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Buyers In These Once-Hot Markets Are Less Likely To Feel The Urgency

A press release from Redfin. “Only six of the 85 largest metro areas Redfin tracks saw a year-over-year decline in their median sale price, the biggest of which was once again in San Jose, where home prices were down 4.9 percent from a year earlier. Oxnard, CA (-4.8%), Oakland, CA (-2.0%), Seattle, WA (-0.5%), Lake County, IL (-0.1%) and Los Angeles, CA (-0.1%) rounded out the list of metro areas with price drops.”

“‘As national home price growth stabilizes, we’re continuing to see supply and demand dynamics play out differently in affordable inland markets than in expensive coastal markets,’ said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. ‘Expensive markets like the Bay Area and Seattle are still feeling a chill with falling prices and many more homes for sale than there were a year ago. Unlike their inland counterparts, buyers in these once-hot West Coast markets are less likely to feel the urgency to buy while rates are low and before prices rise more.'”

“Home sales fell 8.0 percent in June compared to a year earlier. This was a sharp reversal from May, when home sales increased 2.2 percent from a year before. The decline was broad—80 of the 85 metros tracked by Redfin saw year-over-year home sales fall in June. With prices growing, flat inventory, and homes selling as fast as ever, we were surprised to see that the number of sales fell as much as it did in June. The 8 percent drop was the fourth largest decline in eight years.”

“The three metro areas with the biggest increases in the number of homes for sale were all in California: San Jose (+42.8%), Oxnard (+26.1%), and Oakland (+25.7%).”

The Westchester Journal News in New York. “The housing market in the Lower Hudson Valley region has shown a slight slowdown in the second quarter, and experts blame the decline on the new tax law that limits the total state and local tax deduction.”

“‘There was a slight decrease in activity and sales for the first time in quite a while,’ said Ron Garafalo, president of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors. ‘We’ve seen a larger level of decrease in the very high-end market.'”

“Joseph Rand, managing partner with Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, said the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is causing the slump. But there’s a bright side to this condition, Rand said. ‘The prices for high-end homes are really desirable right now. The prices are really good in terms of the values you get,’ he said. ‘There’s a lot of inventory out there. It’s a really good time to buy high-end homes.’

The Tampa Bay Times in Florida. “For years, it has been one of the priciest homes on the market in Tampa Bay — a 20,519-square-foot estate with a movie theater, ice cream shop and 14 tumbling waterfalls. Several months ago, owner William Baumgart thought he finally had a buyer. A company headed by a Manatee County woman agreed to pay $9.75 million for the house plus memorabilia.”

“Just before the sale was due to close, a dispute arose. The company sued Baumgart and the deal fell through. That should not have been surprising, given the background of the company’s president, Lori Ann Nademus. At the time Nademus was under contract for Baumgart’s mansion, her own Lakewood Ranch house was in foreclosure. She faced a $536,360 judgment in California. And she had declared bankruptcy six times in the previous eight years.”

“But Nademus came out well in the aborted transaction. Baumgart got the case dismissed — by paying her $300,000 ‘to get out of my life,’ he said.”

“In Tampa Bay’s luxury real estate circles, what happened with the Baumgart estate has sparked talk and concern. Agents with high-end listings say they often are asked to show multimillion-dollar houses to people who may not have the means to buy them. Realtors Ed Gunning and Mary Pond have fended off requests to show a $22 million Thonotosassa estate, the priciest Tampa Bay house now for sale. Among those eager to tour it were some people from South Florida.”

“‘The agent said, ‘We drove over from Palm Beach looking for a horse farm,’ Gunning recalled. ‘Nobody drives from Palm Beach looking for a horse farm in Thonotosassa, that’s total nonsense. They can no more buy a $22 million house than I can.’ Nonetheless, Gunning and Pond asked for a financial statement. They got one — in Chinese.”

“On May 28 — the day before the scheduled closing and the day before her house was again set for foreclosure auction — Nademus declared bankruptcy for the seventh time. She listed assets of $216,275, mostly the value of her house. Debts? Nearly $700,000.”

This Post Has 103 Comments
  1. ‘Expensive markets like the Bay Area and Seattle are still feeling a chill with falling prices and many more homes for sale than there were a year ago’

    Wait a minute redfin, you guys said Seattle was to the moon Alice! 3 months ago? Don’t tell us you’s a lion!

    Note that I’m the only person calling them out on this. Come on Seattle Times, you gleefully repeated this garbage, ask them why they got it so wrong.

    1. seatlle has been in crash mode for a year? Price reporting is useless on the downside. Takes forever. Inventory tells you now.

    2. There’s a storm a brewin’ in the West Coast housing markets. You better batten down the hatches before it makes landfall!

  2. ‘The company sued Baumgart and the deal fell through. That should not have been surprising, given the background of the company’s president, Lori Ann Nademus. At the time Nademus was under contract for Baumgart’s mansion, her own Lakewood Ranch house was in foreclosure. She faced a $536,360 judgment in California. And she had declared bankruptcy six times in the previous eight years’

    This is unpossible. Why just the other day we heard shack owners have so much sweet equity, they just need to sell! And this is California we’re talking about. Not only could she rake in hundreds of thousand$, she’d get a bushel of love letters from desperate people living in their RVs.

    Thornberg! Eat yer crowz!

    1. I don’t understand the part where “the company sued Baumgart.” Sued… for what? And he paid $300K just to shut her up?

      So now anyone can just pretend to buy a mansion, sue the mansion owner for.. something 🤨… and walk off with $300K? Obviously I studied the wrong thing in college.

      1. Here …

        “In March, Teras Foundation and Nademus contracted to pay $9.75 million — $8 million for the house and $1.75 million for the furnishings and celebrity memorabilia. Nademus put $150,000 in escrow and the sale was set to close on May 24.

        “According to Baumgart, the title agency had received nothing from the lender as of May 23. At 5:15 p.m. on closing day, Baumgart agreed to extend the closing until May 29 so Nademus could obtain financing. But on May 29, she said that the loan processor who was supposed to send the documents fell asleep and lost them.”

        😁

        “At that point, Baumgart prepared to cancel the contract and temporarily take the house off the market. But Teras Foundation claimed he had ‘secretly communicated” with the lender about a change in the legal description of the property that had not previously been disclosed, resulting in a delay of the closing date. (Baumgart denied any secret communications.) On June 7, Teras Foundation sued Baumgart, blaming him for the closing problems and seeking to force him to go ahead with the sale.

        “‘I tried to give them every opportunity to buy the house,” Baumgart said, ‘and at the end they filed a lawsuit so it would stifle me selling the house and then I found a real buyer, a guy who actually has money.’

        “The sale to the new buyer was set to close Aug. 15. That left Baumgart with two choices: He could fight the lawsuit, which could drag on indefinitely. Or he could pay to get the suit dismissed so he could finally sell the house after five years of trying. He chose the latter, and on July 10 Teras Foundation dismissed its lawsuit, freeing up the house.”

        1. Thanks. So you actually *can* just walk in, claim something shady, sue, drag it out, and still walk off with $150K profit.

          I guess “they believed her?” This is disgusting. This should have been thrown out of court.

        2. “But on May 29, she said that the loan processor who was supposed to send the documents fell asleep and lost them.”

          My dog ate my loan documents!

    2. How does this even happen? Who lends money to her?

      #####

      “And she had declared bankruptcy six times in the previous eight years”

    3. How did Baumgart make the money to buy a 20,000 sq ft home? He sold his title company in 2006 right before the bubble burst.

      “William Baumgart, 54, and his now ex-wife, Nancy, built the home in 2006, the same year he sold his Clearwater-based TransContinental Title Company to one of America’s largest title insurers for an undisclosed amount.”

      http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/realestate/just-how-big-is-floridas-biggest-backyard-swimming-pool/2167831

      https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3255-Buffalo-Run-Tarpon-Springs-FL-34688/68597932_zpid/

  3. ‘Home sales fell 8.0 percent in June compared to a year earlier. This was a sharp reversal from May, when home sales increased 2.2 percent from a year before. The decline was broad—80 of the 85 metros tracked by Redfin saw year-over-year home sales fall in June…The 8 percent drop was the fourth largest decline in eight years’

    Isn’t June the big enchilada for shack sales?

    ”with…homes selling as fast as ever, we were surprised to see that the number of sales fell as much as it did in June’

  4. Wow. In my own back yard. Have not heard of this Person in Manatee County. Emblematic of they types of things that happen at end of cycles. Did she not show proof of funds or prequalification for the agent and owner prior to entering into contract? Usually required for large transactions.

    Replay of 2005 or 06. Ready or not, here it comes.

    1. I think according to HyW 50 Obama could fix that if you reason through a comment he made on the last thread and has said previously. He continues to talk about how great 2013 was for Farmers and it was during Obama’s presidency. The reason crop prices were high in 2013 was that in 2012 the country had the hottest and dryest year since the mid 1950s and it wiped out much of the crops which were planted. Thus, I guess according to him Obama caused the 2012 weather. Lol

      1. Then next year might be a banner year for farmers again. The annual “500-year” 🙄 floods this spring wiped out a lot of crops in the Midwest. The emergency preparedness community anticipates that this fall’s harvest will be poor, driving up prices, and has been advising to stock up on food now.

        1. Are you denying that 2012 was a drought year? Are you denying that once the drought related shortages were gone the prices were falling prior to Trump even taking office? Your own chart shows it. As oxide correctly noted poor crops this year can result in a much higher prices next year. Tariffs have had very little impact on world supply and demand. It has meant that a larger portion of our crop has gone to different countries. However the key to pricing is the overall supply and next year should be good for Farmers if the crop is poor this year.

          1. BTW your own chart shows that prices in 2016 under Obama were worse than now with the tariffs.

          2. $wingin’ & mi$$in’ … time & time again:

            Commodity price$ least effected by weather. Here’$ 150 years of data crowz.inyer.$crawcrow.face

            U$A / Canda = $ame re$ults
            Corn.soybeans.wheat.rice.milo. … All $uffer equally because of the way agri.business has evolved.

            1985 is often cited as the beginning of the farm crisis period. The graph above shows why the crisis began in that year. Grain prices since the mid-’80s have been especially damaging to Canadian agriculture. The post-1985 collapse in grain prices has had several effects:

            – The expulsion of one-third of Canadian farm families in just one generation;
            – The expul$ion of two-thirds of young farmers (under 35 years of age) over the same period;
            – A tripling of farm debt$, to a record $102 billion;
            – A chronic need to tran$fer taxpayer dollar$ to farmers through farm-$upport program$ (with transfers totaling $110 billion since 1985); and
            – A push toward farm gianti$m, with the majority of land in western Canada now operated by farms larger than 3,000 acre$, and with many farms covering ten$-of-thousand$ of acre$.

            As per-bushel and per-acre margins fall, the solution is to cover more acres. The ine$capable re$ult is fewer farm$ and farmers.

            It is impossible to delve into all the causes of the grain price decline in one blog post. Briefly, farmers are getting le$$ and less because others are taking more and more. A previous blog post highlighted the widening gap between what Canadians pay for bread in the grocery store and what farmers receive for wheat at the elevator. This widening gap is created because grain companie$, railway$, milling companie$, other processor$, and retailer$ are taking more and more, chocking off the flow of dollars to farmers. This is manife$t in declining prices. Agribusine$$ giant$ are profiting by charging consumers more per loaf and paying farmers less per bushel.I

            https://www.darrinqualman.com/wheat-price/

          3. You really do have TDS. The prices are higher now than 2016. You are just rambling, you are not showing Trump’s failure at all by talking about Canadian farm problems since 1985. Why is it that many people attacking Trump sound like they are demonically possessed. I think John would know better than I do. The best years under Obama for most Farmers were after the 2012 drought. However as the chart shows by 2016 the prices were very low. It is too bad oil during the best years was over $100 a barrel due to Obama’s Libya intervention. If farmers did not have to pay so much for diesel etc. They would have been much more profitable.

        2. aqdan $till unable to dige$t the 150 year trend$ line$ crowz$ …

          $tamp.them.lil.feet$, $tamp’em!

          1. You were blaming Trump for the low prices. Now you are admitting it is not him but 150 years of history. You have undercut your own argument with a chart which shows that prices are better now even with the tariffs than they were the last year of Obama. Your chart also showed the recovery in prices after the 2012 drought. Finally, you showed that today’s low prices are consistent with a 150 years. You are slapping yourself silly, you have managed to make my case. I just need to ask for a directed verdict from the judge. Lol

  5. Bernie Sanders campaign announces it will cut hours to pay staffers $15 minimum wage, prompting mockery

    “For the first time in his life, socialist Bernie Sanders practices economics and, buddy, the results are hilarious,” wrote columnist and humorist Stephen Miller. He added: “Why won’t millionaire Bernie Sanders, who owns 3 homes, instead of cutting hours, pay his staff a living wage? People are starving.”

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/bernie-sanders-campaign-announces-it-will-cut-hours-to-pay-staffers-15-minimum-wage-prompting-mockery

    1. Bernie Sanders was well known in Burlington Vermont for my tipping. His excuse was the staff should be paid by the employer and not have to rely on tips. Convenient excuse for being a tightwad. Bernie, you are an employer pay your staff a living wage and that means sufficient hours. Practice what you preach.

      1. I agree with the no-tipping idea. Tipping is really such a bad practice. I wish we would get rid of it in the US. It really makes no sense to tip as a percentage of the meal total. The service required is the same regardless of the actual bill.

        It’s also why I try to frequent fast casual restaurants because I want decent food but I don’t want to pay someone extra for things I can gladly do for myself (I’m also not going to stiff anyone).

        1. So you punish the wait staff? They rely on tips. BTW, AOC refused to share tips properly by all accounts. The left is only generous with OPM.

          1. Did you read my comment? I frequent fast casual (e.g. non-tip establishments). I wouldn’t stiff anyone. Why do you have to make every comment on here about DJT and AOC? We get it, you love DJT.

        2. I agree with no tipping as well. But the way to get rid of tipping is by advocating to the legislatures from the top, not sabotaging from the bottom. I guess Sanders (and you) think that if you mount some kind of personal protest, millions will join you in not tipping and force a change that way. You’ll just starve out the wait staff and probably restaurant owners too. Bernie Sanders knows this and refuses to tip anyway.

          But I’m not optimistic about the no tipping. About a year ago, the citizens of Washington DC voted yes on a city referendum to gradually phase out tipping and raise wait-staff to normal wages. The city council *overturned* the referendum — yes, they basically vetoed the will of voters — justifying by saying that the voter turnout was low. That’s how powerful the restaurant industry is in DC.

          1. But the way to get rid of tipping is by advocating to the legislatures from the top, not sabotaging from the bottom.

            I disagree that the way to get rid of tipping is to stiff people. I wouldn’t take out my disdain on the wait staff by stiffing them. The way to do it is to choose establishments where you don’t need to tip because they have already adopted a fair wage:

            https://table.skift.com/2018/08/06/no-tips-allowed-how-three-small-restaurants-make-it-work/

    2. Everything you need to know about these unserious clowns on the left, in a nutshell.

      I don’t know who is worse — the cynical demagogues promising the magical wage, or the workers having a sense of entitlement for it.

  6. “Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie to become Marvel Studios’ first LGBTQ superhero”
    A Marvel executive confirmed that Tessa Thompson’s superhero character will be involved in an LGBTQ storyline in “Thor: Love and Thunder.”

    Who TF conceives these narratives?

    1. That industry has been out of ideas for a long time now; pandering is pretty much all that’s left.

      1. Let me speak of the sudden desire to choke someone whenever I hear the word “woke” being used these days…

    2. This is a pretty big topic in the comic book/superhero movie circles. The studios — meaning Disney, since they already bought most of these properties — plan to re-vive, re-make, reboot, re-shoot, and sequel-up all of the old franchises, only this time changing the old characters into new LQBGTFX? characters of color.

      You see, white men (and some white women) are the evil patriarchy… that is, until you need a good story and a built-in fanbase with $$ to spend. Then the white man is something to be culturally appropriated.

      1. I’ll be laughing from my grave in the year 2200 when what’s left of America tries to “culturally appropriate” electricity, running water, and the other basics of a functioning economy.

        Paraphrasing some 4chan comments that they’ll be digging with sticks in the dirt to find bugs to eat and telling stories about how when the whypipo all died they took the electricity and water with them.

        1. Apt, they’re doing that already. It’s called illegal immigration and, to a lesser extent, H1B. Don’t have sufficient electricity or flush toilets in your country? Don’t manage your natural resources to get money to string your own wires, or lift buildings to install sewer pipes underneath, like industrial countries did 80-90 years ago. Oh heck no. Just invade the countries that already did the work for you.

          1. These schitt-hole countries lack democratic institutions. Infrastructure projects are among the first things destroyed when a civil war ensues. A military deployment would have humbled you.

      2. The arrested development losers can all have their cartoons and comic books. It’s of absolutely zero interest to me. **** them.

    1. hey Oxide is it tanking on your side ?
      Not in 22151 w inventory at 1/2 par.
      everything selling in under 30 days here

      1. $/sqft down 12% YoY according to Redfin-ished. Not surprised to see brisk sales volumes when value is down and mortgage rates are down. Typical late cycle last gasp.

        Hold on to your desperate hopes of central bank funded riches through magical unicorn home value appreciation. Won’t be long.

      2. No Amazon effect here, but I’m not seeing any tanking either. Few price reductions. Houses are all getting new $35K kitchens, and being listed for $40K over inflation appreciation. Unfortunately Zillow dumbed down their search engine, so I can’t see the Pending Offers.

        But IMO it’s going to get interesting in 2-3 months, when kiddies are in school and house sales tank. Then I expect those prices to come down.

  7. Prices are going to be fake and subject to bust as long as the Wall Street method of easy money Investment, constant churn for fees, faulty lending and not tracking with wages is operative.

  8. Rv’$, Hardly Davidson’$, … Boat$ … & The beat$ goe$ on, & thee beat$ goe$ on …

    Circumstantial evidence$, like when you find a trout in yer milk.

    “So there’s something else out there. I’m not sure what that is.”

    Boat stock$ take a broad beating after analy$ts $lash rating$, target$

    Published: July 22, 2019 | MarketWatch

      1. “Examining the home price boom and its effect on owner$, lender$, regulator$, realtor$ and the economy as a whole.”

        it’$ all about$ the monie$!

        It’$ my $tyle, … (There are option$ to ignore it)

      2. You can always install the JoshuaTree Extension(Firefox or Chrome), right-click on the poster’s name and select “add to ignore list”. Boom, no more “$$$”.

        Thanks…I’ll be here all week. Try the veal!

  9. “Only six of the 85 largest metro areas Redfin tracks saw a year-over-year decline in their median sale price,…”

    Four of them are in California, plus Seattle and the wealthy northern Burbs of Chicago.

    It’s a start…

  10. “How does this even happen? Who lends money to her?”

    I still get credit card and loan offers in the mail for my dad. He died in 1970.

    I have a nephew by marriage (I call him Mr. Green Card) who was a high roller in the previous housing bubble. After the crash, when his job disappeared and his homes all went into foreclosure, he and his wife filed bankruptcy, then moved overseas. Seven years later, they returned and had no trouble getting credit all over again.

    My sister’s BIL was a paranoid schizophrenic, living on public assistance, no job. He had absolutely no problem getting credit cards. As soon as he’d max one out, he’d get a new one, and max that one out. The fact that he was living on SSDI and had a lousy credit history didn’t dissuade the lenders. He died deeply in debt.

    It’s things like this that make me completely unsympathetic to lenders. They’ve chosen to lend money to bad credit risks, and they don’t learn from their mistakes. If they don’t care, there’s no reason the rest of us should.

    1. Yes seven years. I do not know how you have six bankruptcies in eight years as claimed above. I guess a number of them could be corporate.

      1. Indeed. Needs an explanation. If even remotely correct that’s a May Day’s worth of red flags.

    2. “It’s things like this that make me completely unsympathetic to lenders.”

      Do tell.

      “They’ve chosen to lend money to bad credit risks, and they don’t learn from their mistakes. If they don’t care, there’s no reason the rest of us should.”

      The money they lend to bad credit risks belongs to somebody else. For this lending (of somebody else’s money) they some hefty collect fees.

      The credit card receivables that are due to them are packaged up and sold off to investors (many of whom use other people’s money and in turn they, too, get to collect some hefty fees).

      1. When things go South financial wise, a situation that nobody could have seen coming, the owners of the money get hung out to dry. The collectors of the fees do not get hung out to dry because “nobody could have seen this coming” HOWEVER the collectors of the fees GET TO KEEP the fees they collected.

        The collectors of the fees, the lenders, have it made; They live in the present and the fees are paid to them in the present. The true owners of the money live in the future; It is sometime in the future that they expect to get their money back plus the profit of a return that was promised to them.

  11. It’s about time Oxnard takes a dive. Overpriced wasteland of a town. Horrible schools, incompetent city management, and routine gang violence. And yet Redfin was saying these were $600k prime real estate run down shacks.

  12. Insult to injury….
    Did Epstein’s fund get secret bail out money in sweet heart deal to clean out Beats Stearns books before JP Morgan take over?
    http://wallstreetonparade.com/2019/07/jeffrey-epstein-chaired-a-6-7-billion-company-that-documents-suggest-may-have-received-a-secret-federal-reserve-bailout/

    Also alluded to in this article which I was not aware of, bail outs started in secret before there was any announcement of such. They are doing the same thing now or I’m a monkey’s uncle.

  13. Driverless car$ or Distracted driver Syndrome … which will create greater odds of you becoming a injured victim?

    FINANCE
    TD Ameritrade launches an in-car feature that lets drivers check $tocks, get price$ while in traffic
    CNBC | MON, JUL 22 2019 |Kate Rooney

    a report by data company Inrix that said drivers lost an average of 97 hours last year due to congestion. It said the cost of sitting in traffic nationwide was close to $87 billion — an average of $1,348 per driver.

    “For those who follow the financial markets closely, that loss is compounded by untold missed opportunity,” TD Ameritrade said in a press release.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/22/were-getting-closer-to-being-able-to-trade-in-your-car.html

  14. Look folks don’t complicate it, the cold facts:
    2% Fed Funds rate soon ( means no confidence), mortgages back under 4% ( houses still sit), bank interest if you have cash in the tank again ( Seniors in trouble again), inflation formula total skewed (breakfast out $25 for 2), nothing cheap only to borrow more money (???), no matter who is in office you can’t have 22 trillion and most likely much more (does anybody believe GOVT), and credit cards max out (where are the small savings and loans).
    Soup kitchens around the corner, oh I forgot check that, Campbell Soup soon to be no more, Kool aid anybody?

    1. Medicare for all talk suggests that government is going to cancel a entire industry and the government will be the single payer insurance collector by taxes or by direct charges monthly for health care

      The reason why Medicare was enacted for 65 and over was because over 50 years ago the insurance companies didn’t want to insure them or the insurance was so high nobody could afford it.

      So the government took over the sector of older people that insurance industry didn’t want.

      Now in talking about Medicare for all your talking about wiping out a entire industry of insurance companies in favor of government being the single payer insurer.

      I’m just saying that government taking over a entire industry, that already got higher profits for 50 years because government took over the high risk older people, is different than original take over of 65 and older 50 years ago.

      In other words, the insurance companies didn’t really want to insure the higher risk 65 and older. But the rest of the population they make money on.

      I find it hard to believe that government can just wipe out a entire industry without objection by that industry.

      While it true that the insurance companies charge way to much these days, it’s also true that the health care providers charge to much these days. It’s really a price fixing monopoly that charges 50 % more than other Countries.

      This gouging by health care and health insurance companies is what the real problem is.

      Saying that health care, free college, housing, day care ,abortions paid by government, and debt paid by government is a right is bizarre. I don’t think by any stretch that the intent of the Founding Fathers was that Government should take over industries, or pay for industries costs, or anything the government thinks it should supplement is right.

      Government bailed out the investment/banks when standing law should of bankrupted them, and many should of been put in jail. Now these culprits are operative and Casino Nation is alive and kicking and cortorting all economics.

      Our government is run by special interest combined with poor people’s demand for free shit, and other Countries demand for free shit,( think Mexico).

      The left wingers keep saying that their policies are what America is. I think these policies come right from the Communist Manifesto, and 101 ways on how to take over a capitalist Nation.

      1. I agree with basically everything you are saying, especially that it’s insane to use the word “right” for these things.

        I find it hard to believe that government can just wipe out a entire industry without objection by that industry.

        There’s plenty of objection. But it’s behind the scenes. And lots of effort to make sure the money keeps flowing to the well connected even if it needs to be called something else.

        Personally I would love to see the insurance companies get what they deserve after decades of taking advantage of the situation…which is the primary reason I’m willing to listen to non-capitalist ideas in the health care area. It’s one place that might make sense as a regulated utility like the power companies.

        1. The great irony is that about 2/3 of health care spending is already being done by the government (1/3 medicare, 1/3 medicaid), but they lack the muscle to be able to reign in costs. For instance, medicare is prohibited from negotiating drug costs.

        2. “Personally I would love to see the insurance companies get what they deserve after decades of taking advantage of the situation…”

          The insurance companies have to sit-back and watch their beneficiaries use harmful products, e.g., alcohol, tobacco, soda pop, processed foods saturated with high fructose corn syrup, etc., and they can’t impose ranking measures such as the body mass index to curb costs. That said, I am all for high taxes on these harmful products to help fund single payer healthcare.

          1. That said, I am all for high taxes on these harmful products to help fund single payer healthcare.

            We very much agree on that point.

      2. “In other words, the insurance companies didn’t really want to insure the higher risk 65 and older. But the rest of the population they make money on.”

        Would you describe this as an instance in which the free market doesn’t work?

        1. Would you describe this as an instance in which the free market doesn’t work?

          No, it works just fine. The costs of care/treatment are high, so of course the insurance rates are high. If people aren’t willing to pay the rates, and simply forego insurance, the free market is working just as it should.

          If someone can find a way to dilute the risk pool, they could make money and would offer a product. Instead, the government solves the problem by externalizing the costs, and eliminating any chance of competition/a free market solution that may benefit all.

          1. Also, people could simply choose to self-insure. Save money over your lifetime to anticipate future costs. Heck, pool those funds and create your own medical co-op to help spread risk.

          2. simply forego insurance

            You have to be willing to withhold medical services and treatment to people who forgo insurance. I don’t think we are there as a society and while I think there might be a certain intellectual appeal to this approach, it would be rather jarring in practice in my view. I am grateful that when someone at the ER shows up with baby that is blue and unable to pay that we can do something about it.

          3. “You have to be willing to withhold medical services and treatment to people who forgo insurance. I don’t think we are there as a society and while I think there might be a certain intellectual appeal to this approach”

            E$pecially when the pla$tic.$urgeon ask the receptionist to arrange for x1 of his x8 exotic $ports car$ to be delivered before the dinner date with his most recent succe$$ful $urgery “ehancement” patient.

          4. You have to be willing to withhold medical services and treatment to people who forgo insurance.

            Or you rely on charity, rather than forcing other people to pay for it under threat of incarceration.

            We’re not all heartless bastards. Just because the government doesn’t pay for something doesn’t mean others aren’t willing to help their fellow man. Look at all the go-fund-me’s and such.

            Government has a monopoly on power. That should be exercised with extreme caution, not every time someone feels “oh, I don’t like this, someone should do something!”

          5. Or you rely on charity, rather than forcing other people to pay for it under threat of incarceration.

            Honest question: Do you think charity alone will meet the need? It doesn’t seem like it is meeting the need for the homeless population.

          6. Honest question: Do you think charity alone will meet the need? It doesn’t seem like it is meeting the need for the homeless population.

            We know it will meet at least part of the need. That would be the more compliant/”helpable” part of the population who just needs help to get on their feet. Then there is the part who actually want to live like Roma that no amount of help from anyone will change their situation. How big do you think the population is in between those two groups?

          7. Honest question: Do you think charity alone will meet the need?

            No. The need will never be fully met, be it gov’t funded or via charity. In the end, it’s a natural system where the more resources, the more procreation, the more demand, which oustrips supply, which leads to death/less demand, and the cycle continues.

            I don’t see this ever changing. There will always be starvation. There will always be people without. The rest of the system doesn’t stay constant. If it did, their might be a chance, but…the more the gov’t offers, the more people trying to figure out how to get it/qualify.

            Personally, I think that’s the big gap. It is simply not possible to satisfy all need.

          8. Personally, I think that’s the big gap. It is simply not possible to satisfy all need.

            Thanks for the response. I do agree with you in that sometimes perverse incentives can create their own demand. We all know about stories where SNAP benefits or housing vouchers are gamed. I think it’s important though to not get too hung up on the outlier cases and analyze programs as a whole. And when it isn’t working, admit it, but not through the baby out with the bath water.

            One phenomenal govt. program that actually works is WIC (Woman Infants and Children). I worked at a community health clinic for the poor running blood tests infants who came in. I can tell you that WIC dollars is money well spent and makes a difference in the health and output of our nation. Personally, I would reform SNAP benefits and dramatically limit what could be purchased with them so that Frito Lays, Coke, and Pepsi and all the corn farmers churning out HFCS don’t get their subsidies by feeding US population sugar and insulin makers don’t get their fat profit margins for type-2 diabetes.

            I think it would be fair to say we see the world differently. I do feel that the US could easily meet Maslow’s heirarchy of basic needs for the truly indigent in ways that would also not create a self-reinforcing cycle. My view is that most people do want self-actualization and they want to be contributing members of society, not leeches (some segment will always be indolent though). It’s a delicate balance to get the govt. programs (or private church programs) right. But you can iterate and follow market principles and make progress.

          9. Thanks for the response.

            Likewise, I appreciate the discourse.

            One phenomenal govt. program that actually works is WIC (Woman Infants and Children). I worked at a community health clinic for the poor running blood tests infants who came in. I can tell you that WIC dollars is money well spent and makes a difference in the health and output of our nation.

            I would challenge your perspective here and say you only had visibility into the situations that would confirm your bias/opinion, and show the positives of the program. There are likely other negatives, and side effects, that you do not have visibility into.

            I absolutely buy that at least some good comes from all of these programs. But that doesn’t make them “good” or a net win.

            I’ll give a personal example.

            I declined a job offer that paid considerably more than I currently made. Why? Because with the marginal tax rate, the trade-offs weren’t worth the difference in what I’d bring home/be able to save. Would tax receipts have been higher? Yes. Would tax receipts have been higher at a lower marginal rate? Absolutely. Might I have provided more value to society/the world at large? Maybe, we’ll never know.

            I don’t claim to know all the impacts, side-effects, etc, of these programs. I do however know there’s a big difference between mandating such things with force, vs letting people vote with their feet/dollars and letting the system work it out. No system will be perfect, and personally I’d err on the side of freedom/ability to opt out.

          10. I would challenge your perspective here and say you only had visibility into the situations that would confirm your bias/opinion, and show the positives of the program. There are likely other negatives, and side effects, that you do not have visibility into.

            This is a definitely a possibility. I will say that there are plenty of government programs that I think are boondoggles and are net negatives. I just don’t think that WIC is one of them.

            I would also point out maybe my comments on this blog lend people to believe that I love government by default. I started my young, idealistic life as a hard-core libertarian. I was an Ayn Rand devotee and read most of her work. I was a state and county delegate for the Republican party. I remember when former congressman Jason Chaffetz (now Fox news contributor) came to my office seeking donations. I consider myself an independent now and I try my best to look at each issue in isolation and as objectively as possible realizing that we all have an angle we see things from but I try to confront my biases and question my assumptions as much as possible.

            I declined a job offer that paid considerably more than I currently made. Why? Because with the marginal tax rate, the trade-offs weren’t worth the difference in what I’d bring home/be able to save.

            I totally get that. I have done that too once or twice. Once one’s basic needs are met and you reach a certain level of financial stability (which is really difficult in today’s crazily manipulated housing world), quality of life is much more important. The US has fairly low taxes compared to most other developed nations. If we really want to get at where our taxes are going though, the big issues are going to be military spending, social security, and healthcare (medicare/medicaid). Those are the elephants in the room. Everything else is just peanuts compared to those.

  15. Right, something that makes sense.
    The government having the power to tax might of been one of the worse Amendments enacted. The games that are played with that are evident.

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