Monday, December 24, 2007

airport security unjustified, housing bubble global, illegal immigrants actually going home

unlike any other screening or sampling process (say for quality control of incoming materials or general medical scanning to catch diseases early), airport security has never undergone any analysis or testing to prove that it is effective or justifiable. so, next time you get pulled randomly for extra screening, you have a subject for small talk.

the housing bubble is global. this may seem impossible, since all real estate is local and rather difficult to move, but debt is instantly transferable and is the fuel that powers housing prices. as debt becomes more expensive everywhere, every housing market worldwide will decrease in value because more expensive debt means lower buying power. an example from the UK "Britain's biggest mortgage lender said first-time buyers could not afford to purchase the average home in 96% of towns in the UK." 96% of towns are unaffordable. for that to mean something, you'd have to compare it to the same measure from a few years ago. by itself, though, it sounds pretty bad. i'm looking for better quality information about the international housing bubble, but haven't found anything yet. Spain and the south of France are on notice, though.

Arizona is tired of cheap labor artificially keeping the cost of food, construction, and services low. so, they have a new law going into effect on Jan 1 that will revoke the business licenses of companies that employ illegal workers. aside from driving up the prices of virtually everything in the state, causing numerous restaurants and farms to fail, and greatly depressing the housing and rental markets, the state hopes to free up medical and educational services for the legal portion of the population. it sounds like it will be an effective law, but i doubt that they have seriously thought through all of the consequences. this is a law that will quickly be repealed or go unenforced when Arizona realizes they have 100,000 too few cooks, nannies, yard workers, mechanics, and farm laborers and no white people want to take over the jobs for $3/hr.

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