The most expensive housing market in the world: Vancouver levies a $10,000 a year tax on empty homes. Not telling the truth and it becomes $10,000 a day.
While many areas of the US are now back near housing bubble territory after correcting, Canada never corrected and today has seen real estate values inch into the stratosphere. Global wealth, largely from China is fueling the flames of the Canadian housing bubble. While many that live in areas like Vancouver are frustrated in finding a rental or even affording a home, thousands of homes sit empty. Why? Because extremely wealthy foreigners use real estate as an exit hatch in various nations. These homes simply become trophies for the globally connected. Vancouver is taking some action levying a $10,000 a year tax on homes that sit empty. This might seem odd to you that a home would simply sit empty but this is the case in many high priced markets. Let us look at the most inflated housing market in the world.
94,609,000 adult Americans not in the labor force: In January 2009, 80,529,000 were not in the labor force. Now we’ve added 14 million Americans.
There is truly a silent majority in the United States and those are people that are not in the labor force. It is hard to believe but since January of 2009 we have added a whopping 14 million Americans to the already staggering number of adult Americans that are not in the labor force. Many older Americans are fully reliant on Social Security and are one missed direct deposit from being out on the streets and starving. Adults not in the labor force are largely ignored because they have weak purchasing power. Who is going to advertise to them? Yet this massive group makes up nearly one-third of the entire population. Are we heading to 100,000,000 adult Americans that will no longer be in the labor force?
The story of inflation between 1996 and 2016 is of rising prices in things that you need: Prices skyrocket for middle class goods and services.
Inflation is rarely discussed in the mainstream press. Most people wake up every day and simply believe that prices go up as a natural state. These deeply held assumptions usually crack when new revelations happen like centuries ago with new scientific discoveries showing that our planet is not the center of the universe. Yet somehow people hold on tightly refusing to acknowledge that inflation is caused directly by banks, governments, and central banks. It is interesting to look at inflation data over a 20 year period, form 1996 to 2016. What you will find in the data is that prices are soaring in the items people need, especially those items to enter into the middle class. Since wages are not keeping up, it is no surprise then that the middle class over this time has shrank into a minority class.
The Suburban Ghetto: Today one in three poor Americans, about 16.4 million people live in the suburbs.
We tend to think of the suburbs as middle class utopias. When people think of the American Dream they usually draw up a picture of a home with a picket white fence in the suburb. Poverty is usually left to inner cities and crammed multi-family dwellings. So it might come as a surprise that over the last decade the fastest growing segment of poverty occurred in the suburbs. It occurred in this market as people were driven out of city centers where prices surged and people were driven further outside of the city. In the past, this push out was usually done by choice for quality of life and family purposes. This time, it has happened by economic force and poverty in the suburbs is exploding. This goes hand in hand with the shrinking middle class.
The Millennial Conundrum: Millennials are bogged down by massive student debt and confiscatory housing prices.
Millennials are a critical group in terms of where the economy goes in the next few years. The economy largely relies on younger people to spend and purchase consumption items. Think of a young couple buying their first home. That in itself is a big purchase. Then comes big ticket items like refrigerators, a family car, bed, television, and all the trappings of filling a home. Baby boomers followed a very clear script when it came to this consumption behavior. Millennials on the other hand have not. They are largely constrained by a couple of major things that simply were not tied to the previous generation. And what could those be? Millennials are bogged down by student debt and confiscatory housing prices.
The Silent Majority, those Not in the Labor Force: 94,184,000 Adult Americans Not Participating in the Labor Force.
There are roughly 74.9 million baby boomers. Then you have approximately 75.4 million Millennials. Big groups that can sway the election. But how many people are not in the labor force? You have a whopping 94.2 million adult Americans that are not in the labor force. In other words the largest voting bloc of adults is going to be a group that isn’t employed. So think about what issues are going to matter to this group. It is a given that a large part of this cohort comes from older Americans. Those that are concerned with healthcare and Social Security. But you have many in this subsection of America that would like to work but simply cannot find work. We are talking about millions here. So it will be interesting to see how this group will vote one month from now.
The retirement gamble: 30 percent of American adults have no retirement savings. Half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.
Retirement angst is a big deal. It probably feels like a bigger deal since older baby boomers are now entering into retirement age in wildebeest like droves. A time that was supposed to be spent sipping ice cold margaritas on the warm beaches of the world is now filled with working retail jobs or trying to pay the rising bills brought on by inflation. Many have now realized that the new retirement scenario means working until you die and are put deep into the ground. Many Americans do not have any sort of retirement savings. This actually makes sense given that half of the country lives paycheck to paycheck. Once the monthly expenses are accounted for, there is little left over to save for retirement. Millions of Americans are realizing that retirement is now one giant gamble.