Posted by: The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

145 responses to “Ask the Industry Insiders: Dan Klusman of RightTimetoBuy.org”

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  1. Markor

    Eleua: Post #83. Your concept of what the Pubbies did and how we are headed for Zimbabwe style inflation could not be more delusional. What Palin has to do with anything is beyond me.

    Oh, by saying we’d be looking like Zimbabwe if McCain/Palin got elected, I just mean we’d be f**ked, not necessarily experience hyperinflation. I think it’s obvious that we’d be f**ked if we had a president who is lacking even a grade-school education (she may have graduated, but she did not learn).

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  2. Markor

    Eleua: When BarryX raises taxes going into a doozy of a recession, he then owns it. He will no longer be able to blame his predecessor.

    I don’t know what Obama will do; I voted for him only because he was the best viable choice. But I’m confident that putting the country on a massive austerity plan and jacking up taxes (esp. for the rich) is the right thing to do for future generations. We bought stuff, we should pay for it, even if we have to become poor in the process. Those who do not support raising taxes while we have a towering national debt and no national emergency except of our own making are traitors in my book.

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  3. what goes up must come down

    Eleua I actually read most of what you write because it seems well thought out but this: “When BarryX raises taxes going into a doozy of a recession, he then owns it. He will no longer be able to blame his predecessor” Makes me think you went off your meds. So Bush is in the white house for the last 8 years and the Repubs control congress for six of those eight and now the Pile of Crap you tie to Obama — give me a break.

    Have you been asleep for the last 8 years?

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  4. jonness

    “Those who do not support raising taxes while we have a towering national debt and no national emergency except of our own making are traitors in my book.”

    Let’s face it, in 95% of American’s minds, the national debt never has to be paid back. “How much we have to spend equals how much we can borrow. Besides, we’re geniuses because we’ve managed to push all that debt off on our grandchildren. Stop worrying, and start borrowing and spending your way to prosperity. If you don’t, then you’re not a true American, and you should leave the country.”

    You know, what really burns me is after 12 years of trickle-down economics (balloon the debt by 4 times in order to create temporary economic stimulus), we finally start paying down the debt, and then the next guy gets in and realizes, “oh boy, because the previous guy was fiscally conservative, I get to spend more.”

    We live in a crazy country where borrowing beyond your means is the solution to all life’s troubles. And when you think like that, the last thing you ever want to do is come out of denial and pay back the loans. What you want to do instead is borrow more money to give back as a tax break and then borrow even more money to pay for interest on the money you borrowed for the tax break.

    It’s called short-term greed. It’s a virus, and most American’s minds have been infected. For those who want a true tax break, click your heels, go back in time, and shave 12 trillion off the national debt. There’s a free half trillion dollars per year tax break for you and a balanced budget without any necessary spending cutbacks. It’s not rocket science but it does take a little bit of willpower, which apparently is quite rare in this country.

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  5. Eleua

    Markor,

    If you actually took the time to learn about what went wrong with Zimbabwe/Rhodesia, then you would realize how inappropriate your analogy is. You also don’t seem to understand anything about Gov. Palin, outside what you see in the MSM. She is a graduate of U of Idaho. Now, I’m sure you will ’tisk, tisk” that school, but she is also the governor in the US that has the highest approval rating. How are you doing? How did the Georgetown and Yalees do as presidents of the USA? The most successful president of our lifetime went to Eureka College.

    I think I know what your objections are to Palin, but I will need to scratch a little more to confirm it. 90%+ of Lefties essentially object to SP on one issue, and it isn’t her college choice.

    Do you have any idea what percentage of the income taxes are paid by the “rich?” Do you have any idea what percentage of the income taxes are paid by each decile of the population? If you did, you could not make your statement (#102) unless you were maniacally insane or unfathomably stupid. BarryX can’t raise taxes high enough to close the deficit, even if he ends the GWOT and cuts the DoD 75%. It is a mathematical certainty. Perhaps you can work with some -X^2 graphs and see how this works.

    You essentially have closed the circle of Biden’s “paying taxes is patriotic” mindlessness with your “Those who do not support raising taxes while we have a towering national debt and no national emergency except of our own making are traitors in my book” nonsense. How are you going to react to your taxes going up until you lose your job?

    WGUMCD,

    BarryX has the ability to use the lapdog MSM to pin this financial disaster on GWB in perpetuity. However, once he raises taxes and the economy tanks harder, he will own the situation. It was also the Neo-Marxist Lefties in this country that started this entire mess. They are not alone, but the democratization of lending is at the core of this problem. They are the ones that bear the brunt of the burden of allowing FNM/FRE getting to the state they now find themselves.

    Remember, as of January 20th, there won’t be any Republicans to kick around. The MSM will start to look to BarryX for their daily dose of blood. Expectations are stratospheric, and empty rhetoric may dazzle Seattle Lefties, but it won’t cut it as far as the rest of America is concerned.

    “Trickle Down” is a pejorative given to Reagan’s plan by the MSM/Lefties. Go back and correct for ballooning social spending (and these stupid bailouts), and we more than covered our DoD expenditures with plenty of cash left over. It is Congressional pork that is the problem, not the legitimate Constitutional expenditures that are causing all the deficits.

    BTW, if timing is sufficient to assign blame, then IIRC, everything was “fine” until Madame Speaker got the gavel. What fiscal leadership has she shown? She is the one that rammed these bailouts through the HoR. Harry Reid did so in the Senate.

    Bush was a horrible POTUS, as were his two predecessors and I am confident his successor will also leave office with an approval rating lower than GWB’s. Americans don’t like statists, but they love the idea that their government can do everything for them. This explains why they keep voting in presidents and Congresses that they end up hating. Pelosi’s Congress would kill to have GWB’s approval rating.

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  6. Markor

    Eleua: You also don’t seem to understand anything about Gov. Palin, outside what you see in the MSM. She is a graduate of U of Idaho. Now, I’m sure you will ’tisk, tisk” that school, but she is also the governor in the US that has the highest approval rating. How are you doing?

    U of I is a decent school, but it hardly matters when she thinks Africa’s a country, and can’t name a serious magazine she reads (but says she reads them all). She’s a good-looking governor in a heavily Republican state whose citizens pay no state/local income taxes and get an annual check from oil. That is, she doesn’t need much intelligence to attain or run that particular office.

    Do you have any idea what percentage of the income taxes are paid by the “rich?” Do you have any idea what percentage of the income taxes are paid by each decile of the population?

    Doesn’t matter. All I need to know is that the rich are buying yachts when they haven’t yet paid a dime for the Iraq war and other budget-busting stuff they encouraged their representatives to buy. They need a massive tax increase to pay for the stuff they bought, plus the interest incurred.

    BarryX can’t raise taxes high enough to close the deficit, even if he ends the GWOT and cuts the DoD 75%. It is a mathematical certainty.

    It’s a mathematical certainty that Obama can’t do what Clinton did? In what universe?

    How are you going to react to your taxes going up until you lose your job?

    The same. (I wouldn’t kill for money either.) Yes, tax rates can be raised to only a point, beyond which tax revenues decline. But that point has obviously not been reached yet, because the rich are still buying yachts. I’m confident the yacht makers and associated employees can find work elsewhere.

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  7. gortnerp

    jonness,

    Your post #104 is right on the money.

    If the US Govt keeps spending more money than it brings in (with taxes), and keeps on borrowing more than it can re-pay, then The Tim will have to start a new website called: “United States of America Bubble”

    I don’t want to be around when that Bubble bursts (if it hasn’t started to already).

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  8. Markor

    Good post, jonness. I agree the mindset is like a virus. I remember when Clinton created a budget surplus and wanted to apply it to the national debt, how furious the Republicans in Congress were that the “excess” money would not be spent. I don’t believe they were that stupid, but I do believe they were furious because their constituency is stupid, or at least greedy.

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  9. what goes up must come down

    Eleua,

    Maybe you just don’t remember the last eight years: “BarryX has the ability to use the lapdog MSM to pin this financial disaster on GWB in perpetuity.”

    BUT BUSH WAS PRES AND REPUKES CONTROLLED CONGRESS FOR SIX OF THE EIGHT

    Come on, who needs a “lapdog” don’t let the facts get in your way of your right wing blather — BUSH ended his time with a record disapproval rating get it record disapproval.

    Oh that is right you can’t blame poor Georgie for anything he was only the president for the last eight years but that doesn’t matter does it.

    It is funny no one ever wants to pay taxes but they sure want good roads, good schools, and to replace Saddam and rebuild IRAQ, etc….. Yes it is all free.

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  10. Another Tim

    Too many people believe what they’ve been told by the government schools and main stream media. Why doesn’t anyone question the basic economic precepts that have been adopted since the beginning of the 20th century? Do all of you actually believe that Keynes was right? That allowing the government to control all the money is the best option we have? Do you truly believe that we need the government to solve all our problems? That they can solve those problems by spending more money?
    I think it would be best if you would use a big dose of healthy skepticism and begin to question the basic tenets of an all powerful central government and central banking system. Deficit spending and Keynesian economics is, at best, a flawed system and it’s being proven once again.

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  11. deejayoh

    but it hardly matters when she thinks Africa’s a country

    I’m no Palin fan – but I think this particular bit has been exposed as fraud

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/10/martin-eisenstadt-non-exi_n_142785.html?page=5

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  12. David Losh

    David, spending skyrocketed, and the money coming in was from borrowing, via treasury bills and bonds,

    If the US Govt keeps spending more money than it brings in (with taxes), and keeps on borrowing more than it can re-pay

    I remember when Clinton created a budget surplus and wanted to apply it to the national debt,

    You can’t have it any way you want to make an argument.

    I know that we are told we spend more money and we need to pay more taxes. I just don’t see it.

    Clinton did create a budget surplus and Reagan cut spending while increasing spending.

    Help me out with that. How is all of the number magic possible? A good example is the 150,000 ground troops in Iraq. You tell me how many billions a week it costs for 150,000 troops to be in a Third World country. We didn’t even give them body armor.

    No we spent money on Bell Helicopters, Humvees, and Colts. All American Corporations.

    We have money for the auto industry, Wall Street, and Pharmaceutical research, but we don’t have Health Care, social services, or infrastructure improvements.

    I don’t see the spending. Do you? Please explain to me why we should give our government more tax dollars? Will that change anything?

    Talk about delusional.

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  13. what goes up must come down

    dj,

    funny thing with Palin is most people could actually believe that she didn’t know africa was a continent, she went around talking how you could see Russia from Alaska and how that proximity gave her some kind of foreign relations experience so alot of people could figure out pretty quickly she is an idiot.

    one can only hope she runs for Prez in 2012

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  14. CostcoMike

    Well I see this thread has gone quite a bit off topic!

    If Dan is still reading I would like to know his opinion on my situation and everyone elses input so I might see the different positions.

    I have a masters in Education (music) but its harder to find full time teaching positions in this area as generally when cut backs are made music and the arts are not a priority (economy). I work for costco and make less than the median income. I have 20k saved towards a house and am 26 years old. With your predictions [Dan] you say our market will rebound and continue to rise how will someone like myself who is paying for education (in fields I am truley passionate about and am willing to be paid less and have less to be happy) be able to afford the average house in king county. How will future generations be able to afford housing if it continues to rise?

    Just curious at how people think about home values 100-150 years from now and how society will pay for those houses if they all appreciate?

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  15. Angie

    I remember when Clinton created a budget surplus and wanted to apply it to the national debt, how furious the Republicans in Congress were that the “excess” money would not be spent. I don’t believe they were that stupid, but I do believe they were furious because their constituency is stupid, or at least greedy.

    Not just that the surplus wouldn’t be spent–that the “investor class” couldn’t make money on the country’s debt. For a while during the Clinton years the Treasury didn’t issue 30 year bonds because the money wasn’ t needed. Rich people squealed like piggies because they wanted to get a return on those bonds (i.e., make money on everyone else’s collective debt).

    NO surprise to me that Republicans practice credit-card financing–their base requires it.

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  16. Eleua

    2DJO #111,

    Thanks. It is amazing what PDS does to people.

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  17. Eleua

    Angie,

    The 30Y was suspended because they wanted to force money into the short end of the curve to help foment the bubble.

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  18. mikal

    I worked for someone from the Neatherlands. He loved it here because only the truly wealthy could afford a 5 acre lot. This was out near Carnation. Do people there worry about affordability? He worked at Microsoft and could have done the same from his home country, but enjoyed being able to afford something here. I’m going off of what he said and what I have read, but is that normal in Europe? Eleua, Obama wants to roll back taxes to what they were in the 90’s under Clinton. Didn’t the economy boom then? You are a far right wing nut, aren’t you. I find it hard to believe that you and Softwareengineer, who both seem somewhat intelligent, can square what has happened over the last eight years with Bush as being good for the country.

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  19. mikal

    Eleau, if the government is running a surplus it should still borrow money?

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  20. Eleua

    mikal,

    You will search with futility to find a glowing endorsement of GWB by me. I have hated GWB since April 2001 and have thought him to be a disaster of a POTUS.

    I am not suffering from the delusion that Obamessiah is going to be anything but a complete failure.

    Obama is the most strident statist that has been elected since 1932. My opinions from that observation. Both Bushes were statists, as was The UNIBANGER. His tax policies didn’t do anything. It was the stock bubble that made him look like he was a fiscal genius. Look at what happened to the bond market in 93-94 when he tried to nationalize Hillary Care.

    GWB has been a disaster, as was The UNIBANGER, and Bush 1.0.

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  21. Eleua

    mikal #119,

    I don’t understand the basis of your question. We have been borrowing money every year of my life and the debt has grown, provided you include entitlement payments and promises of those payments.

    If you are asking about the suspension of the 30Y…

    The bond market has two parts: borrowers and lenders, both of which need each other. The available funds that seek .gov debt will buy and drive up the price (yield down). If the 30Y is not available, that money will float down the curve and buy that debt, thus reducing the yield. This was critical as the Treasury started to finance .gov debt with short term funding, which saved money on the interest that would be paid. Since the 10Y bond is beyond what any POTUS can serve, they don’t care if it blows down the road, as it would blow on someone else’s watch, thus making you look like a genius in comparison.

    The secondary effect is to lower the retail interest rate for average consumers and businesses, thus expanding stock markets, consumption, and all the other attendant bubble spin-offs.

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  22. Scotsman

    Eleua- your patience when faced with BDS and economic ignorance is inspiring. Personally, I have given up.

    Your comments and analysis are, of course, spot on. But now is not a “teachable moment.” Only when the economy has entered it’s death throes, and the entirety of leftist/socialist/statist ideals proven an impossibility will will people seek to understand, not just propagandize.

    When the student babbles on, the teacher can’t be heard.

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  23. Markor

    deejayoh: I’m no Palin fan – but I think this particular bit has been exposed as fraud

    If a journalist asks you if you really did kick that toddler in the face, is your reaction going to be an angry “Who told you that!?” That was essentially Palin’s reaction when asked if she had really said that Africa’s a country. She didn’t deny it. I saw the video, so I will not believe subsequent expected GOP spin.

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  24. softwarengineer

    I VOTED FOR NADER AND HATED BUSH TOO

    But since I saw Obama put in a decent anti-overpopulation chief of staff that the minority of the Democratic Party hated [they even wouldn't even let him speak, he's too honest like me]….I wish I’d voted Obama. Maybe you wished you’d voted McCain now….lol

    I see McCain as middle left and out of touch with the post election Zogby Poll results too: 2/3s of Obama supporters hate amnesty, but you far left call me a Bush supporter (he supported amnesty like you and McCain).

    Americans are mostly like me….moderate [actually moderate right, but I'm not that far right].

    I know, now call me a NEOCON hater for this blog….lol

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  25. Markor

    Scotsman: Your comments and analysis are, of course, spot on. But now is not a “teachable moment.” Only when the economy has entered it’s death throes, and the entirety of leftist/socialist/statist ideals proven an impossibility will will people seek to understand, not just propagandize.

    The economy is already in death throes, Obama’s not in office yet, but he’s already being blamed. Surely, having risen from the bottom of the rung all the way to the top on his own merits, he’ll now plunge this country (further) into oblivion. Because paying for the stuff we bought is always a horrible idea. It’s socialist, by golly!

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  26. Euro

    Funny that some people seem to think that Boeing will be ruined by a couple of weeks of strikes. And that the fact that Starbucks is rethinking it’s strategy is a disaster for Seattle. I agree with Klusman that Seattle has good economic foundations and is an attractive city to settle because of it’s surroundings etc.

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  27. Euro

    “I worked for someone from the Neatherlands. He loved it here because only the truly wealthy could afford a 5 acre lot.”

    Well duh, look at the size of the country and population density. I do think that housing in the US, even in Seattle is much more affordable than in Holland if you look what you get for a similar share of your income, but that probably has more to do with the fact that the US is a huge country than with political organization.

    An interesting fact for all the socialism haters is that Holland had a slightly higher BNP per capita in 2007 compared to the US, and achieved that in spite of all the evils of long vacations (5-6 weeks on avg), universal health care, 36 hour working weeks, progressive taxes, etc. That’s not to say that I think things are better in the Netherlands (though I do miss my long vacations), but it puts right-wing FUD spreading in perspective as far as I am concerned.

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  28. Euro

    Ugh, I meant GDP (BNP is the Dutch acronym)

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  29. Matthew

    I don’t think Boeing is a disaster, I just don’t think they are going to manufacture planes in Seattle much longer.

    The writing is on the wall if you look at recent comments by management. Why should the continue to manufacture planes in the Seattle area at a premium when they can move the base of operations to the South and be much more competitive with EADS?

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  30. Euro

    And lose the infrastructure and worker base they have here just like that? The only things I’ve read is the south actively lobbying to get a piece of the pie, particularly of new business, so that they can build some long-term infrastructure over there.

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  31. Eleua

    Scotsman,

    You are correct. The truly teachable moment is coming down the pipe. When the bond market finally capitulates under the groan of all our social spending, that moment will be upon us.

    Doctrinaire Lefties seek to suspend the laws of math to justify their tax hikes, yet all the shrieking over deficits seem to fall eerily silent when the Neo-marxists lick their chops at the prospects of national health care, and wild social spending.

    It is the spending that is the problem. This is what caused the GOP to lose their majority. It’s tough to remain in the majority when you campaign as fiscal conservatives and operate like a drunken statist. When we hear of the GOP being the party of fiscal restraint, it’s tough not to laugh.

    If they have an ounce of brains among them, they will use this time in the wilderness to hone a genuine message of spending cuts and tax parity, while the Neo-marxists drive the ship of state into the ditch.

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  32. mikal

    Eleu and Scotsmen, if you are teaching anyone it is the blind leading whomever. What arrogance. You both come off as incredibly unhappy. What will you wake up and complain about tomorrow?

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  33. Angie

    Darn, Tim, you sure know how to spoil the fun. You’re welcome to exercise your rights as moderator and transfer this comment to the forum but I have no interest in wading in to the site that far!

    Eleua’s invocation of “neo-Marxists” is too well-timed…I can’t resist sneaking in this link to Bill Kristol’s column today where he accuses Bush and the congressional Republicans of “letting free markets degenerate into something close to Karl Marx’s vision of an atomizing, irresponsible and self-devouring capitalism.” That guy, he’s such a crazy liberal statist!!!

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  34. Matthew

    Euro,

    What base and infrastructure? They’ve already outsourced a tremendous amount of manufacturing overseas, corporate HQ is in Chicago, what’s left, a few hangers and some plants?

    Small price to pay for the cheap labor the south provides.

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  35. David Losh

    Funny!

    Making claims of the government “borrowing” money is denying the budgetary process. If I work for the government with a budget I need to exceed that budget amount so I can get more money the next budgetary cycle.

    In good times I would need to spend more so I will have more of a budget in the bad times.

    In bad times my project might still have a budget, it may even go down, it may be terminated, but the dollars allocated to me are still coming in.

    That there is your government spending.

    The dollars come in every day from a variety of sources. People just love giving the government money so they can get it back in make work projects.

    This is very much on topic in regards to the building of housing units.

    In my opinion construction has been a government inspired welfare to work program. I hate to make the comparison but it is like the tech bubble of the 1990s without the college degrees.

    By my twisted logic new construction is now selling off surplus properties.

    Everybody has already wrung out the dollars and now the builders want to get rid of the remainders.

    Again, for new construction, from the builders point of view, this may be the right time to buy.

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  36. Scotsman

    Point taken, Tim. But remember to leave a little wiggle room and let the conversation wander, as housing trends are to a large extent a function of the economic and political climate. It was political pressures and directives that started this bubble, and it’s political considerations that will decide how it deflates, and who will pay for the losses. If you want to grasp the entirety of the issue, politics has to be included in the discussion.

    On a broader scale, and in the context of this specific post topic, we could look at Dan’s responses to your interview and how they are similar to the political posturing that’s going on. I’m sure Dan’s a nice person and a very effective spokesman for his industry. But he’s clearly not an economist, or even by his own admission a numbers guy. He’s a promoter for the building industry, and his perspective reflects that. Unfortunately, our current politicians are little more than promoters for the special interests that bought them. The idea of true statesmanship is dead, and leadership has been replaced by the raw quest for power. The importance of truth, understanding, accuracy, and comprehensiveness have been overwhelmed by the sound-bite of the moment. Dan’s comments are a case in point. I’d be more impressed if he sought to broaden his understanding of all the factors in the market, and shared some of the strategies and concerns of the builder’s group. As it is, i could have written his answers for him.

    And mikal- I’m generally very happy, healthy, and successful. But unlike many here, I feel have a pretty comprehensive understanding of the current economic situation, and a very clear picture of the future. I can “do the math”, and it shows that while we may have some choices now, there will be fewer and fewer as we go forward. Soon enough, necessity and survival will overwhelm today’s wants and desires, placing significant limits on what life has to offer- for me, my children, and those I care about. And that makes me sad, because until recently it didn’t have to be that way. Like a chess game, bad choices up front limit your plays at the end, until one is boxed in. Good luck to all.

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  37. jonness

    “I think I know what your objections are to Palin, but I will need to scratch a little more to confirm it. 90%+ of Lefties essentially object to SP on one issue, and it isn’t her college choice.”

    Her low IQ?

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  38. Eleua

    Jonness,

    Since you have a superior IQ to the governor of Alaska, can you demonstrate your towering intellectual prowess by reading and comprehending what “The Tim” posted in #133?

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  39. what goes up must come down

    Eleua, give me a break maybe you can look at how much you posted that was off topic and compare it to others how about a little honesty.

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  40. Matthew

    Ideologue:

    1 : an impractical idealist : theorist
    2 : an often blindly partisan advocate or adherent of a particular ideology

    There are half a dozen people in this thread that need to take a step back, read what Tim wrote in 133, and have a coke and a smile. No one in this thread is changing anyone’s mind.

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  41. jonness

    “Since you have a superior IQ to the governor of Alaska, can you demonstrate your towering intellectual prowess by reading and comprehending what “The Tim” posted in #133?”

    Eleua:

    It’s true my IQ is far superior to Palin’s. But here on SeattleBubble, my IQ is only about average. Thus, I don’t believe you will appreciate my interpretation of post #133, but I will do my best. I believe The Tim is saying your 15 off-topic politically-charged posts, which are based more upon your passion and emotion than your typical flair for logic, are not relevant to a conversation about Dan’s interview.

    The Tim believes you are a very insightful person who brings a great deal of value to the economic-related discussions at this site. However, when the mud-slinging gets as bad as it has in this thread, particularly with the inclusion of stereo-types, labeling, and name calling, it’s probably a good idea to move this aspect of the discussion to a far corner of the site where fewer people care to venture. This will ensure the site will maintain a palatable reputation to viewers who don’t share your intense passion for political subject matter.

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  42. Amy M

    Apparently it’s not the right time to buy in Vancouver either. Bloomberg just posted a story here.http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601213&sid=aUaxzBW8q_OU&refer=home

    To recap it, the slump has hit there too.

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  43. Eleua

    jonness,

    The difference that I am highlighting was that you kept on going after Tim asked you to stop.

    If you want to chuck knuckles in the forum, I’m willing to give it a go. It’s OPEX week, and I’m stuck at the computer until 1pm on Friday, and I need some easy amusement.

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  44. jonness

    Eleua:

    I appreciate the offer, but I don’t extract much joy from discussing politics. One or two posts per week on the matter pretty much fills up my appetite.

    On another note, the recent DOW plunge appears to be a surprise to many, but I doubt too many people on this site are finding it to be an incredulous week. :)

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