A shadow looms over New Jersey

From the New York Times:

A ‘Shadow Inventory’ Dampens Winter Market

NEW statistics provide a glum holiday-time snapshot of the real estate market: shrunken sales pace, bloated inventory and a “shadow inventory” of foreclosed homes looming menacingly in the background.

Right now, according to one report, New Jersey has the largest shadow inventory in the country: 41 months’ worth of homes to sell — and they aren’t even on the market yet.

The foreclosure process is complete on these nearly 98,000 homes; a National Association of Realtors committee made the state-by-state count. But the banks or other lenders have not yet released them for sale.

“Some are occupied, and in the eviction process,” said Bill Flagg of ERA Queen City Realty, a foreclosure sale specialist whose clients include Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-backed federal lenders. During the foreclosure process, he said, “the former owners were not pushed toward eviction while they were attempting a loan modification through a government program.” (One result is that some former homeowners have lived free of monthly payments for two years or more.)

Jeffrey G. Otteau, the market analyst who heads the Otteau Valuation Group in East Brunswick, also foresees a gusher of foreclosed properties, possibly even a “royal market mess” that may not dissipate for years. Mr. Otteau’s company issues monthly reports and sponsors seminars to brief real estate professionals on trends — at this time “mostly pretty brutal” trends, he said.

According to his most recent report, 67,800 houses on the market in October had remained unsold for a month or longer. That was 10 percent more than in October 2009; concurrently, there were 9 percent fewer sales than in 2009.

Mr. Otteau tied the downward motion directly to the loss of jobs in the state — an average 3,900 per month this year, while the country over all was adding 87,000 jobs monthly.

He performed his own calculation aimed at estimating the size of the foreclosure inventory that shadows the market’s future:

“In the first 10 months of 2010,” he said, “there were 9,318 completed foreclosures, which is only 0.41 percent of all homeowner households in the state.

“But there were a total of 51,119 mortgage delinquencies — the start of the foreclosure process. The difference between the two figures is 41,801 homes, which works out to be 1.83 percent of all owned homes.” Mr. Otteau said that not all of those houses would come on the market at one time. He also said the gap, as a percentage, was more than twice as big in California as in New Jersey. But California has a more dynamic economy, creating new jobs that will ultimately lead to more home purchases.

“In New Jersey,” he said, “if something does not happen to change the job situation, it is going to take a lot longer to burn off inventory backlog.”

This entry was posted in Economics, Foreclosures, Housing Bubble, New Jersey Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

192 Responses to A shadow looms over New Jersey

  1. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  2. Mike says:

    Something is changing here in New Jersey to help the job situation, sorry to sound like a broken record it’s called outsourcing. Our govenor is utilizing it and it’s picking up speed in the private sector.

  3. Confused In NJ says:

    I haven’t seen the Government address the real problem, not since Ross Perot ran for President. Most “Real” jobs have been exported from this Country and until they reverse that trend, there can be “No Real Recovery”.

  4. freedy says:

    Malls are packed, we’re close to the city. What depression?

  5. Nomad says:

    Can anyone suggest a good site to purchase bonds online, good inventory, pricing and execution. Zions Direct is one people have suggested but other than a quick look at the website, I know nothing about them.

    Also am I pretty much better off utilizing an online site that specializes in fixed income vs. using a full service online firm such as Schwab? I would not be actively trading the bonds, just buy and hold for the most part.

    Any help is appreciated.


  6. safe as houses says:

    From the lead story it mentions there are 6 months of inventory in Livingston up from 2 months in April. There are a lot of houses for sale in Livingston and a number of rentals available in Millburn. When I drive through those areas the main roads of Livingston are full of for sale signs. I drove down Old Short Hills Road in Millburn last week and counted 4 for rent signs. I’ve never noticed 1 before on that road. That’s one of the reasons I keep saying houses in good shape in good locations move, while anything on a busy street or poor location rots.

  7. Essex says:

    Fixer uppers are out too. The old places that were occupied by the elderly and used to sell for top $$$ are not very attractive.

  8. Orion says:

    My first impression of lead story–holy kwap!

  9. Essex says:

    AG. i prolly shouldn’t call you ‘nothing’. That is harsh and not for me to judge. But please don’t hide behind your racism and/or simple idea of white power by attesting to some false doctrine that doesn’t apply. It’s tedious and deceptive and I for one don’t buy it. Just be truthful and say what you mean. It’ll save us all a lot of time.

  10. Essex says:

    But ChiFi. if you ‘aren’t’ gay then my gaydar is broken.

  11. Essex says:

    …not that there’s anything wrong with that….

  12. 30 year realtor says:

    Just getting ready to hit the street this morning. First stop Paramus. Have to pay a former mortgagor $5000 to vacate. Get this one winterized and moved from the shadow onto the MLS.

  13. nwnj says:

    Does anyone know the status/address for #2793989? It dropped off this week.

  14. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Mike, i agree. Also nat gas and solar/wind is being implemented right now more than most people realize.
    This will eventually transform our entire economy for 60 years.

    “Our govenor is utilizing outsourcing and it’s picking up speed in the private sector.”

  15. FG says:

    When will people get it?

    One of the biggest reasons, if not the biggest reason, for NJ homes hanging on the market for so long is “not” the price of the house or even people’s ability to buy. It’s “Real Estate taxes”!

    RE taxes are ballooning out of control in this state and few people put focus on the fact that, in NJ, if we don’t do something to reassess, across the board, no one will buy homes.

    Don’t believe me? Check the MLS inventory and statistics. Most homes that are on the market for long periods of time, regardless of whether they’re distressed or non-distressed sales, have one major thing in common… They’re taxes are outrageously high. The newer the house, the higher the taxes because towns played the dirty game of penalizing new construction home owners with a higher tax rate. This is a clear message to the taxpayer from the State of New Jersey… “Don’t build a new home because we’ll take a larger percentage of your money!”

    For years, in areas like Elizabeth and Newark, the city governments gave “new construction” home purchasers incentives through what I call “balloon tax options” (I don’t know if there’s a formal name for the programs). If you bought a new construction in these areas, you’d get a very low tax rate until after the balloon date hit and then your taxes would balloon to higher than everyone else’s in your neighborhood. Now, many of those recently constructed houses that are far younger than most houses in these cities, are up for sale, have been for sale for extended periods of time, are unaffordable because their RE taxes are too high, and, therefore, sit forever because they’re undesirable to buyers. Really… Who wants to pay about a thousand dollars a month, in taxes alone, to live in places like Elizabeth or Newark?

    Do you really want to see home sales start up again? Do you really want to spur new construction in this state? The state government has to make home purchasing and home building attractive and smart. This has to be done by reassessing taxes downward, significantly.

    Why this doesn’t happen is clear and easy to understand…

    1) No government employee, especially those that represent us as part of their job descriptions, wants a pay cut.
    2) NJ taxpayers haven’t united to force taxes downward because we want to believe that our representatives have our best interests in mind.

  16. Xroads says:

    “The foreclosure process is complete on these nearly 98,000 homes”

    Would this show up in county record Even if still occupied by owner? I know someone who was given Lis pendens in 8/08 and nothing else ever came through county records. Wouldn’t there atleast be a retraction?

  17. FG says:

    Apologies… I meant to say “Their taxes” instead of “They’re taxes” in paragraph #2. I didn’t catch it until after I posted my reply.

  18. Neanderthal Economist says:

    This updated chart hs two pages,
    (1) nominal prices; and
    (2) inflation adjusted (real) prices


  19. safe as houses says:

    #7 essex

    I think a lot of houses for sale in North Jersey need at least 15 to 20k in work. And I don’t mean stainless and granite. they need electrical, plumbing, heating, rotten windows and doors replaced, new roof or siding. You got to take care of that stuff first. If you do the italian tile in the baths and granite and stainless in the kitchen first, it’s like an obese woman getting a nose job and putting on nail polish and baubles.

  20. BlindJust says:

    Mike – In IT, outsourcing was the preferred model post y2k. It also drove consulting rates down hard. Firms applied this leverage to cut those rates, mid contract, several times. Many were then offered ultimatums to either convert to ft status or be gone. It’s about time the public sector utilized this approach to reduce employment costs.

    “Something is changing here in New Jersey to help the job situation, sorry to sound like a broken record it’s called outsourcing. Our govenor is utilizing it and it’s picking up speed in the private sector.”

  21. safe as houses says:

    It also seems like there are a lot more homes for sale and rent.

  22. BlindJust says:

    Where I’m looking, the inventory is just bleak. Properties are just languishing and prices remaining firm. You can sell virtually any property in any market. The key is price. I’m willing to wait as long as it takes until sellers embrace this simple concept. Unfortunately, I also haven’t found any suitable 4br rentals. Our current house is cramped but is suiting our needs. I’m sure our patience will be rewarded.

  23. Neanderthal Economist says:

    In my town, rent is now equal to mortgage and taxes if you are putting 20% down. And prices have not come down more than 15%-20% since peak.
    When you weed through the ask prices that are stuck firm at 2006 levels, supply is next to non-existent.

    The four foreclosures that i know of have been sitting empty for nearly two years now.

    Good times.

  24. BlindJust says:

    There is this property that has been on the market for over a year. Then, over the summer, the house next door was listed at the same price but had updated kitchens and baths. They eventually sold at 20% less than OLP. The first house is still available and at 15% over what the latter house sold for.

  25. House Whine says:

    20. Great. So wages just keep going down then? Where will our purchasing power be? The race to the bottom that’s what I see. Try paying our high real estate taxes from an ever decreasing source of wages/revenue. We applaud cutting the fat and trimming salaries and benefits but the flip side is it hurts all of us.

  26. BlindJust says:

    25 Indeed it does. My only point is that the public sector is a decade behind private.

  27. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Whine, yep but the flip side is that we can compete better globally with deflated salaries. Eventually we should deflate our lifestyles and cut 20%-40% from our income and consumption.
    Even with draconian cuts like that we would still have the highest living standards on planet by multiple times.
    And if home prices ever deflate back to historically normal levels, 30-40k per year income will be enough for teachers and cops to live a comfortable life in nj. Right now they need $50-65k just to participate in the economy.

  28. Nomad says:

    House – #25 – you are 100% right. But in a competitive environment, if you work for company A, and your competitors B & C find ways to drive down their costs, what do you do? I am a firm believer that we need a base of industrial manufacturing jobs in this country – without it, there is no middle class and America as we knew it cannot remain the same but most if not all of you already know this.

    So the question is – what do you do about it? The large companies know they don’t need all the workers they once employed, they can operate just fine without the bloated payrolls. New industries will help create some jobs but in the world of manufacturing, eventually the jobs gravitate to lower cost labor ie – outside of the US.

    Taxes / Tariffs on imports – there are some on this board who indicate that this won’t work either.

    So what is the answer?

  29. Yikes says:

    Clot, what really happened to Madoff’s kid?

  30. BlindJust says:

    28 How about tax incentives to relocate jobs back to the US?

  31. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Nom [243], previous thread;

    Best question asked on this site, ever. I’ll have to think long and hard about that one. It may be a toss up?

  32. safe as houses says:

    From last night’s thread.


    I found a way to get VB in the US. Unfortunately you need to pick it up in person at Ghiradelli Square in San Fran.


  33. Essex says:

    28. The answer is to wait 20 years til China decides to develop an adequate consumer culture to support our exports.

  34. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Its perfectly fine to have 3rd world make our tshirts and toys. That doesnt really take away from our own economy and those are dirty, mindless jobs anyway that require alot of harmful chemicals and toxins on our own soil.
    We are undergoing a structural shift, similar to the 1980s when mexico took alot of our factory jobs, which took away a lot of $20-30k jobs from americans because the mexicans can do it cheaper and better.
    This time around, asians are taking more of those factory jobs and also a lot of $30-50k jobs. This is fine and necessary for our growth, but the key ingredient is education. Those Americans who lost the $30-50k jobs need to be re-trained for $60-100k jobs. Our companies have the positions open but unfortunately our workforce is not yet qualified to get hired for them.

    “I am a firm believer that we need a base of industrial manufacturing jobs in this country – without it, there is no middle class”

  35. grim says:

    Even with draconian cuts like that we would still have the highest living standards on planet by multiple times.

    Minor correction, we are not the highest. Amongst the highest now, yes, but not the highest.

  36. Yikes says:

    Essex says:
    December 10, 2010 at 6:24 am

    According to Zillow I am about even on my home’s value since my 2002 purchase. Now let’s see what the tax man has to say. Though since 2002 my taxes have doubled.

    are we talking doubled like 5 to 10, or 8 to 16?

    that’s rough

  37. Nomad says:

    #34 – “This time around, asians are taking more of those factory jobs and also a lot of $30-50k jobs. This is fine and necessary for our growth, but the key ingredient is education. Those Americans who lost the $30-50k jobs need to be re-trained for $60-100k jobs. Our companies have the positions open but unfortunately our workforce is not yet qualified to get hired for them. ”

    A person with a high school diploma working in a factor at $30k – $50k and you are suggesting retraining to get a $60k – $100k job – tell me the job and the company (ies) that are hiring?

  38. Yikes says:

    as for the “Fake Farmers” discussion from yesterday


    props to the people who took advantage of the rule and gamed the system. blame the state and the system, not the loop-hole finders. i’d do the same thing in their place

  39. Yikes says:

    Developer Hovsons Inc., for example, owns 10.5 acres of rolling pasture and woods along the scenic Navesink River in Middletown, one of the most exclusive areas in the state. Yet the Tinton Falls-based company will pay $30.52 in property taxes this year on that parcel. That’s a six-figure savings.

    How did Hovsons do it?

    The company set up nearly two dozen beehives and sells at least $545 worth of honey each year to qualify for a 98 percent tax reduction.

    Too funny. You have to be an idiot NOT to take advantage of this rule.

  40. chicagofinance says:

    Racism is not OK but being homophobic is? You are a clown.
    Anyway, if it is not clear Mr. Americana…..more ‘Merican than I could ever hope to be….I am Eurotrash with a surname that ends with a vowel. You figure out the rest Lonestar Motherfcker…..

    Essex says:
    December 11, 2010 at 8:37 am
    AG. i prolly shouldn’t call you ‘nothing’. That is harsh and not for me to judge. But please don’t hide behind your racism and/or simple idea of white power by attesting to some false doctrine that doesn’t apply. It’s tedious and deceptive and I for one don’t buy it. Just be truthful and say what you mean. It’ll save us all a lot of time.

    Essex says:
    December 11, 2010 at 8:37 am
    But ChiFi. if you ‘aren’t’ gay then my gaydar is broken.

  41. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Nomad. I know of a large nj pharma with plans to increase employment at campus by 10% in 2011.
    probably will not bother advertising on monster as they can fill many positions with foreign phds at half the price.
    Grim, edit at 35 is accepted. Ill also asteric that claim with the fact that there are multiple ways to measure living standard, and we probably rank very differently against other countries depending on what third of our population were referring to. And would also differentiate standard of living vs quality of life.

  42. Wildie says:

    This one can’t bode well for Wall Street traders (and the North Jersey housing market). Now their jobs can move to the same place as the manufacuring jobs.

  43. BlindJust says:

    Along with Legal and Regulatory positions….

  44. BlindJust says:

    So what is it going to take for the banks to decide to list their shadow inventory?

  45. Essex says:

    From $6k – $12k…yep. Good thing we both work.

  46. Essex says:

    I just calls em as I see em ChiF*g. No biggie. I rented in college from an openly ghey professor. Never had an issue. I just think your constant reference to c*ck sucking and An*al penetration is tedious. Embrace your fate.

  47. blind (45)-

    Seizure by the gubmint (as if). Then, they would be inventoried, properly valued and sold off as part of the unwinding of the banks.

    Pardon me while I go huff some more ether.

    “So what is it going to take for the banks to decide to list their shadow inventory?”

  48. Mike says:

    Blindjust Number 20 Christie already has the wheels in motion. Outsourcing used to be only to replace unskilled labor. Now it’s getting into maintenance trades, administrative assisants, supervisors, managers and engineers etc. The whole point about this is the domino effect and how high of a home price they can pay with these lowere wages.

  49. yo'me says:

    How about the jobs that computer and internet technology have replaced?What will the librarian with $100K college loan do now?The HR jobs that will be replaced by online application accepted in India.

  50. Essex says:

    29. You could say he had daddy issues.

  51. Essex says:

    Sad to see the continued looting of America. Factory work? Middle what???
    Nothing new. Just keep moving.

  52. grim says:

    Mark Madoff hung himself

  53. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Don’t worry about chinese and mexicans taking all the factory jobs.
    Eventually, when robots and machines are making the tshirts, fly swatters and toasters, those third world labor dumping economies will be hit the hardest.

  54. Reading this article makes me proud that I never bought a house anywhere in NJ! This state is absolutely ridiculously overpriced in every aspect. Seriously people, do you think everyone makes a half a million per year? Get over it! Cut your loses foreclose and move to another state. How much longer is the “but your close to the city” factor worth it. Who cares about the city. Then of course comes the argument about how great the shows are, the excellent restaurants, blah blah blah. I lived in Atlanta and can’t wait go back! There I am able to live better, in a nicer home, with great shows and in many cases better restaurants. AND GET THIS, (insert drum roll) ALL AT A FRACTION OF THE PRICE!!! Oh and by the way, the “you earn more here” is also an invalid statement, check your sources and you will see that income is comprable.

  55. cobbler says:

    Neanderthal and Nomad

    The reason why we do need tariffs and non-tariff import restrictions is that there are very, very few jobs that deserve high pay and can’t be outsourced (neurosurgeon, Supreme Court judge, maybe a few more) – way fewer than needed to sustain an economy with high mass consumption level. The jobs that deserve a good pay and can be outsourced are going out for the last 25 years, and the flow stays strong. Finally, the jobs that do not deserve a high pay (but still get it) and can’t be outsourced – these are the ones the current struggle is about; these are the teachers, nurses and cops. As the rest of the society pushes them down because we don’t have enough money to pay them, we are quickly brazilifying the U.S. into a two-class society with much reduced average consumption level. Tariffs, industrial policies, etc. that are demonized as a rehashed Smoot-Hawley act will get us to the same “gross” result – the average consumption level will drop (and we need this drop as we’ve been overconsuming like crazy since at least 1985). However, the stratification of the society will be much less, and we go not towards but away from the extent of the class hatred and crime typical for the two-class societies. Thus, we get to the goal of reducing the society’s income gaps not through the hated and incentive-killing redistribution, but at the expense of somewhat slower economic growth in China and India. To me, it’s worth trying.

  56. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Since Gary is not around to post on the header Tick Tick Tick…….
    To wait or not to wait there is no question.
    Let me do the math: sold 06, rent 4 years cost 66k, for those of you who know I payed 8k a year for 2 years on a 4000sq ft palace I added in the huge cost of utilities to even it out with prior more normal home. Target home prices down 100k easy with more to come, Mikeinwaiting!

  57. Mike says:

    Are those mnior little repairs that you missed out priced in?

  58. noah says:

    don’t forget to subtract the interest you earned on your money – or would have paid if you bought and had a mortgage. The $66k is better than the $100k loss you would have taken, but then throw in the real estate taxes and mortgage interest and you’re probably ahead $150k… Hope you feel smart…

  59. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I go away for a week and Essex has crossed over into troll status. Who’s minding the store?

  60. cobbler says:

    corollary to my [57]
    Brazilification of the society into a two-class one (elimination of the middle class) will by default change the structure of the RE market. Part of it serving the top 3, 5 or 10 (maybe in NYC area)% has a chance of returning to the highs of the bubble – though these will not necessarily be the same houses. Besides parts of Manhattan where they will eventually be able to kick out the “undesirables” enclaves and provide a good level of security on a multi-block basis, the pricey suburbs will be the ones with the adequate physical separation not only from the cities but from the currently less expensive/mixed-population towns, as well. E.g., Short Hills will likely do well, but Westfield might not.
    The rest of the market, however, has a chance of having no bottom as the person earning 15-20K a year can’t afford paying more than $400 a month for housing – and the RE taxes alone are double this. While favelas are not viable in our climate (too cold), resurrection of the early-20th century tenements probably is in the cards. Since the McMansions are too shoddily built to have 30 people living in them (and require too much for maintenance), we could expect the old (before 1940s) housing stock suddenly becoming relatively more valuable for a perspective slumlord; most everything built from 1945 on will get eventually abandoned and unlivable.

  61. reinvestor101 says:

    Gerald Celente is losing it and is mad at Foxnews because of an interview he did where they dismissed him as a damn alarmist. That’s what he gets for trying to scare the hell out of everyone with all this damn talk about depression.

    He has no right to be mad unless he’s trying to sell a damn house to some stinking buyer who wants to play a bunch of damn games. That’s my situation and I’m getting damn tired with these stinking buyers teasing and playing with me. Unless you’re going to pay my damn price, don’t tease me.

    BTW, Assange needs to be stopped and stopped hard.


  62. yikes (29)-

    My best guess is that Edwin Safra’s people got to him. My buddy who works at the SEC and did the initial sweep of Madoff’s office and began the money-tracking said from the get-go that all the traceable money trails kept leading them to the same people who moved money for Safra.

    Funny thing about folks like that: whenever things get a little hot and hairy, even the kingpins (like Safra himself) end up meeting all kinds of untimely ends…like spontaneously combusting in their own beds.

  63. dan says:

    I think it was bad timing for Madoff’s kid. Today, I bought a WSJ for the first time off a newsrack in years and I admit the Madoff story on the lead page was one of the reasons. Maybe he saw the same thing and just snapped thinking that the scandal would never ever ever go away.

  64. It was bad timing for Madoff’s kid on the day he was born and named Madoff.

  65. Sad thing is, today might be the first day Bernie ever realized his crimes had a victim.

    OTOH, he could’ve raised his kid to be the same lowlife sociopath he was. In that case, he sees his death as nothing more than collateral damage.

  66. Juice Box says:

    re #65 nah – the latest lawsuits filed friday were going after his wealth that being properties in NYC, Nantucket and Greenwich, he was keeping it going for the last two years on whatever money he had hidden. His ex. wife was on a Disney vacation in Orlando with his daughter when he hung himself. If he had half a brain he would have liquidated and moved to a cabin in the woods somewhere two years ago. My take is he could not live with his name he was a leper, I bet even Israel would not take him if he wanted to expatriate.

  67. The wife had her and the kids’ last name legally changed. Mark didn’t.

    Either he was acting out of some twisted pride and loyalty…or he was as deranged and tone-deaf as his dad. And if he was like his dad, he didn’t kill himself; somebody got to him.

  68. Juice Box says:

    re#70 -what is the upkeep here payments to the EX and three expensive properties? Unless he was an awesome daytrader he was bust and he knew it. Blew threw savings over the last two years fighting 100s of lawsuits and upkeep and then he was bust. He went down to Texas last year to try and buy some oil and gas contracts, bet that did not pan out. If they wanted him it would have happened a while ago a contract on someones life doesn’t take two years does it?

  69. Juice Box says:

    MacCartney looking good on SNL,must be that young lass…..

  70. Can someone please explain how one can afford these home prices when the average household income is less than 80k? I really think that an entire generation has been priced out. When will a 22 year old just graduating college, with all that debt, be able to afford to buy a house, plus its associated cost in NJ?

  71. Qwerty says:

    Neanderthal Economist, if you don’t realize that $100,000+ American jobs are offshored en masse to India, you don’t have the first clue.

    And “we can compete better globally with deflated salaries”? How does “competing” for $25 a week sound to you?

    Green technology won’t transform the US economy, either. Any new high tech “green” innovation will simply be manufactured in China, like everything else.

    We have deep problems in need of drastic, and dramatic attention, and our leaders can do nothing but whistle past the graveyard as our nation dies.

  72. willwork4beer says:

    Giants – Vikings game postponed until Monday 8pm. (FOX)


  73. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Qwerty, The majority of it is not occuring in the 100k range, maybe in some industries like IT that was the case, i cant speak to that.
    The blaming of ‘our leaders’ is probably unhealthy. Its our own incomepetence and we should take responsibiliy. Third world workers can make more money for the fortune 500 comglomerates mostly because of their lower compensation, so even if we can compete with them on work quality and volume (i believe we can), they will still hire them over us because they’re cheaper. Any tarriff or barrier that creates a wall around our country would only be a short-term measure to stop the immediate hemmoraging. Longer term, we need to study harder and work longer for less money. Politicians will not save us.
    im not making light of it. i realize its extremely serious problem but as cobbler noted above, reducing our consumption will be the easy part because it has been so rediculously unsustainably high for so long.

    My point stands regarding america’s economic transformation driven by nat gas and green technology revolution. Manufacturing the solar panels and wind fans is just the tip of the iceburg compared to the boost our consumers and companies will receive from reducing volatile energy costs and keeping energy dollars within our own economy, instead of sending billions each year to arabs and venezuelans who hate us.

  74. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Mike, Noah (59,60) Mike no, owners paying yearly furnace cleaning, new dryer in the big place other little things not in there. Noah knowing this crew they would do just what you posted in their heads, just gave the raw number.”Hope you feel smart…” Feel vindicated, street smart not like my friend the Cat/Kettle smart.
    Well no Giant game guess I can get some things done today. They were skiing last night up here,been blowing snow for over week now50 & rain bye bye.

  75. grim says:

    there are very, very few jobs that deserve high pay and can’t be outsourced (neurosurgeon, Supreme Court judge, maybe a few more)

    No better place to start than teleradiology. Just need a few more years of big money lobbyists to get Medicare/Medicaid to allow off-shore interpretation/consultation and the floodgates are open for the rest of the healthcare industry to go.

  76. grim says:

    Qwerty, The majority of it is not occuring in the 100k range, maybe in some industries like IT that was the case, i cant speak to that.

    I can, I spent 15 years at one of the largest BPOs in the world. My job was to build the technology that made it possible to not only outsource jobs, but to move them offshore as well.

    IT is old news. The hot areas for offshoring are accounting, engineering, financial services,media/news, and healthcare (see teleradiology above, this will be a goldmine for companies like eRad and Nighthawk). This is mainly because the greatest threat to offshoring right now is increasing salaries and competition for jobs in these markets. It’s getting too cutthroat for the low pay jobs.

    The only reason there are still collections (debt) jobs in the US is that the rest of the world is just too polite on the phone.

  77. Mike says:

    Sunday Suck Ledger Give me my $2.00 back SALARY CAP PREDICTION: EDUCATION WILL SUFFER Joochberg is retiring because he has to take a pay cut of $35,000.00 from his $190,000.00 salary. Yeah but he determines spending plans, when schools should be closed for snow and visits classrooms to read with elementary students. How about hiring a forking accountant who watches the weather channel and can tell the teacher to read with the students you’re making $70,000.00 a year. OK let me see what’s on page two now.

  78. New in FL says:

    Ex- New in NJ here. We moved to Miami in mid-November and here is what we have found so far:
    – renter’s insurance is almost double what we paid in Madison, even without hurricane (wind) coverage
    – our car insurance is almost triple what we were paying before
    – the fees for auto registration were pretty high, but plate renewals and driver’s license are comparable to those in NJ.

    But, on the other hand, I really enjoyed taking an afternoon swim each day of our first two weeks here (it’s been a bit too chilly lately), and I’ve found that I actually enjoy pool maintenance.

    The bad news about our renting experience in NJ is that I believe our landlady is planning to keep our entire deposit based on replacement costs of wear-and-tear items. Does anybody know a good lawyer who is willing to take this on? It’s not a trivial amount of money, especially if I can recover twice the improperly held deposits plus my expenses to recover the same (as I have read).

  79. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “My job was to build the technology that made it possible to not only outsource jobs, but to move them offshore as well.”

    So, you’re the guy.

    Of course the large problem with outsourcing the lower rung jobs in any industry is that they are the stepping stone jobs. No matter what your degree, you dont go from school to $100k.

  80. grim says:

    So, you’re the guy.

    Sorry, but the only job I could find was to send yours away. This is the quintessential example of “knowledge work” and the “service economy” in our time. Unfortunately, “they” are figuring out how to do this too, and their salespeople aren’t half bad either.

  81. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Veto 76 as we cut this crazy consumption we lose even more jobs. Oil cut billions yes, what 100 bill out of 500bill & that would take a lot of alternatives.

    In the process of this transformation that is coming whether we like it or not we have a very good chance of seeing the whole country unravel. We need a GREAT LEADER (President, anyone come to mind Bueller Bueller…) for 2 terms a long with a congress willing to make hard choices (hello).(side note: ref what happened in Germany when things got really bad) As my uncle the bookie used to say “bad odds kid, your gonna lose”. I applaud you for your optimism, I just do not share it.

  82. Essex under the Bridge says:

    “Oh, there’s no place like ____ for the ________.”

    That’s one holiday song you may not be hearing this season from “Don’t Forget the Lyrics!” host and Sugar Ray singer Mark McGrath, who has sold his home in the Hollywood Hills for $1.25 million, above its asking price, the Multiple Listing Service shows.

    The buyers are artist Alexandra Nechita and her boyfriend, Suh-Tahn fashion designer Dimitri Tcharfas.

    The renovated 1931 country English-style house has a step-down living room with a vaulted ceiling and fold-away glass doors that open to a patio with city views. The breakfast room is a turret with a beamed ceiling and built-in seating. The house has three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

    A waterfall spa is the focal point of the saltwater pool. The built-in barbecue has a Viking grill.

    McGrath, 42, was a co-host on “Extra” (2004-08). He bought the property in 1995 for $365,000, public records show. It was listed at $1,199,000.

    Romanian-born Nechita, 25, is a cubist painter who gained the nickname of the Petite Picasso as a child prodigy.

    Wendy Kjorness of Keller Williams Realty’s Sunset office was the listing agent, while Justin Mandile and Mary Swanson of Sotheby’s International Realty, Beverly Hills, represented the buyers, according to the MLS.

  83. Mikeinwaiting says:

    New in Fl I thought NJ had the car ins market topped just like re taxes, 3 times higher then here! Kinda thought it would be cheaper there.

  84. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “and their salespeople aren’t half bad either.”

    Ha ha. this is probably true but their service representatives are Gowdawful.
    Ultimately ‘websites’ will render the term ‘sales person’ a mute point across the board anyway.

  85. Essex under the Bridge says:

    86. Hurricanes Mike. Geezus.

  86. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim 79 I’m shocked, shocked. The Grim Reaper of jobs no less.

  87. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Essex 88 Ah…. scratch that of my relo list. Have a friend who moved there have to get the numbers, higher then here by 3x unbelievable.

  88. Mikeinwaiting says:

    of/off, more coffee

  89. willwork4beer says:

    #81 New in FL

    In my limited experience, what you want is a lawyer that works a lot of cases in the local court. Where were you living in NJ?

    When my old landlord tried that trick, the issue was resolved by a simple phone call from my lawyer. Facing double damages and legal fees in an unwinnable case, she wised up and dropped a check in the mail.

  90. Neanderthal Economist says:

    mike i dont think we will unravel, i think the more things fall apart, the stronger we will become.
    It’s a sign of great things to come when Americans get mad, scared and hungry.
    And if we continue to be backed into a corner, will find an excuse to settle with large missiles. When world war is the best scenario for us, asia and russia need to worry.

  91. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    3.5 years of shadow inventory. Yep we are at bottom.

  92. yo'me says:

    Left behind:
    Army of graduates struggles in China
    NYT: Amid robust economic growth, villagers who will work in factories are in demand, but college graduates seeking professional jobs find their value plunging

  93. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “Get ready for the economic winter that is going to be the hardest times, leading into even worse times. And don’t waste your money buying christmas crap from china. Buy local, bank local… Because if you liked 2010, you are going to love 2011”
    -Geral Celente

  94. New in FL says:

    willwork4beer #92

    I lived in Madison.

    There are a couple of especially disappointing things about this situation. First is that I am not one to complain about falling apart things, I usually just fix them. But when the vertical elements of the vertical blinds fall off after 23 years of UV exposure there isn’t really a lot a guy can do. And what I did do for her over the 4+ years we lived there is a lot of repair work where she just paid for the parts, or sometimes not even that. I replaced the range hood, the kitchen faucet (the old one was leaking when we moved in), the furnace flame sensor and ignitor… the list goes on and on. The only non-1987 (year built) appliances in the place are the dishwasher and the range hood.

    And now she wants us to pay 100% of the replacement cost for her 8-year-old carpet and her 23-year-old vertical blinds.

    But she made some other mistakes that put her in a disadvantaged position, too. I have never received the yearly statement of where my deposit was being held, and I never received any of the mandatory interest distribution.

    I think I have a pretty strong case for 100% deposit recovery.

  95. New in FL says:

    Oh yeah, and I keep documents for everything. Everything.

  96. New in FL says:

    I think the car insurance cost here might be related to the fact that SE FL not only has hurricanes, but a fair amount of auto theft and vandalism.

    But the extra cost of living here – at least what I’ve seen so far – is more than offset by not having to pay state income tax, not having to pay for heating, and the general lower cost of living.

    Even if everything were equal, though, NOT having to bundle up and hug a heater for six or more months of the year are a great benefit as far as I’m concerned.

  97. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    Its perfectly fine to have 3rd world make our tshirts and toys. That doesnt really take away from our own economy and those are dirty, mindless jobs anyway that require alot of harmful chemicals and toxins on our own soil.
    We are undergoing a structural shift, similar to the 1980s when mexico took alot of our factory jobs, which took away a lot of $20-30k jobs from americans because the mexicans can do it cheaper and better.
    This time around, asians are taking more of those factory jobs and also a lot of $30-50k jobs. This is fine and necessary for our growth, but the key ingredient is education. Those Americans who lost the $30-50k jobs need to be re-trained for $60-100k jobs. Our companies have the positions open but unfortunately our workforce is not yet qualified to get hired for them.

    Really??????? Your proposal is that we have a nation of only “wealthy” successful individuals who make 10X the average global income. This proposal is absurd. Ever hear of the bell curve, or a statistical distribution? That is a rhetorical question as i know you are very familiar with both. The logical conclusion to your proposal is either an extreme brazilification of the US, where if you have a job you are “wealthy” and if you dont have a job you are dirt poor and depend almost entirely on government support to survive. Or the even more unlikely case that somehow the lower 2 quintiles of the US population are all highly educated and live the same lifestyle as the “middleclass” and there being no “lower” class population.

    Both proposals are farcical and out right impossible to achieve. In any large population you will always have those who fail, those that are highly successful and those in the middle. I dont care if you look at soviet Russia, ancient Rome, Or The US in its heyday, you will always have some sort of distribution amongst your population.

    In a broad sense what you are suggesting is an advanced form of economic slavery. The chosen ones get to sit on high making 10X – 100X the average global income and not worrying about pesky things like pollution of social underclasses. meanwhile those not of the chosen nations get to produce goods for us at slave labor rates swimming in pollution. That’s just an advanced form of the Roman empire

  98. Nomad says:

    New if FL,

    Tell us who you use for legal council and how it turns out. I may have to return to the garden state and looking at 1.5 mo security deposit the first thing I thought of is that there is a 100% chance they will try to steal it from me when I move out. especially so if I rent an unsold condo from a builder who goes under while I am a tenant.

    Grim – FYI a lot of the radiology work is already done overseas. If you go to the ER at midnight and get a scan, chances are it will be read in Israel. You can send images to a Blackberry or iPhone these days. Telemedicine / health / mobile health is exploding. A few months ago, a company got FDA approval to forward patient vital signs to the docs iPhone – shows up on the screen looking just like the monitor you see above the patient in the hospital – EKG, pulse, BP…

    “My point stands regarding america’s economic transformation driven by nat gas and green technology revolution. Manufacturing the solar panels and wind fans is just the tip of the iceburg compared to the boost our consumers and companies will receive from reducing volatile energy costs and keeping energy dollars within our own economy, instead of sending billions each year to arabs and venezuelans who hate us.” – put a $1 / gallon tax on gas – use it to pay down our debt and watch sales of energy efficient cars jump. Problem is the big US automakers need to sell SUVs to make enough $$ to stay afloat. They make more $$ on small cars now than a few years ago but they still need to move the heavy metal to stay afloat.

  99. Mikeinwaiting says:

    93 Veto as I was writing 84 I toyed with mentioning the up coming war. Up coming, yes sure thing. Read a piece about Marines new amphibious craft what do we need that for waste of money blah blah, we will need it & a lot of other new toys for the military. People who want to cut defense don’t realize that it is our ace in the whole. You don’t have to like it but it is true. We will get mad ,scared & hungry then we are going to take your stuff cause we can & we need it. When, not if we reach that point the world should be sh*t scared. Don’t see that as a positive though. To live in interesting times.

  100. Mikeinwaiting says:

    100 It’s the “Year Of The Cat” theme song the Cat!

  101. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    Modern global economics is virtually a pure ponzi model. The question is how long can we run it. Off-shoring as has been practiced, is/was a just a method to expand the ponzi base. Unless we find substantial populations on some of the local planets in our solar system we are getting awfully close to running out of people to expand the ponzi to.

  102. willwork4beer says:

    New in FL

    Can’t make a recommendation for Madison. Hopefully someone else on the blog can help you with that.

    Sounds to me like you have a good case.

  103. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Cat 104 and this ends at 102 no?

  104. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Cat, part of the shift would probably include increasing amount of socialism, unless we expect our laid off workers to just go live in the woods.
    If we don’t subsidize medical, housing, food and education for avg laid off/underpaid americans by taxing our high earners, then yes there could be a widening gap between our rich and poor.
    But our rich are undertaxed anyway and we can’t expect pure capitalisim and then bitch about chinese workers taking away americas jobs because theyre willing to do them for 1/10th the price.

  105. The Chairman says:

    Outsourcing is not a cause of the problems, it is merely a symptom of unrealistic and unsustainable benefits.

    Wages in 3rd world, especially China, have been increasing rapidly. Foreign companies need to provide expensive health insurance (sounds familiar?) to workers there and skilled employees are quick to move on to next company with higher pay.

  106. The Chairman says:

    Some US companies, like GM, tried the protectionist approach that some people here glorify. Keep the unsustainable worker benefits in force and things will be fine. We all know how that turned out.

    Smarter manufacturers, can still survive in the US without such protectionism and thuggery. See foreign car companies and Ford, mostly located in business-friendly states. Wages are still good and they are sustainable.

  107. Neanderthal Economist says:

    In the end the outsourcing and competition from the 3rd world will fix itself when consumers demand quality US products.
    When you factor in the short useful lifes and harm to health walmart products are not saving americans anything.
    Problem with GM is they were inferior products priced higher than foreign competition.

  108. aaa says:

    No need for the federal or any government to stop the bleeding because it CANNOT be stopped. Here are trends of society that have been with us for many, many years. And all efforts in trying to prevent the trends will lead only to the slowing down of the process and not a reversal.

    1. Money will float to the top 5% of society.
    2. Asset bubbles will always form
    2a. Individuals are generally dumb and groups of individuals are generally dumber. This will lead to massive unsustainable levels of consumption.
    2b. Tax revenues from massive consumption will lead to generous incomes for government employees and union workers. Their refusal to see reality once the bubble burst will lead to the demise of government/corporations
    3. As all bubbles burst, CEOs are forced to satisfy shareholders’ need for profits and annual gains by outsourcing and offshoring.
    4. Simultaneously, global redistribution of wealth exacerbated the bubble burst. This cannot be stopped as companies that did not outsource or offshore will eventually lose out to companies that did due to improved pricing, profit margins and cash flow. The United States has entered its mature phase and is in the decline phase.
    5. Both the U.S. bubble burst and asset bubble burst cannot be stopped. Its more cost effective to not prevent it, but to accelerate through it.

    Mayans were right…greed destroys all societies.

    Just my opinion.

  109. Essex says:

    111. Greed is #1, Followed closely by stupidity.

  110. Mike says:

    Mr. Chairman Number 108 Not a problem at all, just hope if you have a residence to sell in the future it’s reasonably priced. Figure on dropping the price 30% because that’s the average wage an outsourced individual makes less then the employee being replaced. Now that the cat’s out of the bag Grim could probably give you a better estimate. Hmm they’re not given health benefits either, you better take care of all the closing costs to. Yup no problem at all.

  111. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Mike 106


  112. willwork4beer says:


    Dec 12, 10:40 AM EST

    Minn. Metrodome roof collapses after snow storm
    By DAVE CAMPBELL Associated Press

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) –The inflatable roof of the Metrodome collapsed Sunday after a snowstorm that dumped 17 inches on Minneapolis. No one was hurt, but the roof failure sent the NFL scrambling to find a new venue for the Vikings’ game against the New York Giants.

    The teams had been scheduled to play at noon Sunday. The game was pushed back to Monday night when Saturday’s blizzard kept the Giants from getting to Minneapolis. But after the Teflon roof collapsed overnight, the commission that runs the Metrodome told the NFL the stadium wouldn’t be ready for a game Monday or Tuesday.

    The NFL said it was considering moving the game to the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium or to another NFL domed stadium, spokesman Greg Aiello said.


  113. A.West says:

    Ultimately, incomes come from doing things that generate a lot of economic value to others. To maximize income, there should be high demand relative to supply, and it should be usable on a global scale. Semiskilled manufacturing labor isn’t rare, and more efficient global transportation has effectively added signficant global supply. The US is still one of the largest exporters in the world, but high costs move US manufacturing up the value chain towards highly complex items. The biggest strength of the US is in high tech stuff that involves a lot of intellectual property, engineering, science, etc. I suspect global supply of scientists will be expanding though, taking away some edge from US engineers, on the margin.

    Sorry, there’s no magic wand that can make people get paid more than they are worth to other people. Tariff protected manufacturing won’t bring back “the good old days”, just even worse stagnation and false hope.

    If you really want an economic boom in the US, I suggest the following: 1) massively deregulate, cutting government in half – get government spending down to 20% from 40% today, most of which is transfer payments. Auction off government roads/airports/parks/schools to the highest bidders to help pay off debt and find owners who give a damn, and have to compete for customers. 2) Shift to flat consumption taxes and cut the overall government take in half. It’s reinvested savings that drives economic growth on a multi-year basis, and consumption is an economic dead-end. 3) Allow open legal immigration to anyone who wants to work here.

    Net result, the whole world would rush to invest in US offices and production, as a land of freedom and low taxes. Maybe they would bring in low cost labor with them, but the growth in new opportunities would more than make up for that. This is how the US grew for centuries, before throwing itself into reverse with the enactment of the New Deal, Great Society, etc. Somebody will eventually invent the next great energy source, it might not be an american, but America can still become the location of choice to file the patent, build the company, get rich, and enjoy one’s rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

    Nowadays, not many americans even have the confidence to think that they can compete on an even field with the rest of the world, and instead imagine that they can protect themselves from competitors. How did that work out for GM? Time for the US to grow some and go on the economic offensive, by changing real structural barriers to economic growth that we suffer under now.

  114. Galvin says:

    #4 I am with you. I jsut don’t see the second coming of the great depression when I am standing in lines and fighting over which gifts to pick up.

  115. willwork4beer says:

    Giants and Vikings to play at Detroit’s Ford Field. Kickoff at 7:20pm.


  116. willwork4beer says:

    To be clear, that’s tomorrow at 7:20pm.

  117. The Chairman says:

    120 West
    ” 3) Allow open legal immigration to anyone who wants to work here. ”

    Uh. $100m illiterate illegals who insist of getting gov services in spanish and suck every last cent of welfare programs is welcome!

    Anybody with real science PhD should be welcome though.

  118. Essex says:

    I am sure that during the Depression some folks had decent jobs.

  119. reinvestor101 says:

    >>I am sure that during the Depression some folks had decent jobs.<<

    Please don't use the word depression. We're not in a damn depression, hell we're not even in a recession. Everything will be fine as when people stop being so damn negative. They said this thing would be V shaped and I still believe that. Stop trying to foster negative psychology.

  120. xroads says:

    quote from the mayor of Sparta: ““Budgets in New Jersey are unsustainable now,” Seelagy said. “Boards and municipalities all over the state are faced with rising costs and lower (tax levy) caps. It’s untenable. There’s no way to resolve it without throwing body bags out the door.”

    just read this and thought it was amusing. especially the first part

  121. Shore Guy says:

    “A shadow looms over New Jersey”

    Of course it does. Given its proximity to Manhattan and the height of many building there, of course there is a shadow over NJ.

  122. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Well said A.West, always appreciate your comments, even though i probably disagree with the lower taxes thing.

  123. A.West says:

    The Chairman,
    Thanks to points 1 & 2 of my proposal, there wouldn’t be welfare freeloading available for either alien or native borns. Getting rid of welfare ensures that people who show up are either already wealthy or plan to work to support their own lives.

    Incidentally, I think that the vast majority of welfare and transfer payments are for native-born folks. Immigrants are a scapegoat in much of the country, though I wouldn’t be surprised that there are some areas where it is a big welfare/school/hospital problem. Get the state out of running those areas and it ceases to be a problem.

  124. Essex says:

    OK. agreed. At least until my job goes. Then and only then it’s a Depression.

  125. Barbara says:

    So many good posts, I haven’t even read them all.

    @Essex: All I have been looking for is a historic old lady fixer. They are all overpriced by 30% or more when you take into consideration the amount of work needed to make them livable.

    @19. Safe for houses
    “I think a lot of houses for sale in North Jersey need at least 15 to 20k in work. And I don’t mean stainless and granite. they need electrical, plumbing, heating, rotten windows and doors replaced, new roof or siding. You got to take care of that stuff first. If you do the italian tile in the baths and granite and stainless in the kitchen first, it’s like an obese woman getting a nose job and putting on nail polish and baubles.”

    you are being too kind. Houses I walk into in haughtyville, NJ need a minimum of 60-80k. Roof, electrical, plumbing, flooring, siding. Shiteous…I blame 10 years of piss poor form from new buyers who do not even know how to tighten a door handle with a screwdriver. The prices and taxes have been so high that most people bought, painted, put their boxes down. Oh, and now they expect a 20% gimme for the paint job…

  126. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Depression doesnt mean commerce stops, it is merely reduced by 15-25%.

  127. Neanderthal Economist says:

    gdp drop of 10% or more is depression by one standard.

  128. safe as houses says:

    #128 Barbara,

    I like the houses that need new roofs, siding, have 20 year old wall to wall carpets, 30 year old baths and kitchens, rotting window frames with missing window panes, and the front door is about to fall off the hinges, and they have it listed for 10k less then a renovated house. hahaha. WTF are they thinking?

  129. Lifelong Renter that has been there a few times says:

    To #81 – New in FL

    I had this happen with my 2 past landlords. Both big multi-properties owners. So this is an essential m.o. of landlords in NJ. After going thru this several times. What a renter should do (also told to me by several lawyers) is use the security deposit against rent, especially if no notification of security deposit at bank account occurred in the first year, this alone indemnifies you against landlord claims. You got to make the landlord come after you, not you after the landlord because:

    If less than $5,000 then it will be handled by small claim court at the County level. You show up, landlord shows up. Judge will sent you with a law student to act as arbitrator in the first thing in the morning after opening the court session, if no results then he’ll see the case up in the afternoon. the pressure is to arbitrate away and settle because Judge makes clear that even if he you win the case -the collection process with the County Sheriff will take easily two year plus if they can find any property to attach and the Sheriff will take a 10% commission.

  130. Essex says:

    I think i have been down this list before but year one we took out all the rugs ourselves (help from an old surfing/rugby buddy). Did the paint. Plaster walls needed a bit of repair. New Pella Architeture series windows later that year or the next. Dead quiet in the house followed. Had a kid. Just one. Did the roof. Did gut rehab on kitchen and breakfast areas. Did new electrical panel. Water heater replaced. Exterior paint. New patio with drainage. New sun porch. Taxes doubled. House value back to what we bought it for. Tick tick tick :-)

  131. safe as houses says:

    #133 Essex,

    You obviously didn’t buy on the “right” street in the “right” town. :P

  132. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Jeez essex that’s a great investment roi. Kind of like reverse dividend.

  133. cobbler says:

    A. West [116]
    Your approach is excellent if we really want to compete with India and Brazil on an even footing. I’ve never visited Brazil, but I’ve been to India a few times. I definitely don’t want to be on an even footing with the people there although I have a lot of respect towards them. The “cleansed” from the post-1930s improvements version of capitalism you stand for requires you to accept having a very large section of the society living in the dirt, eating dirt and dressing in rags (and dying in the street, too) – and realize that getting in jail may actually improve their nutrition and well-being; this what you can see in Brazil or Columbia as per reports; rather patriarchal society in India somewhat restrains the crime level. The plus for you personally is that if you keep your job at its current pay you can have a nice house, a full-time nanny, gardener, cook, maid, chauffeur etc. The minus is that you’ve got to have a bodyguard or two – and also have to face beggars about every 40 feet when you are in the street, and every 5 feet when you are say in the train station. The pluses for the society as a whole are not obvious – probably, seeing the idleness punished should make more self-righteous society members happy; the minuses are increased crime, social instability and a potential for a thuggish demagogue to come to power. U.S. is large enough both in population and land area to be able to successfully lock itself off the globalized economy for most things with only moderate hit to the living standards – and by doing so to move towards the balanced and productive economy which had been prevalent in say 1960s, and to restoring the middle class.

  134. Barbara says:

    81. NEW IN FLA

    excuse the caps, but you need to see this. I’m a landlord. Here’s what you do, you call your landlady and threaten to call city inspections for violations unless she agrees to return to you a reasonable amount of your security deposit. Tell her she’s got one week to get that in your hands. Should work.

  135. Barbara says:

    Small claims is a waste of time. Won twice, never collected. Its an absolute joke. Got to take matters into your own hands in NJ.

  136. still_looking says:

    Whoever said xrays are being read elsewhere is correct. Called the rad about a report that read “appears to be a fat containing an@l hernia” (they use voice recognition systems) was actually a fat containing inguinal hernia. Asked location (heard the accent) and this one was located in Tel Aviv.

    Same for any image analysis job – ie pathologists… can be anywhere… just need internet access.


  137. still_looking says:

    On a holy-f*cking shit note,

    My company is in the process of securing contracts in North Carolina!!



  138. still_looking says:

    On a family note,

    My psychotic, in the throes of a major mid life crisis, toxic, delusional MIL is still living in her own private Idaho.

    Please. Someone. Anyone. Drag this ignorant, delusional twit to a shrink. Anyone.


  139. Barbara says:

    if your mil is over 60, she’s having an end of life crisis ;P

  140. still_looking says:

    And finally,


    Please, can you start sending me listings for Hunterdon County?



  141. still_looking says:


    She isn’t 60 yet. I think next year.

    [no, please don’t ask me to reveal my ‘inside thoughts’ right now.]


  142. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Neanderthal 130

    Subtract government spending from GDP and we are well below -10%

  143. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    Most people dont see a depression due to government money being pumped into the economy. the question is, when will the economy grow enough to replace the 10% of GDP being pumped in by the government right now? That is the break even point. The economy would still need additional growth to support the massive debt created in all of these supportive actions by the government.
    Perhaps TPTB will pull it off (GDP appears to have grown since last Jan per government stats, good thing they dont fudge stats). The large scale trends are against them though.

  144. Essex says:

    135. Tell me about it.

  145. Nomad says:

    Is medical dope legal in NJ? If not, it soon will because Trenton can collect some $$ if they do.

  146. The Chairman says:

    A.west “Thanks to points 1 & 2 of my proposal, there wouldn’t be welfare freeloading available for either alien or native borns. Getting rid of welfare ensures that people who show up are either already wealthy or plan to work to support their own lives.”

    You are really naive. If we were to open borders for everybody, the result would be influx of at least 100M mainly illiterate, poor people from the 3rd world. They would DEMAND welfare and all other gov sponsorship.

    Would the gov to let them starve to death or go totally untreated? Of course not. They would fill up every hospital bed and welfare office. Unions and one major political party would see this great opportunity for permanent power transfer and talk of “civil rights”, “nobody is illegal”, and “legalization” of undocument people.

    More realistic solution would be to open borders for anybody with science PhD or MBA from top 30 schools in the world.

  147. grim says:


    You making a run for hunterdon????

  148. Outofstater says:

    sl – Contrary to what we’ve been told our whole lives, your first responsibility is to yourself, then to your immediate family. Everything else is a distant third. You can’t look after your spouse, your child or your patients if you are stressed out beyond all recognition. You are not responsible your MIL’s behavior and you can’t alter it. All you can do is alter your reaction to it which is easier said than done. You need boundaries between her and your immediate family. If it takes moving away, then do it.

  149. Fabius Maximus says:

    Don’t have a problem with your 3rd point, but 1 and 2 just dig the hole deeper.
    For 1) The gvmt does not need to be reduced it needs to be made more effective. Look at the Dept of Energy. Great candidate for reform, but its biggest issue is that it has conflicting mandates from Congress. Look at the Oil spill in the Gulf, is it a case of ineffective regulation or over regulation. What happens if you remove all regulation.

    Don’t fire sale assets! Look at the UK, they sold off half the gold reserves in 1999 at the bottom of the market. The only thing your point does is pass over a high worth assets at a stupid price to those that can afford to buy and exploit. Shutter the assets if we can’t afford them today.

    You want an action plan.

    Purge the money from politics.
    Enforce value for money when dealing with the private sector.
    Tackle the 4 big bugbears of the economy.
    Social Security,

    Start that and you are on the right track.

  150. Fabius Maximus says:

    Well precedent was set this year anyway. In a few years he just hands it back.

    Newton’s awkward Heisman ceremony epitomizes his legacy

  151. The Chairman says:

    “Don’t have a problem with your 3rd point, but 1 and 2 just dig the hole deeper.
    For 1) The gvmt does not need to be reduced ”

    Surprise /sarc.
    Massive influx of other welfare-sucking illegals no problem to you. It is a problem, however, for taxpayers.

  152. willwork4beer says:

    Still Looking,

    We could use a good doctor out here. We’re still opening up the skull to release the demons
    and trying to balance the four humors.

  153. Fabius Maximus says:

    #154 Chairman

    I think you missed the point of number three. At that point it is an influx of legal immigration.

    “Allow open legal immigration to anyone who wants to work here. “

  154. still_looking says:

    grim, 150

    For starters. The insanity and the drama continues. Her own cousin, her closest cousin – who is like a sister to her – is trying to get her to understand she needs help. She will not accept it.

    Her cousin is even trying to help her ‘save face’ by making it seem like it’s an issue between her and my husband. Rather than (correctly) understanding he is coming to the defense of his wife, she is painting him as the ‘angry teenager (at 40!) leaving the nest.’

    No one wants to believe that she could be that ugly of a person. Take my word for it. ‘Ugly’ is putting it mildly.

    Hunterdon County isn’t far enough.

    Luckily our group is on the verge of a North Carolina contract. Takes about 6 months to get licensed. Initially, fly in for a stretch of shifts over 5 days, fly home – if it seems stable, tolerable and a good fit, then move. If not, consider far west NJ or eastern PA.


  155. still_looking says:

    Out of stater, 151

    Thank you! I’m learning this slowly. It’s a lesson I should have learned years ago.


  156. The Chairman says:

    “At that point it is an influx of legal immigration”

    Yeah, so 100M legal, illiterate welfare-sucking parasites coming here. You think it is not a problem? If you like Mexico’s side of US border, you will absolute love the new US with all those new legal guests.

  157. safe as houses says:


    I thought you recently bought a house in NJ?

  158. still_looking says:

    WW4Beer, 155

    I actually am probably in your neck of the woods already! I just live an hour away in Bergen. I (stupidly) bought up here and commute an hr each way not realizing that my MIL has rolled off the deep end. I had the misfortune of finding this out after we had closed.

    Psycho bitch has made me the target of her anger and initially was (unbeknownst to me) trashing me and my husband to friends and family. I really think it’s a multifactorial problem.

    She’s was fired a year and a half ago and has decided to not return to that field. Her husband had one job and now started a business (likely in part to keep his distance from her – he leaves at 0630 and returns 1900 at night.) The rest of the time he hides in the basement/man cave. With us out of the house she has no cook, grocery shopper, kitchen cleaner (me) and no handyman, gardener, errand runner, alternate kitchen cleaner (my husband.)

    I’ve been the target of her anger. I’m no shrinking violet, to say the least and I’m not taking her beating laying down. Above all, I’m honest. She has been lying and lying and lying and hates the fact that she has been caught in multiple lies by me – and called out on them.

    She’s sick. Needs help and continues to dig herself in deeper. She tortured my poor husband to the point that he was lashing out at me and our son. Thankfully, that has stopped and my husband is a wise man in recognizing the problem and attempting to address it.

    Which lead us back to square one. Her cousin, trying to help her ‘save face’ and naming this whole issue as a separation issue rather than calling it what it is: an unhinged woman in a late midlife crisis.


  159. still_looking says:

    Safe, 160

    We did. For the sake of our family, we need to be away from here. I understand fully why my SIL moved to almost the other side of the country. She knew them (my in laws) better than me.


  160. Fabius Maximus says:

    #159 Chairman

    That is such a straw man augment.

    Lets ignore the big issues that this country has to deal with and lets blame all the issues on those 100M that are beating down the door to this country that look to marry your children and take your jobs.

  161. safe as houses says:


    You could move to Australia. There is a shortage of Docs over there. you’d have a continent and the Pacific as a buffer zone. I’d think it wouldn’t be too difficult for you to apply for a PR and get it.

  162. whipped says:



  163. still_looking says:

    Case in point.

    1) I called her to see if she wanted to come visit with her grandson for a few hours – rather than visit with her grandson, she decided to scream at me for an hour. I argued logic, she spewed more lies. My parting words to her: “stay away from me. We need a lot of time away from each other.”

    She came over the next day, unannounced, and attempted to provoke me.

    2) Invited us over for thanksgiving. We (knowing better only arrived for dessert) went over and first her husband started on us, then she did — yelling at us, berating us, etc (yes for an hour because I didn’t realize that he didn’t know a fraction of her insane antics — they came as a surprise to him– and I didn’t mind enlightening him as to whats really been going on.)

    Sadly, they chose to do this upstairs, while other company (including the cousin who is trying to get her to seek help) was downstairs with our son… who heard probably all of it.

    They are sick. Both of them. I simply need to remove my family from their vicinity.

    [btw, we live in a relatively small town. she has been trashing us to the parents (moms) of kids in my son’s class and within all of her social groups in town. THIS is the other reason I feel we are way better off getting out of here… did I mention she is sick in the head??? WHO does this sort of thing??]


  164. sl (143)-

    Phasing out of the RE business. Not doing any more work, other than finishing up with some old clients. Fcuking can’t stand it anymore.

  165. still_looking says:

    safe, 164

    Have mentioned it multiple times to hubby. Every Emergency Med journal has the advertisement for it in the back.

    I am about a few years away from being a full partner for a decade. When you are a full partner for a decade you can take a LOA for a year (they’ll still cover benefits, etc) I’d love to do that at that time.


  166. cobbler says:

    I wonder why almost every time I open bloomberg.com I get an ad with the title The 9mm Won’t Save You served…

  167. still_looking says:

    whipped rad,

    Not worried. You can’t outsource my work.


  168. Fabius Maximus says:


    Can’t offer a lot here but a little nugget for hubby.

    At some point I assume some point MIL will try and put a wedge in between you and spouse. A variant of “you are my son, my blood and you can’t take XXX over family” will get thrown up. Here is an iron clad defense that works.

    “While you may have issues with what is going on at the moment, I look at this with dismay. I respect you for being my mother/ sister/aunt/etc etc, but when you attack my spouse, you attack me. I have pledged myself to her and will stand beside and support her regardless if she is right or wrong. If it is her view, it is mine, for me not to stand behind her, will do my marriage a disservice and I will not go there.
    I have no decision here, if you say she is “dead to me”, then I am “dead to you” as well. I have nowhere to go here except to stand side to side with my spouse whom I have pledged my future to. When I married, I made her my family. “

  169. Mikeinwaiting says:

    SL Sorry to hear, seems it is getting worse from you prior posts. Sh*t & you just bought in the area, such is life.

  170. still_looking says:


    Thanks for that. He has stood by me and recognizes the sheer lunacy and has himself been a victim of her attacks. We did not expect the Thanksgiving day ambush attack and she tried to stare him down — glared evilly and frighteningly at him — attempting to get between us. It didn’t work and she got angrier than ever. Her niece finally came upstairs and said, “Uh, aunt XX, it’s getting kinda loud down here…” (where our son was…)

    I know she will try again. She has had her cousins calling him and trying to wear him down. He is much stronger a man than that. She has constantly underestimates my husband and attempts to treat him like a child.


  171. toomuchchange says:

    This has been a very strange thread to read.

    Our major problems are complex and long standing, yet I see people confidently say they’d be solved if we just did a particular a, b and c. I note major elements of these problems are waived off or simply ignored, as if that would make them go away. Finally, I sorry to say that many people seem to think that somehow, someone will change Americans, along with America’s economy and our society to their liking — and then, like magic, our thorniest problems will be solved.

    If there’s one thing I feel sure of, it’s that solving our major problems will bear no resemblance to magic.

    Here’s a suggestion: If your solution for one of our biggest problems will cause lots of pain, trouble or inconvenience to other Americans but not you or people like you, keep working on it until it does. By then you might just have a good idea.

  172. still_looking says:

    mike, 172

    There’s so much to the story. She is really a toxic, ugly wretch. She covers it up with sickeningly sweet shit.. as fake as it gets. I am “what you see is what you get.” If I like you, I show it. If I despise you, I steer clear unless I can find a reason to like you.

    But fake? Nope. I don’t play poker for exactly that reason. I’d rather live my life as a genuine, true feeling, real person.


  173. Outofstater says:

    Sl – That whole situation is totally out of control. Get the he## out of there, as far away as possible. Until then, refuse to participate in the madness. When she comes over unannounced, tell her it is inconvenient to entertain her and close the door. When she is nasty on the phone, say “I’m sorry. I don’t permit people to talk to me in this manner” and hang up. When she berates you in person, say nothing and walk out the door. I’ve found that it is best to say nothing and refuse to respond to whatever the unhinged relative is saying to push my buttons. You’ll know you’re getting there when you find yourself observing her as you would observe a circus animal – interesting antics but having no real impact on your life.

  174. Mikeinwaiting says:

    SL She still sees him as her child & by you moving out it hit the fan. Reality is setting in & she will get worse & worse. You just took her boy, she will pull out all the stops on some sick deranged maternal instinct vendetta. Move far move quick, sorry to say.

  175. NJGator says:

    SL – sorry to hear about your bat sh%t crazy MIL. We lost a cousin to lung cancer tonight. A really good man, far, far too young. Didn’t get to say a proper goodbye or comfort him like he deserved these past few months because his crazy wife thought he wasn’t really dying if other people didn’t see it, so she pretty much kept everyone away.

    F*ck cancer and bat sh%t crazy relatives.

  176. cobbler says:

    toomuchchange [174]
    Solutions that don’t cause pain here do not exist. As a country we are like an addict that first sold everything he inherited and then maxed on his credit cards to buy his drugs. Our drug is mindless mass consumption of stuff and every other product of other people’s labor totally out of proportion to our own production of wealth. Selling our inheritance is the de-industrialization of the last 25-30 years: what was better for the wealth of the country to have on a half-mile stretch of Rt. 22 in Watchung – an avionics plant or Watchung mall? – and this change happened in thousands of places all over the country… I’d love to see us straightening the things without pain, just through smart tax policies, incentives, etc. – but it is not possible, the rot went too deep. Putting globalization in reverse will hurt, but is the only way out of the hole. Staying in the hole will converge our society’s structure and values with the likes of Columbia and Brazil much sooner than anyone forecasts.

  177. cobbler says:

    SL – as someone who grew up seeing and living the daily warfare of my paternal grandmother against my mom, I feel bad for you and your child. Probably, I am a worse person than I could have become in a different setting – but despite at least 15 years of this stuff I turned into a fairly stable and successful adult who is adored by his maddeningly stupid MIL. So, don’t worry about the kid. For yourself – if you don’t talk to her at all, your MIL will slowly get frustrated of attacks that would seem to be totally ignored. Hold on.

  178. Essex says:

    Credit is back for the credit challenged. Get your cards here!


  179. still_looking says:

    Gator, 178

    I’m sorry for your loss. *That* is the reality I see every working day. I get my nose ground into cold hard reality every day there.

    It’s part of the reason I try to keep the peace (to a point – when it involves hurting my husband and child — I’m all teeth and claws.)

    Life is really short.

    She is damaged on so many levels. Her lack of insight is profound and her ignorance unbearable. The pathological lying is what I find most disgusting though. I have more respect for people who dislike me and aren’t fake about it.


  180. still_looking says:

    Mike, 177

    Her daughter ran off to the midwest , never to return to free herself of them. We moved a mile away. You’d think she’d have appreciated that. Nope. Turned into the wicked witch and you wouldn’t believe the shit we have been through with her. Just insane.

    I’m so proud of my husband though. He has really got her pegged. And refuses to cave in to her lunacy.


  181. still_looking says:

    OutofState, 176

    Yep. you would not believe how calm I can be. I admit, the phone call got rather loud and heated. She would not allow me a word in edgewise. After *I* called *her* to invite her over to visit with my son… (extend and olive branch)…. only to be called vicious, horrific things and more.

    She intended to provoke me by showing up unannounced.


  182. toomuchchange says:

    179 — Cobbler

    Agree with you and the obvious truths you state but where’s the rest of the country — and our leaders? They all need to come out of hiding but will they?

    Silly me, as I probably said here before, I thought that getting America back to a sound financial footing (both the economy and jobs) was one of the big things Obama was going to tackle. I can’t regret voting for him vs. McCain but I do wonder how long he and the rest of the politicians can keep up the pretense that any day now — any day now — things will be looking up and before we know it, all will be well again.

    Everybody seems struck dumb in Washington on so many things.

    Bernanke had the big 60 Minutes segment last week where he did the unspeakable: he told the truth about high unemployment. Government statistics had been pushing the date farther and farther down the road when it would go back to normal (5-6%) but he was brave one who didn’t ignore the facts and admitted out loud that unemployment won’t return to normal before 2015. Notice how no one else was brave enough this week to follow up with any other previously unadmitted but obviously true statements.

    All this silly ostrich stuff has its own negative consequences so I would like it to stop. At first I typed “I hope” but I caught myself it before sliding into unconscious wishful thinking in print.

  183. still_looking says:

    cobbler, 180

    Thanks, I am trying. My own mom was attacked by my paternal GM routinely. Not that my mom was totally normal but, my GM was a toxic witch too. My father got divorced late in life only to pair up with wretched control freak after wretched control freak over and over. I’d guess it had to do with her influence on him growing up.

    He eventually married the worst of them all. He admits to all of his daughters that his wife has tried, with some success, to alienate all of us. She is a sick in the head bitch too who hates all of my dad’s kids…. Clot had a great diagnosis for people like her, “Dunning-Kruger” sufferers. She is the pinnacle of them.

    As you can imagine….what happens next… (drum roll please…) my MIL seeks out my dad’s wife to have a bash-fest. Next thinks she will change my dad’s opinion of me…. the guy I worked side by side with since I’m eleven years old — big enough to haul tools around. She’s that stupid.

    My dad calls me up, tells me he is so proud of me, loves me and knows that the things they are saying are lies. I tell him not to worry after a 45 yr relationship with him, I know where I stand – we are unshakable.

    These are sick sick people.


  184. still_looking says:


    Can you email me? I can’t find your email on BB or computer.


  185. still_looking says:

    and… off to bed. early call in the pit tomorrow oops, today!


  186. NJGator says:

    You’ve got mail, SL

  187. A.West says:

    My sympathies. You would be totally morally justified in entirely cutting her off from your society. Dont let her use guilt as a way to claw back into your home. If she ever changes, start out by only meeting her in her own home, and leave the instant you are treated improperly.

    I’m glad that my crazy relatives are in Florida, and that I can legitimately argue that I’m too busy to visit more than once every few years.

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