Mid-Week Open Thread (2012-09-12)

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Here is your open thread for the mid-week on September 12th, 2012. You may post random links and off-topic discussions here. Also, if you have an idea or a topic you’d like to see covered in an article, please make it known.

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About 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.

23 comments:

  1. 1

    But Seattle’s Special and Different?

    Incomes are recently dropping and so is health insurance coverage per US Census Bureau data:

    “….Still, data from the Census Bureau also showed the 2011 median U.S. income declined 1.5 percent from 2010.

    Additionally, the share of Americans lacking health insurance – another key indicator economic of well-being – fell to 15 percent in 2011 from 16.3 percent in 2010….”

    http://news.yahoo.com/number-u-poor-holds-steady-incomes-fall-census-143404910–business.html

  2. 2

    RE: softwarengineer @ 1 – I think you’re reading the health insurance data backwards. The number without health insurance is dropping, probably because of the requirement that those of us without kids pay for the insurance of those with older kids.

  3. 3
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 2:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 1 – I think you’re reading the health insurance data backwards. The number without health insurance is dropping, probably because of the requirement that those of us without kids pay for the insurance of those with older kids.

    ha! the young are subsidizing YOU. you would never get affordable coverage on your own. you’re old. no offense. young people after 26 will be required to carry insurance so there will be some payback.

    insurance is one big pool. that pool allows everyone to get insurance by spreading costs. that’s the whole point. I don’t think you really understand the concept of insurance.

    before medicare 40% of seniors had no health insurance. imagine how bad it would be today?

  4. 4

    RE: pfft @ 3 – There is so much ignorance in that post it’s shocking.

    First, insurance rates are based on age. Thus the young are not subsidizing us in practice. What’s confusing you is the large number of uninsured young people and how that affects things.

    Second, an insurance policy for an older person where the company has to issue insurance for one of their kids is going to cost more, because the kids most likely to be insured are those most likely to have claims.

    You really don’t know what you’re taking about on health care or insurance matters. That explains your love of Obamacare.

  5. 5
    pfft says:

    I didn’t get anything wrong. insurance companies don’t want to cover old people like you. no offense again. they want to cover young people in their late 20’s and early 30’s who will pay premiums but statistically will not get large amounts of medical care. that’s why we have medicare.

    your reasoning is like saying a public police department paid for by taxpayers is just shifting costs from those who can defend themselves to those who can’t. totally nonsensical.

  6. 6

    RE: pfft @ 5 – Do you just make this stuff up? Through Regence a 62 year old man would pay over $450 a month, and a 22 year old man less than $150. The premiums are based on risk. You know nothing about insurance, which is why you think pre-existing conditions should be covered.

    The reason we have medicare is because past a certain point the expenses become beyond what most people can pay, at a point in time when they’re likely earning less. Why we pay it for millionaires who can pay is another matter.

  7. 7
    ChrisM says:

    Topic idea: housing in Europe. When I lived in northern Europe, I found that

    a) most people rented
    b) houses were extremely well built, far better than typical American particle board construction.

    That said, the purchase of real estate was a painful process, zum Beispiel:
    http://www.immototal.at/

    add’l keywords:
    bostadsrättsförening & immobilien

  8. 8
    David Losh says:

    RE: ChrisM @ 7

    That is a great topic idea. We have shopped, and I have shopped, for properties around the Mediterranean. In hind sight I’m glad we never bought. We have also shopped in Mexico, and Peru.

    The global housing market is an interesting comparison to the American Dream. Northern Europe is different, but rampant development is changing a lot of landscapes.

    I do think we are in a global Real Estate market. Money is shifting globally, and I think retirees will go where the dollar goes furthest, and living is easier.

  9. 9

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2

    I saw the typo in the news article too, but the message is clear anyway, less people have health insurance today and its gotten worse since health care reform.

    $450 a month for Blue Cross Kary….you only wish, I pay about that much for my 1/4th cost for my agency partially paid Regence coverage [and they get “deal” rates]….here’s a 2010 article on Regence rates in 2010 [its worse today in 2012]:

    “…
    Ralph Nilssen, a 34-year-old sales director from Maple Valley, said the insurer notified him that it wants to double his monthly premiums in January, from $632 to $1,413. And that’s after his premium went up by a $100 on October 1.

    Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Regence-wants-to-raise-health-insurance-rates-797418.php#ixzz26Mba1JNm…”

    I estimate Regence charges about $16K/yr for health coverage on a family plan today for agency coverage, about $9-10K for individuals with no family or spouse coverage. How in hades do agencies/companies afford health insurance for its employees today without a butcher axing of health care wages? Will Health care reform fix it it? No hope there, 70% of the uninsured are being dumped into Medicaid in 2014, IOWs, they will still be uninsured since a lion’s share of doctors won’t accept Medicaid today anyway.

  10. 10
    wreckingbull says:

    By pfft @ 5:

    I didn’t get anything wrong. insurance companies don’t want to cover old people like you.

    Actually, you did. I don’t think you understand how insurance companies operate.

    Your statement is not correct. Insurance companies want to cover people for whom they collect more in premiums than they pay out. This could very well mean in some cases that older customers are more profitable than younger ones.

  11. 11
    Pegasus says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 10 – That may happen but supposedly the rates are set up actuarially at least at the “non-profits” (hahaha).

  12. 12
    Pegasus says:

    There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. For the next decade we will control all that you see and hear. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to the outer limits. The Bernanke has blinked once again. QE forever!

  13. 13

    RE: Pegasus @ 12

    LOL Pegasus

    Where’s all the real estate’s bottomed out cheerleaders and the economy’s all mended predictions? This news blows their allegations out of the water.

    The never ending QEs buying out already built structure mortgages doesn’t produce any jobs [how could it?]….but it sure does lower the dollar’s value printing gobs of money….get ready for even higher pump prices and food only the rich elite can afford. But ahhhhh….the past QEs did some good for SWE, his stocks went up 100% since their 2009 lows, the bankster and Wall Street wolves are licking their chops too….let’s hope this interest rate mitigation can at least slow the real estate price train wreck down….but is that even wishful thinking?

  14. 14

    By wreckingbull @ 10:

    By pfft @ 5:

    I didn’t get anything wrong. insurance companies don’t want to cover old people like you.

    Actually, you did. I don’t think you understand how insurance companies operate.

    Your statement is not correct. Insurance companies want to cover people for whom they collect more in premiums than they pay out. This could very well mean in some cases that older customers are more profitable than younger ones.

    I think that would just be happenstance, switching back and forth from year to year based on claims.

    But you’re right pfft doesn’t understand insurance. He thinks insurance is just something that pays out free money that no one has to pay for because it’s coming from an insurance company. The the idea that premiums would go up because certain people are required to be covered simply doesn’t occur to him.

  15. 15

    By Pegasus @ 11:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 10 – That may happen but supposedly the rates are set up actuarially at least at the “non-profits” (hahaha).

    I don’t think all medical insurance companies are set up as non-profit entities.

  16. 16

    I love the stupidity of large city governments. They come up with a stupid idea. It gets ridiculed all across the country. They admit it’s easily circumvented. So what do they do? Pass it anyway!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/13/new-york-approves-soda-ban-big-sugary-drinks_n_1880868.html

  17. 17
    pfft says:

    By softwarengineer @ 9:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2

    I saw the typo in the news article too, but the message is clear anyway, less people have health insurance today and its gotten worse since health care reform.

    this isn’t very hard folks.

    1.4 million Americans have health insurance now who did not have coverage a year ago

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/09/12/834761/uninsurance-rate-drops/

  18. 18
    pfft says:

    By wreckingbull @ 10:

    By pfft @ 5:

    I didn’t get anything wrong. insurance companies don’t want to cover old people like you.

    Actually, you did. I don’t think you understand how insurance companies operate.

    Your statement is not correct. Insurance companies want to cover people for whom they collect more in premiums than they pay out. This could very well mean in some cases that older customers are more profitable than younger ones.

    in some cases. the fact is before medicare 40% of seniors had no health insurance. that number would be way worse today.

  19. 19
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 15 – Duh. I was just pointing out what those claiming “non-profit” status use as an excuse to screw the public. Take your favorite “non-profit” Regence who claims they lost $4.5 million dollars last year and needs to raise premiums by 15 percent. In the past few years they have accumulated reserves in excess of ONE BILLION DOLLARS……..who are they kidding besides you? Companies like these are not acting in the public’s best interest and may be looking forward to doing an IPO and turning themselves into a “for-profit” company on the backs of the masses while they loot the public claiming losses. Medical expenses are easily controlled. Unfortunately until we stop lining the pockets of a select few it can’t happen. Medicare unfortunately has turned into another avenue for the elite to line their pockets on the backs on the masses.

  20. 20

    RE: pfft @ 18 – How old do you think I am? You’re changing the topic to try to win an argument you lost.

  21. 21

    RE: pfft @ 17 – I have no idea why SWE thought it was a typo. In one article I saw most the increase attributed to older children latching onto their parents accounts, which is why I made the comment I did in post #2.

  22. 22
    yukon dave says:

    Lets hear it for QE3. This is a great time to get cheap money when the Fed is stating that it intends to raise inflation in order to increase GDP and jobs. Inflation is good for those with debt and bad for those with cash. Refi numbers now from Wells Fargo, the Nordstroms of banking is at 3.75% for 30 year fixed non FHA. How much lower can rates go? Since we know the banks will not pay you to take a loan they have to make some amount of profit and not much is left if charging 3.75. If you are waiting for bottom this is looking good. Of course as per the rent versus own numbers that were run on this site in the past, it only makes sense if you plan on paying off the house. I am in and I love living in the Seattle area.
    The big question still has to be asked, with a 36% rise in foreclosures, is the principle price of the home going to go down. I dont look at real estate on a global basis but regional. Property in expensive beach communities in Orange county California and Santa Monica are going up and not down and have done so since 2010. Parts of King county are desirable to the rich and the good news is owning near the rich is still a good place to be in my book. I love my home in Seattle, best place in America.

  23. 23
    Sweet Pea says:

    By yukon dave @ 22:

    Parts of King county are desirable to the rich and the good news is owning near the rich is still a good place to be in my book. I love my home in Seattle, best place in America.

    Owning near the rich is dandy if you can hang financially in the vicinity of the rich. Otherwise, you just get deeper (i.e., further apart) stratification of the economic classes. When people around or approaching 30, in white collar jobs with good benefits, can’t afford to buy a house without 2 incomes and / or the willingness to endure a sucky-to-super-sucky commute for the majority of their days, and some kind of affordable child-care situation if they ever want to have kids and a house, then it starts to become not so good.

    Americans may have to continue to become less mobile, so that gran and gramps can provide free childcare more often, so that John and Jane can afford to pay their mortgage.

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