Opinion; Food For Thought – “The people of this region have a near infinite capacity for diminished expectations. Personally, I’m planning to move because I want something better.”

“It may not end.  The people of this region have a near infinite capacity for diminished expectations.  They seem to always do what they are told and accept what they are given, and no matter how ridiculous it is.  They will pay more and more for less and less.  Today it’s $700k for an old basement on a busy road in hookertown.  Tomorrow it could be $1 million dollars for a tent and a license to beg in the rain.  It’s the best place on earth you know.

That’s the true value of Vancouver: chumps.  There is an inexhaustible supply of fools who will never look elsewhere and the media apparatus to direct them.  Pay $10 for a hot dog?  Lineups for days.  Why not $100?  Limited time only.  Buy now.  These people will pay anything and do anything, regardless of whether it makes sense, and that’s why Vancouver is so valuable.  It’s not the land, or the scenery, or the climate, and it’s certainly not the standard of living.  It’s the people.

You can argue from simple mathematics that eventually this must end.  The population will be unable to pay for it.  This is true, but don’t ignore the fact that so many 60 year olds have 40 year mortgages.  When the general population can wield sums of money that they have no hope of repaying the integrity of the system is lost.  Money doesn’t mean anything in Vancouver, and under current policies Canada is sure to follow.  We have socialized credit and destroyed capitalism.  Newcomers don’t own anything in Vancouver and won’t get the opportunity.  It’s like a communist country, which is maybe why HAM finds it so appealing.

As for options, with the precedent established and the trend so firmly in place, there is no reason to bet on a reversal.  In 2008 this new system cracked and the authorities handed out gobs of money to favoured groups until it was fixed and the transformation could continue.  They invited corrupt CPC officials to immigrate and launder an unprecedented amount of money through Canada.  Anyone betting on an ounce of fairness or responsibility was badly burned.

That’s it as far as I’m concerned.  The social structure in Canada is ossifying and the economic structure is in decline.  Our neighbours to the south have once again shown the way, by restoring balance to their system after only a few crazy years.  Despite this enormous cost (or actually, because of it) sensible investment opportunities exist in the United States.  That country is dynamic again.  The fact that an American dollar today buys twice as much food, twice as much house, and twice as much gas is a harbinger of things to come.  Canadians foolishly think they are better off, but Canada is going nowhere.  Trade your Canadian dollars at par while you can, and move to the US to enjoy the standard of living you expect and get the opportunities that everyone deserves.

The worst thing you could do in life isn’t buying a $700k Vancouver basement suite, it’s sitting around waiting for that to change.  It may not change, or if it does, it may take too long, or you may not like it anymore.  So you better have a plan in motion.

Personally, planning to move because I want something better, full stop.  Vancouver is just crap with a zero on the end, and Canada is grossly overrated too.  I’m 50% out of Canadian assets because I don’t think our dollar is worth what the world says it is.  I see China imploding instead of leading the world.  Their model of over-investment is near an end.  I think the next great invention will come from the United States, and the next bull market will be born there.  They have so many small companies working on the next big thing, you have no idea.  If you want opportunity, it’s there.  They have nice houses for $100,000.  Buy one and get on with life.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  It’s as close to economic freedom as you are ever likely to get.  I am astounded that people on this website could be offered this and somehow turn it down.

Real estate and credit bubbles were the last decade, so why is Canada still mired in it?  Who even gives a shit?  In the greater world, nobody.  And nor should they care.  And nor should you.”

- rp1 at VREAA 26 Feb 2012 1:37am

45 responses to “Opinion; Food For Thought – “The people of this region have a near infinite capacity for diminished expectations. Personally, I’m planning to move because I want something better.”

  1. Last paragraph is about right – canRE-vanRE are like circus freak sideshow? US is an easier out for younger canadians trapped in the insanity, but has yet to tackle the difficult pbs in public spending + sovereign debt issuance. Asia ex-Japan doesn’t have this pb. Chinese situation and leadership are not ideal but at least they have repeatedly demonstrated the will to tackle difficult problems head-on. In the west, things have gone so far off course that the political apparatus is incapable of even comprehending it. Witness absurd gridlock over how Greece will default. US = won’t raise taxes + won’t cut spending = let’s keep printing money, surely that won’t ever stop working. If an economic war, china would win – that is the present long-term landscape. But things could change and better opps still do indeed exist south.

  2. I wish moving to the US was such an easy option for me :(

  3. Renters Revenge

    “It’s like a communist country”
    This is the crux of the problem. Canadians think they are free, think they live in liberty, and don’t see how enslaved they actually are and don’t realize they don’t really “own” much of anything – especially the future. Canadians are dangerously deluded.
    For myself, I’m torn between working here to promote the necessary change or just move. I really don’t know which is the better option. I’m not sure the US is really that free right now with their militarism of society and a runaway government debt situation – but they do have the ideals of “freedom” ingrained in the national character. That alone makes me inclined to agree that it may be more constructive to work for change in that environment rather than here in Delusionville.

  4. Renters Revenge

    In other news…
    Yesterday I found out about three different families that have listed their homes for sale because they can no longer afford them. Three in one day! I’m a van real estate perma-bear but hearing three in one day was alarming, even for me.

    • I think Douglas Adams said it pretty well:

      “Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.”

  5. “That’s the true value of Vancouver: chumps.” I agree with this. The people here are almost hopelessly provincial, despite the fact that they consider themselves extremely cosmopolitan.

  6. The RE situation in Vancouver by no means describes the rest of Canada. Vancouver is the most unaffordable city in the world because that’s what it wants to be. There are hundreds of other Canadian cities that have more worthy and sustainable aspirations and are, at least, much more affordable.

  7. Vancouver is the only city in the NHL where players accept much less money to play here. Why? (hint) it isn’t the rich history of Stanley Cup success.

    • Sure that works for HAM and NHL players – not for the average wage earning family. BC interprovincial migration is consistently negative now for reasons that you will never comprehend.

    • Renters Revenge

      I don’t know, looks like a pretty average NHL payroll to me.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_team_payrolls_in_the_NHL

    • can’t believe i’m answering this
      http://tinyurl.com/6sxn4kh
      the only one who could get a lot more elsewhere is hamhuis, but he wanted to come home. maybe kesler but he wants a title. do you think the league has that many dopes willing to buy erhoffs?

      • These pretzels are making me thirsty

        You will go crazy if you try to respond to each and every disingenuous crappola spewed out by worried self-serving REALTORS and the like.

    • Royce McCutcheon

      F1: What? THIS is the latest thing you’re using to show how desirable the region is – the fact that a couple guys amongst two dozen multi-millionaires who make fortunes playing a game shaved a small fraction off their asking price?

      Christ, you’re not even right to imply these guys are here because of some BPOE rationale, by the way. Some guys are taking slight cuts because they came up through the minor league ranks together, built their lives here, their spouses are close friends with each other, etc. (i.e. they’re FROM here now and have roots here and that’s worth something to them [Sedins, Bieksa, Burrows, Kesler, etc.]). Some guys are taking hometown discounts because they want to come back to their home province (i.e. where they are from originally [e.g. Hamhuis]). And many of them want to play for a team with rich owners that are willing to spend on over-and-above-the-rest-of-the-league extras associated with travel, training, etc. Oh, and lack of shiny trophies aside, the fact that the team has been one of the more winning franchises the last few years is also a draw.

      Also working against your comment is the reality that players have taken discounts to play in, for e.g., Detroit. Are you suggesting Detroit is vying with Vancouver for some BPOE title? Yeah… no.

      I guess the take home message here is that your opinions on hockey teams are about as constructive as your ones on local real estate. Great.

    • Detroit has long been the city where players accept less to play in – because of a strong history of winning.

    • You think the majority of players live here in the off-season?

      Interesting.

  8. One thing seems certain to me. We cannot, as a nation, diverge so much from the economy of the United States and appear so different in terms of how we evaluate homes, incomes and consumption outlays without eventually paying some kind of price for those differences. There is going to be a high cost for having taken this gamble of consumption driven economic stimulus instead of going down the harder road of deleveraging that the US consumer has been living through since 2005. Now we are behind the curve and the longer our bubble grows the worse off we will all be where catching up is concerned. While Americans are increasing savings rates and preparing for the next wave of investment in their own economy we are still years behind and chasing our own tails to achieve wealth in real estate that will surely be fleeting for most of the population.It is simple logic to appreciate that everyone in Canada who owns a home cannot become unduly enriched as an outcome of a this bubble without there being a cost paid somewhere else. As an analogy, what would be the value of money if everyone in the country were given a million dollars for their homes today? We can all understand from that simple exercise that in the real world, most people actually are losers where asset prices diverge strongly from historical norms. Everyone cannot be a winner. Most will ride the price down exactly as they rode it up and the only real impact will be on how taxation varied across time or how much money they had available for other purposes. And this is where our real worry should now be focused. Too many of us are living in a myth of valuation. We think our property is more valuable than it really is. Lending regulations confirm our belief and while we may not all get a million dollars for our homes, we have been spending and behaving as though it were cash in the bank. There cannot be a greater risk in my mind than a bad end to this experiment where we actually see consumption fall hard as reality in value seeps back into our consciousness. I believe we have gone too far along a path of diverging from the American economy and are facing a growing risk of an economy that could land hard as an outcome of consumption profligacy, malinvestment in a single asset class, a lack of personal savings in our economy and a delusion that somehow we are different from everyone else. We are not different. Just behind the curve.

  9. It’s a fairy that the US is in a recovery. Pure manipulation of the data.

  10. It seems that every few weeks there are anecdotes like this one implying people who continue to live in Canada (esp Van) are stupid and we should all move to the US. I’d seriously like to know how so many folks simply pick up and move there because it seems to me it really isn’t that easy unless you already have an employer who will do the work for you or a lot of money…

  11. To advise anyone to trade their Cdn dollars for U.S. and to say that the U.S. economy is in better shape than Canada is asinine. The U.S. is the most indebted nation in world history. Their economy is over 70% consumption. They’re screwed way worse than we are.

    • These pretzels are making me thirsty

      Would you then trade your US dollars for Canadian dollars ?
      How about buying all your stuff from across the border if you were free to do so?
      US may not be doing well at this time, but there are good fundamentals to bring it back on track (I am not going to enumerate them to you)

      As opposed to Canadian economy? Deliriously overvalued. Do think that the rest of the world even cares?

      California alone has a bigger economy.

      • These pretzels are making me thirsty

        Why moderation? Do you want me to stop writing or visiting your web site?

      • You are not alone. i have been in moderation since yesterday. I was wondering about that too.

      • Farmer/pretzels -> Nothing could be further from the truth, your discussion is most welcome; Sorry about the mod queue stuff.
        The almost complete explanation:
        Wordpress has it’s own automatic mod queue screen for stuff it sees as spam. 99.9% of the time it is accurate, catching thousands of spambot comments; very occasionally it takes out a legit comment.
        We have used a no-mod policy on this blog for years. Recently, troll ‘Fred’, crossed the line with dozens of distracting posts, so, for the first time ever, we put up mod filters. These catch Fred very efficiently. For some reason, they have also increased the amount of legit comments held in moderation. All of those have been released for publication the moment I spot them. I’m not on the blog 24/7, so, sometimes thay sit awhile. I’m sorry about that, as I know it can be frustrating as it can break up ‘conversation’.
        In short, the occasional post stuck in mod is the price we pay for being able to chat spam- and Fred-free.

        The interesting thing is that, despite being shut out, Fred continues to post! I don’t know if he even realizes that his posts aren’t going up.
        I was thinking of posting a ‘Essence of Fred’ free-verse compilation, but that’d probably just encourage him.

      • PS:
        The post of mine above went into the mod queue!

        I suspect that wordpress looks at all other comments held in the mod queue and uses those to determine whether new ones should be held.
        The fact that I mentioned he-who-should-not-be-named may have done it.

      • These pretzels are making me thirsty

        Thanks for the clarification.
        This is a great site. I would still come even if unable to post.

        (BTW..Fred had a certain entertainment value. It is good to be able to laugh at something. {or in certain cases, someone (like Fred)}

    • Is our consumption economy not 65% Loomis? The aggregate of all public, private and consumer debt including that held by civic and Provincial governments makes Canada one of the most indebted on the planet too.

      Oh yeah…we are real darlings up here.

    • I have the exact same opinion as rp1 and have very few assets left in loonie’s – and I own no gold or other precious metals, the only commodity I invest in is oil (not gas).

    • Total U.S. Federal and state debt: ~95% of GDP
      Total Canadian Provincial and Fed debt: ~85% of GDP

      And the difference is “way worse” eh? Your debt is hidden at the provincial level, whereas it is in plain view at the U.S. federal level.

      • Thanks AG. I didn’t have the numbers handy when writing my comment. I think a lot of Canadians are labouring under the false belief we are in a significantly better economic position than we really are. There is a great lack of understanding of our true indebtedness and how it is distributed across the country. Maybe the Americans are just doing a better job of navel gazing than we are. Maybe they keep better statistics. Certainly they have broadcast their issues for all the world to see. We seem to be more aware of their predicament than our own and do not appreciate that this country is also in debt to the eyebrows. Is that part of our British heritage where one does not air their dirty laundry in public perhaps?

    • Thanks for the explanation Vreaa. Not sure why the system sees so many of my comments as spam though. It is usually the long posts that hit a snag. I can’t see any comments in them that would be red flags though…..unless the wordpress folks are realtors. Ha!

  12. Epic rant, love it. Well done.

  13. This post has inspired me to research into owning a hotdog stand. Meanwhile, for your perusal…

    Wyoming House advances doomsday bill

    CHEYENNE — State representatives on Friday advanced legislation to launch a study into what Wyoming should do in the event of a complete economic or political collapse in the United States.

    House Bill 85 passed on first reading by a voice vote. It would create a state-run government continuity task force, which would study and prepare Wyoming for potential catastrophes, from disruptions in food and energy supplies to a complete meltdown of the federal government.

    The task force would look at the feasibility of

    Wyoming issuing its own alternative currency, if needed. And House members approved an amendment Friday by state Rep. Kermit Brown, R-Laramie, to have the task force also examine conditions under which Wyoming would need to implement its own military draft, raise a standing army, and acquire strike aircraft and an aircraft carrier.

    The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. David Miller, R-Riverton, has said he doesn’t anticipate any major crises hitting America anytime soon. But with the national debt exceeding $15 trillion and protest movements growing around the country, Miller said Wyoming — which has a comparatively good economy and sound state finances — needs to make sure it’s protected should any unexpected emergency hit the U.S.

    Several House members spoke in favor of the legislation, saying there was no harm in preparing for the worst.

    Read more: http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/wyoming-house-advances-doomsday-bill/article_af6e1b2b-0ca4-553f-85e9-92c0f58c00bd.html#ixzz1nY2CJGEH

    nb. Why Wyoming would want an aircraft carrier baffles me.

  14. I don’t know what the OP is smoking but I have a good idea… I would take Canada over the US any day to start a small business on a shoestring budget. Big business, ok, that’s maybe a different animal but the US is still way tougher with regulations and taxes up the wazoo. US has not recovered, now this isn’t a sales pitch for Vancouver, I left from there 3 1/2 years ago, and managed to accelerate myself financially at a pace that never would have been possible in Vancouver. But there are other cities in Canada you know. ..

  15. Great rant. (And if anyone loves a great rant, it’s me.) I’m not nearly so bullish on the US as the author of this post is, but they’ve pretty much nailed everthing else. And there’s a certain bitterness in the words that I can relate to. Things didn’t have to get this screwed up. But they did. And we all went along for the ride.

  16. People chose to live in Canada for the political stability, universal health care, clean air, ect… Not everything is about money. I have lived in several major cities in Europe and the U.S and can tell you that you dont realize how important these things are till you leave.

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