These Job Trends in Silicon Valley, San Francisco Bay Area Will Hit Real Estate, the Economy, Municipal Budgets & Hype

An ugly red flag for all of California goes up.

The labor force in California fell by 19,900 in June from May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the second month in a row of declines. Nonfarm employment fell by 21,300. When was the last time when the labor force and employment fell in that period? 2009.

The California Employment Development Department also reported on Friday that year-over-year, the labor force still rose by 52,600 and employment by 198,000. That looks like a lot, but it was the smallest increase for any year-over-year period since August 2011.

This is an early red flag. But it still looks pretty good compared to what is transpiring in the San Francisco Bay Area. By some measures, there are nine counties in the Bay Area. We’ll look at the six counties that are part of the tech-jobs machine of San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

In San Francisco, nonfarm employment dropped to 542,100 jobs in June. This is the number of people working in San Francisco regardless of where they live, including the many who commute from other areas. This was down 5,100 from the employment peak in December and the lowest since June 2016.

The labor force, the number of people who live in San Francisco and are deemed to be in the labor force, was 559,800, up just 1,800 year-over-year. The chart below shows how the stunning employment boom that created 131,000 jobs from the beginning of 2010 through the end of 2016 has come to a screeching halt:

Over the seven years of that boom, employment increased by 31.6%! Employers in the city created on average 18,800 jobs per year!

But the for the 12-month period through June, employers created only 3,400 jobs, the slowest 12-month gain since April 2011. The chart below shows the rolling 12-month employment gains (blue) and losses (red) since January 2009. Note the trend from the job-creation peak in the fall of 2014 (for better visibility, I marked June in brown):

San Mateo County, just south of San Francisco on the Peninsula, is part of Silicon Valley. Given the heated rhetoric about Silicon Valley, the place should be hopping. Alas, the work force in June, at 448,400, was up only 800 souls from a year ago. The number of jobs in June fell 4,200 from the peak in December to 435,300, the lowest since June 2016 and barely above March 2016:

Only 2,100 jobs were created in the 12 month period, the lowest increase since the Great Recession:

Santa Clara County is the heart of Silicon Valley. It encompasses San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, and many other hotspots with tech giants.

Yet, the labor force dropped by 6,600 year-over-year to 1.052 million, and employment fell to 1.015 million, down 2,000 from June 2016:

The chart below shows what has happened to the hiring boom in the largest county in the Bay Area since the Great Recession: the first red column has appeared, indicating the loss of 2,000 jobs over the 12-month period:

In Alameda County – home of Oakland, Berkeley, and many other East Bay cities – employment fell to 803,600 in June. That’s down 7,300 jobs from the peak in December 2016, and the lowest since June 2016. The labor force, at 836,900, was down 8,100 from the peak in October 2016 and was down a smidgen year-over-year:

Employers in Alameda County created 134,000 jobs from 2010 through 2016, an increase of 19% over seven years, or on average 19,000 jobs per year. But in June, the 12-month increase was only 2,900, the lowest since January 2011:

In Contra Costa County in the East Bay, the labor force, at 555,400, was down year-over-year, and employment fell to 532,300, down nearly 5,000 from the peak in December:

Employment inched up by 1,900 jobs year-over-year, the lowest employment growth since the Great Recession:

In Marin County, across the Golden Gate just north of San Francisco, total employment dropped to 135,800, about where it had been in July 2015! The labor force, at 140,200, was back where it had been in February 2016:

The chart below shows how rapidly the hiring boom since the Great Recession has turned into an employment decline. June was the second month in a row of year-over-year job losses – hence, the two red columns on the right:

In those six counties – a phenomenal job engine and the center of VC-funded innovation – just 7,600 jobs were created over the past 12 months, with two counties, including the heart of Silicon Valley, actually shedding jobs.

The employment boom is over. The growth of the work force is over too. This will ricochet through the local economy. Workers who’ve come to this area to perform miracles cannot stick around for long if they lose their jobs. It’s simply too expensive. And startups are now folding one after the other – including former unicorns, such as Jawbone in San Francisco.

Still, their laid-off employees often get picked up by other companies. But then those companies don’t need to bring people into the Bay Area to fill those jobs.

The Bay Area is notorious for booms and busts. See the charts above. Unless a miracle happens to turn around current trends, employment will continue to weaken – and the work force, the people who live and spend their money in the local economy, will shrink. It always does; it’s too expensive for many people to hang on and wait for better times.

This has broad implications: Part of the boom in the Bay Area is the historic construction boom of commercial and residential buildings, funded by ultra-cheap money from risk-blind bankers and investors. Nearly all of the new construction is high end. The tap is still wide open, and it cannot be turned off from one day to the next. The supply will keep hitting the market for a couple more years even if developers and bankers try to turn off the tap now.

Yet companies need less space. And suddenly an unnervingly large number of for-lease signs appear, as those lining the Great America Parkway in Santa Clara.

And fewer people need to find a place to live just when overpriced high-end supply is flooding the market. At that point, the math can get ugly for real estate.

These moves hit the real economy in myriad ways. The state and local governments, which have been counting on an endlessly increasing flow of manna from that boom may find out, once again, that they’ve had some big illusions.

But there is no crisis and no crash. It’s happening during the best of times. Stocks are at record highs. Interest rates are still extremely low. So the down trend could be slow and halting, and given the enormous liquidity in the markets and still risk-blind investors, it could drag out for a disconcertingly long time.

Investors who bought the hype are left holding the bag. Read…  Another Former $2-Billion Startup Gets Rolled Up

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  160 comments for “These Job Trends in Silicon Valley, San Francisco Bay Area Will Hit Real Estate, the Economy, Municipal Budgets & Hype

  1. LBJ says:

    I realize no one likes to talk about results, only about process, but now is the time to put in place the individually enforceable rights we will have to have if we are to avoid social deterioration on a scale which will threaten everyone. I realize that if you put an absolute ban on housing evictions, or establish an individually enforceable right to medical care, a lot of other things will have to change. Then let a lot of other things change–it’s time. America is a kleptocracy from top to bottom. Everyone is complicit in this, including you and me. There is not one uncorrupt cent–not one. Fine–do we survive or not? That is the only question. FDR/LBJ/Ron–hey, they’re all dead, and their Deep State is dying too and wants us to die along with them. Ready to join them? No? Then live the right and fight the wrong. Do it NOW.

    • chip javert says:


      Exactly who are you planning to steal all this money from?

    • Wilbur58 says:


      I think much of your politics align with mine.

      But with that said, I’ve never liked the argument, “we’re all complicit”.

      I’m sorry, but I’m not. Not one bit. I don’t partake in unethical business schemes and I don’t vote for politicians or measures that aim to strengthen the wealthy and hurt the rest.

      I remember an article at Slate that was about the Sandy Hook massacre wherein the writer said, “we’re all responsible for the gun problem”.

      I don’t own a gun. I don’t support them being all over the place at will. How on earth am I responsible?

      • alex in san jose says:

        This is the “There is no ethical consumption under capitalism” idea, or as George Orwell put it, you can’t buy a punnet of strawberries or step into a cab without supporting Big Brother.

        You can decrease your consumption, but I guess the only real protest is to completely drop out of capitalist society which means something like going and finding a hunter-gatherer group that will take you in (fat chance).

      • Frederick says:

        Wilbur 58 I concur There are still a few of us out there brother

      • sandy says:

        thank you!!!!

    • I.E.Kovacsi says:

      Feel free to declare any rights that you wish. Just bear in mind that I am under no obligation to accept them for myself. Nor am I required to accept the matching obligations to your rights. Note, I am not expressing an opinion on whether you are right or wrong. Feel free to apply your beliefs to yourself.

    • T.J., not the real tj says:


      Speak for yourself, you don’t know me.

      -Everyone else

  2. michael w Earussi says:

    It could just be leveling off, after all nothing grows forever. In another year we’ll see.

  3. Petunia says:

    Out here in flyover country we know of a couple who moved out of California, LA I think. He took a transfer in a govt job and she left a college teaching job. He still works for the govt and she got another college teaching job. Eventually, it just isn’t worth it anymore. I still don’t miss Florida.

    • Petunia says:

      I used to be a democrat and it pains me to say it, but if you look at all the sh**holes in America they are democrat strong holds. We wanted to spend a couple of days in New Orleans but decided against it when we read the local news. They are beating and killing tourists as well as their own in record numbers. Their murder rate per capita is bigger than Chicago. And guess what, it’s a democrat stronghold, same as Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit….

    • Meme Imfurst says:

      Dear Alex…..Brainwashing is a serious condition. In some places it is epidemic.

      Speak of what you actually know not about what you have been brainwashed to think. Your statement is racist, bigoted, troubling, and without redemption on any level. It would, by deduction, mean that the two American shores are black, anti Christian, and left wing. Great, all from San Jose, so it must be true.

  4. Shawn says:

    I still think foreign buyers are still a potent force particularly in San Francisco. And there could very well be another round of money printing, sorry, QE. But for what it is worth, my HK friend made $1.8mil selling his Shanghai condo to some sucker who borrowed 2/3rds of the house value to buy it (How is that even possible?). I’m sure, he wants to convert his money to hard currency. He’s thinking about buying in London. But I’m sure that he can’t because or PRC’s capital controls put in place earlier this year.

    • SimplyPut7 says:

      In Canada you can borrow up to 65% of your home’s market value. So it is possible to borrow approximately 2/3rds of the house value to buy a condo without anyone asking why.

      • R2D2 says:

        Actually in Canada, you can buy with zero down payment. What the mortgage people do for deadbeats is that they borrow 5% of the price of the house as a separate loan; then they use that 5% to get mortgage for the whole house.

        Did you think it was all Chinese money? No, it’s free money, till you have to pay it back and you don’t even have a job.

        • what is in a name says:

          age: less than 30
          recently I chose to look into purchasing a home…
          been with my employer 5 + years and renting….
          I will make less than $30k before taxes taken out this year….
          greater than $50k in student loans (slowly paying)…
          33 + hr work week…
          Contacted a “mortgage loan originator”….
          That “mlo” stated I could be pre-approved for upto $129k…
          And guaranteed I could be approved for $60 k fixed mortgage…
          ZERO out of my pocket, first time home buyer and other incentives exist to generate up to 5% down toward the mortgage…
          “mlo” asked if I would like a contract drawn up and to be at my “rental” residence within 7 – 10 business days…

          I said “NO Thanks, I’ll have to weigh some options first before considering all this information you provided” …

          There is this odd itch in my ear screaming….
          housing /economic trouble ahead
          who hears it but can’t quite put their finger on what will trigger?

      • R2D2 says:

        Sorry SimplyPut7; I thought you were talking about borrowing 65% to buy a house. My comment stands, but I did misread your post.

    • Jon says:

      The same years thing time back when japanese were potent buyers….
      it’s gonna be interesting when this madness stops

  5. Boris Vian says:

    How many of the disappearing tech jobs are just spreading out, i.e. to Seattle, Portland, Venice, San Diego, etc? It seems like they were concentrated in the bay area for awhile and then other mayors looked at what they had and started incentivizing companies to set up in their cities.

    • Wilbur58 says:

      Denver’s “Tech Center” neighborhood / region is fantastic.

      • sandy says:

        good for denver. bout time Tech moved out of that fire fearing, smoke from fire pollution, earthquake fearing, bubble of a real estate economy known as sili-can-we-con-you-con anyway.

    • Realist says:

      Maybe Silicon Valley is beginning to turn into Rust Belt mk 2 ? Tech centres growing up in Asia, Europe and elsewhere in the US and Silicon Valley not any longer producing as they once did. Look at what Silicon Valley has turned out during the years after the first coming of crisis…

      • Frederick says:

        Realist I was going to mention that fact before you beat me to it Eastern Europe has a growing tech industry The apt next to mine in Warsaw has five guys on computers doing something tech related Low cost of living, great mass transit outside the door and a well educated English literate workforce Now if we can only get alittle more global warming it would be perfect

      • Kent says:

        The low-hanging software tech has all been done. So I don’t think new tech centers will be producing much either. But we’ll see I guess.

        What’s Silicon Valley done for the last decade? Facebook? Was that from the Valley? Any really big hits? Anybody?

        I tend to think that quite a few folks had a decent idea and made a few bucks 20 years ago. They made the terrible mistake of considering themselves geniuses instead of just lucky. Now they’re plowing all their good fortune wealth into silly stuff like apps for taxi service or home food delivery.

        • Petunia says:

          One of the reasons I like Elon Musk is because he concentrates on practical applications, cars, reusable rockets, solar roofing materials, all have utility in the real world. I think most of what gets attention in SV is fluff.

        • Drango says:

          Good point. Eventually people will be forced to realize that the vast majority of these companies are vehicles to fleece investors. Its hard to believe that people still take Silicon Valley seriously after the dot com fiasco, but apparently there’s no shortage of people eager to give their money away to a generation of visionaries who spend most of their working hours playing video games.

        • RangerOne says:

          This does leave open the realization that there is no reason to concentrate tech jobs in silicon valley. We should continue to see tech hubs pop up in cities globally. And more and more people working 100% remotely working from any location they chose. Shading oversized fancy offices is an obvious way to save a tone of money in the future. Especially as VR and AR tech makes long distance communication more compelling.

          Until then I am sure we will see more fantastic booms and busts in this market though. Looks like we are on the tail end of a boom.

        • Pavel says:

          Kent: “apps for taxi service or home food delivery”

          Those are positively genius compared to some of the “unicorn” Sillycon Valley ventures. What about the app that was going to let other people take your rubbish out once a week? I think there was another one to let people into your apartment to take your laundry to the local laundromat or dry cleaner. What a world.

        • Nick says:

          Those things may sound crazy to you but when you have young kids and both mom and dad are working full time its the little things like that you just dont have time for.

        • Wilbur58 says:


          This is a complete tangent and not related to your question about the last decade.

          When I was in SF a couple of years back, the thing that blew my mind was how much money SalesForce appears to have. They’re building 4 huge high-rise buildings south of Market, in the heart of downtown. I was like, “how do they have the money to do this?”

          What’s my point in mentioning this? Most of us, myself included, tend to think of Google, Facebook, Apple, Netsuite, Amazon, etc., when it comes to major tech from Silicon Valley. But it appears to me that SalesForce must also be pretty darn huge.

          I wonder why it’s rarely in the conversation? Perhaps because it really is useful for a lot of businesses, almost like MS Office?

        • Wolf Richter says:


          Salesforce leases office space. This includes the space in the new Salesforce Tower, the highest and most expensive building in San Francisco. Boston Properties owns most of the building. The building is highly leveraged. So creditors provided the funds, and the building is the collateral. They’re all on the hook. But Salesforce just pays rent.

          This is different from Apple, which owns its new spaceship campus, and Google and some of the others that own some of their larger installations, though they all also lease a lot of space around the US and the globe.

        • Petunia says:


          Salesforce had a huge presence in south Florida as well. They had a large office building I often drove past in the Ft. Lauderdale area and others as well. I thought it was a call center for a long time. I don’t think anybody knows what they really do in Florida.

        • Guido says:

          All innovation happens on a platform. These platforms need to be invented. Internet, web browsers, mobile, even Facebook and Twitter, and umpteen number of platforms we don’t even see outside corporate world (such as databases, virtual machines, cloud, messaging systems) are all examples. Facebook and Twitter have a lot of companies writing applications on them, which is why they are platforms. These are what power Silicon Valley.

          If you go to an IT department in a firm, you will see this happening all the time. A software firm will make its old software obsolete and redo some of the previous ones on the new one. Everybody then jumps on the bandwagon redoing the previous stuff all over again. Example: people who founded PeopleSoft founded Workday, which was essentially the same software on your newer systems (mobile?). CRM is another software that is reinvented over and over again. This is no different from Apple or Microsoft coming out with newer phones or OS.

          There is a captive market for this kind of stuff in the enterprise. The IT departments get budgets to reimplement new stuff and the VP uses it as a stepping in his/her career. The new VP trashes the previous guy’s work and seeks out a newer platform to redo s/w for next 5 years.

          Which is to say that the Silicon Valley will be around for a while. In any case, when the Fed gets desperate and does another QE where will it dump money? Tech. Because it hires a lot of people doing the same old stuff and apps or whatever is next fad will keep people distracted from the real problems.

        • California Bob says:

          Looks like self-driving cars–if they really happen–will come from the SV:

      • RangerOne says:

        You are correct that tech jobs are global and springing up every where. But there are some big difference from manufacturing.

        First there is no advantage location wise to where say a software engineer works. At least not like with manufacturing where difference in regulations governing physical processes greatly effects cost.

        Second if you look at say software developers coming from other countries to work here or working abroad, pay is similarly high from here to China and India. Part of that is probably tied to the fact that generally software developers and engineers on average now are still attaining masters degrees and our phds and thus in a position to always work in the region with the highest pay since generally it is easy to get work visas.

        Thirdly there is some portion of low end coding especially for web pages which has been farmed out to low skill workers in places like India. But these are not the tech jobs in Silicon Valley. Software and hardware engineering like other forms of engineering will remain safe high payin jobs. At least until AI gets so good that computers code themselves…

        • Matt says:

          I’ve heard some other writers compare the bay area with Detroit back in the day:

          The entire Bay Area is in a massive bubble. The high cost of housing has already choked out even many high income families. The process of breaking companies up into different divisions and sending them off to other cities is already well underway. Salt Lake, Phoenix, Nashville, Denver… They each get a little back office support satellite branch of a company nominally headquartered in Silicon Valley or San Francisco. Run that process out for another twenty years and the center of gravity of talent and industry connections won’t be Palo Alto or Cupertino. It won’t really be anywhere in particular. Add in the fact that most of today’s hot technology will be obsolete in twenty years… It’s the same exact process that drained Detroit of its mojo as assembly plants drifted off to Tennessee, Mississippi, and South Carolina year by year for decades.

          Then again you never know. Maybe, just maybe, *this* time will be different, and the bay area will finally achieve escape velocity and blast off into outer space never to be seen again. Fifty years from now I’ll be telling the kids about the Ghost City of San Francisco (now a California Historic Landmark), and they will ask:

          “But why does nobody live there?”
          “Because, children, it’s too expensive.”
          “But why is it so expensive?”
          “Because everyone wants to live there.”


        • RangerOne says:

          That comparison is probably valid to a point. We are certainly seeing good tech jobs pop up all over the US, as most people refuse now to put down roots in an area that is in a perpetual bubble.

          I just don’t see the secondary aspect taking effect which is jobs moving abroad because people are underutting our salaries.

          The beautiful thing about most tech jobs is that they essentially just need to exist where people want to live. There are no plants, shipping concerns or major tax implications based on region. Just office space a salaries for cost of living.

          But San Francisco could go a lot of different ways. Or it could become another New York/London and just always be overpriced and bastion for the weathly along with youg people willing to have a megger existence. And struggling families filing in the cracks.

        • CrazyCooter says:

          “Software and hardware engineering like other forms of engineering will remain safe high payin jobs.”

          I am personally taking the other side of that wager.



  6. night-train says:

    Everything starts in California. Perhaps the stats cited can be seen as the canary in the coal mine. Of course, everywhere has its own characteristics economically and socially, so results may vary. But, then, we are also interdependent to a large degree. So, if California’s economy goes south, a lot of other places may feel some of the pain.

  7. interesting says:

    I’ve grown tired of the doom porn. The only one that seems to have to deal with reality is me and my career and industry. It’s a mess. All I get are the crumbs and it’s been that way for going on 2 decades.

    I still make decent money……..for 1997……and couldn’t make more doing anything else, at least at my age, so this is it.

    This is as good as it gets and it may never be this good again, be happy with what you got……..I keep telling myself that LOL

    • Old Engineer says:

      Your lament, with which I sympathize, reminds me of Liebniz (early 18th century philosopher) whose conclusion was that “this is the best of all possible worlds”.
      Here in Huntsville, Endo Pharmaceutical is shutting down a plant that employs over 800 people in full time manufacturing/warehousing jobs with benefits. They employed over 1200 people 2 years ago. While the overall economy of Huntsville will probably not be much affected (with the 20,000 to 30,000 highly paid engineering and contracting jobs at Redstone Arsenal), this will be devastating for the mostly unskilled and semi-skilled people who lose their jobs. Those jobs are going to be very difficult to replace, at any salary and with more than 24 to 32 hours of work a week.
      Many of these people will lose houses, credit ratings, and hope. Few will end up with a job paying as good as they had.
      So, Interesting, cheer up, it really could get worse.

      • Petunia says:

        When those people lose everything they worked for over a lifetime, some commenters on this site will refer to them as lazy bastards.

        We have really fallen far and not just financially.

        • Raymond C. Rogers says:

          I really don’t think that there are many of those people, here or anywhere for that matter. Generally people get upset about those who have need made any serious effort in their lives, and expect the rest of this to pick up the tab.

          What makes me furious is people who advocate for more spending at the expense of the average Joe and future generations. Each generation needs to be realized that only so much of a safety net can be extended. When you start pulling more of the net for the boomers, the millenials will have nothing left. The way things are going there won’t even be any assistance between jobs, let alone lifetime assistance. But to be fair, they contribute to their own demise. They support those who are not fiscally prudent (not that there are all that many who are fiscally prudent) and don’t make debt sustainability a priority.

        • Kent says:


          With tens of millions of Americans inadequately employed, I can assure you that we can produce enough for all age groups with the right economic policies.

          Think in terms of resources, not the amount of money you have. I really don’t mean offense, but the way you think about economics is what got us into this predicament.

      • night-train says:

        Old Engineer: I see you are located in Huntsville: I am in T-Town. Our economy appears to be fairly diversified with the UofA and auto industry as mainstays. Although, the 2nd and 3rd tier auto suppliers keep opening new facilities while closing others. Not sure what is up with that. We don’t have as many professional jobs as Huntsville, but the same holds true with the lesser skilled worker should there be a contraction in the economy. And from what I can tell, many of these folks live pretty high on the hog, albeit from paycheck to paycheck.

        Old Geologist

        • Old Engineer says:

          Night-train: you bring up an interesting point. There are at least four (and maybe five) “foreign” car plants within about 150 mile radius of Huntsville (HSV has a Toyota motor plant). Based on all the Carmageddon data that Wolf has presented, if car sales don’t improve, the whole southeastern US will be at risk of losing a lot of good jobs.
          And as to your last point, I don’t know how many are living “high on the hog”. But I do agree they are spending every nickel they earn, and again according to data Wolf has presented, are increasingly borrowing to spend more than they earn. I don’t how much is necessity and how much is frivolity.

          Old Engineer

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Old Engineer, If those plants make trucks, SUVs, and crossovers they’ll be OK. If they make cars and cannot be switched to making trucks, there’s real trouble ahead.

      • Frederick says:

        Engineer NO it WILL get worse A lot worse By the way where is Huntsville anyway? Somewhere in the South I reccon

      • Meme Imfurst says:

        Huntsville, you were spared the economic demise of Cape Kennedy-Canaveral and Cocoa Beach when NASA shut down the space program. Here is a big lesson about technology and progress.
        ALL the highly educated engineers from many fields were brought to Cocoa for ‘the bright and shiny future’ of the space program (sound familiar?). Then one day, and it literally was in one day, the bottom fell out of the program and all these guys and their families were left standing in the Atlantic ocean of debt and fake promise. They were expendable, and the message is… we all are. Someone somewhere is planning how to eliminate you and your expenses, for the purpose of keeping theirs intact.

        And, Cocoa has never recovered, think about that time line when we consider things to be just a hiccup.

        • RangerOne says:

          Business and industries clear out of whole regions on a whim. I don’t know if this has always been true but it has seem that way to me for the last 14 years of my adult working life.

          It really sucks for those of us who prefer not to move and live in the cities and towns with our family in the areas we grew up. But I don’t see that changing.

          The best I can do is to try to work in cities where their is a variety of tech work funded by different industries so odds are could I cam always find work.

          But the alternative is to keep moving where the jobs are.

      • interesting says:

        My job is engineering and design BTW. My entire industry was gutted and shipped to China to save .05 per part.

    • alex in san jose says:

      I make decent money … for 1957.

      By 1967, my income is in the bottom quintile.

      This all in non-adjusted dollars.

    • Frederick says:

      George Carlins philosophy

      • interesting says:

        “George Carlins philosophy”

        I wondered if anyone would pick up on that…..well done. And he’s spot.

        “you have owners, they own you……it’s a great big club and you and I ain’t in it”

      • CrazyCooter says:

        Carlin was truly a genius and had the ability to utilize humor/sarcasm/etc to highlight the absurdity of it all.

        He is missed.

        For those that have no idea – here is an old school performance of his opinion of “stuff”.



  8. Oakland-man says:

    I bought my house for 60% of it’s peak value in Oakland 7 years ago after the downturn.. was a probate sale so it had to be sold regardless of market conditions.

    Most people thought I was being foolish and short-sighted because they believed the Great Recession of ’08-’10 was never gonna end and that I would loose BIGLY as homes continued to plummet..

    Well, well, well, the doom and gloom dissipated quickly and now my home has nearly TRIPLED in value and 1/2 of my neighboring homes have sold and plenty more about to change hands shortly.. The most turnover seen on this block in half-a-century.. Some owners have aged-out to nursing homes or straight up kicked the bucket.. But only recently have I seen a growing trend of late middle agers cashing out while prices are peaking – that’s a sign of trouble ahead.

    Wolf is right, we are heading into dangerous times.. a correction is around the bend.. and it will be another buying opportunity of a decade. Just be patient and you too can become a home owner in the Bay Area without paying inflated prices..

    Save every penny and stop wasting money on $6 toast and $8 lattes.. you need that cash to take advantage of the next buyers market..

    I know too many people that bought in the Bay Area at the peaks.. it always reverts to the mean.. and then inflates once again..

    • Frederick says:

      I’m a late middle ager who acted alittle early selling in 2014 but better early than a day late is my philosophy

      • QQQBall says:

        A little reality check… All the dip buyers that are celebrating – in real estate, SM, etc., were bailed out by the FED. So all the geniuses better figure out the difference b/w a bull market and brains. The markets never fully cleansed, the debt never got vaporized and the weak hands were bailed out. Nothing pays like patience.

        Guys who get up on a soap box b/c their 2010 home purchase has tripled… give me a break.

    • interesting says:

      “Most people thought I was being foolish”

      And I would have been one of them. I certainly didn’t think that the level of manipulation would have gone on like it did. Banks keeping properties off the market, delaying foreclosures, sweetheart deals to big investment hedge funds buying properties at prices that the current owner could have been able to deal with.

      When I bought in 1991 it took almost 10 years to get back to zero. My mistake was not buying the 5 foreclosures i could see from my front porch BUT I thought that the market would settle down this time like it did then and I had time.

      But when you allow a mortgage holder to squat in a house for 48 months without paying a dime (and the taxes being paid by someone) this is what we end up with.

      This is not an honest market and I keep thinking that at some point reality will sink in….but I might be dead by then.

      • MarkinSF says:

        Could not have said it better

      • NoEasyDay says:

        >…sweetheart deals to big investment hedge funds buying properties
        >at prices that the current owner could have been able to deal with.


  9. Johnny says:

    What’s the employment rate in San Francisco?

    You could argue that the graphs show that everyone who wants to work has got a job. If there’s no population growth then the charts could reflect a fully employed population.

    I’m not exactly sure how ‘civilian labor force’ is defined or civilian employment. If you work 1 hour a week are you employed?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      The unemployment rate in SF in June is 3.2%, up from 2.7% in May.

      These numbers and methods are based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics definitions and data. You can find answers to many of your questions concerning methods and the like in the column on the left, under the heading “CES topics”:

  10. michael says:

    I do not personally celebrate people losing their lifetime labors.
    However, how much more lesson was required than the last bust? Just long enough for some to forget.

    Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.

    You have a choice in life, one can be the ant or the grasshopper.
    The grasshoppers have run the world since 2012. Winter is coming.

    I am prepared for winter because I am an ant.

    • Wilbur58 says:


      I wish you were right, but it may not happen.

      Savers have been getting killed. There’s no interest to be made while assets go through the roof.

      I’m a saver myself and hope to be rewarded for it. But I’m not holding my breath.

      • Frederick says:

        Wilbur the answer is as always to diversify Own some good quality RE and also hedge with some physical precious metals and some cash That’s what Im doing Here in Turkey I’m getting 10 percent on TLira deposits and 2.5 percent on dollar accounts Not exactly getting rich but we live well on my SS anyway including health coverage for my wife and I If and when there’s a reset in property prices in the US I may buy something there but not now

        • Petunia says:

          Did you get affected by the recent earthquake?

        • Frederick says:

          No Im in the northern Aegean region for the summer My friends in Marmaris where I will be building in the fall spent the night outside They felt it quite severely Thanks for asking

        • Wilbur58 says:


          That’s good advice, thanks. I do own one rental on the real estate side. But other than that, I’m all cash. I probably should pick up some bonds or metals.

        • Nick says:

          Why aren’t American kids taught this stuff in high school??!?!?!

          American teenagers are so financially illiterate nowadays. How many even understand the basics of bonds, stocks, metals, commodities. Ignorance forced upon them on purpose so they can all be debt slaves or welfare queens.

        • Smingles says:


          “American teenagers are so financially illiterate nowadays. How many even understand the basics of bonds, stocks, metals, commodities. Ignorance forced upon them on purpose so they can all be debt slaves or welfare queens.”

          In my experience, most human beings– American, Japanese, Kenyan; old, young, middle-aged; black, white, green– don’t understand the basics of bonds, stocks, metals, and commodities.

          I work in finance. I work with a lot of smart people, a lot of well-educated lawyers, accountants, etc. and most of them couldn’t really tell you that much about any of the above. I mean, I work with financial planners who couldn’t tell you much about any of the above.

      • interesting says:

        I have a savings account and at the interest it pays if I never touched it again over time it would disappear because the “fee” is $10 a month and the interest earned is about $1.

        And these pricks wanna charge 24% interest on a CC.

        I had a store card that I used over the holidays. I paid that off ever time I used it. Well the last time they delayed “posting” the check until after the due date…..I sent the check in 10 days early…..and they tried charging me that 24%…I freaked out and cancelled that card after getting them to remove that charge….I told them they were crooks. Which of course they are.

    • Petunia says:


      I was always a saver myself. Owned my own home at 30, as a single mom, when single women couldn’t even get mortgages. Worked on Wall St., never went out on a limb financially. My point is none of that mattered.

      Those of you who have managed to survive the crisis were only luckier. I sat in a foreclosed home in a neighborhood full of other foreclosed homes and watched good hard working people get financially slaughtered. It is still going on because nobody has job security or financial security. I will predict that an ant killer is just over the horizon.

      • kitten lopez says:

        “I will predict that an ant killer is just over the horizon.”

        (i was silently thinking the SAME thing with a sad bitter smile)

    • kitten lopez says:

      many of you here are proving Petunia’s point. just a little more cleverly.

  11. Tom Stone says:

    Here in Sonoma County we have a glut of homes on the market priced above $1MM. What is most noticeable to me is the quality, the homes built in a hurry during the last boom are really starting to show how badly they were built and they sit until the price drops sufficiently to sell.
    A lot of these crapshacks were built badly enough that they can’t be made right, and I wouldn’t pay much more than land value.
    There are some genuinely fine homes for sale and they will always bring a premium, but that’s one out of five or six at best.

    • Petunia says:

      I watch the real estate shows on tv sometimes and am amazed at what people pay $1M+ for, not crap, but I’ve owned better for under $250K.

    • Drango says:

      People have been paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for houses that are 90% plywood. Every new neighborhood that gets built has houses that are bigger and uglier than before, even though every single one proudly advertises their designs as “award winning.” It will be interesting to see how well these poorly built, glorified barns will age. Probably not well.

      • Frederick says:

        I developed a 17 acre subdivision in Sag Harbor NY and took special care to put very strict covenants and restrictions in place The houses were required to have brick foundations, real wood windows and doors , cedar shingle roofs and copper gutters and leaders The quality of the homes was above average for sure All Douglas fir lumber and plywood No flakeboard or vinyl allowed I had a Chinese family buy a lot and they violated the covenants with an asphalt roof A letter from my lawyer and they were ripping off that roof They owned the Chinese takeout in town and sure knew how to make money

  12. Jarhead John says:

    Wolf…From a Sacramento, California perspective, the red flag noted in your subtitle has a Hammer and Sickle attached…Maybe that’s why jobs are disappearing…

    • walter map says:

      The flag of the old Soviet Union went out in 1993, over twenty years ago.

      What this article describes are failures of corrupt capitalism.

  13. Joe Smoe says:

    Lost my job in Palo Alton in 2014 and moved back to LA. Rents here suck, but even with that job there, I’d have been homeless in quick order.

    I make the same here, but can live with relatives and stash cash. So win! But I’ve been stuck at 50k level wages for 10 years. Even moved to management and no real wage growth. (I’m all the skills the Gov’t says you need too). Jumped industries too, but the contract / gig economy is merciless.

    I have come to feel that I have no idea if I’m dumb and need a raise or if everyone else is making a lot of money and I need to negotiate better… Cause things are stupid here. Teen moms, uneducated people, etc. Nursing is the great hope for the kids future here!

    That said, Great America parkway was empty when I moved up in 2010! So was that area by the mall of America. Most the firms were cutting jobs into two at half price (I was with the #2 outsourcer), and going lower so I feel that job growth has been empty for way longer.

    My last boss was Chinese. Bleeding money, dumb strategy, and was no way profiting (I set up the inventory system and I swear they self sabatoged) and I learned why: Chinese are communist, they don’t care about consumption but productivity. As long as they produce they will use welfare for the corporations way beyond consumption limits, he was losing inventory, stocking new “amazon wearhouses” with product that didn’t move, and I’m sure his dual company system was Chinese wages paid him to do so.

    It’s a brave new world!

    • BobT says:

      “Chinese are communist, they don’t care about consumption but productivity”

      Reminds me of a time I was involved in a World Economic Forum China meeting in the early 1990s. A group of us were taken to a warehouse, stacked to the rafters with boxed, unopened computers. Our government host and guide proudly declared he had bought these hundreds of machines.

    • mikey says:

      there is one unicorn from sf to la of which i speak of

    • R2D2 says:

      Joe Smoe: You mean you don’t make $300K a year? How odd! Everyone is making above $500K.

      I have tuned and re-tuned my technical skills at really fast pace, and with no breaks. I don’t even waste half an hour. And after years of tireless effort and learning the hottest technologies, recruiters will laugh at me if I even suggest some of these high salaries that people claim everyone is making. Trust me, you are not the only one, but amongst the few honest ones to come out and tell the truth about their income.

      • alex in san jose says:

        Yep, rather excellent “board house” (place that will build, populate, even help you design, circuits boards – really this place can do it all and I’m glad I found ’em) built some boards for us at prices that tell me their techs are making $10 or $12 an hour. The poor bastards. In the same rut I was in; learn Ohm’s Law and a whole bunch’a shit and you won’t make as much as you will working in a warehouse, and the warehouse guys get to play with forklifts. Tech is a scam for 99% of the workers in it.

      • JZ says:

        There are 500K jobs. To get those jobs, chasing the new tech and new training may NOT be the correct methods.
        Hard working does NOT get you there either.
        2 Core components:
        1st being the skill set must be on a product that either add a lot of value or had the capability to rob value.
        2nd being your skill has to beat other competitors.

        If you chase new products, new platforms, new coding methods or languages, and you work really hard, you may or may NOT have the 2 core components.
        But if you are good at math and core algorithms and few people can game math like you can and the product needs that algo that contributes billions of value, yes, you are worth 500K

        • R2D2 says:

          I don’t just learn any new technology; I do my research to make sure the technology is on fast growth before wasting my time on it. But from your comments, I can see that you are not that aware of how things works in real world. $500K jobs are only for top managers, and most managers can hardly do 2 lines of code.

          And let’s not talk about those top 50 geniuses in the world who can command $500K and above.

        • JZ says:

          From the guys i know that make 500K and above, there are managers and there are engineers as well. The value of the managers is that they have gone through product cycles and they can watch the individuals to make sure their work is on correct track. And all of those managers are good engineers themselves before they start to manage. For those engineers that get to 500K, they are core patent inventors who makes products possible. Their skill set is NOT following any new trend so that they can takes the ride. They solve hardcore basic problems at math/physics level.
          That’s just my experience with the 500K earners. They truly add value and they are drivers of technology, NOT riders or followers.
          In the end, when I ask myself why they deserve the 500K, it was those 2 points i pointed out.

          In silicon valley, there are lots of hype, so NOT all 500K tech engineers necessariy have those 2 qualities. They might be good politicians or the hype peddlers. Since you are NOT on politician or hype peddlers path, I was just focusing on the 500K engineers i know of, hopefully help you on your confusions.

    • Nick says:

      Nursing? Really? Healthcare is the biggest racket bubble around. I graduated with my RN in 2007 IN California. Good paying RN jobs are drying up all over the country. A saturated job market is driving wages down and many new grads are relegated to assisted living, home care, etc. Many of the good high paying RN jobs are few and far between. Colleges are still pushing an almost criminal meme that nursing is still a hot field. Hell at my steel mill a healthy 20 year old can grab an entry level laborer job at $18-20 an hour, pick up over and double time and make more than any nurse. I see it as Im salaried and some of our labor guys make in one weekend what I make in two weeks. More power to them! Its hard dirty work. Young college kids would do well to spend a day at our mill and actually understand what real production looks like instead of pushing paper and manipulating numbers on a screen.

      • night-train says:

        Nick: I was recently hospitalized for a week in our regional medical center. I was surprised to learn that many of my nurses were “traveling nurses”, or contract nurses working on 3-6 month contracts. What’s up with that?

        • Nick says:

          Simply put, hospitals don’t want to invest in long term employees. They don’t pay benefits to those traveling nurses and they can much better control labor costs by using travel nurses. When I graduated in 2007 the hospital I started at hired a dozen new grads. Put them through a 6 week orientation program etc. 8 years later when I left they hired 1-2 new grads every year. Consider how many millions of RN students are graduating EVERY SEMESTER on top of nurses being replaced by MA’s, aides and other low skilled healthcare laborers.

          Here’s something I always tell people; in 2001 I got a solid job at Home Depot making $11.50 an hour. Even part time they actually gave me medical benefits. I asked a few guys I know what the same job pays……about $10-11. Almost 16 years later and people, when adjusted for inflation, are making actually less money ? Thats nuts!! But more and more wealth has been extracted from this country than ever before! Where does it all go? Hmm and we wonder why the chasm of wealth disparity grows ever deeper.

        • Ehawk says:

          @ Nick… What are you talking about? people working at in/out burgers make $14/hour to start with benefits and paid vacation… this is California… flipping burgers.

      • R2D2 says:

        Nick; and while they try to keep your pay to the minimum, take a look at how much hospitals charge patients for ordinary stuff. They charge $53 for non-sterile pair which costs me 5 cents.

        Charge to patient: $15 per individual pill, for a total of $345 during average patient stay

        Patient belonging bag
        Like a grocery bag, to hold your personal items Charge to patient: $8

        Box of tissues
        Sometimes listed as “mucus recovery system” Charge to patient: $8

        Charge to patient: $53 per non-sterile pair (sterile are higher), for a total of $5,141 during average patient stay

        Cup medicine
        Cost is for the plastic cup used to administer medicine, not the actual medicine inside it Charge to patient, per cup: $10, for a total of $440 during average patient stay

        Marking pen
        To mark the body for surgery Charge to patient: $17.50

        Cuff, BP Adult
        Use of blood pressure cuff Charge to patient: $20

        Oral admin. fee
        Charge for nurse to hand you medicine taken by mouth Charge to patient: $6.25 per instance, for a total of $87.50 during average patient stay

        Cost of use of overhead light in operating room Charge to patient: $93.50

        Swabs, alcohol
        Charge to patient: $23 per swab, for a total of $322 during average patient stay

        • Nick says:

          Yes I agree its crazy! But doctors are just as bad. Spent 30 mins with an ENT the other week and she passed a laryngoscope down my throat. Total bill was over $700. Many of these brand new medical specialty buildings popping up rival most 5 star hotels. Everyone chastizes wallstreet but look at medicine.

      • NoEasyDay says:

        >Healthcare is the biggest racket bubble around.


  14. alex in san jose says:

    Well, since I’m sure you guys/gals have been on pins and needles waiting for more news on this, here’s the latest on The Great Bicycle Light story.

    The bike light Amazon got to me in 2 days turned out to be defective. The designer used a (in my opinion) too-clever way to keep the batteries in, and that system of levers and cams came broken.

    So I applied for a refund from Amazon, and they gave me several options to return it, like take it to an “Amazon locker” site nearby, or just print out a mailing label, package it up, and send it off. I took that last option, printed out the label, put it in a little box, and put it in the slot at the main post office.

    Right now I’ve bought a new “Cat Eye” brand (my go-to brand back in the 80s, Japanese) front and rear set from Bicycle Express, my local bike shop and I’ll give that a try.

    But the main thing is, I’ve been using Amazon a lot and especially now that I’ve decided to spring for Prime, I’ll be be using it a bit more. So far, I’ve been let down by two sellers (one book-that-never-was and the busted bike light) but so far Amazon itself has been great.

    • mikey says:

      youre part of the problem

      • alex in san jose says:

        Maybe not. Read it again. I returned the defective bike light to Amazon so they’re eating the shipping and the price of the light, and I bought local.

        I’ve dealt with Bicycle Express many times over the years and that shop is proof that God has not forgotten us.

  15. mikey says:

    all the unicorns are coming to los angeles

  16. DK says:

    All those $800K mortgages need a pretty good monthly salary to stay current.

  17. Citizen AllenM says:

    LOL- Chinese supporting housing prices in California, and expanding the bubble.

    What happens when that reverses?


    Uh, well, another giant sucking sound as another giant bubble deflates.

    The really funny part is the Chinese really do suck at getting their money to safety- they pay outrageous vig, lever up to the eyeballs, and ignore the carrying costs.

    Oh well, they would be better served by trusts run out of Lichtenstein or Nevada. Suckerz.

    Biggest victims of affinity fraud on the planet.

    Everybody is blathering about the inflation from the 70s, and everybody expects asset prices to correct.

    So they will, eventually.

    But inflation?

    Dead. Our demographic push is slowing, and the boomer overhang is tremendous. Medical services will be the new boom, and it will consist of providing immense amounts of diabetic supplies.

    That is the future. Sedentary death- and everyone calling for the bust out of social security will be wrong- the boomers will, on the whole, die faster than their parents, and will leave nearly nothing.

    • alex in san jose says:

      Chinese are weird. There are basic things about their culture that are different than basic things about ours. For instance, their propensity to gambling. Bay 101 and M8trix are two local gambling houses I’m walking distance from, and both have gotten into trouble, repeatedly, for advertising to Chinese people with mailers and ads on Chinese-speaking radio stations. Not saying any other group doesn’t have people who develop gambling problems, it’s just a big thing with them.

      Also, Americans tend to get taught from earliest age about capitalism, or at least our version of it, with selling door-to-door, running a paper route, the classic lemonade stand, etc. Central to this is the idea of win-win. I believe the idea of win-win is one of the really good things about our culture. In Chinese culture it’s more like … win-lose.

      I was selling a bike I had on Craig’s List. It was an OK bike but not a great bike, and I wanted $200 for it because that’s what I’d paid for it, but then added an $85 pannier set and lights and a lock. I took a nice picture of it against some green grass (the bike was green) and waited for replies. A nice guy called and wanted to see the bike. He came over, with his parents; a nice Chinese family. Well, he test rode the bike. Then Mom, and then Dad, test rode the bike. Everyone rode the bike. Then it was time for bargaining. I’d priced it at $225, actually, to allow for this and would not budge below $200. We went back and forth, and then I remembered: “Face”. They really wanted to buy the bike but they needed to feel they were coming out on top.

      So I shifted gears in a way that would have been laughably obvious normally, and blurted out a story about how I was selling the bike for a friend, and sadly, at $200 I’d have to give the friend $20 of my own, but it was a favor to my friend, and I’d just have to lose …. OK! They pulled out $200 in very dirty, crumpled, bills and they, and the bike, rode off into the sunset.

      I wonder if any RE agents have any stories like this in selling houses to some of these Chinese cash buyers, or whether those buyers are so far up into the stratosphere they don’t deign to dicker?

  18. RangerOne says:

    Love the info here even though it sucks to think we could be edging towards a period of mass job loss.

    One thought though, on paper isn’t always the best of times just before shit hits the fan and everyone gets brought back to reality? Granted very few people in the media are doing much fear monger yet. It seems near the end of the housing bubble that was happening even though numerous “experts” claimed housing wasn’t going to crash….

    • Wolf Richter says:

      I don’t see massive layoffs by big employers on the horizon yet (outside of zombie companies like Yahoo). As I said in the article, I think it will be a slow process. But what happens to the fancy high-rise offices, condos, and apartments they’re building in such large numbers, when the labor force and employment shrink even a little and people leave the Bay Area because it is too expensive? Well, construction will slow down. But construction is a huge local economic engine. And it will gradually spread around.

      This slo-mo scenario assumes that there isn’t a big national recession. If there is a national recession, things will get dicier here more quickly.

      • Nick says:

        We are in a depression……we never got out of the last recession. $20 trillion in debt. GDP will never again approach even 3%. Bubbles over-inflated in every aspect of our economy.

        $20 trillion in debt……wow just think about that……

        • Pavel says:

          Think about this: It was $10 trillion when GWB left the White House. So in 8 years Obama created as much debt as was created in the entire US history before his election.

          Mind you, it is not all his fault, but he did bugger all to stop it. The elephant in the room is the $600+ billion (now $700bn) “defence” budget. As long as the US wants to maintain its empire and also give the taxpayers’ money to the arms makers (Lockheed et al) nothing will change. Of course it will be the children and grandchildren who really will pay for it all. Not to mention the opportunity cost. I was in Copenhagen last weekend for a few days — clean streets, fabulous transport, bicycles everywhere, healthy people, virtually no obesity… it was like being on a different planet.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          “Obama created as much debt as…”

          I keep seeing this total nonsense. CONGRESS has the power of the purse. CONGRESS decides how much gets spent and on what it gets spent, and the administration HAS to spend this money in the amounts and time periods specified by Congress, and it has to spend it on things as specified by Congress. Republicans have run the House since 2011 and the Senate since 2015.

        • Nick says:

          I agree! All the presidents in my lifetime from NWO Bush senior and now even Trump have been a huge disappointment. Trump was supposed to drain the swamp not fill it with more Goldmanites!

          Parts of Europe are doing very well, especially the countries able to keep the mass hordes of third worlders out.

          I see so many fat Boeing pensioners (figuratively and literally) who even with inheritances from their own parents later in life complaining how hard they have it and how expensive things are. Many of them retired at 60 or younger. I know two people close to me, one 70 and the other 60, who just inherited almost half a million in assets or cash from their parents. These are family members who have refused to help anyone else get head in the family.

          This is to me why foreignerscome to America and do so well with starting businesses and getting ahead……huge family support both logistically and financially. Meanwhile, white middle class young people are raised to be independent, move away for jobs, etc. and otherwise try to do things on their own in a economy that is totally anti-thetical to that mindset. Im all for independence but when your “peers” already have a leg up out of the gate its that much harder.

        • Rejected By Target says:

          Came across a comment in another forum that said a hole blown into the economy like back in ’08 typically takes 16 years to heal, we’re currently in year nine…

        • PrototypeGirl1 says:

          This is from memory so not positive but wasn’t the 2015 budget set at the end of 2014? Some continuing resolution or what ever nonsense. I’m not sticking up for the republicans, but it has become real obvious that they are the same horse. I think what we have is the globalist vs the nationalist.

        • Nick says:

          Both parties are not what they used to be. There was a time where both parties worked together for the best interest of Americans period. While JFK had hos faults for sure, I believe the country died along with him. I believe that was a hit by the deep state (rich, bankers, CIA) etc. who have controlled this country for the last half century. Actually, the nail if the coffin goes back to 1913 when the Fed was created. I thought nationalism was going to roar back with Trump, but he’s been nothing but a whimper. Filling his cabinet with tge same oligarch Goldmanites he was supposed to fet rid of and campaigned on that promise.

        • Ehawk says:

          Just wait got TRUMP’s tax cuts… the will get the economy going

          tax cuts for companies and for citizens…

          So No Bust…

      • Mike R. says:

        Unless the slowdown is replaced by some other econ stimulus, I believe a point will be reached where the downturn will accelerate. I agree that right now, is has been an orderly slowdown. But there is a tipping point where negative builds on negative; particulalry because there is so much debt in the system. Would be more stable with much less debt.

        And I believe the political conditions are ripe for this scenario because Trump is incompetent and all of DC is focused on getting rid of him. So no stimulus in time in my opinion.
        And of course it is worth pointing out that the deficit is really stimulus. Fiscal 2017 I believe is going to close out around 700B in deficit. This is money Obama and Congress overspent to keep the economy from buckling at the knees during the election (to get Hilary and others elected). I fear that this time, Congress will let the economy tank so as to let the blame fall on their favorite son, Trump.

        • Nick says:

          America has basically been in a recessionary downward spiral since NAFTA! Trillions have been spent propping up this economy. And the only thing it has done is create massive misallocation of capital and “bubblized” every aspectof our economy. If there was proce discovery in the market we would already be in a knee deep depression. The government and wallstreet is run by boomers right now. No way will they sacrifice their pensions and retirements. So prop and print to the sky!! Say whatever you want aboit Trump, but every Fed chairman for the last 50 years has done more to destroy this economy than anyone. Rates should have risen, sharply, years ago!

        • interesting says:

          “because Trump is incompetent”

          where the fuck does this come from? So a community organizer or a pant suit wearing warmonger isn’t? I’m no trump fan but when I see a billionaire (I don’t give a shit that daddy gave him a million 30 fucking years ago…he could have blown that on hookers and blow) considered incompetent by those who aren’t I start to like the guy.

          -scrapped the TPP which I think is corporate governance = win for American workers.

          -scrapped the Paris accord that did NOTHING but cost Americans money and Jobs = win for American workers.

          -talked tough on illegal immigration (and sounded almost identical to Clinton 1.0….look it up) and slowed the crossings by ~60% = win for american workers and LEGAL immigrants already here.

          if the above is incompetent i’ll take that over the race baiter in the pant suit and the last guy in the white house thank you very much.

      • QQQBall says:

        You would think that companies would leave California, just like Buck Knives left San Diego County over a decade ago. I cannot prove it, but I think this is the fly in the ointment.

        There is a strengthening Financial Independence movement here in USA. That will not be good for GDP. There is also a growing expat retiree movement.

        Work hard, live below your means, save and invest the surplus. Wash rinse repeat.

    • Frederick says:

      Well my late 70s partner knew it was coming in early 2002 He was a depression era attorney and he kept saying that he felt the whole thing was a bubble and was going to collapse In retrospect boy was he right

  19. tony says:

    I have been reading your articles for a few months and have tried to throw in a few funny bits here and there. For some reason this last article just makes everything seem so sad i know nobody promised anyone a rose garden and life is not fair.It just gets so frustrating reading all these things and feeling so helpless thru it all. You do i great job and have a number of smart and informed people on your site but when you read all the back and forth stuff you want to throw in the towel.I’m still a fighter and it always help to think what would Patton have done.

    • Nick says:

      My liberal aunt told me one thing recently,
      “be the warrior”… smartest thing she’s ever said.

  20. Nick says:

    I’m 37 years old and approaching my prime working years. This site seems to have an older age of commenters which I like. I have followed the economy since 2000. Voted twice for Ron Paul simply for his views on the Fed. I have a family and two young children. Every aspect of my once great country has changed dramatically in the last 20 years. I don’t want to bring up the whole this vs that generation but I feel people my age have been screwed on so many levels.

    The scary thing is people my age and under seem to have no financial knowledge about anything anymore. Trying to strike up a conversation about the Fed, inflation, stock markets etc. is always met with a blank stare and then conversation changes to sports or whatever. I am gainfully employed in a healthcare role in the steel industry. I can tell you things are not good and will get worse. I make decent money but can’t seem to get ahead. Im renting, have great credit but saving anything seems out of reach after bills, student loans, benefits, taxes, car, some semblance of fun/shopping once in a blue moon.

    I dont know how those entering or even cominv out of college are ever going to make it. I know A LOT of my friends and acquaintences have had a lot of help from their boomer parents with paying off debt, house down payments etc. I like many never had that. Tried to do it on my own but realizing you just cant nowadays unless you live off credit and debt.

    • Petunia says:

      I saved most of my money being a renter and lost it being a homeowner, if that’s any consolation for you. Appreciate your job, do it as well as you can, and stay mobile. That’s the best advice I can give you. Also don’t invest in the company you work for because if they go under you lose your job and your investment at the same time.

      • Nick says:

        Thanks, it’s tough out there for everyone and I don’t know what the future holds. My demographic, white-straight-middle class-male, is being hit hard. Highest suicide rates, very high opiod addiction rates, decreasing college graduation rates. Im glad I graduated college when I did and am thankful for the simple fact that Im healthy, young, and basically my financial future can only get better. As a once proud American though I have little hope for the future. So, hope for the best plan for the worst. I left CA 3 years ago for MN. Keep flying over I tell people :)

        • Petunia says:

          Last year we moved to the deep south over a CA offer my husband received. I think you are better off not being in CA, we don’t regret our decision.

        • steelhead says:

          I empathize with you. I was purged by a Fortune 500 company at 39. As a median baby boomer(1955), I recognize that inter generational fighting is just another divide and conquer strategy. Over 40 years of the ascendancy of capital at the expense of labor is going to implode. It might not happen tomorrow but it is inevitable. I endorse one of the key statements at Jesse’s Cafe Americain blog site, ” Need Little – Want Less – Love More.” Good luck in your future endeavors.

    • Wilbur58 says:

      Comments like this make me sad. Earnest and truthful.

      In all of this malaise, one thing gets lost. There are still huge gains, huge net incomes, year over year in this country. The problem isn’t a lack of profitability. The problem is that all these gains go to so few.

      This is why I propose a national labor strike. Enough is enough. I wish a movement were started wherein millions of people choose a day at least 3 months in advance. And then on said day, everyone simply does not go to work.

      There would need to be a coordination of food supplies so that everyone gets fed. But this fake “economy”, a word with the root “household”, needs to be screeched to a halt. F the FIRE sector as it currently stands. F the monopolies / oligarchs elsewhere.

      Freeze the system and demand a more reasonable distribution of net income.

      No one wants to do this because they see it as a threat to their masculinity or something. As if it makes them a quitter or something. It has nothing to do with that. This mentality is that of a victim who doesn’t need to be one. There’s nothing wussy about fighting for fairness and justice.

      Now granted, if you work for a small business with revenues under $200m or so, I can understand going to work. Still, you’re invited, depending on the situation.

      One area of fact is always left out of the conversation these days. Back in the ’50’s and before hand, C Level execs topped out at making 40 times the companies’ average salaries or so. It was unthinkable to do more throughout human history. Today, many C level people make 400-1000 times more than the labor. It’s unbelievable! Why does anyone stand for this shit?

      I’ll give you one reason why, information and transportation technologies. Back in the ’50’s and prior, C level people couldn’t exist in a way so far removed from their work force. A manufacturing outfit’s C suite lived somewhat near the labor force. There was at least some sense of community. But now, thanks to the internet, airplanes, shipping volume, etc., you can have the call center in Idaho or the Philippines, the plant is in Arizona, parts are bought from China, etc.

      Everything is spread out. the C Suite doesn’t have any direct contact with the labor. This is a major portion of our income inequality issue.

      I call for a strike. Game over.

      • Nick says:

        We used to have it…..organized labor aka unions. Yes unions are not what they used to be and in many instances are outdated. But at my steel mill the union has protected an entire generation of good paying jobs in an industry hardly anyone would want to work in. In other words all the namby pamby college kids and politicians wouldnt last one day in a steel mill. Yet they all have destroyed the industry with terrible trade agreements, offshoring, etc.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        Wilbur, I can follow your logic and I agree that a big part of the problem is that the gains go to so few.

        But a national strike to get to, as you said, “Game over?”

        I have a little company. I’m working very hard to make it grow and be successful. And it’s progressing nicely. I’m paying some people, I’m paying some suppliers, I’m paying myself, I’m paying taxes, and there’s a little money left over to reinvest and grow….

        “Game over” would be a terrible event for my little company and all the work that went into it. And it wouldn’t be the only one.


        • Wilbur58 says:

          Hi Wolf,

          Did you see the part in my comment about $200m in revenues? Is your “little company” doing more than that?

          I wouldn’t begrudge anyone for not participating in the strike in the small biz world. The aim is clearly at the FIRE sector who produce no tangible goods or services and the major corporations who seek to manipulate cheap labor to enrich themselves. F them. These people would see a guillotine were it 100 years ago.

        • Safety Inc says:

          Correct Wolf. After all, it gets down to price. Like you, I’m sole proprietor of an operation and a silly idea like a national labor strike would put me out of business and 24 guys on unemployment. The problem is price. Nobody can afford to to buy discretionary items because they’re loaded up on mortgage debt.

          There’s a housing correction of unprecedented proportion right in front of us Until we get through it, it will be more of the same stagnation, low gdp and falling demand.

        • Wilbur58 says:

          Safety, Inc.,

          You too are doing over $200m in revenues as a sole prop? And yet, you call yourself Safety “Inc”?

        • Wolf Richter says:

          If your “Game over” gets my bank in trouble or causes my advertisers to slash their ad spending because their businesses are collapsing, my little company will pay the price. If any number of major upheavals commence, it’ll filter down to the little guy, as it always does. And I’m the little guy.

          Think of the people who’ll lose their jobs with big companies because “Game over” causes those big companies to slash expenses, and thus jobs….

          Things don’t happen in a vacuum.

        • Nick says:

          We ride together or we die together. Too bad the rich for centuries have failed to understand this. There will be a bloody civil war and balkanization in the US if things continue down this path. And I highly doubt we will be as resourceful as Russia was nor will we have a Putin rise from the collapse. Trump has been a huge disappointment. Russia will be the next super power in 20-30 years if they keep doing what they are doing. Everyone talks about SV in the US. Russia produces some of the best educated programmers and computer/tech minds the world has to offer. If they adopt free market principles and with their resources….game over! Plus multiculturalism hasn’t yet infected that part of the world as it has North America and Western Europe.

        • Wilbur58 says:


          Perhaps we need to define “Game Over”, since I think my idea and yours are quite different.

          I mean “Game Over” for the status quo and a shock to the system. I don’t mean “Every Goods/Services company goes out of business,” which seems to be your interpretation. I love the actual goods/services economy instead of this fake, asset-inflation model.

          I want BofA, Chase, Citi, Target, Walmart, the major grocers, the automakers, the telecoms, and the cable industries to learn… quickly and convincingly… that they’re no longer in business unless they start paying respectable wages. Game over for them as is. One week of strike and this country would have the best conversations it has had in decades.

          If you personally at Wolfstreet have a line of credit with Wells Fargo or something, here are several responses:

          1) I don’t give a fuck whether you make your next payment to them if you’ve got debts with them.
          2) If one of the major banks/corps is an advertiser with you, Chase for example, sorry dude, but I don’t really care. Either you’re for real change or your not. If labor were to organize and fight, we’d have a better economy, not worse. Your life would get better financially unless it’s dependent on a bad economy.
          3) Go and saddle up with First Republic or a credit union and you’ll be fine. Do you really need a line of credit or just a business account?
          4) This shock to the system would definitely cause the adjustment to asset prices that’s badly needed. I take you to be someone with assets that includes cash/bonds. So, there would be plenty of opportunity to lead a better lifestyle.

          If your business provides goods and services that people find beneficial, it would be far better off in a healthy economy, as opposed to this depression.

          What do you think is going to cause real change, holding hands, singing kumbaya, and waiting for the day when our corporate overlords decide to be less greedy? Shall we keep voting Republican and Democrat, but expect different results?

          I fear you may be victim to the largest blackmail ever conducted in human history. It was fall of 2007 and early 2008. A lot of otherwise intelligent people conformed to the opinion, “The banks did bad, but man, if we don’t bail them out, (ie. do what they want), things will get REALLY bad!” That’s called blackmail and I’d say that upwards of 95% of the populace fell for it, rich and poor. Our society would have been far better off without a bailout and rescue of these insolvent institutions that put us in ruin in the first place.

          I fail to understand why your “little company” would be hurt in my scenario. I’ve already made an exception for companies under $200m in revenues. It’s not a hard number. I’m certainly open to that number being otherwise, given some good arguments.

          Or are you simply saying, “I don’t care if a destructive organization hurts society dearly so long as they advertise with me. And those advertisements have allowed me to employ others. Hence, my economic world is fueled by Chase and it’s, um, a good thing.”??? I don’t think that’s what you’re saying, and that’s why I wanted to get more into detail than just “Game Over”.

          What do you propose for real change? My list is simple:

          1) National Labor Strike at major FIRE sector institutions, monopolies / oligarchs, and other insidious corporations.
          2) The top marginal tax rate shoots up past 50%. But I’d define tax rates by location and not just dollar amounts. For example, the top marginal rate may not kick in until say, $500K in NY/SF/LA… but would kick in at $300K in Phoenix or something.
          3) FICA drops while property taxes rise. The earth belongs to no one. It’s for the people. Most of the taxation should happen there.
          4) A cap on multiples of average salaries within large corporations. A CEO cannot make over 40 times the average salary. No one person can do the labor of 40 and it’s ridiculous to even pretend. Tim Cook doesn’t design any iPhones, doesn’t manufacture any, doesn’t transport any, and doesn’t sell any. Other people do that.
          5) If any United Nations country engages in any military action that isn’t in defense of its homeland, then the relatives of the current Congressmen ages 18-30 go to the front lines.
          6) A single payer healthcare system instead of this ridiculous employer-based bullshit. Here’s where some federal subsidies are useful. I borderline want to abolish “for profit health insurance” as I see zero positives in such a model. It’s no more efficient than the state would do. If anything, it’s worse due to the profit model.
          7) A transaction tax on all Wall St. trading activity.

          My society would be guided by a simple mission:

          Anyone who works an honest 40 hour workweek has the right to:

          1) A decent place to live.
          2) Decent transportation.
          3) Decent food.
          4) Access to healthcare.

          Until that is achieved, I don’t give a flying fuck about the wealthy.

          There are alternatives to the status quo. How would you like to get there?

    • nick kelly says:

      Bud- I’ve been having trouble finding ladies capable of conversation. No doubt some of them have the same prob.

      Here’s some recent ‘never heard of it’, from worst on.

      Freud: (so I asked her if she’d heard of psychiatry. Yes.)

      The Bronze Age

      McCarthyism: Run this one by 3 of them, one quite intelligent. No dice.

      Moving on to dumbbell guys. It’s amazing how many ‘car guys’ don’t know how a car engine works. Valves?
      Given the importance of the IC engine, how come it’s not taught in school. The dem of lawn mower engine with head off and showing valves moving would take 10 minutes.

      The Fed, Q.E…. AC and DC, 60 Hertz? For the most part, don’t go there.

      One time I’m with this guy fishing but when he tries to phone we’re out of cell tower range. So he says ‘I’ll text’

      Blank looks? Get used to it, but also remember they can be very nice and even very intelligent people. Many are just uniformed.

      • Nick says:

        Ladies? pffft good luck finding one who hasn’t been brainwashed by our anti-male feministic liberal public and higher educational institutions. Women, not all, have lost their bearings. It’s sad because they a lot of power to change the direction of this country. Phyllis Schlafly? lol

        I do see a lot of very young women possibly shrugging off and seeing feminism for what it is. Let’s hope so. But. now we have women wanting to be Navy Seals.

      • nick kelly says:

        In her last speech Yellen reacted to Trump’s demand for 3% growth by saying (apart from it would be tough) the education system would have to be improved.

        My two cents: by all means preserve the student’s fundamental self respect, but ‘job one’ is not to make him feel good.
        If he has ability and is doing lousy, it’s unfair to him to not be critical of that aspect.
        Nor is it fair to spoon- feed him, even though it also makes life easy for the teacher.
        When he leaves school he will be thrown in the deep end.

    • alex in san jose says:

      Nick – I’m pretty sure the median here is 65.

      Several threads ago I discussed my 20% – of – gross – income tax rate and the people here could not understand for the life of them why I didn’t simply take the over-65 standard deduction.

      I’m fairly certain also that the median wealth on here is around $1 million.

      This is one of the reasons I post on here (the largest being that Wolf runs a good forum) – with a $12k income, living in Silicon Valley, and being still of working age rather than a wealthy retiree, I feel it’s important I’m heard on here.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        Alex, you still don’t understand the “Standard Deduction.” (I remember our back and forth about it). It’s not just for the over 65 (that’s ludicrous). It’s for everyone. You choose when you do your taxes: either the standard deduction or itemizing deductions on Schedule A.

        There is tax preparation software available that will walk you through it. It’s cheap. It’s easy. It’ll save you a lot of money next time you do your taxes. Don’t pay more in taxes than you HAVE to.

        • MarkinSF says:

          If he’s making $12k he doesn’t even have to file

        • Wolf Richter says:

          He says he’s self-employed, so he has to pay self-employment taxes on his profits from self-employment. So he has to file to do this. But he says he’s paying $2,000 in taxes (if I recall correctly)!!

        • alex in san jose says:

          I take the standard deduction, but you guys want me to take an additional one for being over 65. I’m a decade too young for that one. My taxes are shit simple.

          You know why my taxes are high? Because I’m single and working age. I’m not raising kids to be soldiers for the Empire. Plain and simple. If I had even one kid, no taxes. If I had 2-3, there’s a good chance I’d get as much from the gov’t as I earn.

          When I was a bench tech, my “take home” was 75% of what I made. That was on $9 to $11 an hour.

          Earlier, when I made $5 an hour, again, my take-home was 75% of my gross.

          If I get my startup going, though, I *will* need to start using an accountant again.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Glad to know that you’re taking the standard deduction. That was just incomprehensible to me that you would’t. That’s a big chunk of money.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Oh, I meant to say this before, I keep my fingers crossed for your startup. I hope you’ll succeed to the point where you have to pay a top tax accounting firm to minimize your taxes :-)

    • Niko says:


      I empathize with you, if you were raised to have a work ethic you will struggle in society today. The “welfare” state started under FDR and has been expanded and manipulated by just about every politician since. It is the leading cause if America’s plight today. When you give something to someone without them earning it two things occur, first they don’t appreciate it and second they want more. Do you think politicians would have been able to pass NAFTA, or at least retain their jobs afterwards, if more Americans were effected by it?

      By the way, the Federal Government makes sure that new refugees to this country are indoctrinated into this scheme when they first arrive, they receive SSI.

  21. IronForge says:

    Mister Richter,

    You may also wish to take a quick look over the Labor Mgmt Division’s past and present Industry Headcount Projections.

  22. Sunny Veil says:

    Wonder what this will mean for Sunnyvale (of Lockheed fame, with the Lockheed bus line) where the Senior Pay Pal Engineer employed Mayor Hendricks (elected by City Council, and not the residents) and way over compensated/subsidized City Manager, Deanna Santana ( ) have been quite busy piloting London based Starship robot deliveries on sidewalks and basically making the area ultimately unlivable for anyone already living there, even young employed techies. It’s as if they want to replace all of their current residents for a soon to come, constantly transient, cyborg population, they’ve already allowed their lower paid City Employees to be displaced .

    That ghastly new Apple ‘campus’ at Central Expressway and Wolfe Rd. (the current available photos, photo shopped with fake trees do not do it the infamy it deserves) which will likely wipe out a remaining Hispanic community less than a minute away (feature not a bug), is expecting 14K plus employees when it opens.

    Then there’s a mysterious security entity referred to as ARC TEC, Inc./Fortinet (on the other side of Central Expressway within a few minutes walk from the Apple monstrosity) to be located in a huge area on Kifer Rd. and Commercial St. – residents were sent last minute notices as to: Final action on this matter may be taken at this hearing ,as it’s most likely a done deal anyway; just like that Linked in Monstrosity. Well, I will say it’s more than the non notice given when City Hall decided to unleash quite large (given the average sidewalk width in Sunnyvale) delivery robots.

    At least the Cupertino Mayor where the other Apple monstrosity sits stated the obvious: 05/07/16 Cupertino’s mayor says Apple is ‘not willing to pay a dime’ in taxes Sunnyvale, with its stunningly regressive and punitive sales tax rate of 9.%, has been absolutely mum on Lockheed, Apple, Linked in, etcetera in that regard, as their City Government and non tech workers are exponentially being displaced.

    I’m always bleakly amused how the Sunnyvale Government – Sunnyvale is currently noted as over twice the population of Palo Alto and near twice the population of Mountain View on wiki, and has housed far more than its share of Tech companies and as yet uncleaned Toxic Superfund Sites – evades the scrutiny it highly deserves.

    • ft says:

      My Sunnyvale working-class neighborhood of WWII vintage sub 800 sq ft tract homes is tucked in a couple blocks SE of Linked In’s new monstrosity. Traffic has gotten horrible. The new skyline stinks. The frantic pace of construction is simply too much too fast to last. Well, working-class is no longer true; shabby houses on my block now sell for a million, are gutted and remodeled into McMansions before anyone moves in. One more honest neighborhood biting the dust.

      • Nick says:

        Here in the midwest I love all the little ramblers of 1200-1500 sq ft including basement. The neighborhoods have so much character but unfortunately sub $200k houses attract a lot of undesirables and the schools usually suck. Now you have to be in $350k plus neighborhoods for just decent schools.

      • Sunny Veil says:

        One more honest neighborhood biting the dust.

        Yep, like the Blue Bonnet Mobile Home Park. I’m guessing that anyone that anyone in the valley who lives in a Mobile Home Park is going to sleep in fear every night, particularly if they’re retired, or disabled. It’s heartbreaking.

        God knows how many will be displaced when Apple opens up its Center and Wolfe ‘campus’ and Google settles in down in San Jose. Google (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Oracle, Microsoft, etcetera) never should have been allowed to become so powerful that they appear to be Governments onto themselves. So much for anti trust laws and warding off fascism. Thought this country learned its lesson about company towns. But Silicon Valley politicians have been giving over the keys to the town to companies with fully known records of wage fixing and discrimination against ethnic minorities, females, older workers and foreign manufacturing workers; and a Bipartisan Federal Government has allowed Multinational Corporate Tax Evasion to become legalized. As I noted above, at least Cupertino’s Mayor brought up the tax revenue elephant in the room.

    • alex in san jose says:

      Ah, a voice from Slummyvale!

      I lived in that huge complex on Mathilda and Maude, and 2X saw cops with guns drawn closing in on some baddie. Had to call the cops a few times myself.

      Yes, on paper it’s a low-crime city but in reality it’s because it’s crawling with cops (Slummyvale cops and firemen are all cross-trained).

      They’ve done their best to ruin the little downtown area, put ridiculous condos everywhere, and have pretty much sucked the soul out of the area.

      The real Sunnyvale: Paul & Harvey’s.

      • ft says:

        The apt complex is over my back fence; lots of Indian immigrants in there now. Multi-story business structures and condos have gone up downtown, but the rest of the so-called revitalization has been a torn-up mess for over ten years now. When I moved here in ’95 the police cars were plain white, then they changed over to black and white, and it has always seemed to me that a change in attitude came with the new cars. Silicon Valley at its finest.

        • Sunny Veil says:

          …a change in attitude came with the new cars. Silicon Valley at its finest.

          Yeah, have had more than one chilling experience with Sunnyvale & other Santa Clara County cops, which in a fair world, they’d have been penalized or fired immediately. I know quite a few people with the same sort of experiences.

      • Sunny Veil says:

        They’ve done their best to ruin the little downtown area, put ridiculous condos everywhere, and have pretty much sucked the soul out of the area.

        Yep, the Mayor (and prior Sunnyvale Mayors), the City Manager, and some City Council members have been rapidly gutting any soul evident, replacing it with fear of homelessness for a vast amount of renters, non tech workers, mobile home residents, and small (particularly non tech) business owners.

  23. IdahoPotato says:

    This article from The Economist in 1998 sounds uncannily like today.

  24. ND says:

    Hi Wolf,

    I wonder how many jobs will disappear as the Apple Spaceship is completed ($5B project). Almost finished. This might be reflected in the Santa Clara county data.


    • QQQBall says:

      Seems I post this 3-4 times a year.

      Read Your Money or Your Life and Cashing in on the AMerican Dream, How to Retire at 35. Philosophy books, not get-rich-quick schemes. Get into action; once your passive income meets your living expenses you are Financially Independent (FI). Learn the power of compound interest. Stop playing the victim… you don’t lose money b/c you became a homeowner; you lost money b/c you were imprudent. cycles go up and down… buying something you cannot really afford, particularly at the top of a cycle, is not someone else’s fault.

      I just bought Millionaire Next Door for the kid next door. He builds computers for people for $50 a pop, he mows lawns and babysits with two buddys and they grossed $200 last month… He works as a summer intern for me. His father deserted his mom and his sister, just like my dad did to my mom, sister and I… now tell me how bad you have it?

      • Petunia says:

        You could say the same thing about Bear Stears, AIG, GM, GE, Citibank,
        JPM, Morgan Stanley, et. al. Living way above their means.

      • Nick says:

        $200 is nothing nowadays. That doesn’t cover gas, insurance, clothes, food for a teenager nowadays. What good will that do making a dent in college? That covers one book! I get your point but American kids are already behind the minute they come out of momma’s womb. Simple inflation.

        I lost my father at age 24 but he was an orphan at age 10 in Europe during WWII. Lost his whole family to war. Had nobody and nothing when he turned 18. Went to work for Carl Zeiss on his own and eventually movedto the states. Raised three boys and had a decent middle middle class life. Never sucked a dime off ANYONE! Not even a bank. Ever! Screw minorities of any kind!

        Good luck to your neighbor kid but the American economy will eat him and his 1950’s work ethic for breakfast! They key to survival is going against the grain, outcompeting and outsmarting the system, using the gray market as much as possible. Eg..hell yeah take your student loan monwy and invest in stocks or gamble in real estate. Wished I would have like a doctor friend of mine did.

      • Ethan in NoVA says:

        Those books (Like Mr Money Mustache) tend to reflect on periods when people rode the stock market and housing assets up. I don’t know if their advice would work buying at the peak of the biggest stock and housing bubble in history?

        Also cost of living, job opportunities, health, and luck are other factors.

        IIRC Millionaire Next Door was busted as being made up, but maybe the guy is a millionaire from selling the story he made up. You should be able to find the PDF online, since people have sites full of pirated books. Another thing that changed since those early days.

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