Tag Archives: housing bubble

Socialism for Rich Homebuilders

In one of the newer bills to ooze out of the halls of Congress, a change in tax law amounts to providing bailouts to the large developers who fed the housing boom to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, when many of them are still in sound financial positions with plenty of cash on hand.  It’s truly amazing how brazen the thieves have become; then again, it’s not like we can do anything to stop them… For a full analysis of the bill, check out this article from the NY Times.

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We’re not the only country taken by a real estate bubble…

An interesting news report about China’s “empty city”.

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Fluoride, Cash for Clunkers, and a Marek Hirsch Update!

In which we interview Kevin Hurley of the Safe Water Advocates of Burlington about his work on water fluoridation, discuss the insanity of the Cash for Clunkers program, and get an update from former ASR host Marek Hirsch about the housing and economic situation in Miami, Florida.

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2 Week Reflection

A few nights ago I was standing on my balcony, looking at the panoramic view you can see in these photos, and considering the differences between my new environment and the one I left behind in Vermont.  Ironically, I also had a water view in Burlington, as my apartment was on the second floor of a building that was high up enough on the hill to look at the lake above the other rooftops.  What I pondered was the amount of change each of these views has experienced as a result of human intervention over the course of about 50 years, then additionally, how much change each will see over the next 50 years. 

The reason I considered this to be a helpful exercise has to do with an appreciation and intrigue I have with what can be considered sustainable human living.  In Miami, developers like to build up, not out, so in an area with the acreage of a tiny Vermont dairy farm, we have thousands of people permanently residing.  To give you more numbers, there are 900 condo units in my building, which is the smallest of five buildings within 3 blocks of eachother, so crunch the numbers and you realize that’s an enormous amount of waste, pets, cars etc. that needs to be dealt with in a very consolidated area. 

Maybe we can handle it?  Perhaps our human race is so advanced that we can live this way and take care of every detail to ensure future generations can too.  I’ll admit, there is a serious allure to living in this fast paced environment, with so many people around to keep one constantly entertained, but will it continue to work indefinitely?  I cannot provide an answer, but what I do know is that in the course of 100 years my view in Burlington will have changed substantially less than the view down here.  Even only 5 years ago that building you see above did not exist, and look at the view behind it, there’s plenty of room to build up.  My guess is that there will continue to be a large amount of construction here, begging the subjective question of what is sustainable.  The attitude towards this question is clearly different here than in Vermont and I hope to soon gain an understanding of how people feel about these issues in Miami, perhaps we can learn from one another.

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Reserve Currency Watch

The Chinese currency’s challenge to the dollar is finally hitting mainstream media outlets, thanks to a recent editorial by Nouriel “Dr. Doom” Roubini in the NY Times. We at ASR have been watching this unfold for a few months now with growing consternation; hopefully Roubini’s editorial will mean our public officials will have to begin confronting the reality that our Dollar based hegemony is crumbling, and that soon we’ll be as bound by the same economic laws as every other country. We’ve gotten used to diluting our inflation in the ever-growing pool of foreign held dollars; without that outlet, we’re going to have to totally rethink the fiscal policies of the Federal government. Soon, we’re going to have to confront the hard choice: live within our means or experience hyperinflation. We’ve gotten used to having our cake and eating it too; this is going to be a very rude wake-up call for many, many people.

*UPDATE*

The story has also been picked up by the London Telegraph!  Keep the meme spreading!

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