But I Want a New Yacht
December 16, 2006 5:03 PM   Subscribe

Scraping By on $150K a Year
My heart bleeds for people who earn a six figure income but are still dirt poor. In a skewed distribution model with the median income ($43,000 in 2002) being in Salina, Kansas and moving a mile east or west for each $1000 above or below that median, the Bush's would be four states away in Columbus, Ohio and the average CEO would be in....Kabul, Afghanistan. The top 400 incomes would be three quarters of the way to the moon. From a 2003 article at Alternet so they're probably beyond the moon now and on their way to Mars. From 1979 to 1997, the average annual income of the top 1% (after taxes) increased by 157% (or $414,000) while the poorest 20% went down by $100.
posted by fenriq (68 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
these wanna-be rentiers profiled in the article can suck it, and their income-property carrying costs.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 5:07 PM on December 16, 2006


I've always wanted to live in Hawaii. Now I know I can afford it.
posted by hal9k at 5:08 PM on December 16, 2006


I'm not sure I see what the problem is with the first article. It's not a sympathy piece; it's a case study on people living outside their means. That's all.
posted by Partial Law at 5:14 PM on December 16, 2006


I'm supposed to feel bad for people who buy their kids a fuckin' pony, and claim they live from one paycheque to the next!? They own rental property that doesn't turn a profit and sound like a bunch of spoiled fucking yuppies who expect that since they're doing what they presume to be "all the right things" that life should just magically fall into place for them. Boo-frickety-hoo.

At the beginning of the article, I almost thought I could feel some empathy for those people ... by the end, cost-conscious Amy is already talking about naming their second horse. And they wonder why they're not swimming in money.

If you can't live on $150,000 USD per-year, you've got issues that I'm sure you'd need to be a hospital psychologist to pronounce.
posted by Dark Messiah at 5:15 PM on December 16, 2006


the earth is spherical
posted by dminor at 5:19 PM on December 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


The article didn't mention it but I'm going to guess that they probably have two new vehicles with combined payments and insurance costs of $800/monthly.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 5:21 PM on December 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


Two rental properties and a HORSE doesn't sound like "scraping by" to me. Sounds like like two people with no money sense whatsoever.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:26 PM on December 16, 2006


Well, to be fair, the horse was a gift; in this case, a totally crappy one that costs hundreds each month to take care of. I think the real issue here is that perceptions about the amount of money needed to live at a certain level do not match up to reality.
Shock. Er.
posted by 235w103 at 5:31 PM on December 16, 2006


yuppies arise. You have nothing to lose but your reins er, chains.
posted by Cranberry at 5:38 PM on December 16, 2006


Income disparity has less to do with those who make one or two hundred thousand dollars a year. It's those millionaires and billionaires among us...and about one in 125 Americans are millionaires....that should get your goat. Here's a primitive visual map....
posted by kozad at 5:38 PM on December 16, 2006


Two rental properties and a HORSE doesn't sound like "scraping by" to me. Sounds like like two people with no money sense whatsoever.

Amen. I have 'scraped by'. I have made the decision to pay the electric bill or the insurance bill because I couldn't afford to pay both. I have driven a car with no heater (in a Wisconsin winter) because I couldn't afford to get the fan fixed.

At no point in my scraping, did I see a pet horse or dual rental properties.
posted by quin at 5:40 PM on December 16, 2006


DIE YUPPIE SCUM!

(seriously, unless you live on the damned Ponderosa, a fucking horse isn't a neccessity. Quit trying to keep up with the joneses and grow some sense, assholes)
posted by jonmc at 5:41 PM on December 16, 2006


buried deep in the article is the fact that this couple has purchased two (presently unoccupied) "income" properties:

"A big chunk of their income is eaten up by two rental properties"

That, I hope, is where all there money is going, not SUVs or ponies, which are at least useful economic and/or recreational examples of personal property.

People buying SFHs to rent out -- living as bloodsucking leeches on the productive in that community -- belong in a circle of hell reserved especially for them. If this nation were smart we'd create this specu-investor hell legislatively, but we're not. We almost got there at the turn of the 20th century, but the Progressive era died in the prosperity of WW I.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 5:42 PM on December 16, 2006


The Earth is an oblate spheroid.

I'm driving a car with no heater (a Volvo 240, where the entire car is built around the blower motor), so the Schuetts can bite me. Scraping by, indeed.
posted by Liosliath at 5:44 PM on December 16, 2006


It's those millionaires and billionaires among us

I have little beef with self-made wealth. I think the marginal rate structure we have now is fair enough, assuming the general fund makes good its repayments of FICA taxes it has been spending lo these 20+ years.

Where I go into class warfare mode is the wealthy buying income properties. This is where the root of the economic injustice lies, IMV (as a quasi-Georgist), and also the key to fixing things.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 5:46 PM on December 16, 2006


The problem is not with the rich being filthy rich, or poor filty poor as there will always be somebody with more or less money,.

More troubling is : if the system is so advanced that money can buy incredible things, even for instance Space Shuttle..how comes it can't allow millions of people to be 101% sure they will have ALL the basic covered for or their lifetime even if they do little ?Put aside for a second the argument that "people must work" in order not to become too lazy, dependant and frutiless. : why should millions _worry_ for the price of house, food and health even if they work ?
posted by elpapacito at 5:47 PM on December 16, 2006


You know, they could turn that (gift!) horse into a revenue stream. Just call Alpo and Elmers.
However, they'll have to pay a hell of a lot in therapists fees for the kids later on.
posted by 235w103 at 5:52 PM on December 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


I don't own a car at all. Public transit all the way! 92 tax deductible dollars a month, and I can go anywhere anytime! But people with cars think cars are a necessity (just like the horse is a necessity because the kids love it!11!!!), and thus the money pit grows and grows.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:59 PM on December 16, 2006



However, they'll have to pay a hell of a lot in therapists fees for the kids later on.


Isn't she a clinical psychiatrist. That's got to be good for something to help deal with the kids, no?
posted by bumpkin at 6:01 PM on December 16, 2006


Digesting that fact becomes harder when you consider that the Schuetts earn a comfortable living, with Amy, 39, pulling in $150,000 a year as a hospital psychiatrist. True, their income did take a big hit last summer when Brian got laid off from his job as a sales rep for a pharmaceutical firm (he'd been making a base salary of $82,000 a year, plus commissions as high as $24,000).

They went from making $225K/yr (min.) to $150. A drop of 33% of their income. While I'm not making excuses, its plain to see that they are incapable of adjusting their lifestyle to match their income. I know if my income dropped by a third, I'd have hard time making ends meet unless I changed my lifestyle. Get rid of the pony, etc and move into a smaller house.
posted by SirOmega at 6:02 PM on December 16, 2006


"Well, to be fair, the horse was a gift"

Shouldn't have looked that fucker in the mouth.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:04 PM on December 16, 2006 [4 favorites]


Get rid of the rental properties-does it take a rocket scientist to figure that out???

And what kind of grandparents would give their grandkids a HORSE and stick the parents with those kind of bills?

I
posted by konolia at 6:15 PM on December 16, 2006


I have a problem with people who buy property as an investment.

Imagine a world in which food doesn't grow on trees and is a certain, finite quantity, like land.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 6:22 PM on December 16, 2006


Get rid of the rental properties-does it take a rocket scientist to figure that out???

That would be admitting stupidity. Plus if they have no savings then they won't be able to sell these properties without the bank approving a short-sale. Ask Casey Serin how that goes.

Here's what the wife said about that:

"Our strategy has been to practice 'avoidance,'" says Amy. "But you don't have to be a psychiatrist to see that."
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 6:22 PM on December 16, 2006


sorry I should have qualified that with, rental domestic property investment - as opposed to commercial development, which I couldn't give a shit about.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 6:23 PM on December 16, 2006


a big chunk of their income is eaten up by two rental properties. Brian purchased them thinking they'd generate extra income, but he has yet to find tenants.

Too bad, sucker. I make 89K in Manhattan and I'm always broke. But it sure beats Kansas.
posted by four panels at 6:23 PM on December 16, 2006


Samuel Farrow: would you like to subscribe to my newsletter?
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 6:24 PM on December 16, 2006


"I don't own a car at all. Public transit all the way! 92 tax deductible dollars a month, and I can go anywhere anytime! But people with cars think cars are a necessity (just like the horse is a necessity because the kids love it!11!!!), and thus the money pit grows and grows"

They're in Nebraska, dude. The anti-car mentality may be great in New York and San Francisco, but in the middle of the country it's a bit difficult to pull off.
I did the anti-car bit for a while and realized that overall, it sucks to not have a car. It was really nice to have all that commuting time back.
And for some bizarre reason, it's cheaper for me to drive than it is to take public transit. It's around $120 for one of the unlimited ride passes. I paid off the vehicle (bought it used) ages ago. My insurance is about $400 a year. (yes, a year.) I spend about $65/mo for gas. I already factored in maintenance and repairs. If you look at raw dollar amounts, it may seem like I'm not saving that much, and public transit would be cheaper. I also factor in my time. It takes me over an hour to get to work on public transit. When I drive, it's about 12 minutes. Then on weekends I drive to do volunteer events. Our public transit here sucks rocks for weekend schedules. I sometimes go to school after work. It would be physically impossible for me to get to school on public transit when I get off work. By the time I got to school, my classes would be getting out.

My point is that not all car ownership is bad, and not all of it is a money pit.

But a horse is nothing BUT a money pit. I don't care how much you love the horse - it's a money pit. I've worked at events where kids show up in $2,000 riding boots.
posted by drstein at 6:26 PM on December 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


If I'm going to invest in something that does humanity no good, I'll stick to weapons development and nonessnetial pharmaceuticals. Especially firms that know what sort of short-sighted sales reps need to be cut because they don't have vision for the future of exploiting people.
posted by Saydur at 6:28 PM on December 16, 2006


Heywood Mogroot: Yes. My user name run together at gmail.com
posted by Samuel Farrow at 6:29 PM on December 16, 2006


why should millions _worry_ for the price of house, food and health even if they work ?

cuz IMO basically we've got this big-ass leak in our economic ship of state. We shovel tax monies in, and they end up as rental incomes for the land-owners. The more idealistic of the "Single Tax"ers assert that the LVT instead of checks to mortgage companies, landlords, AND Uncle Sam, the LVT would redirect a large part of the former payments (land rent) to the latter (government services).
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 6:30 PM on December 16, 2006


I think that though this couple seem in difficulties at the moment, things will improve now that we are beginning to feel the impact of trickle down and the Bush tax cuts are improving the economy. Ignore the defeatists commenting here! they are just spoil sports, unable to earn good year end bonuses in the brokerage houses and they probably majored in History or
English in college.

I would tell the couple to pray and things will get better. Or, that failing, insure the horse and poison him.
posted by Postroad at 6:32 PM on December 16, 2006


the Bush tax cuts are improving the economy

psssssssssssssss

Here's what drove the economy, 2002-2005.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 6:35 PM on December 16, 2006


Class warfare totally kicks ass. Democrats will make everything right. Disarm the masses.

Peace out.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:40 PM on December 16, 2006


Should petty politics really enter this debate, seeing as we are all from different 'jurisdictions' - I think we should limit discussions to political ideas and not political parties, as the democratic v rebublican thing bores me worse than NZ politics.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 6:50 PM on December 16, 2006


we've got this big-ass leak

Damn. No one likes ass leak. Hold on, before you sit down on my couch, let me get you a towel.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:04 PM on December 16, 2006


Heywood: if I read your chart correctly, one should have sold his home when the price was good...having it this many years later is waiting for its value to double, then triple etc.

The house market suffers. Granted. But most of us think we should be making piles of money on a house as an inventment.

Perhaps we are learning a lesson in this. At one point I sold a house and broke even but believed myself way ahead of the game because I got out of a bad area and had money to get myself into a much better area. I had trouble selling this newer home but finally did, not making much, but again getting into amuch bigger house and in a much finer areas. Again, I felt I came out ahead. Why? I imporved my lot and did not lose any money.
posted by Postroad at 7:35 PM on December 16, 2006


Hildegarde: xkcd for you.
posted by chime at 7:35 PM on December 16, 2006


Fuck them.
Fuck them right in their equestrian asses.

I am from Omaha.
Spent a quarter century growing up there.
It's not known for much, but it is known for having a ridiculously low cost of living.

I lived pretty well on damn near next to nothing out there for a long time.
If they can't hack it on $150,000 a year then the problem isnt the cable bill or the unlisted number or the Netflix.
The problem is that they are douchebags that feel entitled to a much higher level of comfort than better people spend their entire lives in.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 7:40 PM on December 16, 2006


<3
posted by Hildegarde at 7:41 PM on December 16, 2006


Is there any reason why they can't simply sell their rental properties and keep the $3 a month they'd save on their unlisted phone number?
posted by mathowie at 7:46 PM on December 16, 2006


mathowie, well, the second their number is listed, I'm calling them up to tell them they're douchebags so that's one reason. Just kidding. My guess is they would lose money on the sale of the rental properties as well since the housing market has gone down across the country.
posted by fenriq at 7:59 PM on December 16, 2006


The article itself seems to be kind of an advert for 'professional financial planning', which you are too much of a dipbrain to do yourself.

It has the deep smell of 'half a story' (like much 'news') and the true story is not decipherable from the information given.
posted by hexatron at 8:00 PM on December 16, 2006


When I saw this, I thought it might be interesting. I make a little less than $150K, and I live in the NYC area. I would not consider myself 'scraping by' but I'm not too far away from it.
1 income, 1 car, 1 child, and a 2br apt in a bedroom suburb, since I finally got priced out of the city I love. Saving for a house, but not making much progress.
I always thought a 6 figure income should be a bit more comfortable, but I'm getting by.

However, if I was making this money in Nebraska - I sure as hell would be living a lot better. I have no sympathy for them - it sounds like they made a series of bad decisions and are living with the consequences.
posted by bashos_frog at 8:18 PM on December 16, 2006


Is there any reason why they can't simply sell their rental properties

The article states the properties they have won't "cash flow", ie rents are lower than the carrying costs.

They need to find a buyer who will pay more (~6% more to cover transaction costs) than they paid. If they bought in 2005, this may take a while, like the year 2015.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 8:22 PM on December 16, 2006


I felt I came out ahead. Why? I improved my lot and did not lose any money.

And you did come out ahead if you saved money vs renting.

The issue is simply in most areas demand for living space is exceeding supply, resulting in the market bidding up prices to the point of unaffordability (and beyond, thanks to loosened lending policies and new 'suicide' loan products like pay-option ARMs).

Add in the speculative premium people were paying 2002-2005, and a housing downturn is going to be quite nasty when lending policies tighten and the sub-prime lending market dries up & blows away.

There's pain coming down the pike, and a $2T ARM reset train is going to blow thru first. What comes in its wake is still an open, but unsettling, question.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 8:30 PM on December 16, 2006 [2 favorites]


So, the story here is that some people get by on very little income whilst other people, who make much more money, can barely make ends meet. Someone call CNN.

Incomes are only skewed, fenriq, if you assume that income should in some way follow the normal distribution. At least one mathematician "feels that the extensive reliance on the normal distribution for much of the body of modern finance and investment theory is a serious flaw of any related models."
posted by three blind mice at 8:50 PM on December 16, 2006


But people with cars think cars are a necessity

They are in most of North America.

I certainly needed one, when I drove about 10 minutes (4 miles or so) to work. If I had taken the bus (and I could have), I probably wouldn't be able to get home if work ended after 9:00 at night, and it would have taken over an hour in each direction, and two bus rides covering about 15 miles.

The TTC is an anomaly in that most of the city can actually use it, and it still could be run far better than it is. Some of that is Ottawa's fault, some of it is Queen's Park's, and some is the city's.
posted by oaf at 9:38 PM on December 16, 2006


I live in Baltimore, in the city, and I am still saving for a car because even in a fucking city America's public transit system is still godawful. I was able to use it for a year because my work was only two miles away (that was a half-hour each way) and it was marginally OK if I was late for work.

If I had a job where I had to be in ON TIME, no questions, I would be fucking screwed.

I echo the lack of sympathy for the people. My God, they have a fucking pony.
posted by schroedinger at 10:09 PM on December 16, 2006


We have two cars and a motorcycle, all paid for. Without them we would not be able to function. My work is 20 miles away, taking the bus would mean leaving an hour and a half early and getting home an hour and a half later. The motorcycle, while some might consider it a luxury, cuts my 45+ minute commute to a little over 20 minutes. That's nearly an hour a day I save and it gets far, far better mileage and is more fun.

three blind mice, it was just a way of visualizing the massive disparity in income levels. I don't think income should be evenly distributed because I know that people don't work as hard or produce as much. But I do think there are people that earn far too much money for what they do and others (like teachers) earn far, far too little for what they do.
posted by fenriq at 10:26 PM on December 16, 2006


Hey Shroedinger, I used to live in Baltimore too, and I was one of the few people who could actually use the light rail to commute to work, as I lived in Mt. Vernon and worked in the stadium. But, one day I decided to compare and I discovered that I could beat the light rail to my office by walking. Of course there was nothing like a grocery store within walking distance, so I had to have a car anyway. Although a pony would've worked as well I suppose. On the other hand, the car protected me from stray bullets better than a pony would.
posted by donkeymon at 11:43 PM on December 16, 2006


On the subject of cars and income - a parking meter in London can make more money in an hour than 75% of the world's population make in day.

Having said that public transport in London is, on the whole, pretty good.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 1:34 AM on December 17, 2006


A potentially interesting article, which totally clouds its point: that a six figure income doesn't make immune from making smart choices in your investing and consumption. The family is a great example of this: when you go from making $250,000 a year to $150,000 a year, you've got to dump your negative cash flow real estate investments.

DieHipster is right on about the likely impact of car payments. I remember when I interviewed for jobs out in that region a few years ago and when they would pitch me on the cost of living versus the New York suburbs, I discovered that many management and professional types spent twice, or more on their cars what they spent on their houses. I'm talking about families with $500 mortgage payments owning three late-model expensive cars: SUV for mom and kids, sedan for Dad during the week, and fancy pick-up for Dad and son's weekend outings, and plowing the driveway in the winter.
posted by MattD at 5:52 AM on December 17, 2006


The true revelation here is this quote:
Yet, says Amy, "We live from one paycheck to the next, we're struggling to save and we never seem to have enough money to do anything fun."
Last time I checked, one could not buy fun. Sure, one can buy things that help a person to have fun. But the concept of fun stems from the individual. Talking, walking, checking a book from a public library: all fun and none of it costs a dime.

I'm no psychiatrist, but I'd say these folks are pretty miserable idiots.
posted by ed at 5:58 AM on December 17, 2006


For all those in glass houses throwing stones - if you have a computer and the leisure time of the internet, are you "scraping by"?

Seriously, this is about spending to the limit of what you earn, and it´s something everyone does. Can you live by on less? Sure, go talk to a really poor person (hint: they probably wont be on metafilter).
posted by iamck at 6:23 AM on December 17, 2006


The general reaction I've seen on teh intarwebs to this article is F* the Schuetts - duh - but I think this article really trivializes the plight of people who have serious problems making ends meet.

About two-thirds of families need their next paycheck to meet their living expenses, according to a recent survey by the American Payroll Association..

In context it makes it seems as though two-thirds of families are just feckin' idiots with plenty of money who don't know how to manage it. I can just hear some right-wing blogger pundits saying "hey, our economy is so great that the biggest problem some people have is whether or not to keep their pet pony! It's your own fault if you can't afford medical care, or you can't save enough to send your kids to college, or plan for your own retirement."
posted by maggiemaggie at 7:00 AM on December 17, 2006


Yey! Morons who lose money investing in property!

I love hearing about people losing money on housing speculation.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:06 AM on December 17, 2006


For all those in glass houses throwing stones

Man, I wish I could afford to live in a glass house.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:29 AM on December 17, 2006


To make it simple, in 2004, the top 130,500 taxpayers -- roughly the wealthiest 0.1 percent of earners in this great nation, with added family members that brought their numbers to 300,000 -- had more income than the 120 million Americans at the bottom. Put another way, that sliver of the population at the top of the heap was paid, as a group, more than the bottom 40 percent of all Americans combined.

To be sure, there has always been income inequality and there always will be income inequality, just as there will always be death and taxes. But to give you an idea of where we're heading, in 1979, a scant 25 years earlier, the top 0.1 percent had aggregate income that was one-third that of the big group at the bottom.

To understand this change, you need know only that while the income of the bottom 60 percent of Americans has barely budged since 1979, the income of the top dogs has risen by more than a factor of three.


Ben Stein, NYT
posted by gottabefunky at 12:51 PM on December 17, 2006


People buying SFHs to rent out -- living as bloodsucking leeches on the productive in that community -- belong in a circle of hell reserved especially for them

We sold our SFH last year and currently rent another one while we wait and watch for prices to drop (as you suggest will happen) and something we like comes along. We're prepared to do this for some time. Becuase of the bloodsucking leeches (school teachers, as it happens), who prefer the solidity of real estate to the casino of the stock market, we have the option.

I should object to this state of affairs why?

BTW, if it warms your heart, remember that after WWII, many urban types, often Europeans and therefore fanatic about real estate, who chose our current landlords' route got nailed royally as rent control essentially made it uneconomical to keep up payments on houses that cost more in taxes (never mind upkeep) than they could get back in income. Thus- lots of abandoned houses in places like NYCity back in the sixties and seventies.
posted by IndigoJones at 1:06 PM on December 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


I hear a lot of pissing and moaning about what douche-bags these people are. I grew up dirt poor in the mountains in TN, with no running water and no kitchen. I now live in NYC making more than both my parents made combined and I am still struggling. I know what scraping by is, and I know how fast people are to judge others with money or with no money. You know diddley squat about these people except the small amount of financial info this article gave you. Instead of saying that they are "spoiled fucking yuppies" why don't you call them up and find out if they have worked for and earned their income, or if it was handed to them on a platter? Why don't you have 4 kids and have half of your families income gone due to job loss.

Many of the posts so far seem to be "baby cry time" because you may be struggling in a different way. This article wasn't meant to be a heart string tugger, it wasn't asking you to feel sympathy or empathy, it was just showing this family as an example of how mismanaged money & the inability to save money is affecting regular people everywhere.

PS- When did yuppies go from being lawyer/stock broker country club members, to a hospital psychologist and unemployed spouse with 4 kids cutting back on basic cable?
posted by rubyeyo at 1:13 PM on December 17, 2006


Fair enough rubyeyo, but I actually know of what I speak here.

In fact, since you're calibrating this to your current situation in NYC, it would seem that it is you are the one mistaken.

They have stagnant rental properties? Sell them then.
Same with the pony and the ranch.
You wanna live above your means then dont bitch when your income drops and it becomes harder to sustain.

They dont have to live out in Elkhorn. There are lots of incredibly affordable neighborhoods out that way. They just feel that they deserve better.

There is no way they can't more than get by with what they have where they are under those circumstances.

I have friends living back there RIGHT NOW that have 3 kids (and a bunch that have 2) and are doing just fine (as homeowners no less) on less than $60k a year. And they dont seem to want for much whenever I visit them. They are doing just fine.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:50 PM on December 17, 2006


that ben stein op-ed that gottabefunky linked to is amazing -- for a second i found myself thinking "ben stein talking about income inequality? what's next, flying pigs?"

he rescues his reputation as a dumbass by the end, though -- the solution is that there needs to be more millionaires! how deviously simple.
posted by Hat Maui at 5:03 PM on December 17, 2006


If they're trying to highlight the plight of the " two-thirds of families need their next paycheck to meet their living expenses," they sure picked a lousy example. I'm sure there are lots of families out there who are genuinely having trouble choosing between health insurance and heating bills, not pony-owning rental investors and their six-digit income. Especially if they're living in Nebraska, not NYC.
posted by Jilder at 12:38 AM on December 18, 2006


3 kids & $60K goes pretty well together, from the tax angle at least.

At $150K the taxman comes for a BIG bite of your annual income, kids or no.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:41 AM on December 18, 2006


We sold our SFH last year and currently rent another one while we wait and watch for prices to drop (as you suggest will happen) and something we like comes along.

This entire roller-coaster need not exist.

We're prepared to do this for some time.

How efficient.

Becuase of the bloodsucking leeches (school teachers, as it happens), who prefer the solidity of real estate to the casino of the stock market

ROI does not justify injustice!

we have the option.

In a better world SFHs would be a place to live not so much an investment.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:44 AM on December 18, 2006


A thought about the whole pony vs car thing; it wasn't that long ago, historically speaking, that horses were the primary mode of transportation for a lot of people in America. If a pony or a horse costs "hundreds" a month to own (someone said that earlier, I don't know personally) and a car costs hundreds a month to own -- well, couldn't they just sell a car and ride the pony?
posted by davejay at 12:58 PM on December 18, 2006


Hm, sounds like we're not going to agree on this, Mr Mogroot. No call for sarcasm- I didn't intend my comments to be taken that way, for the record.

Actually, I have always looked upon houses as a place to live and not an investment. X amount of dollars goes to roof, whether rent or mortgage, what the hell.

But what I don't get is, on the land distribution angle, who, according to the Georgists, determines who gets Park Avenue and who gets Love Canal?

It also sounds like you believe we can stop the business cycle and still have a humming economy.

I'm not snarking, I just don't see how to get to a better world as long as people are people, and as long as some places and things are more desireable than others.
posted by IndigoJones at 3:24 PM on December 22, 2006


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