Harvey, chief executive of Energy Innovations LLC, a policy and technology consultant. The good news, he adds: “It’s a plumbing problem. It’s not thermodynamics.” Making a power plant twice as efficient is difficult engineering; cutting methane leakage in half isn’t. You just find the leaks and plug them.

    Some companies are ready to comply. “When you keep methane in the pipe, not only is it the right thing to do, but you capture it for sale,” says Ted Brown, senior vice president of Noble Energy Inc. NBL -1.32% The Houston company is the largest oil and gas producer in Colorado, which recently proposed new air-emission rules. Noble plans to hire 16 full-time employees to use infrared cameras to find leaks around its wells and pipelines.

    Methane also contributes to smog, and Denver’s air quality is deteriorating. Tackling smog would create a visible sign of the industry’s efforts to run a tighter ship.

    Get better data.

    Fights over whether fracking contaminates groundwater are bitter and divisive. Many people who live near fracking sites worry that their health is at risk. The only way to take these concerns off the table—or fix problems as they arise—is to require more testing, especially before drilling starts.

    The Center for Sustainable Shale Development, a joint effort of major operators, environmental groups and foundations, says that it is critical to test groundwater before drilling begins and then for at least a year afterward.

    “We want to say, ‘Here’s the data, it speaks for itself,’ ” says Susan Packard LeGros, executive director of the group, which counts Chevron Corp. CVX -0.20% , the Environmental Defense Fund and the William Penn Foundation among its partners.

    Requiring independent tests of water before drilling begins makes sense, says Michael Webber, deputy director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas. “It would be good for companies because it protects them from abusive false claims,” he says. “It would also give the local community peace of mind and evidence to take action if they need to take action.”

    Testing should go further, he says. Before-and-after air sampling could identify locations that release toxic compounds. Surveys of community-health metrics could help identify ways in which concentrated drilling activity harms nearby residents—or dispel misconceptions and worries.

    Mr. Webber says that requiring this kind of testing would also create valuable data on water resources and environmental quality across the country, something that doesn’t now exist. “We have big data in everything in life except for our natural resources and the environment,” he says.

    Build better wells.

    In 2012, Claude Cooke called me after an article I wrote about poorly built gas wells. He is one of nine men whom the Society of Petroleum Engineers has honored as a “Legend of Hydraulic Fracturing.”

    He said that people worried that the cracks in the rock caused by fracking would cause environmental problems. This fear was misplaced, he said: Fracking takes place miles below the surface of the earth or any potable aquifer.

    “If there is a problem, the issue is well integrity,” he said, and most likely a problem with the cement placed around wells to prevent any fluid or gas from migrating upward. Faulty cement doomed the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico and led to the death of 11 men and the worst offshore environmental disaster in U.S. history.

    California has set an interesting example in ensuring that wells are built well. Last year, when the state published interim regulations on fracking, chief among them were steps to ensure a well’s integrity, including testing its cement.

    Mr. Cooke says that more can be done to make sure that a well is safe and secure—and built to last for decades. After all, the U.S. is drilling 100 new wells a day. It would be a colossal problem if they were unsound.

    The industry figured out how to extract abundant energy from the densest rocks imaginable. Now it has a chance to do something even more audacious: to show that it can provide that energy in a safe, clean way.

    —Mr. Gold covers the energy industry for The Wall Street Journal and is the author of “The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World,” to be published by Simon & Schuster on April 8.

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