Roll the dice

From the APP:

What superstorm? New homes on fast track on LBI

It’s looking like the good ol’ days on Long Beach Island, before there was a Great Recession and such a thing as a superstorm.

Nearly two years ago the barrier island represented some of the worst of Superstorm Sandy’s destruction: collided homes, leaking gas mains and debris-strewn streets. The October 2012 storm rang up $23.3 million in damage to 2,100 homes, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency data.

Now, the island is more than just rebuilding — it is seeing a wave of new construction. Demand for new homes is high, experts and real estate officials say, thanks in part to new elevation requirements and a federal dune replenishment project seen as a strong front line of defense in the case of another monster storm.

Towns up and down the barrier island have seen the most new construction in years, officials say. By the end of summer, more than 420 new building permits had been issued among the island’s six municipalities since 2013, according to local and state Department of Community Affairs data. Most of those — 302 — were written in Long Beach Township, the largest municipality on the 18-mile long island, according to the data. New building permits are for new homes; additions and alterations get separate permits.

Property data show the number of vacant lots on the island increased, from about 1,400 in 2012, the year of the storm, to about 1,700 this year, suggesting more opportunities to build. Those figures may include lots where a home was demolished or land was subdivided.

“We’re busy. Everybody’s busy,” Long Beach Township Clerk Lynda J. Wells said.

That includes real estate agents, who say they noticed interest pick up about six to eight months after the storm.

“It became evident that the market was on a pretty fast track and it’s remained on a pretty fast track,” said Rick Jones, a real estate agent with G. Anderson Agency.

“People who have always wanted to be part of the home ownership of LBI are taking the chance now; there’s properties on the market that hadn’t been on the market before,” said Maggie O’Neill, an agent for the Mary Allen Realty. “Some people have said, ‘OK, I’m done,’ and the new regime is coming in. And a lot of people say, ‘You know, it was a once-in-a-lifetime storm and we’re going to roll the dice.’”

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107 Responses to Roll the dice

  1. Essex says:

    New regime = New Bagholders.

  2. anon (the good one) says:

    Zero sum game, mf’ers. This all ends in tears.

  3. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Superstorm Sandy is just like the Fed. It injected liquidity to the market, literally and figuratively.

    “People who have always wanted to be part of the home ownership of LBI are taking the chance now; there’s properties on the market that hadn’t been on the market before,”

  4. Yeah, ‘cuz everyone knows these superstorms are 100-year events.

    As if.

    It all ends in tears.

  5. After the next catastrophe, feel the comfort of knowing that your hard-earned tax dollar is going to make millionaires whole after their “devastating”, FEMA-insured loss.

  6. Let’s just start killing the rich now.

  7. Equalizer:

    “Americans want guns without serial numbers. And apparently, they want to make them at home. On Wednesday, Cody Wilson’s libertarian non-profit Defense Distributed revealed the Ghost Gunner, a $1,200 computer-controlled (CNC) milling machine designed to let anyone make the aluminum body of an AR-15 rifle at home, with no expertise, no regulation, and no serial numbers. Since then, he’s sold more than 200 of the foot-cubed CNC mills—175 in the first 24 hours.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-10-06/goodbye-gun-control-1200-machine-3d-printing-guns-has-sold-out-36-hours

  8. grim says:

    7 – Huh? Even in gun restrictive NJ, there is no law requiring the registration of long gun serial numbers, nor is there any law requiring the registration of long gun ownership. Rifles are not handguns. It is also specifically legal to manufacture your own gun, at home, for personal use. I say specifically legal because it is not a loophole, but clearly spelled out. If you happened to be in NJ, you would not be obligated by law to register that firearm.

    Only in the New America is it illegal to make things yourself. Sheep should not be allowed the right to manufacture.

  9. Ottoman says:

    “Let’s just start killing the rich now.”

    But…but…but they’re the job creators.

  10. Ottoman says:

    Congratulations, corporations have successfully turned you into their little psychopathic minions.

    “Our society constantly proclaims that anyone can make it if they just try hard enough, all the while reinforcing privilege and putting increasing pressure on its overstretched and exhausted citizens. An increasing number of people fail, feeling humiliated, guilty and ashamed. We are forever told that we are freer to choose the course of our lives than ever before, but the freedom to choose outside the success narrative is limited. Furthermore, those who fail are deemed to be losers or scroungers, taking advantage of our social security system.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/29/neoliberalism-economic-system-ethics-personality-psychopathicsthic

  11. Toxic Crayons says:

    7 – Gun control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars.

  12. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Lib and chifi – I’m looking for a re-entry point on LyondellBassell (LYB). After having a great ride for 2.5 years I sold at $108 back in late July expecting a pullback, which has finally materialized. If I was perfect I would have held it 45 days longer and sold at $115, oh well. Yesterday’s close was $101.89. It’s certainly not there yet and the PEG is 1.10x vs. an industry average of 0.43x, but low natural gas price as an input material looks to be a perpetual boost to margins. Thoughts on re-entry?

  13. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [12] Median PEG in the chemicals industry is 1.92, so maybe it’s a buy right now? I think I’ll be in again if it drops to $96-$97.

  14. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I don’t think anybody answered my question from a couple days ago. Kill the 1%, liquidate their assets, distribute to the 99% evenly, how much does each person get? You’d be surprised how little. Liberals can’t do math, that’s why they are liberals. It’s easy to be a liberal as long as you thing “plenty” is the exact amount of money the rich are not sharing with them.

    “Let’s just start killing the rich now.”

    But…but…but they’re the job creators.

  15. Libturd in Union says:

    Forget the 1%. Attack the government. That is where the problem is. Everything else is noise.

    Gas is $2.89 in Union. It’s gonna be a good Christmas.

    Otto. Why don’t you sell your krap to the Greeks – “We are forever told that we are freer to choose the course of our lives than ever before, but the freedom to choose outside the success narrative is limited. Furthermore, those who fail are deemed to be losers or scroungers, taking advantage of our social security system.” Baa.

    Expat…I’ll email you my opinion tonight. Don’t know a damn thing about LYB, but if its in the same sector as my SDRL and my AHGP, be very careful. As much as it was surprising to see AU go from $500 to $1800, it is not outside the realm of possibility to see gas go from $5 to $2. If that’s the case, you could kiss every energy play goodbye. Peak oil will be about as popular as one of Otto’s posts.

  16. Ragnar says:

    One of the most essential branches of English liberty is the freedom of one’s house. A man’s house is his castle.– James Otis, on the Writs of Assistance, 1761

    The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. – John Adams, A Defense of the American Constitutions, 1787

    Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government which impartially secures to every man whatever is his own. – James Madison, Essay on Property, 1792

    A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government. – Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, 1801

  17. Ragnar says:

    A house may be large or small; as long as the neighboring houses are likewise small, it satisfies all social requirement for a residence. But let there arise next to the little house a palace, and the little house shrinks to a hut. The little house now makes it clear that its inmate has no social position at all to maintain, or but a very insignificant one; and however high it may shoot up in the course of civilization, if the neighboring palace rises in equal or even in greater measure, the occupant of the relatively little house will always find himself more uncomfortable, more dissatisfied, more cramped within his four walls.
    KARL MARX, Wage Labour and Capital

    The theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.
    KARL MARX, The Communist Manifesto

    You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society.
    KARL MARX, The Communist Manifesto

  18. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [15] Lib – It’s a chemical manufacturer, not an energy company. If NG goes down their margin goes up as it is a raw material used to manufacture their chemicals. These were your comments back in May on LYB when I asked you if there was a reason to sell yet (at ~$95 back then) :

    Libturd at home says:
    May 9, 2014 at 7:22 pm
    Not yet ExPat. Though their sales growth has been nill for about 5 quarters. If you see any drop in margins, run for the hills. You can’t grow earnings without growing sales without increasing margin. And everyone knows, earnings drives stock price. Unless you’re Tesla or NetFlix.

    it is not outside the realm of possibility to see gas go from $5 to $2. If that’s the case, you could kiss every energy play goodbye.

  19. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    Freddie Mac infograph: Hispanics drive future of homeownership

    http://www.housingwire.com/articles/31616-freddie-mac-infograph-hispanics-drive-future-of-homeownership

    Hispanics are likely to drive housing demand in the coming years, with the population expected to more than double to about 128 million by 2060, according to the Vice President of Housing and Community Outreach at Freddie Mac Christina Diaz-Malone.

  20. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    Is there a subprime auto loan bubble?

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/09/27/subprime-auto-loan/16272641/

    Subprime mortgage lending shouldered much of the blame for the last financial crisis.

    Now some observers are concerned that a recent jump in subprime auto loans could also mean disaster for markets.

    According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the number of auto loans made to borrowers with credit scores below 660 has nearly doubled since 2009 – a much greater increase than in any other loan type. Other studies find repossessions climbing as well.

    Will these trends precede another stock market crash? Experts say no, but there are still reasons for those with subprime loans to be cautious.

  21. Toxic Crayons says:

    Cory Booker ‏@CoryBooker Sep 26
    Chris, thanks for allowing me to visit your class today at Sayreville High School. What great students. All the best.

  22. Toxic Crayons says:

    Should allegations of a “significant and serious nature” surrounding the Sayreville High School football program constitute hazing — which they might not under state law — those actions could be part of an underreported problem.

    NJ Advance Media, citing numerous sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, has labeled whatever allegedly took place within the Sayreville football program as a hazing, while CBS-TV in New York has reported that the allegations were sexual in nature.

    The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and Sayreville police continue to investigate the allegations.

  23. Fast Eddie says:

    Ragnar,

    I enjoyed reading those blurbs. Thanks for posting them.

  24. Libturd in Union says:

    Thanks Expat. I remember now. I’ll look into it tonight from a fundamentals standpoint. I can’t help you from a macro standpoint.

  25. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Heh-heh. LYB CEO is retiring in early 2015, announced before the open. Stock down 2.4 % trading at $99.43 right now. I might be back in soon.

  26. Ragnar says:

    I particularly enjoyed finding that Marx wrote on the enviousness of those of small means, and how people typically will not be satisfied, even as their own lot improves, if they see someone else’s improving more.

    This is in bracing contrast to the early American culture, when people had expectations that normal human beings had the ability and responsibility to make something of their lives, without the constant reference to the collective, beyond families and freely chosen associations. At that time, liberty and property rights were seen as the defense of the common man from kings and princes who would attempt to control and tax them. From the time of Marx, people have now attempted to speak on behalf of a new king, the collective non-entity “society”, which they think deserves to control and expropriate as they see fit, with of course only the wisest among us fit to interpret what “society” thinks it should do, but in general, harnessing the envy Marx spoke of to control and confiscate on a scale that even the most rapacious king or prince never imagined.

    Humans have to live by principles. There are a variety of principles out there, some pro-human-life, and some anti-human-life. Sadly, more and more are gravitating to the anti-life principles, and the better principles of 300 years ago are increasingly seen as anachronisms in this age of human-centipedism.

  27. Ragnar says:

    I had a good post disappear. But I don’t feel like writing it again.

  28. Ragnar says:

    Awaiting moderation, apparently. I have no idea what could be bothering the word-search.

  29. grim says:

    confisc8 is the offender, s-c-a-t

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  31. grim says:

    see you just mention something like that and the bots swarm on it.

  32. Libturd in Union says:

    I’d much rather read what the bots post than what some of the regurgitating sheep here post. The bots tend to be much less deceptive.

  33. Ebola Frenzy says:

    When will WalMart start beheading employees?

  34. Ebola Frenzy says:

    Restock those diapers, or it’s off with your head!

  35. Michael says:

    First, who said anything about killing the 1%. Secondly, before we address your riddle, how about you address this. If they are only 1%, and that is just a spec in the population, how is it okay to own half of the economy. You are asking me to eliminate the 1% and then apply all their money evenly across the economy to every individual. Are we still talking about a capitalist based economy? So your question is pointless. Basically, you are just asking what happens if we divide the entire nations capital amongst every single person (not exactly, but pretty close since the 1% own a majority of the economy). So your point is moot. I’m don’t think anyone is saying to eliminate the elite class. People just want them to take a chill pill with their greed, and share (meaning create some quality jobs) so that the rest of the participants don’t feel like they are stuck in quick sand in terms of growth.

    The Original NJ ExPat says:
    October 7, 2014 at 8:42 am
    I don’t think anybody answered my question from a couple days ago. Kill the 1%, liquidate their assets, distribute to the 99% evenly, how much does each person get? You’d be surprised how little. Liberals can’t do math, that’s why they are liberals. It’s easy to be a liberal as long as you thing “plenty” is the exact amount of money the rich are not sharing with them.

    “Let’s just start killing the rich now.”

    But…but…but they’re the job creators.

  36. joyce says:

    Grand jury: No criminal charges in raid that injured Habersham toddler

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/no-criminal-charges-be-filed-raid-injured-toddler-/nhczX/

    accidents by the govt have no consequences; accidents by the little people can be criminal

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

    Just got time to poke in and lurk, and did I seen anon and clot channeling one another?

    Come full circle, did they? Had to happen sometime.

  38. Michael says:

    Does anyone know how the idea of health insurance came about? I was just thinking about why we have it in the first place. I’m assuming it’s an indirect way of spreading out the medicals costs. If that’s the case, the system failed miserably at its objective.

    All Hype says:
    October 7, 2014 at 11:42 am
    This will make anon and Ottman’s day:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-10-07/walmart-ends-healthcare-benefits-workers-under-30-hours

  39. All Hype says:

    Clot (35):

    The next step will be to move 90% of Walmart employyes to 29 hours/week.

  40. Michael says:

    39- Health insurance basically just created a tree that grows money for doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies. At least that’s the way I look at it. If I go to the doctor or dentist and don’t have health insurance I get a different price than if I use insurance.

  41. Libturd in Union says:

    I didn’t realize the 1% had to create jobs. That’s hard and expensive. I thought they literally had to write checks to everyone below them.

  42. Libturd in Union says:

    All insurance is really a sham Fruity. Too much of the money goes to the middle man and not to provide the service. Insurance is how your hero Warren B., made his billions. He’s no dummy.

    You could return a lot more spending power to the little guy by socializing law, medicine and insurance. But the government is terrible when it comes to running things since they are unaccountable and corrupt. The sheep can’t see that. Heck…Companies could have more to share with their employees if they didn’t have to pay so much to lobby the government.

  43. A Home Buyer says:

    36 – Michael

    He is posing a question for discussion trying to emphasizing a point. Obviously Expat doesn’t mean kill everyone, but for the purpose of the thought exercise, he thought it would resonate with you.

    How much would every hard working citizen get? Statistics indicate US House Hold Net worth at 80 Trillion, and the 1% contain around 13% of that net worth. US population is 400 Million. Because you will not do the math, this results in around $30,000 per US citizen. This is the complete forfeiture of all the wealth the 1% has accumulated. ~20K after taxes for every citizen in the US.

    Why this matters? No one earns their net worth per year, so using the 12 Trillion figure is ridiculous. Realistically, lets say they have a string of really great years and earn 15% on their investments. 12 Trillion fully invested (not happening) at 15% (not happening) is approximately 2 Trillion. Each US citizen would be entitled to a whopping 5K before taxes assuming the rich surrendered their entire income for the year.

    You state you do not want to rob them, so lets assume they give 20% of what they make back to us peasants. That is a whopping 1K a year increase to each citizen assuming typical government forecast type figures.

    Oh, and that is 1K before taxes. Pay up.

    And in regards to 39 –
    Do not quote me on this, but I vaguely remember it was a result of a tax loop hole in the 70’s allowing employers to give tax free benefits via health insurance.

  44. 1987 Condo says:

    #39….health insurer got its push, in the US, as a result of wage controls in place and the need for employers to offer alternate forms of compensation and benefits to attract employees..here is a longer history

    http://www.post-gazette.com/healthypgh/2014/04/27/VITALS-How-did-U-S-employer-based-health-care-history-become-what-it-is-today/stories/201404150167

  45. 1987 Condo says:

    #45…WWII era wage controls

  46. joyce says:

    Passion Fruit has no concept of history… shocking

  47. Libturd in Union says:

    Someone look up how much a large insurer (say UNH) profits versus the number of customers it has and their total amount of revenue. I think you would be surprised by how much the insurer keeps.

  48. A Home Buyer says:

    44 – My numbers are off by a factor of 3.

    36% of the Net worth is owned by the 1% according to a more accurate source.

  49. Anon E. Moose says:

    Damn I hate the filter…

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

    [44] home buyer

    “Do not quote me on this, but I vaguely remember it was a result of a tax loop hole in the 70′s allowing employers to give tax free benefits via health insurance.”

    I wouldn’t characterize it as a loophole. That suggests use of the Code in an unintended fashion. Excluding certain forms of compensation and benefits from being included in taxable income was absolutely intentional, and still is.

  51. 1987 Condo says:

    Taxes: from my link above:

    What happened? Something called the 1942 Stabilization Act, a work of Congress designed to limit wage increases during wartime. The point of it was to combat inflation, which, in the words of the act itself, “threaten[s] our military effort and our domestic economic structure.” The effect, though, was that employers — needing to recruit workers at a time when many able-bodied men were overseas — began offering more generous health benefits.

    Another side effect of the Stabilization Act was that health premiums deducted by employers — while still considered part of compensation for the purposes of labor negotiations — don’t count as income, and, as a result, workers don’t pay income or payroll taxes on those benefits. The result was an incentive for the employer, rather than the employee, to make health insurance arrangements, and the era of third-party health insurance was fully underway. Insurers began adding new types of coverage — “major medical” evolved in the 1950s, vision care in 1957 and dental benefits in 1959.

    The post-World War II era saw “rapid market penetration of [employer] health insurance,” Mr. Brown said. “It was very good for workers. And very good for their families.”

  52. Anon E. Moose says:

    Michael [41];

    You are right – health insnrance enables a patient to pay more for care than they otherwise would have the capacity to. This relates to human frailty and the inability to save for remote, large expenses. So in that sense, yes, health insnrance exists to serve the medical profession.

    Employer-tied health insurance is a remnamt of WWII wage and price controls. Employers were barred from competing for employees on salary; but they were allowed to offer “fringe benefits”. They were successful in getting health insnrance cl@ssified as a fringe benefit.

    So today’s leftist solution to a leftist, soci@listic, government-created problem is… wait for it… MORE COWBELL GOVERNMENT!!!

  53. Ragnar says:

    Since I see that many of you have interest in investing and investment theory, I’m going to share a slide presentation that is free but quite valuable. Not about stock picking specifically, but overall framework for what to expect. I don’t agree with 100%, but think this guy is closer to reality than most finance theorists.
    http://www.efalken.com/video/
    Or just buy his book.

  54. Ragnar says:

    Today’s health insurance companies are designed to navigate the bureaucratic plumbing of payment systems, create affinity plans for everyday services, lobby government, and sometimes even fulfill the original intent of insurance which was to protect against low probability catastrophic events. State by state heavy regulation create barriers to new entrants and innovation, protecting the profits of existing insurers. They are making deals with the devil, and that could eventually come back to haunt them when government decides they are making too much money.

  55. Libturd in Union says:

    Ten year down to 2.35 again.

  56. plume (38)-

    Don’t put me in the same sentence with anon. I just hate rich people who have either personally or corporately co-opted the judiciary, executive and legislature pretty much everywhere.

    I don’t hate them simply because they are rich.

  57. joyce (47)-

    Hard to have, when your attention span rivals that of the life of a fruit fly.

    “Passion Fruit has no concept of history… shocking”

  58. That’s an insult to fruit flies; I apologize.

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  60. Phoenix says:

    41 Michael
    Michael says:
    October 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    If I go to the doctor or dentist and don’t have health insurance I get a different price than if I use insurance.

    I’m sure you do. If you have the ability to pay, then you pay more for the procedure.
    If you have nothing, then you get it for free.
    People buy houses, cars, phones, etc, but won’t spend to pay for health insurance, they think doctors and nurses should work for free. These are the same people who drink, smoke, and eat Big Mac’s all night, then want free heart surgery. The govt should not have to pull a Bloomberg and limit their soft drink–you would think they would have enough self control, but they do not and others who pay shoulder the difference.
    Children are the exception, they deserve free healthcare as they have no control over the fact that they were born.
    Biggest expense of a hospital is nursing staff, average salary is 64k in 2013.
    I am in the medical profession and that salary does not seem excessive to me.
    Nursing has one of the highest rates of disability due to injuries on the job.
    It is very stressful, and requires high skill, constant training, physical strength, long hours, and you need to be perfect all the time, every day, every patient, often under emergent conditions. Let’s not forget about the multiple personalities of patients and the families you must deal with….

  61. joyce says:

    Phoenix,
    If a person has the means to pay, there still is a different charge depending on the method of payment (insurance vs not).

  62. Anon E. Moose says:

    Joyce [62];

    that’s exactly how I see my current insurance policy, its unionized negotiation with the medical community.

    I’ve used the AAA analogy before – if someone’s car breaks down on the side of the road, you’re in no position to negotiate with the wrecker. On the other hand, AAA knows that with their member base, they can promise 10-12 calls a month to whomever wants to agree to work for their price. AAA collects a membership fee for their trouble; the insurance company collects a premium. If the ins. company paid nothing on claims, there is a value that they provide right there.

    Since 2011 I’ve been on a high-deductible, 100% coverage plan with FSA and HRA components to offset the deductible. Only once in three years have I hit my deductible. So when I go to the doctor now, the “list” price for a given procedure is cut by 65-80% according to the insurance allowance, and then because of my deductible I pay that price. Maybe I could have negotiated 50% off on my own? Ins. still a better deal.

  63. chicagofinance says:

    The End Is Nigh (JJ Incarceration Edition):

    Couple sentenced for having sex in cop car after drunk driving bust

    Travis Husnik, 33, and Heather Basten, 29, of Wisconsin, were recently sentenced for allegedly having sex in a cop car after getting pulled over for drunk driving in August.

    An officer was driving them to a police station at the time.

    BY Michael Walsh

    A Wisconsin man and woman were sentenced for allegedly having sex in the backseat of a cop car while being driven to jail.

    Travis Husnik, 33, and Heather Basten, 29, had been pulled over for drunk driving in Oconto County on Aug. 3, the Green Bay Press Gazette reported Tuesday.

    The deputy told the man to pull his pants up and ordered him to sit in the front seat, according to the local paper.

    “At a minimum, the mildest word that I can think of, the most favorable word I can think of, is your conduct is completely disrespectful to the officer,” Judge Jay Conley said later in court.

    “The process of being arrested is supposed to be somewhat unpleasant … and you end up having a tryst. Incredible.”

    Both parties were charged with lewd and lascivious behavior and disorderly conduct.

    “What do I sentence a guy who has sex in squad car to?” Conley asked during sentencing. “I’m getting to be (a) pretty old guy, and I’ve never seen that situation in my legal life.

    Basten was reportedly sentenced to 48 days in jail and nearly $500 in fines.

    The Press Gazette said Conley sentenced Husnik to 90 days in jail, citing his extensive rap sheet.

  64. joyce says:

    Moose,
    I disagree. In the last few years, I’ve paid less for certain things using cash than what I previously paid with insurance. Of course, not all insurance plans are equal.

    Your 60-80% vs 50% hypotheical doesn’t include the cost of the premiums (whatever it is vs zero).

    The broken down on the side of the road vs (I assume) a medical emergency analogy also doesn’t hold water in my opinion. Insurance that covers nothing but catastrophic events are dirt cheap. Also, there’s nothing to stop them from using out of network providers for certain things to really screw you.

    I should mention; I’m not advocating against carrying insurance (for some it might make sense but I digress). I don’t think the short comings of the insurance plans are anywhere near worse than other problems in the healthcare industry.

  65. Michael says:

    I appreciate doctors and nurses. I def don’t believe they should work for free. My problem is that insurance, no matter how you look at it, is shafting one person for another. It’s robbing peter to pay for Paul. Some people go 30 years without seeing a doctor. With the amount they paid for insurance, if they had rather invested it in stocks, the loss is staggering. They basically took a big hit to have “insurance”. So it’s like they paid for whatever accident anyway. Better yet, this is how the other guy with a bunch of surgeries makes out, they robbed this guy. Not trying to be cold, but making a point. It seems like for insurance to work, it needs a lot of suckers.

    Phoenix says:
    October 7, 2014 at 4:59 pm
    41 Michael
    Michael says:
    October 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    If I go to the doctor or dentist and don’t have health insurance I get a different price than if I use insurance.

    I’m sure you do. If you have the ability to pay, then you pay more for the procedure.
    If you have nothing, then you get it for free.
    People buy houses, cars, phones, etc, but won’t spend to pay for health insurance, they think doctors and nurses should work for free. These are the same people who drink, smoke, and eat Big Mac’s all night, then want free heart surgery. The govt should not have to pull a Bloomberg and limit their soft drink–you would think they would have enough self control, but they do not and others who pay shoulder the difference.
    Children are the exception, they deserve free healthcare as they have no control over the fact that they were born.
    Biggest expense of a hospital is nursing staff, average salary is 64k in 2013.
    I am in the medical profession and that salary does not seem excessive to me.
    Nursing has one of the highest rates of disability due to injuries on the job.
    It is very stressful, and requires high skill, constant training, physical strength, long hours, and you need to be perfect all the time, every day, every patient, often under emergent conditions. Let’s not forget about the multiple personalities of patients and the families you must deal with….

  66. Michael says:

    That’s the way I see it. Creates an artificial market. Without insurance half of these people would never have the means to pay these prices. IMO, this is how it artificially inflates prices. It creates artificial demand on pricing. Do you think people would go to the doctor for any little thing without insurance? I doubt it.

    I guess insurance can be looked at as a good thing, a sort of common good. But if you take a long term view, you can’t help but come to the conclusion that as many people you are helping, it comes at the expense of hurting other people.

    Anon E. Moose says:
    October 7, 2014 at 2:37 pm
    Michael [41];

    You are right – health insnrance enables a patient to pay more for care than they otherwise would have the capacity to. This relates to human frailty and the inability to save for remote, large expenses. So in that sense, yes, health insnrance exists to serve the medical profession.

    Employer-tied health insurance is a remnamt of WWII wage and price controls. Employers were barred from competing for employees on salary; but they were allowed to offer “fringe benefits”. They were successful in getting health insnrance cl@ssified as a fringe benefit.

    So today’s leftist solution to a leftist, soci@listic, government-created problem is… wait for it… MORE COWBELL GOVERNMENT!!!

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

    [64] chifi

    “Travis Husnik, 33, and Heather Basten, 29, of Wisconsin, were recently sentenced for allegedly having sex in a cop car after getting pulled over for drunk driving in August.”

    For the chance to have a JJ story of epic proportions, totally worth it.

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

    From the “you cannot make this stuff up” department

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/10/06/columbus-day-will-now-be-indigenous-peoples-day-in-seattle/?intcmp=latestnews

    Back to wrestling the little ones to bed . . .

  69. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [69] In NJ they should just move Columbus day to co-celebrate on July 4th. Up and down the Jersey shore it’s all Italians in boats then anyway;-)

  70. Libturd at home says:

    ExPat,

    LYB has had a few nice quarters and things are improving for them. With that said, stock price has gotten a little ahead of itself. My analysis says you gotta wait for 88. Sorry.

  71. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [81] Thanks Lib, and don’t be sorry, I didn’t buy back in yet. I like your advice of 88 as a re-entry point, exactly the objective opinion I was looking for, thanks. I just have itchy fingers and lots of dry powder.

  72. Libturd at home says:

    let me know whenever another quarters earnings come out and I’ll rerun the analysis. It only takes about 5 minutes. If you get me your email address, I can make a PDF of the report.

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

    Late start today.

    Found this article interesting. It doesn’t say anything new but it does point out some historical lessons that should be given more attention in light of some things we already see coming to pass. If the conclusion to be drawn is solid enough, it may be time to get short, pull up a chair and some popcorn, and raid Clot’s wine cellar for some post-apocalyptic viewing.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/09/government-debt-isnt-the-problemprivate-debt-is/379865/?utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=referral

  74. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Thanks Lib. I just sent my email in a message to your FB account. After reading the below message I had to figure out where my own “Other” folder is. From messages, “Show All” and in the upper left you can click on “Other” instead of “In Box”. I just found a bunch of FB spam I didn’t know I had;-)

    “Your message will go to Lib’s Other folder because you aren’t connected to him on Facebook”

    let me know whenever another quarters earnings come out and I’ll rerun the analysis. It only takes about 5 minutes. If you get me your email address, I can make a PDF of the report.

  75. anon (the good one) says:

    Prof. Krugman has said it for years. Look up nobody understands debt

    Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:
    October 8, 2014 at 8:07 am
    Late start today.

    Found this article interesting. It doesn’t say anything new but it does point out some historical lessons that should be given more attention in light of some things we already see coming to pass. If the conclusion to be drawn is solid enough, it may be time to get short, pull up a chair and some popcorn, and raid Clot’s wine cellar for some post-apocalyptic viewing.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/09/government-debt-isnt-the-problemprivate-debt-is/379865/?utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=referral

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

    [76] anon,

    These are two different discussions. While this may be one of the more readable Krugman articles, it isn’t talking about the same thing. There is, at best, a fraction of Venn overlay but each article is discussing a different form of debt and the ramifications of each.

    At best, the Atlantic article, like Krugman, downplays the significance of public debt (hardly a surprise from The Atlantic), but the article is not about public debt.

    So I get to tell you, politely this time, that you are off base. At least when it comes to comparing the articles.

  77. Juice Box says:

    In twitter bot’s world view debt = wealth

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

    [72] expat,

    ” I just have itchy fingers and lots of dry powder.”

    Oh, you meant investing. That has a completely different meaning here in Pennsyltucky.

  79. All Hype says:

    First Ebola patient in the USA dies. Next question: How long until he reanimates?

  80. Ragnar says:

    “Nobody understands Debt” – especially Paul Krugman.
    I’m shocked that he whips out the “we owe it to ourselves” chestnut.

    Thus if I borrow 1 billion from Libturd to fund my crack addiction and a bicycle toll path through Camden, the fact that I cannot pay it back doesn’t really matter. After all, “we” are both US citizens, so “we” owe it to ourselves. So while Libtard won’t be repaid, I can at least bask in the glow of knowing that I merely ripped of another US citizen, and no foreign creditor is demanding payment in Euros, creating some balance of payments crisis.

    You have to stay in school at least 30 years to start believing in economic fairy tales like this. Or be just parrot them undigested like the typical NY Times pseudo intellectual. Krugman looks like a lifer – can never leave school, because the reality outside the ivory tower is much too stupid and harsh to bow down to his theories.

  81. Libturd in Union says:

    It does seem like the Nobel isn’t what it used to be.

  82. Libturd in Union says:

    Juice. I like your twitter box comment. Quite true.

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

    And now for something completely different:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/18/cities-most-least-sleep_n_5683105.html

    I am shocked by DC’s ranking. Apparently, I was dragging the average down because I NEVER slept much during my years in DC.

    Sleep is something you just don’t do in DC if you are in the power structure. As one of my colleagues, a former SEAL who pulled many late nights on the same floor, said to me, “[Nom], you can sleep when you’re dead.”

  84. t25 says:

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  85. Ebola Frenzy says:

    In Saratoga Springs today. Could definitely live here, although the locals might frown on a pack of vicious dogs and concertina wire on my back fence.

  86. Ebola Frenzy says:

    Lotta people here look like Berkshires hippies who fell into money a few years back.

  87. 1987 Condo says:

    This is like when McGreevy pledged 20 years of traffic ticket revenue to plug a 1 year budget hole…but worse:

    How the Big Tobacco Deal Went Bad
    By JIM ESTESOCT. 6, 2014

    SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — WHEN was the last time you saw an anti-smoking ad?

    In November 1998, the tobacco industry and 46 states reached what is known as the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (four states reached separate settlements). This group deal exempted the industry from legal liability for the harm caused by tobacco use. In return, the tobacco companies agreed to make annual payments, in perpetuity, to the states to fund anti-smoking campaigns and public health programs. The industry guaranteed a minimum of $206 billion over the first 25 years.

    While a requirement that the states use these funds as intended was not written into the agreement, it was anticipated that they would do so.

    They haven’t.

    Only a small fraction of the money has gone to tobacco prevention. Instead, the states have used the windfall for various and unrelated expenditures. In Alaska, $3.5 million in settlement money was spent on shipping docks. In Niagara County, N.Y., $700,000 went for a public golf course’s sprinkler system, and $24 million for a county jail and an office building. And in North Carolina, in the ultimate irony, $42 million of the settlement funds actually went to tobacco farmers for modernization and marketing.

    But that’s not all: Nine states — Alaska, California, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and West Virginia — and Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam decided to get as much of those annual payments as fast as they could by mortgaging any future payments as collateral and issuing bonds. They traded their future lifetime income for cash today — at only pennies on the dollar.

    A typical bond is like an interest-only loan with a balloon payment in 30 years. But to avoid having to pay yearly interest payments, these 12 chose to issue capital appreciation bonds, deferring all interest payments and repayment for up to 50 years. Then the entire amount is due — with no plans made as to how it will be repaid. By the time these bonds come due, the legislators who approved them will be retired or dead.

    Because of the high probability that these bonds will not ever be repaid, they had to be sold at well under their original $1,000 face value in order to attract investors. The 12 issued $22.6 billion in bonds, receiving only $573.2 million in cash. With compounded interest, they will have to repay $67.1 billion. Imagine borrowing $200,000 to buy a house today and your children having to pay back $234 million in 40 or 50 years. That’s the scale of this problem. And some of the states went even further: Michigan will have to pay back more than 1,800 times the amount it borrowed.

    The ownership of these bonds rests primarily with banks and mutual funds. According to Cezary Podkul, an investigative reporter for ProPublica, who has reported on this story (I helped ProPublica analyze the documents), these institutional investors are betting that the states will step in and bail out these bonds with some combination of all future settlement payments and taxpayer dollars. The idea is that the states won’t risk the stigma of a default and will protect their relationships with the institutional investors and the bond brokers who also handle their municipal bonds. They will do this by sticking future taxpayers with the bill.

    Continue reading the main story

    Continue reading the main story

    Looking at the continuing decline in cigarette sales and the corresponding payments, many analysts, including me, believe that defaults will begin to materialize by 2026. If all of the 12 try to stave this off and guarantee their bonds by pledging future tax or bond revenues, the investors will receive a breathtaking profit of 11,708 percent.

    Continue reading the main story

    Recent Comments

    Christian
    20 hours ago
    the Tobacco Master Settlement sounds eerily like TARP = taxpayers stuck with the bill … while a select few institutions advise the states…

    Cornflower Rhys
    20 hours ago
    As a former smoker, I saw this at the time. I was never offered any help from these settlements. No one ever mentioned the smoker, himself…

    What me worry
    20 hours ago
    A scandal a minute….

    See All Comments

    This isn’t just a “what if” scenario: New Jersey and Rhode Island have already taken steps to reissue bonds with a guarantee of all their future tobacco settlement payments. Rhode Island is now being sued by Oppenheimer Funds to prevent this reissue, claiming that the state intends to divert some $20 million from earlier bondholders, including Oppenheimer. And as a result of New Jersey’s guarantee of its bonds, with its implications for the future, its credit rating has been downgraded by Wall Street twice this year, from stable to negative.

    The only people making money on these bonds are investment bankers who fooled state politicians into believing that ready money in their state coffers now was more important than any future consequences. The fact that only these 12 issued bonds tells us that a vast majority of states thought this was a dumb idea.

    It won’t be easy to fix it. The state legislatures are the only ones that can refuse to authorize a bailout or a guarantee of the bonds, and yet despite the ominous examples of Rhode Island and New Jersey, there is still active discussion of guarantees by other states. The only possible solution seems to be direct action by the voters — in the name of future taxpayers — who could call for and pass a referendum prohibiting the issue of new tobacco settlement bonds and stopping the restructuring of existing bonds without voter approval.

    And as for those no-smoking ads? Tobacco-Free Kids reports that all together, the states will spend just 1.9 percent of their settlement payments and tobacco taxes on prevention programs this year. So don’t hold your breath.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/07/opinion/how-the-big-tobacco-deal-went-bad.html?_r=0

  88. clotluva says:

    86-87 re Saratoga:

    “In 2013 Skidmore was rated #1 for “Reefer Madness” on the annual Princeton Review school ranking list. Although Skidmore is frequently listed among the top schools for marijuana usage, this was the first time it had taken the top spot.”

  89. essex says:

    Markets rallied to highs of the day as investors interpreted the Fed’s stance as indicating a dovish bias.

    Basically, this means that market expects the Fed will wait longer than currently expected to raise its benchmark interest rate, which is currently pegged at 0%-0.25%.

    Following the release, the Dow

  90. chicagofinance says:

    My second post from 9 years ago…..

    chicagofinance says:
    November 29, 2005 at 1:32 pm
    It is obvious to me that pain has yet to be inflicted.

    Potential buyers are CHOOSING not to buy, but they still have the means. Pain occurs when people CANNOT buy.

    Sellers are playing with “house money” and are merely CHOOSING to shave the size of their gains. Pain occurs when sellers sell at a loss, and MUST move to a smaller home in a less desirable area.

    Have we seen carnage yet? Not at all.

    Other factors: people were spooked by energy and the FED, but may be mistakenly emboldened by the seeming status quo.

    The manner that this situation is unraveling is so unfortunate, because the potential bloodshed increases with every mirage that appears :(

  91. essex says:

    “everyone has a plan until they get punched .” -mike tyson

  92. Anon E. Moose says:

    Home prices headed for a triple dip

    https://homes.yahoo.com/news/home-prices-headed-triple-dip-124200714.html

    Lots of tropes to skewer here. Inflation; Millenials. Have at.

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  94. anon (the good one) says:

    indeed

    @BarackObama: It’s time to get real about climate change—starting with the @EPA’s plan to cut carbon pollution: http://t.co/13KsRw5wgA #ActOnClimate

  95. Michael says:

    “Poland is turning into the next international hub. I think Poles are tired of hearing about WW2, communism, or anything of that sort. It really does get stale, even though it’s the greatest story ever told. In 2014, getting into WW2 talk is like discussing The Great Wall of China with the Chinese, or Samurai warriors with the Japanese. Poland is too busy evolving and mastering capitalism these days to care too much about Europe’s cowardice some 70 years ago, that could have prevented WW2 altogether (French/British doing nothing to help Poland). Look into a Poles’ eyes these days and you will see diamonds and big dreams. In a few years Warsaw’s skyline will double, more investors will flock, and bigger ambitions are planned daily. Poland will be Europe’s biggest gas distributor in a few years, after they finish building a gas hub from Poland to Serbia. Arabian investors are already planning projects in the country, and things can only look brighter each day. They call Warsaw, “The Phoenix City”…. but Poles themselves are the most resilient, righteous, and enduring people that I’ve met. If you can survive all that chaos, pain, and misery all those years, re-mastering capitalism, and rebuilding one of the greatest European empires that once stretched from the Baltic to the Adriatic Sea (Jagiellonian Empire) shouldn’t be a problem.”

  96. Michael says:

    I would love to know where the stereotypes of “stupid” came for the poles. They have to be some of the smartest people out there.

    “The world enjoys a Polish joke at their expense occasionally. But they have what Darwin says make you fit -adaptability. The Poles have adapted with changing times. They know how to fight. They love their freedom. And they understand how wealth is created.

    I will probably always take a couple of shopping trips to Paris for the rest of my life. France is a good place to go shopping. But give me a Polish man or woman to back with my money any day of my life. Poland is open for business. If we want to be optimistic about the future ofEurope, look to Poland.”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/juliemeyer/2014/10/07/why-poland-matters/

  97. Don’t need Poles anymore. We can just tell Michael jokes.

  98. How come Michaels can’t eat pickles?

  99. Libturd at home says:

    Why are there so few stadiums in Poland?

  100. joyce says:

    “Maplewood is definitely an NPR, Subaru Outback kind of place,”

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

    [102] Michael,

    If it happens in Millburn, its a robbery.

    If it happens in Montclair, its redistribution.

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