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Ajijic

US Home Sales

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Well, he is correct about Haliburton.

Ames Truetemper is mostly owned by Castle Harmon, a US holding company. Most of its products are now made in China. The products look just like those that were made in the USA at one time.

Bridgestone, a Japanese tire manufacturer has owned Firestone since the 1980's.

Schwinn Bicycle after a lot of labor problems and a bankruptcy ended up owned by Dore Industries, a company that makes bicycles in both China and Taiwan. The product looks just the same.

Austin Motor Company was never a US brand. It was British. Through a lot of convoluted sales and trades, the company name now rest in the hands of the Nanjing Auto Group. The name is moribund now, but it does have nice sounding name in case Nanjing ever needs to use it.

Haliburton makes and sells drilling tools and supplies. I just threw that in to get a response. It draws lightning like nothing else. I think it has to do with their past association with Dick Cheney.

The point is that the two tools of organized labor are the strike and the boycott, and they don't work anymore.

Rufus

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I'm not suggesting that unions are the only reason manufacturing has left the U.S. There are a lot of factors involved, including the second highest business tax rates in the world, the tendency of local governments to treat business like a cash cow, runaway regulation and litigation, and cheap labor elsewhere. Bear in mind that wages are normally less than 20 percent of manufacturing costs which suggests the other factors are more important.

My point was that unions do not save jobs, they accelerate the exodus. We are not discussing partisan politics here.

Sorry Jeanette, there are very few major locations where real estate is doing well in the U.S. The three factors I listed are going to drive prices lower for the forseeable future. Hence my advice to take what you can get now if you can get it at all.

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So why is it that Germany with its far larger union based economy, far higher taxes, much deeper social safety net and no oil able to remain the world standard for a manufacturing export based economy?

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Lets' see: It quacks like a political discussion, it walks like one........hey, it's a political discussion!

In the San Francisco Bay Area, which includes my old home town of Santa Cruz, you still can't buy a plain old two bedroom home for under 500K. No view. Inflated values, yes, but it's all about location and jobs.

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So why is it that Germany with its far larger union based economy, far higher taxes, much deeper social safety net and no oil able to remain the world standard for a manufacturing export based economy?

Did they ship their jobs elsewhere? Hmmmmm.

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This is one of those dog chasing it's tail arguments.Until we find a way to get around the fact that we all want to be able to purchase manufactured goods at the lowest possible price, and someone,somewhere, is willing to work for 2 dollars an hour[or less], where is the solution?

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This is one of those dog chasing it's tail arguments.Until we find a way to get around the fact that we all want to be able to purchase manufactured goods at the lowest possible price, and someone,somewhere, is willing to work for 2 dollars an hour[or less], where is the solution?

You have it right. There is no solution that does not involve personal financial pain. And nobody likes pain, so the situation will probably wind up at some point in the future with a very different kind of society, all over the world. Our grandkids won't have it as well as we did unless they get very lucky. We had the best of times.

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Actually I think the discussion is about values not politics. What does a society value over the long haul. Not something that changes with each new Administration but endures. I think Germany has learned some very painful lessons about unnecessary wars, hyper-inflation, xenophobia, and the desperate measures of a bankrupt nation. I don't think everything has to come down to the cheapest price or the lowest wages or taxes. I think it can be about creating a society where all members have opportunities. It is easy to see that neither pure communism or pure capitalism provides that. If we are only out for ourselves we are in for a lot of pain and if we only live for others we are in for the same. The rub is how do we find the balance without demonizing each other.

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Actually I think the discussion is about values not politics. What does a society value over the long haul. Not something that changes with each new Administration but endures. I think Germany has learned some very painful lessons about unnecessary wars, hyper-inflation, xenophobia, and the desperate measures of a bankrupt nation. I don't think everything has to come down to the cheapest price or the lowest wages or taxes. I think it can be about creating a society where all members have opportunities. It is easy to see that neither pure communism or pure capitalism provides that. If we are only out for ourselves we are in for a lot of pain and if we only live for others we are in for the same. The rub is how do we find the balance without demonizing each other.

Very well said.

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Those last were excellent posts. This is a discussion on the economy and the sad truth is that we all flunked Economics 101, as did our parents and grandparents. As a result, the 'traditional industrial infrastructure' was allowed to deteriorate and our emphasis turned to pumping up values instead of pumping out products at competitive prices. We puffed our our chests, helped others to industrialize and then sent them our orders for what we used to make at home; because it was cheaper that way, bankers and corporate CEOs still got rich and even stockholders did quite will......for a while. Then, the latter saw the writing on the wall and the former took their golden parachutes and ran like hell. A few, a very few, went to jail. Thousands should have!

Now, there is a great global leveling taking place and the life we knew will never be again. There is no longer anything supporting our currency, or many others.

So; how do we get our avocado tree to bear fruit all year long?

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We've gone OT. The topic was real estate, not unions or the loss of manufacturing. I believe this RE crash is so deep that, for the reasons I stated earlier, there is not going to be any significant recovery for years. So if you are one of those people who would like to sell a house in the U.S. and move Lakeside, you have to decide if you can live with what you can get now because that is unlikely to get better any time soon and, with 10 percent of home loan holders at least one payment late, it could get worse.

It might be fun to discuss German manufacturing in another thread but it is probably too far afield of this board to pass muster with the mods.

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You are quite correct that the thread is now way off topic, but isn't it interesting that these kinds of discussions seem to be the ones that elicit some really thought provoking responses, even if they are not really what this forum is supposed to be about.

RVGringo hit the nail on the head[doesn't he always,pretty much?] - I guess we just have to hope that the emerging economies foster a middle class tout de suite, consumers eagerly clamouring for our goods,services,technology etc.

I have read that 90 percent of the world's wealth is in the hands of 10 percent of the world's population;and that the average CEO's salary used to be around 20 times that of the guy on the shop floor - sometime during the 90s it rose to around 200 times that wage,and is even more disproportionate now. My stats could be off a bit, but you get the general idea.

These economic chasms seem neither equable nor sustainable, but how to stop the runaway train?

Now back to regular programming

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Real estate is just part of the picture and can't be separated if really looking for an answer ... and this thread took the direction of the big picture. It should be about values of how much is enough for humanity to survive ... and a lesson most us us never learned. Guess you can't know until it stares you right in the face. Socialism is the best direction I can think of ... but what is it.

A college education seems almost a joke at this point because nobody knows where we are going. "Driving down the highway using the rear view mirror" - Buckminister Fuller

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I started this thread hoping maybe I would get a couple of thought provoking comments. I have to be honest and say I have done this with several other topics as well looking for people's views.... sometimes it works. :D :D

As noted, the comments are one's that make you think and we can learn much by sharing. I never imagined this to be so in-depth and I thank all for posting.

Yes, questions about pets and borders, dentists and hair salons are all helpful but to me this is so beneficial.

Thanks to everyone for sharing your views, not making it personal and in my humble opinion so what if it veers one way or another as all information is good. And thanks for the moderators for letting it continue.

I agree with Dan that housing price drops in my opinion are not done which is so unfortunate for those who's retirement savings was in their home's equity.

John

ps the comment about Germany's success certainly made me think and yes heavily unionized and even healthcare but yet they have one of the best economies.

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Maybe I missed it somewhere but a real part of the reason why home prices will (most probably) continue to slide downward is because owning a home is no longer part of the 'American Dream'. The collective pool of potential buyer is a lot smaller than it ever has been. Nobody's interested. Smaller pool of buyers has to cause lower demand, lower demand = lower prices.

Of course lower wages, job insecurities, insecurities about the future in general ALL exacerbate the problem, but I think there is an attitude now that buying a house and committing to a large mortgage is a 'suckers game'. A lot of folks, who in a former time would have loved to be homeowners, just aren't in the game. This attitude will pass. When??? Who knows.

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Stats are usually hype. One really has to know what makes up the stats for them to be anything near accurate.

If Oprah bought a mansion for $50,000,000 and then 2 trailers sold for $100,000 each then the average price would be over $16,000,000 with only 3 sales.

Many times the local agents use only MLS sales and not private sales.

Other times what is the statistic? Mean? Median? Average? Whose data, what has been included / excluded, etc.

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Stats are usually hype. One really has to know what makes up the stats for them to be anything near accurate.

If Oprah bought a mansion for $50,000,000 and then 2 trailers sold for $100,000 each then the average price would be over $16,000,000 with only 3 sales.

Many times the local agents use only MLS sales and not private sales.

Other times what is the statistic? Mean? Median? Average? Whose data, what has been included / excluded, etc.

Check with AP. It was on Yahoo Finance this morning.

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My statement / question was more rhetorical in nature.

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Let's see if I can put a face on the loss of value in homes, since I live in one of the thirteen areas of the United States where they say the home values will never return to what they were, let alone normal.

People have seen their homes devaluated by an average of nearly 40% according to those that I talked to that have homes for sale. They can't sell them because they owe more than they're worth according to the banks and buyers.

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http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2010/08/bubble-case-studies-ireland-and-canada.html

Reality does not care what people find acceptable. Reality does not negotiate, it dictates. Real estate has further to fall here than almost anyone can image, as every bubble is followed by a substantial undershoot. Even as far as Ireland has fallen, or bubbly parts of the US, there is much further to go to approach pre-bubble prices, and the property crunch will take them much further than that. Canada has not even begun the extremely painful real estate deleveraging process. We have a very long way to fall indeed.

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Lets' see: It quacks like a political discussion, it walks like one........hey, it's a political discussion!

In the San Francisco Bay Area, which includes my old home town of Santa Cruz, you still can't buy a plain old two bedroom home for under 500K. No view. Inflated values, yes, but it's all about location and jobs.

Getting back to jobs and location ---I'm from the SAn Francisco Bay area also. This is a personal antidote about JOB's.

My daughter is a Corporate Recruiter her speicality is IT, Engineers and Management Personnel. Last Nov. she was laid off after 5 yrs working for a large company in Sacramento. In March, they offered to rehire her to fill much needed jobs in a very fast time period- She was rehired as an Outside Consultant for 3 months at a salary of $20,000.00 more per year than she made as a regular employee. In March they renewed her contract for 6 months.

She wasn't happy with the temp nature of the job and was sending out resumes all over the Bay Area. In June she started getting responses - she eventually went on 5 personal interviews in a 2 week period while I was visiting. The first week in July, she received 4 permanent job offers

.

1. Her current employer Comcast wanted her to continue to work permanently with more responsiblity and more money.

2. ZEROX- as a Corporate Recruiter

3. Hitachi Corp. -Silicon valley as a Corporate Recruiter

4. VSP Corp.World headquaters- Corporate Recruiter

Obviously, this says something big about the ECONOMY, JOBS AND LOCATION, LOCATION - AND the type of jobs that are in demand and will be in the future. 2 weeks ago she started her new job with one of the 4 companies.

While there , we went house shopping with a real estate agent- although some areas have seen signifcant declines in prices, the greater Bay Area is still considered almost recession proof- prices are now going up an average of 3.7 % in the last quarter. In the area I was looking homes are selling like hotcakes in 1 or 2 days time. I looked at a house at 10:30 am - it sold to the next looker at 3pm. REal este agent told me he was buying several homes for an investor from Indiana as rental properties- which were rented within 10 days at an average price about $2,000.00 per month. All those people who lost homes, and have jobs still need places to live - and they do not want to move out of the area where their kids are settled in school.

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