The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 iSteve BlogTeasers
Oops ...
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments

From a Wall Street Journal article about how we need more immigration:

Productivity in [U.S.] construction has contracted at a 1% annual rate since 1995, according to a study by McKinsey Global Institute, the research arm of McKinsey & Co., due in part to reliance on unskilled workers and in part to government red tape.

Joel Shine, chief executive of builder Woodside Homes Inc., visited Kyoto, Japan, to see how firms there use automation in home construction. He thinks it would take at least a decade for the innovations to become mainstream in the U.S., in part because they would require building-code changes.

 
154 Comments to "Oops ..."
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
    []
  1. Bill P says:

    Productivity in house construction should by now have leapt up considerably due to improvements in modular design.

    I know there are a lot of retrograde republicans here who sniff at “double-wides” and the like, but as someone who has actually worked on stick-built homes I can say that there’s a lot that could be gained from going modular like the Japanese and Europeans have been for the last couple decades.

    As for the losses in productivity, what the hell would one expect when you’re hiring illiterate Mexicans who don’t even know English measurements? the loss of efficiency could only be made up for by drastically lower wages, which are a proven fact in the construction industry.

    I know that your typical UMC baby-boomer looks down on anyone who would buy anything but a house crafted by a master Norwegian carpenter (one of my first bosses, BTW), but the fact of the matter is that the rest of us would rather just have a well-designed, energy-efficient house with a yard and reliable plumbing and wiring at a decent price.

    That kind of house can be manufactured regionally in a factory and then tuned up on site without the need for an overcompensated contractor with a gang of illegal laborers to do the grunt work and frequently f*** up the measurements leading to massive future expenses.

    Read More
    • Agree: dc.sunsets
    • Replies: @cucksworth
    The brand new townhomes with parking that go for $500k-1.1m in Linh Dinh's quickly changing south philly neighborhood don't even look straight from the outside.

    Home builders and restaurant owners are very supportive of immigrants right to be exploited with zero protections.
    , @dc.sunsets
    Common sense informs us that tens of millions of legal and illegal immigrants in recent years put downward pressure on wages, helping to hide the largest credit bubble inflation in history. Apparently it takes real talent to think stagnant wages are inexplicable, while all that new money flowed into investment asset prices.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    There are companies that use 3-D printing to build houses: https://futurism.com/a-robot-can-print-this-32000-house-in-as-little-as-8-hours/
    , @Tim Howells
    In Sweden the housing is modular and goes up very quickly and efficiently. This kind of typical Swedish efficiency and planning means that the massive numbers of illiterate third-worlders we're importing simply go on welfare, and spend their free time torching cars and doing other things I'd best not go into.
    , @fitzGetty
    ... the safety record of the new arrivals is lamentable ... back to the woods ...
    , @Buck Turgidson
    Bill, I learned plumbing at a mobile home factory decades ago. Loved the work and was impressed at the final product that went out the door down at the end of the factory. I can only imagine the improvements and refinements since then in mobile homes. A nice double-wide on a good lot with a view would be very comfortable arrangement.
    , @Alec Leamas
    Cutting out smaller contractors and bumping all of the efficiencies up to the shareholders in a behemoth like Toll (which does prefabricate components off site and truck them to the jobsite) isn't the way to go in my opinion. I doubt increased efficiencies would ever find their way into housing costs, particularly when ZIRP allows such a wide swath of buyers to afford high purchase prices.
    , @Bill
    Alec Leamas has a good point. Squeezing inefficiency out of an economic system tends to involve firing a lot of middle class people and replacing them with a combination of machines and helots. The big prize, efficiency-wise, is health care. There are a lot of 300K/yr doctors and 75K/yr dental hygienists to be replaced by technology and helots.

    The fact that the houses will get better and cheaper looks good as long as you keep your income. Otherwise, not so much.
    , @anon1
    If modular is really so much more efficient, it should have taken over the industry long ago. The fact that it still has limited market share suggests that it isn't actually better. It's not as though modular is some kind of brand new invention.
    , @Pat Boyle
    My friend Marvin was indeed a "master Norwegian carpenter" who build an opera house in his house which he had converted from an abandoned school house. This was in Petaluma California. When you went out of the kitchen you went into the 'Green Room" and from there you went on stage. It all interconnected - the lobby, the auditorium and his bedroom.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    /isteve/oops-6/#comment-1874542
    More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Conservative white business owners — ranchers and contractors — are the leading on the ground force for ruining the country.

    Read More
    • Replies: @415 reasons
    Perhaps, but they operate within the legal and economic framework that exists. If there were the political will to enforce laws against the use of illegal immigrant labor across the board severely enough to put the cheaters out of business then the market would adjust and automation or native labor would fill the gap.
    , @Jack Hanson
    Yes, ignore all the (((others))) who are herding the illegals, refugees, and all the others here and focus on the whites. To say nothing of (((those))) who run to the Ninth Circus to defend illegal alien criminals.
    , @MBlanc46
    The business class hs a lot to answer for. They put their profits above all else.
  3. Chiron says:

    Hey Steve, off-topic but you should read this if you haven’t already:

    http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/202464/why-being-pro-israel-and-backing-donald-trump-are-mutually-exclusive-positions

    Basically a Jewish jounalist saying that is the American Empire that keeps Israel alive and Trump is a threat to the Empire well being. It might explain what is happening right now.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sunbeam
    From your link:

    "sabotaged its own economy through protectionism?"

    He calls this economic health? What we have now?
  4. @Bill P
    Productivity in house construction should by now have leapt up considerably due to improvements in modular design.

    I know there are a lot of retrograde republicans here who sniff at "double-wides" and the like, but as someone who has actually worked on stick-built homes I can say that there's a lot that could be gained from going modular like the Japanese and Europeans have been for the last couple decades.

    As for the losses in productivity, what the hell would one expect when you're hiring illiterate Mexicans who don't even know English measurements? the loss of efficiency could only be made up for by drastically lower wages, which are a proven fact in the construction industry.

    I know that your typical UMC baby-boomer looks down on anyone who would buy anything but a house crafted by a master Norwegian carpenter (one of my first bosses, BTW), but the fact of the matter is that the rest of us would rather just have a well-designed, energy-efficient house with a yard and reliable plumbing and wiring at a decent price.

    That kind of house can be manufactured regionally in a factory and then tuned up on site without the need for an overcompensated contractor with a gang of illegal laborers to do the grunt work and frequently f*** up the measurements leading to massive future expenses.

    The brand new townhomes with parking that go for $500k-1.1m in Linh Dinh’s quickly changing south philly neighborhood don’t even look straight from the outside.

    Home builders and restaurant owners are very supportive of immigrants right to be exploited with zero protections.

    Read More
    • Agree: MBlanc46
    • Replies: @Alden
    First and foremost importers of illegals are the farmers, food processors and the entire food industry, not just restaurants.
    , @Yak-15
    Once again, the contractor is privatizing the profit and socializing the cost. He pays the wages under the table while society pays for their family's healthcare, their kids to go to school, their food stamps, etc. All the while, no one pays taxes on the labor.

    Why is it so difficult for the left to realize that immigration is destroying their welfare state?
    , @MBlanc46
    The Chicago area used to be a stronghold of construction trade unions. Now you can't walk past a construction site without hearing jabbering in Spanish and blaring Mexican music. Maybe the big downtown highrises use union labor, but the rest of the industry is all Mexican all tbe time.
  5. newrouter says:

    ” in part because they would require building-code changes. ”

    there be the problem. that’s occupied territory.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
    One thing I've learned after owning three houses (sole residences) myself and helping to remodel and prep for re-sale houses belonging to friends and relatives is that building codes are not much of a guarantee for anything at all related to quality of construction of a house.
  6. @Bill P
    Productivity in house construction should by now have leapt up considerably due to improvements in modular design.

    I know there are a lot of retrograde republicans here who sniff at "double-wides" and the like, but as someone who has actually worked on stick-built homes I can say that there's a lot that could be gained from going modular like the Japanese and Europeans have been for the last couple decades.

    As for the losses in productivity, what the hell would one expect when you're hiring illiterate Mexicans who don't even know English measurements? the loss of efficiency could only be made up for by drastically lower wages, which are a proven fact in the construction industry.

    I know that your typical UMC baby-boomer looks down on anyone who would buy anything but a house crafted by a master Norwegian carpenter (one of my first bosses, BTW), but the fact of the matter is that the rest of us would rather just have a well-designed, energy-efficient house with a yard and reliable plumbing and wiring at a decent price.

    That kind of house can be manufactured regionally in a factory and then tuned up on site without the need for an overcompensated contractor with a gang of illegal laborers to do the grunt work and frequently f*** up the measurements leading to massive future expenses.

    Common sense informs us that tens of millions of legal and illegal immigrants in recent years put downward pressure on wages, helping to hide the largest credit bubble inflation in history. Apparently it takes real talent to think stagnant wages are inexplicable, while all that new money flowed into investment asset prices.

    Read More
  7. utu says:

    How do you define/measure productivity? Is it a number of workers that it takes to do a particular job or amount of dollars spent on wages for the workers to do the job?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
    In general productivity is estimated using the ratio of output value produced and the value of input factors (such as labor) used to make the value produced. Lots of discretion involved regarding what to measure and how to measure. Comparisons should be made apples to apples. Labor productivity often measured in $/hr as ratio of net value production and worker hours, maybe weighted for skill.
  8. Okie says:

    I’m in a construction trade on the design side, this is a law and ease of entry issue the gc’s don’t employ anyone on the site other than their super, it doesn’t make sense to train anyone anymore. The liability and tax laws make random association cheaper and safer for them. You see the same thing in other industries a commentor mentioned their dad was trained in 60s Detroit by the car co. Now with the supplies decentralized both geographically and with all the import MFRS, that doesn’t make sense anymore. Same story x1000 in houses no one has big enough margins to support training craftsmen.

    Read More
  9. Sunbeam says:
    @Chiron
    Hey Steve, off-topic but you should read this if you haven't already:

    http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/202464/why-being-pro-israel-and-backing-donald-trump-are-mutually-exclusive-positions

    Basically a Jewish jounalist saying that is the American Empire that keeps Israel alive and Trump is a threat to the Empire well being. It might explain what is happening right now.

    From your link:

    “sabotaged its own economy through protectionism?”

    He calls this economic health? What we have now?

    Read More
  10. Trelane says:

    Off topic:

    KSTV-FM programming:

    The Fugitive episode from January 28, 1964 with guest stars Telly Savalas and Johanna Frank.

    1960s Americana writ large.

    A QM production.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clyde
    Telly Savalas -- You neglected to mention that he was the man who made Members Only Jackets into staggeringly popular best sellers. These days Jayy Zee, Spike Lee, Pharrell Williams or some rapper would have gotten this job. We would be getting Members Only hats too, advertised on youtube and Ray Donovan and Game Of Thrones.
    , @slumber_j
    The Fugitive was created by the great Roy Huggins, maternal grandfather of current Amazon Studios head Roy Price. Further fun fact: Joanna Frank, who guest-stars in that episode, is the sister of Steven Bochco, who produced Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue.

    Oh yeah: Bochco also produced Cop Rock...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ9rX0ImqJU
    , @Ganderson
    I'd forgotten that William Conrad was the narrator.
  11. Marat says:

    Glancing at the wall of this originally well-constructed building of dubious landmark distinction, 3 of 4 electrical plates are upside down. It’s a trivial detail on the surface, but what’s going on “under the hood” of this repair? This sort of sloppiness is par for the course now and indicates the complete disconnect with pride of workmanship.

    Read More
    • Replies: @rsj
    Well, the apartments I live in recently had a renovation done. All wall plates in all the renovated apartments are upside down, but on purpose. Turns out the latest owner owns other low income properties and one time a picture fell off the wall and landed on the plug below. It did not fall out all the way, only partially, so the metal prongs were still in the wall with the picture frame resting on it and it caused a huge fire. He insisted all plates upside down. so some are intentional, but it sounds like your example was error.
  12. Construction employment is 30.9% higher today than in 1995. If we assume that productivity has declined consistently by 1% per year, then per capita construction worker productivity today is 80.2% of the 1995 figure. So total construction worker output (1.309 x .802) is 5% higher today than in 1995.

    The mean construction wage (inflation-adjusted) is 77.8% of the 1995 figure. If employment is 30.9% higher, then total wage outlays are 1.8% higher than in 1995.

    Remember that the net profit percent in this industry is typically less than 4%, so margins are tight. So if a construction company can raise revenue by 5% and wage outlays by just 1.8%, then profitability would increase substantially.

    Therefore, the construction industry’s profitability (with respect to employment wages) has somewhat improved since 1995. Since this increase in construction margins is due to high immigration and union breaking, I’d assume the construction industry will continue to support high immigration levels and anti-union policies.

    Remember, business interests tend to donate very generously to our politicians. When our politicians retire, they often get cushy executive jobs with the companies that donated to their campaigns. So I doubt any political leaders are going to want to upset the status quo. If immigration was restricted and construction profit margins declined, the political donations and cushy post-political exec jobs would dry up quickly.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    Let's say you're a Congressman/Senator/Governor/President.

    You have 2 options.

    1. Pursue strict immigration policies that hurt construction industry profit margins. Get no political contributions or post-political exec job.
    2. Pursue loose immigration policies that help construction industry profit margins. Get substantial political constructions a well-paid post-political exec job.

    Which would you choose?

    This isn’t a complicated decision.

    Let’s even say you get defeated in a election by an anti-immigration candidate. So what? You can retire from politics and become some type of exec or industry lobbyist. Just look at Congressman Eric Cantor, who was defeated by Brat. He’s now some sort of Wall Street exec (despite having no executive experience).

    There is no deterrent.

    Politicians have to have fear put into them. They need to understand that if they vote against the public interest, they will be punished. By punished, I don’t mean defeated. As I pointed out above (with Cantor), being defeated is not necessarily a negative outcome for them.
    By punished, I mean that our politicians need to understand that there could severe harm to them if they vote the wrong way. Severe harm could include jail time. It could also include more severe punishments for particularly egregious offenders.

    Bill Clinton deregulated Wall Street (Glass-Steagal repeal in 1999). Then he (and his wife) went on to make tens of millions in “speaking fees” (kickbacks) from Wall Street firms.

    George W. Bush forged evidence of WMDs in Iraq. Now 5,000 U.S. troops are dead, over 1 million are injured, and $5 trillion has been spent. Billions of dollars in no-bid contracts were given to a company (Haliburton) that his VP used to be CEO of. That company made egregiously high profit margins from their “service” in Iraq. Bush’s VP, by the way, was the former Haliburton CEO despite no relevant private sector or industry-specific experience. His father (HW Bush) was a senior adviser to an investor group that invested in the defense industry (Carlyle Group), at the same time that the Iraq War was started. So his father was making money from defense-industry investing at the same time the son was starting a war (which was very lucrative for the defense industry).

    What punishment has Bush or Clinton faced?

    What incentive is there for politicians not to be corrupt?
  13. Lagertha says:

    This is so dumb – construction (well, good construction) will so not change; I think I will re-train to become the most awesome “Norwegian* carpenter,” on my “back 9,”…more like 16th. I hate getting old – grandma fantasies will quell that depressive thought.

    I recently had 3 carpenters bidding on my small/very complicated, annoying projects – kitchen and “pop-out.” I also had 3 bids for a fence!!!! I live in an old house.

    There are no typical rubrics for 98% of American houses…hahaa. One of the design problems for me: “this is where the bears climb over and crush everything.”

    *Have Norwegian blood, but mostly Finn.

    Read More
  14. The readers at WSJ aren’t all happy. Sample

    If we really wanted to increase our population it would be easy to do so simply by increasing births by United States citizens. This is just another shill piece reflecting the WSJ’s blind obeisance to open borders.

    .It sure is.

    Another commenter pointed out that the population can’t grow forever.

    Read More
  15. Wait, I haven’t read the link, so apologies if it shows that this isn’t the case, but it says productivity has decreased due to an increased reliance on unskilled labor—couldn’t that be a Simpson’s paradox “decrease”? (I.e., the composition of the American workforce has shifted towards more lower-productivity Mexicans, which lowers the average, but white Americans have the same/higher productivity and Mexicans have higher productivity than they would in Mexico, so no one is actually less productive.)

    Read More
  16. @utu
    How do you define/measure productivity? Is it a number of workers that it takes to do a particular job or amount of dollars spent on wages for the workers to do the job?

    In general productivity is estimated using the ratio of output value produced and the value of input factors (such as labor) used to make the value produced. Lots of discretion involved regarding what to measure and how to measure. Comparisons should be made apples to apples. Labor productivity often measured in $/hr as ratio of net value production and worker hours, maybe weighted for skill.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    Thanks. So less you pay them higher their productivity. So high productivity is not necessarily a good thing. Perhaps productivity should rather be calculated as output per person, meaning that cost of labor should not be included in output.
    , @Neil Templeton
    Rather the higher the productivity, meaning more product per worker hour, the more value a worker has and the more the worker gets paid- higher wage. In a market with mobile labor and capital, etc.
  17. Alden says:
    @cucksworth
    The brand new townhomes with parking that go for $500k-1.1m in Linh Dinh's quickly changing south philly neighborhood don't even look straight from the outside.

    Home builders and restaurant owners are very supportive of immigrants right to be exploited with zero protections.

    First and foremost importers of illegals are the farmers, food processors and the entire food industry, not just restaurants.

    Read More
  18. So, are we sure the Zeroth Amendment doesn’t have a typo or two that might change its meaning … wasn’t that Constitution thingy drafted by foreigners who later became naturalised citizens?

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    All but 7 signers of the Constitution were native to the 13 colonies. The rest were born in England, Ireland, or Scotland.

    Except the most famous foreigner among them: Honorary Non-white/gangsta Alex Hamilton. He was born in the West Indies, which somehow makes him black or brown or something.
    , @Karl
    > wasn’t that Constitution thingy drafted by foreigners who later became naturalised citizens?

    no. And they were NOT immigrants.
    , @Olorin
    My ancestors had been in the Delaware Valley for nearly 140 years by the time the Constitution "thingy" was drafted and signed.

    The ancestor who served in the First Congress was IIRC fifth generation.

    The Lenni Lenape in those parts considered him, his brother, their father, and his father, and their entire family, to be kin. Forest people know each other no matter how many years or miles might be between you at a particular moment of re-encounter.

    That was just on my dad's side. On my mom's, they'd been Americans between 50 and 100 years by 1776

    Retconning them as "foreigners" rather than pioneers or extended kin in diaspora is a typically PC move.

  19. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    “…I can say that there’s a lot that could be gained from going modular…”

    A friend asked me over for an interview back around the mid-to-late 70s at one of the largest multi-national construction companies (but not one that specialized in US government business at the time, at least not compared to some others).

    Me: “What’s the big deal?”

    Buddy: “You’ve got to work on this!! We’ve got the contract to rebuild the entire city of Jedha in Saudi Arabia! The houses, the hospitals, the…” (I think it was Jedha, could have been one of the other major cities.)

    Me: “How you plan to do that?”

    Buddy: “Let me take you out and show you the portable house-factory we’ve got. We can make good concrete houses for the cheapest money on the planet, fastest. We can really pound them out!”

    Me: “What’s the cost of these houses?”

    Buddy: “About $5,000 per house, pretty nearly fitted out.”

    Read More
  20. Alden says:

    The real money in construction isn’t residential or strip malls. It’s in high rise office buildings, convention centers and big hotels like Marrriots and Hyatts, and airports. Many small general contractors are as incompetent as the illegals they hire.

    Read More
  21. why is there even a lot of demand for new housing in japan, a country with a shrinking population?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Japanese houses traditionally weren't built to last.

    Also, I would imagine that they want bigger rooms, bigger closets, that kind of thing.

    , @Travis
    Half of all homes in Japan are demolished within 30 years — compared to 100 years in the U.S. There is virtually no market for pre-owned homes in Japan, and 60 percent of all homes were built after 1989. while land continues to hold value, physical homes become worthless within 25 years.

    The disposable-home culture has led to a perverse market in Japan, where construction is in almost-perpetual boom without the number of homes increasing at all. It has produced a huge number of architects, who are kept busy by buyers wanting a new house. Japan has 2.5 architects per 1,000 residents, while in the U.S. we have .35 architects per 1,000 residents. Japan has more than twice as many construction workers per capita than America..

    http://www.nri.com/global/opinion/papers/2008/pdf/np2008137.pdf
    , @whorefinder
    Yeah, what Steve said. Japanese housing is famously shoddy, mostly due to practical reasons: they get hit with so many earthquakes and tsunamis and the like, and they have so few natural resources, that they just build the buildings that they expect to fall apart (but survive the disaster) so that they can easily plug the holes later.

    This also leads to foreigners living in Japan (especially Tokyo) complaining at how bitterly cold apartments are in the winter and how humid and muggy they are in the summer. The buildings aren't well insulated due to the shoddiness and heating/AC is done by small, room-only heaters/ac's that are so shoddy that they're unlikely to cause fires in the event of a disaster. So Tokyo on an 80 degree day feels like a rainforest if you're inside your apartment.

    , @Alden
    Maybe the Japanese don't want to spend their lives in tiny apartments any more
    , @TK421
    Besides the life span of homes as described by others, don't forget a general rural to city migration. Tokyo is still growing while plenty of small towns die off.
  22. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    —-3 of 4 electrical plates are upside down.——

    This was a fairly rare occurrence in the USA … until the flood started in the 80s.

    It’s now so common that we can assume it’s a deliberate FU to da man. (And it’s not just the plate of course).

    Read More
    • Replies: @anarchyst
    ...there is no "code" for the orientation of electrical outlets...it is merely preference that the two prongs be at the top and the ground be at the bottom.
    Many people say that "ground up" orientation looks like a nose and two eyes...go figure...
  23. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    The major players in the open borders game know and understand every single negative aspect of immigration.

    They’re not stupid!

    They know that they’re f***king up this country!

    Mass immigration is very very good for oligarchs and also pretty good for the people who work for oligarchs.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lurker
    Exactly.

    By now we must all be aware that it's not a matter of us letting the elite know what the problems are so they can fix them, they know what the problems are and, at best, they don't give a crap. Or worse they know and they welcome them.
  24. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Bill P
    Productivity in house construction should by now have leapt up considerably due to improvements in modular design.

    I know there are a lot of retrograde republicans here who sniff at "double-wides" and the like, but as someone who has actually worked on stick-built homes I can say that there's a lot that could be gained from going modular like the Japanese and Europeans have been for the last couple decades.

    As for the losses in productivity, what the hell would one expect when you're hiring illiterate Mexicans who don't even know English measurements? the loss of efficiency could only be made up for by drastically lower wages, which are a proven fact in the construction industry.

    I know that your typical UMC baby-boomer looks down on anyone who would buy anything but a house crafted by a master Norwegian carpenter (one of my first bosses, BTW), but the fact of the matter is that the rest of us would rather just have a well-designed, energy-efficient house with a yard and reliable plumbing and wiring at a decent price.

    That kind of house can be manufactured regionally in a factory and then tuned up on site without the need for an overcompensated contractor with a gang of illegal laborers to do the grunt work and frequently f*** up the measurements leading to massive future expenses.

    There are companies that use 3-D printing to build houses: https://futurism.com/a-robot-can-print-this-32000-house-in-as-little-as-8-hours/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clyde

    There are companies that use 3-D printing to build houses: https://futurism.com/a-robot-can-print-this-32000-house-in-as-little-as-8-hours/
     
    I can't wait until I can live in one with my self driving, self parking automobile parked outside and recharging via my Elon Musk solar roof tiles. Which are for sale as of yesterday.
  25. @Anonymous
    Conservative white business owners -- ranchers and contractors -- are the leading on the ground force for ruining the country.

    Perhaps, but they operate within the legal and economic framework that exists. If there were the political will to enforce laws against the use of illegal immigrant labor across the board severely enough to put the cheaters out of business then the market would adjust and automation or native labor would fill the gap.

    Read More
    • Agree: bomag
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    There are plenty of business decisions that business owners can make within a legal framework and are compelled to do by market pressures. And despite this plenty of business owners leave those decisions off the table despite legal permissibly and the excuse of competition doing it too because they consider it beneath them. Just goes to show that a lot of the rot can be traced to millions of white small business owners like ranchers and contractors who put themselves out to be the bedrock of core America but when it comes time to demonstrate values show themselves to be scumbags.
  26. Clyde says:
    @Trelane
    Off topic:

    KSTV-FM programming:

    The Fugitive episode from January 28, 1964 with guest stars Telly Savalas and Johanna Frank.

    1960s Americana writ large.

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4a4lqx

    A QM production.

    Telly Savalas — You neglected to mention that he was the man who made Members Only Jackets into staggeringly popular best sellers. These days Jayy Zee, Spike Lee, Pharrell Williams or some rapper would have gotten this job. We would be getting Members Only hats too, advertised on youtube and Ray Donovan and Game Of Thrones.

    Read More
  27. utu says:
    @Neil Templeton
    In general productivity is estimated using the ratio of output value produced and the value of input factors (such as labor) used to make the value produced. Lots of discretion involved regarding what to measure and how to measure. Comparisons should be made apples to apples. Labor productivity often measured in $/hr as ratio of net value production and worker hours, maybe weighted for skill.

    Thanks. So less you pay them higher their productivity. So high productivity is not necessarily a good thing. Perhaps productivity should rather be calculated as output per person, meaning that cost of labor should not be included in output.

    Read More
    • Replies: @David
    Workforce Productivity is measured by the value of the goods and services produced in a given period of time. The French labor force is more productive than the US's because the GDP of France divided by the total number of hours worked there annually is higher than it is here. The price of the labor has little to do with it.

    It's interesting that the per person GDP of the US is higher because Americans work more hours, which suggests diminishing returns applies to labor too.
    , @Bill

    Thanks. So less you pay them higher their productivity.
     
    No. That's what you wanted him to say, not what he said. Labor productivity is measured as quantity of output divided by number of labor hours of input. The units it is measured in are usually real dollars of output per hour. "Real dollars" are not money, either, they are an output index.

    Depressing wages almost certainly lowers productivity (relative to what it would have been with higher wages). It does this because lower wages encourage firms not to substitute capital for labor, encourages firms not to work so hard looking for ways to save labor time, etc.

    Productivity of the US economy has been rising for a long, long time. Sometimes (like from 1945-1973) the benefits of that rising productivity have gone mostly to middle and working class folks, and sometimes (like from 1974-present) the benefits of that rising productivity have gone exclusively to upper class folks.
  28. Clyde says:
    @Dave Pinsen
    There are companies that use 3-D printing to build houses: https://futurism.com/a-robot-can-print-this-32000-house-in-as-little-as-8-hours/

    There are companies that use 3-D printing to build houses: https://futurism.com/a-robot-can-print-this-32000-house-in-as-little-as-8-hours/

    I can’t wait until I can live in one with my self driving, self parking automobile parked outside and recharging via my Elon Musk solar roof tiles. Which are for sale as of yesterday.

    Read More
  29. @JohnnyWalker123
    Construction employment is 30.9% higher today than in 1995. If we assume that productivity has declined consistently by 1% per year, then per capita construction worker productivity today is 80.2% of the 1995 figure. So total construction worker output (1.309 x .802) is 5% higher today than in 1995.

    The mean construction wage (inflation-adjusted) is 77.8% of the 1995 figure. If employment is 30.9% higher, then total wage outlays are 1.8% higher than in 1995.

    Remember that the net profit percent in this industry is typically less than 4%, so margins are tight. So if a construction company can raise revenue by 5% and wage outlays by just 1.8%, then profitability would increase substantially.

    Therefore, the construction industry’s profitability (with respect to employment wages) has somewhat improved since 1995. Since this increase in construction margins is due to high immigration and union breaking, I’d assume the construction industry will continue to support high immigration levels and anti-union policies.

    Remember, business interests tend to donate very generously to our politicians. When our politicians retire, they often get cushy executive jobs with the companies that donated to their campaigns. So I doubt any political leaders are going to want to upset the status quo. If immigration was restricted and construction profit margins declined, the political donations and cushy post-political exec jobs would dry up quickly.

    Let’s say you’re a Congressman/Senator/Governor/President.

    You have 2 options.

    1. Pursue strict immigration policies that hurt construction industry profit margins. Get no political contributions or post-political exec job.
    2. Pursue loose immigration policies that help construction industry profit margins. Get substantial political constructions a well-paid post-political exec job.

    Which would you choose?

    This isn’t a complicated decision.

    Let’s even say you get defeated in a election by an anti-immigration candidate. So what? You can retire from politics and become some type of exec or industry lobbyist. Just look at Congressman Eric Cantor, who was defeated by Brat. He’s now some sort of Wall Street exec (despite having no executive experience).

    There is no deterrent.

    Politicians have to have fear put into them. They need to understand that if they vote against the public interest, they will be punished. By punished, I don’t mean defeated. As I pointed out above (with Cantor), being defeated is not necessarily a negative outcome for them.
    By punished, I mean that our politicians need to understand that there could severe harm to them if they vote the wrong way. Severe harm could include jail time. It could also include more severe punishments for particularly egregious offenders.

    Bill Clinton deregulated Wall Street (Glass-Steagal repeal in 1999). Then he (and his wife) went on to make tens of millions in “speaking fees” (kickbacks) from Wall Street firms.

    George W. Bush forged evidence of WMDs in Iraq. Now 5,000 U.S. troops are dead, over 1 million are injured, and $5 trillion has been spent. Billions of dollars in no-bid contracts were given to a company (Haliburton) that his VP used to be CEO of. That company made egregiously high profit margins from their “service” in Iraq. Bush’s VP, by the way, was the former Haliburton CEO despite no relevant private sector or industry-specific experience. His father (HW Bush) was a senior adviser to an investor group that invested in the defense industry (Carlyle Group), at the same time that the Iraq War was started. So his father was making money from defense-industry investing at the same time the son was starting a war (which was very lucrative for the defense industry).

    What punishment has Bush or Clinton faced?

    What incentive is there for politicians not to be corrupt?

    Read More
  30. wren says:

    Slightly OT, request:

    An acquaintance’s relative’s family was recently killed by a drunk driver.

    It was very sad for her. When I heard about it and looked into the accident, I wondered about the immigration status of the guy who killed the family.

    My friend said the guy needed a translator in court, and some family members were wondering whether he was an illegal alien too.

    He was driving on a suspended license from a previous DUI, but I didn’t find anything about immigration issues.

    Are there any public records anywhere where the public can check immigration status?

    I am not sure I trust the media.

    http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/crime/article141372123.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @bomag

    ...family was recently killed by a drunk driver
     
    That is about as tragic as it gets.

    I would expect the "journalists" reporting on the story to list his immigration status. Since he had been in court before, this should be on the record there, which is theoretically available to the public.

  31. guest says:
    @The Alarmist
    So, are we sure the Zeroth Amendment doesn't have a typo or two that might change its meaning ... wasn't that Constitution thingy drafted by foreigners who later became naturalised citizens?

    All but 7 signers of the Constitution were native to the 13 colonies. The rest were born in England, Ireland, or Scotland.

    Except the most famous foreigner among them: Honorary Non-white/gangsta Alex Hamilton. He was born in the West Indies, which somehow makes him black or brown or something.

    Read More
  32. @james n.s.w
    why is there even a lot of demand for new housing in japan, a country with a shrinking population?

    Japanese houses traditionally weren’t built to last.

    Also, I would imagine that they want bigger rooms, bigger closets, that kind of thing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous

    Japanese houses traditionally weren’t built to last
     
    You've said this before. I can't tell if you're talking about the traditional houses made of wood, built on stilts, with sliding doors, etc, or "traditional" post-war concrete boxes.
  33. @Bill P
    Productivity in house construction should by now have leapt up considerably due to improvements in modular design.

    I know there are a lot of retrograde republicans here who sniff at "double-wides" and the like, but as someone who has actually worked on stick-built homes I can say that there's a lot that could be gained from going modular like the Japanese and Europeans have been for the last couple decades.

    As for the losses in productivity, what the hell would one expect when you're hiring illiterate Mexicans who don't even know English measurements? the loss of efficiency could only be made up for by drastically lower wages, which are a proven fact in the construction industry.

    I know that your typical UMC baby-boomer looks down on anyone who would buy anything but a house crafted by a master Norwegian carpenter (one of my first bosses, BTW), but the fact of the matter is that the rest of us would rather just have a well-designed, energy-efficient house with a yard and reliable plumbing and wiring at a decent price.

    That kind of house can be manufactured regionally in a factory and then tuned up on site without the need for an overcompensated contractor with a gang of illegal laborers to do the grunt work and frequently f*** up the measurements leading to massive future expenses.

    In Sweden the housing is modular and goes up very quickly and efficiently. This kind of typical Swedish efficiency and planning means that the massive numbers of illiterate third-worlders we’re importing simply go on welfare, and spend their free time torching cars and doing other things I’d best not go into.

    Read More
  34. Karl says:
    @The Alarmist
    So, are we sure the Zeroth Amendment doesn't have a typo or two that might change its meaning ... wasn't that Constitution thingy drafted by foreigners who later became naturalised citizens?

    > wasn’t that Constitution thingy drafted by foreigners who later became naturalised citizens?

    no. And they were NOT immigrants.

    Read More
  35. Olorin says:
    @The Alarmist
    So, are we sure the Zeroth Amendment doesn't have a typo or two that might change its meaning ... wasn't that Constitution thingy drafted by foreigners who later became naturalised citizens?

    My ancestors had been in the Delaware Valley for nearly 140 years by the time the Constitution “thingy” was drafted and signed.

    The ancestor who served in the First Congress was IIRC fifth generation.

    The Lenni Lenape in those parts considered him, his brother, their father, and his father, and their entire family, to be kin. Forest people know each other no matter how many years or miles might be between you at a particular moment of re-encounter.

    That was just on my dad’s side. On my mom’s, they’d been Americans between 50 and 100 years by 1776

    Retconning them as “foreigners” rather than pioneers or extended kin in diaspora is a typically PC move.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    Seem to have touched a nerve. Sorry.

    The point of the joke was that the founding fathers were not natural born US citizens because the US did not exist until they conjured it up ... up til then, they were merely British subjects.
  36. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @415 reasons
    Perhaps, but they operate within the legal and economic framework that exists. If there were the political will to enforce laws against the use of illegal immigrant labor across the board severely enough to put the cheaters out of business then the market would adjust and automation or native labor would fill the gap.

    There are plenty of business decisions that business owners can make within a legal framework and are compelled to do by market pressures. And despite this plenty of business owners leave those decisions off the table despite legal permissibly and the excuse of competition doing it too because they consider it beneath them. Just goes to show that a lot of the rot can be traced to millions of white small business owners like ranchers and contractors who put themselves out to be the bedrock of core America but when it comes time to demonstrate values show themselves to be scumbags.

    Read More
    • Agree: peterike
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    Disagree. It's a race to the bottom. If I employ white framing carpenters at $15/hour, and my competitor starts hiring illegals at $10/hour, I have to do the same or I am out of business. And the middle class gets to eat s**t in higher taxes to pay for schools, health care, yadda yadda yadda, for these morons. That's even before we get to the costs of recreational drinking and driving. All this brought to you so that yuppies can have cheap docile nannies and get their grass cut for $35.
  37. @Anonymous
    Conservative white business owners -- ranchers and contractors -- are the leading on the ground force for ruining the country.

    Yes, ignore all the (((others))) who are herding the illegals, refugees, and all the others here and focus on the whites. To say nothing of (((those))) who run to the Ninth Circus to defend illegal alien criminals.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Total cowardice to just exclusively focus on Jews.
  38. A pretty significant bar to manufactured houses is the fact that no matter how nice they are, many mortgage companies will refuse to lend in order to buy one.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Romanian
    Why is that?
    , @bomag

    many mortgage companies will refuse to lend in order to buy one.
     
    This mainly applies to mobile homes, ones that are blocked in place with axles attached. They can be moved relatively easily, so lenders are leery about the investment rolling away.

    Modular type homes that are attached to a concrete foundation are eligible for financing in the areas with which I'm familiar.
    , @PiltdownMan
    Could that be because they are less attractive on the resale market for some reason? Are they more expensive to upgrade or make additions to, or is there just buyer prejudice against "prefab?"
    , @Jim Don Bob
    This Old House did a show years ago where they "assembled" a house out of modules built in a factory. The bottom line was that there was only about a 10% difference in cost, and much of that was eaten by transportation to the site. Perhaps economies of scale would make a bigger difference.
  39. Romanian says: • Website
    @Jack Hanson
    A pretty significant bar to manufactured houses is the fact that no matter how nice they are, many mortgage companies will refuse to lend in order to buy one.

    Why is that?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
    I was told that they don't appreciate in the same way that slab foundation houses do. With a manufactured house, the land is the source of appreciation, not the house. So if you get foreclosed on, the mortgage company is holding 5 acres in Sticksville.

    Maybe if you're buying in the Grand Tetons or near Sedona you might be able to get a mortgage, but then again you're probably also able to pay cash.
    , @Bill
    They depreciate, unlike custom homes. This seems to be, mostly, because of the market segment they serve. Their customers care disproportionately about price (over quality). Their customers disproportionately wreck the houses they live in, rather than improving them. There's also the problem that, for example, if I hit hard times and defaulted on my mortgage, I would surrender the house, in good condition, in an orderly way to the bank. Disproportionately, trailer people don't do this, to put it mildly. So, not only is the product manufactured to hit a price point and damn the quality, but the the product disproportionately attracts the sort of customers you don't want if you are a bank. Manufactured homes are kind of a reverse Veblen good.

    I'm not making technical points about house manufacture above. It's technically feasible to make beautiful, high-quality, finely finished manufactured homes. I'm making social science points about the equilibrium the market is in.

    Relevant to all this: the show Tiny House Nation.

    , @Technite78
    Mortgages are collateralized loans, and as such the interest rate is determined (partially) by the expected losses due to default... and those losses depend partially on the resale value of the property in a foreclosure. Prefabricated homes (on average) do not retain their value over time as well as traditional homes. Hence, higher interest rates and/or lower loan-to-value ratios. Also, higher default rates due to the lower credit quality of the typical buyer have an effect as well.
  40. Anonym says:

    OT: ABC cancels “Last Man Standing”. I hardly watch TV. Has anyone seen it? It sounds funny, and kind of important.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2017/05/16/5-unanswered-questions-about-abcs-cancellation-of-last-man-standing/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    OT: The article in the fairly conservative Washington Free Beacon is troubling, but I don't know what to believe anymore.

    http://freebeacon.com/blog/no-one-white-house-likes-respects-trump/
  41. unzerker says:

    About 6-8 years ago I watched from my window, 5 middle age white construction workers building a parking garage in record time. The building was constructed mostly out of prefab panels. It was an amazing sight.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous-antiskynetist
    As a middle aged white union construction worker who has done precast rigging, I approve this remark.

    I was on a job in Manhattan a couple of months ago. Across the street was a scab site, concrete high rise about 15 stories, not sure how high they are going. They would bring a rig in every couple of floors when they had a rebar delivery. There was a big snowstorm coming and they had to cancel their rebar pick because of high wind. We watched 20 Mexicans unload about 50,000 lbs of rebar by hand, one guy on each floor, one piece at a time, bucket-brigade-style, hand over hand, from the street to the working floor. It only took them about two days.
  42. fitzGetty says:
    @Bill P
    Productivity in house construction should by now have leapt up considerably due to improvements in modular design.

    I know there are a lot of retrograde republicans here who sniff at "double-wides" and the like, but as someone who has actually worked on stick-built homes I can say that there's a lot that could be gained from going modular like the Japanese and Europeans have been for the last couple decades.

    As for the losses in productivity, what the hell would one expect when you're hiring illiterate Mexicans who don't even know English measurements? the loss of efficiency could only be made up for by drastically lower wages, which are a proven fact in the construction industry.

    I know that your typical UMC baby-boomer looks down on anyone who would buy anything but a house crafted by a master Norwegian carpenter (one of my first bosses, BTW), but the fact of the matter is that the rest of us would rather just have a well-designed, energy-efficient house with a yard and reliable plumbing and wiring at a decent price.

    That kind of house can be manufactured regionally in a factory and then tuned up on site without the need for an overcompensated contractor with a gang of illegal laborers to do the grunt work and frequently f*** up the measurements leading to massive future expenses.

    … the safety record of the new arrivals is lamentable … back to the woods …

    Read More
  43. bomag says:
    @Jack Hanson
    A pretty significant bar to manufactured houses is the fact that no matter how nice they are, many mortgage companies will refuse to lend in order to buy one.

    many mortgage companies will refuse to lend in order to buy one.

    This mainly applies to mobile homes, ones that are blocked in place with axles attached. They can be moved relatively easily, so lenders are leery about the investment rolling away.

    Modular type homes that are attached to a concrete foundation are eligible for financing in the areas with which I’m familiar.

    Read More
  44. @Bill P
    Productivity in house construction should by now have leapt up considerably due to improvements in modular design.

    I know there are a lot of retrograde republicans here who sniff at "double-wides" and the like, but as someone who has actually worked on stick-built homes I can say that there's a lot that could be gained from going modular like the Japanese and Europeans have been for the last couple decades.

    As for the losses in productivity, what the hell would one expect when you're hiring illiterate Mexicans who don't even know English measurements? the loss of efficiency could only be made up for by drastically lower wages, which are a proven fact in the construction industry.

    I know that your typical UMC baby-boomer looks down on anyone who would buy anything but a house crafted by a master Norwegian carpenter (one of my first bosses, BTW), but the fact of the matter is that the rest of us would rather just have a well-designed, energy-efficient house with a yard and reliable plumbing and wiring at a decent price.

    That kind of house can be manufactured regionally in a factory and then tuned up on site without the need for an overcompensated contractor with a gang of illegal laborers to do the grunt work and frequently f*** up the measurements leading to massive future expenses.

    Bill, I learned plumbing at a mobile home factory decades ago. Loved the work and was impressed at the final product that went out the door down at the end of the factory. I can only imagine the improvements and refinements since then in mobile homes. A nice double-wide on a good lot with a view would be very comfortable arrangement.

    Read More
  45. bomag says:
    @wren
    Slightly OT, request:

    An acquaintance's relative's family was recently killed by a drunk driver.

    It was very sad for her. When I heard about it and looked into the accident, I wondered about the immigration status of the guy who killed the family.

    My friend said the guy needed a translator in court, and some family members were wondering whether he was an illegal alien too.

    He was driving on a suspended license from a previous DUI, but I didn't find anything about immigration issues.

    Are there any public records anywhere where the public can check immigration status?

    I am not sure I trust the media.

    http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/crime/article141372123.html

    …family was recently killed by a drunk driver

    That is about as tragic as it gets.

    I would expect the “journalists” reporting on the story to list his immigration status. Since he had been in court before, this should be on the record there, which is theoretically available to the public.

    Read More
  46. David says:
    @utu
    Thanks. So less you pay them higher their productivity. So high productivity is not necessarily a good thing. Perhaps productivity should rather be calculated as output per person, meaning that cost of labor should not be included in output.

    Workforce Productivity is measured by the value of the goods and services produced in a given period of time. The French labor force is more productive than the US’s because the GDP of France divided by the total number of hours worked there annually is higher than it is here. The price of the labor has little to do with it.

    It’s interesting that the per person GDP of the US is higher because Americans work more hours, which suggests diminishing returns applies to labor too.

    Read More
  47. Twinkie says:

    OT, but right up this blog’s alley: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/05/17/yale-dean-once-championed-cultural-sensitivity-then-she-called-people-white-trash-on-yelp/

    As the dean of Yale University’s Pierson College, June Chu is responsible for advising about 500 students and fostering “a familiar, comfortable living environment” in keeping with the university’s residential college system.

    Chu’s biography states she has a PhD in social psychology and touts a long career in which she has “sought to help students not only succeed academically but to support their holistic academic experience and multifaceted identities.”

    But the administrator’s seemingly supportive and culturally sensitive persona has been marred since Yale students came across her Yelp account. Screenshots of Chu’s controversial Yelp reviews began circulating among Pierson students in recent months and were published by the Yale Daily News on Saturday.

    The problem wasn’t so much what she said about the New Haven eateries and businesses she reviewed but rather her comments on the people who frequented them.

    The posts, published over the course of the last few years, referred to customers as “white trash” and “low class folks” and to some employees as “barely educated morons.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Alec Leamas
    This appears to be June Chu, who probably shouldn't be calling anyone "obese:"

    http://www.thedp.com/index.php/article/2011/09/paach_director_to_leave_for_dartmouth_college_post
    , @Sunbeam

    The posts, published over the course of the last few years, referred to customers as “white trash” and “low class folks” and to some employees as “barely educated morons.”
     
    Context is everything. I imagine that lots of white Yalies have the same attitudes towards the same types of whites she is referring too - though if they posted similar comments online no one is going to bother to go poring through them.

    Kind of imagine Ms. Chu is unlikeable on a personal level. Anyway.

    What is interesting though, is that it would be entirely reasonable for Asians (the Korean/Japanese/Chinese we actually mean when we use this word) have similar attitudes towards whites as whites have to blacks.

    Or maybe not. Whites are more prone to ... bad behavior than Asians are, but it isn't the same wide gulf you get between Sub-Saharan Blacks and everyone else.

    And that, more than the IQ gap, is the crux of the whole thing. When whites go to hell, you get West Virginia. When blacks go to hell you get Detroit. Or Birmingham. Or Gary, Indiana.

    Anyway, if I met an Asian who had a contemptuous attitude towards me due to the color of my skin... I'd be tickled pink (literally I guess). Masses of Chinese in suburbs across California with thinking the same way? Blase about it.

    It's when these Chinese get into positions of power, whether governmental, Wall Street or the like, where they might affect my present or my future that I start getting mad.

    If it is any consolation I feel the same way about white Yalies.

    I know my tribe. I have Assabiyah. Whether we are dumb as rocks, deserve nothing, it doesn't matter. Whether Germanic nice whites from the Midwest or Mormons are in my tribe? Doesn't matter. We are my tribe. And that is all that matters. The sentiments in Horatio At The Gate matter; The Bell Curve doesn't.

    I know the first law: It's one for all, and all on one.

    Now maybe it's that Dunning-Kruger effect. But I sit by my keyboard and think of all kinds of interesting things and strategies. Maybe we aren't so dumb when push comes to shove. Dunno.

    HBD is well and good. Whatever. But if you don't understand things at a basic level, like the fact that even the most stupid, illiterate moron in your tribe is worth more than the sum total of all educated elite college grads... then you understand nothing.

    , @Anonymous
    Referring to a "sketchy crowd" in New Haven doesn't seem to me to refer to whites. The other stuff seemed like elitist street talk. I can't believe she would use this kind of language on social media though. Btw, is Chu Korean or Chinese. Very hard for me to tell these two groups apart when they are born and raised in the U.S.
  48. rsj says:
    @Marat
    Glancing at the wall of this originally well-constructed building of dubious landmark distinction, 3 of 4 electrical plates are upside down. It's a trivial detail on the surface, but what's going on "under the hood" of this repair? This sort of sloppiness is par for the course now and indicates the complete disconnect with pride of workmanship.

    Well, the apartments I live in recently had a renovation done. All wall plates in all the renovated apartments are upside down, but on purpose. Turns out the latest owner owns other low income properties and one time a picture fell off the wall and landed on the plug below. It did not fall out all the way, only partially, so the metal prongs were still in the wall with the picture frame resting on it and it caused a huge fire. He insisted all plates upside down. so some are intentional, but it sounds like your example was error.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anarchyst
    There is no "code" for the orientation of electrical receptacles (outlets). It is at the discretion of the "builder" or occupants...
  49. Yak-15 says:
    @cucksworth
    The brand new townhomes with parking that go for $500k-1.1m in Linh Dinh's quickly changing south philly neighborhood don't even look straight from the outside.

    Home builders and restaurant owners are very supportive of immigrants right to be exploited with zero protections.

    Once again, the contractor is privatizing the profit and socializing the cost. He pays the wages under the table while society pays for their family’s healthcare, their kids to go to school, their food stamps, etc. All the while, no one pays taxes on the labor.

    Why is it so difficult for the left to realize that immigration is destroying their welfare state?

    Read More
  50. @Bill P
    Productivity in house construction should by now have leapt up considerably due to improvements in modular design.

    I know there are a lot of retrograde republicans here who sniff at "double-wides" and the like, but as someone who has actually worked on stick-built homes I can say that there's a lot that could be gained from going modular like the Japanese and Europeans have been for the last couple decades.

    As for the losses in productivity, what the hell would one expect when you're hiring illiterate Mexicans who don't even know English measurements? the loss of efficiency could only be made up for by drastically lower wages, which are a proven fact in the construction industry.

    I know that your typical UMC baby-boomer looks down on anyone who would buy anything but a house crafted by a master Norwegian carpenter (one of my first bosses, BTW), but the fact of the matter is that the rest of us would rather just have a well-designed, energy-efficient house with a yard and reliable plumbing and wiring at a decent price.

    That kind of house can be manufactured regionally in a factory and then tuned up on site without the need for an overcompensated contractor with a gang of illegal laborers to do the grunt work and frequently f*** up the measurements leading to massive future expenses.

    Cutting out smaller contractors and bumping all of the efficiencies up to the shareholders in a behemoth like Toll (which does prefabricate components off site and truck them to the jobsite) isn’t the way to go in my opinion. I doubt increased efficiencies would ever find their way into housing costs, particularly when ZIRP allows such a wide swath of buyers to afford high purchase prices.

    Read More
  51. @Jack Hanson
    A pretty significant bar to manufactured houses is the fact that no matter how nice they are, many mortgage companies will refuse to lend in order to buy one.

    Could that be because they are less attractive on the resale market for some reason? Are they more expensive to upgrade or make additions to, or is there just buyer prejudice against “prefab?”

    Read More
  52. @Twinkie
    OT, but right up this blog's alley: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/05/17/yale-dean-once-championed-cultural-sensitivity-then-she-called-people-white-trash-on-yelp/

    As the dean of Yale University’s Pierson College, June Chu is responsible for advising about 500 students and fostering “a familiar, comfortable living environment” in keeping with the university’s residential college system.

    Chu’s biography states she has a PhD in social psychology and touts a long career in which she has “sought to help students not only succeed academically but to support their holistic academic experience and multifaceted identities.”

    But the administrator’s seemingly supportive and culturally sensitive persona has been marred since Yale students came across her Yelp account. Screenshots of Chu’s controversial Yelp reviews began circulating among Pierson students in recent months and were published by the Yale Daily News on Saturday.

    The problem wasn’t so much what she said about the New Haven eateries and businesses she reviewed but rather her comments on the people who frequented them.

    The posts, published over the course of the last few years, referred to customers as “white trash” and “low class folks” and to some employees as “barely educated morons.”
     

    This appears to be June Chu, who probably shouldn’t be calling anyone “obese:”

    http://www.thedp.com/index.php/article/2011/09/paach_director_to_leave_for_dartmouth_college_post

    Read More
  53. Sunbeam says:
    @Twinkie
    OT, but right up this blog's alley: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/05/17/yale-dean-once-championed-cultural-sensitivity-then-she-called-people-white-trash-on-yelp/

    As the dean of Yale University’s Pierson College, June Chu is responsible for advising about 500 students and fostering “a familiar, comfortable living environment” in keeping with the university’s residential college system.

    Chu’s biography states she has a PhD in social psychology and touts a long career in which she has “sought to help students not only succeed academically but to support their holistic academic experience and multifaceted identities.”

    But the administrator’s seemingly supportive and culturally sensitive persona has been marred since Yale students came across her Yelp account. Screenshots of Chu’s controversial Yelp reviews began circulating among Pierson students in recent months and were published by the Yale Daily News on Saturday.

    The problem wasn’t so much what she said about the New Haven eateries and businesses she reviewed but rather her comments on the people who frequented them.

    The posts, published over the course of the last few years, referred to customers as “white trash” and “low class folks” and to some employees as “barely educated morons.”
     

    The posts, published over the course of the last few years, referred to customers as “white trash” and “low class folks” and to some employees as “barely educated morons.”

    Context is everything. I imagine that lots of white Yalies have the same attitudes towards the same types of whites she is referring too – though if they posted similar comments online no one is going to bother to go poring through them.

    Kind of imagine Ms. Chu is unlikeable on a personal level. Anyway.

    What is interesting though, is that it would be entirely reasonable for Asians (the Korean/Japanese/Chinese we actually mean when we use this word) have similar attitudes towards whites as whites have to blacks.

    Or maybe not. Whites are more prone to … bad behavior than Asians are, but it isn’t the same wide gulf you get between Sub-Saharan Blacks and everyone else.

    And that, more than the IQ gap, is the crux of the whole thing. When whites go to hell, you get West Virginia. When blacks go to hell you get Detroit. Or Birmingham. Or Gary, Indiana.

    Anyway, if I met an Asian who had a contemptuous attitude towards me due to the color of my skin… I’d be tickled pink (literally I guess). Masses of Chinese in suburbs across California with thinking the same way? Blase about it.

    It’s when these Chinese get into positions of power, whether governmental, Wall Street or the like, where they might affect my present or my future that I start getting mad.

    If it is any consolation I feel the same way about white Yalies.

    I know my tribe. I have Assabiyah. Whether we are dumb as rocks, deserve nothing, it doesn’t matter. Whether Germanic nice whites from the Midwest or Mormons are in my tribe? Doesn’t matter. We are my tribe. And that is all that matters. The sentiments in Horatio At The Gate matter; The Bell Curve doesn’t.

    I know the first law: It’s one for all, and all on one.

    Now maybe it’s that Dunning-Kruger effect. But I sit by my keyboard and think of all kinds of interesting things and strategies. Maybe we aren’t so dumb when push comes to shove. Dunno.

    HBD is well and good. Whatever. But if you don’t understand things at a basic level, like the fact that even the most stupid, illiterate moron in your tribe is worth more than the sum total of all educated elite college grads… then you understand nothing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    This contempt, in my experience, isn't typical. Given the string of military defeats that make up most of the history of Asia against the West, any notion of superiority would be dashed pretty fast.

    Much of the contempt for "white trash" would probably be the typical middle-upper class contempt for anyone who lives in a trailer. The most contempt I've ever seen was directed at white liberals, though, for being "naïve, lazy and stupid" to emphasize someone who is both ignorant and dumb.

    Probably undeserved.
  54. @Romanian
    Why is that?

    I was told that they don’t appreciate in the same way that slab foundation houses do. With a manufactured house, the land is the source of appreciation, not the house. So if you get foreclosed on, the mortgage company is holding 5 acres in Sticksville.

    Maybe if you’re buying in the Grand Tetons or near Sedona you might be able to get a mortgage, but then again you’re probably also able to pay cash.

    Read More
  55. @PiltdownMan
    Could that be because they are less attractive on the resale market for some reason? Are they more expensive to upgrade or make additions to, or is there just buyer prejudice against "prefab?"

    See my reply to Romanian.

    Read More
  56. @newrouter
    " in part because they would require building-code changes. "

    there be the problem. that's occupied territory.

    One thing I’ve learned after owning three houses (sole residences) myself and helping to remodel and prep for re-sale houses belonging to friends and relatives is that building codes are not much of a guarantee for anything at all related to quality of construction of a house.

    Read More
  57. Ray P says:

    WSJ still lives mentally in Reagan’s eighties:

    i) Japan is the future
    ii) Too much regulation is killing industrial innovation

    Read More
  58. peterike says:

    Speaking of shoddy buildings, in New York you can pay $609,350 for a house that collapses.

    http://gothamist.com/2017/05/16/bed-stuy_bubble_building.php

    Read More
    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    You are paying for the land. The building was scheduled for demolition years ago.
  59. @Neil Templeton
    In general productivity is estimated using the ratio of output value produced and the value of input factors (such as labor) used to make the value produced. Lots of discretion involved regarding what to measure and how to measure. Comparisons should be made apples to apples. Labor productivity often measured in $/hr as ratio of net value production and worker hours, maybe weighted for skill.

    Rather the higher the productivity, meaning more product per worker hour, the more value a worker has and the more the worker gets paid- higher wage. In a market with mobile labor and capital, etc.

    Read More
  60. Bill says:
    @Bill P
    Productivity in house construction should by now have leapt up considerably due to improvements in modular design.

    I know there are a lot of retrograde republicans here who sniff at "double-wides" and the like, but as someone who has actually worked on stick-built homes I can say that there's a lot that could be gained from going modular like the Japanese and Europeans have been for the last couple decades.

    As for the losses in productivity, what the hell would one expect when you're hiring illiterate Mexicans who don't even know English measurements? the loss of efficiency could only be made up for by drastically lower wages, which are a proven fact in the construction industry.

    I know that your typical UMC baby-boomer looks down on anyone who would buy anything but a house crafted by a master Norwegian carpenter (one of my first bosses, BTW), but the fact of the matter is that the rest of us would rather just have a well-designed, energy-efficient house with a yard and reliable plumbing and wiring at a decent price.

    That kind of house can be manufactured regionally in a factory and then tuned up on site without the need for an overcompensated contractor with a gang of illegal laborers to do the grunt work and frequently f*** up the measurements leading to massive future expenses.

    Alec Leamas has a good point. Squeezing inefficiency out of an economic system tends to involve firing a lot of middle class people and replacing them with a combination of machines and helots. The big prize, efficiency-wise, is health care. There are a lot of 300K/yr doctors and 75K/yr dental hygienists to be replaced by technology and helots.

    The fact that the houses will get better and cheaper looks good as long as you keep your income. Otherwise, not so much.

    Read More
  61. Travis says:
    @james n.s.w
    why is there even a lot of demand for new housing in japan, a country with a shrinking population?

    Half of all homes in Japan are demolished within 30 years — compared to 100 years in the U.S. There is virtually no market for pre-owned homes in Japan, and 60 percent of all homes were built after 1989. while land continues to hold value, physical homes become worthless within 25 years.

    The disposable-home culture has led to a perverse market in Japan, where construction is in almost-perpetual boom without the number of homes increasing at all. It has produced a huge number of architects, who are kept busy by buyers wanting a new house. Japan has 2.5 architects per 1,000 residents, while in the U.S. we have .35 architects per 1,000 residents. Japan has more than twice as many construction workers per capita than America..

    http://www.nri.com/global/opinion/papers/2008/pdf/np2008137.pdf

    Read More
  62. Bill says:
    @utu
    Thanks. So less you pay them higher their productivity. So high productivity is not necessarily a good thing. Perhaps productivity should rather be calculated as output per person, meaning that cost of labor should not be included in output.

    Thanks. So less you pay them higher their productivity.

    No. That’s what you wanted him to say, not what he said. Labor productivity is measured as quantity of output divided by number of labor hours of input. The units it is measured in are usually real dollars of output per hour. “Real dollars” are not money, either, they are an output index.

    Depressing wages almost certainly lowers productivity (relative to what it would have been with higher wages). It does this because lower wages encourage firms not to substitute capital for labor, encourages firms not to work so hard looking for ways to save labor time, etc.

    Productivity of the US economy has been rising for a long, long time. Sometimes (like from 1945-1973) the benefits of that rising productivity have gone mostly to middle and working class folks, and sometimes (like from 1974-present) the benefits of that rising productivity have gone exclusively to upper class folks.

    Read More
    • Agree: Travis
    • Replies: @utu
    So, to increase productivity as you define it is by technical and organizational innovations. Employers will be forced to innovate if they do not have easily available cheap labor, right?
    , @MarkinPNW
    About the time that Nixon's cancellation of what was left of the gold standard began to take effect, eventually allowing FIRE to become pre-eminent over actually producing useful goods and services.
  63. slumber_j says:
    @Trelane
    Off topic:

    KSTV-FM programming:

    The Fugitive episode from January 28, 1964 with guest stars Telly Savalas and Johanna Frank.

    1960s Americana writ large.

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4a4lqx

    A QM production.

    The Fugitive was created by the great Roy Huggins, maternal grandfather of current Amazon Studios head Roy Price. Further fun fact: Joanna Frank, who guest-stars in that episode, is the sister of Steven Bochco, who produced Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue.

    Oh yeah: Bochco also produced Cop Rock

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ganderson
    Huggins was also involved in another great show, The Rockford Files.
  64. Bill says:
    @Romanian
    Why is that?

    They depreciate, unlike custom homes. This seems to be, mostly, because of the market segment they serve. Their customers care disproportionately about price (over quality). Their customers disproportionately wreck the houses they live in, rather than improving them. There’s also the problem that, for example, if I hit hard times and defaulted on my mortgage, I would surrender the house, in good condition, in an orderly way to the bank. Disproportionately, trailer people don’t do this, to put it mildly. So, not only is the product manufactured to hit a price point and damn the quality, but the the product disproportionately attracts the sort of customers you don’t want if you are a bank. Manufactured homes are kind of a reverse Veblen good.

    I’m not making technical points about house manufacture above. It’s technically feasible to make beautiful, high-quality, finely finished manufactured homes. I’m making social science points about the equilibrium the market is in.

    Relevant to all this: the show Tiny House Nation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Romanian
    Thanks for the explanation. That show is very depressing. I'm not saying that we should all get McMansions, but, a lot of the time, the people on that show are blind to the needs of a fulfilling life, like having a family and relative ease in old age. Many are buying the equivalent of adult tree forts. It might be different for people who can afford to move house several times in their lifetime, but, in Romania, the general price of a home in the capital (apartment) is at 7-10 years worth or more of the current average wage. It's not something you will likely move out of with ease for an upgrade.
  65. whorefinder says: • Website
    @james n.s.w
    why is there even a lot of demand for new housing in japan, a country with a shrinking population?

    Yeah, what Steve said. Japanese housing is famously shoddy, mostly due to practical reasons: they get hit with so many earthquakes and tsunamis and the like, and they have so few natural resources, that they just build the buildings that they expect to fall apart (but survive the disaster) so that they can easily plug the holes later.

    This also leads to foreigners living in Japan (especially Tokyo) complaining at how bitterly cold apartments are in the winter and how humid and muggy they are in the summer. The buildings aren’t well insulated due to the shoddiness and heating/AC is done by small, room-only heaters/ac’s that are so shoddy that they’re unlikely to cause fires in the event of a disaster. So Tokyo on an 80 degree day feels like a rainforest if you’re inside your apartment.

    Read More
  66. kihowi says:

    Similarly, while the weepy fat housewives who run the West justify immigration by pointing at all the great foreign restaurants that we get out of it, Japan just sends Japanese abroad to learn. Then they come back and collect the most Michelin stars anywhere on earth.

    Maybe this is something I got from iSteve, but reading this site every day of my life makes it hard to remember what I thought of myself.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lurker

    Similarly, while the weepy fat housewives who run the West justify immigration by pointing at all the great foreign restaurants that we get out of it
     
    They don't run anything but they are used to justify elite polices - "See haters, immigration is popular!"
    , @Daniel Chieh
    The iSteve hivemind.
  67. @Alec Leamas
    This appears to be June Chu, who probably shouldn't be calling anyone "obese:"

    http://www.thedp.com/index.php/article/2011/09/paach_director_to_leave_for_dartmouth_college_post

    She can certainly Chu all right.

    Read More
  68. @Steve Sailer
    Japanese houses traditionally weren't built to last.

    Also, I would imagine that they want bigger rooms, bigger closets, that kind of thing.

    Japanese houses traditionally weren’t built to last

    You’ve said this before. I can’t tell if you’re talking about the traditional houses made of wood, built on stilts, with sliding doors, etc, or “traditional” post-war concrete boxes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @European-American
    It's not just old houses.

    "Fifteen years after being built the average home in Japan is worth nothing"


    According to the International Union of Architects, Japan has almost 2.5 architects per 1,000 residents, whereas Britain only has half an architect per 1,000 residents. The US has only 0.33 architects per 1,000 residents and Canada has 0.22%. Japan, in other words, has 11 times as many architects per capita as Canada.

    The origins of this unusual approach to sturdy structures are the result of a long history featuring earthquakes and fires. The second world war exacerbated the situation.

    Jiro Yoshida, an assistant professor of business at Pennsylvania State University, specialises in the Japanese housing market. "Most structures in, for example, Tokyo were destroyed, so everything had to be rebuilt from scratch," he says. "The new buildings weren't very good, so after a while many had to be knocked down."

    But today's buildings are demolished even though they could last. That, says Yoshida, has a cultural explanation: "The government updates the building code every 10 years due to the earthquake risk. Rather than spending money on expensive retrofitting, people just build new homes."
     

    https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/disposable-homes-japan-environment-lifespan-sustainability

    But of course there is also a Japanese rebuilding tradition:

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/this-japanese-shrine-has-been-torn-down-and-rebuilt-every-20-years-for-the-past-millennium-575558/

  69. benjaminl says:

    The WSJ is behind a paywall, except for links through Twitter. To read the linked story for free, just search for the headline on Twitter:

    https://t.co/5m4zkXC5rL

    https://t.co/Lu69AUT2Tx

    https://t.co/BPJU4p4loa

    Read More
  70. @Romanian
    Why is that?

    Mortgages are collateralized loans, and as such the interest rate is determined (partially) by the expected losses due to default… and those losses depend partially on the resale value of the property in a foreclosure. Prefabricated homes (on average) do not retain their value over time as well as traditional homes. Hence, higher interest rates and/or lower loan-to-value ratios. Also, higher default rates due to the lower credit quality of the typical buyer have an effect as well.

    Read More
  71. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Twinkie
    OT, but right up this blog's alley: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/05/17/yale-dean-once-championed-cultural-sensitivity-then-she-called-people-white-trash-on-yelp/

    As the dean of Yale University’s Pierson College, June Chu is responsible for advising about 500 students and fostering “a familiar, comfortable living environment” in keeping with the university’s residential college system.

    Chu’s biography states she has a PhD in social psychology and touts a long career in which she has “sought to help students not only succeed academically but to support their holistic academic experience and multifaceted identities.”

    But the administrator’s seemingly supportive and culturally sensitive persona has been marred since Yale students came across her Yelp account. Screenshots of Chu’s controversial Yelp reviews began circulating among Pierson students in recent months and were published by the Yale Daily News on Saturday.

    The problem wasn’t so much what she said about the New Haven eateries and businesses she reviewed but rather her comments on the people who frequented them.

    The posts, published over the course of the last few years, referred to customers as “white trash” and “low class folks” and to some employees as “barely educated morons.”
     

    Referring to a “sketchy crowd” in New Haven doesn’t seem to me to refer to whites. The other stuff seemed like elitist street talk. I can’t believe she would use this kind of language on social media though. Btw, is Chu Korean or Chinese. Very hard for me to tell these two groups apart when they are born and raised in the U.S.

    Read More
  72. anon1 says:

    I work in the construction industry. In recent years there’s been a ridiculous divergence between the competency of the workers and the regulations they’re supposed to understand and comply with. One one hand, the workforce is increasingly comprised of immigrants who don’t have much education and barely speak English. On the other hand, building codes have become vastly longer and more complicated.

    It’s totally ludicrous to expect that the average contractor will understand the IRC, IBC, IECC, IEBC, state amendments to each, the ADA, local zoning bylaws, and more… Each of those contains hundreds of pages of dense regulations that only a smart, experienced lawyer could really be at ease with.

    Local inspectors are supposed to understand and enforce the codes, but that doesn’t necessarily happen in reality. Inspectors are typically blue-collar guys with construction backgrounds, who have experience and a rule-of-thumb sense of what’s correct. If things get too complicated for them, they’ll demand that an architect or engineer get involved, and provide a stamped drawing or letter that absolves the inspector of responsibility. But architects and engineers increasingly rely on specialist code consultants…

    On large, expensive projects, the budget can support a big team of consultants that navigate the bureaucracy, but the smaller projects often get bogged down.

    In short, we have a situation in which the regulatory status quo is totally disconnected from reality, and most people in the industry are fumbling around, trying to get through it. I’m sure that the productivity numbers will reflect that.

    Read More
  73. anon1 says:
    @Bill P
    Productivity in house construction should by now have leapt up considerably due to improvements in modular design.

    I know there are a lot of retrograde republicans here who sniff at "double-wides" and the like, but as someone who has actually worked on stick-built homes I can say that there's a lot that could be gained from going modular like the Japanese and Europeans have been for the last couple decades.

    As for the losses in productivity, what the hell would one expect when you're hiring illiterate Mexicans who don't even know English measurements? the loss of efficiency could only be made up for by drastically lower wages, which are a proven fact in the construction industry.

    I know that your typical UMC baby-boomer looks down on anyone who would buy anything but a house crafted by a master Norwegian carpenter (one of my first bosses, BTW), but the fact of the matter is that the rest of us would rather just have a well-designed, energy-efficient house with a yard and reliable plumbing and wiring at a decent price.

    That kind of house can be manufactured regionally in a factory and then tuned up on site without the need for an overcompensated contractor with a gang of illegal laborers to do the grunt work and frequently f*** up the measurements leading to massive future expenses.

    If modular is really so much more efficient, it should have taken over the industry long ago. The fact that it still has limited market share suggests that it isn’t actually better. It’s not as though modular is some kind of brand new invention.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    It's a demand side problem too. Bourgeois still want to live in McMansions. I call them "wedding cake" houses: gables, facades, trim work, etc. It's ridiculous, because none of these features are functional any more, so they're just more joints and disparate surfaces for water intrusion, pooling, mildew, etc.
    , @Jus' Sayin'...
    To learn the reason why modular hasn't "taken over the industry" you need go no further than your local city or town hall. When you get there ask to take a look at the building code. These codes are the product of a conspiracy involving local contractors, building trade unions, and politicians.
    While their overt purpose is to ensure health and safety their actual, primary purpose is to stifle outside co9mpetition, ensure high profits for local contractors, and maintain the power of local trade unions.
  74. Imagine. If we live long enough, someone at McKinsey will discover “factor substitution”. One can substitute capital for labor. If the cost of labor rises, he will.
    Isn’t this covered in Economics 103?

    Read More
  75. Alden says:
    @james n.s.w
    why is there even a lot of demand for new housing in japan, a country with a shrinking population?

    Maybe the Japanese don’t want to spend their lives in tiny apartments any more

    Read More
  76. Jimi says:

    In NYC you often find illegal immigrants standing at street corners to hold up a sign pointing to restaurants with lunch specials.

    Uncontrolled immigration as enabled employers to pay people to be human sign holders. I suspect under tighter labor markets (higher wages) these sort of jobs would disappear.

    Economists would rate this as a reduction in GDP. But ask yourself is this economic activity really worth the price of illegal immigration

    Read More
    • Replies: @MW
    My understanding is that it's pretty hard to outlaw humans holding signs, due to Constitutional protections on speech. Billboards are strictly regulated pretty much everywhere, so in a place like NYC, it's incredibly expensive to rent advertising space, which typically wouldn't be at street level anyway.

    So we have this weird phenomenon of human sign-holders. The economics would probably still work at a $15 minimum wage or higher, in many cases. Though obviously if it were legal to just stick a stanchion on the sidewalk, they would do that instead.

  77. OSHA, the EPA and local DEC have all added to the cost of construction through mandated expenditures or environmental studies that slow construction and in some cases stop a project completely, often in midstream. When I drive past a structural steel job and see the ironworkers working from OSHA required man lifts I wonder how much that adds to job cost. Land that was previously used for a factory or commercial site requiring environmental impact studies and community input meetings, with unqualified community leaders and activists, before plans can be submitted and often modified multiple times. I could site dozens of examples of stalled or cancelled projects from WNY alone and everyone here probably knows of one or more in their area. The new Peace Bridge, linking Buffalo and Canada, has been proposed, studied, re-studied and debated to death. The one design cancelled for fear that the Common Tern, one of the most common seagull in WNY, might fly into and die from impact with the suspension cables. They are called Common Terns, well because they are common. I don’t want to ruin my day but I could tell two horror tales of dealing with the EPA and their unreasonable regulations, an agency that mandates, enforces and adjudicates, at great expense to those who run afoul of their bureaucrats. I am off to weed and feed my lawn before that is forbidden.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    ...I could tell two horror tales of dealing with the EPA and their unreasonable regulations...
     
    Go ahead. Tell us. After you've tended to your lawn of course.
  78. @Olorin
    My ancestors had been in the Delaware Valley for nearly 140 years by the time the Constitution "thingy" was drafted and signed.

    The ancestor who served in the First Congress was IIRC fifth generation.

    The Lenni Lenape in those parts considered him, his brother, their father, and his father, and their entire family, to be kin. Forest people know each other no matter how many years or miles might be between you at a particular moment of re-encounter.

    That was just on my dad's side. On my mom's, they'd been Americans between 50 and 100 years by 1776

    Retconning them as "foreigners" rather than pioneers or extended kin in diaspora is a typically PC move.

    Seem to have touched a nerve. Sorry.

    The point of the joke was that the founding fathers were not natural born US citizens because the US did not exist until they conjured it up … up til then, they were merely British subjects.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Olorin
    Not a nerve, just a matter of legal terms in historical context.

    Also my ancestors were never British subjects. That was the whole point of the Revolution.

    And various incidents here and there before that over the course of a century and a half.

  79. At this point I don’t care if they impeach Trump. In fact, it may be better if they did. It’s clear by now that he’s not going to deliver on immigration/the national question. Pence would at least govern competently.

    Or Trump could bring Bannon, Kobach, Miller into his inner circle, end DACA, order that E-Verify be applied, jail the sanctuary city mayors, and close his Twitter account. Then and only then would it be worth going to bat for him (again).

    Read More
    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    I share your disappointment with DJT. I disagree, however, with the view that we should simply accept their attempt to remove him from office. Their reason for trying to force him out is that he campaigned on the ideas that he has since failed to implement. Their attack on him is an attack on those ideas. We must stand up for those ideas.
  80. Lurker says:
    @Anonymous
    The major players in the open borders game know and understand every single negative aspect of immigration.

    They're not stupid!

    They know that they're f***king up this country!

    Mass immigration is very very good for oligarchs and also pretty good for the people who work for oligarchs.

    Exactly.

    By now we must all be aware that it’s not a matter of us letting the elite know what the problems are so they can fix them, they know what the problems are and, at best, they don’t give a crap. Or worse they know and they welcome them.

    Read More
  81. @unzerker
    About 6-8 years ago I watched from my window, 5 middle age white construction workers building a parking garage in record time. The building was constructed mostly out of prefab panels. It was an amazing sight.

    As a middle aged white union construction worker who has done precast rigging, I approve this remark.

    I was on a job in Manhattan a couple of months ago. Across the street was a scab site, concrete high rise about 15 stories, not sure how high they are going. They would bring a rig in every couple of floors when they had a rebar delivery. There was a big snowstorm coming and they had to cancel their rebar pick because of high wind. We watched 20 Mexicans unload about 50,000 lbs of rebar by hand, one guy on each floor, one piece at a time, bucket-brigade-style, hand over hand, from the street to the working floor. It only took them about two days.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Anonymous-anti, Amazing that something as unsafe as hand over hand vertical passing of rebar escapes the eye of OSHA, but heaven forbid you have a stray piece of 2x4 laying in a safety net and you are a union job ,they come down on you with both feet
  82. Lurker says:
    @kihowi
    Similarly, while the weepy fat housewives who run the West justify immigration by pointing at all the great foreign restaurants that we get out of it, Japan just sends Japanese abroad to learn. Then they come back and collect the most Michelin stars anywhere on earth.

    Maybe this is something I got from iSteve, but reading this site every day of my life makes it hard to remember what I thought of myself.

    Similarly, while the weepy fat housewives who run the West justify immigration by pointing at all the great foreign restaurants that we get out of it

    They don’t run anything but they are used to justify elite polices – “See haters, immigration is popular!”

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    I hear this absurd argument, too, here in L.A. We greatly enjoy the diverse ethnic-cuisine options, but it wasn't necessary to give away our country and our culture to get that.

    We should have lots of temporary-residency / work-permit arrangements for foreigners to come here and open restaurants -- but NEVER let them live here permanently and certainly never let them become citizens. You think people in the Third World would turn that down? If so, fine. But most of them would still be glad to take it.

    Whenever a person from Country X fails to report to the port of entry to leave the country upon expiration of their temp residency, the quota for admissions from that country would drop by one until and unless that person is apprehended, convicted, jailed, and then deported.
  83. @anon1
    If modular is really so much more efficient, it should have taken over the industry long ago. The fact that it still has limited market share suggests that it isn't actually better. It's not as though modular is some kind of brand new invention.

    It’s a demand side problem too. Bourgeois still want to live in McMansions. I call them “wedding cake” houses: gables, facades, trim work, etc. It’s ridiculous, because none of these features are functional any more, so they’re just more joints and disparate surfaces for water intrusion, pooling, mildew, etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Romanian
    Aesthetics are good for the soul. Something beautiful and built to last will increase its value and ennoble the neighborhood. Something ugly or bland, no matter how comfortable, is a missed opportunity and leads to ugly and bland neighborhoods.
  84. @peterike
    Speaking of shoddy buildings, in New York you can pay $609,350 for a house that collapses.

    http://gothamist.com/2017/05/16/bed-stuy_bubble_building.php

    You are paying for the land. The building was scheduled for demolition years ago.

    Read More
  85. utu says:
    @Bill

    Thanks. So less you pay them higher their productivity.
     
    No. That's what you wanted him to say, not what he said. Labor productivity is measured as quantity of output divided by number of labor hours of input. The units it is measured in are usually real dollars of output per hour. "Real dollars" are not money, either, they are an output index.

    Depressing wages almost certainly lowers productivity (relative to what it would have been with higher wages). It does this because lower wages encourage firms not to substitute capital for labor, encourages firms not to work so hard looking for ways to save labor time, etc.

    Productivity of the US economy has been rising for a long, long time. Sometimes (like from 1945-1973) the benefits of that rising productivity have gone mostly to middle and working class folks, and sometimes (like from 1974-present) the benefits of that rising productivity have gone exclusively to upper class folks.

    So, to increase productivity as you define it is by technical and organizational innovations. Employers will be forced to innovate if they do not have easily available cheap labor, right?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill
    I'd say that is one effect among many, but yes. If you raise wages, one of the ways firms will respond is by substituting capital for labor and by increasing efforts to find labor-saving innovations. These will have the effect of raising output/labor hour.
  86. MW says:
    @Jimi
    In NYC you often find illegal immigrants standing at street corners to hold up a sign pointing to restaurants with lunch specials.

    Uncontrolled immigration as enabled employers to pay people to be human sign holders. I suspect under tighter labor markets (higher wages) these sort of jobs would disappear.

    Economists would rate this as a reduction in GDP. But ask yourself is this economic activity really worth the price of illegal immigration

    My understanding is that it’s pretty hard to outlaw humans holding signs, due to Constitutional protections on speech. Billboards are strictly regulated pretty much everywhere, so in a place like NYC, it’s incredibly expensive to rent advertising space, which typically wouldn’t be at street level anyway.

    So we have this weird phenomenon of human sign-holders. The economics would probably still work at a $15 minimum wage or higher, in many cases. Though obviously if it were legal to just stick a stanchion on the sidewalk, they would do that instead.

    Read More
  87. Bugg says:

    Work crews of illegals who do not understand English and failing to follow simple instructions lead to accidents, delays, insurance cost increases. And in this very real case I am “professionally” familiar with, death.Had these workers understood simple instructions for the general contractor, this accident never happens. Multiply that over 5o states with work crews of illegals shaping up in every Home Depot and Lowe’s daily.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/1-worker-critically-injured-4-hurt-brooklyn-building-collapse-article-1.1055111

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    It would be poetic justice if the owner who hired the illegal aliens instead of Americans was there and had the building collapse on him.

    We need prison sentences for people who intentionally / knowingly hire illegal aliens, not mere fines or warnings. If it was intentional / knowing, the very first offense should be a felony with a mandatory minimum of one year in a serious prison.

  88. My own experience has been the opposite, perhaps sadly.

    Remodeling my previous home in the next town over, just a few short years ago, I first talked to “American” contractors. They were of two types: Italian Americans, who had a smug attitude and high prices, and Eastern European immigrants, who seemed to be in no hurry to start the job and were full of reasons why they couldn’t estimate completion times.

    So, I called a Brazilian carpenter I knew who was a customer of mine in my own field of business. I knew he was a sharp businessman who made money and knew how to lead his employees. He put me in touch with a bunch of his fellow Brazilians who did the following: carpentry, wood floors, roofing, window installation, masonry — all the things those Italians and Eastern Euros made sound to difficult.

    The only things I ended up hiring real Americans for were furnace and air-conditioning installation, more technical stuff, which they did very well.

    My Brazilians got all their jobs done quickly and well, even when I had some short timelines for certain things. I sold the house at a profit and moved right around the time I was getting aquainted with this iSteve blog. So, I started to feel guilty, but dammit, I still contact those guys when I really need a building trades contractor with no bullshit. There are no WASP types like me here in CT who do this type of work anyway. I don’t feel too bad replacing Italians and former Soviets with South Americans.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    My humble opinion. You should change your handle to "Buzz CuckHawk".
    , @RadicalCenter
    "I don't feel too bad replacing Italians and former Soviets"? So we Americans of Italian and Slavic background, we're not "real Americans"?

    By the way, it was primarily the self-hating pussy "WASP types" in CT who have allowed the State's cities to become deadly desolate African hellholes -- New Haven and Bridgeport, yeah baby -- and have actively pushed an anti-white anti-freedom agenda in the State and nationally. Good job, WASPs.

  89. Romanian says: • Website
    @Technite78
    Mortgages are collateralized loans, and as such the interest rate is determined (partially) by the expected losses due to default... and those losses depend partially on the resale value of the property in a foreclosure. Prefabricated homes (on average) do not retain their value over time as well as traditional homes. Hence, higher interest rates and/or lower loan-to-value ratios. Also, higher default rates due to the lower credit quality of the typical buyer have an effect as well.

    My thanks to you and the other responders!

    Read More
  90. Romanian says: • Website
    @Bill
    They depreciate, unlike custom homes. This seems to be, mostly, because of the market segment they serve. Their customers care disproportionately about price (over quality). Their customers disproportionately wreck the houses they live in, rather than improving them. There's also the problem that, for example, if I hit hard times and defaulted on my mortgage, I would surrender the house, in good condition, in an orderly way to the bank. Disproportionately, trailer people don't do this, to put it mildly. So, not only is the product manufactured to hit a price point and damn the quality, but the the product disproportionately attracts the sort of customers you don't want if you are a bank. Manufactured homes are kind of a reverse Veblen good.

    I'm not making technical points about house manufacture above. It's technically feasible to make beautiful, high-quality, finely finished manufactured homes. I'm making social science points about the equilibrium the market is in.

    Relevant to all this: the show Tiny House Nation.

    Thanks for the explanation. That show is very depressing. I’m not saying that we should all get McMansions, but, a lot of the time, the people on that show are blind to the needs of a fulfilling life, like having a family and relative ease in old age. Many are buying the equivalent of adult tree forts. It might be different for people who can afford to move house several times in their lifetime, but, in Romania, the general price of a home in the capital (apartment) is at 7-10 years worth or more of the current average wage. It’s not something you will likely move out of with ease for an upgrade.

    Read More
  91. Romanian says: • Website
    @The Anti-Gnostic
    It's a demand side problem too. Bourgeois still want to live in McMansions. I call them "wedding cake" houses: gables, facades, trim work, etc. It's ridiculous, because none of these features are functional any more, so they're just more joints and disparate surfaces for water intrusion, pooling, mildew, etc.

    Aesthetics are good for the soul. Something beautiful and built to last will increase its value and ennoble the neighborhood. Something ugly or bland, no matter how comfortable, is a missed opportunity and leads to ugly and bland neighborhoods.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    Form should follow function. Fake stucco, poorly thought-out cornices, gables, ornamentals, large, steeply angled roofs (waterfalling rain to gutters that can't possibly handle the flow) degrade the structure.

    The blog McMansion Hell can be snooty, but has some good insights on design.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Romanian, Not a well known fact, but Buffalo is home to a number of Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes, aesthetically pleasing if you like the "Prairie" style he is famous for. However, it seems Wright designed homes started to deteriorate almost as soon as they were built. Water leakage and foundation settling issues. However, if you have enough deep pocket supporters you can restore one of his house, the Larkin house, for a mere $50 million plus, and they are soon going to start work on the second floor!
  92. @anon1
    If modular is really so much more efficient, it should have taken over the industry long ago. The fact that it still has limited market share suggests that it isn't actually better. It's not as though modular is some kind of brand new invention.

    To learn the reason why modular hasn’t “taken over the industry” you need go no further than your local city or town hall. When you get there ask to take a look at the building code. These codes are the product of a conspiracy involving local contractors, building trade unions, and politicians.
    While their overt purpose is to ensure health and safety their actual, primary purpose is to stifle outside co9mpetition, ensure high profits for local contractors, and maintain the power of local trade unions.

    Read More
  93. Anonymous says: • Website • Disclaimer

    OT: Daily Mail:

    British gamblers believe U.S. President Donald Trump is now more likely to leave office before the end of his first term than not, British bookmakers said on Wednesday, after a week of tumult at the White House.

    Betfair said that punters had bet more than 5,000 pounds ($6,470) on an early departure for Trump in the hours after it was reported he had asked his then-FBI Director James Comey to shut down an investigation into ties between former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russia.

    Concerns that businessman and former reality TV star Trump’s economic reforms could be slowed and he might even face the threat of impeachment has dented demand for the dollar.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    I should bet on the other side (Trump surviving the four years). We could use the money.
    , @Reg Cæsar
    Yeah, but how did they do on Brexit, and Trump's upset?
  94. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Buzz Mohawk
    My own experience has been the opposite, perhaps sadly.

    Remodeling my previous home in the next town over, just a few short years ago, I first talked to "American" contractors. They were of two types: Italian Americans, who had a smug attitude and high prices, and Eastern European immigrants, who seemed to be in no hurry to start the job and were full of reasons why they couldn't estimate completion times.

    So, I called a Brazilian carpenter I knew who was a customer of mine in my own field of business. I knew he was a sharp businessman who made money and knew how to lead his employees. He put me in touch with a bunch of his fellow Brazilians who did the following: carpentry, wood floors, roofing, window installation, masonry -- all the things those Italians and Eastern Euros made sound to difficult.

    The only things I ended up hiring real Americans for were furnace and air-conditioning installation, more technical stuff, which they did very well.

    My Brazilians got all their jobs done quickly and well, even when I had some short timelines for certain things. I sold the house at a profit and moved right around the time I was getting aquainted with this iSteve blog. So, I started to feel guilty, but dammit, I still contact those guys when I really need a building trades contractor with no bullshit. There are no WASP types like me here in CT who do this type of work anyway. I don't feel too bad replacing Italians and former Soviets with South Americans.

    My humble opinion. You should change your handle to “Buzz CuckHawk”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    Get back to me when you invest your own money in a project.

    There is a difference between anonymously insulting people on the intardnet and actually getting real work done.

    I hire real Americans all the time. I even managed to find a real American landscaper who grew up around here. He is an island in a sea of Mexicans. I hired him. You did not. I looked and found him. You did not.

    My point earlier was to describe a situation in which the best option was not the one wished for, and in which the results were better than expected -- in case you didn't notice. I chose legal Brazilians over crooked Italians and lazy Eastern Bloc trash. Those were my choices. That is business in the real world, not pseudo-intellectual commentary.

  95. @Anonymous
    There are plenty of business decisions that business owners can make within a legal framework and are compelled to do by market pressures. And despite this plenty of business owners leave those decisions off the table despite legal permissibly and the excuse of competition doing it too because they consider it beneath them. Just goes to show that a lot of the rot can be traced to millions of white small business owners like ranchers and contractors who put themselves out to be the bedrock of core America but when it comes time to demonstrate values show themselves to be scumbags.

    Disagree. It’s a race to the bottom. If I employ white framing carpenters at $15/hour, and my competitor starts hiring illegals at $10/hour, I have to do the same or I am out of business. And the middle class gets to eat s**t in higher taxes to pay for schools, health care, yadda yadda yadda, for these morons. That’s even before we get to the costs of recreational drinking and driving. All this brought to you so that yuppies can have cheap docile nannies and get their grass cut for $35.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Your competitor needs to go to jail and spend some quality time with his beloved Mexican and Latino hermanos.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    If I employ white framing carpenters at $15/hour, and my competitor starts hiring illegals at $10/hour, I have to do the same or I am out of business.
     
    If white Americans aren't worth 50% more than illiterate campesinos, that's a horrifying fact in and of itself.

    I find it hard to believe that hovels built by peon Mexicans will stand for very long.

    Actually, we could go city-by-city, state-by-state, enacting local ordinances requiring employers of non-citizens to provide those alien workers with full "Cadillac" health plans for the whole family. Only American citizens would have the right to waive this benefit.

    Let's see them do that for $10 an hour!

  96. @Jack Hanson
    A pretty significant bar to manufactured houses is the fact that no matter how nice they are, many mortgage companies will refuse to lend in order to buy one.

    This Old House did a show years ago where they “assembled” a house out of modules built in a factory. The bottom line was that there was only about a 10% difference in cost, and much of that was eaten by transportation to the site. Perhaps economies of scale would make a bigger difference.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Jim, I used to watch This Old House, loved how they had to take a trip to Rome to watch how Italian tiles were made, all on the owner's dime.
  97. @Anonym
    OT: ABC cancels "Last Man Standing". I hardly watch TV. Has anyone seen it? It sounds funny, and kind of important.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2017/05/16/5-unanswered-questions-about-abcs-cancellation-of-last-man-standing/

    https://youtu.be/uV7vTn97Wz4

    OT: The article in the fairly conservative Washington Free Beacon is troubling, but I don’t know what to believe anymore.

    http://freebeacon.com/blog/no-one-white-house-likes-respects-trump/

    Read More
  98. @Romanian
    Aesthetics are good for the soul. Something beautiful and built to last will increase its value and ennoble the neighborhood. Something ugly or bland, no matter how comfortable, is a missed opportunity and leads to ugly and bland neighborhoods.

    Form should follow function. Fake stucco, poorly thought-out cornices, gables, ornamentals, large, steeply angled roofs (waterfalling rain to gutters that can’t possibly handle the flow) degrade the structure.

    The blog McMansion Hell can be snooty, but has some good insights on design.

    Read More
  99. @Buffalo Joe
    OSHA, the EPA and local DEC have all added to the cost of construction through mandated expenditures or environmental studies that slow construction and in some cases stop a project completely, often in midstream. When I drive past a structural steel job and see the ironworkers working from OSHA required man lifts I wonder how much that adds to job cost. Land that was previously used for a factory or commercial site requiring environmental impact studies and community input meetings, with unqualified community leaders and activists, before plans can be submitted and often modified multiple times. I could site dozens of examples of stalled or cancelled projects from WNY alone and everyone here probably knows of one or more in their area. The new Peace Bridge, linking Buffalo and Canada, has been proposed, studied, re-studied and debated to death. The one design cancelled for fear that the Common Tern, one of the most common seagull in WNY, might fly into and die from impact with the suspension cables. They are called Common Terns, well because they are common. I don't want to ruin my day but I could tell two horror tales of dealing with the EPA and their unreasonable regulations, an agency that mandates, enforces and adjudicates, at great expense to those who run afoul of their bureaucrats. I am off to weed and feed my lawn before that is forbidden.

    …I could tell two horror tales of dealing with the EPA and their unreasonable regulations…

    Go ahead. Tell us. After you’ve tended to your lawn of course.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Jim, Ok buddy here we go with the EPA. I was running the structural steel on a large power plant and we had on site a hydraulic boom crane, one where the boom scopes in and out to extend the boom as needed. These cranes self level themselves using hydraulic out riggers, with pads that are lowered onto the ground and pressured to level the crane. While setting up the crane to unload a piece of equipment or a load of steel, one of the outrigger hydraulic hoses ruptured and sprayed hydraulic fluid onto the ground. As soon as the operator saw this he shut the crane down and the leakage stopped. Unfortunately, the EPA site rep saw the spill. The crane probably carried 50 gallons of hydraulic fluid, which powered the boom and the outriggers, maybe 10 gallons spilled onto the crushed stone area we were working from. The require remediation: Dig and remove all material in a 10x10x10 feet cube. The removed crushed stone and underlying soil was to be containerized, in a special haz mat container, and shipped off site to be incinerated. The crane was set up about a half mile from Lake Ontario, so you know, we could befoul the lake. When I pointed out that there were hundreds of cars leaking fluids, gas, oil etc., in the site parking lot the EPA rep scoffed and said that was not a problem, but my crane was. Example two, years ago I was helping a local businessman with some on site events. I was handed a stack of letters, receipt requested, from the EPA. Seems that an EPA rep had visited his properties when he saw a sign that said there was a furniture refinisher on site. He discover a small container of paint remover and nothing else that would concern the EPA, except, while leaving the property he saw an injection well, that is a drain for a parking lot or driveway. Needing to justify his existence he sent a letter requiring the location and depth of all injection wells on site. Again, these were parking lot drains. The secretary accepted the letters, which totaled 10, signed for them and set them aside. When I was handed the problem the fines totaled $140k and were going up $4k per week, all for not responding. I won't bore you with the details of how this was resolved, remediation of the wells, GPS location and site maps, hydrologists, chemical testing of drain water, environmental engineers and lawyers, lots of hours, but the most telling thing is that when I called the EPA district office in NYC and mentioned the case file number to the file rep he said and I quote, " You can go fuck yourself. Not interested in talking to you . Pay the fine." The GFY is a direct quote.
  100. Ganderson says:
    @Trelane
    Off topic:

    KSTV-FM programming:

    The Fugitive episode from January 28, 1964 with guest stars Telly Savalas and Johanna Frank.

    1960s Americana writ large.

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4a4lqx

    A QM production.

    I’d forgotten that William Conrad was the narrator.

    Read More
  101. OutWest says:
    @Buck Turgidson
    Bill, I learned plumbing at a mobile home factory decades ago. Loved the work and was impressed at the final product that went out the door down at the end of the factory. I can only imagine the improvements and refinements since then in mobile homes. A nice double-wide on a good lot with a view would be very comfortable arrangement.

    Or maybe they’re just less costly now.

    Read More
  102. Ganderson says:
    @slumber_j
    The Fugitive was created by the great Roy Huggins, maternal grandfather of current Amazon Studios head Roy Price. Further fun fact: Joanna Frank, who guest-stars in that episode, is the sister of Steven Bochco, who produced Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue.

    Oh yeah: Bochco also produced Cop Rock...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ9rX0ImqJU

    Huggins was also involved in another great show, The Rockford Files.

    Read More
  103. Twinkie says:
    @Anonymous
    Referring to a "sketchy crowd" in New Haven doesn't seem to me to refer to whites. The other stuff seemed like elitist street talk. I can't believe she would use this kind of language on social media though. Btw, is Chu Korean or Chinese. Very hard for me to tell these two groups apart when they are born and raised in the U.S.

    She is self-described as “Chinese-American.”

    Read More
  104. @kihowi
    Similarly, while the weepy fat housewives who run the West justify immigration by pointing at all the great foreign restaurants that we get out of it, Japan just sends Japanese abroad to learn. Then they come back and collect the most Michelin stars anywhere on earth.

    Maybe this is something I got from iSteve, but reading this site every day of my life makes it hard to remember what I thought of myself.

    The iSteve hivemind.

    Read More
  105. @Sunbeam

    The posts, published over the course of the last few years, referred to customers as “white trash” and “low class folks” and to some employees as “barely educated morons.”
     
    Context is everything. I imagine that lots of white Yalies have the same attitudes towards the same types of whites she is referring too - though if they posted similar comments online no one is going to bother to go poring through them.

    Kind of imagine Ms. Chu is unlikeable on a personal level. Anyway.

    What is interesting though, is that it would be entirely reasonable for Asians (the Korean/Japanese/Chinese we actually mean when we use this word) have similar attitudes towards whites as whites have to blacks.

    Or maybe not. Whites are more prone to ... bad behavior than Asians are, but it isn't the same wide gulf you get between Sub-Saharan Blacks and everyone else.

    And that, more than the IQ gap, is the crux of the whole thing. When whites go to hell, you get West Virginia. When blacks go to hell you get Detroit. Or Birmingham. Or Gary, Indiana.

    Anyway, if I met an Asian who had a contemptuous attitude towards me due to the color of my skin... I'd be tickled pink (literally I guess). Masses of Chinese in suburbs across California with thinking the same way? Blase about it.

    It's when these Chinese get into positions of power, whether governmental, Wall Street or the like, where they might affect my present or my future that I start getting mad.

    If it is any consolation I feel the same way about white Yalies.

    I know my tribe. I have Assabiyah. Whether we are dumb as rocks, deserve nothing, it doesn't matter. Whether Germanic nice whites from the Midwest or Mormons are in my tribe? Doesn't matter. We are my tribe. And that is all that matters. The sentiments in Horatio At The Gate matter; The Bell Curve doesn't.

    I know the first law: It's one for all, and all on one.

    Now maybe it's that Dunning-Kruger effect. But I sit by my keyboard and think of all kinds of interesting things and strategies. Maybe we aren't so dumb when push comes to shove. Dunno.

    HBD is well and good. Whatever. But if you don't understand things at a basic level, like the fact that even the most stupid, illiterate moron in your tribe is worth more than the sum total of all educated elite college grads... then you understand nothing.

    This contempt, in my experience, isn’t typical. Given the string of military defeats that make up most of the history of Asia against the West, any notion of superiority would be dashed pretty fast.

    Much of the contempt for “white trash” would probably be the typical middle-upper class contempt for anyone who lives in a trailer. The most contempt I’ve ever seen was directed at white liberals, though, for being “naïve, lazy and stupid” to emphasize someone who is both ignorant and dumb.

    Probably undeserved.

    Read More
  106. The Wall Street Journal pushes open borders mass immigration and amnesty for illegal alien invaders. The editorial page of the WSJ routinely calls for increases in immigration and for increases in work visas. The WSJ knows damn well that the construction industry racket is hooked on the cheap labor drug known as mass immigration.

    Cheap labor from immigration and cheap money from the Federal Reserve Bank are the two things keeping the construction industry racket profitable for the shady people involved in it.

    It is not only construction of new buildings for the entrants allowed in by mass immigration, but the construction generated by White Flight from the areas being swamped by foreigners. The construction industry racketeers love that one. Swamp ‘em out of one area with foreigners and then build out in the hinterlands to house the resulting White Flight.

    As always, my answer is to raise the federal funds rate to 10 percent and institute a 10 year moratorium on all immigration, legal and illegal. I would also begin a massive deportation of foreigners currently in the United States. Those two actions would collapse the real estate bubble and make AFFORDABLE FAMILY FORMATION possible again for America’s young people.

    Read More
  107. TK421 says:
    @james n.s.w
    why is there even a lot of demand for new housing in japan, a country with a shrinking population?

    Besides the life span of homes as described by others, don’t forget a general rural to city migration. Tokyo is still growing while plenty of small towns die off.

    Read More
  108. @Lurker

    Similarly, while the weepy fat housewives who run the West justify immigration by pointing at all the great foreign restaurants that we get out of it
     
    They don't run anything but they are used to justify elite polices - "See haters, immigration is popular!"

    I hear this absurd argument, too, here in L.A. We greatly enjoy the diverse ethnic-cuisine options, but it wasn’t necessary to give away our country and our culture to get that.

    We should have lots of temporary-residency / work-permit arrangements for foreigners to come here and open restaurants — but NEVER let them live here permanently and certainly never let them become citizens. You think people in the Third World would turn that down? If so, fine. But most of them would still be glad to take it.

    Whenever a person from Country X fails to report to the port of entry to leave the country upon expiration of their temp residency, the quota for admissions from that country would drop by one until and unless that person is apprehended, convicted, jailed, and then deported.

    Read More
  109. @Bugg
    Work crews of illegals who do not understand English and failing to follow simple instructions lead to accidents, delays, insurance cost increases. And in this very real case I am "professionally" familiar with, death.Had these workers understood simple instructions for the general contractor, this accident never happens. Multiply that over 5o states with work crews of illegals shaping up in every Home Depot and Lowe's daily.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/1-worker-critically-injured-4-hurt-brooklyn-building-collapse-article-1.1055111

    It would be poetic justice if the owner who hired the illegal aliens instead of Americans was there and had the building collapse on him.

    We need prison sentences for people who intentionally / knowingly hire illegal aliens, not mere fines or warnings. If it was intentional / knowing, the very first offense should be a felony with a mandatory minimum of one year in a serious prison.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    Prison sentences for the Board members and C-suite occupents, not just the mope in HR who signs the hiring papers. Ten to fifteen years ought to be a strong disincentive.
  110. @Buzz Mohawk
    My own experience has been the opposite, perhaps sadly.

    Remodeling my previous home in the next town over, just a few short years ago, I first talked to "American" contractors. They were of two types: Italian Americans, who had a smug attitude and high prices, and Eastern European immigrants, who seemed to be in no hurry to start the job and were full of reasons why they couldn't estimate completion times.

    So, I called a Brazilian carpenter I knew who was a customer of mine in my own field of business. I knew he was a sharp businessman who made money and knew how to lead his employees. He put me in touch with a bunch of his fellow Brazilians who did the following: carpentry, wood floors, roofing, window installation, masonry -- all the things those Italians and Eastern Euros made sound to difficult.

    The only things I ended up hiring real Americans for were furnace and air-conditioning installation, more technical stuff, which they did very well.

    My Brazilians got all their jobs done quickly and well, even when I had some short timelines for certain things. I sold the house at a profit and moved right around the time I was getting aquainted with this iSteve blog. So, I started to feel guilty, but dammit, I still contact those guys when I really need a building trades contractor with no bullshit. There are no WASP types like me here in CT who do this type of work anyway. I don't feel too bad replacing Italians and former Soviets with South Americans.

    “I don’t feel too bad replacing Italians and former Soviets”? So we Americans of Italian and Slavic background, we’re not “real Americans”?

    By the way, it was primarily the self-hating pussy “WASP types” in CT who have allowed the State’s cities to become deadly desolate African hellholes — New Haven and Bridgeport, yeah baby — and have actively pushed an anti-white anti-freedom agenda in the State and nationally. Good job, WASPs.

    Read More
  111. @Anonymous
    OT: Daily Mail:

    British gamblers believe U.S. President Donald Trump is now more likely to leave office before the end of his first term than not, British bookmakers said on Wednesday, after a week of tumult at the White House.

    Betfair said that punters had bet more than 5,000 pounds ($6,470) on an early departure for Trump in the hours after it was reported he had asked his then-FBI Director James Comey to shut down an investigation into ties between former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russia.

    Concerns that businessman and former reality TV star Trump's economic reforms could be slowed and he might even face the threat of impeachment has dented demand for the dollar.
     

    I should bet on the other side (Trump surviving the four years). We could use the money.

    Read More
  112. @Jim Don Bob
    Disagree. It's a race to the bottom. If I employ white framing carpenters at $15/hour, and my competitor starts hiring illegals at $10/hour, I have to do the same or I am out of business. And the middle class gets to eat s**t in higher taxes to pay for schools, health care, yadda yadda yadda, for these morons. That's even before we get to the costs of recreational drinking and driving. All this brought to you so that yuppies can have cheap docile nannies and get their grass cut for $35.

    Your competitor needs to go to jail and spend some quality time with his beloved Mexican and Latino hermanos.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    That would be fine with me. A few high profile ICE raids in Bethesda, Chappaquidick, San Jose, etc. would get the message out. I am not holding my breath. ICE won't even arrest the illegals who stand up in public and brag about it.
  113. L Woods says:

    OT: NPR managed to run an entire hour program on the troubles of sub-Saharan Africa without once mentioning overpopulation or birth control. Instead, we got to hear some Kenyan guy complaining about the failure of white people to stand athwart the laws of supply and demand by allowing commodity prices to sink.

    Read More
  114. @Jim Don Bob

    ...I could tell two horror tales of dealing with the EPA and their unreasonable regulations...
     
    Go ahead. Tell us. After you've tended to your lawn of course.

    Jim, Ok buddy here we go with the EPA. I was running the structural steel on a large power plant and we had on site a hydraulic boom crane, one where the boom scopes in and out to extend the boom as needed. These cranes self level themselves using hydraulic out riggers, with pads that are lowered onto the ground and pressured to level the crane. While setting up the crane to unload a piece of equipment or a load of steel, one of the outrigger hydraulic hoses ruptured and sprayed hydraulic fluid onto the ground. As soon as the operator saw this he shut the crane down and the leakage stopped. Unfortunately, the EPA site rep saw the spill. The crane probably carried 50 gallons of hydraulic fluid, which powered the boom and the outriggers, maybe 10 gallons spilled onto the crushed stone area we were working from. The require remediation: Dig and remove all material in a 10x10x10 feet cube. The removed crushed stone and underlying soil was to be containerized, in a special haz mat container, and shipped off site to be incinerated. The crane was set up about a half mile from Lake Ontario, so you know, we could befoul the lake. When I pointed out that there were hundreds of cars leaking fluids, gas, oil etc., in the site parking lot the EPA rep scoffed and said that was not a problem, but my crane was. Example two, years ago I was helping a local businessman with some on site events. I was handed a stack of letters, receipt requested, from the EPA. Seems that an EPA rep had visited his properties when he saw a sign that said there was a furniture refinisher on site. He discover a small container of paint remover and nothing else that would concern the EPA, except, while leaving the property he saw an injection well, that is a drain for a parking lot or driveway. Needing to justify his existence he sent a letter requiring the location and depth of all injection wells on site. Again, these were parking lot drains. The secretary accepted the letters, which totaled 10, signed for them and set them aside. When I was handed the problem the fines totaled $140k and were going up $4k per week, all for not responding. I won’t bore you with the details of how this was resolved, remediation of the wells, GPS location and site maps, hydrologists, chemical testing of drain water, environmental engineers and lawyers, lots of hours, but the most telling thing is that when I called the EPA district office in NYC and mentioned the case file number to the file rep he said and I quote, ” You can go fuck yourself. Not interested in talking to you . Pay the fine.” The GFY is a direct quote.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson
    Thank you for demonstrating the utter folly that accompanies rule by bureaucrats. All of our Leftist "friends" reading this site ought to repent in sackcloth and ashes. America cannot be great when weighed down by the idiocies imposed by the administrative state.
    , @Jim Don Bob
    Thanks, Joe. That was even worse than I expected. I love war stories.
  115. MarkinPNW says:
    @Bill

    Thanks. So less you pay them higher their productivity.
     
    No. That's what you wanted him to say, not what he said. Labor productivity is measured as quantity of output divided by number of labor hours of input. The units it is measured in are usually real dollars of output per hour. "Real dollars" are not money, either, they are an output index.

    Depressing wages almost certainly lowers productivity (relative to what it would have been with higher wages). It does this because lower wages encourage firms not to substitute capital for labor, encourages firms not to work so hard looking for ways to save labor time, etc.

    Productivity of the US economy has been rising for a long, long time. Sometimes (like from 1945-1973) the benefits of that rising productivity have gone mostly to middle and working class folks, and sometimes (like from 1974-present) the benefits of that rising productivity have gone exclusively to upper class folks.

    About the time that Nixon’s cancellation of what was left of the gold standard began to take effect, eventually allowing FIRE to become pre-eminent over actually producing useful goods and services.

    Read More
  116. @RadicalCenter
    Your competitor needs to go to jail and spend some quality time with his beloved Mexican and Latino hermanos.

    That would be fine with me. A few high profile ICE raids in Bethesda, Chappaquidick, San Jose, etc. would get the message out. I am not holding my breath. ICE won’t even arrest the illegals who stand up in public and brag about it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Robert Hume
    Yes, that's been clear for decades. If the government won't enforce the immigration laws for a particular field, then every contractor in that field who doesn't want to go out of business will have to hire illegals. Or to put it another way will have to discriminate against US citizens.

    Our only hope to reduce immigration is that Sessions will enforce all existing laws.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    A few high profile ICE raids in Bethesda, Chappaquidick, San Jose, etc.
     
    Sure you didn't mean Chappaqua?

    Chappaquiddick brings to mind the old saw, "I got a bridge to sell ya."
  117. Olorin says:
    @The Alarmist
    Seem to have touched a nerve. Sorry.

    The point of the joke was that the founding fathers were not natural born US citizens because the US did not exist until they conjured it up ... up til then, they were merely British subjects.

    Not a nerve, just a matter of legal terms in historical context.

    Also my ancestors were never British subjects. That was the whole point of the Revolution.

    And various incidents here and there before that over the course of a century and a half.

    Read More
  118. @Jim Don Bob
    That would be fine with me. A few high profile ICE raids in Bethesda, Chappaquidick, San Jose, etc. would get the message out. I am not holding my breath. ICE won't even arrest the illegals who stand up in public and brag about it.

    Yes, that’s been clear for decades. If the government won’t enforce the immigration laws for a particular field, then every contractor in that field who doesn’t want to go out of business will have to hire illegals. Or to put it another way will have to discriminate against US citizens.

    Our only hope to reduce immigration is that Sessions will enforce all existing laws.

    Read More
  119. @Jim Don Bob
    That would be fine with me. A few high profile ICE raids in Bethesda, Chappaquidick, San Jose, etc. would get the message out. I am not holding my breath. ICE won't even arrest the illegals who stand up in public and brag about it.

    A few high profile ICE raids in Bethesda, Chappaquidick, San Jose, etc.

    Sure you didn’t mean Chappaqua?

    Chappaquiddick brings to mind the old saw, “I got a bridge to sell ya.”

    Read More
  120. @Anonymous
    OT: Daily Mail:

    British gamblers believe U.S. President Donald Trump is now more likely to leave office before the end of his first term than not, British bookmakers said on Wednesday, after a week of tumult at the White House.

    Betfair said that punters had bet more than 5,000 pounds ($6,470) on an early departure for Trump in the hours after it was reported he had asked his then-FBI Director James Comey to shut down an investigation into ties between former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russia.

    Concerns that businessman and former reality TV star Trump's economic reforms could be slowed and he might even face the threat of impeachment has dented demand for the dollar.
     

    Yeah, but how did they do on Brexit, and Trump’s upset?

    Read More
  121. @Jim Don Bob
    Disagree. It's a race to the bottom. If I employ white framing carpenters at $15/hour, and my competitor starts hiring illegals at $10/hour, I have to do the same or I am out of business. And the middle class gets to eat s**t in higher taxes to pay for schools, health care, yadda yadda yadda, for these morons. That's even before we get to the costs of recreational drinking and driving. All this brought to you so that yuppies can have cheap docile nannies and get their grass cut for $35.

    If I employ white framing carpenters at $15/hour, and my competitor starts hiring illegals at $10/hour, I have to do the same or I am out of business.

    If white Americans aren’t worth 50% more than illiterate campesinos, that’s a horrifying fact in and of itself.

    I find it hard to believe that hovels built by peon Mexicans will stand for very long.

    Actually, we could go city-by-city, state-by-state, enacting local ordinances requiring employers of non-citizens to provide those alien workers with full “Cadillac” health plans for the whole family. Only American citizens would have the right to waive this benefit.

    Let’s see them do that for $10 an hour!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Reg, lots of new construction here in Buffalo at the downtown Medical Campus. The business agent for the carpenters, after being hounded to hire minorities, said....(paraphrasing) "Is it asking too much that job seekers know basic math, fractions and how to read a rule?" So it's not just immigrants who are illiterate, but what would you expect from a community that graduates barely 50% of HS students.
  122. @Buffalo Joe
    Jim, Ok buddy here we go with the EPA. I was running the structural steel on a large power plant and we had on site a hydraulic boom crane, one where the boom scopes in and out to extend the boom as needed. These cranes self level themselves using hydraulic out riggers, with pads that are lowered onto the ground and pressured to level the crane. While setting up the crane to unload a piece of equipment or a load of steel, one of the outrigger hydraulic hoses ruptured and sprayed hydraulic fluid onto the ground. As soon as the operator saw this he shut the crane down and the leakage stopped. Unfortunately, the EPA site rep saw the spill. The crane probably carried 50 gallons of hydraulic fluid, which powered the boom and the outriggers, maybe 10 gallons spilled onto the crushed stone area we were working from. The require remediation: Dig and remove all material in a 10x10x10 feet cube. The removed crushed stone and underlying soil was to be containerized, in a special haz mat container, and shipped off site to be incinerated. The crane was set up about a half mile from Lake Ontario, so you know, we could befoul the lake. When I pointed out that there were hundreds of cars leaking fluids, gas, oil etc., in the site parking lot the EPA rep scoffed and said that was not a problem, but my crane was. Example two, years ago I was helping a local businessman with some on site events. I was handed a stack of letters, receipt requested, from the EPA. Seems that an EPA rep had visited his properties when he saw a sign that said there was a furniture refinisher on site. He discover a small container of paint remover and nothing else that would concern the EPA, except, while leaving the property he saw an injection well, that is a drain for a parking lot or driveway. Needing to justify his existence he sent a letter requiring the location and depth of all injection wells on site. Again, these were parking lot drains. The secretary accepted the letters, which totaled 10, signed for them and set them aside. When I was handed the problem the fines totaled $140k and were going up $4k per week, all for not responding. I won't bore you with the details of how this was resolved, remediation of the wells, GPS location and site maps, hydrologists, chemical testing of drain water, environmental engineers and lawyers, lots of hours, but the most telling thing is that when I called the EPA district office in NYC and mentioned the case file number to the file rep he said and I quote, " You can go fuck yourself. Not interested in talking to you . Pay the fine." The GFY is a direct quote.

    Thank you for demonstrating the utter folly that accompanies rule by bureaucrats. All of our Leftist “friends” reading this site ought to repent in sackcloth and ashes. America cannot be great when weighed down by the idiocies imposed by the administrative state.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    The EPA is a great example of something that once had a purpose, before it went off on scope-creep of epic, self-justifying proportions.
  123. according to this chart, almost half of the world’s largest robotics stocks are in Japan:

    Read More
  124. @Chrisnonymous

    Japanese houses traditionally weren’t built to last
     
    You've said this before. I can't tell if you're talking about the traditional houses made of wood, built on stilts, with sliding doors, etc, or "traditional" post-war concrete boxes.

    It’s not just old houses.

    “Fifteen years after being built the average home in Japan is worth nothing”

    According to the International Union of Architects, Japan has almost 2.5 architects per 1,000 residents, whereas Britain only has half an architect per 1,000 residents. The US has only 0.33 architects per 1,000 residents and Canada has 0.22%. Japan, in other words, has 11 times as many architects per capita as Canada.

    The origins of this unusual approach to sturdy structures are the result of a long history featuring earthquakes and fires. The second world war exacerbated the situation.

    Jiro Yoshida, an assistant professor of business at Pennsylvania State University, specialises in the Japanese housing market. “Most structures in, for example, Tokyo were destroyed, so everything had to be rebuilt from scratch,” he says. “The new buildings weren’t very good, so after a while many had to be knocked down.”

    But today’s buildings are demolished even though they could last. That, says Yoshida, has a cultural explanation: “The government updates the building code every 10 years due to the earthquake risk. Rather than spending money on expensive retrofitting, people just build new homes.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/disposable-homes-japan-environment-lifespan-sustainability

    But of course there is also a Japanese rebuilding tradition:

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/this-japanese-shrine-has-been-torn-down-and-rebuilt-every-20-years-for-the-past-millennium-575558/

    Read More
  125. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Jack Hanson
    Yes, ignore all the (((others))) who are herding the illegals, refugees, and all the others here and focus on the whites. To say nothing of (((those))) who run to the Ninth Circus to defend illegal alien criminals.

    Total cowardice to just exclusively focus on Jews.

    Read More
  126. @Anonymous
    My humble opinion. You should change your handle to "Buzz CuckHawk".

    Get back to me when you invest your own money in a project.

    There is a difference between anonymously insulting people on the intardnet and actually getting real work done.

    I hire real Americans all the time. I even managed to find a real American landscaper who grew up around here. He is an island in a sea of Mexicans. I hired him. You did not. I looked and found him. You did not.

    My point earlier was to describe a situation in which the best option was not the one wished for, and in which the results were better than expected — in case you didn’t notice. I chose legal Brazilians over crooked Italians and lazy Eastern Bloc trash. Those were my choices. That is business in the real world, not pseudo-intellectual commentary.

    Read More
    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    You gotta love the Internet. Everyone has an opinion, just like their backsides.
    , @JackOH
    Always important to read accounts of actual decision-making in an imperfect world of limited resources of time, information, and money.
  127. Bill says:
    @utu
    So, to increase productivity as you define it is by technical and organizational innovations. Employers will be forced to innovate if they do not have easily available cheap labor, right?

    I’d say that is one effect among many, but yes. If you raise wages, one of the ways firms will respond is by substituting capital for labor and by increasing efforts to find labor-saving innovations. These will have the effect of raising output/labor hour.

    Read More
  128. @Buzz Mohawk
    Get back to me when you invest your own money in a project.

    There is a difference between anonymously insulting people on the intardnet and actually getting real work done.

    I hire real Americans all the time. I even managed to find a real American landscaper who grew up around here. He is an island in a sea of Mexicans. I hired him. You did not. I looked and found him. You did not.

    My point earlier was to describe a situation in which the best option was not the one wished for, and in which the results were better than expected -- in case you didn't notice. I chose legal Brazilians over crooked Italians and lazy Eastern Bloc trash. Those were my choices. That is business in the real world, not pseudo-intellectual commentary.

    You gotta love the Internet. Everyone has an opinion, just like their backsides.

    Read More
  129. @Charles Erwin Wilson
    Thank you for demonstrating the utter folly that accompanies rule by bureaucrats. All of our Leftist "friends" reading this site ought to repent in sackcloth and ashes. America cannot be great when weighed down by the idiocies imposed by the administrative state.

    The EPA is a great example of something that once had a purpose, before it went off on scope-creep of epic, self-justifying proportions.

    Read More
  130. Pat Boyle says:
    @Bill P
    Productivity in house construction should by now have leapt up considerably due to improvements in modular design.

    I know there are a lot of retrograde republicans here who sniff at "double-wides" and the like, but as someone who has actually worked on stick-built homes I can say that there's a lot that could be gained from going modular like the Japanese and Europeans have been for the last couple decades.

    As for the losses in productivity, what the hell would one expect when you're hiring illiterate Mexicans who don't even know English measurements? the loss of efficiency could only be made up for by drastically lower wages, which are a proven fact in the construction industry.

    I know that your typical UMC baby-boomer looks down on anyone who would buy anything but a house crafted by a master Norwegian carpenter (one of my first bosses, BTW), but the fact of the matter is that the rest of us would rather just have a well-designed, energy-efficient house with a yard and reliable plumbing and wiring at a decent price.

    That kind of house can be manufactured regionally in a factory and then tuned up on site without the need for an overcompensated contractor with a gang of illegal laborers to do the grunt work and frequently f*** up the measurements leading to massive future expenses.

    My friend Marvin was indeed a “master Norwegian carpenter” who build an opera house in his house which he had converted from an abandoned school house. This was in Petaluma California. When you went out of the kitchen you went into the ‘Green Room” and from there you went on stage. It all interconnected – the lobby, the auditorium and his bedroom.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill P
    People look for all sorts of reasons for the viking era. I think it's pretty simple:

    Give a Norwegian a hammer, a saw and plenty of iron and wood and next thing you know there's a fleet of ships just ready to use.

    But seriously, there's some kind of special relationship between Norwegians and wood. My first wife's grandpa was a Norwegian furniture/cabinet craftsman who made himself quite a reputation and small fortune crafting some of the most beautiful desks, bureaus, tables, cabinets - you name it - that anyone could ask for. He custom built a number of Bill Gates' pieces and was consequently invited over to the mansion for a tour.

    I remember family Christmas parties where the patriarch and his sons would exchange gifts consisting of special woodworking tools much to their delight. I never knew there was such a rich vernacular of woodworking, and never would have guessed, if I hadn't seen and heard it for myself. There's a tool and species or special variety (such as a burl) of wood for just about everything. These guys would scour the planet for the right grain, weight and finish.

    It's really a great art, and I hope it continues, but it's more than most of us can afford.
  131. @Reg Cæsar

    A few high profile ICE raids in Bethesda, Chappaquidick, San Jose, etc.
     
    Sure you didn't mean Chappaqua?

    Chappaquiddick brings to mind the old saw, "I got a bridge to sell ya."

    Yes

    Read More
  132. @Buffalo Joe
    Jim, Ok buddy here we go with the EPA. I was running the structural steel on a large power plant and we had on site a hydraulic boom crane, one where the boom scopes in and out to extend the boom as needed. These cranes self level themselves using hydraulic out riggers, with pads that are lowered onto the ground and pressured to level the crane. While setting up the crane to unload a piece of equipment or a load of steel, one of the outrigger hydraulic hoses ruptured and sprayed hydraulic fluid onto the ground. As soon as the operator saw this he shut the crane down and the leakage stopped. Unfortunately, the EPA site rep saw the spill. The crane probably carried 50 gallons of hydraulic fluid, which powered the boom and the outriggers, maybe 10 gallons spilled onto the crushed stone area we were working from. The require remediation: Dig and remove all material in a 10x10x10 feet cube. The removed crushed stone and underlying soil was to be containerized, in a special haz mat container, and shipped off site to be incinerated. The crane was set up about a half mile from Lake Ontario, so you know, we could befoul the lake. When I pointed out that there were hundreds of cars leaking fluids, gas, oil etc., in the site parking lot the EPA rep scoffed and said that was not a problem, but my crane was. Example two, years ago I was helping a local businessman with some on site events. I was handed a stack of letters, receipt requested, from the EPA. Seems that an EPA rep had visited his properties when he saw a sign that said there was a furniture refinisher on site. He discover a small container of paint remover and nothing else that would concern the EPA, except, while leaving the property he saw an injection well, that is a drain for a parking lot or driveway. Needing to justify his existence he sent a letter requiring the location and depth of all injection wells on site. Again, these were parking lot drains. The secretary accepted the letters, which totaled 10, signed for them and set them aside. When I was handed the problem the fines totaled $140k and were going up $4k per week, all for not responding. I won't bore you with the details of how this was resolved, remediation of the wells, GPS location and site maps, hydrologists, chemical testing of drain water, environmental engineers and lawyers, lots of hours, but the most telling thing is that when I called the EPA district office in NYC and mentioned the case file number to the file rep he said and I quote, " You can go fuck yourself. Not interested in talking to you . Pay the fine." The GFY is a direct quote.

    Thanks, Joe. That was even worse than I expected. I love war stories.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Jim, There is actually another WNY EPA horror story, where a local developer, William Huntress, bought a parcel of "shovel ready" land from the Town of Amherst. The EPA stepped in and declared it an undevelopable wetland and jerked Huntress around for years. Finally he won a $4 million dollars settlement from the Town of Amherst, which immediately declared that certain town funded projects were now cancelled because of him. I, however, had no role in this case.
  133. JackOH says:
    @Buzz Mohawk
    Get back to me when you invest your own money in a project.

    There is a difference between anonymously insulting people on the intardnet and actually getting real work done.

    I hire real Americans all the time. I even managed to find a real American landscaper who grew up around here. He is an island in a sea of Mexicans. I hired him. You did not. I looked and found him. You did not.

    My point earlier was to describe a situation in which the best option was not the one wished for, and in which the results were better than expected -- in case you didn't notice. I chose legal Brazilians over crooked Italians and lazy Eastern Bloc trash. Those were my choices. That is business in the real world, not pseudo-intellectual commentary.

    Always important to read accounts of actual decision-making in an imperfect world of limited resources of time, information, and money.

    Read More
  134. @Jim Don Bob
    Thanks, Joe. That was even worse than I expected. I love war stories.

    Jim, There is actually another WNY EPA horror story, where a local developer, William Huntress, bought a parcel of “shovel ready” land from the Town of Amherst. The EPA stepped in and declared it an undevelopable wetland and jerked Huntress around for years. Finally he won a $4 million dollars settlement from the Town of Amherst, which immediately declared that certain town funded projects were now cancelled because of him. I, however, had no role in this case.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    The word "wetlands" does not appear in the original legislation which talks instead about "the navigable waters of the United States", but after EPA was captured by the Greens, they went judge shopping and now assert authority over any land that has any water on it however briefly.

    NPR is a leftist pile of dog-do, and as much as I would dearly love to see them all applying at Waffle House, the EPA continues to do much economic damage and would be my number one candidate for elimination.

  135. @Reg Cæsar

    If I employ white framing carpenters at $15/hour, and my competitor starts hiring illegals at $10/hour, I have to do the same or I am out of business.
     
    If white Americans aren't worth 50% more than illiterate campesinos, that's a horrifying fact in and of itself.

    I find it hard to believe that hovels built by peon Mexicans will stand for very long.

    Actually, we could go city-by-city, state-by-state, enacting local ordinances requiring employers of non-citizens to provide those alien workers with full "Cadillac" health plans for the whole family. Only American citizens would have the right to waive this benefit.

    Let's see them do that for $10 an hour!

    Reg, lots of new construction here in Buffalo at the downtown Medical Campus. The business agent for the carpenters, after being hounded to hire minorities, said….(paraphrasing) “Is it asking too much that job seekers know basic math, fractions and how to read a rule?” So it’s not just immigrants who are illiterate, but what would you expect from a community that graduates barely 50% of HS students.

    Read More
  136. @anonymous-antiskynetist
    As a middle aged white union construction worker who has done precast rigging, I approve this remark.

    I was on a job in Manhattan a couple of months ago. Across the street was a scab site, concrete high rise about 15 stories, not sure how high they are going. They would bring a rig in every couple of floors when they had a rebar delivery. There was a big snowstorm coming and they had to cancel their rebar pick because of high wind. We watched 20 Mexicans unload about 50,000 lbs of rebar by hand, one guy on each floor, one piece at a time, bucket-brigade-style, hand over hand, from the street to the working floor. It only took them about two days.

    Anonymous-anti, Amazing that something as unsafe as hand over hand vertical passing of rebar escapes the eye of OSHA, but heaven forbid you have a stray piece of 2×4 laying in a safety net and you are a union job ,they come down on you with both feet

    Read More
  137. @Romanian
    Aesthetics are good for the soul. Something beautiful and built to last will increase its value and ennoble the neighborhood. Something ugly or bland, no matter how comfortable, is a missed opportunity and leads to ugly and bland neighborhoods.

    Romanian, Not a well known fact, but Buffalo is home to a number of Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes, aesthetically pleasing if you like the “Prairie” style he is famous for. However, it seems Wright designed homes started to deteriorate almost as soon as they were built. Water leakage and foundation settling issues. However, if you have enough deep pocket supporters you can restore one of his house, the Larkin house, for a mere $50 million plus, and they are soon going to start work on the second floor!

    Read More
    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    Wright was often on the cutting edge of building technology and he sometimes paid the price for it. Many of his most famous buildings are more than a century old, but, when properly maintained, are still providing shelter for families.
  138. @Jim Don Bob
    This Old House did a show years ago where they "assembled" a house out of modules built in a factory. The bottom line was that there was only about a 10% difference in cost, and much of that was eaten by transportation to the site. Perhaps economies of scale would make a bigger difference.

    Jim, I used to watch This Old House, loved how they had to take a trip to Rome to watch how Italian tiles were made, all on the owner’s dime.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    I pretty much stopped watching TOH after they canned Bob Vila. It's more like Yuppie Home Remodeling anymore, although some of the shorter segments with Ton Silva and the plumbing guy are interesting.
  139. Bill P says:
    @Pat Boyle
    My friend Marvin was indeed a "master Norwegian carpenter" who build an opera house in his house which he had converted from an abandoned school house. This was in Petaluma California. When you went out of the kitchen you went into the 'Green Room" and from there you went on stage. It all interconnected - the lobby, the auditorium and his bedroom.

    People look for all sorts of reasons for the viking era. I think it’s pretty simple:

    Give a Norwegian a hammer, a saw and plenty of iron and wood and next thing you know there’s a fleet of ships just ready to use.

    But seriously, there’s some kind of special relationship between Norwegians and wood. My first wife’s grandpa was a Norwegian furniture/cabinet craftsman who made himself quite a reputation and small fortune crafting some of the most beautiful desks, bureaus, tables, cabinets – you name it – that anyone could ask for. He custom built a number of Bill Gates’ pieces and was consequently invited over to the mansion for a tour.

    I remember family Christmas parties where the patriarch and his sons would exchange gifts consisting of special woodworking tools much to their delight. I never knew there was such a rich vernacular of woodworking, and never would have guessed, if I hadn’t seen and heard it for myself. There’s a tool and species or special variety (such as a burl) of wood for just about everything. These guys would scour the planet for the right grain, weight and finish.

    It’s really a great art, and I hope it continues, but it’s more than most of us can afford.

    Read More
  140. MBlanc46 says:
    @Anonymous
    Conservative white business owners -- ranchers and contractors -- are the leading on the ground force for ruining the country.

    The business class hs a lot to answer for. They put their profits above all else.

    Read More
  141. MBlanc46 says:
    @cucksworth
    The brand new townhomes with parking that go for $500k-1.1m in Linh Dinh's quickly changing south philly neighborhood don't even look straight from the outside.

    Home builders and restaurant owners are very supportive of immigrants right to be exploited with zero protections.

    The Chicago area used to be a stronghold of construction trade unions. Now you can’t walk past a construction site without hearing jabbering in Spanish and blaring Mexican music. Maybe the big downtown highrises use union labor, but the rest of the industry is all Mexican all tbe time.

    Read More
  142. anarchyst says:
    @rsj
    Well, the apartments I live in recently had a renovation done. All wall plates in all the renovated apartments are upside down, but on purpose. Turns out the latest owner owns other low income properties and one time a picture fell off the wall and landed on the plug below. It did not fall out all the way, only partially, so the metal prongs were still in the wall with the picture frame resting on it and it caused a huge fire. He insisted all plates upside down. so some are intentional, but it sounds like your example was error.

    There is no “code” for the orientation of electrical receptacles (outlets). It is at the discretion of the “builder” or occupants…

    Read More
  143. anarchyst says:
    @Anonymous
    ----3 of 4 electrical plates are upside down.------

    This was a fairly rare occurrence in the USA ... until the flood started in the 80s.

    It's now so common that we can assume it's a deliberate FU to da man. (And it's not just the plate of course).

    …there is no “code” for the orientation of electrical outlets…it is merely preference that the two prongs be at the top and the ground be at the bottom.
    Many people say that “ground up” orientation looks like a nose and two eyes…go figure…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy
    Standard practice for plugs is to have ground down, except for switched outlets, say, for a floor lamp, where ground is up. More thoughtful electricians make sure that the plates are level and that the screws all have the slot facing the same way, either horizontal or vertical. Look around your house and office to see who did what.
  144. MBlanc46 says:
    @Buffalo Joe
    Romanian, Not a well known fact, but Buffalo is home to a number of Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes, aesthetically pleasing if you like the "Prairie" style he is famous for. However, it seems Wright designed homes started to deteriorate almost as soon as they were built. Water leakage and foundation settling issues. However, if you have enough deep pocket supporters you can restore one of his house, the Larkin house, for a mere $50 million plus, and they are soon going to start work on the second floor!

    Wright was often on the cutting edge of building technology and he sometimes paid the price for it. Many of his most famous buildings are more than a century old, but, when properly maintained, are still providing shelter for families.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    MB, There was an article years ago that basically said, how many wrongs make a Wright. Many Wright designed buildings and homes had major structural problem from the start.
  145. MBlanc46 says:
    @International Jew
    At this point I don't care if they impeach Trump. In fact, it may be better if they did. It's clear by now that he's not going to deliver on immigration/the national question. Pence would at least govern competently.

    Or Trump could bring Bannon, Kobach, Miller into his inner circle, end DACA, order that E-Verify be applied, jail the sanctuary city mayors, and close his Twitter account. Then and only then would it be worth going to bat for him (again).

    I share your disappointment with DJT. I disagree, however, with the view that we should simply accept their attempt to remove him from office. Their reason for trying to force him out is that he campaigned on the ideas that he has since failed to implement. Their attack on him is an attack on those ideas. We must stand up for those ideas.

    Read More
  146. MBlanc46 says:
    @RadicalCenter
    It would be poetic justice if the owner who hired the illegal aliens instead of Americans was there and had the building collapse on him.

    We need prison sentences for people who intentionally / knowingly hire illegal aliens, not mere fines or warnings. If it was intentional / knowing, the very first offense should be a felony with a mandatory minimum of one year in a serious prison.

    Prison sentences for the Board members and C-suite occupents, not just the mope in HR who signs the hiring papers. Ten to fifteen years ought to be a strong disincentive.

    Read More
  147. @Buffalo Joe
    Jim, I used to watch This Old House, loved how they had to take a trip to Rome to watch how Italian tiles were made, all on the owner's dime.

    I pretty much stopped watching TOH after they canned Bob Vila. It’s more like Yuppie Home Remodeling anymore, although some of the shorter segments with Ton Silva and the plumbing guy are interesting.

    Read More
  148. @Buffalo Joe
    Jim, There is actually another WNY EPA horror story, where a local developer, William Huntress, bought a parcel of "shovel ready" land from the Town of Amherst. The EPA stepped in and declared it an undevelopable wetland and jerked Huntress around for years. Finally he won a $4 million dollars settlement from the Town of Amherst, which immediately declared that certain town funded projects were now cancelled because of him. I, however, had no role in this case.

    The word “wetlands” does not appear in the original legislation which talks instead about “the navigable waters of the United States”, but after EPA was captured by the Greens, they went judge shopping and now assert authority over any land that has any water on it however briefly.

    NPR is a leftist pile of dog-do, and as much as I would dearly love to see them all applying at Waffle House, the EPA continues to do much economic damage and would be my number one candidate for elimination.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Jim, I could not agree with you more re the EPA. OSHA does some good but they cite what they consider to be safety violations but offer no solutions. The DEC and all the tiny, obscure, soon to be naturally exstinct critters they protect, is also a major cause of hinderance to development.
  149. @MBlanc46
    Wright was often on the cutting edge of building technology and he sometimes paid the price for it. Many of his most famous buildings are more than a century old, but, when properly maintained, are still providing shelter for families.

    MB, There was an article years ago that basically said, how many wrongs make a Wright. Many Wright designed buildings and homes had major structural problem from the start.

    Read More
  150. @Jim Don Bob
    The word "wetlands" does not appear in the original legislation which talks instead about "the navigable waters of the United States", but after EPA was captured by the Greens, they went judge shopping and now assert authority over any land that has any water on it however briefly.

    NPR is a leftist pile of dog-do, and as much as I would dearly love to see them all applying at Waffle House, the EPA continues to do much economic damage and would be my number one candidate for elimination.

    Jim, I could not agree with you more re the EPA. OSHA does some good but they cite what they consider to be safety violations but offer no solutions. The DEC and all the tiny, obscure, soon to be naturally exstinct critters they protect, is also a major cause of hinderance to development.

    Read More
  151. Ivy says:
    @anarchyst
    ...there is no "code" for the orientation of electrical outlets...it is merely preference that the two prongs be at the top and the ground be at the bottom.
    Many people say that "ground up" orientation looks like a nose and two eyes...go figure...

    Standard practice for plugs is to have ground down, except for switched outlets, say, for a floor lamp, where ground is up. More thoughtful electricians make sure that the plates are level and that the screws all have the slot facing the same way, either horizontal or vertical. Look around your house and office to see who did what.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    I have never seen that practice (or even heard of it IIRC). Every place I have ever lived has been ground pin down. This presents some explanatory theories but concludes it doesn't matter: https://www.archtoolbox.com/materials-systems/electrical/groundorientation.html

    One comment here states some local codes specify up or down: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=622779
    70+ comments there if anyone wants to see many different takes on it.
  152. res says:
    @Ivy
    Standard practice for plugs is to have ground down, except for switched outlets, say, for a floor lamp, where ground is up. More thoughtful electricians make sure that the plates are level and that the screws all have the slot facing the same way, either horizontal or vertical. Look around your house and office to see who did what.

    I have never seen that practice (or even heard of it IIRC). Every place I have ever lived has been ground pin down. This presents some explanatory theories but concludes it doesn’t matter: https://www.archtoolbox.com/materials-systems/electrical/groundorientation.html

    One comment here states some local codes specify up or down: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=622779
    70+ comments there if anyone wants to see many different takes on it.

    Read More
  153. Lurker says:
    @RadicalCenter
    I hear this absurd argument, too, here in L.A. We greatly enjoy the diverse ethnic-cuisine options, but it wasn't necessary to give away our country and our culture to get that.

    We should have lots of temporary-residency / work-permit arrangements for foreigners to come here and open restaurants -- but NEVER let them live here permanently and certainly never let them become citizens. You think people in the Third World would turn that down? If so, fine. But most of them would still be glad to take it.

    Whenever a person from Country X fails to report to the port of entry to leave the country upon expiration of their temp residency, the quota for admissions from that country would drop by one until and unless that person is apprehended, convicted, jailed, and then deported.

    Close the borders and open the recipe books!

    Read More

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Steve Sailer Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.