National snoop around your neighbor’s house day!

From the Record:

NJAR Open House Weekend kicks off home-buying season

With the spring home-buying season approaching, Realtors across New Jersey are showcasing inventories of homes for sale and celebrating the second year of Open House Weekend. Today and tomorrow (April 2 – 3), the New Jersey Association of Realtors (NJAR) aims to trump the success of last year’s event by featuring hundreds of participating Realtors and thousands of listed homes on display.

Editor’s note – Interesting, every year prior, Superbowl weekend was the kickoff. I suppose they’ll just keep rescheduling the kickoff until the buyer’s show.

People who are considering buying or selling a home are being urged to take advantage of this statewide event by either hosting an open house or visiting those that are open for viewing.

“Momentum is building, as Realtors across New Jersey are working with their clients to prepare listed homes and help map out buyers’ routes for Open House Weekend,” said NJAR President Allan “Dutch” Dechert. “This event makes home shopping easier for those looking to sell their properties and find a new place to live.”

Editor’s note – Open houses don’t sell houses, they are a sales tool for the sales agent showing the house to find new clients.

With mortgage interest rates still at record lows, Dechert stated that housing in New Jersey is more affordable than it has been in years. Customers can benefit by capitalizing on the opportunity to purchase a larger house or one in a more desirable neighborhood.

Editor’s note – Lord I feel dirty from posting that drivel

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98 Responses to National snoop around your neighbor’s house day!

  1. RE is dead for 50-100 years. You can smell the stench of death, as well as flop sweat, in any of these desperate, grasping open houses.

  2. Big push by my local board the last couple of weeks to open house the miserable inventory today. For this we have directors, sub-directors and a small army of office & support staff?

    These aren’t open houses, folks. It’s more like William Wallace’s execution in Braveheart. A slow, gruesome, excruciating spectacle that serves as a warning.

  3. I’ll go out and throw away a Sunday when I can compose a list of 10 market-priced REOs to view.

  4. grim says:

    I was challenged to become a vegan for 2 weeks. Any suggestions other than lose, suicide, or lie?

  5. grim says:

    (it should be noted I already lost, having had a protein shake this morning, and drinking coffee with cream)

  6. yo'me says:

    #6

    If you can convince your household to do it,it will be very easy.The biggest challenge is looking at somebody eating something you like and can’t have it.Now.if only I can convince my wife…

  7. Kettle1^2 says:

    Grim,

    Go for the Hemp protein powder!!!!

  8. Kettle1^2 says:

    I wonder what the spin on this will be?

    This Sunday on “60 Minutes”

    The Next Housing Shock

    As more and more Americans face mortgage foreclosure, banks’ crucial ownership documents for the properties are often unclear and are sometimes even bogus – a condition that’s causing lawsuits and hampering an already weak housing market. Scott Pelley reports.

  9. yo'me says:

    I want to lose weight by 10 pounds but not lose strength.I lowered my calorie intake by 500 calories a day but started losing strength.Weights I used to lift got lowered.My body is looking for more calories to build strength,in turn I gain weight.Now I do less weights and do more cardio.I lost 5 pounds so far but I feel losing muscle strength too.Sugestions?

  10. grim says:

    Suggestions?

    In my younger days, when I looked good enough to hang around the south of France in my speedo, chest hair a’ flowing in the Mediterranean breezes ..

    (my theories are not based in any kind of academic physiology or nutrition, just what worked for me.)

    Only beginners can simultaneously lose fat and gain muscle, once you’ve spent some real time in a gym, these two activities become very different. You are either adding muscle, or cutting fat. The trick becomes to add as little as fat as possible when bulking, and to lose as little muscle as possible when cutting. I needed at least 2 months in bulking, 1 month in cutting to show any real results and not just waste time spinning wheels with nothing to show for it. It boils down to obsessive numbers keeping. When bulking, I needed to slowly add calories on a daily basis to keep it from turning into fat. Likewise, when cutting, I always needed to start slow (100 a day for a week, tapering down 100 a week). A 500 calorie a day cut would have had exactly the same effect on me, I know I tried it. 100 a week was the most I could give back without really starting to lose big numbers on lifts. Really keep track of any of your cardio calories as well, and compensate for them with diet. Really watch out when you cut big numbers of calories fast, my theory always was your body would think you were starving, and would cannibalize muscle and spare fat to lower your overall metabolism to compensate).

  11. yo'me says:

    From late 2008 to the end of 2009, the U.S. unemployment rate jumped by 3.1 percentage points. What was so shocking about this was that the relationship between unemployment and the drop in the gross domestic product during the recession would have predicted only a 1.2 percentage point increase. This was the largest forecasting error in decades.

    Since then, the baffling moves have been in the opposite direction, with unemployment falling from 9.8 percent in November to 9.4 percent in December. Since then, the unemployment rate has dropped even further, to 8.9 percent in February. We’ll get the March figures tomorrow.

    Regardless of whether the rate ticked up or down, the 1.2 percentage point drop in the unemployment rate from its peak in 2009 is a puzzle because economic growth hasn’t been strong enough to generate such a large decline.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-31/why-unemployment-rose-so-much-dropped-so-fast-commentary-by-alan-krueger.html

  12. yo'me says:

    Thanks Grim

  13. Kettle1^2 says:

    Grim,

    Ketosis, i.e Atkins diet seemed to work well for me when i wanted to bulk up without the fat gain. I would take about 2 weeks to get my body adjusted to the lack of carbs but after that it was off to the races. I would do that for about 6 weeks at a shot then go back to a steady maintenance diet.

    Actually getting your body into ketosis is harder then most think and is probably like trying to go vegan, everything around you is loaded with sugar or other carbs. The key is to eating high quality protein and not stuffing your face with greasy fatty meats. vitamin supplements can be a good idea as well.

    Note that for some people this can be hard on your body, different peoples bodies seem to handle it differently.

    (just personal experience, not an expert)

  14. Kettle1^2 says:

    I used ketosis as one of my prep stages for 24hr adventure races.

  15. Juice Box says:

    Are You Ready To Buy?

    Charts galore, print them out and hang them up on the fridge.

    Spring 2011 Guide of 30 Key Charts to See Before You Buy or Sell Your Home

    http://housingstory.net/2011/03/30/spring-2011-guide-of-30-key-charts-to-see-before-you-buy-or-sell-your-home/

  16. gary says:

    With mortgage interest rates still at record lows, Dechert stated that housing in New Jersey is more affordable than it has been in years.

    Hey Dechert, what about the $14,000 per year tax rate? A $400,000 mortgage brings that to $3500 per month in PITI. Is that affordable to the average family? Hey Dechert, here’s a novel idea, tell the fat f*cks that they are 20% overpriced and that the tax rates are rising infinitely. Tell them that in two years from now, 40% of all mortgages will be in negative equity.

  17. gary says:

    Hey potential buyers, you want to feel queazy? The debt remains the same as asset prices plummet like a f*cking refrigerator tossed off a 40 story building. Tell yourself that as you sign on that dotted line.

  18. So What /Who Cares!! (formerly 3b) says:

    This house sold in September 0f 05 at 385K. It has been on the market for weeks now down to 289K!! 9k a year in taxes. A 2 handle in my town reflects late 90’s pricing.

    http://www.njmls.com/listings/index.cfm?action=dsp.info&mlsnum=1039663&dayssince=&countysearch=false

  19. scribe says:

    grim,

    Blue Diamond almond milk is vegan, and great for coffee and cereal.

  20. NJCoast says:

    Most vegans eat more processed foods than McDonalds eaters. All the fake cheese, fake meat, ready made meals, soy milks and tofu are processed with chemicals and preservatives. If you’re going to go vegan do it right. No processed foods, press your own almond milk, lots of beans and rice. Only fermented soy, miso, is not processed. It’s too much work for most people.

    Best way to eat. Eat real unprocessed food. Not too much. Mostly plants- locally grown. Buy meat from local farms- there are plenty in NJ.

  21. gary says:

    3b,

    What’ll they start seeing a 2 handle on houses in West Haughtyville. The proletarians are going to sh1t their pants!

  22. yo'me says:

    A person that have a mortgage of $280K at a rate of 5% has a monthly of $1500.Annual interest paid is $15K. At a rate of $10k property tax,he has a deduction of 25K.If this brings down his taxable rate at 25% he saves $6250.00 in Federal taxes, add NJ property tax rebate of $300 and propery tax deduction for state income,person is really just paying over $3000 in property tax.

    Now the rich wants to get rid of that deduction.

  23. NJCoast says:

    Grim- can’t figure out why I’m moderated at 10:16.

  24. yo'me says:

    #25

    I don’t deny high property taxes is a problem.

  25. So What /Who Cares!! (formerly 3b) says:

    #24 gary: Believe it or not we are considered West Haughtyville. Our high school is ranked 27th best in the state, as per NJ Monthly magazine.

  26. Marion B says:

    Since early this year, buyers in my area are slowly losing interest. Houses that are listed for sale in 2010 have been in the listings for months, and nothing is moving even with the reduced rates and reduced prices. With the town planning to increase taxes again this year, utility costs going up, gas prices gettting expensive, food prices going higher, no salary increases, the insecurity of the job market, and ever increasing cost of medical coverage, I have postponed my decision to buy a house until the prices comes down to just 3x the salary of an average – single income household. I have attended open houses and have seen leaking and crumbling 60 year old houses still priced at and above $300K.

  27. gary says:

    All I know is that I’ve been told by members of the NAR that it’s very competitive here and that if one can’t afford to live here, then one should consier looking out of state. After all, having granite and stainless are variables that differentiate us from the wannabes. meh…

  28. grim —

    Good Luck with that diet. Although a strict Vegan diet is going to be hard to maintain. When coffee with cream is a violation…..I mean, give yourself a chance at success !!

    The strict Vegans are missing a very important part of the food pyramid. I lit the barbeque yesterday and had a steak, cooked to perfection. Tasted like heaven, smelled delicious, and even looked spectacular, a real treat for all the senses. If you wanted to cut down on meat and increase the plant-based portion of your diet — you can have a good balanced diet. But some of these zealots won’t touch fish, eggs, all dairy. That’s radical.

    BTW — That drivel that “Dutch” Deckert signed his name to, it sounds like a Random Word Generator with the dial spiked all the way to 11 on the Optimistic Meter.

  29. chicagofinance says:

    grim: Being vegan now is easier than ever. There is so much crap out there. Even 10 years ago it was impossible. If you just want to do it for 2 weeks, I would contact Whole Foods and just get a list of stuff from them as substitutes. They even have cookies and scones that a good. As you would expect, everything is a bit dry, but for 2 weeks, it would be doable.

    As an example… you can get a vegan pizza here…
    http://www.pizzafusion.com/ridgewood/
    These types of places did not even exist 10 years ago…

  30. cobbler says:

    What should be the fair price for having the 1,200 sqft driveway completely redone (and Belgian block installed on both sides) – anyone got an experience?

  31. Neanderthal Economist says:

    20, 3b,
    Another nice comp. Can’t believe thats asking under $300k.
    Its actually not a bad little place for starter home.

  32. chicagofinance says:

    The Yankees have Bat Day; the Mets have Bring a Bat Day
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHEM2TmkbyA

  33. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “I have postponed my decision to buy a house until the prices comes down to just 3x the salary of an average.”
    Marion, not arguing your decision to buy or not. however, the 3x income is an arbitrary guage. It ignores stagnant incomes. It ignores interest rates (which make up twice the impact on affordability than prices do). Lastly, it ignores property taxes.
    Think of an extreme situation, where mortgage rates are 25% and property taxes are $30k per year. Assuming you need a mortgage, can you still afford to buy a house for 3x income? On a $300k home, your monthly piti would be about $8k.

  34. gary says:

    Neanderthal [35],

    The 25% mortgage rate and 30K tax rate are extreme but I get your point. The only variable you have incorrect is the house price of 300K. The house can and will drop to 75K if the other variables are true.

  35. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Exactly gary. so then in that scenario, the 3x income measure wouldnt make much sense since you would be overpaying way more than market would probably require.

  36. Mocha says:

    whats your opinion on asking the sellers to cover the buyers closing costs? I thought it was custom.

  37. Neanderthal Economist says:

    here is another central jersey twilight-zone comp…
    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/203-Bromley-Pl-Robbinsville-NJ-08691/52628636_zpid/
    sold oct 2006 $370k
    sold sept 2010 $362k

  38. Juice Box says:

    I am marinating baby back ribs right now to slow cook them over charcoal for 2 1/2 hours on the grill, so enjoy your soy burger!

  39. Barbara says:

    Mocha,
    buyer’s aren’t covering a thing, they are just over charging you in the buy and using your money via the mortgage check to cover your expenses. Its a shell game at the closing table.

  40. Barbara says:

    Mocha,
    should say “sellers aren’t covering a thing”

  41. Mocha says:

    Ok. I’ve been working with a realtor lately and she doesn’t seem to share my perspective on housing. Often I hear her reference the towns appraised value as a guide to how good of a deal I am getting. Its my opinion that she is reluctant to put in offers that I seem are fair but she would consider low balls (we are talking about 10% or so off of the list price). Of course she only gets paid if there is a transaction, and since the sellers are as stubborn as mules, I guess she figures we will flex. I explained to her in no uncertain terms that we are in the drivers seat. But again she doesn’t seem to share my enthusiasm. I’m giving her a week or two.
    When making an offer that’s 10 to 20 % off of list would it be better to just contact the listing agent?

  42. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Mocha. I struggled with that for years. Make no mistake, she is not on your side, nor is she working for you.

  43. yo'me says:

    Isn’t the Towns appraisal values are mostly over priced? My BIL has the same mentality.He don’t want to contest his town appraised value because that is what buyers go by.LOL

  44. Mocha says:

    Its frustrating as all heck, and gotta be honest its getting exhausting.

  45. Barbara says:

    Mocha, with few exceptions, and based on real data, most asking prices are 25% or more over priced. They are priced based on the homeowner’s debt load, not the here and now market value. Your 10% off ask is generous and you can expect to lose money on your house within the next 5 years. I’m a serious buyer and accept that loss, but I will not, in addition, over pay now. Fire your realtor.

  46. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Still at the cheer competition in charm city. Gonna be a long day.

    Say what u want about the “sport” but I’ve never seen as many kids on crutches as I have today, day 2 of the event. Lotsa knee and ankle injuries, and at least one leg fracture. And I haven’t seen this many knee braces in use except in D1 football.

  47. Mikeinwaiting says:

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/261474-putting-a-damper-on-the-big-march-job-report-celebration?source=hp_wc

    Some excerpts from the piece.
    “Putting a Damper on the Big March Job Report Celebration”
    “As noted above, 216,000 jobs is not especially impressive, especially given the depth of the hole that our economic policymakers put us in. In only 15 of the 52 months from February 1996 to May of 2000 did the economy create fewer than 216,000 jobs. In most cases the weakness was caused by bad weather. And this was at a time when the working age population was more than 10 percent less than today.
    I have one more point skunk to toss over at the celebrators. Here is the path of the employment to population ratio (EPOP) over the downturn. Note that we have only risen slightly from the low hit in December of 2009 and the EPOP is actually a hair lower today than it was a year ago. The drop in the unemployment rate over this period was entirely due to people leaving the labor force. Now is that good news or what?”

  48. grim says:

    Best way to eat. Eat real unprocessed food. Not too much. Mostly plants- locally grown. Buy meat from local farms- there are plenty in NJ.

    Oh I agree, which is pretty much all we do. However, we do tend to typically be meat-centric, so this should be interesting. After about 20 minutes in whole foods, I agree with the processed crap comment.

  49. grim says:

    When making an offer that’s 10 to 20 % off of list would it be better to just contact the listing agent?

    Heck, I’d gladly lob lowballs over for you all day long.

  50. Mocha says:

    That’s part of the problem with my situation. My temptation is to just arbitrarily lop off 25%. But I need to know how to valuate a home properly, something an honest realtor should do. But the fact remains the closest comps aren’t comparable so she’s resorting to tax assessments. I call BS. But I’m giving her another shot before I part company.

  51. Mocha says:

    Grim,
    How familiar are you with the Freehold area?

  52. NJCoast says:

    Grim-

    For the carnivore in you.

    http://www.eatwild.com/products/newjersey.html

  53. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Using tax assessments to value current market value could work well. Just make sure to account for homes with major renovations that haven’t been reassessed.

  54. Mocha says:

    56.
    seems to me they would be biased to the upside.

  55. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Depends on when it was assessed but usually you would come up with a ratio of market value versus assessed. If your town was assessed in 2006, market price should be around 80% of assessed value.

  56. Shore Guy says:

    Nom,

    Head down to Jimmies for breakfast and the Warf Rat for lunch and the Black Olive for dinner, all in Fell’s Point.

  57. Shore Guy says:

    Njc,

    You made it off St. Thomas, I see.

  58. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Mocha no offense but if you have to resort to assessments to know whether or not you are getting a good price you really need to do some more homework on your target area. You can not get that info from your agent it is not in their interest to low ball & run you around till you attain the grail. This is a life altering commitment spend six months to a year doing homework then go out to buy.

  59. Shore Guy says:

    Chifi,

    Thanks for your 4-1 post on Fl. West-Coasy island towns.

  60. Mocha says:

    Mike,

    No offense taken. In fact I agree with you. My wife and I have been combing through zillow and the like for over a year now. The most recent sale was back in December according to Zillow. Beyond that a realtor should be able to show me some comps but in this market they are few and far in between. I know that something that sold in 2006 should be about 25% lower today but that’s not the reality. I’ve used the 3% growth models for older sales data, and yet there is even greater discrepancies with list price. In reality there is such a disjoint that I’m really just seeking an outlet to vent. Hence the heavy posting today. That and slow day at work.

  61. So What /Who Cares!! (formerly 3b) says:

    #48 Barbara: it is not just the over indebted. Soem of the most delusional homesellers out ther now are the odl timers. Those that have lived in the house for 30 years or more.

    Their whole attitude is ” I ain’t giving my house away.”

  62. So What /Who Cares!! (formerly 3b) says:

    #44 Dump her.

  63. So What /Who Cares!! (formerly 3b) says:

    #9 Sellers still lost money.

  64. So What /Who Cares!! (formerly 3b) says:

    #39 Sellers still lost money.

  65. Fabius Maximus says:

    And I thought the diapers were for the people going into the plant. The photo is scary!

    Diaper absorbent used to try to plug nuke leak
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42402150/ns/world_news-asiapacific

  66. cobbler says:

    There are about 5.5 million U.S. households with at least $1 million in assets, or about 5 percent of the population. Millionaires control 56 percent of the country’s wealth, according to Fidelity, which is the second-largest U.S. mutual- fund company after Vanguard Group Inc. Household wealth was $56.8 trillion at the end of 2010, according to the Federal Reserve.

    The survey found millionaires’ outlook for the future is the most positive it’s been in at least four years.

    “They’re beginning to feel that perhaps we’re turning the corner on a more consistent basis,” said George Walper Jr., president of Chicago-based Spectrem Group, a consulting firm that tracks attitudes among millionaires.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-14/comfort-level-for-some-millionaires-is-7-5-million-fidelity-survey-says.html

  67. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “#39 Sellers still lost money”
    Ha ha. You’ve missed the point entirely.

  68. So What /Who Cares!! (formerly 3b) says:

    #70 I am sure it may seem that way for them. Perhaps they can buy up all the excess real estate.

  69. So What /Who Cares!! (formerly 3b) says:

    #71 I don think so.They owned the house for 4 years and lost money. Not supposed to happen. Silly buyers appear to have missed the irony. $ years from now they will be in the same boat as the people they bought from.

  70. So What /Who Cares!! (formerly 3b) says:

    Sorry should be 4 years from now.

  71. So What /Who Cares!! (formerly 3b) says:

    #40 Juice: By the way I will be leaving River Edge. Long time here, tough decesion, but it’s time to go and move on.

  72. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “They owned the house for 4 years and lost money.”
    They bought at peak and lost 2%. Im sure they’ll be fine.

  73. chicagofinance says:

    mocha: depends where in Freehold…..NJ Coast may be able to help you out in a limited way, but she knows mostly eastern Monmouth. What she does have is a deep knowledge of history and MLS access for down here. I know two realtors in the area that I trust. One works mostly Eastern Monmouth though and is based in Colts Neck. The other one I would have to check.

  74. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (59) shore.

    Once I collect my daughter after awards, I am out of here.

  75. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Recovery-Less Recovery: Long-Term Unemployed Data for March “Today’s employment situation report showed that conditions for the long-term unemployed worsened in March while remaining epically distressed by historic standards.

    Workers unemployed 27 weeks or more increased to 6.122 million or 45.5% of all unemployed workers while the median number of weeks unemployed increased to 21.7 weeks and the average stay on unemployment jumped to 39.0 weeks, a new high for the series.

    Looking at the charts below (click for super interactive versions) you can see that today’s sorry situation far exceeds even the conditions seen during the double-dip recessionary period of the early 1980s, long considered by economists to be the worst period of unemployment since the Great Depression.”

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/261363-recovery-less-recovery-long-term-unemployed-data-for-march?source=hp

    Check out the charts.

  76. NJCoast says:

    Mocha
    Chifi sums it up pretty well . I don’t know much about Freehold. I do have access to the Monmouth County MLS so I can look up info for you. There is Freehold Township and Freehold Boro. There are 74 active listings in the Boro, they tend to be older, traditional , more downdown, less expensive homes. Freehold Township has 174 active listings and leans toward McMansions plopped on previous farmland.

    Shore- Back from the islands in time for the snow showers. Yuck.

  77. vodka (15)-

    Adding a little salt to the diet and sipping homemade broth during “dead” spells helps with getting into permanent ketosis.

    I’ve been low-to-no carbs for over six months, and I’ve dropped 30 pounds, gained significant upper body strength and started running or playing soccer 5-6 days a week.

  78. Mocha says:

    Thanks for the assistance Coast.

    If I gave you an MLS # would you be willing to give my your 0.02?

  79. Mocha says:

    my should be me

  80. Pat says:

    Had a few illnesses this winter that prevented full exercise. Ex: Flu A for 12 days in March. Incredible what happens to a body at Age 47. I swam less than a dozen times in March and my capris were tight today.

    But my sandals fit, so I celebrated and went to the Indian buffet, anyway. Nothing like sticking my nose down the front of my shirt right now and smelling the spice from noon.

    I’m for living in a way that makes habits you can live with long term.

  81. Confused In NJ says:

    Cost of US ‘free’ trade: collapse of two centuries of broadly shared prosperity

    By Ian Fletcher Ian Fletcher – Fri Apr 1, 11:29 am ET
    San Francisco – It’s time to face a brutal truth about the American economy: Even if rising gas and food prices don’t hasten a double-dip recession, our 200-year tradition of broadly shared prosperity is over.

    That’s because the great American job machine has been destroyed by a reckless free-trade policy.

    Since the end of the cold war, and accelerating after NAFTA in 1994, Washington has pursued a globalized economy made possible by ever-expanding “free” trade agreements. This policy is a major factor in America’s increasing inequality, our rising indebtedness, community abandonment, and the weakening of the industrial sinews of our national security.

    About to crumbleThe good news is that this global order of free trade is about to crumble – within the next 10 years at most. The unsustainable American trade deficit alone makes this a near-certainty.

    For now, though, America’s economy continues to struggle because our trade deficit – fluctuating around $500 billion a year for a decade now – acts as a giant “reverse stimulus.” It causes a huge slice of domestic demand to flow not into domestic jobs but foreign wages.

    Our trade deficit helps Guangdong, Seoul, Yokohama, even Munich – but not Gary, Indiana, Fontana, California, and the other badlands of America’s industrial decline. Washington’s response? Yet more stimulus, leading to an ever-increasing overhang of debt, both foreign and domestic, the cost of whose servicing then exerts its own drag on recovery.

    Despite the 216,000 jobs added last month, the American economy has, in fact, entirely lost the ability to create jobs in tradable sectors. This cheery fact comes straight from the Commerce Department. All our net new jobs are in nontradable services: a few heart surgeons and a legion of busboys and security guards, most of them without health insurance or retirement benefits.

    These are dead-end jobs, and our economy as a whole is being similarly squeezed into dead-end industries. The green jobs of the future? Gone to places like China, where governments bid sweeter subsidies than Massachusetts can afford. Nanotechnology? Perhaps the first major technology in a century where America is not the leading innovator. Foreign subsidies are illegal under WTO rules, but no matter: Who’s going to enforce them when corporate America is happily lapping at their very trough?

    Part of the problem is that today’s free-trade order is in reality a curious mixture of genuinely free trade practiced by the United States and a few others with the technocratic mercantilism of surging East Asia and Germanic-Scandinavian Europe.

    It wasn’t always like this.

    A history of protectionFrom 1790 to 1945, America grew and prospered in a largely protected economic environment. Our trade then was not “free.” But after World War II, we wandered away from Alexander Hamilton’s vision of a relatively self-contained American economy in order to win the cold war. We threw our markets open to the world as a bribe not to go communist. If we fail to return to a policy of strategic, not unconditional, economic openness, we may lose the next cold war – to a Confucian authoritarianism no less opposed to the idea of a free society than Marxism, and considerably more efficient.

    There is an appropriate policy response. For starters, the US should apply compensatory tariffs against imports subsidized by currency manipulation, an idea that originated with Kevin Kearns of the US Business and Industry Council and was recently passed by the House of Representatives. Also essential is a border tax to counter foreign export rebates implemented by means of foreign value-added taxes.

    ANOTHER VIEW: Free-trade agreements: What’s not to like?

    The fundamental reality of free trade is that it relieves corporate America from any substantial tie to the economic well-being of ordinary Americans. If corporate America can produce its products anywhere, and sell them anywhere, then it has no incentive to care about the capacity of Americans to produce or consume. Conversely, if it is tied to making a profit by selling goods made by Americans to Americans, then it has a natural incentive to care about American productivity and consumption.

    Productivity and consumption are prosperity. The rest is details.

    Ian Fletcher is senior economist at the Coalition for a Prosperous America, and the author of “Free Trade Doesn’t Work.”

  82. chicagofinance says:

    Mocha: I will say one thing that I have learned about Freehold BORO (the downtown)…you cannot use the public schools. The houses are beautiful and historic, but in the last 4-5 years, all the anchor babies have grown enough to be elementary school age, and it has completely sabotaged the system. It is 80% children of undocumented types. It is beyond not recommending it. I am told it makes the school utterly un usable for mainstream education.

  83. A.West says:

    Yome,
    Try Paleo diet stuff to gain strength and lose weight. Work with kettlebells and eat plenty of meat and vegetables. Forget about calories and welcome fat. Just make all your carbs count nutritionally. Carnivores are typically lean and muscular.

    Grim,why should you accept a dare that’s not good for you? Vegan people aren’t especially healthy, they’re the sickly people hanging out at health food stores.

    I’ve been low-carbing the past 8 months, lost 40 lbs, doing kettlebells a couple times per week, and playing tennis roughly 3 times per week. Read one of Gary Taubes’ books, and then take a look at your typical restaurant menu and walk through your grocery store – 75% of what you’re getting sold is nutritionless starch and sugar, but it’s occasionally “low-fat” so allegedly good for you. They fatten cows up for slaughter by feeding them grains, and it works for people too, much to ADM’s delight first, drug companies second.

  84. A.West says:

    Debt,
    You’re just looking in the wrong places. Some happy go lucky person has just listed a house in prestigious Basking Ridge for $100k above 2005 sale price.
    http://www.trulia.com/property/3047372019-9-Crier-Ct-Basking-Ridge-NJ-07920
    And for those of you stuck with only a $1mn budget in Basking Ridge, here’s a 4br 2.5bath dreamhome http://www.trulia.com/property/3046919862–Basking-Ridge-NJ-07920

    All clearly priced for future price drops.

  85. Shore Guy says:

    KIng Lear. Paging King Lear. Please Call Libya.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/04/world/africa/04libya.html

    2 Qaddafi Sons Are Said to Offer Plan to Push Father Out

  86. Shore Guy says:

    Problems with fingerprint methodology:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00fvhl3

  87. Anon E. Moose says:

    Ket [232, prev thread];

    “What do the neighbors look like?”

    I’m no racist, I’m a snob. I don’t care what color they are, just so they have a steady (legal) employment enough to pay the mortgage and utilities with enough left over to eat without resorting to renting out basement/garage/closets or running unregistered pharmacies, etc.

  88. still_looking says:

    Grim,

    Vegan? Vegan??

    Ugh.

    sl

  89. still_looking says:

    NJCoast,

    Wanted to ask you a question….would you email via grim?

    Thanks!

    sl

  90. still_looking says:

    Nom, 49

    Your kid would be safer playing tackle football…

    Judging by the injuries I see? One of my attendings where I trained did gymnastics for a sport… The xray of her spine was frightening! It looked like the spine of an 80 yr old…

    sl

  91. still_looking says:

    A.West, 87

    Amen!

    sl

  92. still_looking says:

    Pat, 84

    :) that totally cracked me up!!

    sl

  93. powergirll says:

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    Check out their great offer here http://bit.ly/myproactol

  94. Randy says:

    Arrived at your webblog through Yahoo. You know I will be signing up to your rss feed.

  95. Joe says:

    Dog, this post was a little pitchy. Definitely not your best effort. you know dude I am one of your biggest fans, but now it’s when you must to bring every time. Your turn to show America what you got…

  96. dora games says:

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