Remember the Housing "Bubble"?

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mike weber

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Mar 17, 2007, 10:37:55 AM3/17/07
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The one we talked about here a few months ago?

The one that lots of people were sure wasn't going to burst?

{quote}

Gone are the days when companies could move employees and new hires
around like puppets on strings. Now, the sluggish housing market is
creating hassles for employers and employees struggling to move and to
sell homes in what has quickly turned into a buyer's market.

Employers are sweetening incentive packages to get workers to move
and, for the first time in years, fielding questions from leery job
candidates about what sort of relocation benefits the company
provides. Employees are turning down relocations, selling their homes
at a loss, spending months in corporate housing while they wait for
properties to sell, or in some cases, renting out their homes and
becoming long-distance landlords. It's a major shift from just a
couple of years ago when employees were eager to move and cash out on
their appreciating home values.

Forty-six percent of companies say recruiting employees is becoming
more difficult as the housing market turns tepid, according to a 2006
survey by Prudential Relocation.

Three in 10 of those who turned down a relocation did so because of
housing and mortgage concerns, according to a 2006 survey by Atlas
World Group. That decision can come at a price: More than half of
companies had an employee decline a relocation, and 35% of employers
say turning down a move hinders an employee's career.

{/quote}

(more)
http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/employment/2007-03-14-relocate-usat_N.htm?csp=1

--
mike weber (fairp...@gmail.com)
============================
My Website: http://electronictiger.com
===================================
If you take in a starving dog off the street, and feed him, and make him prosperous, he will not bite you.
This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
- Mark Twain

Keith F. Lynch

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Mar 17, 2007, 11:22:32 AM3/17/07
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mike weber <fairp...@gmail.com> wrote:
> The one we talked about here a few months ago?
> The one that lots of people were sure wasn't going to burst?

I'll believe the housing bubble has burst when I can afford a house.

(Why, yes, it *is* all about me.)

> {quote}

> Gone are the days when companies could move employees and new hires
> around like puppets on strings.

Were there ever such days? Most people have friends, relatives, and
other connections in one place. If there were ever such days, I think
they mostly ended when the two-income family became the norm. Why
completely derail one spouse's career so that the other can get a
small raise?

People who move around a lot in search of employment, like in _The
Grapes of Wrath_ are usually derided as "drifters" or "rootless."
This is often used against people if they're accused of a crime.

> More than half of companies had an employee decline a relocation, ...

More than half of what companies? The vast majority of companies are
small, with just a single location, and only recruit employees near
that location.
--
Keith F. Lynch - http://keithlynch.net/
Please see http://keithlynch.net/email.html before emailing me.

Paul Dormer

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Mar 17, 2007, 12:10:00 PM3/17/07
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In article <eth13o$7f8$1...@panix3.panix.com>, k...@KeithLynch.net
(Keith F. Lynch) wrote:

>
> mike weber <fairp...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > The one we talked about here a few months ago?
> > The one that lots of people were sure wasn't going to
> > burst?
>
> I'll believe the housing bubble has burst when I can
> afford a house.

Well, there's a four bedroomed semi-detached just gone on the market
in the north of England, a snip at £140K. My siblings and I are selling
my father's house. We've already had an offer.

It's about twice the size of my house in Guildford, and the garden is
about five times the size, but the estate agents in the area have
valued it at about half of what I'd get for my house.

Keith F. Lynch

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Mar 17, 2007, 12:24:51 PM3/17/07
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Paul Dormer <p...@pauldormer.cix.co.uk> wrote:
> k...@KeithLynch.net (Keith F. Lynch) wrote:
>> I'll believe the housing bubble has burst when I can afford a house.

> Well, there's a four bedroomed semi-detached just gone on the market
> in the north of England, a snip at £140K.

That's about a quarter million dollars, which is way outside my means.
It's also way too far for me to commute. And I doubt I'd be allowed
to immigrate to the UK anyhow.

mike weber

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Mar 17, 2007, 12:53:08 PM3/17/07
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On 17 Mar 2007 11:22:32 -0400, "Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net>
wrote:

>mike weber <fairp...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> The one we talked about here a few months ago?
>> The one that lots of people were sure wasn't going to burst?
>
>I'll believe the housing bubble has burst when I can afford a house.
>
>(Why, yes, it *is* all about me.)
>
>> {quote}
>
>> Gone are the days when companies could move employees and new hires
>> around like puppets on strings.
>
>Were there ever such days? Most people have friends, relatives, and
>other connections in one place. If there were ever such days, I think
>they mostly ended when the two-income family became the norm. Why
>completely derail one spouse's career so that the other can get a
>small raise?

Considering that the article main point of the article is how much
things have changed recently, yes, there was.


>
>People who move around a lot in search of employment, like in _The
>Grapes of Wrath_ are usually derided as "drifters" or "rootless."
>This is often used against people if they're accused of a crime.

In this case we're talking about people who already have jobs, whose
meployers want them to move; as pointed out in the text you snipped,
in that situation, to *refuse* to move hurts your prospects, as often
as not.

I'll have to look back and make sure i gave the URL so that people
with questions like this can read the full article, which is much
longer and more detailed.


>
>> More than half of companies had an employee decline a relocation, ...
>
>More than half of what companies? The vast majority of companies are
>small, with just a single location, and only recruit employees near
>that location.

More than half of companies surveyed, which, by definition, are those
large enough to move people around.

I wasa actively recruited for an electronics tech job in Louisville KY
a few years ago, and somewhat less actively, but still asked if i'd
like to move there. for one in New Orleans. (My answer was "yes", but
they deiced not to hire anyone at that time, after all.) In both
cases, it was a small company, with one main location.

--
mike weber (fairp...@gmail.com)
============================
My Website: http://electronictiger.com
===================================

No use looking for the answers when the questions are in doubt - Fred leBlanc, "The Love of My Life"

Karl Johanson

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Mar 17, 2007, 2:10:42 PM3/17/07
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"Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote
> Paul Dormer <p...@pauldormer.cix.co.uk> wrote:
>> k...@KeithLynch.net (Keith F. Lynch) wrote:
>>> I'll believe the housing bubble has burst when I can afford a house.
>
>> Well, there's a four bedroomed semi-detached just gone on the market
>> in the north of England, a snip at £140K.
>
> That's about a quarter million dollars, which is way outside my means.
> It's also way too far for me to commute. And I doubt I'd be allowed
> to immigrate to the UK anyhow.

It's likely against your aesthetics, but if you switch to British
spelling that might colour their opinion of you and they may authorise
you to move there. You could then capitalise on the British job market
and get a job with a nice organisation as a programmer. Not to the point
where you could buy a house in a nice neighbourhood with a cheque, but
you might be able to get a loan allowing you to amortise the cost over
time. They may think you have a chequered past, but you could emphasise
your demeanour at the immigration centre to convince them to let you in.
I haven't seen indications that you're clamouring to get there though,
so maybe you'll baulk at the notion. And maybe you'd rather not fly an
aeroplane that many kilometres, and you don't favour the security
measures.

Karl Johanson


Keith F. Lynch

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Mar 17, 2007, 5:47:05 PM3/17/07
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Karl Johanson <karljo...@shaw.ca> wrote:
> It's likely against your aesthetics, but if you switch to British
> spelling ...

My county's spelling, right or wrong.

You may be sceptical, but may I be sent to gaol, locked in a lorry's
boot, or even hit over the head with a kerbstone (in which case I'd
need to take paracetamol) if at any time during the two thousand
billion seconds of the Caenozoic I ever considered moving to
perfidious Albion. I don't think I could be ensured against that.

If I were to move there, I'd probably never see my mum again, as she's
never in that neighbourhood. I think it would be a bad manoeuvre.

I wouldn't want to live in a council flat and ride a lift, even if I
got to be a councillor, ride a tram (made of aluminium) to work (if I
can make my connexion to get to the city centre), and eat my favourite
liquorice-flavoured doughnuts and digestive biscuits. Especially
not if I had to work as a clark, doing cataloguing, as I'm better at
maths, writing computer programmes, and playing draughts.

Jette Goldie

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Mar 17, 2007, 6:00:25 PM3/17/07
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"Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote in message
news:ethnkp$1ip$1...@panix1.panix.com...


Eh? Speak English, man!


--
Jette Goldie
je...@blueyonder.co.uk
http://www.jette.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/
http://wolfette.livejournal.com/
("reply to" is spamblocked - use the email addy in sig)


Marilee J. Layman

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Mar 17, 2007, 10:30:07 PM3/17/07
to
On Sat, 17 Mar 2007 16:10 +0000 (GMT Standard Time),
p...@pauldormer.cix.co.uk (Paul Dormer) wrote:

>In article <eth13o$7f8$1...@panix3.panix.com>, k...@KeithLynch.net
>(Keith F. Lynch) wrote:
>
>>
>> mike weber <fairp...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > The one we talked about here a few months ago?
>> > The one that lots of people were sure wasn't going to
>> > burst?
>>
>> I'll believe the housing bubble has burst when I can
>> afford a house.
>
>Well, there's a four bedroomed semi-detached just gone on the market
>in the north of England, a snip at £140K. My siblings and I are selling
>my father's house. We've already had an offer.

When you convert that to dollars, it's about the same value as condos
like mine are selling for and the condo is 863sqft. No garden.

Marilee J. Layman

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Mar 17, 2007, 10:30:33 PM3/17/07
to

Ha!

Paul Dormer

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Mar 18, 2007, 11:43:00 AM3/18/07
to
In article <ethnkp$1ip$1...@panix1.panix.com>, k...@KeithLynch.net
(Keith F. Lynch) wrote:

Not bad, but "computer program" is the one case in English where we
spell it the US way. Also, lorries don't have boots, I'd say. Only cars
have boots.

Curious to see in a recent 100 Years ago column in the Scientific
American a reference to the bonnet of a car. Presumably the use of
"hood" is more recent than 1907.

Paul Dormer

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Mar 18, 2007, 11:44:00 AM3/18/07
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In article <ethnkp$1ip$1...@panix1.panix.com>, k...@KeithLynch.net
(Keith F. Lynch) wrote:

> if I had to work as a clark,

Oh, and although we pronounce it that way, we still spell it "clerk".

Peter Trei

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Mar 18, 2007, 11:57:29 AM3/18/07
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Keith F. Lynch wrote:
> mike weber <fairp...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> The one we talked about here a few months ago?
>> The one that lots of people were sure wasn't going to burst?
>
> I'll believe the housing bubble has burst when I can afford a house.
>
> (Why, yes, it *is* all about me.)

An engineer at your level generally *can* afford a house. You'd
probably need to get a car and commute though. Its your choice not
to do so.

>> Gone are the days when companies could move employees and new hires
>> around like puppets on strings.
>
> Were there ever such days? Most people have friends, relatives, and
> other connections in one place. If there were ever such days, I think
> they mostly ended when the two-income family became the norm. Why
> completely derail one spouse's career so that the other can get a
> small raise?

Sure there were. People used to say that 'IBM' actually stood for
"I've been moved". In the 60's and 70's my father's job (with a
US advertising agency) moved us to 4 different countries. His next
job (with a large US corporation) moved him to 3 more in the 70's
and 80s. My mother (a nurse) had a portable skill and could find
work most places.

You are correct to point out that the two-profession household
is far less likely to move. This goes along with the decline in
'employee loyalty'; people have less to lose now changing jobs
to stay in one place: instead of pension plans, you get 401ks,
which aren't lost when you change jobs. Companies are also more
willing to bring in people from outside, whereas in the past they
tended more to promote from within.

> People who move around a lot in search of employment, like in _The
> Grapes of Wrath_ are usually derided as "drifters" or "rootless."
> This is often used against people if they're accused of a crime.

Changing jobs more than once a year certainly raises an eyebrow in
the IT business. However, changing jobs every 2-3 years is
perfectly acceptable, and no one gives a flying f*ck if you change
location to do so.

Peter Trei

Paul Dormer

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Mar 18, 2007, 12:24:00 PM3/18/07
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In article <g09pv2poudh8hrp25...@4ax.com>,
mar...@mjlayman.com (Marilee J. Layman) wrote:

> On Sat, 17 Mar 2007 16:10 +0000 (GMT Standard Time),
> p...@pauldormer.cix.co.uk (Paul Dormer) wrote:
>
> >In article <eth13o$7f8$1...@panix3.panix.com>,
> k...@KeithLynch.net >(Keith F. Lynch) wrote:
> >
> >>
> >> mike weber <fairp...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> > The one we talked about here a few months ago?
> >> > The one that lots of people were sure wasn't going
> > > to >burst?
> >>
> >> I'll believe the housing bubble has burst when I can
> >> afford a house.
> >
> >Well, there's a four bedroomed semi-detached just gone
> on the market >in the north of England, a snip at
> £140K. My siblings and I are selling >my father's
> house. We've already had an offer.
>
> When you convert that to dollars, it's about the same
> value as condos
> like mine are selling for and the condo is 863sqft. No
> garden.

There was a report on the news recently that first-time buyers in the
UK are now finding it difficult to buy something in their price range.
When I bought my first place, a two-bedroomed flat in SE London back
in 1980, mortgage lenders were recommending that your mortgage
should be about 1.5-2 times your annual salary. I can't remember
what my annual salary was back then, but the mortgage was for
£15,000. (I paid £17,000 for the property, I recall, the £2,000
difference being made up from money I'd saved.)

These days, apparently, people are going for mortgages five times
their salary. I'm sure this must make keeping up the mortgage
repayments very difficult. My most recent mortgage was for £58,500,
and the repayments were about £470 a month when I retired. My
salary then was about £30,000 pa and my mortgage repayments were
about a quarter of my take-home pay every month. (Although my
mortgage repayments were slightly higher than what a first-time
buyer would have had to pay. The usual term for a mortgage is 25
years but as that would have taken me past my company's
compulsory retirement age, the term had been reduced to 18 years.)

Bernard Peek

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Mar 18, 2007, 1:35:14 PM3/18/07
to
On 2007-03-18, Paul Dormer <p...@pauldormer.cix.co.uk> wrote:
>
> These days, apparently, people are going for mortgages five times
> their salary. I'm sure this must make keeping up the mortgage
> repayments very difficult.

True, but that;s the difference between interest rates of 5% and 15%. If
interest rates went up to 15% mortgages would again be limited to twice
salary and houses would be priced accordingly.


--
b...@shrdlu.com
In search of cognoscenti

Keith F. Lynch

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Mar 18, 2007, 1:40:10 PM3/18/07
to
Paul Dormer <p...@pauldormer.cix.co.uk> wrote:
> When I bought my first place, a two-bedroomed flat in SE London
> back in 1980, mortgage lenders were recommending that your mortgage
> should be about 1.5-2 times your annual salary.

(!) If only. I could pay that out of pocket rather than getting
a mortgage. That amount wouldn't even suffice as down payment and
closing costs.

> These days, apparently, people are going for mortgages five times
> their salary.

The cheapest houses around here cost about 15 to 20 times the median
salary, i.e. 20 to 30 times the median after-tax take-home pay.
Interest on a 30-year mortgage roughly doubles those numbers.

Basically, a two-income family may be able to afford a house if both
people have salaries that are substantially above average. There is
a mortgage interest tax exemption, which means that for sufficiently
high-income people, it's actually cheaper to buy than to rent!

> My salary then was about £30,000 pa and my mortgage repayments were
> about a quarter of my take-home pay every month.

Rents on the cheapest apartments around here are about half the median
take-home pay. Mortgages of course cost much more.

> The usual term for a mortgage is 25 years but as that would have
> taken me past my company's compulsory retirement age, the term had
> been reduced to 18 years.

I think about half the mortgages around here are 30 years, and the
rest are interest-only, i.e. you continue to owe the entire principal
forever, and never gain any equity. I'm not clear on in why this is
called "buying" rather than "renting." Maybe the theory is that it's
a way to lock in the purchase price, and after another 20 to 30 years
of inflation will whittle it down to something you can refinance with
a traditional 30 year mortgage.

Reverse mortgages are increasingly popular. People who *have* houses,
instead of leaving them to their children, use them to finance their
retirement or their medical bills.

Paul Dormer

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Mar 18, 2007, 1:48:00 PM3/18/07
to
In article <etjthq$g10$1...@panix1.panix.com>, k...@KeithLynch.net
(Keith F. Lynch) wrote:

>
> Reverse mortgages are increasingly popular. People who
> *have* houses,
> instead of leaving them to their children, use them to
> finance their
> retirement or their medical bills.

This would have been my father's case, if he had lived longer. He
went into a retirement home at the beginning of the year for respite
care, but after six weeks he was thinking along the lines of making it
more permanent, which would have involved selling his house to
finance care home fees. A few days later, he died.

Keith F. Lynch

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Mar 18, 2007, 1:53:37 PM3/18/07
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Peter Trei <treif...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Keith F. Lynch wrote:
>> I'll believe the housing bubble has burst when I can afford a house.
>> (Why, yes, it *is* all about me.)

> An engineer at your level generally *can* afford a house.

I'm not an engineer. I think I could pass the tests to become one,
but I'm not allowed to try.

> You'd probably need to get a car and commute though. Its your
> choice not to do so.

Parking downtown costs about $14 a day. Not to mention the costs of
fuel, title, tags, insurance, taxes, tolls, maintenance, and, oh yes,
the car itself. I'm supposed to be able to afford all that *plus* a
house? Maybe if I was the *CEO* of an engineering firm. Or if I was
an average government employee, of course.

> ... This goes along with the decline in 'employee loyalty'; people
> have less to lose now changing jobs to stay in one place: ...

Employee loyalty declined after employer loyalty did.

>> People who move around a lot in search of employment, like in _The
>> Grapes of Wrath_ are usually derided as "drifters" or "rootless."
>> This is often used against people if they're accused of a crime.

> Changing jobs more than once a year certainly raises an eyebrow in
> the IT business.

I've never done that. I'm on my fifth job in 28 years.

> However, changing jobs every 2-3 years is perfectly acceptable, and
> no one gives a flying f*ck if you change location to do so.

For certain values of "no one." If you read the case histories of
people falsely convicted of serious crimes, many of them were targeted
because they had either recently arrived in town or because they
left town shortly after a serious crime was committed. For instance
Randall Dale Adams, who had moved to Texas to accept a job, was
described, during his trial, as a "drifter." He was convicted of
murdering a policemen, rather than the actual killer, a native Texan,
who fingered him.

Keith F. Lynch

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Mar 18, 2007, 1:57:58 PM3/18/07
to
Paul Dormer <p...@pauldormer.cix.co.uk> wrote:
> k...@KeithLynch.net (Keith F. Lynch) wrote:
>> if I had to work as a clark,

> Oh, and although we pronounce it that way, we still spell it "clerk".

When did this change? I know it used to be, and sometimes still is,
spelled with an "a." Google on "works as a clark," "worked as a
clark," etc.

Jay E. Morris

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Mar 18, 2007, 2:06:11 PM3/18/07
to

The other extreme.

Jeanne Louise Calment (February 21, 1875 - August 4, 1997) reached the
longest confirmed lifespan in history at 122 years and 164 days. Her
lifespan has been thoroughly documented by scientific study; more records
have been produced to verify her age than for any other case.
.....
In 1965, aged 90, with no living heirs, Jeanne Calment signed a deal, common
in France, to sell her condominium apartment en viager to lawyer François
Raffray. Mr Raffray, then aged 47, agreed to pay a monthly sum until she
died, an agreement sometimes called a "reverse mortgage". At the time of the
deal the value of the apartment was equal to ten years of payments.
Unfortunately for Mr Raffray, not only did Ms Calment survive more than
thirty years, but Mr Raffray died of cancer in December 1995, at the age of
77, leaving his widow to continue the payments.
......
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeanne_Calment

Keith F. Lynch

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Mar 18, 2007, 2:06:21 PM3/18/07
to
Paul Dormer <p...@pauldormer.cix.co.uk> wrote:
> Not bad, but "computer program" is the one case in English where we
> spell it the US way.

I almost spelled it -- sorry, I mean "spelt it" -- "computre programme."

Oops, I should have put that period outside the quotes.

I'm still hoping someone from your side of the pond will try and write
something an American English.

Bernard Peek

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Mar 18, 2007, 2:10:25 PM3/18/07
to
On 2007-03-18, Paul Dormer <p...@pauldormer.cix.co.uk> wrote:

If anyone else finds themselves in that position in the UK they need to be
careful. The government insists that it is not necessary to sell your house
to pay for nursing home care on the NHS. However many local authorities
haven't got that message and will try to persuade the elderly to sell their
houses.

Jette Goldie

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Mar 18, 2007, 2:23:55 PM3/18/07
to

"Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote
> Reverse mortgages are increasingly popular. People who *have* houses,
> instead of leaving them to their children, use them to finance their
> retirement or their medical bills.


When one has no children, has a property with a substantial
equity and is looking ahead at pension plans that don't deliver as
much as one would prefer, one finds the idea of reverse mortgages
quite comforting.

Jette Goldie

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Mar 18, 2007, 2:31:09 PM3/18/07
to

"Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote
> Parking downtown costs about $14 a day. Not to mention the costs of
> fuel, title, tags, insurance, taxes, tolls, maintenance, and, oh yes,
> the car itself. I'm supposed to be able to afford all that *plus* a
> house? Maybe if I was the *CEO* of an engineering firm. Or if I was
> an average government employee, of course.

There's no such thing as an "average" government employee. Certainly
you won't find anyone who actually earns "the average government
employee wage". A few earning a LOT more and most earning a
LOT less.

Jette Goldie

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Mar 18, 2007, 2:33:54 PM3/18/07
to

"Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote in message
news:etjuj6$dp6$1...@panix1.panix.com...

> Paul Dormer <p...@pauldormer.cix.co.uk> wrote:
>> k...@KeithLynch.net (Keith F. Lynch) wrote:
>>> if I had to work as a clark,
>
>> Oh, and although we pronounce it that way, we still spell it "clerk".
>
> When did this change? I know it used to be, and sometimes still is,
> spelled with an "a." Google on "works as a clark," "worked as a
> clark," etc.


I've never seen the job title spelled that way - always "clerk".
"Clark" is the spelling for a name, suggesting that perhaps at
sometime in the past it has been an alternative spelling.

Jette Goldie

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Mar 18, 2007, 2:34:29 PM3/18/07
to

"Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote in message
news:etjv2t$bpk$1...@panix1.panix.com...

> Paul Dormer <p...@pauldormer.cix.co.uk> wrote:
>> Not bad, but "computer program" is the one case in English where we
>> spell it the US way.
>
> I almost spelled it -- sorry, I mean "spelt it" -- "computre programme."
>
> Oops, I should have put that period outside the quotes.
>
> I'm still hoping someone from your side of the pond will try and write
> something an American English.

We do all the time.

Keith F. Lynch

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Mar 18, 2007, 2:57:43 PM3/18/07
to
Jette Goldie <boss...@scotlandmail.com> wrote:

> "Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote:
>> I'm still hoping someone from your side of the pond will try and
>> write something an American English.

> We do all the time.

I mean write something with as many things as possible in it that are
named or spelled differently in American and British English, using
the American variant in each case. The reverse of what I just did.

Jette Goldie

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Mar 18, 2007, 3:03:51 PM3/18/07
to

"Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote in message
news:etk237$a21$1...@panix1.panix.com...

> Jette Goldie <boss...@scotlandmail.com> wrote:
>> "Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote:
>>> I'm still hoping someone from your side of the pond will try and
>>> write something an American English.
>
>> We do all the time.
>
> I mean write something with as many things as possible in it that are
> named or spelled differently in American and British English, using
> the American variant in each case. The reverse of what I just did.

That's normal for a Brit on usenet - we usually have to give
US spellings and variants of UK words because otherwise
USians don't understand us.

Paul Dormer

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 3:20:00 PM3/18/07
to
In article <etjuj6$dp6$1...@panix1.panix.com>, k...@KeithLynch.net
(Keith F. Lynch) wrote:

>
> Paul Dormer <p...@pauldormer.cix.co.uk> wrote:
> > k...@KeithLynch.net (Keith F. Lynch) wrote:
> >> if I had to work as a clark,
>
> > Oh, and although we pronounce it that way, we still
> > spell it "clerk".
>
> When did this change? I know it used to be, and
> sometimes still is,
> spelled with an "a." Google on "works as a clark,"
> "worked as a
> clark," etc.

According to the OED, the spelling was obsolete in the 18th century,
although it gives no example of "clark" in its current meaning at all.
(It used to mean a priest.) Chambers doesn't give that spelling.

Paul Dormer

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 3:20:00 PM3/18/07
to
In article <mCfLh.7789$DX5....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>,
boss...@scotlandmail.com (Jette Goldie) wrote:

>
> "Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote in message
> news:etjuj6$dp6$1...@panix1.panix.com...
> > Paul Dormer <p...@pauldormer.cix.co.uk> wrote:
> >> k...@KeithLynch.net (Keith F. Lynch) wrote:
> >>> if I had to work as a clark,
> >
> >> Oh, and although we pronounce it that way, we still
> > spell it "clerk".
> >
> > When did this change? I know it used to be, and
> > sometimes still is,
> > spelled with an "a." Google on "works as a clark,"
> > "worked as a
> > clark," etc.
>
>
> I've never seen the job title spelled that way - always
> "clerk".
> "Clark" is the spelling for a name, suggesting that
> perhaps at
> sometime in the past it has been an alternative
> spelling.

Then there's Superman's English secret identity, Clerk Kant.

Keith F. Lynch

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 3:38:52 PM3/18/07
to
Paul Dormer <p...@pauldormer.cix.co.uk> wrote:
> k...@KeithLynch.net (Keith F. Lynch) wrote:
>> When did this change? I know it used to be, and sometimes still
>> is, spelled with an "a." Google on "works as a clark," "worked as
>> a clark," etc.

> According to the OED, the spelling was obsolete in the 18th century,
> although it gives no example of "clark" in its current meaning at
> all. (It used to mean a priest.) Chambers doesn't give that spelling.

I know I've seen it spelled that way in books. And I don't have any
books from the 18th century or earlier. (I do have a few from the
early 19th century, and more than a few from the late 19th.)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/94/a4758294.shtml has:

Eventually, after two years we moved to Spittle Gate in Grantham.
I worked as a clark and on a whole had a lovely time.

http://www.balagan.org.uk/war/iberia/1909/personalities.htm has:

Abd-el-Krim returned to Melilla in 1906 and took a job as a clark
in the Bureau of Native Affairs.

http://hampshireflag.co.uk/world-flags/allflags/fr-14-ho.html has:

Boudin started his career as a clark in a stationer's shop, where
the painters were his customers. He was too shy to show them his
work, until he met the great poet Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), ...

http://www.au-pair-world.co.uk/index.php/aupair_detail?&a=376769 has:

I'm am 21 years young girl. I've done a apprenticeship as a
commercial assistant and now I'm working as a clark.

That's two from the 20th century, and one each from the 19th and 21st,
all from UK sites. All of them appear to mean a clerk, not a priest.

Keith F. Lynch

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 3:42:02 PM3/18/07
to
Paul Dormer <p...@pauldormer.cix.co.uk> wrote:
> Then there's Superman's English secret identity, Clerk Kant.

He's the one who flew around the world faster than light to he could
go back through time to the 18th century and write the "Critique of
Pure Reason"? I always throught he was German.

How did he change identities? They didn't have phone booths in the
18th century.

Karl Johanson

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 3:59:43 PM3/18/07
to
"Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote
> Paul Dormer <p...@pauldormer.cix.co.uk> wrote:
>> Then there's Superman's English secret identity, Clerk Kant.
>
> He's the one who flew around the world faster than light to he could
> go back through time to the 18th century and write the "Critique of
> Pure Reason"? I always throught he was German.
>
> How did he change identities? They didn't have phone booths in the
> 18th century.

Telegraph booths.

Karl Johanson


mike weber

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 4:13:10 PM3/18/07
to
On Sun, 18 Mar 2007 18:33:54 GMT, "Jette Goldie"
<boss...@scotlandmail.com> wrote:

>
>"Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote in message
>news:etjuj6$dp6$1...@panix1.panix.com...
>> Paul Dormer <p...@pauldormer.cix.co.uk> wrote:
>>> k...@KeithLynch.net (Keith F. Lynch) wrote:
>>>> if I had to work as a clark,
>>
>>> Oh, and although we pronounce it that way, we still spell it "clerk".
>>
>> When did this change? I know it used to be, and sometimes still is,
>> spelled with an "a." Google on "works as a clark," "worked as a
>> clark," etc.
>
>
>I've never seen the job title spelled that way - always "clerk".
> "Clark" is the spelling for a name, suggesting that perhaps at
>sometime in the past it has been an alternative spelling.

Ditto - never seen it spelt that way, just as "leftenant" is spelt the
same way on both sides of the pond (and, in my opinion, not pronounced
correctly on either side).

I recall the story - probabl;y apocryphal - of Eisenhower consulting
with some British officers, one of whom asked him where Americans
learnt to pronounce "schedule" with a "K" sound, as it is obviously
properly pronounced "shed-yuel".

Esisehower is said to have replied "In Grammar Shool."

--
mike weber (fairp...@gmail.com)
============================
My Website: http://electronictiger.com
===================================
No use looking for the answers when the questions are in doubt - Fred leBlanc, "The Love of My Life"

mike weber

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 4:13:45 PM3/18/07
to
On 18 Mar 2007 15:42:02 -0400, "Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net>
wrote:

>Paul Dormer <p...@pauldormer.cix.co.uk> wrote:
>> Then there's Superman's English secret identity, Clerk Kant.
>
>He's the one who flew around the world faster than light to he could
>go back through time to the 18th century and write the "Critique of
>Pure Reason"? I always throught he was German.
>
>How did he change identities? They didn't have phone booths in the
>18th century.

They didn't have tem very much in DC Comics, either.

Keith F. Lynch

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 4:17:04 PM3/18/07
to
Karl Johanson <karljo...@shaw.ca> wrote:

> "Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote:
>> How did he change identities? They didn't have phone booths in the
>> 18th century.

> Telegraph booths.

That was 19th century. In the 18th century it would have to have been
a semaphore booth in Europe, or a smoke signal booth in America.

mike weber

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 4:19:29 PM3/18/07
to
On 18 Mar 2007 13:40:10 -0400, "Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net>
wrote:

>I think about half the mortgages around here are 30 years, and the


>rest are interest-only, i.e. you continue to owe the entire principal
>forever, and never gain any equity. I'm not clear on in why this is
>called "buying" rather than "renting." Maybe the theory is that it's
>a way to lock in the purchase price, and after another 20 to 30 years
>of inflation will whittle it down to something you can refinance with
>a traditional 30 year mortgage.

Actually, those were originally created for the benefit of "flippers"
or other people (people who had to be in the area for a year or five
for jopb purposes) who wanted to own (more or less) rather than lease
a home for a while, both for tax purposes and/or to Get Rich as the
market went up and up forever - after "X" time of paying only the
interest, you sell it to a Bigger Fool, and cash out the increase in
value.

Of course, in that case, you're basically buying into a really really
high stakes game of musical chairs.

Jette Goldie

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 4:20:55 PM3/18/07
to

"Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote in message
news:etk4gc$331$1...@panix1.panix.com...


Yes, spelling errors creep in everywhere, even in so-called
professional works. Why just recently I saw a magazine
article on the movie Highlander that said "Don't Loose You're
Head". Doesn't mean that it was correct.

mike weber

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 4:25:44 PM3/18/07
to
On 18 Mar 2007 13:53:37 -0400, "Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net>
wrote:

>Peter Trei <treif...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> However, changing jobs every 2-3 years is perfectly acceptable, and
>> no one gives a flying f*ck if you change location to do so.
>
>For certain values of "no one." If you read the case histories of
>people falsely convicted of serious crimes, many of them were targeted
>because they had either recently arrived in town or because they
>left town shortly after a serious crime was committed. For instance
>Randall Dale Adams, who had moved to Texas to accept a job, was
>described, during his trial, as a "drifter." He was convicted of
>murdering a policemen, rather than the actual killer, a native Texan,
>who fingered him.

In general, people don't get falsely accused of crimes.

Yes, i know it happens - and all too often - but *in general*, people
don't get falsely accused of crimes.

And what sort of job had Adams moved to Texas to take? There are some
jobs that promote hgh mobility that law officers, quite rightly,
expect higher-than-average crime rates from the holders of.

(Boy, *that's* an ugly sentence...)

Keith F. Lynch

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 4:37:59 PM3/18/07
to
mike weber <fairp...@gmail.com> wrote:
> And what sort of job had Adams moved to Texas to take?

Carpenter.

> There are some jobs that promote hgh mobility that law officers,
> quite rightly, expect higher-than-average crime rates from the
> holders of.

It's true he's not exactly the first innocent carpenter to be
sentenced to death. Though I doubt anyone brought up the precedent
during his trial.

> (Boy, *that's* an ugly sentence...)

There's nothing wrong with ending a sentence with a preposition.
English isn't Latin.

Message has been deleted
Message has been deleted

Kip Williams

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 5:46:16 PM3/18/07
to
Keith F. Lynch wrote:
> Kip Williams <ki...@comcast.net> wrote:
>
>>Then some other stuff happened.
>
> Hey! How about a spoiler warning!

Then some other fghss happened.

Kip W

Dorothy J Heydt

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 7:44:20 PM3/18/07
to
In article <etk7v7$osi$1...@panix2.panix.com>,

Keith F. Lynch <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote:
>mike weber <fairp...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> And what sort of job had Adams moved to Texas to take?
>
>Carpenter.
>
>> There are some jobs that promote hgh mobility that law officers,
>> quite rightly, expect higher-than-average crime rates from the
>> holders of.
>
>It's true he's not exactly the first innocent carpenter to be
>sentenced to death. Though I doubt anyone brought up the precedent
>during his trial.
>
>> (Boy, *that's* an ugly sentence...)
>
>There's nothing wrong with ending a sentence with a preposition.
>English isn't Latin.

Quite true.

If you recast the sentence, however, you not only get the
preposition back into the middle (which incidental), but you
put "holders" closer to "jobs" and make the whole thing less
awkward.

"There some jobs that promote high mobility from whose holders


law officers, quite rightly, expect higher-than-average crime

rates."

If this WERE Latin, at the same time as we made sure to keep the
preposition before the noun, we could remove adjectives far away
from their nouns, verbs from their subjects and objects alike,
and keep track of it all by the case endings. But we don't have
case endings any more. (Or not enough to keep a bird alive.)

Dorothy J. Heydt
Albany, California
djh...@kithrup.com

Peter Trei

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 8:47:04 PM3/18/07
to
Keith F. Lynch wrote:
> Peter Trei <treif...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Keith F. Lynch wrote:
>>> I'll believe the housing bubble has burst when I can afford a house.
>>> (Why, yes, it *is* all about me.)
>
>> An engineer at your level generally *can* afford a house.
>
> I'm not an engineer. I think I could pass the tests to become one,
> but I'm not allowed to try.
>
>> You'd probably need to get a car and commute though. Its your
>> choice not to do so.

>
> Parking downtown costs about $14 a day. Not to mention the costs of
> fuel, title, tags, insurance, taxes, tolls, maintenance, and, oh yes,
> the car itself. I'm supposed to be able to afford all that *plus* a
> house? Maybe if I was the *CEO* of an engineering firm. Or if I was
> an average government employee, of course.

You're not thinking this through. If you have a car, you don't
need to work or live downtown. I don't pay a cent for parking,
since my employer has its own lots.

Aside from your legal entanglements, I don't know much about your
situation. Need I point out that suburbia is filled with occupant
owned houses, with cars in the driveways? Clearly, a CEO position
isn't required to achieve that level of prosperity.

If you're not earning up to your potential, complaining that those
who do are raising downtown housing prices won't earn you much
sympathy.

Peter Trei

Marilee J. Layman

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 9:14:54 PM3/18/07
to
On 18 Mar 2007 13:40:10 -0400, "Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net>
wrote:

>Reverse mortgages are increasingly popular. People who *have* houses,


>instead of leaving them to their children, use them to finance their
>retirement or their medical bills.

Which is absolutely right. Kids should have no expectations from
their folks.

David Goldfarb

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 9:16:39 PM3/18/07
to
In article <t47rv214m0vo696an...@4ax.com>,

mike weber <fairp...@gmail.com> wrote:
>I recall the story - probabl;y apocryphal - of Eisenhower consulting
>with some British officers, one of whom asked him where Americans
>learnt to pronounce "schedule" with a "K" sound, as it is obviously
>properly pronounced "shed-yuel".
>
>Esisehower is said to have replied "In Grammar Shool."

Eisenhower spoke Yiddish? Who knew?

--
David Goldfarb |From the fortune cookie file:
gold...@ocf.berkeley.edu |
gold...@csua.berkeley.edu |"You have at your command the wisdom of the ages."

Marilee J. Layman

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 9:17:37 PM3/18/07
to
On Sun, 18 Mar 2007 15:57:29 GMT, Peter Trei <treif...@gmail.com>
wrote:

>Keith F. Lynch wrote:
>> mike weber <fairp...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> The one we talked about here a few months ago?
>>> The one that lots of people were sure wasn't going to burst?


>>
>> I'll believe the housing bubble has burst when I can afford a house.
>>
>> (Why, yes, it *is* all about me.)
>

>An engineer at your level generally *can* afford a house. You'd


>probably need to get a car and commute though. Its your choice not
>to do so.

Well, he could commute via rail from West Virginia, but he can't
afford a house there, either.

Paul Ciszek

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 9:26:21 PM3/18/07
to

In article <slrnevqvq...@alpha.shrdlu.com>,
Bernard Peek <b...@shrdlu.com> wrote:
>
>If anyone else finds themselves in that position in the UK they need to be
>careful. The government insists that it is not necessary to sell your house
>to pay for nursing home care on the NHS. However many local authorities
>haven't got that message and will try to persuade the elderly to sell their
>houses.

Um, could you clarify this please? Do you mean that corrupt local
authorities are deceiving the elderly into selling their houses, or do
you mean that there are local authorities in the UK who aren't aware
that medical care is free in the UK?

--
Please reply to: | "One of the hardest parts of my job is to
pciszek at panix dot com | connect Iraq to the War on Terror."
Autoreply is disabled | -- G. W. Bush, 9/7/2006

Keith F. Lynch

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 11:01:33 PM3/18/07
to
Paul Ciszek <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:
> Do you mean that corrupt local authorities are deceiving the elderly
> into selling their houses, or do you mean that there are local
> authorities in the UK who aren't aware that medical care is free
> in the UK?

Does the free medical care include perpetual rent on assisted living
facilities?

Keith F. Lynch

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 11:04:34 PM3/18/07
to
Marilee J. Layman <mar...@mjlayman.com> wrote:
> Well, he could commute via rail from West Virginia, but he can't
> afford a house there, either.

I suppose I could afford to buy a trailer there. However, what
commuter rail goes to West Virginia? VRE only goes from DC to
Virginia, and MARC only goes from DC to Maryland. Both are quite
expensive, inflexible, and very time consuming, even if you live
and work right next to stations on the same line.

Keith F. Lynch

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 11:07:07 PM3/18/07
to
Marilee J. Layman <mar...@mjlayman.com> wrote:

I never said otherwise. However, parents who would prefer to leave
their houses to their children are often pressured into doing
otherwise. For instance if they need nursing home care, and have
no other way to pay for it.

Also, whether it's just or not, I'm simply pointing out that one of
the few ways someone who doesn't already own a house can someday come
to own one is being whittled away.

Keith F. Lynch

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 11:11:52 PM3/18/07
to
Peter Trei <treif...@gmail.com> wrote:
> You're not thinking this through. If you have a car, you don't need
> to work or live downtown.

That's where most of the jobs are.

I never suggested *living* downtown. If I both worked and lived
downtown, I wouldn't need a car. Or to pay Metro fares. But housing
downtown is even more expensive than in the suburbs.

> Need I point out that suburbia is filled with occupant owned houses,
> with cars in the driveways? Clearly, a CEO position isn't required
> to achieve that level of prosperity.

CEOs, doctors, lawyers, dot com millionaires, lottery winners,
people who bought back when houses were affordable, and government
employees. And anyone who inherited from any of the above.

David Dyer-Bennet

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 11:20:51 PM3/18/07
to
Keith F. Lynch wrote:
> Peter Trei <treif...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> You're not thinking this through. If you have a car, you don't need
>> to work or live downtown.
>
> That's where most of the jobs are.

That could well be true of Washington; it's not true of most cities, though.

Randolph Fritz

unread,
Mar 18, 2007, 11:25:38 PM3/18/07
to
On 2007-03-19, Peter Trei <treif...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> You're not thinking this through. If you have a car, you don't
> need to work or live downtown. I don't pay a cent for parking,
> since my employer has its own lots.
>

Yes, you do. You just don't pay it directly. Indirectly, though, in
terms of the infrastructure required, of course you pay.

Randolph

mike weber

unread,
Mar 19, 2007, 2:15:27 AM3/19/07
to
On Mon, 19 Mar 2007 01:16:39 +0000 (UTC), gold...@OCF.Berkeley.EDU
(David Goldfarb) wrote:

>In article <t47rv214m0vo696an...@4ax.com>,
>mike weber <fairp...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>I recall the story - probabl;y apocryphal - of Eisenhower consulting
>>with some British officers, one of whom asked him where Americans
>>learnt to pronounce "schedule" with a "K" sound, as it is obviously
>>properly pronounced "shed-yuel".
>>
>>Esisehower is said to have replied "In Grammar Shool."
>
>Eisenhower spoke Yiddish? Who knew?

Yah. I tend to have that reaction when i think of that story, also.

mike weber

unread,
Mar 19, 2007, 2:17:34 AM3/19/07
to
On Sun, 18 Mar 2007 23:44:20 GMT, djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J
Heydt) wrote:

>If you recast the sentence, however, you not only get the
>preposition back into the middle (which incidental), but you
>put "holders" closer to "jobs" and make the whole thing less
>awkward.
>
>"There some jobs that promote high mobility from whose holders
>law officers, quite rightly, expect higher-than-average crime
>rates."

Yup. I changed direction in midflight, but i decided that it was
clear enough that reaffers could manage to parse it, and i didn't feel
like retyping it.

mike weber

unread,
Mar 19, 2007, 2:19:01 AM3/19/07
to
On Mon, 19 Mar 2007 00:47:04 GMT, Peter Trei <treif...@gmail.com>
wrote:


>You're not thinking this through. If you have a car, you don't
>need to work or live downtown. I don't pay a cent for parking,
>since my employer has its own lots.
>
>Aside from your legal entanglements, I don't know much about your
>situation. Need I point out that suburbia is filled with occupant
>owned houses, with cars in the driveways? Clearly, a CEO position
>isn't required to achieve that level of prosperity.
>
>If you're not earning up to your potential, complaining that those
>who do are raising downtown housing prices won't earn you much
>sympathy.
>

This will not convince Keith.

He Knows Better.

mike weber

unread,
Mar 19, 2007, 2:20:04 AM3/19/07
to
On 18 Mar 2007 23:11:52 -0400, "Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net>
wrote:

>Peter Trei <treif...@gmail.com> wrote:


>> You're not thinking this through. If you have a car, you don't need
>> to work or live downtown.
>
>That's where most of the jobs are.

Maybe in the DC area.

In most cities, the good jobs tend to skew toward suburbs.

Andy Leighton

unread,
Mar 19, 2007, 5:13:15 AM3/19/07
to
On 18 Mar 2007 23:01:33 -0400, Keith F. Lynch <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote:
> Paul Ciszek <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:
>> Do you mean that corrupt local authorities are deceiving the elderly
>> into selling their houses, or do you mean that there are local
>> authorities in the UK who aren't aware that medical care is free
>> in the UK?
>
> Does the free medical care include perpetual rent on assisted living
> facilities?

Got it in one. If you need medical care then that is free. Personal care
generally is not (if you have assets). Personal care includes things like
the cleaning, cooking, dressing, and washing. The things that cannot be
done due to general infirmity and not due to illness. This is one of
those things that differs depending on where you live. In Scotland
personal care is free as well as medical care (I think).

--
Andy Leighton => an...@azaal.plus.com
"The Lord is my shepherd, but we still lost the sheep dog trials"
- Robert Rankin, _They Came And Ate Us_

Paul Dormer

unread,
Mar 19, 2007, 7:06:00 AM3/19/07
to
In article <0g7rv2tv8lse520mj...@4ax.com>,
fairp...@gmail.com (mike weber) wrote:

>
> Of course, in that case, you're basically buying into a
> really really
> high stakes game of musical chairs.

There was a really big negative equity scare in the UK back in the
late eighties. People found that the value of their house was a lot
less than the amount still outstanding on their mortgage.

I bought my flat in 1980 for £17,000. At some point I noticed another
flat in my block going for £51,000. I sold my flat in 1995 for £27,000.

Paul Dormer

unread,
Mar 19, 2007, 7:06:00 AM3/19/07
to
In article <etk4gc$331$1...@panix1.panix.com>, k...@KeithLynch.net
(Keith F. Lynch) wrote:

>
> That's two from the 20th century, and one each from the
> 19th and 21st,
> all from UK sites. All of them appear to mean a clerk,
> not a priest.

Actually, that one about Boudin appears to have been written by one
Ivan Frache, who last modified the page in 2004, so it was unlikely to
have been written in the 19th century. Also, his e-mail address is
French, so he is possibly not a native English speaker. Similarly, the
one about being an au pair is written by a non-English speaker
(Swiss), who makes other spelling mistakes: forrest, beeing.

The entry referring to the year 1906 was also written recently, by a
programmer who is interested in military history. The item from the
BBC was contributed in 2005, so it's possible that all those items
were written in the 21st century, and were all typos. My contention
is that if all those items had gone past proofreaders in the UK, "clark"
would have been changed to "clerk".

Paul Dormer

unread,
Mar 19, 2007, 7:06:00 AM3/19/07
to
In article <slrnevsl1b...@azaal.plus.com>,
an...@azaal.plus.com (Andy Leighton) wrote: