Weekly Open Thread (2015-03-30)

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Here is your open thread for the week of March 30th, 2015. 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.

Note: The comment limit in open threads is 25 comments per person.

NOTICE: If you have comments to make about politics or economics that do not somehow directly relate to Seattle-area real estate, they may be posted in the current Politics & Economics Open Thread.  If you post such comments here, they will be moved there.

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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. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1
  2. 2
    redmondjp says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ – Only the rich will be left, and when Sound Transit 16 opens in 2097 the servant-class can take the 2-hour train ride in from North Marysville. The homeless will stay, however, as there are more amenties for them in-city.

    Ain’t it all grand? We are seeing a utopian society (reminiscent of some classic Star Trek episodes IMO) being constructed right before our eyes. But one in which many will be left outside the dome . . .

    I see fully-automated coffee shops and burger joints in our future as they will be less expensive to operate, and don’t demand tips or paid sick days either. Your phone app “Get my Coffee” automatically puts in your order when you are 5 minutes away, and debits your account as you drive through and pick up your latte. So in our perfect future, there will be less need for these low-paid workers to darken our idyllic city streets.

  3. 3

    RE: redmondjp @
    I Hope You Don’t Have Adult Children

    They’ll be living with you [and not counted as unemployed] in the utopian society of all rich elite, because robots are stealing the unskilled jobs and excessive insourced overpopulation is stealing your higher paid skilled jobs, resulting in much lower labor rates too. I see a different future as this worsens, lower pay for all as tax revenue never recovers. Our only hope will be its a Depression and not Stagflation; so prices should come down with lower wages for workers and retirees alike.

    Welcome to the new 3rd World Country, America. What horrifies me is not that this happening, it was all clearly predictable a decade or two ago, it’s the speed at which it’s degrading America and it’s accelerating.

  4. 4

    You Bubbleheads Made a Funny Comment That if SWE Sells His Stock the Market is Doomed

    Its all luck and Ouija Boards to predict the stock market, but perhaps the joke is randomly also true?

    “…Investors should sell any equities bought over the past year, hold the proceeds as cash and take a holiday from the market for six months, according to Steen Jakobsen, Saxo Bank A/S’s chief economist.

    A likely increase in U.S. interest rates will intensify market volatility and threatens to wipe out any gains investors may have made in the past two years, Jakobsen said in a March 29 interview in Dubai. Slower expansion in the economies of the U.S. and China will also hurt investors holding stocks, said Jakobsen, who last year predicted a drop in oil prices to below $80 a barrel.

    More from Bloomberg.com: Iran Thaw Seen Re-Stoking $6 Billion Market for Steel

    “If nothing else, reduce your stock portfolio to where it was on the first of January last year, put the money into cash and take a nice long summer holiday,” said Jakobsen, 50, also chief investment officer at the Danish lender. “You won’t make any money, but you lose all the downside risk.”

    China’s weaker property market is weighing on economic growth and cutting demand for commodities from copper to steel. The latest consumer spending data in the U.S. indicate the biggest part of the economy may not sustain momentum after the strongest quarterly growth in purchases since 2006…”


    There’s a big reason you should not shrug off a MSM Bloomberg prediction on a Bear Market for 2015….this MSM source has always been pro-business and NWO slanted, so if they’re negative, worry.

  5. 5
    Macro Investor says:

    By softwarengineer @ :

    RE: redmondjp @
    “… robots are stealing the unskilled jobs and excessive insourced overpopulation is stealing your higher paid skilled jobs, resulting in much lower labor rates too.”

    Don’t worry, the city council will just raise the minimum wage again. $25 an hour would solve everything. Now the 2 remaining workers will be able to afford living in the city again.

    All the unskilled workers and young people with phd’s are all in the same boat now.

  6. 6
    DrRick says:

    These are really funny comments! Too close to home, but the humor is appreciated.

    I’ll have to reconsider homelessness as a career path.

    Fel Temp Reparatio

  7. 7

    RE: Macro Investor @
    LOL Macro Investor

    This push for college education and concurrent mass increases in foreign student visas for more out of state double tuition rates [rather than half priced instate tuition rates for our domestic legal citizens] benefits mainly one group: “college educators”, until we replace them on the cheap too. Ohhhhh….its common knowledge visa overstays grabbing up the high skilled jobs on the cheap is rampant in America now too. Snippet from an American PhD:

    “…Dr. Gene Nelson says:

    March 28, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    The visa overstay problem implies that American “white collar” – not just “blue collar” positions are being imperiled.

    The Department of Justice completed an overstay study in 1998 using 1993 data. The table of contents is here:

    http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/INS/e9708/i9708p1.htm#Transmittal Letter says that, “The report showed that the great majority of aliens from Europe, Asia, and Africa who were legalizing their status had overstayed. The overstays in the study were better educated, tended to have higher family incomes, and held white collar jobs at a higher rate than those aliens who had surreptitiously entered the United States (also known as entered without inspection or “EWI”). Of the overstays, 67 percent had over 12 years of education and 9 percent had 6 or fewer years of education. However, of the EWIs in the study, only 17 percent had over 12 years of education and 45 percent had 6 or fewer years of education. Twenty-nine percent of the overstays earned $30,000 or more, while only 17 percent of the EWIs earned as much. Thirty-four percent of all overstays fell into the lowest end of the earning scale (under $12,000 per annum) versus about 41 percent of the EWIs. Twenty-five percent of overstays, but only 8 percent of EWIs, held white collar jobs.”

    Note that the overstay percentage from India has increased this number, as the survey data was collected prior to the passage of the Immigration Act of 1990, which created the controversial H-1B Visa program. The H-1B
    Visa program has increased the overstay population. Some of these CIS reports on H-1B discuss this important issue. http://www.cis.org/H1BNonimmigrantVisaProgam


    IOWs, no one’s safe from the NWO plans.

  8. 8
    Blurtman says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ – One aspect that I think is unappreciated – where the overstays and H1B’s come from countries with free education, we are essentially opening up citizens to unfair competition within their own country.

  9. 9

    RE: Blurtman @
    Yes Blurtman

    And God forbid I also bring in “transcript fraud” the Chinese are accused of stealing slots from legal Americans in universities now requiring 3.8-4.0 GPAs for acceptance.

    I think the quality of foreign college education generally lacks compared to an American college too, but that is a moot point IMO compared to the language and cultural barriers these “on the cheap” American replacements demonstrate. Did anyone say VISTA?

  10. 10
    redmondjp says:

    Hey, did you see the new Amazon “dash buttons” for consumer products on the news lately?

    Every time you press the button, it orders the product.

    Pure genius!!!!

    Now, wait until somebody gets home from work and finds 47 boxes of Tide on their front porch.

    Who knew that Fluffy could order laundry detergent?

  11. 11
    pfft says:

    Who’s Behind the Secretive Group Bashing Elizabeth Warren’s Favorite Agency?

    another fake “grassroots” and “consumer” advocate group.

  12. 12
    pfft says:

    Global warming, where rising sea levels don’t get you the lack of water will…

    You’re a fool if you don’t take global warming into account while purchasing a house or even starting a business.

    California governor order first ever water restrictions

  13. 13
    DrRick says:

    RE: softwarengineer @
    Personally, I think it’s a great idea to cherry pick all the foreign grads in the US. They come here and get and education and then go home. Why not give them green cards and raise the overall immigrant quality?
    All of us on this board had families that came from somewhere else.

    Fel Temp Reparatio

  14. 14
    Blurtman says:

    “Why not give them green cards and raise the overall immigrant quality?”

    I say we git ’em!

  15. 15

    RE: DrRick @
    Yes We All Have an Immigrant Background

    Unless we came from the French 15,000 years ago that got here when the Atlantic froze over during the Ice Age. But they arrived here legally and waited in line, big difference than Visa overstays.

    Besides, I’m college educated but not an over educated idiot [at least I hope not, LOL], so what? The best of the college grads I knew from the University Washington [straight As] can also be somewhat useless in a job [I know one engineering graduate that is in prison right now]. The junior college kids from the PNW built up MSFT with Windows 98, without anti-virus S/W needed too. Since then, Gates has been on a rampage for techs on the cheap from foreign countries and H-1Bs…what has it bought MSFT? Vista. Enough said.

  16. 16

    RE: redmondjp @
    Amazon Workers in Seattle

    Are tech related, but will they hire from the PNW tech base for livable wages or just grab ’em up with almost free internships outside of Washington State? Other countries?

    Try to find this out on the internet search engines….it doesn’t tell you.

  17. 17
    Blurtman says:

    But can any country adjust to unregulated immigration? Shouldn’t communities have some control over resource allocation?

  18. 18
    DrRick says:

    By softwarengineer @ :

    RE: DrRick @
    Yes We All Have an Immigrant Background

    Unless we came from the French 15,000 years ago that got here when the Atlantic froze over during the Ice Age. But they arrived here legally and waited in line, big difference than Visa overstays.

    SWE, I know this is out of context but now I have the mental image of 15,000 years ago people arriving legally and waiting in line to immigrate. Too funny! I crack me up.

    Fel Temp Reparatio

  19. 19
    pfft says:

    By softwarengineer @ :

    RE: DrRick @
    Yes We All Have an Immigrant Background

    Unless we came from the French 15,000 years ago that got here when the Atlantic froze over during the Ice Age. But they arrived here legally and waited in line, big difference than Visa overstays.

    errr, often there was no line until the “wrong people” started showing up. since none of them had permission from the Native Americans we are all illegal:)

  20. 20
    Blurtman says:

    The experience of native Americans proves that unregulated immigration can be detrimental to the current inhabitants.

  21. 21

    RE: Blurtman @
    That’s It in a Nutshell Blurtman

    We’re the “laughing stock” of the rest of the world, as we recently/currently allow more overpopulation immigration into America than the rest of the earth’s nations combined. Meanwhile, its not the Industrial Revolution in 1880 anymore….we don’t have any job growth anymore and we’re living on $16T debt. The high skilled excuse is a lie too, when you look at the actuals of the innovation and inventions since 1960. My dad’s generation invented almost everything manufactured today, and I’m retiring. What good are the high tech insourced overpopulation? Drain more potable water from California’s empty wells the last 5 years? Force us to rely on fracking to eat? Lie about the real unemployment rate? Kill off the endangered species Orca and salmon with fertilizer drainage into the green belts, sound and ocean? Etc., etc., etc….

    Mother Earth magazine states a dog is the carbon footprint of 3 Hummers. Imagine what a single human is? One ride on a Boeing jet is a year of recycling down the drain, carbon footprint measured.

    Happy Earth Day Bubbleheads, its officially this month. April 22nd. Happy Easter too!

  22. 22

    One thing nice about this market is apparently move up buyers are mainly buying first, judging by the number of vacant listings. Makes it very easy to preview/show.

  23. 23
    pfft says:

    Quiz: Can you identify these cities by only looking at their bike lanes?

    Just remember that bike lanes are an Agenda 21 plot to keep you under control. keep on spending tens of thousands of dollars over the years getting to work so you can afford to…get to work:)

  24. 24

    Of the roughly 2800 active SFR listings in King County, approximately 400 are built in 2015, which means they might be just a foundation (or even less) at this point.

    Numbers from NWMLS sources, but not complied by or guaranteed by the NWMLS. Except this stat: I did discover that none of the active listings were built in 2105.

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