Monday, June 26, 2006

Housing cost are a big problem currently across the nation, perhaps in most of the industrialized world. I live in a state that is notorious for its low wages; this hasn't been a great problem until the last 5 to 10 years when housing costs have increased at a rate which is higher than wages. Essentially they don't match anymore and the disparity is to the point where many low to middle income families cannot afford a home.

Just by way of example my parents purchased a new home in a nice part of town in 1990 for around $115,000, at the time they thought the price was extremely high and were a bit concerned but they were doing fairly well and lived a comfortable middle income life. Just last year they were able to sell the home for well over $250,000. That is greater than 115% increase in just 15 years and it was really in the last 5 to 10 years when prices sky rocketed. This home they purchased was by no means a started home as it had an unfinished basement a guest bedroom with it's own bath a large kitchen/dining area, a living room and family room along with an office. Upstairs there was a rather large master bedroom with a large walk in closet and master bathroom, 3 fairly large kid bedrooms and a bathroom for the kids. In total bedrooms with 3 baths. Without any official empirical data, I've found that a 'starter' home today is at least $180,000 to $200,000. This price is rather high and my parents would not have chosen to buy a home at this price back in 1990 yet they made a significant amount of money combined. While today houses, just to start are this much, and yet wages haven't gone up a lot.

It is a very depressing world for me because I have two daughters and want to provide all I can for them and give them the stability of a home but I am forced into settling on small two bedroom apartments because it's all I can afford.

My Brother-in-Law is in real estate and he indicates that they main force driving prices up are all the immigrating families from California. They are able to sell their small homes in California for over $500,000 with a lot of equity and come here and purchase rather large homes for less than they could in Cali. This is rather problematic for locals who cannot match this and it makes it nigh impossible for young couples to buy a home. Something has to be done so that all can live the American dream, currently I cannot, I do not make enough to be able to buy a home and there is no indication that this will change within the next 5 years until I make a good amount more than I currently do, however then I will be up against housing prices that are even greater so my income probably still won't match.

If you bought a home 8 to 15 years ago well done, if not you're fairly screwed. I wish government would step in and help out those of us who are trying to make it work but cannot due to housing cost being too great. We waste too much money on other public welfare programs and keep helping out those individuals who do not work, well I pay my taxes and I think there should be incentive given to those of us who do work, but we keep picking up the tab for the indolent at the cost of the good honest workers who sincerely try to make ends meet.

Friday, June 16, 2006

"Failure is a temporary state that can only be made permanent by your decision to quit trying"

This quote came from an accounting professor name Bob Allen and when he showed it to us I was really inspired by it. It was one of those quotes that makes one think and I couldn't help but feel myself lifted up by it. Lately there have been many tough decisions in my life and a simple phrase like this has reminded me that all works out in the end so long as you don't give up.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Well this is my first blog attempt so here I go.

Recently there has been much debate on immigration, both legal and illegal, and I think there is some great confusion on the issue for those who are marching. The issue is trying to be made into something it isn't. The true issue comes down to a couple of key points.

1. Those that are coming over illegally do have some basic human rights but do not have any rights as citizens of the U.S. simply because they are not citizens. I work in the health care industry and my team is responsible for those who do not have insurance. Non-Citizens can qualify for some state funded 'insurance' known as Emergency Medicaid. ER Caid does not allow them to have clinic or scheduled visits; however it will pay for them to give birth. From a hospital perspective this is great otherwise we would have to eat each and every illegal immigrant's delivery bill as they are seldom, if ever, paid for. As a taxpayer, however, this infuriates me. To think that I am helping to pay for somebody who is not even a citizen and is likely not paying any taxes themselves.

2. Another key point of frustration is the language barrier. Simply put this is America and we speak English. If you come here it is to be American ergo you should speak English regardless of the difficulty associated with it. I have spent time in Brazil where I learned to speak Portuguese, there wasn't anybody offering an interpreter for me if I couldn't speak it well enough. I find that audacity too much when they get upset because I do not speak Spanish.

3. The reluctance to integrate is astonishing. To be fair there are many who have but a large percentage of Hispanic immigrants show an utter lack of desire for assimilation. If you come to America you should be American in all aspects. You share our dream and our goals; you speak our language and adhere to our customs. You can keep your cultural flair but you are not Mexican or Peruvian or anything else you are simply American. Teddy Roosevelt had a great quote on this, found here. These are my feelings and I don't think it is too much to ask. My Grandfather and his family immigrated from Germany to America. He was told by his parents that "Walt, we don't speak German, we are Americans and we will speak English". They did just that, at the end of his life my Grandpa spoke less than 100 words in German, why? Because his parents taught him that to be an American is to be an American. So stop waving your Mexican flag at these rallies because remember it's American where you want to stay otherwise go back.

4. I really believe that Mexico has a great potential to become a world power but has to over come the mass corruption in government. It is not an oppressive dictatorship, but it is corrupt. I realize that many live in abject poverty and want a better life for themselves but fleeing isn't always the best solution. Ideally they would have 10 million Mexican's more than they have now that are trying to fight for more rights and to end corruption. Imagine if instead of wasting energy on border crossings the bulk of the populous stood up and united demanded more rights. The government would change and there would not be the overwhelming desire to come to America. Notice that we don't have a problem with Canada.

Finally, let it be known that I believe in immigration, it is a corner stone of our country but this recent wave is radically different than any other wave of immigration and the lack of assimilation is alarming. I am not racist, I have nothing against people of any race, creed or nationality and welcome all but under the legal terms prescribed.

A final note for future discussion is the hyphen names should go too. For example 'African-American' 'Mexican-American'