Author Topic: The Boomer "Crash?"  (Read 34030 times)

DrF

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Re: The Boomer "Crash?"
« Reply #50 on: April 26, 2016, 08:48:42 AM »
But... how much were those Rust Belt homes worth when they were abandoned? Had they gone through the HUGE price accumulation of the 90's and 2000's?

Many sites talk about inflation adjusted home prices, but the fact remains that worker's incomes have not increased as it relates to buying power in decades.


Many of the larger cities have seen home prices double or triple relative to household income. Follow the link and click on Price to Income tab.
http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2015/11/daily-chart-0

The trend line has stayed relatively stable for the entire US from 1980 to present day, but then you look at the percent of dual income households over time.


In order to keep the home price to household income trend relatively stable, more families have had to have dual incomes. With dual income families, there are additional expenses which reduce the amount of purchasing power the family has. That, coupled with the fact that home prices have exceeded inflation in many areas, may result in a scenario of falling home prices when boomers start selling their high priced homes.

mrpercentage

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Re: The Boomer "Crash?"
« Reply #51 on: April 26, 2016, 09:15:41 AM »
I think the diminishing middle class will weigh more than boomers. Lets look at some real facts. There is not much wealth outside of peoples houses. Those house prices are a bubble because wages have not increased to support those prices. The following two charts were pulled from this article http://seekingalpha.com/article/3967674-americas-middle-class-go
« Last Edit: April 26, 2016, 09:30:48 AM by mrpercentage »
absolute truth... prison guard that has seen shanks does not makes 45k a year managing bullshit tech that was outsourced for what?.... cheaper tech and less taxes... probably

arebelspy

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Re: The Boomer "Crash?"
« Reply #52 on: April 26, 2016, 10:50:21 AM »
worker's incomes have not increased as it relates to buying power in decades.

Workers are making the same, in real dollars, as always.

Some things have risen in real terms (college costs, medical costs), but many things have fallen in real dollars , especially staples (food, technology, gasoline).

Houses are more, yes, but are bigger.  When you look at them per square foot, they've trended with inflation, as have wages.  So they don't cost more, except in certain highly desirable areas.  They're cheaper in others (rust belt, for example).

Overall I think our purchasing power is better today than ever, despite the fact that it's the same in real dollars, due to deflation on many things.
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mrpercentage

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Re: The Boomer "Crash?"
« Reply #53 on: April 26, 2016, 11:53:16 AM »
worker's incomes have not increased as it relates to buying power in decades.

Workers are making the same, in real dollars, as always.

Some things have risen in real terms (college costs, medical costs), but many things have fallen in real dollars , especially staples (food, technology, gasoline).

Houses are more, yes, but are bigger.  When you look at them per square foot, they've trended with inflation, as have wages.  So they don't cost more, except in certain highly desirable areas.  They're cheaper in others (rust belt, for example).

Overall I think our purchasing power is better today than ever, despite the fact that it's the same in real dollars, due to deflation on many things.

If someone has not seen a pay increase in 10+ years and you account for inflation (lets say 2%), do you really think its the same if they make 20% less (inflation adjusted) and their biggest expenses have increased significantly--- housing (If you go back 10 years), medical insurance, cars-- plus additional (so called necessities) cellphone and internet? There are no pay increases to account for inflation at my work and havent been for over ten years. They used to have them and they took them away. If you want more money you have to promote. Meanwhile a mustang has gone from $18,000-- the one I owned in 2002 to $24,000 for a 2017. Internet has gone from $30 to $58 in that time. Don't even get me started with fast food. I remember $0.33 tacos at Taco Bell and the damn things are around a dollar now. I have become more efficient-- I eat out less, I buy less, and I save move. Savings come from that-- not pay increases. The upper end has certainly gotten theirs. They are out of the hole and the chart shows it.

I know its a bit of a loaded question. While my life overall has improved (its supposed to with age), the nations as a whole I think has gone down. Certainly there has been improvements with technology but Im talking specifically of wealth.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2016, 11:55:53 AM by mrpercentage »
absolute truth... prison guard that has seen shanks does not makes 45k a year managing bullshit tech that was outsourced for what?.... cheaper tech and less taxes... probably

arebelspy

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Re: The Boomer "Crash?"
« Reply #54 on: April 26, 2016, 12:16:41 PM »
Wages are flat in real dollars, not nominal.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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You can also read my forum "Journal."

mrpercentage

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Re: The Boomer "Crash?"
« Reply #55 on: April 26, 2016, 12:39:03 PM »
For what its worth-- Im still a bull not a doom sayer. I am not sure our problems can be regulated, but I think we will find our way through it. We have so far.

I think we need:

to stop bailing things out

break up what is too big to fail

take direct control of the money and kill inflation once we inflate to a level we can manage our debt load without default.

after controlling the debt load pin the dollar not to gold but to US population-- there is a reason to avoid war for you.

and

what we need now is investment by corporate and government in the lower and middle income workers. Government is just as bad at awarding administration as corporate is CEOs. Its a cultural problem that will destroy the nation by killing corporate earnings (they come from the masses) if it is not balanced. Give and it will be given unto you-- Jesus said that and the upper end has only been giving to themselves. I don't think we can regulate that. Corporate needs to get competitive with wages to take all the talent. Maybe someday they will learn that retaining employees is less expensive than training new ones that will lose them a few long term clients before they learn the lessons that make them proficient employees.

but

right now corporate seems distracted by fighting the minimum wage by introducing more automation and robots
absolute truth... prison guard that has seen shanks does not makes 45k a year managing bullshit tech that was outsourced for what?.... cheaper tech and less taxes... probably

DrF

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Re: The Boomer "Crash?"
« Reply #56 on: April 26, 2016, 12:46:43 PM »
worker's incomes have not increased as it relates to buying power in decades.
Houses are more, yes, but are bigger.  When you look at them per square foot, they've trended with inflation, as have wages.  So they don't cost more, except in certain highly desirable areas.  They're cheaper in others (rust belt, for example).

We're talking about average citizens though, who think they deserve that "bigger" house in the nice school district, and will leverage themselves to the hilt to get 2 "expensive" cars to park in the driveway of their new house. There's a reason the homes in the rust belt were abandoned, much like homes in Detroit got abandoned - Nobody wanted to live in those areas because they were run down, crime ridden, with no jobs, and depreciating home values. In contrast, I wonder what will happen when tens or hundreds of thousands of $600k - million dollar homes come on the market in a 10-20 year period when boomers die? I don't think that the kids or heirs are just going to let properties like that sit empty.

What I'm also talking about is the "Two-Income Trap". Here is an excerpt from a story in the New Yorker talking about Elizabeth Warren's book. What's happened is, more and more families started having two incomes, which drove up the price of goods and services because of supply and demand. So, now it takes 2 incomes to match the buying power of what 1 income used to before ~1970 or so.
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/04/21/the-warren-brief

"Warren believes that the two-income family has contributed to the bankruptcy rate. “For middle-class families, the most important part of the safety net for generations has been the stay-at-home mother,” Warren and her daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi, wrote in “The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke” (2003), a book aimed at a wider audience than Warren’s earlier, academic work. (“Mom, you are boring,” Tyagi told Warren. “Collaborating with my daughter is not for sissies,” Warren says.) It used to be that when a middle-class family was faced with a financial crisis the woman in the house could get a job, to tide things over, which is what happened when Warren’s father had a heart attack and her mother got a job at Sears. This cushion doesn’t exist in the two-income family, which, in its short history—it has its origins, as a middle-class phenomenon, in the nineteen-seventies—has also taken on a great deal more housing debt. The 1974 Equal Credit Opportunity Act required lenders to count a wife’s income when evaluating borrowers; the deregulation of the mortgage lending industry began in 1980. With two wage earners and low down payments, middle-class families took on bigger mortgages and contributed to an increase in the cost of housing, especially when families with children paid a premium for property in school districts with high test scores. Financial crisis, for a two-income family, usually means having to live, quite suddenly, on one income. In these straits, families with children tend to totter on the edge of ruin. “Having a child is now the single best predictor that a woman will end up in financial collapse,” Warren and Tyagi reported. Between 1981 and 2001, the number of women filing for bankruptcy rose more than six hundred per cent."
« Last Edit: April 26, 2016, 01:29:30 PM by DrFunk »

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Re: The Boomer "Crash?"
« Reply #57 on: April 26, 2016, 01:03:25 PM »
I was thinking the biggest point about the demographics was with SS. right now it has billions? in the fund but soon it will have to start drawing from the taxpayer pool. and since the average millennial cannot pay $2000 a month just in FICA taxes the USA will be about $3 trillion more in debt just from this event.

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Re: The Boomer "Crash?"
« Reply #58 on: April 26, 2016, 03:29:49 PM »
worker's incomes have not increased as it relates to buying power in decades.
Houses are more, yes, but are bigger.  When you look at them per square foot, they've trended with inflation, as have wages.  So they don't cost more, except in certain highly desirable areas.  They're cheaper in others (rust belt, for example).

The asset price of housing has increased overall in line with inflation but faster when you factor in square footages as Arebelspy suggests), also NEW homes have risen faster than re-sales as it the cost to get approvals from local authorities and satisfy various regulations has significantly increased in cost and time - of course its demand driven as without demand there is no new housing built.

However, the fact is that the real cost of housing has actually gone down due to declining interest rates as most have mortgages - see last chart in following link.  We don't buy houses like your parents or grandparents did.....we buy payments. 

http://www.corelogic.com/blog/authors/andrew-lepage/2016/01/typical-mortgage-payment-a-historical-comparison-of-the-monthly-payment-to-buy-a-home.aspx#.Vx_T6DL2YdU

We're talking about average citizens though, who think they deserve that "bigger" house in the nice school district, and will leverage themselves to the hilt to get 2 "expensive" cars to park in the driveway of their new house.

That has no bearing on this, people's irresponsibility typically self corrects over time.

There's a reason the homes in the rust belt were abandoned, much like homes in Detroit got abandoned - Nobody wanted to live in those areas because they were run down, crime ridden, with no jobs, and depreciating home values. In contrast, I wonder what will happen when tens or hundreds of thousands of $600k - million dollar homes come on the market in a 10-20 year period when boomers die? I don't think that the kids or heirs are just going to let properties like that sit empty.

You have it reversed or missing a key point....the primary employment sector was eviscerated and job losses were enormous.....which led to lost incomes, inability to afford housing, leaving the area to find better employment options (further lower demand).....which then led to lower prices, increase crime, and abandonment of homes.  Detroit and the like is the result of high dependence on concentrated

The value of houses is directly correlated to incomes, so if you have boomers that live in $600k homes its not by accident...it means that there are higher paying jobs in the area and likely little minions nipping at the heals of those boomers on the corporate ladder.  Will millenials want to move further out or in large homes as they mature and grow their incomes.....I am guessing yes.  There is already evidence to that effect.  Plus, while millennial household formation is trails prior generations by 5-7 years it is far more common that when they get there it is with two incomes that are further along in their careers so they can afford more and typically want more at this point....so I am with AREs in that the suburbs aren't dead. 

What I'm also talking about is the "Two-Income Trap". Here is an excerpt from a story in the New Yorker talking about Elizabeth Warren's book. What's happened is, more and more families started having two incomes, which drove up the price of goods and services because of supply and demand. So, now it takes 2 incomes to match the buying power of what 1 income used to before ~1970 or so.
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/04/21/the-warren-brief

"Warren believes that the two-income family has contributed to the bankruptcy rate. “For middle-class families, the most important part of the safety net for generations has been the stay-at-home mother,” Warren and her daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi, wrote in “The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke” (2003), a book aimed at a wider audience than Warren’s earlier, academic work. (“Mom, you are boring,” Tyagi told Warren. “Collaborating with my daughter is not for sissies,” Warren says.) It used to be that when a middle-class family was faced with a financial crisis the woman in the house could get a job, to tide things over, which is what happened when Warren’s father had a heart attack and her mother got a job at Sears. This cushion doesn’t exist in the two-income family, which, in its short history—it has its origins, as a middle-class phenomenon, in the nineteen-seventies—has also taken on a great deal more housing debt. The 1974 Equal Credit Opportunity Act required lenders to count a wife’s income when evaluating borrowers; the deregulation of the mortgage lending industry began in 1980. With two wage earners and low down payments, middle-class families took on bigger mortgages and contributed to an increase in the cost of housing, especially when families with children paid a premium for property in school districts with high test scores. Financial crisis, for a two-income family, usually means having to live, quite suddenly, on one income. In these straits, families with children tend to totter on the edge of ruin. “Having a child is now the single best predictor that a woman will end up in financial collapse,” Warren and Tyagi reported. Between 1981 and 2001, the number of women filing for bankruptcy rose more than six hundred per cent."

Cause and effect may be conflated....two incomes households are not new in the last have century, sure the compostion has shifted but its not a complete game changer.....in the 1960's married households with two-earners accounted for about 47% and more recently its 66%.  This ignores the single population....so not the real issue. The democratization of debt of all kinds is the real issue that was further aided by declining interest rates over the last 30 years. 

Then notion that a primary breadwinner loses the job and the wife goes to work at Sears to cover the household is nonsense....no way in the world that that is safer play than two relatively equal earners losing one of their jobs as they can typically find ways to trim expenses in the meantime. 

Warren is an academic but she is a complete moron when it comes to reality and finance in general.

Metric Mouse

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Re: The Boomer "Crash?"
« Reply #59 on: April 27, 2016, 03:42:05 AM »
That has no bearing on this, people's irresponsibility typically self corrects over time.


I love it! Well said.
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tooqk4u22

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Re: The Boomer "Crash?"
« Reply #60 on: April 27, 2016, 02:38:13 PM »
There is a huge shift from the 'burbs toward city living.

That's mostly a misnomer.  Millennials don't live in cities any more than their parents did, at the same age. It's just that they're young, and haven't hit the "move to the suburbs phase."

And if you argue they won't, consider this: the average millennial ALREADY lives in the suburbs, not the city.


https://finance.yahoo.com/news/millennials-like-zuckerberg-will-save-america-171058572.html#

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Re: The Boomer "Crash?"
« Reply #61 on: April 27, 2016, 05:32:46 PM »
There is a huge shift from the 'burbs toward city living.

That's mostly a misnomer.  Millennials don't live in cities any more than their parents did, at the same age. It's just that they're young, and haven't hit the "move to the suburbs phase."

And if you argue they won't, consider this: the average millennial ALREADY lives in the suburbs, not the city.


https://finance.yahoo.com/news/millennials-like-zuckerberg-will-save-america-171058572.html#


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Hondo

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Re: The Boomer "Crash?"
« Reply #62 on: April 28, 2016, 02:20:25 PM »
"There is a huge shift from the 'burbs toward city living."

This was a core belief for me from approximately 2000 to 2009. I owned a home in the center of a major city on the east coast and didn't need a personal automobile.

However, if you look at what is happening with automotive technologies and transportation alternatives, you may conclude, as I have, that everything is about to change. In fact, MMM's recent blog post about Tesla speaks to this.

Apple is in talks with Daimler Benz. Uber has disrupted the taxi industry. Google has self-driving cars, and enabling technologies such as mapping. Tesla has demonstrated that the legacy petroleum industry likely won't have a major role in personal transportation in the future. And Ford Motor Company has begun to transition itself into a "mobility solutions provider" rather than a manufacturer and seller of personal automobiles.

Personal automobile ownership won't be necessary in 20 years. Driver's licenses won't be necessary in 20 years. This means that suburban living won't be as isolating or as costly as it is now. In fact, it may be more convenient to live in the 'burbs. Besides, Amazon will deliver your purchases via drone.

Don't believe me? Re-read MMM's recent post. He sees it coming.
 

Metric Mouse

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Re: The Boomer "Crash?"
« Reply #63 on: April 28, 2016, 02:37:21 PM »
"There is a huge shift from the 'burbs toward city living."

This was a core belief for me from approximately 2000 to 2009. I owned a home in the center of a major city on the east coast and didn't need a personal automobile.

However, if you look at what is happening with automotive technologies and transportation alternatives, you may conclude, as I have, that everything is about to change. In fact, MMM's recent blog post about Tesla speaks to this.

Apple is in talks with Daimler Benz. Uber has disrupted the taxi industry. Google has self-driving cars, and enabling technologies such as mapping. Tesla has demonstrated that the legacy petroleum industry likely won't have a major role in personal transportation in the future. And Ford Motor Company has begun to transition itself into a "mobility solutions provider" rather than a manufacturer and seller of personal automobiles.

Personal automobile ownership won't be necessary in 20 years. Driver's licenses won't be necessary in 20 years. This means that suburban living won't be as isolating or as costly as it is now. In fact, it may be more convenient to live in the 'burbs. Besides, Amazon will deliver your purchases via drone.

Don't believe me? Re-read MMM's recent post. He sees it coming.

Imagine what we'll be telling our kids then! I'll hopefully have some that are just reaching driving age at that time...
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dougules

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Re: The Boomer "Crash?"
« Reply #64 on: May 03, 2016, 10:56:39 AM »
"There is a huge shift from the 'burbs toward city living."

This was a core belief for me from approximately 2000 to 2009. I owned a home in the center of a major city on the east coast and didn't need a personal automobile.

However, if you look at what is happening with automotive technologies and transportation alternatives, you may conclude, as I have, that everything is about to change. In fact, MMM's recent blog post about Tesla speaks to this.

Apple is in talks with Daimler Benz. Uber has disrupted the taxi industry. Google has self-driving cars, and enabling technologies such as mapping. Tesla has demonstrated that the legacy petroleum industry likely won't have a major role in personal transportation in the future. And Ford Motor Company has begun to transition itself into a "mobility solutions provider" rather than a manufacturer and seller of personal automobiles.

Personal automobile ownership won't be necessary in 20 years. Driver's licenses won't be necessary in 20 years. This means that suburban living won't be as isolating or as costly as it is now. In fact, it may be more convenient to live in the 'burbs. Besides, Amazon will deliver your purchases via drone.

Don't believe me? Re-read MMM's recent post. He sees it coming.

Self-driving electric cars still don't change the comparison between transportation that gives you exercise vs transportation that needs enough energy to move a ton of steel while you sit on your ass.   And car-centric development still puts farmland and wild areas under asphalt and chemically enhanced monoculture lawns. 

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Re: The Boomer "Crash?"
« Reply #65 on: May 03, 2016, 11:42:54 AM »
"There is a huge shift from the 'burbs toward city living."

This was a core belief for me from approximately 2000 to 2009. I owned a home in the center of a major city on the east coast and didn't need a personal automobile.

However, if you look at what is happening with automotive technologies and transportation alternatives, you may conclude, as I have, that everything is about to change. In fact, MMM's recent blog post about Tesla speaks to this.

Apple is in talks with Daimler Benz. Uber has disrupted the taxi industry. Google has self-driving cars, and enabling technologies such as mapping. Tesla has demonstrated that the legacy petroleum industry likely won't have a major role in personal transportation in the future. And Ford Motor Company has begun to transition itself into a "mobility solutions provider" rather than a manufacturer and seller of personal automobiles.

Personal automobile ownership won't be necessary in 20 years. Driver's licenses won't be necessary in 20 years. This means that suburban living won't be as isolating or as costly as it is now. In fact, it may be more convenient to live in the 'burbs. Besides, Amazon will deliver your purchases via drone.

Don't believe me? Re-read MMM's recent post. He sees it coming.

Self-driving electric cars still don't change the comparison between transportation that gives you exercise vs transportation that needs enough energy to move a ton of steel while you sit on your ass.   And car-centric development still puts farmland and wild areas under asphalt and chemically enhanced monoculture lawns.
You seem to have shifted the conversation from "where technological and economic forces appear to be moving us" to "what is best for the greater good".
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dougules

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Re: The Boomer "Crash?"
« Reply #66 on: May 04, 2016, 10:10:42 AM »
"There is a huge shift from the 'burbs toward city living."

This was a core belief for me from approximately 2000 to 2009. I owned a home in the center of a major city on the east coast and didn't need a personal automobile.

However, if you look at what is happening with automotive technologies and transportation alternatives, you may conclude, as I have, that everything is about to change. In fact, MMM's recent blog post about Tesla speaks to this.

Apple is in talks with Daimler Benz. Uber has disrupted the taxi industry. Google has self-driving cars, and enabling technologies such as mapping. Tesla has demonstrated that the legacy petroleum industry likely won't have a major role in personal transportation in the future. And Ford Motor Company has begun to transition itself into a "mobility solutions provider" rather than a manufacturer and seller of personal automobiles.

Personal automobile ownership won't be necessary in 20 years. Driver's licenses won't be necessary in 20 years. This means that suburban living won't be as isolating or as costly as it is now. In fact, it may be more convenient to live in the 'burbs. Besides, Amazon will deliver your purchases via drone.

Don't believe me? Re-read MMM's recent post. He sees it coming.

Self-driving electric cars still don't change the comparison between transportation that gives you exercise vs transportation that needs enough energy to move a ton of steel while you sit on your ass.   And car-centric development still puts farmland and wild areas under asphalt and chemically enhanced monoculture lawns.
You seem to have shifted the conversation from "where technological and economic forces appear to be moving us" to "what is best for the greater good".

Tangent of a tangent.

Metric Mouse

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Re: The Boomer "Crash?"
« Reply #67 on: May 04, 2016, 07:03:08 PM »
"There is a huge shift from the 'burbs toward city living."

This was a core belief for me from approximately 2000 to 2009. I owned a home in the center of a major city on the east coast and didn't need a personal automobile.

However, if you look at what is happening with automotive technologies and transportation alternatives, you may conclude, as I have, that everything is about to change. In fact, MMM's recent blog post about Tesla speaks to this.

Apple is in talks with Daimler Benz. Uber has disrupted the taxi industry. Google has self-driving cars, and enabling technologies such as mapping. Tesla has demonstrated that the legacy petroleum industry likely won't have a major role in personal transportation in the future. And Ford Motor Company has begun to transition itself into a "mobility solutions provider" rather than a manufacturer and seller of personal automobiles.

Personal automobile ownership won't be necessary in 20 years. Driver's licenses won't be necessary in 20 years. This means that suburban living won't be as isolating or as costly as it is now. In fact, it may be more convenient to live in the 'burbs. Besides, Amazon will deliver your purchases via drone.

Don't believe me? Re-read MMM's recent post. He sees it coming.

Self-driving electric cars still don't change the comparison between transportation that gives you exercise vs transportation that needs enough energy to move a ton of steel while you sit on your ass.   And car-centric development still puts farmland and wild areas under asphalt and chemically enhanced monoculture lawns.
You seem to have shifted the conversation from "where technological and economic forces appear to be moving us" to "what is best for the greater good".

Tangent of a tangent.

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dougules

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Re: The Boomer "Crash?"
« Reply #68 on: May 06, 2016, 11:05:02 AM »
"There is a huge shift from the 'burbs toward city living."

This was a core belief for me from approximately 2000 to 2009. I owned a home in the center of a major city on the east coast and didn't need a personal automobile.

However, if you look at what is happening with automotive technologies and transportation alternatives, you may conclude, as I have, that everything is about to change. In fact, MMM's recent blog post about Tesla speaks to this.

Apple is in talks with Daimler Benz. Uber has disrupted the taxi industry. Google has self-driving cars, and enabling technologies such as mapping. Tesla has demonstrated that the legacy petroleum industry likely won't have a major role in personal transportation in the future. And Ford Motor Company has begun to transition itself into a "mobility solutions provider" rather than a manufacturer and seller of personal automobiles.

Personal automobile ownership won't be necessary in 20 years. Driver's licenses won't be necessary in 20 years. This means that suburban living won't be as isolating or as costly as it is now. In fact, it may be more convenient to live in the 'burbs. Besides, Amazon will deliver your purchases via drone.

Don't believe me? Re-read MMM's recent post. He sees it coming.

Self-driving electric cars still don't change the comparison between transportation that gives you exercise vs transportation that needs enough energy to move a ton of steel while you sit on your ass.   And car-centric development still puts farmland and wild areas under asphalt and chemically enhanced monoculture lawns.
You seem to have shifted the conversation from "where technological and economic forces appear to be moving us" to "what is best for the greater good".

Tangent of a tangent.

Every time I hear that word I think "I wish I were your derivative..."

Math jokes.  It takes me back to high school. 

forummm

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Re: The Boomer "Crash?"
« Reply #69 on: May 06, 2016, 12:20:48 PM »
"There is a huge shift from the 'burbs toward city living."

This was a core belief for me from approximately 2000 to 2009. I owned a home in the center of a major city on the east coast and didn't need a personal automobile.

However, if you look at what is happening with automotive technologies and transportation alternatives, you may conclude, as I have, that everything is about to change. In fact, MMM's recent blog post about Tesla speaks to this.

Apple is in talks with Daimler Benz. Uber has disrupted the taxi industry. Google has self-driving cars, and enabling technologies such as mapping. Tesla has demonstrated that the legacy petroleum industry likely won't have a major role in personal transportation in the future. And Ford Motor Company has begun to transition itself into a "mobility solutions provider" rather than a manufacturer and seller of personal automobiles.

Personal automobile ownership won't be necessary in 20 years. Driver's licenses won't be necessary in 20 years. This means that suburban living won't be as isolating or as costly as it is now. In fact, it may be more convenient to live in the 'burbs. Besides, Amazon will deliver your purchases via drone.

Don't believe me? Re-read MMM's recent post. He sees it coming.

Self-driving electric cars still don't change the comparison between transportation that gives you exercise vs transportation that needs enough energy to move a ton of steel while you sit on your ass.   And car-centric development still puts farmland and wild areas under asphalt and chemically enhanced monoculture lawns.
You seem to have shifted the conversation from "where technological and economic forces appear to be moving us" to "what is best for the greater good".

Tangent of a tangent.

Every time I hear that word I think "I wish I were your derivative..."

Math jokes.  It takes me back to high school. 
I wish I were DNA helicase...