Department of Numbers

Friday November 8, 2013

Tricky indeed...

Well, there's a lot of evidence that fewer people are living in old-style, middle-class neighborhoods. You see this in American cities. Manhattan is far wealthier than before; Washington, D.C., is rapidly gentrifying. Meanwhile, places like Texas are absorbing more poor people, who are leaving places like California or New York. So I think we're seeing much more geographic segregation by income class.

I think there will be much larger numbers of people who live somewhat bohemian, [freelance] lifestyles, who culturally feel very upper-middle-class or even upper-class, but who don't have that much money. (Think of many parts of Brooklyn.) Those individuals will be financially precarious, but live happy, productive lives. How we evaluate that ethically is very tricky. Still, I think that's what we're going to see.

Wednesday November 6, 2013

Monetary stimulus has helped homeowners more than its helped renters.

While homeowners have been able to reduce their monthly payments to the lowest level in decades via mortgage refinancing and cutting back on credit card usage, the FOR for renters has been on the rise.

Of course the most overburdened homeowners lost their homes and became renters which also brought down the financial obligations of aggregate homeowners.