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Mexico's $100 Billion Housing Disaster
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I often complain about the lack of coverage of Mexico in the American press, but now that the Los Angeles Times is running a massive five-part series on the (often literal) falling apart of the housing bubble in Mexico, I gotta admit: Mexican news is pretty depressing.

So when Vicente Fox was elected Presidente in 2000, he did pretty much the same thing George W. Bush did: encourage a huge housing bubble. And much of the same results happened.

Mexico being Mexico, however, many of the new little houses built by the public-private partnership are already falling down. Here’s a great picture of a mom retrieving her sons’ basketball from the raw sewage pit that has opened up in the middle of the street in front of her new house:

Mexico promised affordable housing for all. Instead it created many rapidly decaying slums

A failed vision

By RICHARD MAROSI | Veracruz, Mexico

NOV. 26, 2017

Sixteen years ago, Mexico embarked on a monumental campaign to elevate living standards for its working-class masses.

The government teamed with private developers to launch the largest residential construction boom in Latin American history. Global investors — the World Bank, big foundations, Wall Street firms — poured billions of dollars into the effort.

Vast housing tracts sprang up across cow pastures, farms and old haciendas. From 2001 to 2012, an estimated 20 million people — one-sixth of Mexico’s population — left cities, shantytowns and rural ranchos for the promise of a better life.

It was a Levittown moment for Mexico — a test of the increasingly prosperous nation’s first-world ambitions. But Mexico fell disastrously short of creating that orderly suburbia.

The program has devolved into a slow-motion social and financial catastrophe, inflicting daily hardships and hazards on millions in troubled developments across the country, a Los Angeles Times investigation has found. …

Streets sink, sidewalks crumble, and broken-down water treatment plants rust.

The program cost more than $100 billion, and some investors and construction executives reaped enormous profits, hailing themselves as “nation builders” as they joined the ranks of Mexico’s richest citizens.

Meanwhile, the factory workers, small-business owners, retirees and civil servants who bought the homes got stuck with complex loans featuring mortgage payments that rose even as their neighborhoods deteriorated into slums.

The Times visited 50 of the affordable-housing developments from Tijuana to the Gulf of Mexico.

Looking at the pictures, it appears that few of the new homes constructed were conventional apartment buildings. You might think that poor Mexicans would live in apartment buildings, which are cheaper than homes with your own land. But according to Fox’s foreign secretary Jorge Castaneda’s book Manana Forever, only 3% of the new residential construction built in Mexico in 2004-2008 were apartments. The chief goal of many Mexicans appears to be to get away from other Mexicans.

There is a widespread assumption that importing more Mexicans is the path to a high-density environmentally-friendly America, but Mexicans love sprawl.

 
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  1. Altai says:

    OT: Lena Dunham might be next, nobody likes her anymore, they maybe just liked the idea of her, bu the idea of her is far distant to the actual person apparently. Once she defended her friend from rape claims after previously claiming that women never lie about rape, that was going to be the end of her and she was becoming an easy target to make establishment leftists look bad.

    All it would take is for someone to release any of the recordings capturing this A-/B+ list writer/actress who had her own show talking about interracial sex. She might pretend she is this liberal voice, but the recordings do not lie.

    Lena Dunham

    http://www.crazydaysandnights.net/2017/11/blind-items-revealed-5_26.html

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    • Replies: @Nico

    She might pretend she is this liberal voice, but the recordings do not lie.
     
    I think she sincerely believes herself a liberal voice, but as with pretty much everyone she is simply not capable of fully subverting her visceral passions to her Cartesian cortex. Eventually the impracticability of the left-liberal worldview shows somewhere in the lives of everyone who holds it, and those who submit the most purely usually end up visibly unhappy persons because of such extreme self-denial in service of pure abstraction (see the CounterPunch crowd of lucid aging defiant hippies).
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
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  2. Thomas says:

    I would be surprised if Fox and George W. Bush weren’t comparing notes on these respective programs. Further, I would guess that part of the reason it seems so many of the infrastructure and building in the Mexican program seemed to stop halfway all of a sudden is because capital and labor were being sucked north into the much larger housing boom in the U.S.

    Tens of miIlions of dollars’ worth of construction bonds intended to make repairs and finish infrastructure remain unused or unaccounted for. There have been no congressional hearings or fact-finding commissions in Mexico.

    However, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in March accused Homex, once Mexico’s biggest developer, of reporting “fake” sales of 100,000 homes, which inflated revenues by $3.3 billion. It is believed to be the largest fraud in Mexican history.

    The SEC eventually settled with Homex, without assessing a fine, and filed similar civil charges against former Homex executives. Those remain pending.

    This is notable. Apparently, what regulation and accountability exists for this scheme is being imposed by the U.S. Americans doing the governing that Mexicans just won’t do?

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    • Replies: @TheJester
    So, if I understand you, Mexico suffers the same affliction as the United States: importing foreigners to do the work that locals won't do.

    But a difference. We imported Mexicans to harvest lettuce, built houses, dig ditches, and run fast food restaurants (and they are very good at it). The Mexicans tried to import Americans to manage their country for them (and it didn't work out).

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  3. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Fred Reed would have us believe otherwise.

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    • Replies: @The Alarmist

    "Fred Reed would have us believe otherwise."
     
    Fred probably lives in an ante Porfiriato hacienda, built to last centuries.
    , @Steve-o
    Fred would dismiss the article and all its facts with anecdotes about what swell houses he sees in Guadalajara. Fred is fundamentally an emotional thinker. He agrees with the Amren crowd on blacks because he personally dislikes blacks. But because he likes Mexicans, unflattering information about them can’t possibly be true.
    , @Jim Bob Lassiter
    You beat me to the punch. I remember seeing (it may have been from a link on Reed's web site or maybe Alan Wall's-- I don't remember) articles about some Gringo engineer in Reed's neck of the woods who has managed to carve out quite a niche market for his services in pre-purchase home inspections for Gringos. He had quite a few interesting observations about Mexican construction contractor ethics in these so called upscale markets.
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  4. eah says:

    And these “rapidly decaying slums” are probably not very diverse either, which is another HUGE problem.

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    • Replies: @Wally
    You curiously won't see much criticism of Mexico's very euro white Congress.

    https://www.jsg.utexas.edu/lacp/files/mexico-congress.jpg

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  5. I bet a low income house in the built in the US is better than a mexican one. But I’d much rather live in a nice mexican house made out of concrete and tile than some american McMansion made out of 2x4s and drywall. One of the real tragedies of mexican immigration is that we taught them our inferior junk building methods rather than learning from them.

    In the 19th century we didn’t bring over Italian stonemasons and bricklayers to just have them put up 2x4s and drywall.

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    • Agree: Chrisnonymous
    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
    There are climate zone limitations in the US that preclude Mexican construction methods and materials.
    , @ThreeCranes
    A "nice Mexican house made out of concrete and tile" has virtually no rebar in it. So, when the poorly cleared, graded and compacted site eventually subsides, the foundation settles and the walls develop gigantic cracks. In a hurricane force wind, a tall unreinforced masonry building will collapse because side load exceeds tension carrying capacity of walls that depend on weight alone for their stability. That's why we see widespread destruction in Haiti (and other Caribbean islands that have no building codes) in the wake of tropical storms.

    Frame houses can last centuries. There are timber attics in European cathedrals that are 1000 years old. Wood and dry wall per se are not bad building materials. I lived in several century-old framed homes and they were still humming along fine. A framed home is easy to remodel, put in modern energy efficient windows, replumb with modern materials, rewire up to modern codes, install new furnace ducting and so on. To do these in masonry homes requires a jackhammer.

    That being said, I currently live in a concrete block home with aluminum windows.

    The larger point Steve is making and that Fred misses is that Mexicans screw everything up most of the time. They don't have or don't comply with building codes. Their work is shoddy and substandard. While this may not be obvious to everyone, a trained eye sees this.

    "Crumbling" is the key word here. Everything is "crumbling" in Mexico because they don't keep their concrete wet as it cures. On every public project I observed in eight trips to Mexico, they let all concrete and mortar projects air dry in the tropical sun. The result is that the concrete never attains full strength. So it ages quickly, crumbling.

    Most folks don't know it but concrete cures by a chemical process called "hydration". It doesn't "harden" by drying out like a mud pie. It must be kept wet to cure. In spite of the fact that masonry is the default working material, Mexican workers can't be bothered to learn this fundamental fact and take the time and trouble to perform the correct process. So their stuff crumbles.

    , @Avery
    { But I’d much rather live in a nice mexican house made out of concrete and tile than some american McMansion made out of 2x4s and drywall. }

    I'd rather be in the American house built with 2x4s which will bend and flex when the next major earthquake hits than be sitting under all those bricks that will rain down on my head and bury me alive even with a small earthquake. Nothing holds those bricks placed side-by-side than the weak holding force of the mortar, which will separate when the house starts shaking.

    Thank God and thank American structural engineers for American Building Codes.
    , @Curiousreader
    Can you explain a bit more in-depth what you mean by "2x4" and "drywall"? Not all of us here are Americans and not all of us here live in newly built-houses.
    , @Bragadocious
    I'm not a fan of drywall & studs either, but the solution to this is simple. Buy a house built before 1945. They were typically built with concrete and plaster. There are lots of them out there.
    , @Daniel H
    >> I bet a low income house in the built in the US is better than a mexican one. But I’d much rather live in a nice mexican house made out of concrete and tile than some american McMansion made out of 2x4s and drywall.

    And you would win that bet, but you would not rather live in a Mexican built house. Whatever you think of the McMansion concept/phenomena American stick frame, plywood sheeted, dry-wall interior homes are without question, from an engineering standpoint, clearly superior in design and construction. We still have this thing (who knows how long it will last though, you know racist) called building codes in place in every county in America. Your house isn't built to code, it doesn't pass inspection it will not get financing and in many jurisdictions if you don't/won't fix it to code or tear it down the municipality will do so for you, and send you the bill.

    , @AnotherDad

    But I’d much rather live in a nice mexican house made out of concrete and tile than some american McMansion made out of 2x4s and drywall.
     
    The obvious--this depends highly on geography.

    That "Catalan vault" video--that would be an absolute disaster in any sort of earthquake. (I'm surprised any modern building code allows that sort of construction. Crazy.)

    On the other hand the typical platform frame construction (that you see in most American houses), properly attached to the foundation and with appropriate sheer walls handles earthquakes very well. Those "McMansion"s are precisely where you want to be--if you're inside--during in an earthquake.

    Yet they aren't what you want if you're in a tropical climate--mostly earthquake free--especially one exposed to hurricanes or cyclones. If I was building from scratch in say Florida or the Mexican Caribbean coast, or for that matter in tornado alley, i'd build a reinforced concrete structure, probably using ICF (insulating concrete forms--the foam block systems that serve as concrete form and insulation layer). A guy in my neighborhood in Florida is building with FoxBlocks. I was curious and looked at their web site and they have a video of a FoxBlocks built house that survived a 2013 Oklahoma tornado while it's neighborhood was destroyed. (Had a Toyota Tundra thrown against one wall without collapsing.)

    Building isn't one-size-fits-all. You build with a method that's appropriate for your climate/geography and the likely dangers you'll face.
    , @David Davenport
    But I’d much rather live in a nice mexican house made out of concrete and tile than some american McMansion made out of 2x4s and drywall.

    Concrete and tile -- that's the Roman/Mediterranean style.

    Gauls, Germans, and Britons of old lived in wooden dwellings and disdained big cities crowded with foreigners. Perhaps the same trends linger on today within some of us.


    ..."Knock on wood" -- a very old incantation to appease the woodland gnomes?


    /////////////////

    Buy a house built before 1945. They were typically built with concrete and plaster.

    Plaster and lathe instead of drywall, yes. Typically concrete, no. Plaster for the interior walls, wood, red brick, or maybe stucco for the outer cladding.
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  6. Olorin says:

    Mexico promised affordable housing for all. Instead it created many rapidly decaying slums

    Wait one. He’s saying that people can’t afford the slums?

    Are these, like, the equivalent of Dr. Housing Bubble “real homes of genius”? (Crapshacks selling for $3 mil because They Aren’t Making Any More Land You Know Better Get In Now Before The Market Goes Higher.)

    Ah well, I’m sure that whatever is happening here, it has nothing to do with the people in the houses.

    I mean, when (((William Levitt))) built his eponymous suburbia, geared to the desires of the vast-majority -goyim not to live out their post-50-year-white-on-white-civil-war-in-Europe lives in easily firebombable polluted noisy hives with no safe space for their children to play, which is to say monetarizing that deeply rooted drive and turning it into real estate–I’m sure it had nothing to do with population genetics either.

    Just the magic of garage-ic dirt…which for some reason…some reason…some reason in Mexico

    fell disastrously short of creating that orderly suburbia.

    Truly a mystery. All I can guess is that some white guys somewhere are responsible.

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    • Troll: AndrewR
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  7. Randal says:

    So when Vicente Fox was elected Presidente in 2000,…..

    So, is this a case of a fashionable verbal tic moving into written material?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lurker
    So, my subjective position is that this tic started off online and then transferred to the verbal arena.
    , @Bill
    Mea culpa! Mea culpa! Mea maxima culpa!
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  8. Same workers, different management. ‘Nuff said?

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  9. @Anon
    Fred Reed would have us believe otherwise.

    “Fred Reed would have us believe otherwise.”

    Fred probably lives in an ante Porfiriato hacienda, built to last centuries.

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  10. TheBoom says:

    The most important thing for Mexicans when decorating their home is to safeguard it from other Mexicans. Mexicans are huge believers in walls topped with broken glass when they keep out other Mexicans, not so much when walls keep them out of white countries

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    • Replies: @Moses
    I've observed same. You can also see this in most Asian countries outside Japan.

    You can tell a lot about a society by the barriers it creates internally. Go to Mexico or any SE Asian city and visit a wealthy neighborhood (or, indeed, any neighborhood). Every house is surrounded by a high wall and gate. The top of the wall will have barbed wire, spikes or broken glass.

    Now go to a wealthy neighborbood in any American city. No walls. No barriers. Just miles of manicured lawns. You can even peep in windows for Pete's sake. This is unthinkable in the rest of the world.

    Why is this?

    Because America has order. Good, mostly non-corrupt (as far as the normal homeowner is concerned) police. Civil culture. High levels of cooperative trust. Americans do not understand that this is not the normal state for a human society.

    Without a strong exterior border in the form of immigration control, internal borders increasingly will crop up in America. We are importing it.

    , @Anonymous
    Also, notice, how absolutely *every* house has iron bars across the first floor windows.

    That is the sure giveaway of a high-crime neighborhood everywhere.
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  11. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Apparently, we are lectured incessantly that the US construction industry would ‘grind to a halt’ without Mexican labor.
    Pity that the self-same Mexican labor is seemingly incapable of building at home.

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  12. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Of course, all this is merely a time-delayed symptom of Mexico’s rampant population growth a few generations ago.

    The real question is what does Africa’s current absurd population growth have in store not merely for that basket-case continent, but the shithead/Economist run EU which has sanctified that ridiculous 1967 Geneva ‘refugee’ convention.

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  13. DJF says:

    “””The chief goal of many Mexicans appears to be to get away from other Mexicans.”””

    And if they can’t do that then to put up walls and metal bars on their windows to keep their fellow Mexicans out.

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  14. Steve-o says:
    @Anon
    Fred Reed would have us believe otherwise.

    Fred would dismiss the article and all its facts with anecdotes about what swell houses he sees in Guadalajara. Fred is fundamentally an emotional thinker. He agrees with the Amren crowd on blacks because he personally dislikes blacks. But because he likes Mexicans, unflattering information about them can’t possibly be true.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Daresay you are exactly right. Fred's an interesting case of an entertaining writer who essentially ruined his own credibility on, well, everything.
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    Steve-o, that was just what I was going to write under Mr. Reed's last article (got caught up in other writing)! "Emotional thinker" is the exactly right term, though I suppose one could say emotion is not thought. Anyway, he thinks like a woman is what I will write for my comment there, and I wonder if it's because of the little senora.

    I have no reason to believe otherwise than what Fred writes about his Mexican family - that they are very intelligent. This is bad for his columns when he does write on Mexico, as it's not like some illiterate spouse who can't even read the stuff. Fred's got to worry about what the wife thinks, and the truth suffers anytime he writes about, well, anything besides diving anymore.

    There's a bit more to it, I think also, in terms of his egging on of over a hundred comments (good for his stats on unz) with this type of column, in addition to possibly a hatred of his for VDare people. I like the VDare people, as I like truth.

    Oh, my original comment (before I read yours) was going to just be: But, but .. no ... per Fred Reed, Mexico is an economic powerhouse! They are in a new, post-Siesta phase and will leave the gringo economy in the dust ... any day now.
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  15. Peterike says:

    “The program has devolved into a slow-motion social and financial catastrophe, inflicting daily hardships and hazards on millions in troubled developments across the country, a Los Angeles Times investigation has found. …”

    Lol, “investigation.” Incredibly, I could have provided a 90% accurate view of this housing plan in all its ghastly ramifications without ever setting foot in Mexico or investigating anything. I must be some kind of genius or something.

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  16. @Guy de Champlagne
    I bet a low income house in the built in the US is better than a mexican one. But I'd much rather live in a nice mexican house made out of concrete and tile than some american McMansion made out of 2x4s and drywall. One of the real tragedies of mexican immigration is that we taught them our inferior junk building methods rather than learning from them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5jJh5xM6zQ

    In the 19th century we didn't bring over Italian stonemasons and bricklayers to just have them put up 2x4s and drywall.

    There are climate zone limitations in the US that preclude Mexican construction methods and materials.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    A lot of Mexico is similar in climate to the American southwest. The high altitude common in Mexico keeps it cooler than you might expect.

    The second sinkhole picture I posted is from Ensenada, which is about 70 miles south of San Diego on the beach, so the climate is like San Diego, just a little sunnier.

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  17. Romanian says: • Website

    OT

    For Steve and the guys and gals here, here is Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s speech to Harvard (video, audio and transcript).

    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/alexandersolzhenitsynharvard.htm

    [MORE]

    A decline in courage may be the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days. The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party, and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society. Of course, there are many courageous individuals, but they have no determining influence on public life.

    Political and intellectual bureaucrats show depression, passivity, and perplexity in their actions and in their statements, and even more so in theoretical reflections to explain how realistic, reasonable, as well as intellectually and even morally worn it is to base state policies on weakness and cowardice. And decline in courage is ironically emphasized by occasional explosions of anger and inflexibility on the part of the same bureaucrats when dealing with weak governments and with countries not supported by anyone, or with currents which cannot offer any resistance. But they get tongue-tied and paralyzed when they deal with powerful governments and threatening forces, with aggressors and international terrorists.
    ……….
    In today’s Western society the inequality has been revealed [in] freedom for good deeds and freedom for evil deeds. A statesman who wants to achieve something important and highly constructive for his country has to move cautiously and even timidly. There are thousands of hasty and irresponsible critics around him; parliament and the press keep rebuffing him. As he moves ahead, he has to prove that each single step of his is well-founded and absolutely flawless. Actually, an outstanding and particularly gifted person who has unusual and unexpected initiatives in mind hardly gets a chance to assert himself. From the very beginning, dozens of traps will be set out for him. Thus, mediocrity triumphs with the excuse of restrictions imposed by democracy.
    ………
    The press too, of course, enjoys the widest freedom. (I shall be using the word press to include all media.) But what sort of use does it make of this freedom?

    Here again, the main concern is not to infringe the letter of the law. There is no true moral responsibility for deformation or disproportion. What sort of responsibility does a journalist or a newspaper have to his readers, or to his history — or to history? If they have misled public opinion or the government by inaccurate information or wrong conclusions, do we know of any cases of public recognition and rectification of such mistakes by the same journalist or the same newspaper? It hardly ever happens because it would damage sales. A nation may be the victim of such a mistake, but the journalist usually always gets away with it. One may — One may safely assume that he will start writing the opposite with renewed self-assurance.

    Because instant and credible information has to be given, it becomes necessary to resort to guesswork, rumors, and suppositions to fill in the voids, and none — and none of them will ever be rectified; they will stay on in the readers’ memories. How many hasty, immature, superficial, and misleading judgments are expressed every day, confusing readers, without any verification. The press — The press can both simulate public opinion and miseducate it. Thus, we may see terrorists described as heroes, or secret matters pertaining to one’s nation’s defense publicly revealed, or we may witness shameless intrusion on the privacy of well-known people under the slogan: “Everyone is entitled to know everything.” But this is a false slogan, characteristic of a false era. People also have the right not to know and it’s a much more valuable one. The right not to have their divine souls [stuffed with gossip, nonsense, vain talk.] A person who works and leads a meaningful life does not need this excessive burdening flow of information.

    Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic disease of the 20th century and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press. Such as it is, however, the press has become the greatest power within the Western countries, more powerful than the legislative power, the executive, and the judiciary. And one would then like to ask: By what law has it been elected and to whom is it responsible? In the communist East a journalist is frankly appointed as a state official. But who has granted Western journalists their power, for how long a time, and with what prerogatives?

    There is yet another surprise for someone coming from the East, where the press is rigorously unified. One gradually discovers a common trend of preferences within the Western press as a whole. It is a fashion; there are generally accepted patterns of judgment; there may be common corporate interests, the sum effect being not competition but unification. Enormous freedom exists for the press, but not for the readership because newspaper[s] mostly develop stress and emphasis to those opinions which do not too openly contradict their own and the general trend.

    Without any censorship, in the West fashionable trends of thought and ideas are carefully separated from those which are not fashionable; nothing is forbidden, but what is not fashionable will hardly ever find its way into periodicals or books or be heard in colleges. Legally your researchers are free, but they are conditioned by the fashion of the day. There is no open violence such as in the East; however, a selection dictated by fashion and the need to match mass standards frequently prevent independent-minded people giving their contribution to public life. There is a dangerous tendency to flock together and shut off successful development. I have received letters in America from highly intelligent persons, maybe a teacher in a faraway small college who could do much for the renewal and salvation of his country, but his country cannot hear him because the media are not interested in him. This gives birth to strong mass prejudices, to blindness, which is most dangerous in our dynamic era. There is, for instance, a self-deluding interpretation of the contemporary world situation. It works as a sort of a petrified armor around people’s minds. Human voices from 17 countries of Eastern Europe and Eastern Asia cannot pierce it. It will only be broken by the pitiless crowbar of events.
    ….
    I have had occasion already to say that in the 20th century Western democracy has not won any major war without help and protection from a powerful continental ally whose philosophy and ideology it did not question. In World War II against Hitler, instead of winning that war with its own forces, which would certainly have been sufficient, Western democracy grew and cultivated another enemy who would prove worse, as Hitler never had so many resources and so many people, nor did he offer any attractive ideas, or have a large number of supporters in the West as the Soviet Union. At present, some Western voices already have spoken of obtaining protection from a third power against aggression in the next world conflict, if there is one. In this case the shield would be China. But I would not wish such an outcome to any country in the world. First of all, it is again a doomed alliance with Evil; also, it would grant the United States a respite, but when at a later date China with its billion people would turn around armed with American weapons, America itself would fall prey to a genocide similar to the in Cambodia in our days.

    And yet — no weapons, no matter how powerful, can help the West until it overcomes its loss of willpower. In a state of psychological weakness, weapons become a burden for the capitulating side. To defend oneself, one must also be ready to die; there is little such readiness in a society raised in the cult of material well-being. Nothing is left, then, but concessions, attempts to gain time, and betrayal.
    ……
    The interrelationship is such, too, that the current of materialism which is most to the left always ends up by being stronger, more attractive, and victorious, because it is more consistent. Humanism without its Christian heritage cannot resist such competition. We watch this process in the past centuries and especially in the past decades, on a world scale as the situation becomes increasingly dramatic. Liberalism was inevitably displaced by radicalism; radicalism had to surrender to socialism; and socialism could never resist communism. The communist regime in the East could stand and grow due to the enthusiastic support from an enormous number of Western intellectuals who felt a kinship and refused to see communism’s crimes. And when they no longer could do so, they tried to justify them.
    …….
    As humanism in its development became more and more materialistic, it made itself increasingly accessible to speculation and manipulation by socialism and then by communism. So that Karl Marx was able to say that “communism is naturalized humanism.”

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  18. @Anon
    Fred Reed would have us believe otherwise.

    You beat me to the punch. I remember seeing (it may have been from a link on Reed’s web site or maybe Alan Wall’s– I don’t remember) articles about some Gringo engineer in Reed’s neck of the woods who has managed to carve out quite a niche market for his services in pre-purchase home inspections for Gringos. He had quite a few interesting observations about Mexican construction contractor ethics in these so called upscale markets.

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  19. “There is a widespread assumption that importing more Mexicans is the path to a high-density environmentally-friendly America, but Mexicans love sprawl.”

    Yep, importing more Mexicans, who in addition to sprawl, love big-ass 12 MPG SUVs is a sure fire way to git’r done with UN Agenda 21 and The Sierra Club.

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  20. @Guy de Champlagne
    I bet a low income house in the built in the US is better than a mexican one. But I'd much rather live in a nice mexican house made out of concrete and tile than some american McMansion made out of 2x4s and drywall. One of the real tragedies of mexican immigration is that we taught them our inferior junk building methods rather than learning from them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5jJh5xM6zQ

    In the 19th century we didn't bring over Italian stonemasons and bricklayers to just have them put up 2x4s and drywall.

    A “nice Mexican house made out of concrete and tile” has virtually no rebar in it. So, when the poorly cleared, graded and compacted site eventually subsides, the foundation settles and the walls develop gigantic cracks. In a hurricane force wind, a tall unreinforced masonry building will collapse because side load exceeds tension carrying capacity of walls that depend on weight alone for their stability. That’s why we see widespread destruction in Haiti (and other Caribbean islands that have no building codes) in the wake of tropical storms.

    Frame houses can last centuries. There are timber attics in European cathedrals that are 1000 years old. Wood and dry wall per se are not bad building materials. I lived in several century-old framed homes and they were still humming along fine. A framed home is easy to remodel, put in modern energy efficient windows, replumb with modern materials, rewire up to modern codes, install new furnace ducting and so on. To do these in masonry homes requires a jackhammer.

    That being said, I currently live in a concrete block home with aluminum windows.

    The larger point Steve is making and that Fred misses is that Mexicans screw everything up most of the time. They don’t have or don’t comply with building codes. Their work is shoddy and substandard. While this may not be obvious to everyone, a trained eye sees this.

    “Crumbling” is the key word here. Everything is “crumbling” in Mexico because they don’t keep their concrete wet as it cures. On every public project I observed in eight trips to Mexico, they let all concrete and mortar projects air dry in the tropical sun. The result is that the concrete never attains full strength. So it ages quickly, crumbling.

    Most folks don’t know it but concrete cures by a chemical process called “hydration”. It doesn’t “harden” by drying out like a mud pie. It must be kept wet to cure. In spite of the fact that masonry is the default working material, Mexican workers can’t be bothered to learn this fundamental fact and take the time and trouble to perform the correct process. So their stuff crumbles.

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    • Replies: @Alfa158
    I worked with a colleague who was a born again Christian. One of the things his church would do was go down to Mexico to help build housing for poor people. (I know, coals to Newcastle), He was appalled to see how the native work crew was putting up a small one story structure. They built the walls from cinder blocks, hammered together an internal scaffold of lumber, laid plywood sheets and rebar over the plywood, then poured concrete over the plywood to form a roof. After the concrete "dried", the scaffold and plywood were removed. He said he had never seen anything like that before or since.
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  21. This is one of the more relevant posts in awhile, on multiple levels.

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  22. Avery says:
    @Guy de Champlagne
    I bet a low income house in the built in the US is better than a mexican one. But I'd much rather live in a nice mexican house made out of concrete and tile than some american McMansion made out of 2x4s and drywall. One of the real tragedies of mexican immigration is that we taught them our inferior junk building methods rather than learning from them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5jJh5xM6zQ

    In the 19th century we didn't bring over Italian stonemasons and bricklayers to just have them put up 2x4s and drywall.

    { But I’d much rather live in a nice mexican house made out of concrete and tile than some american McMansion made out of 2x4s and drywall. }

    I’d rather be in the American house built with 2x4s which will bend and flex when the next major earthquake hits than be sitting under all those bricks that will rain down on my head and bury me alive even with a small earthquake. Nothing holds those bricks placed side-by-side than the weak holding force of the mortar, which will separate when the house starts shaking.

    Thank God and thank American structural engineers for American Building Codes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    YES, the earthquakes, that's the problem. Chinese construction is almost all concrete, even just rural dwellings. This probably goes back to the lack of good timber, a problem you're gonna have when you have too many people for the land (China's been overpopulated for a few hundred years!)

    Anyway, that's why the earthquakes they have there have so many thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of fatalities. Ceilings can be shifted off of the tops of walls and then come down. Even if they were tied together strongly enough, the concrete structure bends insignificantly compared to wood framing, and can just crack apart.

    Thank God and thank American structural engineers for American Building Codes.
     
    Hey, don't leave out the ASME and 150 y/o pressure-vessel codes, my friend. Lots of people got killed via explosions until they laid out good specs.
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  23. Debt-based fiat currency systems need continuously expanding debt creation in order to avoid economic contraction. The Mexican housing swindle is just another example of shyster bankers clam raking their little blood money out of thousands of debts.

    The little rat in the Bush Organized Crime Family made off with portions of loans for strip malls in the Southwest during the savings and loan swindle; maybe he was anticipating all the Mexicans who would pile in when his dirtbag father George HW Bush gave the Mexicans the green light to invade the United States.

    The treasonous rats in the American Empire’s ruling class know they’ll be dealt with quite severely when the globalization debt binge comes to an end. That is why we have seen monetary extremism on an unprecedented scale.

    The dirtbags at the European Central Bank are worried they’ll run out of crap debt to buy to keep their financialized freak show going. The ECB is buying stocks, corporate bonds and any other debt instruments possible to keep the fraud going a bit longer. The Federal Reserve Bank did the same thing with the toxic mortgage backed securities and bailing out AIG so AIG could bail out Goldman Sachs.

    DEBT AND DEMOGRAPHY are the whole ballgame.

    If a politician is not talking about debt and demography, stop listening to them

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  24. Art Deco says:

    There is a widespread assumption that importing more Mexicans is the path to a high-density environmentally-friendly America, but Mexicans love sprawl.

    I think it’s possible to design a neighborhood with density levels in excess of 10,000 persons per sq. without apartment blocs. Consider a street of two-storey bungalows separated by iron-gated corridors. No front lawn, a yard in back consisted of a walled patio-garden, and paved back alleys for garbage pick-up (gated on each end). You add a community parking garage on each bloc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
    And, then what?? Fill it up with Mesoamerican peasants and fill up your 401k portfolio with their bundled mortgage backed securities???
    , @Neuday
    Have you been in an alley of a majority-Mexican neighborhood? Do you know what happens to cars parked on the streets in such areas, much less in a "community parking garage"? Do you really want your wife walking alone to that garage?
    , @Seth Largo

    Consider a street of two-storey bungalows separated by iron-gated corridors. No front lawn, a yard in back consisted of a walled patio-garden . . .
     
    This style of neighborhood design is becoming semi-popular in Southern California. Many new developments, from the near to distant L.A. suburbs, look like what you've described. My sister lived in one for a while way down in Murrieta, CA. My wife's old neighborhood in the Cypress/Cerritos area is also producing these sorts of closed-in dwellings.
    , @stillCARealist
    This sounds sort of like some of the neighborhoods near downtown Sacramento, except without the parking structures. It sounds feasible, but I wouldn't want to live that way. I don't want to hear my neighbors' conversations, smell their pot/tobacco, or know when their toilets flush. It would be a place to move out from as soon as you could get enough for a decent place in the burbs.

    I'll go further. Once you've had the private suburban life, would you ever want to go into a big apartment building? I visited some friends in NYC who had a rather expensive, nice apartment in Manhattan and their could hear their neighbors "fighting or f---ing". NO THANKS. Of course these well-off, childless Manhattanites also owned a "country house" in Pennsylvania to which they could flee on long weekends.
    , @(((Owen)))
    Japan routinely teaches 40,000 per sq mi with single family detached homes and no apartments, so it’s certainly possible.

    Your sketch of a neighborhood design is common in recently built housing in Mexico, except that only three rooms are built. The owners are responsible for enclosing the front patio and adding the second floor as their families grow. Rebar and utility connections are set up to accommodate the eventual expansion.

    But the only housing legal to build in America is low density sprawl so that’s where Mexican-Americans live. You can’t increase density in the USA without first legalizing density.
    , @Expletive Deleted
    You mean like this?
    http://www.studenthousesheffield.co.uk/House%20Front%20web%20large.jpg
    and out back
    http://www.studenthousesheffield.co.uk/Photos/Garden%203%20%28189x251%29.jpg
    The north of England is basically made out of these things. The staircases are a rise&going nightmare though, more like ships' ladders.
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  25. @Guy de Champlagne
    I bet a low income house in the built in the US is better than a mexican one. But I'd much rather live in a nice mexican house made out of concrete and tile than some american McMansion made out of 2x4s and drywall. One of the real tragedies of mexican immigration is that we taught them our inferior junk building methods rather than learning from them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5jJh5xM6zQ

    In the 19th century we didn't bring over Italian stonemasons and bricklayers to just have them put up 2x4s and drywall.

    Can you explain a bit more in-depth what you mean by “2×4″ and “drywall”? Not all of us here are Americans and not all of us here live in newly built-houses.

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    • Replies: @Avery
    {....what you mean by “2×4″ and “drywall”?}

    Don't know about other states in the US, but here in California, residential houses, many multistory, multiunit, apartments and such are built with 2x4 wood (Douglas Fir). 2x4 refers to the thickness and width of the wood plank. The dimensions are actually 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches, but it's called 2x4. Other sizes used in construction are 2x6, 2x8, sometimes 2x10 for horizontal loads. The walls are constructed with 2x4 wood, filled with glass insulation, wiring, plumbing, etc than covered from inside by 5/8" thick gypsum board called drywall. Gypsum is fireproof. The outside is covered with waterproof membrane, than covered with stucco.

    Wood is perfect building material for California, because it is reasonably priced, easy to work with, and because California is earthquake country. Wood will bend and flex in an earthquake. If property waterproofed, wood can last a very, very long time.

    , @CJ
    Most homes in the USA and Canada are built with wood frame construction. The most-used type of lumber is planks that are 2 inches by 4 inches by 8 feet long, known as "two by fours". The frame of a house and its interior walls are made with two by fours; plywood sheeting is used on the outside walls and gypsum sheeting, known as "drywall" or "sheetrock" is used on inside walls. This general method dates from the 19th century and has been especially popular with small-scale contractors and do-it-yourself builders.

    WOOD FRAME CONSTRUCTION
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  26. @Art Deco
    There is a widespread assumption that importing more Mexicans is the path to a high-density environmentally-friendly America, but Mexicans love sprawl.

    I think it's possible to design a neighborhood with density levels in excess of 10,000 persons per sq. without apartment blocs. Consider a street of two-storey bungalows separated by iron-gated corridors. No front lawn, a yard in back consisted of a walled patio-garden, and paved back alleys for garbage pick-up (gated on each end). You add a community parking garage on each bloc.

    And, then what?? Fill it up with Mesoamerican peasants and fill up your 401k portfolio with their bundled mortgage backed securities???

    Read More
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  27. carol says:

    The company I work for sells a lot of lumber to taberos y maderas joints in Mexico. They seem to buy a lot of odds and ends “shop outs,” of random length and width. They’re still buying…I wonder what’s going on.

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  28. Neuday says:
    @Art Deco
    There is a widespread assumption that importing more Mexicans is the path to a high-density environmentally-friendly America, but Mexicans love sprawl.

    I think it's possible to design a neighborhood with density levels in excess of 10,000 persons per sq. without apartment blocs. Consider a street of two-storey bungalows separated by iron-gated corridors. No front lawn, a yard in back consisted of a walled patio-garden, and paved back alleys for garbage pick-up (gated on each end). You add a community parking garage on each bloc.

    Have you been in an alley of a majority-Mexican neighborhood? Do you know what happens to cars parked on the streets in such areas, much less in a “community parking garage”? Do you really want your wife walking alone to that garage?

    Read More
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  29. Mr. Anon says:

    Vicente Fox delivered on his promise of affordable housing for Mexicans – they were to find it in California, Texas, Nevada, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @cynthia curran
    Orange County and LA are affordable housing, bull. Lots of Mexicans in Ca live 10 people per household. It would have been better to have stayed in Mexico than moved to Santa Ana. The problem the Mexican government needed something more than low paying factory and construction jobs.
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  30. @Art Deco
    There is a widespread assumption that importing more Mexicans is the path to a high-density environmentally-friendly America, but Mexicans love sprawl.

    I think it's possible to design a neighborhood with density levels in excess of 10,000 persons per sq. without apartment blocs. Consider a street of two-storey bungalows separated by iron-gated corridors. No front lawn, a yard in back consisted of a walled patio-garden, and paved back alleys for garbage pick-up (gated on each end). You add a community parking garage on each bloc.

    Consider a street of two-storey bungalows separated by iron-gated corridors. No front lawn, a yard in back consisted of a walled patio-garden . . .

    This style of neighborhood design is becoming semi-popular in Southern California. Many new developments, from the near to distant L.A. suburbs, look like what you’ve described. My sister lived in one for a while way down in Murrieta, CA. My wife’s old neighborhood in the Cypress/Cerritos area is also producing these sorts of closed-in dwellings.

    Read More
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  31. @Art Deco
    There is a widespread assumption that importing more Mexicans is the path to a high-density environmentally-friendly America, but Mexicans love sprawl.

    I think it's possible to design a neighborhood with density levels in excess of 10,000 persons per sq. without apartment blocs. Consider a street of two-storey bungalows separated by iron-gated corridors. No front lawn, a yard in back consisted of a walled patio-garden, and paved back alleys for garbage pick-up (gated on each end). You add a community parking garage on each bloc.

    This sounds sort of like some of the neighborhoods near downtown Sacramento, except without the parking structures. It sounds feasible, but I wouldn’t want to live that way. I don’t want to hear my neighbors’ conversations, smell their pot/tobacco, or know when their toilets flush. It would be a place to move out from as soon as you could get enough for a decent place in the burbs.

    I’ll go further. Once you’ve had the private suburban life, would you ever want to go into a big apartment building? I visited some friends in NYC who had a rather expensive, nice apartment in Manhattan and their could hear their neighbors “fighting or f—ing”. NO THANKS. Of course these well-off, childless Manhattanites also owned a “country house” in Pennsylvania to which they could flee on long weekends.

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  32. And remember: The folks that built these ramshackle disasters are now replacing the native-born laborers who once built up-to-spec American housing.

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  33. Luke Lea says:

    I saw a recent international poll comparing how favorably people living in various countries around the world viewed their governments on balance. Naturally the Scandinavian countries were at the top and a lot of poor countries in Africa and Latin America were in the bottom half, where as few as 25% of the populations had a favorable view. Mexico was dead last, a complete outlier, with only 6% favorable!

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    • Replies: @(((Owen)))

    I saw a recent international poll comparing how favorably people living in various countries around the world viewed their governments on balance
     
    How odd then that Latin American nations have a real future while Scadanavian governments have guaranteed that their people will soon be despised minorities and refugees.

    It’s almost as if random surveys are a bad source of technical knowledge.
    , @anon
    Funny. In 50 years Mexico will still be Mexico but Scandinavia will be Arab Sharianavia.
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  34. @Art Deco
    There is a widespread assumption that importing more Mexicans is the path to a high-density environmentally-friendly America, but Mexicans love sprawl.

    I think it's possible to design a neighborhood with density levels in excess of 10,000 persons per sq. without apartment blocs. Consider a street of two-storey bungalows separated by iron-gated corridors. No front lawn, a yard in back consisted of a walled patio-garden, and paved back alleys for garbage pick-up (gated on each end). You add a community parking garage on each bloc.

    Japan routinely teaches 40,000 per sq mi with single family detached homes and no apartments, so it’s certainly possible.

    Your sketch of a neighborhood design is common in recently built housing in Mexico, except that only three rooms are built. The owners are responsible for enclosing the front patio and adding the second floor as their families grow. Rebar and utility connections are set up to accommodate the eventual expansion.

    But the only housing legal to build in America is low density sprawl so that’s where Mexican-Americans live. You can’t increase density in the USA without first legalizing density.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon

    the only housing legal to build in America is low density sprawl
     
    We sure do have a lot of illegal apartment towers then--in every city in the country.

    http://l7.alamy.com/zooms/4dbfc5800508445fb17ca04fb29d10bf/color-toned-modern-residential-buildings-in-chicago-usa-hme0p7.jpg
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  35. George says:

    only 3% of the new residential construction built in Mexico in 2004-2008 were apartments

    High rise requires skilled trades. What’s the number in the US. Even in placed like NYC and SF you do not see the post war developments like Coop City or the failed and torn down apartment blocks like Pruitt Igoe.

    Just from the pics the problem seems to be sewers and civil engineering, not housing construction. Bring in the Chinese?

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Pruitt-Igoe was ruined by crime, maintenance deficits, and deficits in design. That's not attributable to the tradesman or other construction workers.

    One role the state should not assume is 'landlord'.
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  36. @Luke Lea
    I saw a recent international poll comparing how favorably people living in various countries around the world viewed their governments on balance. Naturally the Scandinavian countries were at the top and a lot of poor countries in Africa and Latin America were in the bottom half, where as few as 25% of the populations had a favorable view. Mexico was dead last, a complete outlier, with only 6% favorable!

    I saw a recent international poll comparing how favorably people living in various countries around the world viewed their governments on balance

    How odd then that Latin American nations have a real future while Scadanavian governments have guaranteed that their people will soon be despised minorities and refugees.

    It’s almost as if random surveys are a bad source of technical knowledge.

    Read More
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  37. You might think that poor Mexicans would live in apartment buildings, which are cheaper than homes with your own land. But according to Fox’s foreign secretary Jorge Castaneda’s book Manana Forever, only 3% of the new residential construction built in Mexico in 2004-2008 were apartments. The chief goal of many Mexicans appears to be to get away from other Mexicans.

    Mexico’s homeownership rate is 85%, 20% above the USA rate. And it’s been like that for a century. There’s no severe shortage of apartments in the big city or of houses to rent if that’s your preference, but Mexican families like to own.

    Castañeda is charming but knows nothing about Mexican life outside the elite precincts of his overclass estates high above the working people on luxurious hillsides. He used to meet working Mexicans only when they were his servants. He has made his home in New York for decades now.

    And since he lives in New York City, he knows nothing about how Americans live either.

    Mexicans mostly choose to live with their families for years or decades longer than Americans do. And they are rapidly migrating from low density farm country to big dense cities. Maybe that’s just for opportunities, but even small towns in Mexico are built at the density of San Francisco, America’s second densest city.

    And direct observation indicates that Mexicans adore being around other Mexicans.

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    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    (((O))), I don't think they count refrigerator or dishwasher boxes as homes, but lots of American seem to like to live in them.
    , @Wilkey
    Mexico’s homeownership rate is 85%, 20% above the USA rate

    America would probably be closer to that number, if Americans weren't constantly having to worry about escaping the latest invasion of one kind or another. The truth is that affordable housing is everywhere if you aren't worried about feeling like you live in a foreign country.
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  38. Lurker says:
    @Randal

    So when Vicente Fox was elected Presidente in 2000,.....
     
    So, is this a case of a fashionable verbal tic moving into written material?

    So, my subjective position is that this tic started off online and then transferred to the verbal arena.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    So, I've been noticing it increasingly often in interviews on TV and radio for a few years now, but rarely if ever noticed it in written pieces.

    My impression is it came from academic circles first, but that's purely subjective.
    , @Anon
    It's been one-upped, now. "So" isn't enough to emphasize that you're about to say something, so people now start by saying "Okay so..."
    , @Almost Missouri
    So, I noticed it first among urban white women, from whence it spread everywhere else. FWIW.
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  39. Randal says:
    @Lurker
    So, my subjective position is that this tic started off online and then transferred to the verbal arena.

    So, I’ve been noticing it increasingly often in interviews on TV and radio for a few years now, but rarely if ever noticed it in written pieces.

    My impression is it came from academic circles first, but that’s purely subjective.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lurker
    Not formal written pieces but things like Reddit posts, comments and the like. And yes, I've noticed academic types, science esp. they do seem prone to using it when talking unscripted.
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  40. Nico says:
    @Altai
    OT: Lena Dunham might be next, nobody likes her anymore, they maybe just liked the idea of her, bu the idea of her is far distant to the actual person apparently. Once she defended her friend from rape claims after previously claiming that women never lie about rape, that was going to be the end of her and she was becoming an easy target to make establishment leftists look bad.

    All it would take is for someone to release any of the recordings capturing this A-/B+ list writer/actress who had her own show talking about interracial sex. She might pretend she is this liberal voice, but the recordings do not lie.

    Lena Dunham
     
    http://www.crazydaysandnights.net/2017/11/blind-items-revealed-5_26.html

    She might pretend she is this liberal voice, but the recordings do not lie.

    I think she sincerely believes herself a liberal voice, but as with pretty much everyone she is simply not capable of fully subverting her visceral passions to her Cartesian cortex. Eventually the impracticability of the left-liberal worldview shows somewhere in the lives of everyone who holds it, and those who submit the most purely usually end up visibly unhappy persons because of such extreme self-denial in service of pure abstraction (see the CounterPunch crowd of lucid aging defiant hippies).

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Millennial Falcon
    Hollywood comedy culture is not a PC place on the inside either - I'd wager a lot of crazy stuff gets said in writers' rooms by spitballing joke-writers. It's a tinted glass house they've been throwing stones from.
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  41. The Z Blog says: • Website

    The obvious solution here is for Carlos Slim to buy the LA Times. Then there will be no more stories about Mexican corruption.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    People need to realize that while Carlos Slim may be the largest individual shareholder of NY Times Class A securities (at ~17% of the company's Class A shares) he owns none of the company's Class B shares which are the ones which actually govern the company and its policies.

    He's nowhere near controlling the New York Times, and will never be. The Sulzberger family controls the NYT, and has for a very, very long time.
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  42. Bill says:
    @Randal

    So when Vicente Fox was elected Presidente in 2000,.....
     
    So, is this a case of a fashionable verbal tic moving into written material?

    Mea culpa! Mea culpa! Mea maxima culpa!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    WTF? It should be "So Mea culpa! Mea culpa! Mea maxima culpa!

    I think, by the way it is spoken, there should be no comma after "so".
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  43. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    All those Mexican construction workers learned their skills in the US. They had the opportunity to be trained by people who know what a standard is and why they exist. If they refuse to do competent work in their own country where their own people have to suffer for it, it’s because not one of them is an honest craftsman. Only dirtbags foul their own nest without a qualm. Part of honor is understanding that you don’t screw over your fellow man.

    Read More
    • Replies: @the cruncher
    > learned their skills in the US

    No, at least a lot of Mexicans who build in the US aren't trained, they just work cheap. I had a contractor friend who's had to clean up after them, or else just went in for seemingly normal maintenance after a couple years and found that the work was bad. The work holds for long enough though that the company is long gone by the time it fails.
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  44. @Guy de Champlagne
    I bet a low income house in the built in the US is better than a mexican one. But I'd much rather live in a nice mexican house made out of concrete and tile than some american McMansion made out of 2x4s and drywall. One of the real tragedies of mexican immigration is that we taught them our inferior junk building methods rather than learning from them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5jJh5xM6zQ

    In the 19th century we didn't bring over Italian stonemasons and bricklayers to just have them put up 2x4s and drywall.

    I’m not a fan of drywall & studs either, but the solution to this is simple. Buy a house built before 1945. They were typically built with concrete and plaster. There are lots of them out there.

    Read More
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  45. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Luke Lea
    I saw a recent international poll comparing how favorably people living in various countries around the world viewed their governments on balance. Naturally the Scandinavian countries were at the top and a lot of poor countries in Africa and Latin America were in the bottom half, where as few as 25% of the populations had a favorable view. Mexico was dead last, a complete outlier, with only 6% favorable!

    Funny. In 50 years Mexico will still be Mexico but Scandinavia will be Arab Sharianavia.

    Read More
    • Agree: (((Owen)))
    • Replies: @(((Owen)))
    Don’t forget Somalinavia.
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  46. The chief goal of many Mexicans appears to be to get away from other Mexicans.

    In the excellent book “Dreamland” we learn that the prime motivation of the heroin dealers who ventured to the North wasn’t to assimilate in the U.S. and get a slice of the American dream. It was to return to Mexico some day with pockets stuffed with Benjamins. They could then buy a bigger house with nicer stuff and stick it to the neighbors, against whom they held ancient grudges. Mexicans are some weird cats.

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  47. @Nico

    She might pretend she is this liberal voice, but the recordings do not lie.
     
    I think she sincerely believes herself a liberal voice, but as with pretty much everyone she is simply not capable of fully subverting her visceral passions to her Cartesian cortex. Eventually the impracticability of the left-liberal worldview shows somewhere in the lives of everyone who holds it, and those who submit the most purely usually end up visibly unhappy persons because of such extreme self-denial in service of pure abstraction (see the CounterPunch crowd of lucid aging defiant hippies).

    Hollywood comedy culture is not a PC place on the inside either – I’d wager a lot of crazy stuff gets said in writers’ rooms by spitballing joke-writers. It’s a tinted glass house they’ve been throwing stones from.

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  48. Art Deco says:
    @George
    only 3% of the new residential construction built in Mexico in 2004-2008 were apartments

    High rise requires skilled trades. What's the number in the US. Even in placed like NYC and SF you do not see the post war developments like Coop City or the failed and torn down apartment blocks like Pruitt Igoe.

    Just from the pics the problem seems to be sewers and civil engineering, not housing construction. Bring in the Chinese?

    Pruitt-Igoe was ruined by crime, maintenance deficits, and deficits in design. That’s not attributable to the tradesman or other construction workers.

    One role the state should not assume is ‘landlord’.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Olorin
    This is what I never have comprehended in these housing discussions.

    Blaming the construction and trades workers for the destruction of housing stock is batty. Look at Philly, Baltimore, Camden, and Wilmington, where sturdily built, robust housing has been destroyed by precisely the forces you note. People lived in them for 100, 150 years or more. A sudden demographic turnover, and within 5 to 15 years, they're gone.

    Conversely, some of the most low-budget suburban shacks have been well maintained and their flaws corrected by inhabitants who ask for Home Depot/Woodcraft/Harbor Freight gift cards for Father's Day and spend their weekends cheerfully upgrading or maintaining their nests.

    There is no economic sector to my knowledge more desperately in need of an honest, open HBD perspective than real estate. It is in real estate that the fantasy that "all people are as fungible as all fiat dollars" has borne the most rotten social, economic, and moral fruit.

    This goes back to our host's very old perspectives on how the middle-of-the-bell-curve hump of maintainers bear primary responsibility for keeping civilization going.

    If you read Federal Reserve speeches and papers from the 1980s-1990s, and review, say, Alan Greenspan's plan to generate trillions of skimmable housing speculation dollars by "democratizing mortgages," the blank slate view of humanity is prominent...and should leave us deeply horrified and unwilling to repeat those mistakes.

    People who don't have the gumption to get an ID or bathe their children or maintain their health aren't suddenly going to turn into maintainers of housing.

    Which raises the question, Art, of who SHOULD assume the role of "landlord" for these Huddled Masses. There's no money in it from a "free market" perspective. So how do we house failed people who, without firm custodial care, can do nothing but destroy what others create?

    , @Reg Cæsar

    Pruitt-Igoe was ruined by crime, maintenance deficits, and deficits in design.
     
    The architect originally planned a mix of low- and high-rise residences. The city housing authority said no, let's make them all high-rise. Save a buck or two.

    Those low-rise, single-family structures might have housed the "talented tenth" who traditionally kept watch over their brethren and held them to some standards. Instead, it was all "projects", and the more responsible ones couldn't wait to get the hell out of there.

    And who was that wishy-washy architect, with his un-Roark-like spine? None other than Minoru Yamasaki who, just as Pruitt was being imploded, was bending to the Rockefeller brothers' bad taste and putting up the World Trade Center. What an honor-- America's most demolished architect.

    However, he apparently did right by the St Louis airport. And imagine had the WTC looked like this beauty in his hometown:

    http://www.amusingplanet.com/2016/01/rainier-tower-or-beaver-building.html
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  49. Canada’s teenage Prime Minister just made two announcements: he will increase Third World immigration, and introduce an affordable housing strategy.

    Mexico North.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Beav, I wonder what third world countries he will court for immigrants. Toronto looks awfully Southeast Asian now.
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  50. Buck says:

    I’ve dabbled in residential construction for years and have worked alongside Mexicans of various trades. I’ve also worked professionally in Mexico. They seemed to do efficient and acceptable work in the U.S. but the construction in Mexico is shoddy. The incongruity has always struck me as odd. They know the proper way to build and modern building codes yet buildings in Mexico always seem half finished and dumpy.

    There could be several factors at play. Construction materials maybe are just so much more expensive in Mexico so corners are cut. Maybe the bribes and entanglements of bureaucracy take their toll. Or maybe Mexicans can build but are terrible at maintaining building so they fall apart. Whatever it is, the U.S. luring much of their skilled labor can’t help.

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  51. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    This sounds like India, or Indonesia, or Philippines…overcrowded countries that should build up not out, but they don’t because they simply don’t have the engineering know how. In India, apartment buildings routinely collapse, often after a few days of rain. Lack of honesty means construction firms often cheat and cut corners, while massive corruption means non-existent building safety code enforcement :

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/26/world/asia/india-building-collapse-mumbai-arrest.html

    Indian workers dominate the construction trade in Dubai, building beautiful and well engineered skyscrapers, but they can only do so under the close supervision of white foremen, on buildings designed by white engineers and white architects, all imported by Dubai…Arabs can’t do anything other than pray 5x a day and sell kebabs, that is when they’re not too busy killing one another. Similarly there are a lot of Mexicans in the construction trade in the US, but they can only do as told by white foremen, white engineers, white architects.

    And if the brown countries can’t build, the black countries are even more hopeless. Africans can’t even ply the construction trade. to build anything more than 1 story in Africa, whites would have to do it all.

    What will happen as whites die off and non-whites dominate the world? Forget building, most blacks and browns can’t even maintain what was built by whites, they just let them decay. Just look at all the black and brown countries post colonialism. By 2150 all countries will look like India, with buildings collapsing left and right.

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  52. Olorin says:
    @Art Deco
    Pruitt-Igoe was ruined by crime, maintenance deficits, and deficits in design. That's not attributable to the tradesman or other construction workers.

    One role the state should not assume is 'landlord'.

    This is what I never have comprehended in these housing discussions.

    Blaming the construction and trades workers for the destruction of housing stock is batty. Look at Philly, Baltimore, Camden, and Wilmington, where sturdily built, robust housing has been destroyed by precisely the forces you note. People lived in them for 100, 150 years or more. A sudden demographic turnover, and within 5 to 15 years, they’re gone.

    Conversely, some of the most low-budget suburban shacks have been well maintained and their flaws corrected by inhabitants who ask for Home Depot/Woodcraft/Harbor Freight gift cards for Father’s Day and spend their weekends cheerfully upgrading or maintaining their nests.

    There is no economic sector to my knowledge more desperately in need of an honest, open HBD perspective than real estate. It is in real estate that the fantasy that “all people are as fungible as all fiat dollars” has borne the most rotten social, economic, and moral fruit.

    This goes back to our host’s very old perspectives on how the middle-of-the-bell-curve hump of maintainers bear primary responsibility for keeping civilization going.

    If you read Federal Reserve speeches and papers from the 1980s-1990s, and review, say, Alan Greenspan’s plan to generate trillions of skimmable housing speculation dollars by “democratizing mortgages,” the blank slate view of humanity is prominent…and should leave us deeply horrified and unwilling to repeat those mistakes.

    People who don’t have the gumption to get an ID or bathe their children or maintain their health aren’t suddenly going to turn into maintainers of housing.

    Which raises the question, Art, of who SHOULD assume the role of “landlord” for these Huddled Masses. There’s no money in it from a “free market” perspective. So how do we house failed people who, without firm custodial care, can do nothing but destroy what others create?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Olo, a few years ago a crew of retired gents, some from my town, were rehabbing a Buffalo home for Habitat for Humanity. They were beaten and robbed of cash, phones and tools at the job site. Who knew those inner city thugs just needed tools to turn their lives around. Home Depot gift cards indeed.
    , @Anon
    Very good thinking Mr Olorin. My solution would be to return these people to the tropical and subtropical paradises from which they and their families originate. Coincidentally enough, they don't need protection from the bitter cold down there, which is just one reason among many why they don't exactly display a cultural adaptation to thermally-insulated structures.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    So how do we house failed people who, without firm custodial care, can do nothing but destroy what others create?
     
    Your "firm custodial care" was outlawed in 1866.
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  53. TheJester says:
    @Thomas
    I would be surprised if Fox and George W. Bush weren't comparing notes on these respective programs. Further, I would guess that part of the reason it seems so many of the infrastructure and building in the Mexican program seemed to stop halfway all of a sudden is because capital and labor were being sucked north into the much larger housing boom in the U.S.

    Tens of miIlions of dollars’ worth of construction bonds intended to make repairs and finish infrastructure remain unused or unaccounted for. There have been no congressional hearings or fact-finding commissions in Mexico.

    However, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in March accused Homex, once Mexico’s biggest developer, of reporting “fake” sales of 100,000 homes, which inflated revenues by $3.3 billion. It is believed to be the largest fraud in Mexican history.

    The SEC eventually settled with Homex, without assessing a fine, and filed similar civil charges against former Homex executives. Those remain pending.
     
    This is notable. Apparently, what regulation and accountability exists for this scheme is being imposed by the U.S. Americans doing the governing that Mexicans just won't do?

    So, if I understand you, Mexico suffers the same affliction as the United States: importing foreigners to do the work that locals won’t do.

    But a difference. We imported Mexicans to harvest lettuce, built houses, dig ditches, and run fast food restaurants (and they are very good at it). The Mexicans tried to import Americans to manage their country for them (and it didn’t work out).

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  54. Avery says:
    @Curiousreader
    Can you explain a bit more in-depth what you mean by "2x4" and "drywall"? Not all of us here are Americans and not all of us here live in newly built-houses.

    {….what you mean by “2×4″ and “drywall”?}

    Don’t know about other states in the US, but here in California, residential houses, many multistory, multiunit, apartments and such are built with 2×4 wood (Douglas Fir). 2×4 refers to the thickness and width of the wood plank. The dimensions are actually 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches, but it’s called 2×4. Other sizes used in construction are 2×6, 2×8, sometimes 2×10 for horizontal loads. The walls are constructed with 2×4 wood, filled with glass insulation, wiring, plumbing, etc than covered from inside by 5/8″ thick gypsum board called drywall. Gypsum is fireproof. The outside is covered with waterproof membrane, than covered with stucco.

    Wood is perfect building material for California, because it is reasonably priced, easy to work with, and because California is earthquake country. Wood will bend and flex in an earthquake. If property waterproofed, wood can last a very, very long time.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Just to add a point: the ICC/IRC residential code now requires 2x6s for exterior wall framing and includes additional (fairly complex) standards for wind bracing.

    Few people know that--pound for pound--wood is actually stronger than steel. Steel is much heavier, of course. Wood works quite well for framing; not so well as an exterior covering against the elements.

    , @Discard
    FYI: Prior to WW2, 2x4s were actually 2"x4". My 1920s house has them. During the war, the dimensions were changed due to the extremely high demand for wood. The 2x4 of today is a product of wartime rationing.
    , @Lurker
    My mother's house, even in damp old England is, at it's core, older than the USA. It's been extended at various times, most recently the 1980s.

    As far as we can tell there is still some original wood (as well brick and tile) in place.

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  55. I am not a contractor so much of this info may be incorrect, but here goes…

    He’s referring to platform-frame construction (a.k.a. stick-frame construction) which is fairly standard in the US for residential housing as well as some smaller apartment buildings. It uses fairly densely spaced softwood lumber as a structural material; for example walls are done with wooden lumber approximately 1.5 inch by 3 inch by 8-12 feet (aka 2 by 4s–2 inch by 4 inch prior to sanding at the mill) that is nailed into a standard frame with each 2X4 spaced about 12 inches apart. Small beams, densely spaced, basically. The interior surfaces are covered with a gypsum based sheet (“drywall”) to fireproof it and provide a surface for painting, hanging pictures, etc., and the exterior is covered with whatever siding you like, usually also softwood lumber. Large sheets of plywood are nailed onto the structural lumber to provide shear strength and/or to make the floor and roof.

    If you see it as it is being built (before the drywall and siding are put on) it looks super cheap and flimsy, and Europeans will often comment on how poorly the houses under construction appear to be built. But, because wood has reasonably good tensile and compressive strength, and is light, it does extremely well in earthquakes. In North America wood is also relatively inexpensive and these structures are also easy to modify or retrofit; finally they don’t take huge amounts of skill to construct. Also because it is light and can withstand some tension if the foundation settles you don’t get gigantic cracks in your house (and the foundation settles less to begin with because the structure is light.)

    Disadvantages: It definitely doesn’t look as nice as masonry but in the seismically active parts of the U.S. your only real options are stick frame or reinforced concrete. Termites can destroy it. If not maintained and the frame gets wet it will rot, and the decline is much quicker than with other materials, although if you keep your roof in good shape this is not a problem. Not much thermal mass so in desert areas with wide temperature swings your house will be too hot then too cold then too hot again during the day, although these houses are easy to insulate so that can be less of a problem.

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  56. Daniel H says:
    @Guy de Champlagne
    I bet a low income house in the built in the US is better than a mexican one. But I'd much rather live in a nice mexican house made out of concrete and tile than some american McMansion made out of 2x4s and drywall. One of the real tragedies of mexican immigration is that we taught them our inferior junk building methods rather than learning from them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5jJh5xM6zQ

    In the 19th century we didn't bring over Italian stonemasons and bricklayers to just have them put up 2x4s and drywall.

    >> I bet a low income house in the built in the US is better than a mexican one. But I’d much rather live in a nice mexican house made out of concrete and tile than some american McMansion made out of 2x4s and drywall.

    And you would win that bet, but you would not rather live in a Mexican built house. Whatever you think of the McMansion concept/phenomena American stick frame, plywood sheeted, dry-wall interior homes are without question, from an engineering standpoint, clearly superior in design and construction. We still have this thing (who knows how long it will last though, you know racist) called building codes in place in every county in America. Your house isn’t built to code, it doesn’t pass inspection it will not get financing and in many jurisdictions if you don’t/won’t fix it to code or tear it down the municipality will do so for you, and send you the bill.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    You raise some interesting points. My many years of experience dealing with the Inspection Services Division in Arlington County VA taught me that there was an entirely separate set of standards pertaining to the increasing number of Spanish-speaking applicants. Arlington thoughtfully maintains an entire cadre of immigrant officials to shepherd the immigrant applicants through the process, and as near as I can tell the process is done pretty much like in the 'old country' down south. There will be repercussions one day--like building collapses--which the Washington Post will be sure to blame on white people.

    Arlington doesn't even enforce zoning provisions against latinos because racism, so we get the 17-people-per-house thing with naked children and hoopties out front where there used to be well-kept lawns and gardens. One of the wealthiest counties in the nation, too--slowly but surely becoming third-world. Fairfax County next door is larger (over 1.2 million people now) and even worse. Both are becoming full of "enclaves" and segregating into rich and poor areas. Rich liberals and poor third-world immigrants--and people are surprised that Virginia has turned blue.

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  57. @(((Owen)))

    You might think that poor Mexicans would live in apartment buildings, which are cheaper than homes with your own land. But according to Fox’s foreign secretary Jorge Castaneda’s book Manana Forever, only 3% of the new residential construction built in Mexico in 2004-2008 were apartments. The chief goal of many Mexicans appears to be to get away from other Mexicans.
     
    Mexico’s homeownership rate is 85%, 20% above the USA rate. And it’s been like that for a century. There’s no severe shortage of apartments in the big city or of houses to rent if that’s your preference, but Mexican families like to own.

    Castañeda is charming but knows nothing about Mexican life outside the elite precincts of his overclass estates high above the working people on luxurious hillsides. He used to meet working Mexicans only when they were his servants. He has made his home in New York for decades now.

    And since he lives in New York City, he knows nothing about how Americans live either.

    Mexicans mostly choose to live with their families for years or decades longer than Americans do. And they are rapidly migrating from low density farm country to big dense cities. Maybe that’s just for opportunities, but even small towns in Mexico are built at the density of San Francisco, America’s second densest city.

    And direct observation indicates that Mexicans adore being around other Mexicans.

    (((O))), I don’t think they count refrigerator or dishwasher boxes as homes, but lots of American seem to like to live in them.

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  58. anon • Disclaimer says:

    The typical ‘workers cottage’ which was built for 50 years in Chicago. They tend to be roughly 1000 sq/ft. The standard city lot is 25ft by 125ft or 3,000 sq/ft. After the fire, brick was very popular.

    It’s not like it takes much to build one. Cemex is a huge multi national concrete supplier. And then — cement block. Modular homes? Regardless — no excuse.

    The harder part would be getting the sewers and drainage and roads functional.

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  59. @Beavertales
    Canada's teenage Prime Minister just made two announcements: he will increase Third World immigration, and introduce an affordable housing strategy.

    Mexico North.

    Beav, I wonder what third world countries he will court for immigrants. Toronto looks awfully Southeast Asian now.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    I don't see the Canadians asking for all our surplus Mexicans and Somalis.

    Or maybe they have? Are they that crazy yet? I bet the Sino-Indo-etc. there aren't.
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  60. @Olorin
    This is what I never have comprehended in these housing discussions.

    Blaming the construction and trades workers for the destruction of housing stock is batty. Look at Philly, Baltimore, Camden, and Wilmington, where sturdily built, robust housing has been destroyed by precisely the forces you note. People lived in them for 100, 150 years or more. A sudden demographic turnover, and within 5 to 15 years, they're gone.

    Conversely, some of the most low-budget suburban shacks have been well maintained and their flaws corrected by inhabitants who ask for Home Depot/Woodcraft/Harbor Freight gift cards for Father's Day and spend their weekends cheerfully upgrading or maintaining their nests.

    There is no economic sector to my knowledge more desperately in need of an honest, open HBD perspective than real estate. It is in real estate that the fantasy that "all people are as fungible as all fiat dollars" has borne the most rotten social, economic, and moral fruit.

    This goes back to our host's very old perspectives on how the middle-of-the-bell-curve hump of maintainers bear primary responsibility for keeping civilization going.

    If you read Federal Reserve speeches and papers from the 1980s-1990s, and review, say, Alan Greenspan's plan to generate trillions of skimmable housing speculation dollars by "democratizing mortgages," the blank slate view of humanity is prominent...and should leave us deeply horrified and unwilling to repeat those mistakes.

    People who don't have the gumption to get an ID or bathe their children or maintain their health aren't suddenly going to turn into maintainers of housing.

    Which raises the question, Art, of who SHOULD assume the role of "landlord" for these Huddled Masses. There's no money in it from a "free market" perspective. So how do we house failed people who, without firm custodial care, can do nothing but destroy what others create?

    Olo, a few years ago a crew of retired gents, some from my town, were rehabbing a Buffalo home for Habitat for Humanity. They were beaten and robbed of cash, phones and tools at the job site. Who knew those inner city thugs just needed tools to turn their lives around. Home Depot gift cards indeed.

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  61. Alfa158 says:
    @ThreeCranes
    A "nice Mexican house made out of concrete and tile" has virtually no rebar in it. So, when the poorly cleared, graded and compacted site eventually subsides, the foundation settles and the walls develop gigantic cracks. In a hurricane force wind, a tall unreinforced masonry building will collapse because side load exceeds tension carrying capacity of walls that depend on weight alone for their stability. That's why we see widespread destruction in Haiti (and other Caribbean islands that have no building codes) in the wake of tropical storms.

    Frame houses can last centuries. There are timber attics in European cathedrals that are 1000 years old. Wood and dry wall per se are not bad building materials. I lived in several century-old framed homes and they were still humming along fine. A framed home is easy to remodel, put in modern energy efficient windows, replumb with modern materials, rewire up to modern codes, install new furnace ducting and so on. To do these in masonry homes requires a jackhammer.

    That being said, I currently live in a concrete block home with aluminum windows.

    The larger point Steve is making and that Fred misses is that Mexicans screw everything up most of the time. They don't have or don't comply with building codes. Their work is shoddy and substandard. While this may not be obvious to everyone, a trained eye sees this.

    "Crumbling" is the key word here. Everything is "crumbling" in Mexico because they don't keep their concrete wet as it cures. On every public project I observed in eight trips to Mexico, they let all concrete and mortar projects air dry in the tropical sun. The result is that the concrete never attains full strength. So it ages quickly, crumbling.

    Most folks don't know it but concrete cures by a chemical process called "hydration". It doesn't "harden" by drying out like a mud pie. It must be kept wet to cure. In spite of the fact that masonry is the default working material, Mexican workers can't be bothered to learn this fundamental fact and take the time and trouble to perform the correct process. So their stuff crumbles.

    I worked with a colleague who was a born again Christian. One of the things his church would do was go down to Mexico to help build housing for poor people. (I know, coals to Newcastle), He was appalled to see how the native work crew was putting up a small one story structure. They built the walls from cinder blocks, hammered together an internal scaffold of lumber, laid plywood sheets and rebar over the plywood, then poured concrete over the plywood to form a roof. After the concrete “dried”, the scaffold and plywood were removed. He said he had never seen anything like that before or since.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    That's an odd way to do it but if the rebar is engineered and properly installed, the roof slab will be structurally sound. It must also be properly anchored to the walls, which also need reinforcing. Granted, none of this is probably done right, but it could be. The remarks upthread about concrete 'curing' add an additional complication.

    People act like all this cheap latino labor is a godsend to the USA. It's not--it's a nightmare. In my estimation your average latino immigrant needs ten years of experience in the USA before he's reasonably skilled. We could teach Americans to do some of that.
    , @Anon
    Concrete roofs in hot countries are sheer hell to live under, especially as they aren't usually anywhere near high enough.
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  62. CJ says:
    @Curiousreader
    Can you explain a bit more in-depth what you mean by "2x4" and "drywall"? Not all of us here are Americans and not all of us here live in newly built-houses.

    Most homes in the USA and Canada are built with wood frame construction. The most-used type of lumber is planks that are 2 inches by 4 inches by 8 feet long, known as “two by fours”. The frame of a house and its interior walls are made with two by fours; plywood sheeting is used on the outside walls and gypsum sheeting, known as “drywall” or “sheetrock” is used on inside walls. This general method dates from the 19th century and has been especially popular with small-scale contractors and do-it-yourself builders.

    WOOD FRAME CONSTRUCTION

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  63. @Jim Bob Lassiter
    There are climate zone limitations in the US that preclude Mexican construction methods and materials.

    A lot of Mexico is similar in climate to the American southwest. The high altitude common in Mexico keeps it cooler than you might expect.

    The second sinkhole picture I posted is from Ensenada, which is about 70 miles south of San Diego on the beach, so the climate is like San Diego, just a little sunnier.

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    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
    10-4 Ditto for lots of tropical Latin America. My point is that it's going to be tough to summer cool and winter heat a typical Mexican cinder block w/ stucco skim house in say St. Louis, not to mention dealing with the cracking from seasonal thermal contraction/expansion.
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  64. Meanwhile, the rows of houses that England built for its workers back in the day are still standing and still being used.

    https://www.google.com.au/maps/@53.5013755,-2.2374821,3a,60y,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sAreJHzV_PViLlYe8on5dxQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

    A little grim, but hey – England. Point is: they are still standing.

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    I admire how everyone seems to park his car half on the sidewalk like an inconsiderate jackass; reminds me of the Mexicans! (And the Cubans; man, do the Cubans in Miami love to park on sidewalks. In Cuba, I am pretty sure sidewalks exist not for pedestrians, but solely as parking areas; the Cubans in Miami sure as Hell seem to think that is what sidewalks are for....)
    , @Brutusale
    There are a lot of homes along the coast of Massachusetts, including that of my maternal grandparents', that were built in the 18th Century and are still rock solid. They're mostly held together with wooden pegs instead of nails.

    I've read that the moderate climate in England helps wood last longer than other climes. Wood seems to last pretty well in chilly New England, too.

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  65. @Steve Sailer
    A lot of Mexico is similar in climate to the American southwest. The high altitude common in Mexico keeps it cooler than you might expect.

    The second sinkhole picture I posted is from Ensenada, which is about 70 miles south of San Diego on the beach, so the climate is like San Diego, just a little sunnier.

    10-4 Ditto for lots of tropical Latin America. My point is that it’s going to be tough to summer cool and winter heat a typical Mexican cinder block w/ stucco skim house in say St. Louis, not to mention dealing with the cracking from seasonal thermal contraction/expansion.

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  66. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve-o
    Fred would dismiss the article and all its facts with anecdotes about what swell houses he sees in Guadalajara. Fred is fundamentally an emotional thinker. He agrees with the Amren crowd on blacks because he personally dislikes blacks. But because he likes Mexicans, unflattering information about them can’t possibly be true.

    Daresay you are exactly right. Fred’s an interesting case of an entertaining writer who essentially ruined his own credibility on, well, everything.

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  67. @anon
    Funny. In 50 years Mexico will still be Mexico but Scandinavia will be Arab Sharianavia.

    Don’t forget Somalinavia.

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  68. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Daniel H
    >> I bet a low income house in the built in the US is better than a mexican one. But I’d much rather live in a nice mexican house made out of concrete and tile than some american McMansion made out of 2x4s and drywall.

    And you would win that bet, but you would not rather live in a Mexican built house. Whatever you think of the McMansion concept/phenomena American stick frame, plywood sheeted, dry-wall interior homes are without question, from an engineering standpoint, clearly superior in design and construction. We still have this thing (who knows how long it will last though, you know racist) called building codes in place in every county in America. Your house isn't built to code, it doesn't pass inspection it will not get financing and in many jurisdictions if you don't/won't fix it to code or tear it down the municipality will do so for you, and send you the bill.

    You raise some interesting points. My many years of experience dealing with the Inspection Services Division in Arlington County VA taught me that there was an entirely separate set of standards pertaining to the increasing number of Spanish-speaking applicants. Arlington thoughtfully maintains an entire cadre of immigrant officials to shepherd the immigrant applicants through the process, and as near as I can tell the process is done pretty much like in the ‘old country’ down south. There will be repercussions one day–like building collapses–which the Washington Post will be sure to blame on white people.

    Arlington doesn’t even enforce zoning provisions against latinos because racism, so we get the 17-people-per-house thing with naked children and hoopties out front where there used to be well-kept lawns and gardens. One of the wealthiest counties in the nation, too–slowly but surely becoming third-world. Fairfax County next door is larger (over 1.2 million people now) and even worse. Both are becoming full of “enclaves” and segregating into rich and poor areas. Rich liberals and poor third-world immigrants–and people are surprised that Virginia has turned blue.

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  69. @Dave from Oz
    Meanwhile, the rows of houses that England built for its workers back in the day are still standing and still being used.

    https://www.google.com.au/maps/@53.5013755,-2.2374821,3a,60y,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sAreJHzV_PViLlYe8on5dxQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

    A little grim, but hey - England. Point is: they are still standing.

    I admire how everyone seems to park his car half on the sidewalk like an inconsiderate jackass; reminds me of the Mexicans! (And the Cubans; man, do the Cubans in Miami love to park on sidewalks. In Cuba, I am pretty sure sidewalks exist not for pedestrians, but solely as parking areas; the Cubans in Miami sure as Hell seem to think that is what sidewalks are for….)

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    • Replies: @Anon

    I admire how everyone seems to park his car half on the sidewalk like an inconsiderate jackass; reminds me of the Mexicans!
     
    You've got some considerate Mexicans where you live. In Northern Virginia they simply stop their car right in the driving lane and get out to go in a store, visit with friends, what have you. On two-lane roadways it's a bit of a hassle for us gringos.
    , @(((Owen)))

    park his car half on the sidewalk like an inconsiderate jackass; reminds me of the Mexicans!
     
    Several neighborhoods in Mexico City solved this problem. They put in parking meters, prices scaled to the demand at the time of day. Then they issued Denver boots to roving private enforcement on bicycles that work for the company that collects revenue from the meters. They really don't want anyone parking for free on the sidewalk.

    And now nobody does.
    , @Anonymous
    You have to do that in England, because, generally, the roads - mostly laid out before the invention of the automobile - are too narrow to allow two cars to pass simultaneously if cars are parked past the curb on either side. At the very least you're liable to get the side of your car scratched. Plus in those old streets, absolutely no one has a garage or room to build a garage, thus car owners generally park on the curb outside their home.
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  70. Moses says:
    @TheBoom
    The most important thing for Mexicans when decorating their home is to safeguard it from other Mexicans. Mexicans are huge believers in walls topped with broken glass when they keep out other Mexicans, not so much when walls keep them out of white countries

    I’ve observed same. You can also see this in most Asian countries outside Japan.

    You can tell a lot about a society by the barriers it creates internally. Go to Mexico or any SE Asian city and visit a wealthy neighborhood (or, indeed, any neighborhood). Every house is surrounded by a high wall and gate. The top of the wall will have barbed wire, spikes or broken glass.

    Now go to a wealthy neighborbood in any American city. No walls. No barriers. Just miles of manicured lawns. You can even peep in windows for Pete’s sake. This is unthinkable in the rest of the world.

    Why is this?

    Because America has order. Good, mostly non-corrupt (as far as the normal homeowner is concerned) police. Civil culture. High levels of cooperative trust. Americans do not understand that this is not the normal state for a human society.

    Without a strong exterior border in the form of immigration control, internal borders increasingly will crop up in America. We are importing it.

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    • Agree: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @Semper Fidelis
    Astute observation. Melanin is directly proportional to violence, and inversely proportional to IQ. All black and brown countries are high crime, poverty stricken and poorly governed, same as all their neighborhoods in the US. The magic dirt of the US can't change biology.
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  71. @Guy de Champlagne
    I bet a low income house in the built in the US is better than a mexican one. But I'd much rather live in a nice mexican house made out of concrete and tile than some american McMansion made out of 2x4s and drywall. One of the real tragedies of mexican immigration is that we taught them our inferior junk building methods rather than learning from them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5jJh5xM6zQ

    In the 19th century we didn't bring over Italian stonemasons and bricklayers to just have them put up 2x4s and drywall.

    But I’d much rather live in a nice mexican house made out of concrete and tile than some american McMansion made out of 2x4s and drywall.

    The obvious–this depends highly on geography.

    That “Catalan vault” video–that would be an absolute disaster in any sort of earthquake. (I’m surprised any modern building code allows that sort of construction. Crazy.)

    On the other hand the typical platform frame construction (that you see in most American houses), properly attached to the foundation and with appropriate sheer walls handles earthquakes very well. Those “McMansion”s are precisely where you want to be–if you’re inside–during in an earthquake.

    Yet they aren’t what you want if you’re in a tropical climate–mostly earthquake free–especially one exposed to hurricanes or cyclones. If I was building from scratch in say Florida or the Mexican Caribbean coast, or for that matter in tornado alley, i’d build a reinforced concrete structure, probably using ICF (insulating concrete forms–the foam block systems that serve as concrete form and insulation layer). A guy in my neighborhood in Florida is building with FoxBlocks. I was curious and looked at their web site and they have a video of a FoxBlocks built house that survived a 2013 Oklahoma tornado while it’s neighborhood was destroyed. (Had a Toyota Tundra thrown against one wall without collapsing.)

    Building isn’t one-size-fits-all. You build with a method that’s appropriate for your climate/geography and the likely dangers you’ll face.

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  72. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @(((Owen)))
    Japan routinely teaches 40,000 per sq mi with single family detached homes and no apartments, so it’s certainly possible.

    Your sketch of a neighborhood design is common in recently built housing in Mexico, except that only three rooms are built. The owners are responsible for enclosing the front patio and adding the second floor as their families grow. Rebar and utility connections are set up to accommodate the eventual expansion.

    But the only housing legal to build in America is low density sprawl so that’s where Mexican-Americans live. You can’t increase density in the USA without first legalizing density.

    the only housing legal to build in America is low density sprawl

    We sure do have a lot of illegal apartment towers then–in every city in the country.

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  73. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Lurker
    So, my subjective position is that this tic started off online and then transferred to the verbal arena.

    It’s been one-upped, now. “So” isn’t enough to emphasize that you’re about to say something, so people now start by saying “Okay so…”

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  74. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @The Z Blog
    The obvious solution here is for Carlos Slim to buy the LA Times. Then there will be no more stories about Mexican corruption.

    People need to realize that while Carlos Slim may be the largest individual shareholder of NY Times Class A securities (at ~17% of the company’s Class A shares) he owns none of the company’s Class B shares which are the ones which actually govern the company and its policies.

    He’s nowhere near controlling the New York Times, and will never be. The Sulzberger family controls the NYT, and has for a very, very long time.

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  75. @Lurker
    So, my subjective position is that this tic started off online and then transferred to the verbal arena.

    So, I noticed it first among urban white women, from whence it spread everywhere else. FWIW.

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  76. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Olorin
    This is what I never have comprehended in these housing discussions.

    Blaming the construction and trades workers for the destruction of housing stock is batty. Look at Philly, Baltimore, Camden, and Wilmington, where sturdily built, robust housing has been destroyed by precisely the forces you note. People lived in them for 100, 150 years or more. A sudden demographic turnover, and within 5 to 15 years, they're gone.

    Conversely, some of the most low-budget suburban shacks have been well maintained and their flaws corrected by inhabitants who ask for Home Depot/Woodcraft/Harbor Freight gift cards for Father's Day and spend their weekends cheerfully upgrading or maintaining their nests.

    There is no economic sector to my knowledge more desperately in need of an honest, open HBD perspective than real estate. It is in real estate that the fantasy that "all people are as fungible as all fiat dollars" has borne the most rotten social, economic, and moral fruit.

    This goes back to our host's very old perspectives on how the middle-of-the-bell-curve hump of maintainers bear primary responsibility for keeping civilization going.

    If you read Federal Reserve speeches and papers from the 1980s-1990s, and review, say, Alan Greenspan's plan to generate trillions of skimmable housing speculation dollars by "democratizing mortgages," the blank slate view of humanity is prominent...and should leave us deeply horrified and unwilling to repeat those mistakes.

    People who don't have the gumption to get an ID or bathe their children or maintain their health aren't suddenly going to turn into maintainers of housing.

    Which raises the question, Art, of who SHOULD assume the role of "landlord" for these Huddled Masses. There's no money in it from a "free market" perspective. So how do we house failed people who, without firm custodial care, can do nothing but destroy what others create?

    Very good thinking Mr Olorin. My solution would be to return these people to the tropical and subtropical paradises from which they and their families originate. Coincidentally enough, they don’t need protection from the bitter cold down there, which is just one reason among many why they don’t exactly display a cultural adaptation to thermally-insulated structures.

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  77. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Avery
    {....what you mean by “2×4″ and “drywall”?}

    Don't know about other states in the US, but here in California, residential houses, many multistory, multiunit, apartments and such are built with 2x4 wood (Douglas Fir). 2x4 refers to the thickness and width of the wood plank. The dimensions are actually 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches, but it's called 2x4. Other sizes used in construction are 2x6, 2x8, sometimes 2x10 for horizontal loads. The walls are constructed with 2x4 wood, filled with glass insulation, wiring, plumbing, etc than covered from inside by 5/8" thick gypsum board called drywall. Gypsum is fireproof. The outside is covered with waterproof membrane, than covered with stucco.

    Wood is perfect building material for California, because it is reasonably priced, easy to work with, and because California is earthquake country. Wood will bend and flex in an earthquake. If property waterproofed, wood can last a very, very long time.

    Just to add a point: the ICC/IRC residential code now requires 2x6s for exterior wall framing and includes additional (fairly complex) standards for wind bracing.

    Few people know that–pound for pound–wood is actually stronger than steel. Steel is much heavier, of course. Wood works quite well for framing; not so well as an exterior covering against the elements.

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  78. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Alfa158
    I worked with a colleague who was a born again Christian. One of the things his church would do was go down to Mexico to help build housing for poor people. (I know, coals to Newcastle), He was appalled to see how the native work crew was putting up a small one story structure. They built the walls from cinder blocks, hammered together an internal scaffold of lumber, laid plywood sheets and rebar over the plywood, then poured concrete over the plywood to form a roof. After the concrete "dried", the scaffold and plywood were removed. He said he had never seen anything like that before or since.

    That’s an odd way to do it but if the rebar is engineered and properly installed, the roof slab will be structurally sound. It must also be properly anchored to the walls, which also need reinforcing. Granted, none of this is probably done right, but it could be. The remarks upthread about concrete ‘curing’ add an additional complication.

    People act like all this cheap latino labor is a godsend to the USA. It’s not–it’s a nightmare. In my estimation your average latino immigrant needs ten years of experience in the USA before he’s reasonably skilled. We could teach Americans to do some of that.

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  79. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Autochthon
    I admire how everyone seems to park his car half on the sidewalk like an inconsiderate jackass; reminds me of the Mexicans! (And the Cubans; man, do the Cubans in Miami love to park on sidewalks. In Cuba, I am pretty sure sidewalks exist not for pedestrians, but solely as parking areas; the Cubans in Miami sure as Hell seem to think that is what sidewalks are for....)

    I admire how everyone seems to park his car half on the sidewalk like an inconsiderate jackass; reminds me of the Mexicans!

    You’ve got some considerate Mexicans where you live. In Northern Virginia they simply stop their car right in the driving lane and get out to go in a store, visit with friends, what have you. On two-lane roadways it’s a bit of a hassle for us gringos.

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  80. Wilkey says:
    @(((Owen)))

    You might think that poor Mexicans would live in apartment buildings, which are cheaper than homes with your own land. But according to Fox’s foreign secretary Jorge Castaneda’s book Manana Forever, only 3% of the new residential construction built in Mexico in 2004-2008 were apartments. The chief goal of many Mexicans appears to be to get away from other Mexicans.
     
    Mexico’s homeownership rate is 85%, 20% above the USA rate. And it’s been like that for a century. There’s no severe shortage of apartments in the big city or of houses to rent if that’s your preference, but Mexican families like to own.

    Castañeda is charming but knows nothing about Mexican life outside the elite precincts of his overclass estates high above the working people on luxurious hillsides. He used to meet working Mexicans only when they were his servants. He has made his home in New York for decades now.

    And since he lives in New York City, he knows nothing about how Americans live either.

    Mexicans mostly choose to live with their families for years or decades longer than Americans do. And they are rapidly migrating from low density farm country to big dense cities. Maybe that’s just for opportunities, but even small towns in Mexico are built at the density of San Francisco, America’s second densest city.

    And direct observation indicates that Mexicans adore being around other Mexicans.

    Mexico’s homeownership rate is 85%, 20% above the USA rate

    America would probably be closer to that number, if Americans weren’t constantly having to worry about escaping the latest invasion of one kind or another. The truth is that affordable housing is everywhere if you aren’t worried about feeling like you live in a foreign country.

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  81. @Guy de Champlagne
    I bet a low income house in the built in the US is better than a mexican one. But I'd much rather live in a nice mexican house made out of concrete and tile than some american McMansion made out of 2x4s and drywall. One of the real tragedies of mexican immigration is that we taught them our inferior junk building methods rather than learning from them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5jJh5xM6zQ

    In the 19th century we didn't bring over Italian stonemasons and bricklayers to just have them put up 2x4s and drywall.

    But I’d much rather live in a nice mexican house made out of concrete and tile than some american McMansion made out of 2x4s and drywall.

    Concrete and tile — that’s the Roman/Mediterranean style.

    Gauls, Germans, and Britons of old lived in wooden dwellings and disdained big cities crowded with foreigners. Perhaps the same trends linger on today within some of us.

    …”Knock on wood” — a very old incantation to appease the woodland gnomes?

    /////////////////

    Buy a house built before 1945. They were typically built with concrete and plaster.

    Plaster and lathe instead of drywall, yes. Typically concrete, no. Plaster for the interior walls, wood, red brick, or maybe stucco for the outer cladding.

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  82. @Moses
    I've observed same. You can also see this in most Asian countries outside Japan.

    You can tell a lot about a society by the barriers it creates internally. Go to Mexico or any SE Asian city and visit a wealthy neighborhood (or, indeed, any neighborhood). Every house is surrounded by a high wall and gate. The top of the wall will have barbed wire, spikes or broken glass.

    Now go to a wealthy neighborbood in any American city. No walls. No barriers. Just miles of manicured lawns. You can even peep in windows for Pete's sake. This is unthinkable in the rest of the world.

    Why is this?

    Because America has order. Good, mostly non-corrupt (as far as the normal homeowner is concerned) police. Civil culture. High levels of cooperative trust. Americans do not understand that this is not the normal state for a human society.

    Without a strong exterior border in the form of immigration control, internal borders increasingly will crop up in America. We are importing it.

    Astute observation. Melanin is directly proportional to violence, and inversely proportional to IQ. All black and brown countries are high crime, poverty stricken and poorly governed, same as all their neighborhoods in the US. The magic dirt of the US can’t change biology.

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  83. Mexico’s $100 Billion Housing Disaster

    I am absolutely stunned to learn that Mexico even had $100 billion to lose. Are you sure that isn’t pesos? They use the same sign.

    I am also stunned to learn that Mort Sahl is still alive.

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  84. @Olorin
    This is what I never have comprehended in these housing discussions.

    Blaming the construction and trades workers for the destruction of housing stock is batty. Look at Philly, Baltimore, Camden, and Wilmington, where sturdily built, robust housing has been destroyed by precisely the forces you note. People lived in them for 100, 150 years or more. A sudden demographic turnover, and within 5 to 15 years, they're gone.

    Conversely, some of the most low-budget suburban shacks have been well maintained and their flaws corrected by inhabitants who ask for Home Depot/Woodcraft/Harbor Freight gift cards for Father's Day and spend their weekends cheerfully upgrading or maintaining their nests.

    There is no economic sector to my knowledge more desperately in need of an honest, open HBD perspective than real estate. It is in real estate that the fantasy that "all people are as fungible as all fiat dollars" has borne the most rotten social, economic, and moral fruit.

    This goes back to our host's very old perspectives on how the middle-of-the-bell-curve hump of maintainers bear primary responsibility for keeping civilization going.

    If you read Federal Reserve speeches and papers from the 1980s-1990s, and review, say, Alan Greenspan's plan to generate trillions of skimmable housing speculation dollars by "democratizing mortgages," the blank slate view of humanity is prominent...and should leave us deeply horrified and unwilling to repeat those mistakes.

    People who don't have the gumption to get an ID or bathe their children or maintain their health aren't suddenly going to turn into maintainers of housing.

    Which raises the question, Art, of who SHOULD assume the role of "landlord" for these Huddled Masses. There's no money in it from a "free market" perspective. So how do we house failed people who, without firm custodial care, can do nothing but destroy what others create?

    So how do we house failed people who, without firm custodial care, can do nothing but destroy what others create?

    Your “firm custodial care” was outlawed in 1866.

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  85. @Art Deco
    Pruitt-Igoe was ruined by crime, maintenance deficits, and deficits in design. That's not attributable to the tradesman or other construction workers.

    One role the state should not assume is 'landlord'.

    Pruitt-Igoe was ruined by crime, maintenance deficits, and deficits in design.

    The architect originally planned a mix of low- and high-rise residences. The city housing authority said no, let’s make them all high-rise. Save a buck or two.

    Those low-rise, single-family structures might have housed the “talented tenth” who traditionally kept watch over their brethren and held them to some standards. Instead, it was all “projects”, and the more responsible ones couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there.

    And who was that wishy-washy architect, with his un-Roark-like spine? None other than Minoru Yamasaki who, just as Pruitt was being imploded, was bending to the Rockefeller brothers’ bad taste and putting up the World Trade Center. What an honor– America’s most demolished architect.

    However, he apparently did right by the St Louis airport. And imagine had the WTC looked like this beauty in his hometown:

    http://www.amusingplanet.com/2016/01/rainier-tower-or-beaver-building.html

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  86. @Autochthon
    I admire how everyone seems to park his car half on the sidewalk like an inconsiderate jackass; reminds me of the Mexicans! (And the Cubans; man, do the Cubans in Miami love to park on sidewalks. In Cuba, I am pretty sure sidewalks exist not for pedestrians, but solely as parking areas; the Cubans in Miami sure as Hell seem to think that is what sidewalks are for....)

    park his car half on the sidewalk like an inconsiderate jackass; reminds me of the Mexicans!

    Several neighborhoods in Mexico City solved this problem. They put in parking meters, prices scaled to the demand at the time of day. Then they issued Denver boots to roving private enforcement on bicycles that work for the company that collects revenue from the meters. They really don’t want anyone parking for free on the sidewalk.

    And now nobody does.

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  87. Discard says:
    @Avery
    {....what you mean by “2×4″ and “drywall”?}

    Don't know about other states in the US, but here in California, residential houses, many multistory, multiunit, apartments and such are built with 2x4 wood (Douglas Fir). 2x4 refers to the thickness and width of the wood plank. The dimensions are actually 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches, but it's called 2x4. Other sizes used in construction are 2x6, 2x8, sometimes 2x10 for horizontal loads. The walls are constructed with 2x4 wood, filled with glass insulation, wiring, plumbing, etc than covered from inside by 5/8" thick gypsum board called drywall. Gypsum is fireproof. The outside is covered with waterproof membrane, than covered with stucco.

    Wood is perfect building material for California, because it is reasonably priced, easy to work with, and because California is earthquake country. Wood will bend and flex in an earthquake. If property waterproofed, wood can last a very, very long time.

    FYI: Prior to WW2, 2x4s were actually 2″x4″. My 1920s house has them. During the war, the dimensions were changed due to the extremely high demand for wood. The 2×4 of today is a product of wartime rationing.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    That's at least the fifth different explanation for actual vs nominal that I've heard, and frankly the most persuasive.
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  88. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Autochthon
    I admire how everyone seems to park his car half on the sidewalk like an inconsiderate jackass; reminds me of the Mexicans! (And the Cubans; man, do the Cubans in Miami love to park on sidewalks. In Cuba, I am pretty sure sidewalks exist not for pedestrians, but solely as parking areas; the Cubans in Miami sure as Hell seem to think that is what sidewalks are for....)

    You have to do that in England, because, generally, the roads – mostly laid out before the invention of the automobile – are too narrow to allow two cars to pass simultaneously if cars are parked past the curb on either side. At the very least you’re liable to get the side of your car scratched. Plus in those old streets, absolutely no one has a garage or room to build a garage, thus car owners generally park on the curb outside their home.

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  89. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @TheBoom
    The most important thing for Mexicans when decorating their home is to safeguard it from other Mexicans. Mexicans are huge believers in walls topped with broken glass when they keep out other Mexicans, not so much when walls keep them out of white countries

    Also, notice, how absolutely *every* house has iron bars across the first floor windows.

    That is the sure giveaway of a high-crime neighborhood everywhere.

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    In China, people put the burglar bars up on their apartment balconies. 2 observations:

    1) They are not made of rebar, or something else massive, but just thin-walled hollow tube. I don't think it would take much to saw this stuff.

    2) The placement of this stuff cascades, as when the 1st floor people put it up, well, that makes it pretty damn easy (for a Chinathief especially) to climb right on up it to the 2nd floor. That can go on for 10 floors, at least until it becomes pretty scary and also a long enough climb-down to allow the cops to get there.
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  90. Wally says:
    @eah
    And these "rapidly decaying slums" are probably not very diverse either, which is another HUGE problem.

    You curiously won’t see much criticism of Mexico’s very euro white Congress.

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  91. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Discard
    FYI: Prior to WW2, 2x4s were actually 2"x4". My 1920s house has them. During the war, the dimensions were changed due to the extremely high demand for wood. The 2x4 of today is a product of wartime rationing.

    That’s at least the fifth different explanation for actual vs nominal that I’ve heard, and frankly the most persuasive.

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  92. dlee says: • Website

    Things are “bad” in Mexico? omg Fred Reed would beg to differ!

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  93. @Steve-o
    Fred would dismiss the article and all its facts with anecdotes about what swell houses he sees in Guadalajara. Fred is fundamentally an emotional thinker. He agrees with the Amren crowd on blacks because he personally dislikes blacks. But because he likes Mexicans, unflattering information about them can’t possibly be true.

    Steve-o, that was just what I was going to write under Mr. Reed’s last article (got caught up in other writing)! “Emotional thinker” is the exactly right term, though I suppose one could say emotion is not thought. Anyway, he thinks like a woman is what I will write for my comment there, and I wonder if it’s because of the little senora.

    I have no reason to believe otherwise than what Fred writes about his Mexican family – that they are very intelligent. This is bad for his columns when he does write on Mexico, as it’s not like some illiterate spouse who can’t even read the stuff. Fred’s got to worry about what the wife thinks, and the truth suffers anytime he writes about, well, anything besides diving anymore.

    There’s a bit more to it, I think also, in terms of his egging on of over a hundred comments (good for his stats on unz) with this type of column, in addition to possibly a hatred of his for VDare people. I like the VDare people, as I like truth.

    Oh, my original comment (before I read yours) was going to just be: But, but .. no … per Fred Reed, Mexico is an economic powerhouse! They are in a new, post-Siesta phase and will leave the gringo economy in the dust … any day now.

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  94. @Bill
    Mea culpa! Mea culpa! Mea maxima culpa!

    WTF? It should be “So Mea culpa! Mea culpa! Mea maxima culpa!

    I think, by the way it is spoken, there should be no comma after “so”.

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  95. @Anonymous
    Also, notice, how absolutely *every* house has iron bars across the first floor windows.

    That is the sure giveaway of a high-crime neighborhood everywhere.

    In China, people put the burglar bars up on their apartment balconies. 2 observations:

    1) They are not made of rebar, or something else massive, but just thin-walled hollow tube. I don’t think it would take much to saw this stuff.

    2) The placement of this stuff cascades, as when the 1st floor people put it up, well, that makes it pretty damn easy (for a Chinathief especially) to climb right on up it to the 2nd floor. That can go on for 10 floors, at least until it becomes pretty scary and also a long enough climb-down to allow the cops to get there.

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  96. Yeah, I know, Steve, I get on a roll with the commenting some times….

    This one however, is to say that I really enjoy your posts that regard the IQ/immigration/HBD effects on economies or areas of the economy. I had started reading about US housing bubble 1.0 in 2005 from a guy who wrote about just one city (nope, not LA), well before things crashed. That later got me turned on to ZeroHedge.

    Your stuff on the housing bubble, especially as related to the anti-red-lining programs for blacks, but also the effect from massive immigration was a pleasure to read. It helped that you were also right in the middle of one of the “ground zeroes”.

    I hope you do more of this over, say, current problems for the people in entertainment whom I don’t find particularly entertaining. Hey, it’s your blog, and I still read most of those ones too, but to me this stuff here is just more interesting because the majority of regular people are involved.

    Keep up the good work!

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  97. @Avery
    { But I’d much rather live in a nice mexican house made out of concrete and tile than some american McMansion made out of 2x4s and drywall. }

    I'd rather be in the American house built with 2x4s which will bend and flex when the next major earthquake hits than be sitting under all those bricks that will rain down on my head and bury me alive even with a small earthquake. Nothing holds those bricks placed side-by-side than the weak holding force of the mortar, which will separate when the house starts shaking.

    Thank God and thank American structural engineers for American Building Codes.

    YES, the earthquakes, that’s the problem. Chinese construction is almost all concrete, even just rural dwellings. This probably goes back to the lack of good timber, a problem you’re gonna have when you have too many people for the land (China’s been overpopulated for a few hundred years!)

    Anyway, that’s why the earthquakes they have there have so many thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of fatalities. Ceilings can be shifted off of the tops of walls and then come down. Even if they were tied together strongly enough, the concrete structure bends insignificantly compared to wood framing, and can just crack apart.

    Thank God and thank American structural engineers for American Building Codes.

    Hey, don’t leave out the ASME and 150 y/o pressure-vessel codes, my friend. Lots of people got killed via explosions until they laid out good specs.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    If the Friedmanites and 'libertarians' had their way, surely all 'building codes' would be scrapped - you know, just like 'immigration control'.
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  98. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman
    YES, the earthquakes, that's the problem. Chinese construction is almost all concrete, even just rural dwellings. This probably goes back to the lack of good timber, a problem you're gonna have when you have too many people for the land (China's been overpopulated for a few hundred years!)

    Anyway, that's why the earthquakes they have there have so many thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of fatalities. Ceilings can be shifted off of the tops of walls and then come down. Even if they were tied together strongly enough, the concrete structure bends insignificantly compared to wood framing, and can just crack apart.

    Thank God and thank American structural engineers for American Building Codes.
     
    Hey, don't leave out the ASME and 150 y/o pressure-vessel codes, my friend. Lots of people got killed via explosions until they laid out good specs.

    If the Friedmanites and ‘libertarians’ had their way, surely all ‘building codes’ would be scrapped – you know, just like ‘immigration control’.

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    No, I don't know. Immigration control is only a problem for the Reason-level retards. Do you know, though, that the ASME and all the engineering societies are private organizations? One doesn't have to build a pressure vessel to code, but who in hell would buy it? That's the same with UL approved lamp cords, sockets, and all that.

    The USPA is a skydiving organization that makes quite a few rules. However, they are private, and have nothing to do with, and want nothing to do with, government of any form. If you go to a drop zone that follows their rules, you will likely be a lot safer (barring a real POS airplane). However, you can jump out of a perfectly good an airplane somewhere else, and the USPA has no way or reason to punish you.

    BTW, Libertarians often have a problem with zoning codes, but would not have a problem with a written-contract defined Homeowner's Association, even if it were run by a bunch of Commies.

    What do YOU think of that?

    (Freedom.... harder and harder .... to .... grasp ... Mr. Spock ... I can't .... imagine ......uhhhhh....)
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  99. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Buffalo Joe
    Beav, I wonder what third world countries he will court for immigrants. Toronto looks awfully Southeast Asian now.

    I don’t see the Canadians asking for all our surplus Mexicans and Somalis.

    Or maybe they have? Are they that crazy yet? I bet the Sino-Indo-etc. there aren’t.

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  100. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Alfa158
    I worked with a colleague who was a born again Christian. One of the things his church would do was go down to Mexico to help build housing for poor people. (I know, coals to Newcastle), He was appalled to see how the native work crew was putting up a small one story structure. They built the walls from cinder blocks, hammered together an internal scaffold of lumber, laid plywood sheets and rebar over the plywood, then poured concrete over the plywood to form a roof. After the concrete "dried", the scaffold and plywood were removed. He said he had never seen anything like that before or since.

    Concrete roofs in hot countries are sheer hell to live under, especially as they aren’t usually anywhere near high enough.

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Yeah, but at least they are flat. It's hard to follow the Biblical Proverb: "It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house." [King James version], when you have more than a, say, 10 % slope. More here. I mean it's downright dangerous and some Anonymous people would say there SHOULD BE A LAW!

    So they've got that going for them.

    From the above link:

    Could we not get a half-day's or even just 2 hours' notice of impending periodage? Is there no app for this? I could see a flow-sensor placed in the appropriate location, with blue-tooth communication (of course) to android OS and an app (we used to just call it a program) to filter out the noise and give the user's significant other notice via text-alert (possibly involving the same alerting mode used now for warnings of flash flooding and tornadoes!). Again, this is a no-brainer, but it may not have been made simply due to the fact that the smart geeks with the wherewithall to implement this have no girlfriends, hence, are not aware of this problem begging for a solution.
     
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  101. @Anonymous
    If the Friedmanites and 'libertarians' had their way, surely all 'building codes' would be scrapped - you know, just like 'immigration control'.

    No, I don’t know. Immigration control is only a problem for the Reason-level retards. Do you know, though, that the ASME and all the engineering societies are private organizations? One doesn’t have to build a pressure vessel to code, but who in hell would buy it? That’s the same with UL approved lamp cords, sockets, and all that.

    The USPA is a skydiving organization that makes quite a few rules. However, they are private, and have nothing to do with, and want nothing to do with, government of any form. If you go to a drop zone that follows their rules, you will likely be a lot safer (barring a real POS airplane). However, you can jump out of a perfectly good an airplane somewhere else, and the USPA has no way or reason to punish you.

    BTW, Libertarians often have a problem with zoning codes, but would not have a problem with a written-contract defined Homeowner’s Association, even if it were run by a bunch of Commies.

    What do YOU think of that?

    (Freedom…. harder and harder …. to …. grasp … Mr. Spock … I can’t …. imagine ……uhhhhh….)

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  102. @Anon
    Concrete roofs in hot countries are sheer hell to live under, especially as they aren't usually anywhere near high enough.

    Yeah, but at least they are flat. It’s hard to follow the Biblical Proverb: “It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.” [King James version], when you have more than a, say, 10 % slope. More here. I mean it’s downright dangerous and some Anonymous people would say there SHOULD BE A LAW!

    So they’ve got that going for them.

    From the above link:

    Could we not get a half-day’s or even just 2 hours’ notice of impending periodage? Is there no app for this? I could see a flow-sensor placed in the appropriate location, with blue-tooth communication (of course) to android OS and an app (we used to just call it a program) to filter out the noise and give the user’s significant other notice via text-alert (possibly involving the same alerting mode used now for warnings of flash flooding and tornadoes!). Again, this is a no-brainer, but it may not have been made simply due to the fact that the smart geeks with the wherewithall to implement this have no girlfriends, hence, are not aware of this problem begging for a solution.

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  103. @Mr. Anon
    Vicente Fox delivered on his promise of affordable housing for Mexicans - they were to find it in California, Texas, Nevada, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, etc.

    Orange County and LA are affordable housing, bull. Lots of Mexicans in Ca live 10 people per household. It would have been better to have stayed in Mexico than moved to Santa Ana. The problem the Mexican government needed something more than low paying factory and construction jobs.

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  104. @Art Deco
    There is a widespread assumption that importing more Mexicans is the path to a high-density environmentally-friendly America, but Mexicans love sprawl.

    I think it's possible to design a neighborhood with density levels in excess of 10,000 persons per sq. without apartment blocs. Consider a street of two-storey bungalows separated by iron-gated corridors. No front lawn, a yard in back consisted of a walled patio-garden, and paved back alleys for garbage pick-up (gated on each end). You add a community parking garage on each bloc.

    You mean like this?
    and out back
    The north of England is basically made out of these things. The staircases are a rise&going nightmare though, more like ships’ ladders.

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  105. Brutusale says:
    @Dave from Oz
    Meanwhile, the rows of houses that England built for its workers back in the day are still standing and still being used.

    https://www.google.com.au/maps/@53.5013755,-2.2374821,3a,60y,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sAreJHzV_PViLlYe8on5dxQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

    A little grim, but hey - England. Point is: they are still standing.

    There are a lot of homes along the coast of Massachusetts, including that of my maternal grandparents’, that were built in the 18th Century and are still rock solid. They’re mostly held together with wooden pegs instead of nails.

    I’ve read that the moderate climate in England helps wood last longer than other climes. Wood seems to last pretty well in chilly New England, too.

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  106. @Anon
    All those Mexican construction workers learned their skills in the US. They had the opportunity to be trained by people who know what a standard is and why they exist. If they refuse to do competent work in their own country where their own people have to suffer for it, it's because not one of them is an honest craftsman. Only dirtbags foul their own nest without a qualm. Part of honor is understanding that you don't screw over your fellow man.

    > learned their skills in the US

    No, at least a lot of Mexicans who build in the US aren’t trained, they just work cheap. I had a contractor friend who’s had to clean up after them, or else just went in for seemingly normal maintenance after a couple years and found that the work was bad. The work holds for long enough though that the company is long gone by the time it fails.

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  107. Lurker says:
    @Randal
    So, I've been noticing it increasingly often in interviews on TV and radio for a few years now, but rarely if ever noticed it in written pieces.

    My impression is it came from academic circles first, but that's purely subjective.

    Not formal written pieces but things like Reddit posts, comments and the like. And yes, I’ve noticed academic types, science esp. they do seem prone to using it when talking unscripted.

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  108. Lurker says:
    @Avery
    {....what you mean by “2×4″ and “drywall”?}

    Don't know about other states in the US, but here in California, residential houses, many multistory, multiunit, apartments and such are built with 2x4 wood (Douglas Fir). 2x4 refers to the thickness and width of the wood plank. The dimensions are actually 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches, but it's called 2x4. Other sizes used in construction are 2x6, 2x8, sometimes 2x10 for horizontal loads. The walls are constructed with 2x4 wood, filled with glass insulation, wiring, plumbing, etc than covered from inside by 5/8" thick gypsum board called drywall. Gypsum is fireproof. The outside is covered with waterproof membrane, than covered with stucco.

    Wood is perfect building material for California, because it is reasonably priced, easy to work with, and because California is earthquake country. Wood will bend and flex in an earthquake. If property waterproofed, wood can last a very, very long time.

    My mother’s house, even in damp old England is, at it’s core, older than the USA. It’s been extended at various times, most recently the 1980s.

    As far as we can tell there is still some original wood (as well brick and tile) in place.

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  109. Pepe says:

    The problem isn’t so much that these tiny, ugly homes are falling down. That’s a small fraction. The real problem is that no one wants to live in these developments (called “Infonavit” housing), which were placed miles outside any urban center. They were just thrown up, with no regard to livability.

    The real story here, as always when talking about Mexico, is political corruption. The federal government threw billions at their friends in real estate and construction to create a product no one wanted.

    These dense developments, with houses measuring 500 square feet or less, share both side walls and a back wall with another tiny home. You can hear your neighbors whispering. Unless they’re blasting music or the baby is crying or the dog is barking. The “yards” in front contain just enough space to park a small vehicle. Trees and shrubs, let alone green spaces, are non-existent. The shade provided by trees is very important in cooling homes with no AC, even in the mountains at 6-8,000 feet.

    Most Mexicans like to walk to local markets or Mom and Pop corner stores. These hideous pod housing clusters mostly only contain a few chain convenience stores. And residents face grueling public transport to get into town where the jobs are.

    Pretty much the only successful developments like these are the ones built next to multinational factories outside urban areas, where the pay is about US $75.00 a week.

    There the “maquiladoras” provide the transport to the job (catching a 1980 school bus at 5 a.m.) and provide hot meals for the workers and some food allowances. Yeah, kinda like the “company towns” in the late 1800′s in the US, but with none of the charm.

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