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Thursday, May 25, 2006

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Blissex

But this line of argument is ridiculous... There was this paper 10-15 years ago predicting a severe bust in the USA housing market, as demographic extrapolation showed incontrovertibly that the baby bust following the baby boom would cause a scarcity of house buyers.

As a review of that paper argued, what happened is that a lot of immigrants filled the gap, and older people anyhow ended up staying alone in 4-bedroom houses, and lobby for higher state subsidies for health care rather than sell them and trade down.

What is already happening is that in order to maximize the value of the real estate legacies that baby boomers expect from their parents, to raise tax takes, and to have a vast pool of cheap labour for services like home and health care, many western governments are opening the floodgates to immigration.

Immigrants are usually young, healthy, very cheap, work in the kind of service/servant jobs that are needed for an aging citizen population, don't have the vote, don't collect welfare (most of which goes to citizens over 60 years old), and many of them actually go back to their country of origin eventually, once they have saved some money.

The future in many western world countries is one of an older, asset rich, majority drawing dawn government benefits they have voted themselves, while there is a large minority of immigrants that are working hard to fund those benefits for low salaries in order to make them as cheap as possible, and who have to pay rent to property-owning citizens.

Too bad for the minority (70% of voters own real estate) citizens whose profile is similar to that of immigrants...

Expect changes compatible with this plan also in fiscal policy: higher sales and excise taxes (to hit illegal immigrants), higher taxes on lower incomes (to hit legal immigrants), lower taxes on capital, property and inheritance (to favour well off retired citizens).

This has already been happening, curiously enough...

In other words: "quo" extrapolation rarely works, because vested interests prevail and the politics of the situation change the economics too.

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