I really need you to hit this number

From the WSJ:

Dodgy Home Appraisals Are Making a Comeback

Home appraisers are inflating the values of some properties they assess, often at the behest of loan officers and real-estate agents, in what industry executives say is a return to practices seen before the financial crisis.

An estimated one in seven appraisals conducted from 2011 through early 2014 inflated home values by 20% or more, according to data provided to The Wall Street Journal by Digital Risk Analytics, a subsidiary of Digital Risk LLC. The mortgage-analysis and consulting firm based in Maitland, Fla., was hired by some of the 20 largest lenders to review their loan files.

The firm reviewed more than 200,000 mortgages, parsing the homes’ appraised values and other information, including the properties’ sizes and similar homes sold in the areas at the times. The review was conducted using the firm’s software and staff appraisers.

Bankers, appraisers and federal officials in interviews said inflated appraisals are becoming more widespread as the recovery in the housing market cools. While home prices are increasing generally, their appreciation is slowing, and sales have been weak despite low interest rates. The dollar amount of new mortgages issued this year is expected to be down 39% from last year, at about $1.12 trillion, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

That has put increasing pressure on loan officers, who depend on originating new mortgages for their income, as well as real-estate agents, who live on sales commissions. That in turn is raising the heat on appraisers, whose valuations can make or break a sale. Banks generally won’t agree to a mortgage if the purchase price or the refinancing amount is higher than the appraised value.

Almost 40% of appraisers surveyed from Sept. 15 through Nov. 7 reported experiencing pressure to inflate values, according to Allterra Group LLC, a for-profit appraiser-advocacy firm based in Salisbury, Md. That figure was 37% in the survey for the previous year.

Freddie Mac has found cases of appraisers submitting a suspiciously high number of reports in one day, as well as reports for properties in places where they aren’t certified or licensed to operate, according to a spokesman. It has also received tips from employees at lenders and other insiders warning of inflated valuations, he said.

The firm is looking “into whether or not some of the lines have been crossed from compliance to noncompliance with regard to appraisal independence,” he said. “We are watching it closely and are very aware of the issues.”

This entry was posted in Mortgages, National Real Estate, Risky Lending. Bookmark the permalink.

137 Responses to I really need you to hit this number

  1. grim says:

    From the Jersey Journal:

    Jersey City leads state in new housing permits, Census data shows

    New Jersey’s second largest city continues to be the state’s leader for new housing, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

    Jersey City, which has experienced a residential construction boom in recent years, is tops in the state for new housing starts, with permits issued for 1,286 new units from Jan. 1 through the end of October.

    The Census Bureau numbers, which were released last week, also showed an 18 percent increase in building permits for the state, with more than 60 percent of the permits being for multi-family projects.

    “We are pleased that Jersey City continues to lead the state in new housing starts, helping to boost the economic recovery and the housing market,” Mayor Steve Fulop said in a statement.

    “Jersey City continues to be a magnet for investment and as we work to develop more areas of our city – including Journal Square and Bergen Lafayette – our goal is to continue to lead the state in construction.”

    Of the 1,286 permits issued for new housing units though the end of October, more than 1,100 of those units are for multi-family projects, city officials said, adding that more than 6,000 residential units are currently under construction in Journal Square and Downtown.

    An additional 18,000 housing units have been approved around the city.

  2. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Basic Costs Squeeze Families

    The American middle class has absorbed a steep increase in the cost of health care and other necessities as incomes have stagnated over the past half decade, a squeeze that has forced families to cut back spending on everything from clothing to restaurants.

    Health-care spending by middle-income Americans rose 24% between 2007 and 2013, driven by an even larger rise in the cost of buying health insurance, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of detailed consumer-spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    That hit has been accompanied by increases in spending on other necessities, including food eaten at home, rent and education, as well as the soaring cost of staying connected digitally via cellphones and home Internet service.

    With income growth sluggish, discretionary spending on things like clothing and movies, live shows and amusement parks has given way.

    Consumer spending continues to make up just over two-thirds of the U.S. economy. But where households spend that money has shifted significantly.

    To see how it has moved, the Journal analyzed Labor Department data on 2013 out-of-pocket spending for the middle 60% of the population by income—households earning between about $18,000 and $95,000 a year, before taxes.

    The data show they are losing ground. Overall spending for the group rose by about 2.3% over the six-year period from 2007, even as inflation totaled about 12%. At the same time, income for the group stagnated, rising less than half a percent.

    With health care and other costs rising, these consumers spent less on furniture, entertainment, clothing and even child care, the Journal analysis found.

    “Part of the story is that your income growth is slowing,” said Steven Fazzari, an economist and chairman of the sociology department at Washington University in St. Louis. “They’re spending more on necessities, cutting back on other types.”

  3. grim says:

    Interesting comment for those following the net neutrality debate.

    The single largest area of increase the study found was home internet, which increased in cost a whopping 81% from 2007 to 2013.

  4. Liquor Luge says:

    Appraisers are just the gear-greasers for the sausage machine.

    “Everything dies, baby that’s a fact,
    But maybe everything that dies, someday comes back.”

  5. Fed Leak Tipped Traders to Historic Stimulus Move, Prompted Secret Inquiry

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-01/fed-leak-handed-traders-profitable-tip-prompted-secret-inquiry.html

    The Oct. 3 report was written by Regina Schleiger, a former financial journalist who is now a senior managing director at Medley.

    At the time, unemployment was running at 8.1 percent and Ben S. Bernanke, then Fed chairman, was concerned the labor market had stalled. To spur the economy, Bernanke initiated a third round of quantitative easing on Sept. 13, announcing the Fed would buy mortgage securities at a pace of $40 billion a month.

    The September meeting was a half step toward what would become one of the most aggressive moves in U.S. monetary history. The world got a hint of what was coming that December when the FOMC minutes were released on Oct. 4.

    Medley clients got an early peek.

    “The minutes of September’s meeting will show, however, that the groundwork for further action in coming months has been laid, and that labor market improvement is unlikely to be substantial enough to stave off new Treasury purchases into 2013,” Schleiger wrote in her Oct. 3 note.

    Schleiger’s “special report,” titled “Fed: December Bound,” was so detailed that it alarmed Fed officials.

    In a memo in early October, Bernanke asked the Fed’s general counsel, Scott Alvarez, and William English, secretary of the FOMC, to investigate possible leaks, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the Fed hasn’t made the investigation public. Bernanke attached a copy of the Medley report.

    Bernanke also asked the pair to look into sources behind a Sept. 28, 2012, article in the Wall Street Journal. The reporter, Jon Hilsenrath, had described internal documents the FOMC had used in making its decision on Sept. 13, though in less detail than Schleiger. Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, competes with Pearson, which publishes the Financial Times, and News Corp., publisher of the Wall Street Journal.

  6. Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    [5] expat

    Scott Alvarez, there’s a name from the past. I remember when he took over for Virgil Mattingly.

  7. Toxic Crayons says:

    Click, Click, BANG: Understanding Why Darren Wilson’s Pistol Did Not Fire

    http://bearingarms.com/click-click-bang-understanding-darren-wilsons-pistol-fire/

  8. Interestingly, they don’t bury the lead so much in Europe. I’d paste the link, except it has greek characters that won’t paste. If you do a Google search on Regina Schleiger , it’s one of the first few articles. Using google translate, the headline:

    US: Revelations about “deep throat” at the Fed

    the first few paragraphs of the article, translated:

    The former head of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke launched an investigation at the end of 2012 for the possible leakage of sensitive information from one of the meetings of the central bank, according to a report of ProPublica.
    A confidential memo from Medley Global Advisors dated October 3 was what worried the former Fed chief and led him to the decision to launch an internal investigation.
    In the company note that provides information and forecasts in hedge funds and investors, analyst Regina Schleiger argues that the minutes of the meeting of the Fed (SS which would be released on October 4th) will reveal disagreement on the decision to launch the third bond market round (QE3).
    “The Schleiger also revealed that the Fed will probably continue to buy long-term US Treasuries and after December. The program Operation Twist, the Fed selling short-term bonds to buy long-term. The Schleiger wrote that the Commission will likely continue its long-term bond markets even after sell all short-term bonds. This information was not included in the minutes and proved accurate “noted in the article.

  9. Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    [7] toxic

    Very funny yet informative.

  10. Here’s some dumbed-down expert testimony tailored perfectly for mass consumption:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PR9dAr9vDI

  11. [7]&[10] toxic – I watched that link and forgot what sent me there, that’s why I reposted. Seconding Nom, good find!

  12. nwnj says:

    One thing is for sure, no one in the inner cities will be accepting any responsibility. The mayor in Newark said last week that there were too many cops and this week there isn’t enough. Some people(resident twitter chimp anon) blame the guns themselves.

    I’d love to see these cities run on their own for just a few weeks, it would be a bloodbath and they’d be screaming and crying for someone to come in and help them control the hooligans.

    Ragnar says:
    December 1, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    53,
    “11 people were shot in Newark in the past four days, I’m sure the protest planning is underway as we speak.”

    As you know, killing is not worth protesting unless it involves white males.
    Otherwise, what are they going to protest? Failed value systems?

  13. Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    [12] expat,

    Working for Rodgin Cohen I see. Now, if there is someone in banking who has his fingerprints all over everything, its Rog.

  14. Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    [12] expat,

    I remember not knowing who Virgil Mattingly was when this guy suggested I should go ask him for a job.

    http://www.buckleysandler.com/professionals-bio-detail/robert-b-serino

    I learned Virgil was GC of the Fed and I was like “WTF! Like he is even going to want to talk to some newby lawyer who knows jack sh1t about bank regulation? As if.” I later met Virgil at the annual Council of Counsels event (industry event chaired by the four fed bank regulator GCs) and told him the story. He got quite the laugh out of it.

  15. All Hype says:

    Still some work to be done in the Paterson School system:

    http://www.my9nj.com/story/27515692/only-19-paterson-students-ready-for-college

  16. joyce says:

    5
    “Firms like Medley try to glean information and insights about policy-making for hedge funds and other clients.”

    Oh they ‘glean’ the information do they. How exactly?

  17. grim says:

    I read that as 19%, and thought to my self, “boy, that’s miserable.” Then I read the article and saw that it was only 19 students. #Burnthisbitchdown

  18. Anon E. Moose says:

    Hype [16];

    Clearly what that school district needs is more of my money so all of its NJEA members can have an expense-paid junket to AC while the kids are sent home for two days. That will improve education outcomes.

  19. Anon E. Moose says:

    Con’t [19];

    [T]he Paterson school district said that they no longer use SAT scores to gauge students’ success.

    I can’t imagine why…

  20. Anon E. Moose says:

    One more time [19];

    Brief as it is, this article is like the gift that keeps on giving. (Speak of which, maybe a bit more in-depth reporting is warranted? Like — How much are the revolving-door superintendents paid to educate 19 kids? What is the student/employee ratio look like when the numerator is 19? So glad we have an inquisitive media to ask the tough questions. But I digress…)

    Rosie Grant, the Executive Director of the Paterson Education Fund, said that the cards are stacked against the students in Paterson.

    “These kids who are now seniors have gone through seven superintendents in their tenor at Paterson public schools and with every administration change, there’s a reworking of what the schools are supposed to be doing,” she said.

    Their “tenor”? You mean all 19 are male and they can sing? That might be worth something.

    Entirely possible that Ms. Rosie Grant was misquoted, making the error the reporter’s (and the editor’s). But for a story about educational achievement — dayum.

    I guess they’re glad they ran Joe Clark out of town 25 years ago.

  21. nwnj says:

    19 were college ready students in Paterson?

    Damn they are doing a fine job, it’s time to hand out some made up awards, as Camden only had 3 last year. Of course Paterson is twice as big but they are still outpacing Camden significantly.

  22. grim says:

    Why, exactly, can’t we just fire everyone? What’s the downside risk? Lose the 1 teacher doing a great job?

  23. Toxic Crayons says:

    23. It’s not the downside risk for the students that’s keeping them from firing everyone. It’s the downside risk for the politicians.

  24. For years I’ve been noticing virtually no sheriff sales completing in Morris County. The last few months I’m seeing something really weird. Discharge of Lis Pendens and mortgages being cancelled on what looks like short sales at ridiculously low prices. The foreclosures are marked as “Settled” and the house gets sold for fire sale prices. For example, this foreclosure on a $416K mortgage had an estimated judgement of $550K and the bank let what looks like a short sale go for $310K? The plaintiff was PLTF: U.S. Bank National Association, as Trustee for the Structured Asset Securities Corporation Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2007-BC, so it was MBS for sure. Looks like a decent house too:

    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/53-Cornhollow-Rd-Succasunna-NJ-07876/39500213_zpid/

  25. Toxic Crayons says:

    Let’s just save everyone a lot of time and send Patterson more state aid and give them all raises.

  26. nwnj says:

    Lowering the bar, which is the progressive way. Can’t meet the standard(school, personal conduct, etc.)? Just lower the standard.

    Anon E. Moose says:
    December 2, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Con’t [19];

    [T]he Paterson school district said that they no longer use SAT scores to gauge students’ success.

    I can’t imagine why…

  27. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [23];

    Because any attempt to improve an inner city education system, that purports to educate black students almost exclusively, is racist.

    So says the Washington Post. “The education-reform community has convinced us that closing the achievement gap by any means necessary is a worthy, final end. No. Education is just one path toward a stronger community. Indiscriminately firing the members of a community, or making it hassle-free to do so, is no way to improve it.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/08/28/an-attack-on-bad-teacher-tenure-laws-is-actually-an-attack-on-black-professionals/?hpid=z2

  28. Here’s another one. It says right on Zillow:

    “LARGE COLONIAL – PRE-APPROVED SHORT SALE, QUICK CLOSSING AVAILIBLE – LARGE BEDROOMS – 3 FULL BATHS – CLOSE TO TOWN. WILL NOT LAST”

    It also says it’s off market and doesn’t show a sale on Zillow but the MC Clerk has a deed with it being sold for $597,400 on June 23rd. Zestimate: $767,675. I think gary needs to move to Morris County to get the house he’s looking for.

    BTW, the buyers of course bought all cash in June, but they took out a $478K mortgage less than two weeks ago.

    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/55-Mountainside-Rd-Mendham-NJ-07945/39442704_zpid/

  29. Ragnar says:

    All of those schools should be shut down, the money withdrawn, and 60% of the current per student money given as vouchers to parents, on the condition it can only be spent on bona-fide schooling. New schools would sprout up to take the money, and the educational results could not possibly be worse than the current system. Except those schools would possibly offer drugs as kickbacks to parent customers. As long as the current miseducation bureaucracy is buried, it’s still a win.

  30. Ragnar says:

    Unions: helping the less competent to be paid as much as the more competent, and more than they are economically worth, until their funding organization collapses in ruins.

  31. Happy Renter says:

    [28] I cannot even get past the title of the article:

    “The attack on bad teacher tenure laws is actually an attack on black professionals”

    War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

  32. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Let’s be honest here before we bash the kids and the education system of Paterson. This is what they are up against. Don’t kick people that are already down. Could you imagine your kid growing up in a school where his friends get shot and killed? Or if your kid’s friends were all gang members? This is a problem that comes from our society. Don’t give these people jobs and make them dependent on govt handouts to survive, this is the result.

    “Paterson resident Jason Williams is one of the lucky ones. He just graduated high school last year and has been enrolled in college since September, after taking the SAT’s three times determined to score over 1500. He says that the key to his success was not falling victim to the streets.

    “Just last summer, my friend and teammate, he was shot and killed that summer and that really affected me,” he said.

    Derrick Fritts was shot during National Night Out on the streets of Paterson and wasn’t found until the next day. Williams said most of the football players stopped paying attention to school after that, but that’s when he buckled down.

    Rosie Grant, the Executive Director of the Paterson Education Fund, said that the cards are stacked against the students in Paterson.”

  33. All Hype says:

    “I guess they’re glad they ran Joe Clark out of town 25 years ago.”

    I met a few of the students during Crazy Joe’s tenure. They all said the same things:
    1. He knew every student by first name.
    2. He kicked out the drug dealers and malcontents
    3. He had high standards
    4. He actually cared about the students.

  34. Anon E. Moose says:

    Rags [30];

    Would never be implemented by the ruling class. Insufficient opportunities for graft. The market-based providers would not owe their overpaid jobs to, and thus would not be beholden to, the politico that put them there.

    As much as I am all for free-markets and eat what you kill, there is logic in giving an employer $6 of work for $5 of pay — he’ll need you more than you need him. Well, the reverse is true, too. If some paper-shuffler in the educational bureaucracy is paid far above their value (with OPM, nach), then that employee needs their patron more than their patron needs the employee. Employee will be well-motivated to do what their patron asks.

  35. Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    [32] renter

    Do you love Big Brother yet?

  36. Toxic Crayons says:

    Anyone on the board work at a firm where ONLY Apple computer products are used? Friend of mine, who works at a NJ public school system as their IT administrator tells me Microsoft products have become kryptonite…..School management has demanded all Microsoft/PC related items are to be removed…..even servers and replaced with apple products.

  37. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Go ahead and fire the teachers. That’s what they have been doing for years. Nothing will CHANGE! Ask the teach for america teachers that come to ghetto schools for two years and run for the hills. A teacher can’t change this. Society must change if you want to see a different Paterson. You have to provide opportunities, meaning, these kids have to see some kind of result from getting a good education. Most people don’t want to associate with poor kids even if they are educated. The minute you tell someone you are from Paterson, you are screwed.

    ““These kids who are now seniors have gone through seven superintendents in their tenor at Paterson public schools and with every administration change, there’s a reworking of what the schools are supposed to be doing,” she said.”

  38. Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    And now for something completely different: This is the remaining schedule for the Patriots and the thing that struck me was ticket availability and prices.

    14 Sun, Dec 7 @ San Diego
    8:30 PM NBC 2,359 available from $201

    15 Sun, Dec 14 vs Miami
    1:00 PM CBS 2,742 available from $130

    16 Sun, Dec 21 @ New York
    1:00 PM CBS 10,092 available from $47

    17 Sun, Dec 28 vs Buffalo
    1:00 PM CBS 3,483 available from $139

    $47 to start and there are over 10,000 available. You can’t even give the Jets tickets away!

  39. clotluva says:

    From the lead article:

    “That has put increasing pressure on loan officers, who depend on originating new mortgages for their income, as well as real-estate agents, who live on sales commissions.”

    “Almost 40% of appraisers surveyed from Sept. 15 through Nov. 7 reported experiencing pressure to inflate values”

    I guess this removes any remaining doubt as to the existence of housing Price Pumpers(TM).

  40. Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    [28] Moose,

    I could almost see him doing the mental contortions to make his argument while avoiding ever saying of his community of fellow black teachers, “We suck”.

  41. anon (the good one) says:

    so shooting them in back is not the best form of motivation?

    The Great Pumpkin says:
    December 2, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Go ahead and fire the teachers. That’s what they have been doing for years. Nothing will CHANGE! Ask the teach for america teachers that come to ghetto schools for two years and run for the hills. A teacher can’t change this. Society must change if you want to see a different Paterson. You have to provide opportunities, meaning, these kids have to see some kind of result from getting a good education. Most people don’t want to associate with poor kids even if they are educated. The minute you tell someone you are from Paterson, you are screwed.

    ““These kids who are now seniors have gone through seven superintendents in their tenor at Paterson public schools and with every administration change, there’s a reworking of what the schools are supposed to be doing,” she said.”

  42. Ragnar says:

    “what the schools are supposed to be doing”
    It’s pretty clear what the insiders think the schools are supposed to be doing with students. Students are there to justify the funding of the bureaucracy and political patronage machine.

  43. Anon E. Moose says:

    ExPat [29];

    I think gary needs to move to Morris County to get the house he’s looking for.

    Grim said this over two years ago when I bought in MoCo. Gary wants Bergen; Location, location, location.

  44. All Hype says:

    “so shooting them in back is not the best form of motivation?

    Who got shot in the back?

  45. grim says:

    Morris beats Bergen, hands down, every time.

  46. Anon E. Moose says:

    Pumpkin [33];

    Could you imagine your kid growing up in a school where his friends get shot and killed?

    Teenagers of all socioeconomic strata do stupid and dangerous things all the time — some of them get dead for their trouble. Poor kids get mixed up in drug deals. Rich kids lose 3 friends because they piled into a car with a fourth who proceeded to wrap his parent-financed Mustang around a utility pole. I’m not seeing how one circumstance is inherently more traumatic than the other.

  47. jj says:

    I was in a car that hit a tree head on at 60 mph with no seat belt, the car exploded into three parts and luckily I am immune from laws of physics so other than a few manly scratches and bruises I walked away.

    As far as bullets they move in slow motion to me, I do the Jackie Chan type moves to avoid them so it is impossible for them to hit me.

    Anon E. Moose says:

    December 2, 2014 at 10:47 am
    Pumpkin [33];

    Could you imagine your kid growing up in a school where his friends get shot and killed?

    Teenagers of all socioeconomic strata do stupid and dangerous things all the time — some of them get dead for their trouble. Poor kids get mixed up in drug deals. Rich kids lose 3 friends because they piled into a car with a fourth who proceeded to wrap his parent-financed Mustang around a utility pole. I’m not seeing how one circumstance is inherently more traumatic than the other.

  48. [14] Nom – Yes, indeed.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2009/11/rodge_cohen_just_a_dear_old_ma.html

    It was he who negotiated “unconditional” guarantees of support from the U.S. government on behalf of the majority of TARP-receiving financial institutions last year, and who demanded and received exceedingly favorable terms for said institutions that put the taxpayer at risk. His role in those negotiations ultimately forced him to drop a bid for Treasury secretary, and earned him the nickname “overlord and viceroy of all Western capitalism” from Zero Hedge and “evil troll with steel balls” from Above the Law. As the Journal put it succinctly last October:

  49. cont’d

    He helped mold the financial system that is now under assault. He helped draft the rules that led to the emergence of powerful national banks, waged the first hostile bank takeover in the U.S. and lobbied, in the early 1990s, to expand the Federal Reserve’s power to provide the emergency loans now being employed by the government.

    Plus, they said, he apparently “harbors a fascination” with Sheryl Crow. We’re just going to let one that speak for itself.

  50. grim says:

    Let’s be honest here before we bash the kids and the education system of Paterson.

    To be fair we should also be bashing the local community in Paterson as well as the parents. Fail, all around, fail.

  51. [46] grim – Morris County is actually pretty nice if you are the “just sit home and be rich” type. If you are out there trying to make money or you like to go out and do things, not so much.

    Morris beats Bergen, hands down, every time.

  52. Happy Renter says:

    Happily, our elected officials are tackling the real problem of imaginary police executing gentle giants innocently holding up their hands in surrender.

    Four Members of Congress do ‘Hands Up’ gesture on House floor
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/members-congress-hands-gesture-house-floor-article-1.2030010

    Joe Scarborough, quoted in the article, says it best:

    “What is wrong with this country? What is wrong with these people? What’s wrong with these elected officials, they know it’s a lie. They know the cops didn’t shoot him with his hands in the air. They know it’s a lie and they’re doing this on that Capitol floor?”

  53. Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    [49, 50] expat

    We were across the table from Cohen many times. I’ve never met him in person but he is short and has a high, squeaky voice. Of all the NY firms that do banking law, S&C is by far the most influential, and Cohen the go-to guy during the crisis. He and his eyebrows were on TV all the time.

    My favorite of the top banking lawyers was Richard Kim over at Wachtell. A gentleman, even during testy negotiations.

  54. nwnj says:

    Here’s a perfect example of how ridiculous it is in Paterson. The place apparently lacks anything resembling civility, so until they can establish that, I think schools are a lost cause.

    Two times in three years there was a shooting and homicide on the national night out(an event designed to fight crime and promote peace in America’s cities ).

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/crime-and-courts/national-night-out-turns-deadly-in-paterson-police-investigating-two-homicides-1.682770

  55. Happy Renter says:

    Remind me to stop reading the news.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/farrakhan-refers-ferguson-jefferson-speech-article-1.2028896

    “Louis Farrakhan . . . in racially charged speech: ‘We’ll tear this goddamn country apart!’
    The Bronx-born Nation of Islam leader emphasized defiance in his speech at Morgan State University in Baltimore”

    How is it that a university speech by former Secretary of State Condi Rice (just to name the first example that comes to mind) is cancelled due to libtard student “outrage” and protests, yet this anti-semite, racist bigot is still going around the country giving speeches at federally-funded universities?

  56. Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    [53] renter,

    Those are all safe seats. The kind that would still reelect if they were found in bed with a dead girl or live boy.

    What the debate surrounding Ferguson says to me is that we’ve finally reached an inflection point where White America (excluding liberal hipster America) has basically said “we’re tired of listening to your bullsh!t. Either STFU or go live in your fantasyland, but leave us alone.”

  57. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Can’t argue that. I would take it a step further. For some reason, politicians and people in general have fell for the myth that education will solve poverty. They use education as an excuse for why someone is poor. People are poor because we live in a capitalist system. It’s as simple as that. Anything or anyone coming out stating that they can solve poverty or help the plight of the poor are insane. If everyone gets educated, you just end up with educated mcd’s workers. EDUCATION DOES NOT SOLVE POVERTY. Wish people would realize this.

    http://www.alternet.org/education/nicholas-kristof-wrong-about-poverty-education-isnt-turnkey-solution

    http://educationnext.org/the-poverty-myth-persists/

    Ragnar says:
    December 2, 2014 at 10:33 am
    “what the schools are supposed to be doing”
    It’s pretty clear what the insiders think the schools are supposed to be doing with students. Students are there to justify the funding of the bureaucracy and political patronage machine.

  58. The Great Pumpkin says:

    If you’ve followed the education reform debate in this country, the Finland story should be familiar by now. Almost as if engaged in an elaborate troll, Finland has apparently organized its educational system in exactly the opposite way as the reform movement here claims is necessary. The reformers say we need longer school days, but the Finns have short ones. The reformers say we need extensive standardized testing, but the Finns have almost none. The reformers say we need to keep a close leash on teachers, but the Finns give their teachers considerable freedom. Despite all of these pedagogical mistakes, the Finns consistently find themselves at the top of the international education scoreboard.

    Normally, the suggested lesson of the Finland story is that the education reformers’ proposals are at minimum unnecessary and perhaps even counterproductive. Whether this lesson actually falls out of the Finland story is the subject of hotly contested arguments that are insufferably boring. However, flying under the radar of these Finland debates is a much less contestable and interesting lesson: Education cannot deliver economic equality.

    If ever there was an opportunity to show that education can fix inequality and poverty, Finland is it. The children come into its education system with the lowest poverty rates in the world. In addition to its overall excellence, Finland’s education system is also extremely egalitarian in the way that it instructs its pupils. There are almost no private schools, college is free, and an ethos of total inclusion seems to reign. It is the closest thing to the liberal education utopia as you will probably ever find.

    Despite all of this, Finnish economic inequality and poverty is still quite high, at least when you look at the market distribution of income. In 2010, Finland’s market poverty rate (defined as those with incomes below 50 percent of the median income) was 32.2 percent. By comparison, the United States’ market poverty was actually lower at 28.4 percent. When it comes to overall inequality, Finland’s Gini coefficient in 2010 was 0.479. This was only slightly lower than the U.S.’ Gini coefficient, which stood at 0.499.

    Education boosters bizarrely think that providing everyone a high-quality education will somehow magically result in them all having good-paying jobs. But, as Finland shows, this turns out not to be true. Apparently, it’s not possible for everyone to simultaneously hold jobs as well-paid upper-class professionals because at least some people have to actually do real work. A modern economy requires a whole army of lesser-skilled jobs that just don’t pay that well and the necessity of those jobs doesn’t go away simply because people are well-educated.

    The reason Finland’s ultimate distribution of income is so equal is not because its great education system has made everyone receive high paychecks (an impossible task), but because Finland has put in place distributive policies that make sure its national income is shared broadly. In 2010, Finland’s tax level was 42.5 percent of its GDP, which was nearly double the tax level of the U.S. By strategically spreading that tax money around through a host of cash transfer and benefit programs, Finland’s high market poverty rate of 32.2 percent fell to just 7.3 percent. Its child poverty rate, which Finland focuses extra attention on, fell down to 3.9 percent. Overall economic inequality took a similar dive.

    The real lesson that the Finland story teaches us is not the one about pedagogical techniques that draws so much fierce debate. Rather, it’s a lesson about what very successful pedagogy and excellent education can actually do for a society. Good education can make your society well-educated and more productive, but it cannot generate a labor market in which everyone works a high-paying job. It cannot ensure that market income is distributed evenly or adequately. It cannot even come remotely close to doing those things.

    The upshot of this lesson is that the fixation on education as a solution to poverty, inequality or any other distributional problem is totally wrongheaded. Good and equitable education is a huge plus for all sorts of things, but it doesn’t create an egalitarian society. Those who say it will – a group that includes reformers and their opponents – have no idea what they are talking about and, through their ignorant distractions, help sow the seeds of never-ending stratification and low-end material insecurity.

    http://www.salon.com/2014/05/12/americas_dangerous_education_myth_no_it_isnt_the_best_anti_poverty_program/

  59. The Great Pumpkin says:

    “Education boosters bizarrely think that providing everyone a high-quality education will somehow magically result in them all having good-paying jobs. But, as Finland shows, this turns out not to be true. Apparently, it’s not possible for everyone to simultaneously hold jobs as well-paid upper-class professionals because at least some people have to actually do real work. A modern economy requires a whole army of lesser-skilled jobs that just don’t pay that well and the necessity of those jobs doesn’t go away simply because people are well-educated.”

  60. Happy Renter says:

    [57] I hope we’ve reached that inflection point. The country does seem to be splitting apart at the seams — and I don’t think it seems this way to me just because I’m getting older.

    I suppose it’s not surprising — this is what we’ve reaped after generations of increasing government subsidization of pathological behavior coupled with endless propaganda designed to foment racial grievances and hatred.

    I’m starting to feel like Clot; just wishing the end-times would hurry up and get here so that we can get it over with.

  61. Ragnar says:

    Human capital and the rational mind is the fundamental source of wealth. Education can absolutely help lift living standards. Wealth is created by people creating useful goods and services. Knowledge and physical capital are the primary resources used in this production.

    If you don’t think knowledge is a source of wealth and thus of higher living standards, try getting your car repaired by an ignoramus.

  62. Ragnar says:

    59 – totally irrelevant.
    Government education doesn’t necessarily equal an increase in useful knowledge.
    And increased human wealth doesn’t necessarily equal reduced inequality.
    French people don’t think education correlates much with success. Possibly because they get free education to study the wrong things.

  63. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Wealth is created from creating useful goods? How about all that chinese crap? Very useful to a landfill owner. Wealth does not necessarily come from creating useful goods.

    Education is very useful in increasing wealth when other’s lack the knowledge. When everyone gets educated, the education becomes less of an advantage.

    Ragnar says:
    December 2, 2014 at 11:28 am
    Human capital and the rational mind is the fundamental source of wealth. Education can absolutely help lift living standards. Wealth is created by people creating useful goods and services. Knowledge and physical capital are the primary resources used in this production.

    If you don’t think knowledge is a source of wealth and thus of higher living standards, try getting your car repaired by an ignoramus.

  64. Toxic crayons says:

    CPA Poll Finds National, State Economies Stuck in Neutral – See more at: http://www.njscpa.org/news/article/2014/11/24/cpa-poll-finds-national-state-economies-stuck-in-neutral#sthash.wMTQWExX.dpuf

    Closer to home, 51 percent of Garden State respondents feel the NJ economy is about the same as one year ago, and 56 percent expect it to be about the same one year from now. This could be due to the fact that NJ respondents overwhelmingly (71 percent) feel that the business climate here hinders economic growth. Other areas where NJ respondents expect to see stalled growth: clients’ revenues (44 percent), clients’ workforce (65 percent), and clients’ salaries (51 percent). –

    Taxes
    Nearly 9 in 10 respondents (87 percent) believe that NJ’s tax structure is worse than most states. It’s not surprising, then, that they cite high taxes as the number one reason (35 percent) for hindering future economic growth in NJ and the number two reason (33 percent) contributing to the state’s high unemployment rate.

    As for NJ respondents’ number one recommendation to expand the state’s economy and grow jobs: reduce property taxes (35 percent); reduce the corporate business tax (20 percent); and reform estate and inheritance taxes (16 percent).

    NJ Estate and Inheritance Taxes — With regard to estate and inheritance taxes, a whopping 83 percent of NJ respondents feel these taxes have prompted clients to leave the state. And, astoundingly, 71 percent have actually advised clients to relocate to another state due to NJ’s estate and inheritance taxes. A strong majority (84 percent) think these taxes impact the state’s middle class just as much as the affluent.

    Gasoline Tax – When asked if New Jersey’s gas tax should be raised to benefit the Transportation Trust Fund, the numbers were pretty evenly split: 56 percent were in favor of an increase, while 44 percent were not.

    Millionaires’ Tax – Approximately two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) opposed raising the marginal tax rate on incomes over $1 million, while 34 percent were in favor of an increase. The main reason for those in favor of an increase (63 percent) cited the ability of the state’s wealthiest to afford an increase. The key points of those who oppose a tax increase are 63 percent feel it will prompt wealthy residents and businesses to leave the state; 61 percent believe NJ needs less government, not more taxes; and 60 percent think Garden State residents are already the highest taxed in the nation.

  65. Juice Box says:

    re: # 33 – “before we bash the kids”

    Nope won’t do that but the parent(s) and educators should be bashed.

    Here is an anecdotal but true story.

    Friend of mine a Chinese national moved to the states, and only spoke Mandarin. Enrolled in public middle school and then onto high school in one of the roughest inner city schools districts in California. Guess who the class valedictorian?

    Wut? Yes class valedictorian.

    Guess what secret to success my friend discovered while in school?

    The secret to all of those tests they give in school?

    Well the answers are in the books they give you. Better yet they give you the books for free too!

  66. grim says:

    Sure, it’s not guaranteed that education will solve poverty or all poverty related issues, but it is absolutely for certain that a lack of education will result in poverty. This is unquestionable. American society has no need for high school drop outs. They are both useless and worthless.

  67. [21]Moose – I had a snarky comment chambered over that one, but did some checking. I was going to fault Tamara Laine, the author, but it turns out she is white (that’s a joke, folks). Then just in case, I checked the dictionary. Noun definition #2 for tenor:

    2. continuous course, progress, or movement.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/tenor?s=t

    “These kids who are now seniors have gone through seven superintendents in their tenor at Paterson public schools and with every administration change, there’s a reworking of what the schools are supposed to be doing,” she said.

    Their “tenor”? You mean all 19 are male and they can sing? That might be worth something.

  68. Anon E. Moose says:

    Great Pumpkin [59];

    When it comes to overall inequality, Finland’s Gini coefficient in 2010 was 0.479. This was only slightly lower than the U.S.’ Gini coefficient, which stood at 0.499.

    Maybe the lesson is that you (Salon) are measuring irrelevant things. As much as leftists love to stroke their egos about the evils of income inequality, if a small, prosperous, high-taxed, highly redistributive, ethnically homogeneous population like Finland can’t “fix” income inequality by doing all the things that leftists say we should be doing to “fix” it, maybe those things don’t need doing, or maybe income inequality itself is a red herring.

    Like the “War on Povety”. After decades of redistributing trillions of dollars, we still have a bottom end of the distribution — i.e., “poor”.

  69. Toxic crayons says:

    @WashTimes: Charles Barkley praises police, calls #Ferguson rioters ‘scumbags’ -http://t.co/hJrp9X4BeP #racism http://t.co/IgksKHWG2S

  70. Toxic crayons says:

    @josephcphillips: What you are now seeing unfold is the cynical use of race to press a Leftist political agenda. @tonykatz @benshapiro

  71. jj says:

    I ran across an Asian blog for Asian people discussing how Asian-American students are so much smarter than non-Asian American Students. Read it pretty funny when you get to hear them talk when they think non-asians are not reading

    It is due to many reasons.

    1) selection bias – most Asian kids have parents of above average intelligence – think about all the Asians students with Masters and Phd degree, they are more likely to have smarter kids.
    2) cultural difference – Asians culture put way more value on education than say Hispanic and black people, probably more than Caucasians as well.
    3) there is evidence showing Asians have slightly larger brain capacity than Caucasian and considerably larger than other races. But it is not politically correct nor is it conclusive I suppose.

    I think 2 is more important. If you give poor Asian parents $100, they will save $50 for the kids future education, instead of spending it all on fried chickens and beer and having some fun this weekend. The parents usually have exceedingly high expectation for their kids and peer pressure is immense. Asian students party less and study more, it is a fact.

    Yes, many people think they are just good at “taking exams”- well, a bit sour grape I’d say. No matter what you say, taking exams is still important. How else do you get into a top school? Being an absolute minority in the US, they receive little attention in the context of racial minority rights – it is usually about the black and Hispanic people – they are aware that they have to have outstanding academic performance to secure a good life.

  72. Happy Renter says:

    [57] Nom, to your earlier point about half the country saying “go live in your fantasyland, but leave us alone,” there is this statistic:

    “Only 14 percent of the land area in the U.S. is represented by a Democrat in the House. . . . Democratic strength is concentrated primarily in urban areas and college towns, among minorities, and in narrow bands along the West Coast (but only the first 50 to 100 miles from the beaches) and the East Coast (but only from New York City northward)”

    I knew the general trend, however, I was surprised at the 14 percent figure.

  73. Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    [65] toxic

    “astoundingly, 71 percent have actually advised clients to relocate to another state due to NJ’s estate and inheritance taxes.”

    Astoundingly? I think it’s astounding that only 71% have done that. Professionally speaking (though I’m not a CPA), I should think that nearly 100% should so advise a client if it makes sense for that client.

    I guess 29% are either hard-core liberals (rare in accountancy) or only handle low-to-moderate income clients.

  74. Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    [73] renter

    That surprises me as well but OTOH, not surprising if you consider why that is and who is congregating.

    Though it reminds me of my days on a MASSPIRG campaign when, after trying to fundraise in an upper middle class suburb of Boston, someone noted that this town had a high concentration of conservative voters, to which one dude named Arno replied, “assh@les flock”.

    They do indeed.

  75. Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    [73] renter,

    that isn’t to say that these areas are, by and large, deeply red or deeply blue. Just that the dem majorities are concentrated in higher density areas.

    The real risk is if these areas do become more deeply red and blue. I could easily envision something like this in the future:

    President Warren, bowing to her progressive supporters and taking advantage of majorities in both houses, signs legislation that effectively freezes all fracking in the US and imposes onerous new restrictions on existing fracking. In response, governors from Red fracking states impose measures (taxes/regulation/outright prohibition) that curtail gas and oil distribution to blue states.

    It would be Clot’s wet dream.

  76. anon (the good one) says:

    interesting

    The Great Pumpkin says:
    December 2, 2014 at 11:16 am

    If you’ve followed the education reform debate in this country, the Finland story should be familiar by now. Almost as if engaged in an elaborate troll, Finland has apparently organized its educational system in exactly the opposite way as the reform movement here claims is necessary. The reformers say we need longer school days, but the Finns have short ones. The reformers say we need extensive standardized testing, but the Finns have almost none. The reformers say we need to keep a close leash on teachers, but the Finns give their teachers considerable freedom. Despite all of these pedagogical mistakes, the Finns consistently find themselves at the top of the international education scoreboard.

    Normally, the suggested lesson of the Finland story is that the education reformers’ proposals are at minimum unnecessary and perhaps even counterproductive. Whether this lesson actually falls out of the Finland story is the subject of hotly contested arguments that are insufferably boring. However, flying under the radar of these Finland debates is a much less contestable and interesting lesson: Education cannot deliver economic equality.

    If ever there was an opportunity to show that education can fix inequality and poverty, Finland is it. The children come into its education system with the lowest poverty rates in the world. In addition to its overall excellence, Finland’s education system is also extremely egalitarian in the way that it instructs its pupils. There are almost no private schools, college is free, and an ethos of total inclusion seems to reign. It is the closest thing to the liberal education utopia as you will probably ever find.

    Despite all of this, Finnish economic inequality and poverty is still quite high, at least when you look at the market distribution of income. In 2010, Finland’s market poverty rate (defined as those with incomes below 50 percent of the median income) was 32.2 percent. By comparison, the United States’ market poverty was actually lower at 28.4 percent. When it comes to overall inequality, Finland’s Gini coefficient in 2010 was 0.479. This was only slightly lower than the U.S.’ Gini coefficient, which stood at 0.499.

    Education boosters bizarrely think that providing everyone a high-quality education will somehow magically result in them all having good-paying jobs. But, as Finland shows, this turns out not to be true. Apparently, it’s not possible for everyone to simultaneously hold jobs as well-paid upper-class professionals because at least some people have to actually do real work. A modern economy requires a whole army of lesser-skilled jobs that just don’t pay that well and the necessity of those jobs doesn’t go away simply because people are well-educated.

    The reason Finland’s ultimate distribution of income is so equal is not because its great education system has made everyone receive high paychecks (an impossible task), but because Finland has put in place distributive policies that make sure its national income is shared broadly. In 2010, Finland’s tax level was 42.5 percent of its GDP, which was nearly double the tax level of the U.S. By strategically spreading that tax money around through a host of cash transfer and benefit programs, Finland’s high market poverty rate of 32.2 percent fell to just 7.3 percent. Its child poverty rate, which Finland focuses extra attention on, fell down to 3.9 percent. Overall economic inequality took a similar dive.

    The real lesson that the Finland story teaches us is not the one about pedagogical techniques that draws so much fierce debate. Rather, it’s a lesson about what very successful pedagogy and excellent education can actually do for a society. Good education can make your society well-educated and more productive, but it cannot generate a labor market in which everyone works a high-paying job. It cannot ensure that market income is distributed evenly or adequately. It cannot even come remotely close to doing those things.

    The upshot of this lesson is that the fixation on education as a solution to poverty, inequality or any other distributional problem is totally wrongheaded. Good and equitable education is a huge plus for all sorts of things, but it doesn’t create an egalitarian society. Those who say it will – a group that includes reformers and their opponents – have no idea what they are talking about and, through their ignorant distractions, help sow the seeds of never-ending stratification and low-end material insecurity.

  77. Fast Eddie says:

    Re: Bergen vs. Morris

    View it anyway you want but the bottom line is prices went up 87% in a 5 year span and then supposedly decreased 20% in the next few years. That’s not the case as I’m seeing nothing but dogsh1t houses still pushing for peak asking prices. Go ahead, make the case for inflation which means these houses not only need to be re-priced but need to drop an additional 10%. Why? Well if all other expenses increase on FLAT salaries, who can afford the house? And let’s not even consider property taxes which is like a stake in the heart. Don’t take my word for it, house agents are agreeing with me.

  78. nwnj says:

    Comparing Paterson to Finland is just as hilarious as comparing Ferguson to Germany a few weeks back.

    Very similar people and traditions!

  79. Liquor Luge says:

    Renter (56)-

    Guys like Farrakhan are used by the gubmint to stir up the kind of trouble needed to overwhelm the system. Really he’s no more than a Rush Limbaugh for lawless black people.

    All these d bags give real anarchists a bad name.

  80. Happy Renter says:

    http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2014/12/02/was-the-hammer-attack-on-bosnian-man-racially-motivated/

    Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce says there’s no indication Robert Mitchell, who is black, was motivated by race or the Ferguson unrest in his hammer attack on Zamir Begic, a 32-year-old white Bosnian man.

    “We’ve been over all the statements and talked to the individuals that were present, and we don’t have any information that would provide that kind of motive or any motive at this point,” Joyce says. “It’s really kind of mysterious as to the purpose of this assault.”
    . . .
    “There is no indication that this gentleman did anything except engage this group of teenagers in a conversation,” says St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson, who denies the murder of the Bosnian man was racially motivated.

    “They may not have had some pleasant words … because the teenagers disagreed with him, were upset with him, didn’t like him for whatever reason, assaulted him with a hammer, and yeah, so it does have a certain degree of brutality,” he says.”

    Eric Holder and the full force of the United States Federal Government are leaving no stone unturned, going back to talk to Officer Wilson’s kindergarten classmates in an effort to find any scrap of evidence they can point to to fabricate racial bias for a civil rights claim.

    I am sure they will do the same thing for this white guy who was beaten to death with hammers by a bunch of thugs.

    Oh, er, wait — they don’t have any information to indicate any bias . . . it’s a mystery . . . the murderers “disagreed with him, were upset with him, didn’t like him for whatever reason” . . . Oh, I see, a disagreement . . . for “whatever” reason, gee, we just can’t figure this mystery out.

    Although, it’s nice to see the St. Louis police chief concede that being beaten to death with hammers reflects “a certain degree of brutality.” Ya think?

    Killers are victims. Truth is racism. Weakness is goodness.

  81. Anon E. Moose says:

    Eddie [78];

    If prices rose by 100% and then fall by 50%, where are they now? Just sayin’…

    I’d suggest you plot the retrenchment and subsequent bounce not against a flat line trough when all this bubble snit started, but against the long-term trend line, including QE-infinity ($80B/mo. of thin-air Fed money). And yes, you’re going to see overpriced crap warmed over again and again. If it wasn’t overpriced crap, it would sell, not sit.

  82. Toxic Crayons says:

    interesting

    BREAKING VIDEO: “EFF THE WHITE PEOPLE, KILL THE WHITE PEOPLE” HEARD PRIOR TO MURDER OF BOSNIAN IN ST. LOUIS

    http://themissouritorch.com/blog/2014/12/01/breaking-video-eff-the-white-people-kill-the-white-people-heard-prior-to-murder-of-bosnian-in-st-louis/

  83. Fast Eddie says:

    Moose,

    Up 87%, down 20%. And yes, I am considering the long term trend. That’s my point.

  84. Happy Renter says:

    [83] Check your hate.

    Repeat after me: There was no racial motive. It is a pure mystery. It is unfathomable and we may never understand what deep, mysterious reason, if there even was any, caused those gentle cherubs to have a disagreeable conversation with Mr. Begic and then beat him to death with hammers. It was random. You cannot understand the fear that black youths feel every second of their lives worrying about an evil, racist white person killing them on the street. The only problem is the epidemic of white racist violence against blacks.

    Killers are victims. Truth is racism. Weakness is goodness.

  85. Toxic Crayons says:

    http://fox2now.com/2014/12/02/ferguson-oath-keepers-security-team/

    How did the protesters react to you once they knew you were there?

    “Once they got to know us they said, ‘We’re so glad you’re here. Thank you for coming; we appreciate everything you’re doing. Keep it up, please don’t leave. we trust you, we love you.’ Things like that. Initially they thought we were the police, they called us KKK, they called us a whole bunch of things. That is not true. There was a humorous moment on Wednesday night. We had one of Michael Brown’s relatives came up to challenge one of our men on the roof and said, ‘You’re the KKK.’ He just just happened to ask one of our members who is Native American and Filipino. It was extremely cold that night. He pulled his face-mask off and said, ‘Really, do you think they expanded their membership opportunities?’ We laughed for 10 minutes about that.” said Sam Andrews.

  86. The Great Pumpkin says:

    If Asians are so smart, why the lack of major inventions on their part in the past century? I wouldn’t say that their IQ level is higher, I would just say that they put a lot more time into the books and less time towards their social life.

    jj says:
    December 2, 2014 at 11:59 am
    I ran across an Asian blog for Asian people discussing how Asian-American students are so much smarter than non-Asian American Students. Read it pretty funny when you get to hear them talk when they think non-asians are not reading

  87. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Yes, this kid also had parents that punished him severely if he did not perform to expectations.

    Juice Box says:
    December 2, 2014 at 11:40 am
    re: # 33 – “before we bash the kids”

    Nope won’t do that but the parent(s) and educators should be bashed.

    Here is an anecdotal but true story.

    Friend of mine a Chinese national moved to the states, and only spoke Mandarin. Enrolled in public middle school and then onto high school in one of the roughest inner city schools districts in California. Guess who the class valedictorian?

    Wut? Yes class valedictorian.

    Guess what secret to success my friend discovered while in school?

    The secret to all of those tests they give in school?

    Well the answers are in the books they give you. Better yet they give you the books for free too!

  88. Toxic Crayons says:

    88 – yeah I hear they make very unreliable cars too.

  89. jj says:

    Personally I like Asians so much easier to move your head sideways than up and down like with the white girls.

  90. The Great Pumpkin says:

    88- I also would like to point out that an immigrant from a hardworking family should not be compared with individuals that were born poor in the U.S. The poor in the U.S. are stuck. They don’t have the means or motivation to improve. That immigrant family definitely has motivation, being that they moved to a new country in search of opportunities. Most of our poor have given up improving their lives a long time ago. They accept it and don’t see any chance of escaping it. They have the mindset that this is what life is. It’s really as simple as that. China and every country have this same type of poor, that have given up on life and accept their standard of living. The immigrants that make the moves from these countries to the u.s. are not the typical poor, they are full of motivation. They are trying to improve their lot in life and have not accepted their standard of living. All poor are not the same, so it’s not worth it to make a comparison.

  91. Toxic Crayons says:

    92 – didn’t you just compare patterson to finland?

  92. Juice Box says:

    re # 88 – Lean on Me, Passion Flute.

    Look we all know it’s the parents fault Bill C*osb*y said so after all.

    P-Towns spend $20,009 per year per student (most of it from the State Taxpayers) or over a $250,000 for the 12 or 15 years some of these kids are in the system.

    Give them all vouchers..

  93. grim says:

    Repost from back in March:

    In our area, the probability of the lowest income quintile moving to the highest income quintile is greater than 10%.

    What does that mean? That means 1 in 10 has the ability to go from the absolute bottom to the absolute top .

    No opportunity? God damn if there isn’t. Those are my kind of odds. And you know what, they are even better when you look at the probability of jumping from the bottom to the second highest quintile.

  94. Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    Get the popcorn ready.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/102227316

    Now, I wonder if the ESOTUS is planning on letting in waves of Venezuelans? Given that they are likely to be pretty sour on soc1alism, they might not make very good democrats.

  95. Juice Box says:

    re # 95 – Gotta love the tech used in rationing though.

    NO more toilet paper for you once you are over your allotment.

    Despite Riches, Venezuela Starts Food Rationing

    Government Rolls Out Fingerprint Scanners to Limit Purchases of Basic Goods; ‘How Is it Possible We’ve Gotten to This Extreme’

    http://online.wsj.com/articles/despite-riches-venezuela-starts-food-rationing-1414025667

  96. grim says:

    96 – fingerprint scanners for rationing? the dissonance of that makes my brain hurt

  97. Juice Box says:

    re # 97 – Yup fingerprint scanners, it is a great anti-fraud system, they did have Electronic cards before. They also use fingerprint scanners for voting too in Venezuela.

    Imaging what would happen here if we forced fingerprint scanners instead of EBT Cards?

    Of-course it is just a ruse, it is not really rationing. It is to prevent capital flight for you see the United States supplies more than one-third of Venezuela’s food imports.

    You cannot buy our USA made food without US Dollars, hence they capital/currency issue with strong dollar and weak oil.

  98. jj says:

    I did bottom 1 percent to top 1 percent. When I applied to college the form gave you 3k off of household income for each kid in school. My Mom earned just under 9k a year. With 3 kids in college at once I was able to report a household income for financial aid purposes of zero.

    You should have seen the look I got in Financial Aid office a white kid from a rich town with an income of zero. Mom would not allow us to apply for food stamps or welfare etc we just suffered folks like her did not do that.

    But I think I am one of the few bottom 1% to top 1% I know.

    grim says:

    December 2, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Repost from back in March:

    In our area, the probability of the lowest income quintile moving to the highest income quintile is greater than 10%.

    What does that mean? That means 1 in 10 has the ability to go from the absolute bottom to the absolute top .

    No opportunity? God damn if there isn’t. Those are my kind of odds. And you know what, they are even better when you look at the probability of jumping from the bottom to the second highest quintile.

  99. Xolepa says:

    Got a rush of texts from my daughter, who is attending a New England Liberal Arts college: about 50 students laid down on the cafeteria floor during lunch hours today in support of that black thug. I told her to spit on them (hahaha – ASSAULT). Next thing I told her was to video them up close as to show all faces and then post on Youtube. Parents would then see what their $61k annual tuition pays for.

  100. Xolepa says:

    If it was me there, I was have sneaked in a small vial of butyric acid and cracked it on the floor. That would have cleared the place.

  101. Xolepa says:

    A kid in my high school placed just a couple drops of that stuff into a waste basket during my junior year. Emptied out half the school. For his accomplishments (he was never outed) he wound up at CIT.

  102. Anon E. Moose says:

    X [100];

    She should trip over them; land roughly with pointed elbows; sue all of them for her injuries. Better yet, get some stocky athletes to ‘walk’ through there.

  103. Ragnar says:

    100, Xolepa. Rich kids going to expensive liberal arts schools just love showing how much they care about the less fortunate, in very expensive and fashionable ways. The really rich ones get parachuted into poor African countries to “help” dig ditches and stuff for a couple of weeks, then they tell a bunch of other ivy league graduates about it during their interviews at investment banks, and how it really expanded their horizons.

    In the meantime, the actual less fortunate and middle class kids in America cannot afford to fly to exotic destinations to help the less fortunate. Maybe they worked at a fast food restaurant, or shoveled snow and mowed lawns. Or they just studied and read in their spare time. That’s so unimpressive and bourgeois that the elites just sniff their nose in disgust at that kind of non-save-the-world-ism.

    In the last few years we came to meet a couple of young sons from two Hispanic immigrant families. Our paths crossed because the dads were doing lawn service, while the moms were doing babysitting or housecleaning. The families are making enough to live in the worst homes of decent/good school towns. But being newer immigrants, the adults’ English is mostly lacking. So we met boys from middle school helping to translate for their parents clients. That takes some guts. And these kids are working hard to do well in school. No doubt they would be embarrassed if their classmates had their parents doing their yard or housecleaning for them. I doubt they will or could put any of that experience on college applications or resumes. When they go to help people in poor countries in their summers, it’s called “visiting relatives” – again that doesn’t make it on to resumes. When we have given them work, we have always paid extra, just to reward that kind of effort.

    I’m so sick of pretentious bullshit from “elite” college students and their bullshit “save the world” resume padding. I hope they choke on the New York Times editorial section. This weekend’s essay from Nick Kristof was typical sanctimonious noblesse oblige garbage, about what “we” need to do about our racism.

  104. Fast Eddie says:

    Ragnar [104],

    Perfect post. A “die in” is so trendy these days (barf). The whole thing and the media attention is absolutely f.ucking nauseating. I saw those hipster d0uchebags in NY protesting and wanted to smash the TV. What a load of sh1t.

  105. grim says:

    This whole “I am (insert name)” meme is nonsense.

    I ordered a t-shirt from my favorite online tshirt printer that reads: “I AM ALBERT EINSTEIN” in protest. I made it in that blocky collegiate font, for extra special irony.

  106. Happy Renter says:

    I am Vasco de Gama

  107. grim says:

    I figure, if you are going to go associate your own being and self worth with a dead person, it might as well be someone worth aspiring to be.

  108. Juice Box says:

    I am in charge of number 2!

  109. Ragnar says:

    If I step on the heads of “die in” people, is that allowed? Will they go out of character? Dead people don’t feel stuff.
    On 9/11/01 I did try to step around the body parts that were still on the streets and sidewalks after departing my building. But those die in people look much harder to step around.

  110. Happy Renter says:

    I am the Manhattan Project.

  111. grim says:

    #IAmNickPapageorgio

  112. chicagofinance says:

    Are you kidding? If the kids are indeed smart, and have the stats and grades to back it up, it is a tremendous competitive advantage……

    Ragnar says:
    December 2, 2014 at 3:54 pm
    So we met boys from middle school helping to translate for their parents clients. That takes some guts. And these kids are working hard to do well in school. No doubt they would be embarrassed if their classmates had their parents doing their yard or housecleaning for them. I doubt they will or could put any of that experience on college applications or resumes.

  113. Anon E. Moose says:

    Juice [109];

    Who does Number Two work for!?!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmJKY59NX8o

  114. Ragnar says:

    Much of the country should be wearing “I am Babs Johnson”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g09RQfWEY4

  115. Happy Renter says:

    I am #1 so why try harder

  116. The Great Pumpkin says:

    This is the main point I was trying to make earlier. I believe in education and its role in our society. If everyone gets educated, it’s a better society overall. My problem is with the fact that so many people think education can solve poverty. That makes no sense whatsoever in a capitalist economy. So stop saying and spreading this. It’s not right. They make it seem like anyone that gets educated will automatically get a free “get out of poverty card”. So not true. This paragraph sums up my point.

    “The real lesson that the Finland story teaches us is not the one about pedagogical techniques that draws so much fierce debate. Rather, it’s a lesson about what very successful pedagogy and excellent education can actually do for a society. Good education can make your society well-educated and more productive, but it cannot generate a labor market in which everyone works a high-paying job. It cannot ensure that market income is distributed evenly or adequately. It cannot even come remotely close to doing those things.”

  117. Ragnar says:

    Summary:
    Decent school systems don’t make everyone equally rich.
    Obviously. So what?

    “It cannot ensure that market income is distributed evenly or adequately.”
    According to which little would-be-dictator’s judgment of what represents an adequate income distribution?

    If you want an even income distribution, go live in a prison, monastery, or hippie commune. None require much education to join. Bring your own bar of soap.

  118. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Exactly my point. You can not solve poverty in a capitalist system. The entire system is predicated on competition leading to better results for everyone. Competition means winners and losers. Some get rich and some end up poor. So why are so many focused on solving an impossible equation. I’m guilty of this myself, you saw my posts last year. Trying to save the poor until I realized it’s impossible. I finally get what you guys are saying. Capitalism will always result in the haves and have nots. What I was missing ( you guys tried to explain) was that capitalism lifted the boat for all citizens. Sure they were poor compared to their rich counterparts in our country, but if you compared the poor to the poor in other countries, you realize that capitalism has helped make it better for the poor.

    So as long as we are under a capitalist system, there will be poor. You can change the economic system to eliminate rich and poor, but then you will be left with a system in which most of the people are worst off….cue Venezuela.

    You guys can think I’m thick headed and don’t listen to what you have to say, but this is far from the truth. I do listen and I learn everyday. Thank you to the people who push my thought process on a daily basis. I appreciate it and wish I could do the same for you. Don’t think I still won’t get passionate on a regular basis. Lol

    Anon E. Moose says:
    December 2, 2014 at 11:53 am
    Great Pumpkin [59];

    When it comes to overall inequality, Finland’s Gini coefficient in 2010 was 0.479. This was only slightly lower than the U.S.’ Gini coefficient, which stood at 0.499.

    Maybe the lesson is that you (Salon) are measuring irrelevant things. As much as leftists love to stroke their egos about the evils of income inequality, if a small, prosperous, high-taxed, highly redistributive, ethnically homogeneous population like Finland can’t “fix” income inequality by doing all the things that leftists say we should be doing to “fix” it, maybe those things don’t need doing, or maybe income inequality itself is a red herring.

    Like the “War on Povety”. After decades of redistributing trillions of dollars, we still have a bottom end of the distribution — i.e., “poor”.

  119. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Well it is not so obvious when you have a ton of people spreading lies that education is the answer to poverty.

    Your other statement is exactly what I stated in my previous post. I agree with you. There was a time I did not, but people change.

    Ragnar says:
    December 2, 2014 at 6:59 pm
    Summary:
    Decent school systems don’t make everyone equally rich.
    Obviously. So what?

    “It cannot ensure that market income is distributed evenly or adequately.”
    According to which little would-be-dictator’s judgment of what represents an adequate income distribution?

    If you want an even income distribution, go live in a prison, monastery, or hippie commune. None require much education to join. Bring your own bar of soap.

  120. grim says:

    Well it is not so obvious when you have a ton of people spreading lies that education is the answer to poverty.

    I disagree, vehemently.

    America has only begun to see the impact of global competition for jobs. 20 years ago the impact of education was minor, today it’s massive. Tomorrow? A lack of education will be a death sentence. We are moving into an economic system that simply will have no place, no employment, nothing for the uneducated and unskilled. It wouldn’t be a stretch to call it caste. Even 3rd world countries would put them on a plane and send them back.

  121. Liquor Luge says:

    I Am Legend.

    Time to eat some faces.

  122. Liquor Luge says:

    Send the violent, dumbass kids to Finland. Let’s see how that works out…

  123. The Great Pumpkin says:

    I’m a huge proponent of education. Without it, I would not want to live on this planet.

    You are definitely right about education being the required key for most high paying jobs. My point is, what happens when everyone gets educated? Who gets stuck with the lower end job?

    You used to just need any type of degree and you were set. As the % of college graduates increased over the years, it eventually got to a point where you were no longer set. You were told that it’s your fault, you got a pointless degree. So you started seeing overqualified candidates in all different types of jobs. What happens if 70% of the workforce has a degree? We are at 30%, and already running out of quality jobs for all college graduates. This is what I question when people start spouting education as a cure for poverty. How is the creation of quality jobs going to keep up with the pace of people getting degrees? Are you saying that if most had a degree, we would dramatically decrease the unemployment rate?

    grim says:
    December 2, 2014 at 7:23 pm
    Well it is not so obvious when you have a ton of people spreading lies that education is the answer to poverty.

    I disagree, vehemently.

    America has only begun to see the impact of global competition for jobs. 20 years ago the impact of education was minor, today it’s massive. Tomorrow? A lack of education will be a death sentence. We are moving into an economic system that simply will have no place, no employment, nothing for the uneducated and unskilled. It wouldn’t be a stretch to call it caste. Even 3rd world countries would put them on a plane and send them back.

  124. Juice Box says:

    Passion Flute – “You can not solve poverty in a capitalist system.”

    Do you live on this planet? Do you consider yourself well traveled?

  125. Grim says:

    Who gets stuck with the lower end job?

    There will be no lower end job.

  126. The Great Pumpkin says:

    I’m confused. What are you implying? Are you implying that no system solves poverty? I would disagree. A true communist system eliminates it at a major expense. If there is no ownership, there can be neither rich or poor. Obviously, no one would want this because now the society is worst off as a whole.

    Juice Box says:
    December 2, 2014 at 8:13 pm
    Passion Flute – “You can not solve poverty in a capitalist system.”

    Do you live on this planet? Do you consider yourself well traveled?

  127. The Great Pumpkin says:

    I could def see a future like this. Machines replacing all low skill work. We are practically there with the advent of cars that drive by themselves. The ghettos in the future are going to make paterson look like a resort.

    Grim says:
    December 2, 2014 at 8:18 pm
    Who gets stuck with the lower end job?

    There will be no lower end job.

  128. Liquor Luge says:

    Sounds like Turdblossom is huffing gasoline again.

  129. Grim says:

    128 – you clearly do not trace your lineage back to communist Eastern Europe.

  130. The Great Pumpkin says:

    None of that was communism. It might have been called communism, but it definitely was not. Just like a true democracy doesn’t exist, same thing applies to communism. No way in hell everyone gives up ownership and works collectively together.

    Grim says:
    December 2, 2014 at 8:59 pm
    128 – you clearly do not trace your lineage back to communist Eastern Europe.

  131. NJT says:

    “Dodgy Home Appraisals Are Making a Comeback”.

    Yup. At least around here. Not that they were 100% truthful, ever, anywhere.

    It all depends upon circumstances. However, recently, I have experienced two local appraisers over valuing houses in the town where I live. Fine, whatever, they won’t sell at those prices.

    *Note – One appraiser wants to sell their home and it’s blocks away so…

    BTW – NOTHING sells quick here unless it’s a bargain. One fluke (dumbass cash buyers that did not know what they were getting into) in three years.

    Maybe a sucker will wander in. Doubtful but I’ve seen it happen, just a few months ago.

    As an agent you’d be better off playing various lotteries (comparing the money and time involved).

  132. joyce says:

    None of this is capitalism.

    The Great Pumpkin says:
    December 2, 2014 at 9:28 pm
    None of that was communism.

  133. xolepa says:

    (104) btw, my daughter is a staunch conservative

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  135. WickedOrange says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/t-wants-know-why-town-building-1gbps-network-191018014.html

    AT&T wants to know why a town is building a 1Gbps network when it already offers 6Mbps DSL

    Why is one bandwidth-hungry town building its own 1Gbps fiber network for its citizens when AT&T already offers them 6Mbps DSL? That’s the question AT&T would like to ask city leaders in Chanute, Kansas, a small town of roughly 9,000 people that is petitioning the state to allow it to offer greater access to the high-speed fiber network that it built to support town utility operations.

    RELATED: The FCC wants states to stop killing municipal fiber networks that put AT&T to shame

    The Wichita Eagle reports that AT&T is concerned about this development and “filed to officially intervene in the case and was granted that permission on Tuesday morning” this week.

    “Any decision made by the KCC could impact AT&T’s business operations in the area, which is why we asked to intervene in the proceeding,” AT&T told The Eagle. “AT&T remains interested in both broadband issues and the work of the KCC.”

    It’s true that a 1Gbps fiber service would definitely impact AT&T’s business operations in the area and likely for the very worse. Ars Technica points out that Chanute would charge citizens just $40 per month for its 1Gbps service, which is a mere $5 more than the six-month teaser rate for AT&T’s 6Mbps service. What’s more, AT&T’s plan includes a hard data cap of 150GB per month and going over that limit will set you back by an additional $10 per month.

    Despite AT&T’s interference, Chanute officials don’t think the state will do anything to block their plan, which has already survived a major challenge after activists beat back legislation that would have all but crippled towns’ ability to build their own fiber networks. What’s more, AT&T says that it hasn’t taken an official position on the fiber network and is simply seeking out more information on why the town might be interested in building such a network and how it might impact AT&T’s own DSL business.

    More from BGR: 7 awesome paid iPhone and iPad apps that are free for a limited time

    This article was originally published on BGR.com

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