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America’s Insatiable Demand For More Expensive Cars, Larger Homes And Bigger Debts

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McMansionOne of the things that this era of American history will be known for is conspicuous consumption.  Even though many of us won’t admit it, the truth is that almost all of us want a nice vehicle and a large home.  They say that “everything is bigger in Texas”, but the same could be said for the entire nation as a whole.  As you will see below, the size of the average new home has just hit a brand new record high and so has the size of the average auto loan.  In the endless quest to achieve “the American Dream”, Americans are racking up bigger debts than ever before.  Unfortunately, our paychecks are not keeping up and the middle class in the United States is steadily shrinking.  The disparity between the lifestyle that society tells us that we ought to have and the size of our actual financial resources continues to grow.  This is leading to a tremendous amount of frustration among those that can’t afford to buy expensive cars and large homes.

I remember the days when paying for a car over four years seemed like a massive commitment.  But now nearly a quarter of all auto loans in the U.S. are extended out for six or seven years, and those loans have gotten larger than ever

In the latest sign Americans are increasingly comfortable taking on more debt, auto buyers borrowed a record amount in the first quarter with the average monthly payment climbing to an all-time high of $474.

Not only that, buyers also continued to spread payments out over a longer period of time, with 24.8 percent of auto loans now coming with payment terms between six and seven years according to a new report from Experian Automotive.

That’s the highest percentage of 6 and 7-year loans Experian has ever recorded in a quarter.

Didn’t the last financial crisis teach us about the dangers of being overextended?

During the first quarter 0f 2014, the size of the average auto loan soared to an all-time record $27,612.

But if you go back just five years ago it was just $24,174.

And because we are taking out such large auto loans that are extended out over such a long period of time, we are now holding on to our vehicles much longer.

According to CNBC, Americans now keep their vehicles for an average of six years and one month.

Ten years ago, it was just four years and two months.

My how things have changed.

And consumer credit as a whole has also reached a brand new all-time record high in the United States.

Consumer credit includes auto loans, but it doesn’t include things like mortgages.  The following is how Investopedia defines consumer credit…

Consumer credit is basically the amount of credit used by consumers to purchase non-investment goods or services that are consumed and whose value depreciates quickly. This includes automobiles, recreational vehicles (RVs), education, boat and trailer loans but excludes debts taken out to purchase real estate or margin on investment accounts.

As you can see from the chart below, Americans were reducing their exposure to consumer credit for a little while after the last financial crisis struck, but now it is rapidly rising again at essentially the same trajectory as before…

Consumer Credit 2014

Have we learned nothing?

Meanwhile, America also seems to continue to have an insatiable demand for even larger homes.

According to Zero Hedge, the size of the average new home in the United States has just hit another brand new record high…

There was a small ray of hope just after the Lehman collapse that one of the most deplorable characteristics of US society – the relentless urge to build massive McMansions (funding questions aside) – was fading. Alas, as the Census Bureau today confirmed, that normalization in the innate desire for bigger, bigger, bigger not only did not go away but is now back with a bang.

According to just released data, both the median and average size of a new single-family home built in 2013 hit new all time highs of 2,384 and 2,598 square feet respectively.

And while it is known that in absolute number terms the total number of new home sales is still a fraction of what it was before the crisis, the one strata of new home sales which appears to not only not have been impacted but is openly flourishing once more, are the same McMansions which cater to the New Normal uberwealthy (which incidentally are the same as the Old Normal uberwealthy, only wealthier) and which for many symbolize America’s unbridled greed for mega housing no matter the cost.

There is certainly nothing wrong with having a large home.

But if people are overextending themselves financially, that is when it becomes a major problem.

Just remember what happened back in 2007.

And just like prior to the last financial crisis, Americans are treating their homes like piggy banks once again.  Home equity lines of credit are up 8 percent over the past 12 months, and homeowners are increasingly being encouraged to put their homes at risk to fund their excessive lifestyles.

But there has been one big change that we have seen since the last financial crisis.

Lending standards have gotten a lot tougher, and many younger adults find that they are not able to buy homes even though they would really like to.  Stifled by absolutely suffocating levels of student loan debt, many of these young adults are putting off purchasing a home indefinitely.  The following is an excerpt from a recent CNN article about this phenomenon…

The Millennial generation is great at many things: texting, social media, selfies. But buying a home? Not so much.

Just 36% of Americans under the age of 35 own a home, according to the Census Bureau. That’s down from 42% in 2007 and the lowest level since 1982, when the agency began tracking homeownership by age.

It’s not all their fault. Millennials want to buy homes — 90% prefer owning over renting, according to a recent survey from Fannie Mae.

But student loan debt, tight lending standards and stiff competition have made it next to impossible for many of these younger Americans to make the leap.

This is one of the primary reasons why homeownership in America is declining.

A lot of young adults would love to buy a home, but they are already financially crippled from the very start of their adult lives by student loan debt.  In fact, the total amount of student loan debt is now up to approximately 1.1 trillion dollars.  That is even more than the total amount of credit card debt in this country.

We live in a debt-based system which is incredibly fragile.

We experienced this firsthand during the last financial crisis.

But we just can’t help ourselves.

We have always got to have more, and society teaches us that if we don’t have enough money to pay for it that we should just go into even more debt.

Unfortunately, just as so many individuals and families have found out in recent years, eventually a day of reckoning arrives.

And a day of reckoning is coming for the nation as a whole at some point as well.

You can count on that.

  • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

    Do you all see this kind of conspicuous consumption where you live?

    Michael

    • Kim

      Some of the biggest, most spectacular homes I’ve ever seen weren’t in Beverely Hills or Malibu or on the eastside shore of Lake Washington or Mercer Island but in simple, little Yakima Washington, the city where my relatives live. Man, there are some castles out there. Who are buying these mansions and what do they do for a living?

      I just bought a highly cute pair of Tory Burch black leather sandals. Yep, when it comes to shoes, I’m a middle class conspicuous consumer myself.

      • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

        I would never have thought of a wealthy enclave being in Yakima.

        Michael

        • Kim

          me either. I guess u have to see it to believe it.

      • K2

        Maybe some realestate companies built them and is waiting to sell them to some some s****rs.

      • Hammerstrike

        “Who are buying these mansions and what do they do for a living?”

        Looters “investing” their federal reserve casino money.

        • Kim

          yep, I totally agree. these aren’t ordinary McMansions. these aren’t even extra nice McMansions- they are compounds. and there are a lot of them.

    • Ian

      Yeah. I live on Oahu. I helped build a $8 million dollar house for the guy who created pixar. On the beach. Solid copper roof. One couple. 8 bedrooms and bathrooms. The roof will probably last five years with the amount of salt air blowing on it. $50,000 of copper. While I struggle to pay $1,800 a month rent. Cost of “paradise.” Born and raised in hawaii.

      • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

        I couldn’t even imagine living in such a place.

        Who will they hire to clean all of those bathrooms?

        Michael

        • Ian

          Looks like it was too much. Just googled it. It’s up for sale. 123 Kailuana Lp. Asking $20 million.

          • K2

            8 million house is being sold by him for 20 millions. Maybe that was the purpose of the solid copper roof.

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        “Solid copper roof”
        What for? Is it aesthetic or functional in some way?

        • Ian

          Both. But the salt air from the ocean still “rusts” it. Waste of money. IMHO

    • Jodi

      Yes, there is a neighborhood down the street from us that came to a halt in 2008. Only about 5 homes were built, the rest of the lots were empty til about last summer. Now, most of the lots are full. Those homes range from $500,00 to $800,000 about 2500 to 3000 sq ft. I’m not sure what kind of jobs those people have but I know I can’t afford that.j

      • Rebecca

        Anyone who pays that much money for a 2500 sq ft house is a moron.

        • Mondobeyondo

          Not necessarily. Do you know how expensive real estate is in San Francisco? Or New York City?

        • Priszilla

          Anybody who buys a 2500sqft house is a moron, unless his kids make a football team.

          America has a population growth comparable with the third world.

          • jaxon64

            Actually this is 100% inaccurate.
            White Americans are having only 1.2 children per 2 adults.
            Black Americans just 1.5 children per 2 adults.
            Studies have shown that for a society to continue to proliferate and remain healthy that at least 2.1 to 2.5 children for 2 adults is ideal.
            In an odd way, all of the masses of immigrants ( legal and illegal) are the only thing slowing the decline in our society here in the states.
            I sometimes wonder if the politicos are not aware of this trend when they think about immigration policy. How else will there even be a hypothetical chance of funding all of the pensions, social security and Medicare recipients if there are more retirees than progeny? Maybe the politicos ( and I’m probably giving them too much credit) understand that there needs to be worker drones to tax if they are gonna pay all of those SSI, medicare and govt pensions for the next 25 to 40 years as the boomers slide into retirement and live into their 80’s+.

          • Priszilla

            Well, white Americans are as native to America as black Americans.

            So, not counting black slaves, anybody going to America went and goes there for a better life, regardless of where he was coming from and when he was immigrating.

            Basically all whites were illegal immigrants once.

            Go to www cia gov and compare the population numbers of the USA of the last ten years. Quite interesting.

          • Mincing Rascal

            Nobody is native to America. But Europeans built and created the United States so they should be able to decide whether or not they want massive, incompatible immigrants flooding their country. Seems like ALL Americans don’t want any more illegals, yet nobody listens. Hmm…interesting.

          • Priszilla

            It’s like ownership. If all own the country, nobody is taking care of it. People still haven’t learned to care for their property. Air, water, environment, this planet.

        • Jodi

          Rebecca,
          I did fail to mention that there are a couple 4,000 sq ft homes in the same area. Yes, you’re right! Morons.

      • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

        It is true. Who in the world can afford an $800,000 home?

        Michael

        • Jodi

          I don’t exactly live in the most expensive area of town. I think the return of the McMansions are back.

    • Rodster

      I rent an apt 3 blocks from the beach. It’s not uncommon to see a new home being built that is just too huge for a family of 10.

      Across the street from my apt a home was built (guessing about 5 to 6,000 sq ft) about 2.5 yrs ago that’s worth a couple million. Well the house within a year was put up for sale as the couple got a divorce.

      So far it’s still unsold.

    • Marco Danetti

      Hi Michael,

      First of all let me tell you I’ve been reading your articles for many years now, yet for some reason I never took the time to comment. Maybe it’s because your write mostly about what’s happening in the US, so as I don’t live there I usually don’t really feel like it would be legitimate for me to give my opinion on what’s happening there.

      However, this time I feel the need to jump in. I live in Geneva, Switzerland, and my guess is that if we have one reputation outside our borders, it’s to be a rich country. I certainly wouldn’t be fool enough to deny it, especially considering that I was lucky enough to have a wealthy father, so I gew up in a really big house, I was offered my own car (although a small one, Daihatsu) as soon as I turned 18, I spent so many holidays in extraordinary places… so, really not much to complain here.

      Over the years though, I came to realize that a country like mine can have very perverse effects on people. There are so many millionnaires (billionnaires?) in this country that you really see wealth everywhere. Someone driving a Porsche will almost make you go like “awwww poor guy, are you out of job?”. I’m (hardly) exxagerating. But what about the impact on people who would be considered poor, even by non-Swiss standards, yet who live here?

      The amount of frustration one feels when living in a small appartment, having to go anywhere with public transporation because buying a car is too expensive, etc. etc., yet seeing SO MANY people around with ridiculously huge houses, a swimming pool, a tennis court and 3 Ferraris parked in front of the garage… it’s really something quite terrible that can turn very decent people into really, really angry ones. The big trend around here now is to blame it on foreigners. You know, the usual “they took our joooobs” thing, and it’s really sad.

      I myself have trouble dealing with all of this because since I left my dad’s house, I made some very poor choices at some point in my life and I’m now down to this place where I live in a small appartment, don’t have a car, and am now struggling to save enough money to buy my girlfriend an engagement ring. Yet I know I only have myself to blame for it so I try to remain positive and work things out.

      So to make it short (sorry if I went a bit off-topic), yes, I do see this insane luxury consumption everyhwere, everyday, and even if people don’t live on debt as it seems to be so much the case in the US, I don’t think it is a sustainable situation. Excessive materialism takes our focus away from what really matters. As the saying goes, “Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only
      after the last river has been poisoned. Only after the last fish has
      been caught. Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.”

      Regards,

      Marco

      • K2

        Given the current economic situation you are in, is it wise to get engaged? Dont mind me saying this, i felt bad reading your post.

        Getting married and having kids takes a lot of money. TONS.

        ”Marriage is the biggest expense in life.”

        • Mondobeyondo

          Engaged? Sure!
          Married? Of course!
          Kids… ummm…
          it costs ~ $200,000 to raise a child from birth to age 18.
          2 children…$400,000
          Quintuplets? $1,000,000
          You can figure out the rest.
          And I didn’t even mention college and university tuition!!

          I want kids… someday…

          • Guest

            I wonder if the cost at 200,000 to raise a kid is the same garbage stat as the typical stat for a cost of a wedding? Sure if you buy your kids all new things and go crazy you could be looking at that figure. I think people are starting to figure out that getting 2nd or 3rd hand things is perfectly fine. Much like it’s ok to have a wedding under $10,000 vs the outrageous average if I think it’s around $60,000

          • Sandbagger

            I agree it’s a garbage stat. Think about it. How can so many people have kids if it is really that expensive. You don’t see only the uber-rich with kids.

            Before DH and I had our son, we talked with a friend who had four kids and another on the way. He worked with my husband making less, and his wife stayed home. When we brought up that stat, he just laughed and said no way is it that much.

            Don’t let the materialists fool you into thinking kids need the best of the best. They just need you.

          • K2

            If not the best of the best…atleast a better life than us.

          • Hammerstrike

            But I want to give that 60 000 ring, I want that 100 000 marriage ceremony, I want my children to live well, aka have a very expensive consumerist lifestyle just like I did, become spoiled, dependent and sheltered from the world.
            Once that done, they would get a 50 000 -250 000 loan from so they can have a good education at former Diversity Joycamp University, then move out of my expensive home and buy their own expensive homes.

            Why you people insist that debt is bad? I can spend, that is all I care about.

          • K2

            Yeah lets assume his spending habits are unsustainable, without even knowing what his spending habits are.

          • Hammerstrike

            2.bp.blogspot. c om /-5S_ncFYDOfY/U2UP71iT3RI/AAAAAAAAIGw/Vd9w0ddJW-g/s1600/socialist+math. p ng

          • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

            You are going to scare people off from having kids Mondo. :)

            Michael

          • Mondobeyondo

            LOL.. I hope not!

          • Marco Danetti

            Haha thanks for the morning laugh! I don’t know if getting married now is the best move, but I know it’s what we want (plus, I do hope to get some help from my dad to pay for the whole organization). As for kids, it’s a totally different story indeed and we’ll think about it very carefully before deciding to expand the family :-)

          • Texas Mama

            Marco, I would suggest getting married if you are sure she will stick by your side through thick and thin. My husband and I have been married for almost 19 years. Our wedding, including rings cost less than $1000. We stood before a judge and then went to work that night. We also paid for it ourselves. There is something about paying your way in life that gives you satisfaction. If your woman is the person willing to respect you and encourage you to be the man you know you can be then get married. NOW. It is easier to get through tough times when the is someone who has your back.

          • Mondobeyondo

            Perhaps so. Guess I’ve been paying too much attention to the Kim Kardashian/ Kanye West wedding….

          • K2

            Add inflation to that. And the cost of housing them again after their college, until they find a job. And their wedding expenses.

      • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

        Marco:

        Great comment, and I love hearing from people all over the world.

        I have never been to Switzerland, but I hear that it is absolutely beautiful. I would love to go someday.

        And you are right – it is one of the most affluent areas of Europe by a good margin. But of course not everyone is doing well.

        We all go through tough moments in life. But when you get knocked down, the key is to get back up and keep fighting.

        And Marco I hope that you will comment more often on this site and on my news website as well…

        http://themostimportantnews.com/

        Michael

        • Marco Danetti

          It is indeed an incredibly beautiful country, especially as soon as you leave the cities and get lost in the mountains, the forests and this amazing nature we have all around. I hope you’ll get the chance to visit someday. Thanks for taking the time to reply, I might get more involved here in the future indeed :-)

      • jaxon64

        Congrats on your engagement Marco..I hope that you and your fiance have a wonderful, happy and healthy life for long years together.
        My wife and I both had our financial situations improve drastically after marriage. You get to share the cost of housing but don’t need extra rooms in the house or a bigger place…one car can work for a while….cooking at home more when you have a family instead of eating out, –dating is expensive—yet settling down to evening meals and a movie on the couch is a lot cheaper.
        Also, when one works a bit extra, then the other can get a finished degree or training in a job that is in demand–then that person finishes school and starts working at a better paying job and the other spouse takes their turn at improving education and job qualifications.
        Best of luck, love each other and cling toward eachother during the rough spots…God Bless you.

    • gwanaambi

      Not here in Pensacola, but I work nationally; mostly in Houston. There it is evident. Here in FL, not so much…

    • squashpants

      Good day, Michael. We are living in a small farming/college town in Minnesota, and, actually, I do not see any obvious over-consumption here. You are more likely to see a Prius than a Mercedes on the roads here. The people who live here seem to be quite a practical lot. Perhaps it is that Viking stock. But the town is well administrated, and potholes and public utilities failures are short-lived indeed. Although we are talking a more or less liberal administration locally, they apparently, nevertheless, know what they are doing.

      • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

        I actually have quite a few relatives up in Minnesota. And I had grandparents that lived in Litchfield before they passed away. Have you ever heard of it?

        Michael

        • squashpants

          I think I have, Michael, but we haven’t been here for more than 2 years, and have not traveled the state. We’re in Northfield. Minnesota beats the hell out of (Houston,) Texas for climate livability, believe it or not, even with the winters.

    • DJohn1

      I see the worship of money everywhere. Not just bigger consumption. It even effects the churches we go to. Ministers are not immune from a desire for a better lifestyle.
      The thing is we are taught by someone these values. It is usually someone close to you.
      I am not immune. Neither is anyone else.
      We all start out in life (if not rich) with a desire to earn enough money to be independent of our parents. I, on the other hand, read the Bible. The Bible says we live with our parents until we marry. So at 26, fresh from the Air Force and four years service, went home and lived with my parents. I gave them rent. They gave me their wisdom. My first car was a little sports car used(1600 miles) and it served me for 3 years. My mother stayed home to raise the family, and she was a good cook.
      When I did marry I sold it for more than I had in it. I moved to a modest apartment. Within a year I had my first house. My second car was a new Volkswagen Station wagon.
      The worship of money is too ingrained in this society. That is the real trouble with our economy.

      • Mondobeyondo

        Some ministers are among the worst of the worst when it comes to that.
        Especially the ones who name their ministries after themselves, Like, oh…. hmmm. Benny Hinn, Oral Roberts, and many others.

        Do you even realize what they’re doing when they do that?
        It’s GOD’S ministry, not yours!!

      • Hammerstrike

        100% right!

  • DJohn1

    The idea is to die in debt and broke.
    At the end of World War II, mortgage loans were 5 years. And people paid those homes off and were rent free. The taxes on real estate put us all in debt. The insurance is also monthly equity payments in a loan.
    They used to have mortgage burning parties.
    Wages were low. Or were they? When I was in Hong Kong years ago, we had a standing joke on the currency exchange which could vary as much as $2 Hong Kong a day!
    That was Before Nixon. Nixon wisely took us off the gold standard. We were head over hills in debt for the Vietnam conflict to the tune of BN(Before NIxon) dollars amounting to 400 billion dollars. The dollar devalued from $35 an ounce to well over $600 per ounce of gold on the open market.
    400 billion dollars paid off in devalued dollars worth $600 an ounce chilled things down considerably and the bankers took a huge hit from financing the war. Someone took a hit.
    BN dollars meant a car cost about $3,000. Within a year or two, the same car cost $7,000.
    BN I bought a new brick house on a va loan with $50 down(A week’s salary) and payments of $129 a month. The house cost $13,900 total.
    AN(After Nixon) the same house within 3 years was running close to $20,000. In the next decade the prices continued to inflate. So the salary I made in 1968, has become $500 to purchase the same thing.
    It stopped when another Republican (Reagan) took office and raised interest rates to near 20%. A near depression and deflation occurred at that time. But it was too late. Inflation tore into every savings account and every salary in the country with a huge reduced value.
    This is not the first time homes lost value. Nor will it be the last. There are commodities that dictate the value of money. Real Estate is one of them. Gasoline is another.
    Gold was the standard for everything.
    Savings does not work anymore.
    Too many ways to lose everything.

    • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

      Society encourages us to get in debt and stay in debt.

      And those that do that end up working their entire lives to make others very wealthy.

      Michael

  • DJohn1

    What it means is there is no way to win with a currency that is worth less day by day. So people live on the brink of bankruptcy, buying what they cannot afford at today’s prices. Tomorrow can take care of itself is the attitude.
    Now if one gets sick, and that person is virtually bankrupt anyway, then they apply for Medicare and eventually Medicaid.
    If you visual wealth, they take that first.
    What is the result? People know. They know that the game has changed and there is no reason to work when it is all taken from you anyway in the end. Might as well enjoy life instead.

    • Whereveryougothereyouare

      Unfortunately, I have gradually come to the same conclusion over the past 40 years or so. I watched my hard-working uber-responsible father slowly die of the anxiety and stress of worrying about providing for everybody while some who depended on him took him for granted, had ever-increasing expectations of him, and had not a care in the world. He’s dead and the sponges are still here…Not fair. I’ve seen a lot of cases like this in my life. My tendency is to be uber-responsible like him, but no more. Better to do what I am drawn to and enjoy and use my time as I see fit, letting the financial chips fall where they may…

      • quagmire

        exactly…with obamacare rates coming soon…the average person won’t be able to get healthcare anyways unless they spend all their money…mise well do what you want and let the rest play out. Unless you or your family has a rich constant stream of income…it’s going to be month to month for most folks I believe.

  • Lucy

    I read this site every day, but have yet to comment…..that said, my husband and I have 6 kids. They range in ages from 11-20 years. We share an 1800 SF home. My husband works retail management in a grocery chain, so our income is limited. In spite of that, our kids attend private Christian and Catholic schools school, thankfully due to generous financial aid. I have never had the heart or stomach for public school. When I read articles like this one, I am not sure how to feel. In order to keep the kids out of the public school system, I have to drive them 18 miles in one direction as busing has a 15 mile limit. So to do this, we had to buy a more fuel efficient vehicle which meant financing. We had to go for the 5 year finance in order to make the payment.
    I hated doing it for a USED vehicle, but we need something reliable, especially with the NE Winters. I feel sick about it, but I have to do what Is necessary to keep my kids heads on straight…..I am not even sure why I spilled all this except that I am nervous about everything lately….

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      “my husband and I have 6 kids. … We share an 1800 SF home. ”

      Good Night! You’ve got to have the patience of a saint.

      “I have to drive them 18 miles in one direction”
      Hey, you make it work any way you can. My boys go to the private school of choice really close to my work. To save on the gas money, they get up at 530 with me, get dressed, eat and come to the office with me. I go in and work for an hour while they continue sleeping in my truck, then I take them to school and go back to work. It’s a risk, but the city police station is right across the street, so I’m ok.

      Welcome aboard. Keep your chin up and ask all the questions you want, the majority of the peeps here are cool.

      • Priszilla

        The older kids will move out soon when they find a job and their own family, and you can move to a smaller and cheaper accommodation.

        Cleaning 180sqm must be a nightmare.
        On the other hand, you have 7 helpers at home.

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          you replied to the wrong person. I dunno if you wanna re-post it specifically to her so she sees it. :)

        • Hammerstrike

          Rather than buy homes and contribute to the housing scam, they should bu what they need to face the crisis.

      • Texas Mama

        “my husband and I have 6 kids. … We share an 1800 SF home. ”

        We have 6 children as well. We live in 1100 sq feet which I’m thankful for. It’s tight but so is our family. You learn to get along when you are always around someone. Their beds are their sanctuary though. No one is allowed to bother them there. We home school as well. Good education for a fraction of the cost. God has blessed us greatly.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Oh dear. You don’t live in a home, you live in a sardine can.That has to be Misery (yes, capital M on purpose.)

      It will get better. Place your faith on to God, not on to men.
      Proverbs 3:5-6

      • steven

        lol u tell pl it will get better.Tell then to believe in God…We know it is the end times and nothing is going to get better FFS.

        • Mondobeyondo

          It WILL get better.
          Yes, it’s the end times.

          You can’t have a rainbow without the rain…and a hard rain’s about to fall.

      • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

        Nice verses. :)

        Michael

    • jox

      In Spain (and in in general in Europe I think) it’s very usual to live in a flat of about 800ft2 with 2-3 children, and we are happy with it. 1300ft2 is a luxury.

    • Pam Davis Conklin

      We should all be nervous. I was in your shoes and when the crash happened in2008 I had to leave my home, move closer to family, and live in a 1400 sf home with my brother and 4 kids. 3 of my kids share a room. I have cut out cable, gone to 1 cell phone, and have seriously cut back. I lost my financed car, we went bankrupt… You need to start prepping financially and if you are paycheck to paycheck you might want to rethink your situation. I have lost everything but have learned that it’s just stuff and as long as I have my family nothing else matters

    • marie

      Have you considered homeschooling Lucy? It is less stress than paying for private school, driving, and wear and tear on your vehicle. I’m retired from h.s.ing but did it for 20+ years. Every educational option has pros and cons but overall I’m glad we h.s.ed. I’m not sure why people think 1800 sq ft is small. My parents raised 11 kids on half that sq. footage. My husband and I love the tiny house movement and we are considering downsizing to 550 sq. feet. and we still have a son at home.

    • Daystrom2012

      I’d rather have a small home with my family than a large house where everyone has all the latest gadgets and is tucked away in their own little corner not speaking to one another. We have a small home,home school our children and love the Lord with all of our hearts. We have two high mileage cars that run and are paid for and have food on the table. We don’t need more than that.

    • krinks

      The American Public School System produces the most ignorant and uneducated students in the developed world with the highest self esteem. They are more concerned with indoctrinating them into hating God through evolution and social engineering (its great to be gay, murdering your children is a viable choice, don’ listen to your parents listen to us etc.). Don’t give up the fight.

      • Guest

        What public school system are you speaking of. I loved my public schooling and have grown successful and self-reliant. Then again I also had parents that were good role models and taught me the value of things. Maybe public school elsewhere is different. But it’s the private schools around where I am that are full of drugs and kids who have no work ethic or drive in life.

      • Gay Veteran

        bilge. teaching evolution is science, not an attack on religion since even many Christians also believe in evolution.
        its great to be gay? more like gays are people too, sorry if that upsets you

        • krinks

          Science is “knowledge gained through observation”. No one has ever observed life coming about through random chance processes. Hence Evolution isn’t scientific. It is scientific though to accept that complexity is a sign of design.
          Homosexuality is a scourge (see Romans 1) that is the result of God removing his restraining hand from a society. See also the fact that the person who sees sin and says nothing is as guilty as the sinner.

          • Gay Veteran

            “…No one has ever observed life coming about through random chance processes….”

            Evolution is happening now as bacteria evolve to resist antibiotics.

            “…Homosexuality is a scourge (see Romans 1) that is the result of God removing his restraining hand from a society….”

            Polly want a cracker? Try THINKING for yourself instead of parroting bible verses like a parrot.

            sounds like you were born in the wrong century, you would have felt at home in the Dark Ages

          • jaxon64

            “Evolution is happening now as bacteria evolve to resist antibiotics.”
            That is adaptation or mutation–NOT evolution.

          • Guest

            Adaptation and mutation are part of the process of evolution

          • Gay Veteran

            gee, survival of the fittest, natural selection, evolution

          • Mincing Rascal

            So, what about the people who aren’t religious but think gays are gross and a detriment to society? Do they count as “thinking for themselves”? Or is it only thinking for yourself when you accept what the media and destroyers of society tell you to accept?

          • Gay Veteran

            they can think whatever they want, but everyone has liberty, no matter what bigots think

          • Mincing Rascal

            That’s right, they do have the liberty to do as they please, and people who disagree have the freedom to voice their objections. My issue is more with you thinking that just because someone doesn’t agree with the gay lifestyle, that they’re brainwashed or unable to think for themselves. Like the only possible outcome for intelligent and educated people is to support perversion.

            Only time will tell if gay “marriage” is a stabilizing, or detrimental, force in society.

          • Gay Veteran

            “…My issue is more with you thinking that just because someone doesn’t agree with the gay lifestyle, that they’re brainwashed or unable to think for themselves….”
            generally true, but obviously not for everyone

          • Mincing Rascal

            Well, I think it’s just useful to try and avoid generalizations about groups of people, especially when you wouldn’t like it being done to you. That’s all!

          • Gay Veteran

            no prob, but if the shoe fits……..

          • Gay Veteran

            “perversion”? on what basis

          • Hammerstrike

            No one have seen a woman made out of a flank bone either.

            Homosexuality is mererly a mistake of nature, like being born blind or with a siamese twin.

          • Gay Veteran

            mistake of nature? look into a mirror and peddle your garbage elsewhere

          • Hammerstrike

            U mad, bro?

          • Gay Veteran

            nope, and I ain’t your bro

          • scoubidou123

            Taking cues about the science process from a creationist is like expecting meaningful western philosophy lessons from an Al-Qaeda militant.

          • K2

            ‘through observation and experiment’ you lying piece of *******

          • krinks

            LOL. Don’t you have a dictionary?
            A fellow on TV said it best. Do you think the faces of Mount Rushmore were the result of random chance processes and time? Of course not, that would be silly. Isn’t it also silly to pretend those people that the faces represent was the result of random processes and time for the same reason?

          • K2

            Thats the dictionary definition! Do you have a dictionary?

          • scoubidou123

            Evolution is a process that takes place over a time scale that is larger than human generations, and yet the evidence for it is overwhelming. From the fossil record, the existence of transitional species, the homologies between species, the branching, tree-like structure of species confirmed by DNA, all of this can be observed, but you need a minimal willingness to look at what nature tells you. Things like ring species or vestigial organs make all the sense in the world in the theory of evolution, and none in the creation discarded hypothesis.

          • krinks

            The funny thing is that not a word of what you’ve said here is true.

          • scoubidou123

            You can look at pelves and femur bones in whales. In the context of mammals evolving to adapt to a marine life, they make sense. In the context of design, they don’t. It’s just one of myriad examples of OBSERVATIONAL SCIENCE backing up evolution. But hey, you can choose to close your eyes, cover your ears and go “lalala I can’t hear you”.

          • krinks

            You’ve never observed life coming into being from non-living matter. Neither has anyone else. Ultimately this is the base case for evolution. Hence anything derived from that which is impossible is silly.

            You can repeat that which they teach as proof of evolution but that doesn’t prove a thing. It only proves the effectiveness of group think. Anything you can come up can and has been refuted by Answers in Genesis or the Institute for Creation Research.

      • Mondobeyondo

        The public school system is a breeding ground for narcissism. The entire American society revolves around narcissism, IMHO.

        Do you remember “The Sound of Music”? And that song, “Do Re Mi Mi Mi Mi Mi Mi…”? Uh huh.

        Yes, I’m American.

        • Guest

          Is it really the school system or society in general? Last time I checked most of the politicians are products of private schools and their kids are in private schools so wouldn’t the private schools be full of narcissism??

          • Mondobeyondo

            It’s both.
            It starts with the school system – bullying and so forth.
            The current society just bears the fruits of this media obsessed culture.

            Why is Kim Kardashian famous? Did she paint the Mona Lisa? Did she invent a vaccine for polio? Come up with the theory of relativity? Nope. We all know why she’s famous.

          • Guest

            You must be a huge fan of hers. Bullying actually starts in the household. I would say even many Christians on here are guilty of bullying. Kids learn by example. And most of them mimic the behaviors if their parents and other ‘role models’. Look at people’s posts/comments everywhere on Facebook too. It’s not just kids it’s grown-ups and I know of many homeschooled folks who do just the same.

            Since you bring up bullying. What is it really? It’s a MSM term that basically shows not everyone is going to like you or agree with you or be your friend. I disagree with 99% of the stuff on this page so if I comment differently outside of the norm I will get bullied by some on here. People need to grow a backbone and learn that not everyone is going to be your friend in life. You don’t need a million followers or friends to be happy.

    • John

      May God continue to bless your family the world and the things in it are passing away your family is what will move on to eternity.
      I wish I could send my children to a Christian school at least they’d have a half chance to make it in this world.

    • CharlesH

      You and your husband are awesome parents. You’re doing what you have to do to make sure your children get a head in this life. Sometimes we all have to bite the bullet (so to speak) and just do what is right and that’s what you’re doing. Bravo! Continue to do what you’re doing and following your heart and you’ll be fine.

    • Sandbagger

      This popped into my mind when I read your post, Lucy.

      29″Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30″But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31″So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

      Matthew 10:29-31

    • quercus454

      That’s really not all that bad. My wife, I and three children lived in a house with less then 850 sq. ft. It was heated with wood. You make it work. Historically American homes were small and families were large. Only in the last 50 years has the trend reversed.
      Small homes have a lot of advantages. They are easier to clean, cost less to purchase and the utilities are less. Maintenance is also less. We lived in that first home for near 20 years.

    • Priszilla

      The older kids will move out soon when they find a job and their own family, and you can move to a smaller and cheaper accommodation.

      Cleaning 180sqm must be a nightmare.
      On the other hand, you have 7 helpers at home.

  • Rastus

    The brick on that house must have been done by some blind brickies!

  • GSOB

    Matthew 8:20

    • Guest

      Amen. That verse of Scripture alone is how I know all these prosperity preachers are wrong.

      • GSOB

        Amen.

        I posted Matthew 8:20…..because

        Jesus, whom is God the Son incarnate ….. , establishs His Uniqueness among men for the first time in this gospel.

        Not suggesting anyone copy Him.

        However, you do bring up this same type of a certain group of people that Paul warned and commanded about.

        Here’s your sword to address them….

        1 Timothy 6

        Christian slaves should work hard for their owners and respect them; never let it be said that Christ’s people are poor workers. Don’t let the name of God or his teaching be laughed at because of this.

        If their owner is a Christian, that is no excuse for slowing down; rather they should work all the harder because a brother in the faith is being helped by their efforts.

        Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage all to obey them.

        Some may deny these things, but they are the sound, wholesome teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ and are the foundation for a godly life.

        Anyone who says anything different is both proud and stupid.

        He is quibbling over the meaning of Christ’s words and stirring up arguments ending in jealousy and anger, which only lead to name-calling, accusations, and evil suspicions.

        These arguers—their minds warped by sin—don’t know how to tell the truth; to them the Good News is just a means of making money. Keep away from them.

        Do you want to be truly rich? You already are if you are happy and good. After all, we didn’t bring any money with us when we came into the world, and we can’t carry away a single penny when we die.

        So we should be well satisfied without money if we have enough food and clothing.

        But people who long to be rich soon begin to do all kinds of wrong things to get money, things that hurt them and make them evil-minded and finally send them to hell itself.

        For the love of money is the first step toward all kinds of sin.

        Some people have even turned away from God because of their love for it, and as a result have pierced themselves with many sorrows.

        O Timothy, you are God’s man. Run from all these evil things, and work instead at what is right and good, learning to trust him and love others and to be patient and gentle.

        Fight on for God. Hold tightly to the eternal life that God has given you and that you have confessed with such a ringing confession before many witnesses.

        I command you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a fearless testimony before Pontius Pilate, that you fulfill all he has told you to do so that no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ returns.

        For in due season Christ will be revealed from heaven by the blessed and only Almighty God, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone can never die, who lives in light so terrible that no human being can approach him. No mere man has ever seen him nor ever will. Unto him be honor and everlasting power and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

        Tell those who are rich not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone, but their pride and trust should be in the living God who always richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.

        Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give happily to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them.

        By doing this they will be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven—it is the only safe investment for eternity! And they will be living a fruitful Christian life down here as well.

        Oh, Timothy, don’t fail to do these things that God entrusted to you. Keep out of foolish arguments with those who boast of their “knowledge” and thus prove their lack of it.

        Some of these people have missed the most important thing in life—they don’t know God. May God’s mercy be upon you.

        Sincerely, Paul

  • JailBanksters

    Butt why does BIG mean they have to be But ugly.
    Some of them I’ve seen look like they were drawn using a Crayon. And using Brick Veneer, that’s classy.

    • Orange Jean

      Most are really just particle board shacks!
      Take a good look next time while they’re doing the construction if you don’t believe me.

      • JailBanksters

        I’m a Belieber
        I’ve seen the Destruction Videos. They really are made like a bad McDonalds Hamburger.

  • masmpg

    The world is finally realizing that we have live off their dime for too long eh?

  • Mondobeyondo

    “Citius, Altius, Fortius”… Faster, Higher, Stronger.
    The motto of the Olympic Games.

    Of course, that’s not good enough. .
    We need the biggest house, the fastest car, the cutest girlfriend/most handsome boyfriend…

  • Eric Quintero

    Around here in the north shore suburbs of Chicago McMansions sell almost immediately (1-2 Million for 2500-3500 sq ft) and the Tesla dealership cant seem to stay stocked.

    However, Non-McMansion homes have a difficult time selling and usually stay on the market for months. The western suburbs are slowly dying and construction has been stagnant out there since 2008.

    • Tim

      Your observation confirms that the middle class is dying.

    • Hammerstrike

      Those buying McMansions, do you think they contribute to society?

  • stingray

    i remember i bought brand new 1968 camaro ss 3,600 3 years 96 monthly payment

  • alan

    I guess its all relative. In Florida where my actual home is, our local Mc Mansions manufactured homes dealer use to sell big 4 bedroom places for over $50,000. But after 2009 they closed. I have not seen any new ones for sale anywhere. Trucks sell well there but mostly the new/used vehicles sell the best. The South is living the collapse right now. I was looking through Craigslist the other day where people are trading for things an asking for help with needing running cars for low income families. When I ever get home I will expand my garden and donate the extra stuff.

  • Angry Jesus

    Perpetual debt is the offspring of interest based credit. Interest based credit is the offspring fractional reserve banking. Fractional reserve banking is the monstrosity created by the moneychangers and is not only accepted, but lovingly embraced by the masses. They drink it as if it were the wine of Babylon. When the wine runs dry and the sobering begins, the horror will come into focus. And yes, I’m still angry.

  • Nicknakthetruthspeaker

    military coup in Thailand is a success.
    what do you wait you guys In USA?

  • K2

    I am guessing the people driving around in mercedes must have got very good deals on homeloans/autoloans and had money to spare for those kind of cars.

    It must be the opposite scenario with the second group of people.

    • jaxon64

      The cold hard reality is that most Washingtonians live this ridiculously luxurious lifestyle—-with YOUR MONEY !!
      I believe that 10 of the wealthiest 20 counties in the entire United States are within 50 miles of Washington DC…the money ( your money) flows here from around the country. Thousands and thousands of govt employees make 6 figures…lobbyists make 6 figures…many corportions have offices here just to be near the legislative and regulatory bodies that allow them to make billions.
      Fine dining restaurants, watch and jewelry stores, fine tailors and clothiers…they all make 6 figures servicing the uber-wealthy and the connected. Accountants and attorneys make mind boggling money here.
      In fact, I know of one “friend” who retired at 38. He has a waterside property with his own small marina down here on the bay….he made his money as a “tax commodities attorney”..that’s right, he got a nice percentage everytime he’d save someone like Kellogg’s a few million on the taxes they owed for the corn used in Corn Flakes….this is Washington DC and crony capitalism that exists in our oligarchy in a nut shell.

      • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

        It is true. The fatcats in D.C. are living the high life at our expense. Just check out this article…

        http://themostimportantnews.com/archives/for-the-first-time-ever-more-than-half-the-members-of-congress-are-millionaires

        Michael

      • K2

        Your coworkers are govt employees?

        • jaxon64

          of course not—my co-workers are people dedicated to serving others in health care at hospitals and skilled nursing centers.
          When I said, “we or us” I only referred to being a Washingtonian…thanks for asking for clarification.
          I wouldn’t want anyone to think I worked for the govt. ( although I do see more and more “Managed Care” paitients every year–which is what they are now refering many Medicaid pts as once they have a special case worker assigned.)

          • K2

            So they are driving in mercedes earned by dedicated to serving others?

    • none

      There are new loans that bundle mortgages with auto loans. he he.

      • K2

        Well then, this is another reason behind them doing those things.

  • K2

    As for why they are doing it….you know why.

    • Herbert Somle

      Ordinary Americans fail to realize that the official countdown to the
      demise of the US Dollar as the world’s reserve currency is already in
      motion right after the energy agreements between the Russian Federation and People’s Republic of China. People in the US will start feeling the effects of this unprecedented financial shift as soon as hyperinflation hits here.

      • K2

        I know.

      • none

        and the reason for needing new high fuel efficient cars bundles with their mortgages. (As stated by me above).

  • K2

    These are the reasons big homes are being built and people buying them

    1)With all other economic activities coming to a halt, banks and real estate companies backed by them are building huge houses cheaply( for them) and selling/renting them at hugely marked up prices. And giving loans with zero down for people to make them buy those houses at those prices. This is another way for banks to make more money.

    2) And people buy those houses so that they can live in a huge house….obviously…. and also in the hope that the value of the house will increase over time and get more than they spent on the mortgage.

    • K2

      3) And maybe some of them buy them in the hope to rent them out and pay their monthly interest using that.

      • Black

        No. They buy big houses and big cars with money that they don’t have to impress people that they don’t like so that they can feel better about their miserable lives

        • K2

          Yep this reason too. Infact i said the same thing through another comment of mine below…without actually using these words.

  • Black

    If aliens were to come down from another planet and watch 5 minutes of TV commercials they’d think that Americans drive around all day in leased cars eating garbage. This culture that we live in is so pathetic

    • gwanaambi

      Exactly….

  • Joe Kleinkamp

    “Green acres is the place for me.” Funny old TV show but a lot of stressed out city lawyers and investment bankers could take a cue from Eddie and Eva. Once you’ve made enough to say “I’ve had enough” sell the multi million dollar brownstone or downtown apartment and relax in the bucolic serenity of the Midwest. The bagels might not be as good but the cost of living is a fraction of what you’ll leave behind. Nice people too.

    • Sandbagger

      Hum…I wonder what would have been the Beverly Hillbillies’ attitude toward your statement. 😉

      Love both shows.

  • buttcrackofdoom

    looks like EVERYONE took this story at face value, with nobody questioning WHY home sizes are bigger. i’m a student of the housing bubble, and I found years ago that the media and NAR jigger the stats to make things LOOK better/bigger. now, I haven’t even looked into this yet, but I betcha those homes are bigger because ONLY more affluent people are building houses these days. and BECAUSE they have big money, they still want their bigger house. take where I live in the high-desert, so cal. there was an article in the local paper a few months ago that said NO SINGLE-FAMILY home had been built in Hesperia(roughly 90 thousand people) in OVER 3 YEARS! so now if someone builds a 3500 sq. ft. mcmansion, it’s the only house built, so the “average” sq. ft. house in Hesperia is now 3500sq ft. right there in Michael’s article it says younger people aren’t able to afford building a house anymore, so the point is proven right there in the article…question EVERYTHING when it comes to housing! when you read between the lines, the truth CAN be known. EVEYONE in America that’s considering buying/building a house should read patrickdotnet’s housing page on “why it’s a terrible time to buy an expensive house”…google it

  • Frugal

    I have been told more than one story of immigrants coming to the US, living in an apartment, living frugally, and in the end, buying a home for cash. I think it would be almost impossible today,

    My mother was determined that we should buy a house before we were married. My husband was a saver, but we only had half of the 10% down payment that they wanted. My mother said that if my in-laws gave 1/4 she would give 1/4 for the 10%. Surprisingly enough, they did. We paid them both back in one year for a 35,0000 home. The bungalow style home would not impress, but it was well built and functional. We purchased it one month before the wedding, at 21 and 23yrs.

    Within six years we had a home built, but again, we only purchased what we could afford and were not swept up with the 1980’s consumer fervor or envy.

    We have always lived a frugal life, usually below our means, and it has served us well.

    This has not been the case with my sibling and spouse. They were sucked into debt. It is a terrible task master.

    The real problem for us, is that once the economic ball drops, despite our careful planning and frugal life, we could still lose it all through excessive taxation and other economic measures, The “powers that be” has an insatiable appetite.

  • WannaBeArchitect

    I designed a modest 1100 sq ft home for a retired friend — one large master suite, large bath, greatroom with large kitchen, and an open sleeping loft for guests. She hired a custom builder to build it for her on some land she owned. That’s what she wanted– a small house but with some McMansion amenities.
    That builder ended up building 3 more copies of that same home. I should have copyrighted the plans.
    But your big home builders don’t want to build little homes. They want to build the McMansions that have a greater profit margin.

    • Priszilla

      What’s the energy consumption of your design? How many kWh per sqm and year for heating and warm water?

  • steven

    i dont understand how these numbers exist….are we really that bad still even 6 years since 2008?

    • RealityCheck

      I still laugh at all of those moronic home refinancing commercials that were prevalent during the real estate boom years. Ditech Funding, Countrywide Mortgage, just to name a few. I am not a homeowner. And at my age I never will be. But I am solvent.

      • Orange Jean

        Myself the same. For a while I felt bad I had not owned a home… but now I’m glad of it!

  • Scared Economist

    My wife is always commenting on how someone else’s home is so much bigger and better than ours.
    I think our 4500 sq ft custom designed ranch on 6 beautiful landscaped acres is already too much. It just drives me nuts the ENVY.
    One street near us has 10 fabulous homes built by Homebuilders as their residences during the boom years 2000 -2007. 5 of those homes have gone to foreclosure.
    As Warren Buffet has said, “When the tide goes out you find out who’s been swimming naked”.

    • K2

      Sit her down and talk it out. Her commenting will increase even more as time passes, if you dont make her see reason, soon.

      • Tom_F

        This is a great point, K2. Sometimes “the issue is not the real issue.” Hinting, or ‘talking around’ a subject (like envy or house horniness) is kind of passive-aggressive. My thought is if OP Scared Economist could sit and let her know that she is being heard, and what the implications would be to act on what his wife is implying, it would make both people feel better. It can’t feel good to have a partner imply that what he has provided is insufficient, especially when his house sounds like a great place!

    • RealityCheck

      Hmmm….I would just hint that if she does not like your home, you could probably find someone else that does without the constant nagging.

      • GSOB

        Hint… That’s a false allusion.

    • Priszilla

      Is she working?

      Get her a cleaning job so she can start putting value to money.

      My boyfriend went shopping when he didn’t work. New shoes, new jeans, new bags.

      Now he’s working I tell him, well, you know how long you need to work for that money (he is on minimum wage), so if you really need it, just buy it.
      He doesn’t.

      We have rented a 80sqm terraced house in the middle of england, in the cheapest street of the cheapest place we could find. Most people are immigrants, non-europeans.
      Which is good. No drunk British around, little screaming, no fighting. Everybody is busy working.

      • LIBERALMENSWALLOWSEMEN__

        England is a garbage country

      • Mincing Rascal

        Such disdain and dislike of your own people! No wonder your country is in the sorry state it’s in.

        • Priszilla

          I define my own people just differently. Family, friends, class mates, colleagues. They are coming from England, China, Germany, Poland, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Japan, and they live also in Australia, Canada, Switzerland and elsewhere.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Materialism x 10

    • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

      Great comment.

      And yes – when the next wave of the crisis comes millions more homeowners are going to find themselves “exposed”.

      Michael

    • Sandbagger

      If she’s a Christian, you may want to remind her of Mark 8:36

      “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?”

      (It’s a scripture that’s even better when read in the context intended.)

    • Hammerstrike

      You should be wary, envy can lead to terrible decisions.

  • gwanaambi

    Once again, this has more to do with geographical locale than anything. I live in Pensacola but work mostly around Houston, TX. The economy in Houston booms, while the area in Pensacola is tied to the military and seasonal employment; ergo…isn’t quite as robust and it shows in both home & car sales…

    • RealityCheck

      Cities tied to a military economy show an overabundance of rent to own centers, used car lots, dive bars, and strip clubs.

  • wally

    Porter Stansbury said on Alex Jones that 95% of all GM new car loans are sub-prime. That is a scary number.

    • gwanaambi

      Yikes….that’s another bailout waiting to happen…

    • Tom_F

      Porter Stansbury has been predicting some crazy financial armageddon for at least a decade. His ads involve watching a frightening video, and he predicts the exact year (updating the year, when it doesn’t come true). Stansbury does not have credibility, and the 95% figure is unverifiable.

  • Selaretus

    ‘Live simply that others may simply live’ is so far from most Americans I doubt it ever enters thier minds. After all the meaning of ‘success’ always means money, money, money or at least the appearance of having it.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Whether you live in a penthouse in Manhattan, or a cardboard box in an alley, just make sure it’s home.Love your spouse, and love your children. Do the best you can with what you’ve got.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve read “The Great Gatsby” (F. Scott Fitzgerald), but – the 1920’s seem eerily similar to the early 20-teens. Am I scared? Worried, not scared, just yet.

    We’re about to fall. It’s gonna be a hard fall. Better check what’s broken. Arm bones? Leg bones? Perhaps a heart?

    • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

      Very nice comment Mondo. I hope that you will comment on some of the stories on my news website as well…

      http://themostimportantnews.com/

      Michael

  • krinks

    I recall a conversation not that long ago with my furnace man who did a lot of work at a local expensive housing ($400k+) plan. He commented that most of these homes have very little inside. They spend so much money buying the homes that they couldn’t afford furnishings. Myself I call it the Rap Video Culture. Pretending you are something you are not to impress someone.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      When I was in the Corps, is was popular among the blacks to carry wads of cash in their pockets like they were rappers. Of course, most of them were a few 10s and 20s around a gigantic wad of 1s.

      • Gay Veteran

        “the blacks”

        nuff said

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          Sorry moron, I don’t do hyphenated America.
          Blacks. Mexicans. whites. Orientals, American Indians, homos.

          I’m sure you think you proved something, but back here in reality you’re still affected by syphilis.

          • Gay Veteran

            yeah, not like bigots say “the blacks”

            syphilis? you’re the poster child of tertiary syphilis.

        • LIBERALMENSWALLOWSEMEN__

          please continue your dream of fellating obama

          • Gay Veteran

            uh, no

            but you can continue your dream of fellating Rush

          • LIBERALMENSWALLOWSEMEN__

            ^bwahaha your mamma must be soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo proud

          • Gay Veteran

            just like the monkey is so proud of his son, you

      • Mondobeyondo

        Are you trying to play the race card?

        I’ve seen a lot of worms in my day. Sorry, this bass fish isn’t taking the bait.

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          umm, noooo? A good portion of the black guys I served with did that.
          They were being ostentatious with the bling for the ladies. Who cares, It means nothing outside of that.
          I used to work out hard with them so I’d be built. For the ladies. Who cares.

      • Orange Jean

        Actually, my father did that… and he was white. Don’t know why he did it though… guess it was some kind of left-over effect from having grown up during the Great Depression.

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          Don’t get me wrong, I believe in having a fat wad close at hand and I usually do. But I don’t carry it in my pockets and I shore as hell don’t show it to people.

      • lea

        A lot of people are guilty of wanting to look and act richer than they are. This goes across racial boundaries. For example, when the housing occured crisis back in 07′-08′ I witnessed plenty of foreclosures in upscale expensive housing communities.These houses cost $500,000-$700,000 and the neighborhoods were mostly white.

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          That’s true indeed

  • RealityCheck

    I can’t understand why my last post was deleted. Chicken s**t central.

    • Guest 2

      What was your post?

  • Priszilla

    Well, the American lifestyle is unsustainable.

    The average American uses 5 times as much energy as the average Chinese.

    But the Chinese are picking up speed.

    • LIBERALMENSWALLOWSEMEN__

      and the Chinese are garbage

    • stephenverchinski

      the average american consumes a calorie of food that was produced and transported and stored for him with seven calories of fossil fuel energy.

  • Priszilla

    When there is a typhoon in Hong Kong, people get off work early and go partying.

    No need to worry about home, it will still be there when they return to it after the typhoon hit.

  • Mondobeyondo

    A few observations:

    Browse through your Facebleech page. Count how many people post pictures of their pets. I’m beginning to believe people really do care more about their cats and dogs, than their fellow human beings,.

    Is the world falling apart? Nope. Not yet. BUT IT WILL.
    Get ready.

    I don’t care about Kim Kardashian or Kanye West. I’m not related to either of them. I wasn’t invited to their wedding. They don’t cook my dinner, or vacuum my carpet, or take out my trash, or pay my cell phone bill so I can post on sites like The Economic Collapse. No, I don’t care about them.

  • Jimbo

    I live in Perth Australia and we are in a massive property
    bubble. This is being fuelled mainly by the fly in fly out (FIFO) worker
    phenomenon. The state has a huge mining industry in the north with the main
    population centre 1000 miles away. Workers are recruited to fly to the mine and
    work 2 weeks of 12 hour days before flying back for a weeks rest.

    These guys earn $60 an hour minimum with many doing menial
    tasks such as cleaning etc. Minesite construction workers earn around $100 an
    hour. They have no expenses on site with all food and accommodation provided.

    They take out huge mortgages based on their high incomes and
    they live in massive homes with theatre rooms, games rooms, 4 or 5 bedrooms, 2
    bathrooms, spa and pool.

    There is a new suburb about 3 miles from me where huge
    houses with fishing boats in the driveway are the norm. Everyone drives around
    in top of the range 4WDs.

    Everything these people buy is on credit. I know the local
    Thermomix sales rep and she is making a fortune. She gets commission payments
    for the sales and a bonus if the client buys with a credit agreement. She goes
    into these peoples houses and the bling is incredible. TV screens that take up
    half the wall, leather furniture and state of the art kitchens. All paid for with credit on the assumption
    that they will earn $5000 a week for the next 25 years.

    The problem with all of this is that the mining industry is
    in transition. In the last ten years there has been a mining construction boom
    in this state but this is rapidly ending and the mines are coming on stream.

    The big mining companies are now churning out record amounts
    of ore and this is driving down ore prices. Profit margins are dropping and
    companies are looking at cost reduction. The big trucks that cart ore out of
    the mines are being automated and some sites have 100% driverless trucks being
    monitored from a control room 1000 miles away. The rest will soon follow.

    New recruits for service companies (cooks, cleaners etc) are
    being offered $35 an hour instead of the $60 paid before. Rosters are being
    extended to 3 weeks on site with 1 week of leave.

    A large number of the site workers are interstate migrants
    with many from New Zealand. When they lose their jobs, they will sell up and go
    home.

    I am so certain we are about to see a house price crash in
    Perth that I have just sold my house at a ridiculously high price. We are now
    renting and I have just yesterday converted some of my equity into more stable
    assets.

    I hope I am not wrong but I have been studying the local
    economy for a number of years and I believe that property has just peaked here
    and it has a long way to fall. Our median house price in Perth is currently a
    record $547k but average local wages are $50k.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      “This is being fuelled mainly by the fly in fly out (FIFO) worker”

      Does mining get special visa privileges from the govt or is the FIFO visa easy to get? I did some half-hearted research into going there a while back (I’m in IT) and it seemed almost impossible for foreigners to be able to come and stay there.

      • Jimbo

        Fly in fly out is from the city (Perth) to the North West. There is some interstate FIFO as well but that is reserved for senior engineers. There is no such thing as a fly in fly out visa.
        You can apply for a skilled visa to Australia but it is a complex issue and entry conditions are very strict.
        The time to come here was 7 or 8 years ago when things were really taking off. Now, unemployment is starting to creep up and wages are declining.

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          OH, In-country air commuters. My wife worked at an airlines in San Diego when we first got married and she’d tell me about the people that did that stuff. Some of them famous people.

          “Australia but it is a complex issue and entry conditions are very strict.”
          Ya, that’s what I remember.

          • Jimbo

            I came here in ’07 and it took two years to get a visa. It also cost a lot of money.

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            OOOFFFF!

    • moovova

      “…I have just sold my house at a ridiculously high price. We are now renting…”

      Wise move sir.

      I’m in the US, and trying to convince the wife to do the same thing, but she is resistant. My feeling is that we should sell the home and some other non-essential “money pits”…and be ready to run. We could easily rent a home here with no financial ties to it other than a modest deposit and monthly rent. I would much rather lose the rental deposit than the large amount of equity we have in our current home….should we have to quickly vacate.

      Keep living sensibly sir!

      • Jimbo

        My wife took some convincing to sell up. She has this idea that owning your own home is a guarantee of future financial security. However, I pointed out the simple fact that a house is not money until you sell it and convert it into money and if she considered the house as an investment, we should sell high. I read an article yesterday in the local paper that says that in 2001, the average pay to average house price ratio was 3:1 and is now 7:1.
        That tells me everything I need to know that the market is in a bubble.

        • stephenverchinski

          However the rentier class is buying and putting more homes into rentals and now housing rents are increasing nationally. In such a scenario you always lose unless your fixed costs are limited through reasonable ownership and in an area with low property taxes and insurance. It’s how many survived the great depression. That and urban or rural homesteading for additional food security.

    • AnnJo

      The same thing happened in Alaska a few decades ago during the early pipeline days – first there was an oil and pipeline construction boom, then there was a bust. In the early to mid-1980s, house prices dropped like rocks and banks were seeing such huge foreclosure losses they started suing borrowers for the deficiencies (what the borrowers owed over and above the price the bank could get on the house after foreclosure).
      You were wise to see the writing on the wall and get out while you could still make some money on your house. Tell the wife not to worry; if she still wants to buy a house in a few years, there will be plenty of options at half the price.

    • stephenverchinski

      My niece lives there and came in at the bottom of the boom so if a bust happens they still have equity and a roof over their heads.

  • Orange Jean

    Actually, it depends on where you live if a wood house or a concrete one would be better.

    If you live in earthquake territory – concrete would be a terrible choice because its much more likely to get damaged and when it does… much more apt to kill you if it collapses on you and your family. As compared to wood houses which naturally sway with the ground shaking and much less likely to get damaged.

    On the other hand, if you live where there is a high risk of fires or where hurricanes are common concrete might be the better choice.

  • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

    I used to live in the D.C. area as well. People out there are living well, but so many of them are in debt up to their eyeballs.

    Michael

    • StefanaRapsondeu

      my co-worker’s step-aunt makes $80 every hour on the
      computer . She has been without a job for ten months but last month her pay
      check was $13985 just working on the computer for a few hours. pop over to this
      website R­e­x­1­0­.­C­O­M­

      • DhannaReaderaci

        my buddy’s sister makes $87 every hour on the internet . She has been
        unemployed for 6 months but last month her payment was $19402 just working on
        the internet for a few hours. go right here M­o­n­e­y­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­

        • L3G4CY

          WTF remove that scam plz?

      • L3G4CY

        WTF remove that scam?

  • frank1569

    Between the rash of recent doom and gloom Climate Change reports and events, and death of the Middle Class, and the seemingly unstoppable rise of a lawless 1% global oligarchy, and the great bee die-off, and etc etc etc…

    Maybe more and more people are just, like, the heck with it – we’re clearly not gonna be around long enough to worry about paying our debt back, so let’s party while we can!

    Maybe they have a point.

    • quagmire

      that’s the way im looking at it

  • 2Gary2

    A coworker is going bankrupt Fri-chap 7 and walking away and screwing the credit card companies out of tens of thousands of dollars.

    Good for him-nothing wrong with a little do it yourself wealth redistribution.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      Congrats. You take pride in stupidity like no one else. Remember, mommy’s look is disappointment.

      • stephenverchinski

        If he took out a HELOC he will likely still lose in most states.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Life is not meant to be easy.
    Life is meant to be lived.

    Life is unfair, unsympathetic, nightmarish at times.
    There’s a reason why this is so.
    The Bible has the answers.
    Laugh all you want. It’s the truth.

    Just like the “Hans and Franz” Saturday Night Live skit goes – hear me now and believe me later.

    • stephenverchinski

      Which section? the old testament with the god that would kill everyone as a raging tyrant? The bible shows me how a narrative can justify just about any brutality. Now about that Jefferson bible and we can converse.

  • danbax

    instead of buying a house my wife and I are thinking to just get a roadtrek van or something similar. you can join a gym to take showers and you need the exercise anyway. a sleeping
    spot shouldn’t be too hard to find at night but if it was then just try to get a graveyard or swing shift job and you can sleep during the day and you’d be free to park and sleep anywhere

    • GSOB

      That’s no way to live with a woman.

  • Mondobeyondo

    It’s human nature not to learn from our mistakes.
    That is why history repeats itself.

    Life is not meant to be easy, Life is meant to be lived.
    Took me a long time to figure that out..

  • Hammerstrike

    Put simply, the Looters and Moochers are living the high life @ the Producers expense.

    They better enjoy it, it isn´t going to last for much longer, especially as far as London or Washington DC are concerned….

    youtube.c o m/ watch?v=7AMdHBgHtNE

  • Semiore Butts

    Debt is an ugly thing but the Jonses need not know about ours. It’s all about appearances.

  • RichieV

    I got a 7 year loan recently for a car. At 1.47% intrest the total intrest that i will pay over 7 years is just over $1000. And while I have never had a car payment before, and usually tend to pay off bills fast to avoid intrest. I dont see the point with this loan I rather use money for things like prepping or guns and ammo.

  • kbed

    Mike, the purchasing power of the dollar in 7 years will be much less than it is currently, I don’t see the issue with going into debt on a physical asset, particularly if you are like Richie who got a 1.47% interest rate.

    I’m not saying that you should pile on more and more debt but it seems like a damn good deal to me at 1.47%. Your thoughts?

    • Priszilla

      In 7 years you need to spend more of your income on operating costs, like food and fuel. Maybe you even lose your job and get a new one with lower pay.

      if you then can’t pay your mortgage, all the money you paid so far is lost in a foreclosure.

      Same as renting, but maybe renting is cheaper?

      • kbed

        I guess I’m a little bit more optimistic with what I can bring to the table for counted on income. Also, no mortgage as I am only a kid really, straight up renter!

        I feel like society will always have a need for skill trades. If they don’t, I guess I can always resort to metal scrapping.

        I’m coming from the school of thought that this paradigm is going to last a lot longer than many people think. People are stupid and will believe anything, keeping this damn machine alive.

        • Priszilla

          Yes, “society” will always have a need for cleaners, and still there are jobless cleaners everywhere.

          • kbed

            I don’t think you understand what a skilled trade is. And for that, I’m not even going to explain it.

          • Priszilla

            As a kid it is your privilege to know everything, better.

          • kbed

            I’m saying if you’re calling a cleaner a skilled trade, you might need to reevaluate your definition of a skill. Cleaning in general is not a skill. Cleaning a chimney is a skill, cleaning computer components is a skill, cleaning tap lines is a skill….cleaning your sheets, the floor, dusting – is not a skill, its a necessity. A necessity that everyone can preform.

            The skill I want to continue learning and preforming is combustible engines. A skill.

          • Priszilla

            A cleaner is just a job as a carpenter or surgeon.

            Even a surgeon needs a clean wound to operate on.

            And microchips are made in cleanrooms.

            Remove the street cleaners and garbage men from a city and you land in Detroit.

            What is preform?

            Do you mean perform?

            And what a skill is combustible engines?
            You want to design them, or repair them? Assemble them or deliver them?

            And regarding your performance – with engines you need to make sure that all cylinders fire in the right sequence.

          • kbed

            troll 101 – i didnt read your response. obviously cleaning and brain surgery are in the same category for you. clearly you are removed from the “new economy”. The one thing I agree with is there are plenty of out of work engineers, and that sucks.

          • Priszilla

            Who will pay the brain surgeon, when everybody else is jobless?

          • Priszilla

            Are you saying that engineers are not needed in America because there are unemployed engineers?

            That engineering is a skill not needed?

            How about carpentry? Gardening, farming?

            Replace “cleaner” with any job description you care about.

            Just because “society” needs a certain skill doesn’t mean people with that skill won’t go through hardships.

          • stephenverchinski

            They combust? I’m sorry to say that the ride with the engine the Internal combustion engine will eventually disappear as the change in the refining of the limited resources continue. Only saving grace is that fewer can afford to drive which may increase supply and drive down cost to the remaining exclusive drivers.

  • Mikestufs

    Thanks, America .We created a lot of works and You can not take it with you anyhow

  • Mudpie

    Nicely said.

  • John

    Michael, I hear a lot about young people being in debt over student loans. This is true and sad. however.. There are a lot of young Americans. probably more so, that will never get to college. They’re called the poor. There’s a lot more of them and I mean (MILLIONS MORE) than the college students. These people don’t even have 1/3rd the chance of owning a home. EVER.. The media never speaks of these people. They are the janitors, mechanics, dishwashers, house painters and clerks. They are the back bone of America. Wouldn’t you agree?

    • stephenverchinski

      They will be indebted servitude serfs with the marrow being sucked out of them by the rentier class.

  • Adrian

    That’s the capitalist mantra: your value stems from what you own, not what you do.

  • Mincing Rascal

    Yep, born and raised there and was so glad to get away from that constant “keep up with the Joneses” lifestyle. If you don’t mind, where are you? South or West of the DC area? I’m guessing VA, nobody wants to live in MD, lol.

  • Hammerstrike

    Thanx, do you have any links on that?

  • Alfred

    The difference tho is that far fewer are buying those bigger homes. Shows the split between haves and have nots.

  • captainorin

    I see a lot of comments about making $87 dollars per hour. Don’t fall for this folks it is a hoax. America has lived beyond its means for the last half century and the chickens have come home to roost. This would be an excellent time for everyone to learn to live within their means. I have experienced many currency crisis. I was living in Mexico and I went sailing to Guatemala from southern Mexico. When I left on a Saturday the dollar was worth 150 pesos to the dollar. When I arrived on the Guatemala Border the new exchange rate was 15 to the dollar. This was an attempt to control inflation. When I was living in New Zealand the government devalued my money by 10% on a Sunday against the dollar. That hurt. Then while touring Europe in 1970, Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard and I couldn’t get any money from home for two weeks. These are just speed bumps on the road to life. The big one is when the dollar takes a big hit and we have to turn them in for hundred to one or 50 to one or what ever the Federal Reserve says it will be. No more Greenbacks, but rather the new Bluebacks.or some other name. Never before in the history of the world has any people lived like we have. I’m sorry to say it is coming to an end.That’s why on your US currency it says “Trust in God”, as that’s all we have left.

  • GSOB

    Logical.
    But,
    explain what causes the other gender version of this practice.

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