Lion of the Blogosphere

The positional good of living in a good neighborhood

An unknown commenter writes:

The “nice neighborhoods” with “good schools” are becoming prohibitively expensive for many people, and it’s only going to get worse.

As I’ve stated many times before (and I think Steve Sailer said it first), the worst part about being poor (in modern-day America) is that you are forced to live in the same neighborhood as other poor people, and send your kids to schools full of other poor kids.

Living in a good neighborhood is a positional good. Wikipedia defines a positional good:

Positional goods are goods valued only by how they are distributed among the population, not by how many goods there are in total. For example, getting a college degree is useful in the job market because it helps the new graduate, yet slightly worsens the situation for all others holding that degree as it increases competition from that graduate. That is, the total benefit from all instances of a positional good is zero-sum, neither increasing nor decreasing.

Our value-transference economy is based primarily on positional goods, but too many are still stuck in 19th century economic thinking. “Economic growth” and tax cuts are of no benefit to people who can’t afford to move to “good” neighborhoods, such things just increases everyone’s nominal wealth and the cost of the “good” neighborhood goes up proportionally and remains just as unaffordable as it was before.

* * *

In fact, I would say that the cost of desirable positional goods have been increasing faster than the rate of inflation and faster than the rate of growth of the median person’s income. This is a consequence of the top 1% (and other topmost percents) getting a larger share of the wealth, which they then use to buy up the best positional goods for not only themselves, but also for their children.

Republican tax cuts for the top 1% will only make things WORSE (except for those already in the top 1% or who have parents in the top 1% who give them financial support).

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 29, 2017 at EST am

Posted in Economics

100 Responses

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  1. Is there a definitive, in depth list of under class values vs. middle-class values? I’ve read that Paul Fussell book but I need something more modern and not so much a mention of top 1% values. My friend is dating someone who is from the lower class and the stories and topics she talks about while eating, are so inappropriate. And why are so many people low class it seems? Are we even a majority middle-class nation anymore?

    Ronald McDonald

    November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • You might see something that becomes a Yakov’s dream come true, where urban hipsters suddenly realized that pragmatic endeavors is what pays the rent and bills and not self actualization, given the high costs of living in places like Manhattan, and America’s capitalist system.

        JS

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • >>You might see something that becomes a Yakov’s dream come true, where urban hipsters suddenly realized that pragmatic endeavors is what pays the rent and bills and not self actualization

        Problem is there are only so many practical jobs to go around too. How many HVAC technicians, how many cement layers, how many carpenters, how many butchers and diesel mechanics, etc can any local economy support? The demand is not infinite.

        I was reading the memoirs of this Jewish Social Revolutionary (not Bolshevik) of the early 20th century. In her little town in Poland she said “everybody was a tailor”, problem was there just weren’t enough customers to go around supporting so many tailors. I could see the appeal of revolutionary movements in such circumstances. A better option was to leave the town and emigrate to America, which many of her brethren did. Where can we emigrate to today?

        Economic growth over the past 30 years was an illusion. The “growth” was entirely fueled by debt. The growing GDP figures match precisely the expansion of debt. (Yeah, I hear the argument that we have fast personal computers, and the internet and better televisions, etc.., but they are less important than people think at first grasp). The debt musical chairs game will end someday. What then. Meanwhile over the past 35 years we must have admitted 50 million immigrants who are doing those jobs that Yakov recommends.

        More than anybody, young people are screwed.

        Daniel

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • “Problem is there are only so many practical jobs to go around too. How many HVAC technicians, how many cement layers, how many carpenters, how many butchers and diesel mechanics, etc can any local economy support? The demand is not infinite.”

        And if the supply of HVAC technicians doubled, how much money they make would plummet and income-wise it would pay no more than crappy entry-level office work.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • “Where can we emigrate to today?”

        If only I could speak Polish, I’d go back to Poland. So many cute Polish girls!

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • How could a revolutionary movement solve the problem of having too many tailors? By killing off some of the tailors? But wouldn’t a lot of customers also be killed?

        Gozo

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • “Where can we immigrate today?”

        I work with someone who moved from New York City to a small city in Canada (pop. about 80,000). Her husband was Canadian so it was easy for her to immigrate. I think they came here mainly for the schools.

        Rosenmops

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • “If only I could speak Polish, I’d go back to Poland. So many cute Polish girls!”

        A Polish immigrant here. I don’t disagree with the cute part. The problem is that wages are still low over there. As a result, women often marry foreigners with the intention of emigrating. Once they do it, they tend to act like their western sisters (remember, with women, social proof is everything!)
        The alternative is to stay there and put up with low wages. Actually, there are professions (e.g. software engineering) where the pay is decent. So there is hope for you.

        The language is difficult but the people love it when a foreigner learns it (because it is so rare) and they will applaud even when you butcher the grammar.

        WRB

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • “urban hipsters suddenly realized that pragmatic endeavors is what pays the rent and bills and not self actualization”

        JS you redeemed months of banal comments with that one observation. Thanks.

        gothamette

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • I still have a hard time understanding the term self actualization in America, in a country where capitalism enforces a seige mentality on its citizens, and you either swim or sink. This isn’t conducive to self discovery.

        Furthermore, the anti-intellectual climate ensures proles are the people whom we say they are.

        JS

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • >>How could a revolutionary movement solve the problem of having too many tailors? By killing off some of the tailors? But wouldn’t a lot of customers also be killed?

        The vast majority of people attracted to the Russian revolutionary parties of the early 20th century had no inkling that Lenin/Stalin would turn into mass murderers on an unprecedented scale, and develop a state based on terror. If they had such an inkling, they would never have supported the left. Most were probably thinking of a social welfare state like Bismark’s, but with more of the income and control going to the common people. Lotsa smart people were hoodwinked by the Bolsheviks.

        Daniel

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • Daniel –

        “In her little town in Poland she said “everybody was a tailor”, problem was there just weren’t enough customers to go around supporting so many tailors.”

        Who grew food? Who make candles and shoes?

        njguy73

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • JS you redeemed months of banal comments with that one observation. Thanks.

        Hahaha I was thinking exactly the same thing, I was like, what happened to the autism?

        SJ, Esquire

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • >>If only I could speak Polish, I’d go back to Poland. So many cute Polish girls!

        Consider Chile, Uruguay or Argentina. Argentina seems hopeless with the political corruption and the obsession with Peron’s legacy, but it is first world, still wealthy. Has a mean IQ almost equal to the US. Lots of opportunity, for those who just ignore politics and get on with the business of working.. I hear that Chile and Uruguay are nice places too.

        Daniel

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • “If only I could speak Polish, I’d go back to Poland. So many cute Polish girls!”

        They love the Jews over there, Lion. It’s a wonderful choice.

        Yakov

        November 30, 2017 at EST am

      • ‘And if the supply of HVAC technicians doubled, how much money they make would plummet and income-wise it would pay no more than crappy entry-level office work.’

        I’m talking about here and now. What happens if this happens or that happens? Men will just sit and complain? No, I gotta do what Darwin says you gotta do to survive. The mate says you need like $700,000, I was saying $250,000 net, but I like his numbers. I think a Jewish guy can make it on $250,000, but a Gentile guy may need more to live like that mate (I forgot his face) wanted to. That was a good point that the mate made. Only the strongest will make it through though, many more will become extinct.

        Yakov

        November 30, 2017 at EST am

    • Well, back in the old days not using foul language in public would be tops on the list. I was in a small town diner with a bunch of friends on the way back to the city from somewhere quite rural, and among ourselves used the F word, a bit too loudly. We were asked to leave the diner.

      On another occasion, the driver of a car I was in exceeded the speed limit by 2MPH in a small town and was ticketed.

      gothamette

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • Back in the USSR they could put you in jail for up to 30 days for cursing in public places. You could have benefited from it, cat. That country had some excellent laws!

        Yakov

        November 30, 2017 at EST am

      • I can think of a lot of laws you could benefit from as well, Yak.

        gothamette

        November 30, 2017 at EST am

      • When I was in APEX NAMS used to call me Yak and Jewish nigger.

        What are some of those laws, incidently?

        Yakov

        November 30, 2017 at EST am

  2. I disagree. Experiencing low crime and having your kids be able to fulfill their academic potential aren’t purely positional.

    Magnavox

    November 29, 2017 at EST pm

    • Clearly, life-death situations aren’t positional in nature.

      JS

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

    • also, quieter streets (less shouting of all kinds, no street-preachers and store-doorway “we got it here!” yellers), fewer dangerous dogs (although the sour-grapes lesbians of Park Slope are trying to eliminate that last distinction)

      Garr

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

    • I have to agree with Magnavox here, Lion. I think you are taking positional a little too literally.

      Having a home in a low crime nabe is an absolute good. Perhaps having a home in a prestigious neighborhood is a positional good, but low crime isn’t.

      Economists have all sorts of screwball names for concepts like “superior goods” and “inferior goods.” BTW children are considered “inferior goods” to an economist because the richer you are, the less of them you have (i.e., “consume”).

      gothamette

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • “Having a home in a low crime nabe is an absolute good.”

        You are confusing positional good with useless good. Positional goods can bring many benefits to their owners. But living in a “good” neighborhood is a zero sum game, only so many people can live in a “good” neighborhood. Lower taxes aren’t going to create more “good” neighborhoods.

        This should not be confused with the proposition that we could make bad neighborhoods better with more effective law enforcement and better discipline of unruly kids at school while putting the smarter kids in separate classes, etc.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • LotB wrote:
        “But living in a “good” neighborhood is a zero sum game, only so many people can live in a “good” neighborhood. ”

        This depends on demographics. If virtually everyone is white, and crazy people are kept in asylums, as in the Vancouver I grew up in, I think almost all neighbourhoods and schools were OK. Some neighbourhoods were better than others, but none of the neighborhoods were dangerous (that I am aware of). None of the schools were “bad”. I don’t know what the situation is now–it has all gone crazy down there because of the Chinese and rich people from other countries buying everything up. I don’t think there is an honest way of making a lot of money in the corrupt countries these people come from. West Vancouver (where I used to live) was one of the “best” areas back in the day (though everywhere was safe). Now shady businessmen from China, Russia, Iran, India, etc have bought everything up.

        In my current town most neighbourhoods are ok. There are a few sketchy areas with crackheads and Indians (feather, not dot), but apart from that, house prices are not very different from one neighbourhood or school district to another. Areas with newer houses are maybe a bit more expensive, just because the houses are newer and have more bathrooms, etc.

        Rosenmops

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • The way the concept was introduced in The Darwin Economy is would you rather, all else being equal, live in a neighborhood with a certain amount of crime that was low for that society or a neighborhood with less crime in absolute terms but with more crime relative to the rest of its society. Crime is very weakly positional in that there is a very weak pull towards the former (remember all else is equal).

        Magnavox

        November 30, 2017 at EST am

      • Schools are more positional, because while there is a humanist desire to have your kids reach the most of their potential in absolute terms, there is also a strong desire to have them reach a certain level of status relative to others. So there is more of a pull towards that hypothetical neighborhood with worse schools in absolute terms but that is better relative to the rest of its society.

        Schools are an interesting example but it really raises the point that the society that produces a neighborhood that has schools that are worse in absolute terms but better relative to other neighborhoods is going to be a much worse society than the one with the neighborhood that has better schools absolutely but is worse relative to the rest, because the former society has shitty schools overall, which sort of stretches the the definition of all else being equal.

        Magnavox

        November 30, 2017 at EST am

      • “But living in a “good” neighborhood is a zero sum game, only so many people can live in a “good” neighborhood. Lower taxes aren’t going to create more “good” neighborhoods.”

        Putting aside whether Republican tax breaks are actually helpful (immig. should be priority no. 1), there is an argument that it’s not zero sum: if you could gather all the decent people of modest means currently living in shitty neighborhoods and consolidate them into a single, good neighborhood.

        That segregation used to occur based on income– when there were more low to mid-level opportunities for job performance differentiation. Since it’s now more binary, the formerly middling people are now economically indistinguishable from the poorest.

        Additionally, public housing used to be concentrated in certain areas. Now they give Section 8 vouchers and the violent poor spread out and intermingle in the same apartment complexes with normal folks.

        anon

        November 30, 2017 at EST am

      • “with less crime in absolute terms but with more crime relative to the rest of its society. ”

        That wd be my choice.

        Would I rather live in a low crime nabe in Brazil, or an a nabe in Denmark or Japan that has lowER crime than the nabe in Brazil, although higher crime than other nabes in Denmark or Japan?

        The latter. Denmark or Japan any day over Brazil.

        gothamette

        November 30, 2017 at EST pm

      • If only I could learn Japanese so I could move to a nice safe poor neighborhood in Japan…

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        November 30, 2017 at EST pm

      • You would never be Japanese. Better to learn Danish. You wouldn’t be Danish but you’d be closer.

        gothamette

        November 30, 2017 at EST pm

      • Denmark is full of SJWs letting in Muslim refugees.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        November 30, 2017 at EST pm

      • No, that’s Sweden. The Danish have responded by closing most of the taps to the immigration – not enough, but more than Sweden.

        gothamette

        November 30, 2017 at EST pm

      • Brazil obviously. Denmark and Japan are terribly restrictive and cold countries. Brazil and Portuguese are tons of fun. Warm, passionate chilled out people. Danes and Japs are very mechanical. Brazil is awesome.

        Yakov

        November 30, 2017 at EST pm

      • “Putting aside whether Republican tax breaks are actually helpful (immig. should be priority no. 1), there is an argument that it’s not zero sum: if you could gather all the decent people of modest means currently living in shitty neighborhoods and consolidate them into a single, good neighborhood.”

        But then the neighborhoods they leave behind are even worse. So a few people gain a lot but a lot of people lose a little and there is little or any net benefit. So it is approximately zero sum.

        James B. Shearer

        November 30, 2017 at EST pm

  3. I disagree with the premise that poor people are consigned to poor neighborhoods. It’s really a matter of priorities. If you are a midwit White, you probably want a decent car, decent vacations to Disney World every few years, big screen TV and other upscale electronics; so you compromise on where you live.
    Asians put school district first. They will live above a tattoo parlor in the downtown district, perhaps even with another family, to get into a good school district. This again proves their gift of innate future time orientation and their prioritization of their kids’ best interests.

    DN Poolside

    November 29, 2017 at EST pm

    • The Asians who do this are immigrants from crappy countries. They are just living the way they are used to living. Asians who are born in America are less likely to want to live above a tattoo parlor.

      Rosenmops

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • >>Asians who are born in America are less likely to want to live above a tattoo parlor.

        You mean, Massage Parlor.

        Daniel

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

    • Brooklyn Chinatown’s a ceaselessly expanding hive. The only factor determining where they live is the expansion of the hive in this direction or that. I’m not seeing any future time orientation. “Children do homework” is just a principle of the hive-program.

      Garr

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • “ceaselessly expanding”

        Until it becomes gentrified. Is that happening?

        gothamette

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • The power of Chinese demographic advancement is a sight to behold. It’s like how freezing water can crack a cast iron engine block. The Chinese in Brooklyn are slowly pushing the Guidos out of Bensonhurst. If the Chinese can dethrone the Guidos in their ancestral homeland, anything is possible.

        Daniel

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • Chinatowns never de-Chinafy, do they? Manhattan Chinatown is still completely Chinese. Its expansion into Little Italy was stopped but not reversed by the hipster influx. Non-Chinese can’t move into Chinese neighborhoods, but Chinese can move into the non-Chinese neighborhood next door and Chinafy it. Anyway, that’s the way it seems to me. Maybe I’m wrong.

        Garr

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • MaryK can’t tell you about guidos selling homes where calzones are no longer served in place of chop suey.

        An IA co worker once told me that her cousins were smart to sell their overpriced board home to the Chinese, and buy a nicer piece of real estate in return.

        JS

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • Bensonhurts with its atrocious homes that only the Chinese would pay top dollar.

        JS

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

    • > If you are a midwit White

      Do you read Vox Popoli?

      ScarletNumber

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

  4. This is why immigration is such a critical issue and more important than taxes. Good Neighborhoods are a positional good at any one particular point in time, yes, but they also something that can grow or shrink in absolute terms over the medium to long term. Low IQ immigration over the past 50 years has drastically shrunk the total pool of “good” neighborhoods. A smart immigration policy could expand it. Taxes on the other hand, don’t change anything with respect to the total supply of good neighborhoods or anyone’s relative ability to buy in to one.

    PerezHBD

    November 29, 2017 at EST pm

    • Not just low IQ immigration, but immigration in general, by its resultant population growth, has raised the demand for real estate, thus raising prices.

      Hermes

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

  5. I’m too busy today to find the article, but Senator Fauxcahontas published a paper with an interesting conclusion (which I find plausible): all or nearly all of the growth in median household income in recent decades has been consumed by increasing expenditures on housing as the middle class chase good school districts. In other words, forced integration of schools has consumed all of the middle class’s income growth.

    bitter clinger 13

    November 29, 2017 at EST pm

    • In 2004, Elizabeth Warren even wrote a book on this topic. The title is: “The Two-Income trap.”
      She points to (sic) negative consequences of employment of women, which drove up the real estate prices.
      Maybe she’s not so liberal after all?

      WRB

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • I liked the old Elizabeth Warren. In fact, I first heard of her when Sailer reported on that book, approvingly. The old Elizabeth Warren is kind of like the old Bernie Sanders, before they got woked up and SJW’d. Occasionally old leftists and sometimes even feminists make observations that are accurate.

        gothamette

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • This democrat has no use 4 Saint Bernie or Pocahontas because of their support of unions. Unions are the bane of America and I would gladly vote for a republican if he promises to bust public and private unions.

        mpt

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • Women started working at careers outside the home around the same time mass 3rd world immigration began. Both things have driven up real estate. But immigration has had the most influence.

        Rosenmops

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

    • In other words, forced integration of schools has consumed all of the middle class’s income growth.

      Clearly that’s not the conclusion a liberal Democrat would draw from your previous sentence. So I’d be interested to hear what Senator Fauxcahontas’s conclusion was.

      Hermes

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • There are many factors that are consuming middle-class’s income growth, avoiding bad public school is one of them.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • Yeah, but I thought we were all red-pullers interested in the truth.

        Bitter clinger 13

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

  6. Hang on a minute. If the problem with being poor is having to live with other poor people, and the Middle Class are becoming poorer, then surely they are actually living with the same people as before: other Middle Class people who had to also take a “step down”. Presumably the original poor people are also being forced to live in an even poorer neighborhood.

    DataExplorer

    November 29, 2017 at EST pm

    • Problem is largely massive third world underclass that has spread like a cancer because of immigration policy. So no, it is not just Middle Class becoming poorer but rather their previously “ok” neighborhoods turning to shit and them not having the money to move someplace better.

      PerezHBD

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • We have our own native underclass that’s way worse than the imported kind. In fact I think one of the reasons we opted to import was because the natives were so unsuited to any kind of honest labor.

        gothamette

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • Exactly. The supply of decent neighborhoods continues to dwindle as the overall population degenerates.

        Stilicho

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • “The supply of decent neighborhoods continues to dwindle as the overall population degenerates”

        The Upper East Side – the wealthiest neighborhood in Manhattan has it share of pot smokers with the Lower East Side of Hipsterdom (gentrifying Whites).

        JS

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

  7. There different shades of neighborhoods, more than 50. You seem to think that there is only one good and the rest are bad. This is a typical female mentality.

    My Two Cents

    November 29, 2017 at EST pm

    • Basically good neighborhoods are less than 10% black, maybe less than 5%. This isn’t a female mentality, it’s just how things are. It’s the same all over the world. Although in some places substitute Arabs for blacks.

      Lowe

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • Red pill think would tell you that great neighborhoods are upper middle class and family oriented, not a degenerate, hedonistic, hipsterville.

        JS

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • Degenerate hipsters won’t harass your children, or steal things out of your car. They aren’t a big deal.

        Lowe

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

  8. BTW, curious fact. Two months ago there was a blind item that I read on some blog (can’t remember) that some women in media had been running a private Facebook page entitled something like, “Nasty Men in Media” (distinct from anything going on in Hollywood). The blog report said that when this information was released, lots of heads would roll. All the names and allegations were detailed on a spreadsheet file that these women passed around to each other for comments, confirmation and additions. The blind item said that the participants of the Facebook page were going to start revealing names. Well sure enough they have. Things have unfolded precisely as one could have anticipated. They could only have imagined the trouble they were going to clause. Well, here’s to you ladies. You have brought us so much fun, mirth and entertainment.

    Daniel

    November 29, 2017 at EST pm

    • You read Crazy Days & Nights too?

      gothamette

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • Sure do, that and the National Enquirer. John Lennon once said that he read the National Enquirer cover to cover and believed everything they were reporting because they were the only publication that got things right about his own life. That being the case, he figured they must be right about other people too.

        Daniel

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • I read CDAN a few years ago and got bored with it, then picked up the habit again with the Weinstein mess. Most of his stuff is about rappers and assholes I could not care less about, but some of it is good stuff. Apparently he called it on Spacey in 2014.

        I cannot wait for some of his blinds to be revealed in 2018.

        The Enquirer sure got John Edwards right. I didn’t know about Lennon.

        gothamette

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

  9. “Economic growth” and tax cuts are of no benefit to people who can’t afford to move to “good” neighborhoods, such things just increases everyone’s nominal wealth and the cost of the “good” neighborhood goes up proportionally and remains just as unaffordable as it was before.

    True, but then I must ask once again why you support a universal basic income. That would just increase everyone’s nominal wealth too, and the prices of positional goods would rise proportionally.

    The thing about people getting help with positional goods from their parents is one of those things that blows your mind when you move up the class ladder. I grew up in a working-class family, and until I got to medical school, I had never heard nor conceived of the phenomenon of people helping their adult children buy their first house, let alone encountered such people myself. The concept was so utterly foreign to me that it was shocking, and also seemed needlessly extravagant–if you had extra money, why wouldn’t you just use it to retire earlier, and make your kids save up for their own damn down payment like you had to? My Indian friend whose father is also a doctor owned, during residency, what must have been a near $400k condo, courtesy of his parents. There he was, just starting his first full-time job ever, and already living in a nicer place than I’ve ever lived in in my life. Inconceivable!

    Hermes

    November 29, 2017 at EST pm

    • The example of the Indian sounds extravagant, unless he was already married, and/or had a child. Then it makes perfect sense for his parents to help him financially. Helping your children buy a house, for your grandchildren, is very common among people of means.

      I don’t think this is what LoTB or you have in mind? I suppose what’s in mind is wealthy parents funding careerist children. Like paying your daughter’s rent so she can live in a big city and work in journalism, etc. Sounds crazy, unless she is actively seeking a husband… but what young woman does that?

      Lowe

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

    • And that is how you help your kids succeed…you help them with their careers by making sure they don’t have to worry about making a living.

      The working-class attitude of depriving your kids in the hopes of teaching them about the “real world” is nonsense.

      You help your kids by reducing the number of things they have to worry about to maybe 1 or 2 important elements. If your kids are in school, then they have to worry about nothing but school.

      It’s inconceivable because you were raised wrong.

      map

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • It doesn’t sound like that was an option for Hermes.

        Magnavox

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

    • This is more of a cultural thing then a class thing. In some countries parents helping their kids buying a house is the norm across all classes. In other countries like Australia it was a norm to charge your kids rent if they stay with their parents after starting to work.

      Hashed

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

    • The thing about people getting help with positional goods from their parents is one of those things that blows your mind when you move up the class ladder.

      This was my experience as well. When I was in undergrad there was a brief period of time where I LENT my PARENTS money. Fast forward to medical school, where my average classmate had never struggled for anything. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, Lion’s writings on class were part of what helped me get through that dizzying time.

      My Indian friend whose father is also a doctor owned, during residency, what must have been a near $400k condo, courtesy of his parents. There he was, just starting his first full-time job ever, and already living in a nicer place than I’ve ever lived in in my life

      Yep, and I bet your friend is a perfectly nice guy, who just doesn’t (can’t!) fully grasp how fortunate he’s been. I had a similar friend in medical school, whose parents bought her a condo to live in while she was going to school (although she didn’t ultimately get to keep it). Rather than have to scrounge to pay rent like most average joes, she just lived in her parents’ condo.

      SJ, Esquire

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • Yep, and I bet your friend is a perfectly nice guy, who just doesn’t (can’t!) fully grasp how fortunate he’s been. I had a similar friend in medical school, whose parents bought her a condo to live in while she was going to school (although she didn’t ultimately get to keep it). Rather than have to scrounge to pay rent like most average joes, she just lived in her parents’ condo.

        Incredibly, my friend had that situation in med school to. His parents bought (themselves) a condo in that city for him to live in during medical school, and when he left they kept it to rent out for income. Meanwhile, when he moved to a new city to start residency, they provided the down payment for him to buy his condo, so that he actually did own it and it was his to sell and keep the proceeds when he left. His way of putting it was “my parents don’t help me make payments , they just helped with the down payment,” but knowing how much it must have cost and what a resident’s stipend is, the down payment they made on his behalf must have been at least $200,000. I also had a couple other medical School classmates who were in the position you described, living in parent-subsidized, owned real estate during medical school. Of the two I can think of off the top of my head, one was Jewish and the other East Asian. Interestingly, no white Gentiles.

        And yeah, my friend is a nice guy and it’s interesting to see how growing up with that kind of privilege can give a person views some of us might find distasteful even though they are a nice person. For example, he has this big pet peeve about people asking friends to help them move and providing pizza in exchange. He always jokes about it and rolls his eyes at it, as if it’s too much of an imposition to ask people to do physical labor on your behalf and pretend that somehow pizza is adequate compensation. He basically, without realizing it, looks down on people who can’t afford to hire movers, because the concept is foreign to him. Anytime he’s ever had to move, even if he was a full-time student and had no income, Dad was more than happy to just open up the checkbook and pay professional movers however much it cost.

        Hermes

        November 30, 2017 at EST pm

    • True, but then I must ask once again why you support a universal basic income. That would just increase everyone’s nominal wealth too, and the prices of positional goods would rise proportionally.

      I make that point every time Lion brings up universal income and I can’t recall anyone even trying to counter it let alone making a good argument.

      Magnavox

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

  10. america is cheap as hell too, there are so many big cities there to live in that seem more or less fine with good living costs. i doubt there are no good jobs in these places.

    james n.s.w

    November 29, 2017 at EST pm

    • NYC is not cheap.

      JS

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • There’s a positional status oriented dimension to living in new york. But having a walkable, aesthetically pleasing, and cultured area to live in all have a significant non positional dimension. Everything in this country is so fucking ugly.

        Magnavox

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • I’ve made comments in the past saying that the entire Anglosphere is quite unattractive with its architecture and city views.

        A lot of buildings and homes in NYC are ugly.

        JS

        November 29, 2017 at EST pm

  11. Being in a good school district is especially important for parents of daughters:

    http://resizing.flixster.com/XyuqtuiCs3nSUIiUBTpxkjzn0-4=/799×1066/v1.bTsxMTI5MTM0NztqOzE3NjI3OzIwNDg7MTUzNjsyMDQ4

    Peter

    ironrailsironweights

    November 29, 2017 at EST pm

    • But surely there is a danger of sheltering your daughters too much that they get all their info about diversity from movies and music videos. People tend to over romanticize the exotic.

      DataExplorer

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

  12. demographics is driving all the scarcity of which you speak

    fakeemail

    November 29, 2017 at EST pm

  13. There’s very few black people in Vancouver, so bad neighbourhood here usually means some combination of trashy white people, usually with addictions or criminal histories, together with the most recent arrived Indian immigrants with everything that it entails. Its amazing that when I’m in the US, most people assume I’m a doctor or engineer, while on my Canadian side of the border, most assume me to be a truck driver, construction worker, or a badly aging teenage drug dealer.

    Roli

    November 29, 2017 at EST pm

    • What about all the Sikh gangs always shooting each other? Are they in a particular neighbourhood or just everywhere? I know there are a lot in Surrey.

      Rosenmops

      November 29, 2017 at EST pm

      • The Sikhs are exactly the Indians I was referring to in my post, they’re the underclass of Greater Vancouver and they behave as such–and yes there’s lot in Surrey. It’s safe to say that the Sikhs of Vancouver/Surrey are probably the worst behaved Indians of any major city in Canada, the US and the UK. I am Sikh myself.

        Roli

        November 30, 2017 at EST am

      • Role, you wear a kirpan?

        Yakov

        November 30, 2017 at EST am

      • @Yakov
        I don’t wear a kirpan, I’m not orthodox Sikh.

        Roli

        November 30, 2017 at EST pm

      • That’s a pity. What not a tiny kirpan at least? A real Sikh has to have one. Sikhs are exotic.

        Yakov

        November 30, 2017 at EST pm

      • Sikhs are like Jews, the orthodox and the non-orthodox dress and live their lives very differently. Similar to Jews some Sikhs also have beards, red strings around their wrists, religiously mandated head gear and even kosher kitchens.

        Roli

        November 30, 2017 at EST pm

      • So you don’t beleive in the Sikh religion and the 5 K?

        Yakov

        November 30, 2017 at EST pm

      • The orthodox ideas of Sikhism don’t really appeal to me. I was raised in a family that wasn’t orthodox in most regards but was orthodox with regards to diet. I have continued the orthodox dietary practice into my adulthood and thus do not eat meat, poultry, seafood or fish. I try to live a life where I cause the least amount of suffering in the world around me, including animals.

        Roli

        December 1, 2017 at EST am

    • Rosenmops

      November 30, 2017 at EST am

  14. Hey Lion, can you fix your post please? The quote is not mine, I was quoting someone else. Here is what I said in response:

    __________________

    Although I might quibble a bit about where things are going in the future in terms of neighborhoods and schools. The real neighborhood destroyers are blacks, and their percentage of the population is steadily dropping with the influx of people from Asia and Latin America.

    fortaleza84

    November 29, 2017 at EST pm

  15. The way I’ve seen it explained in this blog is that poor/ somewhat poor whites used to have ‘middle class values’ i.e. ‘old fashioned values.’ They valued marriage, children, education, respected authority, looked down on drugs and sexual deviancy.

    These days the only places you can find these ‘values’ enforced on a community wide basis- unless you’re super religious (which is passe)- is in upper middle class/ wealthy white echelons. And yes these echelons are increasingly costly and exclusive. Asians may also have these values but whites, for whatever reason, don’t want to cleave with this group. I am guilty of this myself when my overachiever daughter (not by my bidding, I repeatedly tell her to calm down) was accepted into a majority asian specialized high school. I saw it as a special kind of torture and told her, no way. She’s now at a low key catholic high school and thriving. When I was a teenager I studied in an accelerated program at a conservatory, surrounded by taiwanese robots. It was horrific.

    Anyway, statically speaking, the only nonreligious women maintaining these ‘middle class’ values are women with four year college degrees. They have maintained marriage/ non divorce rates, and in-wedlock birthrates for GENERATIONS, the counter cultural revolution notwithstanding. This is around 33% of the US population.

    Perhaps the takeaway here is that men who can’t find one of these 33% women are doomed.

    toomanyspiders

    November 29, 2017 at EST pm

  16. i’m crying right now.

    But if you want to know
    How I really feel
    Just get the cameras rolling
    Get the action going
    Baby you know my love for you is real
    So take me where you want to
    Then my heart you’ll steal
    More, more, more
    How do you like it?

    ron ian smith mugabe burgundy

    November 29, 2017 at EST pm

  17. According to my calculations, the top 100 wealthiest zip codes have less than 2% black population. Being insulated from the left 90% of the black bell-curve is the ultimate positional good.

    Where I live in Chevy Chase, MD, the 3 most expensive sections (CC Village, Town of CC, and Martin’s Addition) have 5,800 residents of whom only 45 are black (and some of those are live-in help or diplomats). You can read about the denizens of Chevy Chase here if you want to get the full feel for their hypocrisy (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/04/chevy-chase-maryland-super-rich-town-diversity). I always joked that if the govt. threatened to turn the Leland Center in CC into public housing these ppl would immediately morph into a more polite version of Bull Conner.

    BTW, even in Chevy Chase, I was surprised by the amount of nascent Alt-Right-esque sentiment among my son’s HS friends. Gen Z males may be our last, best hope.

    gazza90

    November 30, 2017 at EST pm


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