Planning on Buying a House in Toronto? (don’t)

Check out the full article here for more scary details.

The average price for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) plunged 12.4% overall to C$767,818. This represents a drop of about C$110,000 in the average home price over the 12-month period.


Barcelona Grapples with its Housing Crisis

Even today, following months of political uncertainty in Catalonia, Spain is the second most attractive European country for real estate investment after Germany, according to the London-based real estate consultancy Knight Frank. For Spain’s central government this is a sign of success, and it has no intention of changing the law that helped fuel Spain’s rental bubble, in spite of all the damage it’s doing across cities like Madrid, Barcelona and San Sebastian.

The affordable housing problem is not limited to the US.

I’d usually recommend relocating to Oklahoma but…

Read these two articles here and here.

Barcelona Rental Market Is Out of Control

Rents up 50% since 2013, wages go nowhere, a third of residents earn less than €1,000/month.

The Great College Loan Swindle

America as a country has evolved in recent decades into a confederacy of widescale industrial scams. The biggest slices of our economic pie – sectors like health care, military production, banking, even commercial and residential real estate – have become crude income-redistribution schemes, often untethered from the market by subsidies or bailouts, with the richest companies benefiting from gamed or denuded regulatory systems that make profits almost as assured as taxes. Guaranteed-profit scams – that’s the last thing America makes with any level of consistent competence.

Going to college doesn’t guarantee a good job, far from it, but the data show that not going dooms most young people to an increasingly shallow pool of the very crappiest, lowest-paying jobs. There’s a lot of stick, but not much carrot, in the education game.

An interesting point of view and well worth reading.  Click here for the full Rolling Stone article.


Use Spare Older Workers to Overcome ‘Labour Shortages’ – naked capitalism

Rather than relying on mass immigration to fill phantom ‘labour shortages’ – in turn displacing both young and older workers alike – the more sensible policy option is to moderate immigration and instead better utilise the existing workforce as well as use automation to overcome any loss of workers as the population ages – as has been utilised in Japan.

Source: Use Spare Older Workers to Overcome ‘Labour Shortages’ | naked capitalism

The referenced article describes the situation in Australia but is a worthwhile read for those of us in the US.

“Spare older workers”.  I like that.

What Is CamperForce? – WIRED

Chuck and Barb found that they had a lot in common with their fellow workers, who came from all corners of the United States. Many had seen their retirement savings vanish in the stock market or had lost homes to foreclosure. Others had watched businesses go under or grappled with unemployment and ageism. A larger number had become full-time RVers or vandwellers because they could no longer afford traditional housing—what they called “sticks and bricks.” They talked about how Social Security wasn’t enough to cover the basic necessities and about the yoke of debt from every imaginable source: medical bills, maxed-out credit cards, even student loans.

Source: What Is CamperForce? Amazon’s Nomadic Retiree Army | WIRED

I was delighted and surprised when I found Nomadland by Jessica Bruder available for loan at my local library.  So I downloaded the book and have been reading stories of the forgotten victims of the 2008 financial crisis.  I feel lucky and blessed to be where I am at the present time.  Life for me could have turned out a lot like the people profiled in this book.