Lunch Traffic Lowest in Four Decades: Out for Lunch a Dying Tradition? Demise of the “Gourmet” Burger? — MishTalk

“I like Five Guys, but I can buy ground beef and one onion and get pretty close to the same burger for half the cost,” said Mr. Cockerline, who rarely goes to Five Guys anymore. “A hamburger, to me, is not a luxury,”

Brian Cockerline 20 years young Rutgers University student

Source: Lunch Traffic Lowest in Four Decades: Out for Lunch a Dying Tradition? Demise of the “Gourmet” Burger? | MishTalk

Clearly what we have is the End of Affluence.  When I was a kid going out to eat at a restaurant was the occasional treat.  Not many families could afford eating out more than once a week.  The family cooked and ate most of our meals at home.  I’ve lived in Oklahoma for a while now.  We have basic burger platters for around $10.  But when you add in drinks and tip the cost starts to add up.  Eat out five days a week and you’re incurring substantial expense.

I’m hardly surprised at the traffic numbers.  Despite government statistics the economy is anemic.  Today’s kids are graduating from college with massive debt and a job market that is unkind.

What’s next?  Car sharing?  Multiple roommates?  Tiny homes?

An Open Letter To Tiny House Hunters – terribleminds: chuck wendig

Source: An Open Letter To Tiny House Hunters « terribleminds: chuck wendig

“Which one did they pick?”

“You fell asleep again, didn’t you?”

This post is for all of the spouses out there subjected to the nightly ritual of watching some version of a house hunting show on HGTV.

Read. Laugh. Repeat.  (don’t skip the reader comments cuz they are priceless).

The Housing Trilemma | Oregon Office of Economic Analysis

Every city wants to have a strong local economy, high quality of life and housing affordability for its residents. Unfortunately these three dimensions represent the Housing Trilemma.  A city can achieve success on two but not all three at the same time.

Source: The Housing Trilemma | Oregon Office of Economic Analysis

Check out the graphic above courtesy of the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis.  I may have been biased about life in the middle but never had the facts to back up my opinions.  But after reading this article I now have facts.  This analysis demonstrates a city can have success on two fronts, but rarely on all three.

I started life in New York and grew up in New Jersey.  A sizeable amount of time was also spent in Dallas.  For over a decade I’ve held the belief that my family could not replicate our lifestyle and quality of life anywhere else in the country.  Well, I admit to being wrong.  We could probably do as well in Cincinnati, Omaha, or Des Moines.

If you can stand the weather, OKC is not a bad place to live in.

HT – Calculated Risk.

US Income and Wealth Inequality Facts – FT Alphaville and naked capitalism

Public opinion surveys consistently show pessimistic views of the economy for the broad mass of people. Growing numbers believe the Great Recession led to a permanent change in the economy, which is probably something less than true – with few exceptions, these wage and income trends have been consistent since the late 1970s. But the other questions in this Rutgers poll appear right on the mark. Almost eight in ten Americans knew somebody laid off between 2008-2012. For leading indicators like low unemployment, affordable higher education, and job and retirement security, the majority of Americans think they will never see positive progress for many years. Just 16 percent of respondents thought job and career opportunities would be better for the next generation, a figure nearly four times lower than from 1999.And we can chalk this up to the wisdom of crowds, because the public happens to be right. It is harder to get a job out of college. It is harder to avoid the trap of underemployment. It is harder to prosper in the career you want. It is harder to save amid stagnant wages. It is harder to grow as an economy when the gains flow to the top. It is harder to secure enough reserves for a dignified retirement.

via Fed Survey of Consumer Finances Shows Americans Understand Their Lousy Economic Condition | naked capitalism.

Facts are facts and these are the facts.

The charts are ugly.  But they tell us what we already know.

US income and wealth inequality facts of the day | FT Alphaville.

The Federal Reserve has just released its Survey of Consumer Finances for the year 2013.

These surveys occur every three years, so this is the first comprehensive update we have gotten about the distribution of income and wealth in the US since the economy hit bottom four years ago.

The most striking finding is that the median American family earned 5 per cent less in 2013 than in 2010 after inflation even though the average American family took home 4 per cent more.