2007 July 12 Thursday
Most Feel Economy Getting Worse

Most feel from their standpoint that the American economy is getting worse.

A new Gallup Poll will only reinforce those who claim that while the rich get richer most Americans don't feel they are sharing in the growth in our economy. The stock market may be climbing and the unemployment remains relatively low, but 7 in 10 Americans believe the economy is getting worse -- the most negative reading in nearly six years.

Only one in three Americans rate the economy today as either excellent or good, while the percentage saying the economy is getting better fell from 28% to 23% in one month.

Oil and food prices are up. Even with the downturn in the housing market housing is much more expensive in inflation-adjusted terms in many parts of the country than it was 10 years ago. The influx of lower skilled immigrants has driven down wages at the lower end and lowered status versus the middle and upper classes.

Overall housing sales are down. But at the high end housing sales are still moderately brisk.

“The homes that are having a hard time selling are the average-priced homes,” said Vanessa Justice, a real estate agent with Pacific Union GMAC in the Bay Area, where the median house price is about $750,000. For upper-end homes, she said, “it’s actually pretty crazy right now.”

...

In the New York region, sales at the top end — that is, homes in the most expensive 5 percent of the market — have also been rising, while they have been falling in the middle and bottom of the market. The same is true in the San Jose, Calif.; Seattle; Denver; and Houston areas. In San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Miami, high-end sales are down but not by nearly as much as sales in other price segments.

Parking space prices are booming in Manhattan.

In Houston, $225,000 will buy a three-bedroom house with a game room, den, in-ground pool and hot tub.

In Manhattan, it will buy a parking space. No windows, no view. No walls.

While real estate in much of the country languishes, property in Manhattan continues to escalate in price, and that includes parking spaces. Some buyers do not even own cars, but grab the spaces as investments, renting them out to cover their costs.

The social and economic distance between the classes is widening while the amount of shared experiences is falling. This trend is not compatible with a republic of citizens equal before the law.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 July 12 10:15 PM  Economics Inequality


Comments
Wolf-Dog said at July 13, 2007 5:00 AM:

The current stratification in New York, is due to the fact that a lot of high IQ people have moved there, and this process is increasing. This is due to the fact that there is freedom in America, freedom to compete.

While the average income is increasing, the median income is declining. The upper 10 % own much more than 90 %, and the top 1 % is close to owning more than 50 % or more. By 2020, the top 1 % will own 75 %, and the top 10 % will own 95 % or more.

wolf-Dog said at July 13, 2007 5:52 AM:

I forgot to mention an important detail. As the separation between the upper and lower classes increases, there will almost certainly be some disgruntled subgroups who will betray the United States by helping rival ideologies to undermine the U.S., such as Islam, or emerging new superpowers abroad.

Mark said at July 13, 2007 5:41 PM:

"The social and economic distance between the classes is widening while the amount of shared experiences is falling. This trend is not compatible with a republic of citizens equal before the law."

If this keeps up, you can pretty much expect a new liberal revolution in this country.

I am not talking about a Bill Clinton school uniforms type liberal revolution, but a New Deal and War on Poverty type of liberal revolution.

m said at July 14, 2007 3:52 AM:

"will almost certainly be some disgruntled subgroups who will betray the United States by helping rival ideologies to undermine the U.S., such as Islam, or emerging new superpowers abroad."

Been happening for decades,ironically mostly among the most successful upper classes who have beniftted the most from our way of life.

Just as the loudest critics of capitalism tend to be among it's most succesful practitioners,hell,even the Chomster,ole Noamy his ownself,is a capitalist millionaire,so the loudest of our critics tend strongly to avoid isolate themselves from their own policies.

Even hispanic separatism and supremacism we see now was seeded in the 1950's by the Ford Foundation.
We are seeing the fruits of decades of policy.

Prepare for the reaping.

Rick Darby said at July 15, 2007 2:28 PM:

Some buyers do not even own cars, but grab the spaces as investments, renting them out to cover their costs.

Hedge funds will soon be springing up to invest in NYC parking spaces. They will be able to go long, short, or sell futures. New York is predicted to add another million to its population, as reported in USA Today recently, so this is surely a great opportunity to get in on the underground floor.

Prices can only go up. It really is different this time.

Kevin said at July 15, 2007 8:58 PM:

A "new liberal revolution in this country" would not be a "New Deal" or a "War on Poverty" scenario.

Much more certain would be increasingly stringent restrictions on political activities and speech that is critical of the politcal elites. You could also count on expanded government authority to sieze property "for the common good of all" coupled with sweetheart deals to "privatize" various government-controlled assets into the hands of well-connected corporate executives. Large increases in welfare payments to supportive minority groups would placate the more violent factions; these will be financed by confiscatory taxes on the "windfall profits" of business which don't go along with the new order of things. You would also see explicitly higher taxes on "the rich" - meaning everyone with an income above abject poverty.

You would also see major hidden tax increases on the middle class in the form of inflation and regulatory costs. The resulting decline in general living standards would inevitably be blamed on "greedy business leaders". Again, business leaders who don't go along with the government program would be the targets. Well-connected executives who support the government would be exempted from punitive rules.

In other words, the "new liberal revolution" would be fascism with a lot of progessive rhetoric for a smokescreen. The revolution would most definitely not be compatible with a republic where all citizens are subject to a uniform rule of law.

Of course this scenario presumes that things keep trending in the same direction as they currently are. It is useful to consider how this scenario could be derailed.

Kyle Wilson said at April 16, 2009 10:16 AM:

WHOAH..."The current stratification in New York, is due to the fact that a lot of high IQ people have moved there, and this process is increasing. This is due to the fact that there is freedom in America, freedom to compete"...this is obviously not true as they are getting a beating now for their corrupt practices....Higher IQs dont always go hand and hand with cheating and lying to earn more money. There are plenty of non-wealthy geniuses around who realize money isn't everything. The smart ones know that greed and money hungry is not equivalent to intelligence.


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