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Youth is too beautiful to be wasted on the young. That may have been true in the 19th Century, but in 21st-century San Diego — and elsewhere — being youthful is no longer so beautiful, at least from an economic standpoint. The recession hit young adults harder than other age groups, and they have gained back less ground than older generations in the recovery.

Kelly Cunningham

According to the organization Generation Opportunity, the national unemployment rate for people 18 to 29 years of age is 13.1 percent, well above the overall rate. San Diego’s equivalent rate would probably be a bit higher, says Kelly Cunningham, economist for the National University System Institute for Policy Research. Reason: the San Diego economy is weaker than the national economy.

Vince Vasquez

Vince Vasquez, senior policy analyst at the same institute, says that the unemployment rate for San Diego military veterans 18 to 34 years of age is 13.4 percent. But the rate is only 8.1 percent for the next-older cohort, veterans 35 to 54.

Many of today’s millennial generation (ages 18 to 29) have recently entered the job market. Strike one. “Research has shown that workers who enter the labor market during a recession can see long-term negative effects on their employment and earnings,” according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. A Pew Research study last year showed that almost half of people age 18 to 34 took a job they didn’t want so they could pay their bills. Because of the weak economy, more than one-third have gone back to school and almost one-third have postponed getting married or having a baby.

In 1998, fully 65 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds were certain they could get another job if they lost their current post. That plunged to 27 percent in recessionary 2009. It has since bounced back to 43 percent, but that’s a long way from the 1998 level. Early this month, the American Psychological Association released a study indicating that Americans age 18 to 33 are the most stressed-out of any age group. On a 10-point scale, those in that younger generation reported an average stress level of 5.4, compared to the national average of 4.9. Almost 40 percent said their stress levels increased over the past year.

San Diegans of all ages have long lived in an economic squeeze: the cost of living is one of the highest in the nation, but incomes are only moderately higher than those in other metro areas.

Margie de Ruyter

The under-25 set in San Diego averages $15,000 below what the Workforce Partnership deems the minimum needed to survive.

“It is no secret that it costs a lot to live in San Diego,” says Margie de Ruyter, senior director of workforce initiatives for the San Diego Workforce Partnership. Data from the partnership tell the story: basic monthly living expenses for a single adult in San Diego County come to $2959; that requires a salary of $35,508 a year.

But look at what average young adults make in the county, according to California Employment Development Department data: The average pay of 14- to 18-year-old people in the county in the fourth quarter of 2011 was $12,576.

For 19- to 21-year-olds, the average yearly pay was $13,990, and the average new hire made $12,828. For 22- to 24-year-olds (including college grads), the average annual wage was $22,944 and the average new hire made $21,888. For those 25 to 34 years old, the yearly wage rose to $44,796, but the average new hire was paid only $36,156.

Not surprisingly, women suffer pay discrimination. For females 22 to 24 in the fourth quarter of 2011, the average annual pay was $21,276, and for new hires, $20,280. In the 25–34 cohort, the average annual pay was $39,516 and for new hires $32,964, or below the minimum requirement for a single adult.

“Few households live off one income,” says Cunningham. Living in this squeeze “takes multiple workers per household, doubling up in housing and often working multiple jobs, full-time as well as part-time. This is particularly true for young people, considering how expensive housing is.” Housing prices have come down 35 percent from pre–Great Recession peaks, “but rents went up.” According to Zillow.com, the median home value in the San Diego County market is $381,900, which is fourth highest among the 30 largest metro areas, and well over double the nation’s $157,400 median. The median rent is $2101 per month, fourth highest among the 30 largest markets and far above the nation’s $1274.

“Teen homelessness is on the rise; more young people are couch-surfing or sleeping at friends’ places,” says de Ruyter.

Older, experienced people are forced to delay or cancel retirement “and take jobs below what they were making before; because they have more experience, they push out young people,” says Cunningham. San Diego is suffering from out-migration, and among those leaving for cheaper areas are the young adults. Similarly, the squeeze on San Diego’s millennial generation inhibits young people from moving here from elsewhere. “Think of those young people with a college degree in liberal arts, saddled with debt, working at a Starbucks.”

The fact that young couples need two incomes inhibits birth of babies; San Diego’s natural population increase (births minus deaths) declines, according to Cunningham’s figures.

In San Diego, remedial steps are being taken. The San Diego Workforce Partnership administers federal job-training funds and raises money elsewhere. The organization trains young low-income people, “foster youth or those transitioning out of foster care, youth with disabilities, gang-affiliated, high school dropouts,” says de Ruyter. The partnership’s job is to help such people with employment. The partnership got $200,000 from City government sources. The money will be used for a youth-hiring program that includes high school dropouts as well as grads, and even some at the college level.

Vasquez, of the National University System Institute for Policy Research, is spearheading, along with a friend, the Military Veteran Scholarship Fund at the University of California San Diego. The group aims to raise $25,000 that will be matched by university alumni.

There is good news. The Social Science Research Council did a study on what percentage of those 16 to 24 were neither working nor in school. They are named “the disconnected.” Among 25 metro areas, San Diego had the third-lowest percentage of disconnected (11.1), including the lowest percentage of disconnected African-Americans (12.1) and second lowest of Latinos (13.3).

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Comments

nokomisjeff Feb. 28, 2013 @ 5:20 a.m.

Holy crap, a 14-18 year old makes $12K a year? That's insane. Back in the late 60's, when I was 14-15, it took me a year and a half to save $800, and that was good money back then.

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Don Bauder Feb. 28, 2013 @ 6 a.m.

Jeff: C'mon, Jeff, you know how much inflation has risen since the 1960s. Best, Don Bauder

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nokomisjeff Feb. 28, 2013 @ 12:07 p.m.

Yes, I know exactly how much inflation has devalued the dollar, and my $800 saved over a year and a half would not be worth $12K. My $800 if all saved in one year, 1969, would be worth $5101.40 according to the Minneapolis Fed which has a nifty calculator on their front page. http://www.minneapolisfed.org/

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Don Bauder Feb. 28, 2013 @ 1:11 p.m.

Jeff: But wait. You said in your initial post that in the late 1960s it took you a year and a half to SAVE $800. We are talking about EARNING, not SAVING. So your $5101.40 would not compare with the $12,000 that today's young people EARN. I would be surprised if they save 4% of their earnings. Best, Don Bauder

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nokomisjeff March 1, 2013 @ 6:48 a.m.

Don, in that year and a half I did not spend a single dime even for a soda, as I was focused on saving $800 for a ham radio transceiver.. I earned $800 and I saved $800. I was taught thrift starting when I was 4 years old and got my first savings account. FWIW, I still have the radio and it has served me well and is worth more than $800 today.

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Don Bauder March 1, 2013 @ 8:41 a.m.

Jeff: In your case, you saved all you earned. How many others in this world can say that? I'm sure you realize that economists sneer at thrift. Consumption is the name of the game. Back in the 1930s, one prominent economist -- it might have been Keynes -- said that "Private virtue is public folly." He was talking about savings. Don't tell a macroeconomist about your thrifty youth or you will be scolded. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston March 1, 2013 @ 9:23 a.m.

Jeff, I started working the summer after I turned 13, 1964. I think I worked about 10 hrs a week and I made $1 per hour. It was a grocery in the neighborhood, my parents knew the owner and I chased carts and did carry outs. I worked there every summer, summers only, until I turned 16. After I turned 16, my parents let me work as many hours as were available, provided I kept my grades up, which I did. I also had to get my own savings account and put at least ½ of what I made in it each and every week. My parent’s held on to my pass book, so once the money went in, it pretty much stayed in. At that point, I think it was around 20 hrs or so and I was making about $1.50 or $1.75, something like that. Once school was out, I was pretty much working at least 30 hrs every week and I got a raise to $2.00 an hour, which was a lot in 1967. I easily made $800 in just that summer and I did spend some of the money. When I left for Berkeley in July of 1968, I had just over 2K in my savings account. Using that calculator, I made just over $30k in today’s money in that year and a half. I also did a little experiment with that calculator. In 1976, the first year after grad school we were both employed full time for the entire year, my wife and I made just under $42k combined. In 2010 dollars, the last full year we worked (we retired in May of 2011), that comes out to just over $165k. That’s about 43% less that we actually made. So I guess in about 34 yrs we increased our incomes about 43% since we first went to work. Puts things in a different perspective

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nokomisjeff March 1, 2013 @ 1:39 p.m.

I never worked 30 hours a week as a kid as I had many other outside interests. I usually worked 7 one hour shifts a week cleaning pans at a bakery and doing the floor. I did get free bread and cakes etc. I also worked off the books and did not enjoy the minimum wage, but that's the way things were.

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tomjohnston March 1, 2013 @ 3:19 p.m.

ok so if you worked only 7 hours a week for a year and a half, that comes out to 546 hours. That's about $1.45 an hour, about .20 under Ca. minimum and .15 under Fed minimum You know the old saying, it's not what you know, it's who you know. As I said above, my parents knew the owner. They were friends with his son, who ran the grocery and his son was one of my buddies since grade school. I also worked off the books, at least until I turned 16 and until then I was under minimum also. I also had the advantage of tips. Many of the people who shopped their knew my parents. Back in the day, it was normal to tip the kids who did carry outs; usually it was a quarter. On a Friday or Sat I could make an extra 4 or 5 dollars in tips. I also had outside interests. Those interests cost money. I was able to work that much because as a HS Senior, I was out of school by 1pm. That let me work a lot of hours and I always had Friday and Saturday nights off. It was a good experience for me. I learned a lot of things that carried over to when I got older and actually had to live in the "real" world.

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Don Bauder March 1, 2013 @ 5:16 p.m.

Jeff: The only times I worked off the books were when I mowed lawns and babysat. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 1, 2013 @ 5:01 p.m.

tomjohnston: When I was 14, I took over the lawn mowing business that my older brother had assiduously built up. I was so lousy at it that I lost most of the customers. Then I worked for the street and sewer department. When I stunk up the joint, I fit right in with the other workers. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston March 1, 2013 @ 5:15 p.m.

Well, you know what they say. When you can't find an honest job, you can always go into "journalism" LOL

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Don Bauder March 1, 2013 @ 5:18 p.m.

tomjohnston: I have to admit that many people equate journalism with foul odors. I get emails to that effect every once in awhile. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Feb. 28, 2013 @ 11 p.m.

In 1958, I made $12,000 working for a plant nursery. The MF calculator said that would be over $97,000 in 2013. I haven't come close to that since.

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Don Bauder March 1, 2013 @ 8:45 a.m.

Twister: You are describing what has happened to the middle class in the U.S. Most are making less, adjusted for inflation, than they did decades ago. Meanwhile, the income of the upper 1 or 2% spirals and spirals upward. A federal government-coordinated goon campaign by police squelched the Occupy movement. But one day, the goons won't be able to stop it. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister March 2, 2013 @ 10:33 a.m.

The only way "we" the people can get much done is to live lives of frugal luxury, barter as much as possible, and avoid buying corporate products.

But governors and the Feds will "take whatever measures necessary."

REMEMBER KENT STATE!

PS: And don't forget the Milgram experiment and its history and banning of that sort of thing.

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Don Bauder March 6, 2013 @ 4:41 p.m.

Twister: It's easy to avoid buying products made by American corporations. Just shop at Walmart and support Chinese companies. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill Feb. 28, 2013 @ 9:33 a.m.

Excellent article as usual Don.

There are two root causes that come to mind (not the only causes of course, just 2 that seem fairly obvious to me) for the high unemployment / low pay of young people:

  1. Illegal immigration.

Large labor supply of low skilled labor obviously brings down the cost of that labor (i.e. pay).

  1. Over-emphasis on college degrees funded by student loans.

Like the stupid idea that everyone should own a house, just because - there has been a stupid idea that everyone should get a college degree, just because. Both these notions were sold by data which ignored the distinction between cause and correlation. The push for everyone to take out student loans and go to college has led to several problems for young people. Skyrocketing tuition rates. There has been degree inflation to the point where one has to have a college degree to compete for administrative assistant jobs. There seems to be very little training in skilled trades at high school level (auto repair, plumbing, etc).

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nokomisjeff Feb. 28, 2013 @ 12:11 p.m.

Interesting in that you rarely find an out of work baker, cake decorator, pizza guy, meat cutter, good auto/truck mechanic. Those positions are always hiring during any economic conditions. Pay might not be the greatest, but it's enough to live on, and is honest work.

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Don Bauder Feb. 28, 2013 @ 1:19 p.m.

Jeff: What do you mean by a pizza guy? A pizza deliverer? A pizza chef? A waiter or waitress serving pizza in a restaurant? My guess is that you will find a lot of all of them in the unemployment lines. I'm not sure bakers are immune from unemployment, either. Beset, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 28, 2013 @ 1:16 p.m.

ImJustABill: I agree on both points. 1. Illegal immigration does bring down the general wage level, particularly in low-paying jobs. 2.And, yes, the idea that everybody should have a college degree is fallacious. Many jobs simply do not require a college degree. We are pushing far too many people to get degrees, and this is one reason for the horrendous student debt problem we have. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 28, 2013 @ 3:43 p.m.

viewer: My guess is that your recollection of immigrants getting into trouble, and then getting rehired by their former employers, is sound. In re a college education: I have a bachelor's and a master's, but I couldn't pound a nail straight if my life depended on it. I marvel at the skill of construction workers and auto mechanics. My wife has a PhD in plant ecology but she wouldn't try to repair a car. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 28, 2013 @ 3:47 p.m.

viewer: Ronald Reagan's philosophy was that government was not the answer, but was the problem. My own view is that government does a lot of things that individuals can't do for themselves, and that the market system isn't cut out to handle. But the government does a lot of things very poorly -- regulation of the financial system being one of them. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill Feb. 28, 2013 @ 8:03 p.m.

My theory:

I think checks and balances work best. Government and the free market should balance each other out. Free enterprise does a lot of great things - encouraging hard work, innovation, and efficiency. But free enterprise can also be prone to wild investment swings and a wide distribution of wealth from richest to poorest. I think ideally the government should tend to limit the excesses of business - wild speculation, vast range in income.

When government and business work together - LOOK OUT!

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Don Bauder Feb. 28, 2013 @ 8:23 p.m.

ImJustABill: Government and business working together is often called fascism. I believe in capitalism, but it has to be reformed -- radically. There is less "free" enterprise than most realize, and "free" markets are increasingly vanishing. Crony capitalism is in vogue and entrenched. It must be stopped. Best, Don Bauder

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jnojr March 1, 2013 @ 2:03 p.m.

As I've always said... if your job can be done by an illiterate, uneducated Third World peasant who doesn't speak English and who just hopped a fence, you are never going to get anywhere in life, and blaming said illegal alien is pointless.

I am NOT in favor of opening the borders, but that's because of the huge amounts of money we wind up paying in welfare, sending their kids to school to drop out, etc. Protectionism is NEVER the correct response.

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ImJustABill March 1, 2013 @ 4:04 p.m.

Most jobs which were available to teenagers and young adults in the past (fast food, manual labor, etc) are now primarily done by illegal immigrants. Therefore it is almost impossible for many young people to get a job - especially while juggling school and activities. Sorry if you think that's pointless.

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Don Bauder March 2, 2013 @ 8:41 a.m.

ImJustABill: I don't think that's pointless at all. The fact that jobs once taken by teenagers and young adults are now taken by immigrants -- many here illegally -- is definitely a problem. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 2, 2013 @ 8:39 a.m.

jnojr: Actually, if you believe in free enterprise, you should believe in free borders. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Feb. 28, 2013 @ 10:52 p.m.

Even a lightweight, mean-ass SOB like Henry Ford knew that his underpaid employees counted among his customers. Today's "capitalists" would wither were it not for the welfare they're getting from a shrinking base. The Consumer is the Golden Goose, but the unfed don't lay golden eggs or buy more than toys and drugs. When Walmart's sales dip, look OUT!

What would the five bucks a day that Ford paid his factory workers factor out to today?

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Don Bauder March 1, 2013 @ 6:44 a.m.

Twister: You are absolutely right. As middle class remuneration goes down, and the income of the upper 1% rises sharply, those crony capitalists in the upper 1% are destroying their own markets, but are too stupid or mule-headed to realize it. Consumption is 71% of the economy and can't be sustained on today's skimpy middle class pay. The plutocrats will realize that they have destroyed their own markets some day -- when it is too late. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister March 2, 2013 @ 9:14 p.m.

Well, Don, that might not be all bad. "Sustainability" and all that. On the other hand, the prediction I made in 1965 (The Corporate Feudal State--don't look for it; it was not published, but it aroused the ire of the Econ prof) might be even more severely validated than it already is. The Neo-Dark Ages?

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Don Bauder March 6, 2013 @ 4:47 p.m.

Twister: I would have liked to read your treatise on the corporate feudal state. It was not as big a problem in 1965 as it is now. Best, Don Bauder

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jnojr March 1, 2013 @ 2:08 p.m.

Henry Ford paid his employees a "fair wage" for very practical reasons... when you look for smart people and train them to do specialized tasks, you don't want them running off to competitor for another nickel or quarter or dollar an hour. Those people were WORTH paying. Once again... if your job can be done by an illiterate Third World peasant who just hopped a fence, your labor simply is not worth much, and there is no reason to pay you more just because your skin is white or because you were born here instead of there. Anyone who feels they're underpaid can find out very quickly if that's true... ask for a raise, and if denied, quit. Go where you'll be adequately compensated. If there is no such place, guess what? You were NOT underpaid, and may even have been overpaid.

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Don Bauder March 1, 2013 @ 3:02 p.m.

jnojr: In the current labor market, it is hardly easy to ask for a raise, and if turned down, quit and go work someplace else. That's one reason wages are kept so low. There are very few industries in which there is a labor shortage. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister March 2, 2013 @ 9:50 p.m.

This is The Age of Exploitation--the concept of competitive culture at its apex. We can accept the nadir, or we can reduce the induced oscillations that are increasing in frequency and amplitude and live on in an Age of Reconciliation--fulfilling our NEEDS rather than letting ourselves continue to be seduced by Mad Av into sacrificing them to fulfill our DESIRES. We can go on being infantile--or we can GROW UP.

The alternative is likely to be one where the one percent and their goons will have to live increasingly in gated, guarded enclaves (not communities--they are anti-social), moving about in bullet-proof limos and underground bunkers stored with canned food, not daring to venture beyond the perimeter. People with nothing more to lose, as we are seeing in Syria, will gladly stone their oppressors, even at the price of their lives. But, like crazed junkyard dogs, the oppressed will lash out at the nearest target--what's left of the "Middle Class," who are left outside the gate. And those who hire on as goons? When they're out of ammunition, they will get their reward at the hands of those they didn't manage to kill defending their masters. Culture, at its apex, is insanity. The only cure is social interaction--cooperating to survive, not climb pyramids.

Yet, we, the people of the United States of America, still believe that we MIGHT hit the lottery and thus join the one percent, so we continue to buy the "American Dream" of HITTING IT BIG! A cottage and picket fence and a car? That was pure propaganda! But we bought it and are still buying it.

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Don Bauder March 6, 2013 @ 4:53 p.m.

Twister: Economist Immanuel Saez has concluded that between 2009 and 2011, all the economic gains went to the top 1% and the bottom 99% lost ground. That describes the Age of Exploitation. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston March 6, 2013 @ 10:29 p.m.

What he specifically said was the top 1 percent of households by income captured 121 percent of all income gains between 2009 and 2011 and in doing so became 11.2 percent richer while the bottom 99 percent got 0.4 percent poorer. His paper also noted that during the Great Recession, from 2007 to 2009, average real income for the bottom 99% also fell sharply by 11.6%, while the average real income for the top percentile fell even faster, at a 36.3 percent decline, with the top 1% absorbing 49% of income losses from 2007 to 2009. BTW, in 2011 Emmanuel Saez base pay was $277,175.01 and his total compensation at Berkeley was $68,850.58. Records are not available for 2012.

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Don Bauder March 7, 2013 @ 6:34 a.m.

tomjohnston: Those are more details on the numbers. Saez is a top economist, as is one he works with, named Piketty (sp?). Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston March 7, 2013 @ 8:27 a.m.

It is his fellow Frenchman Thomas Piketty of whom you speak. My wife frequently reads a couple of French periodicals and has commented on his work on many occasions.

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Don Bauder March 30, 2013 @ 8:15 a.m.

tomjohnston: Piketty is highly respected, as his work with Saez. Best, Don Bauder

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mridolf March 1, 2013 @ 3:51 p.m.

The statistics are nothing surprising. If they're supposed to elicit sympathy, they don't work on me. Living in San Diego is not a right, it is a privilege, either earned, or bequeathed. Over the years I have seen many a newcomer decide what they could sacrifice (high wage, new car, big house, living alone, ect.) to reside here. I can claim all of them. I almost always had a roommate in San Diego (it's now my wife). I own two motorcycles, but both are over 30 years old. My regular vehicle is a company truck. I'm nearing retirement age, and I still have a long term mortgage. I absolutely guarantee if I lived elsewhere I'd own a larger house (paid off), drive a newer car, have a larger 401K, and maybe even a have few toys. It's a mobile worldwide economy. Jobs are available, just not always here. I had to move out of San Diego twice now, to earn the privilege, and develop the skills, to move back here as a viable employee in this economy. Unless Mommy and Daddy can buy you that beachside condo, (or bankroll a startup business, or get you into the ground floor at that company) you'd best be mobile to move up. Life is not fair. Get moving.

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Don Bauder March 1, 2013 @ 4:36 p.m.

mridolf: By sacrificing to live in San Diego, you have paid the sunshine tax. You have existed on psychic income. However, when I said there are few industries in which there are labor shortages, I was not just talking about San Diego. Yes, San Diego has higher unemployment and a weaker economy than the nation. But the nation is in no great shakes; unemployment is high and few industries have labor shortages. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister March 2, 2013 @ 9:21 p.m.

"Privilege" gained at the expense of others has cost the heads and empires of every past civilization.

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Don Bauder March 3, 2013 @ 6:28 a.m.

Twister: Military enlistees are indoctrinated with the words, "With rank goes privilege." That's one example. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston March 3, 2013 @ 11:34 a.m.

Don Bauder, RHIP isn't exclusive to the military. It is absolutely pervasive all through out society at every level.

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Don Bauder March 3, 2013 @ 12:17 p.m.

tomjohnston: RHIP is not so bad if rank is equitably achieved. But.... Best, Don Bauder

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Twister March 5, 2013 @ 9:37 a.m.

. . . with the consent of the governed. The TRUE consent of the governed.

The problem with rank is that it stifles creativity and concentrates power. Name ten people in history who have resisted that kind of temptation. Or at least start the list with the first one that comes to mind . . .

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Don Bauder March 5, 2013 @ 12:57 p.m.

Twister: Gandhi? Can't think of anybody else, and maybe he doesn't qualify. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 5, 2013 @ 12:55 p.m.

Twisters: Despots get a big head -- and then it gets chopped off. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston March 5, 2013 @ 1:11 p.m.

Unless they flee into exile, with their billions, first

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Don Bauder March 6, 2013 @ 7:11 a.m.

tomjohnston: Excellent point. The Shah of Iran, who was put into power by the U.S., stole a billion dollars from the country before he died. I believe Idi Amin got off with a pile of loot. Look at all of them that stash their money in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, etc. and then get away before they get beheaded. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston March 6, 2013 @ 9:59 a.m.

Amin is one of 2 that immediately came to mind, the other being Mobutu, from Zaire. The Shah of Iran certainly fits the definition of a despot, though I would be somewhat reluctant to liken his actions while in power with those of Amin or Mobutu or even Ferdinand Marcos.

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Don Bauder March 6, 2013 @ 12:18 p.m.

tomjohnston: The Shah was no Amin, but he was no angel, either. If you steal one billion dollars from your country, you don't deserve adulation. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston March 6, 2013 @ 12:49 p.m.

Don Bauder, I don't recall any adulation directed towards the Shah. I agree completely with you in terms of his thievery. However, as dispicable as his actions were, I would in no way compare him with someone who made off with several hundred million, if not more AND ordered the massacre of possible as many as 500K of his own people.

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Don Bauder March 6, 2013 @ 3:33 p.m.

tomjohnston: Stalin and Hitler still get the most opprobrium in the human extinction department. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston March 6, 2013 @ 4 p.m.

Don Bauder, Your reference to Hitler and Stalin is irrelevant to these comments. I don't seem to recall either Stalin or Hitler pilfering millions and fleeing into exile, which was my comment. In fact, even your comment "Despots get a big head -- and then it gets chopped off." doesn't apply as since we all know, Hitler committed suicide and Stalin died after suffering a heart attack, while still in power, I believe.

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Don Bauder March 6, 2013 @ 4:57 p.m.

tomjohnston: We were talking about despots stealing millions or billions and fleeing into exile, but you were the one who changed the topic to massacre of the people. That's when I mentioned Hitler and Stalin. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston March 6, 2013 @ 10:11 p.m.

Don Bauder Whatever you say . You're the one who brought up Stalin and Hitler and my only reference to the massacre of people was that the Shah of Iran didn't execute hundreds of thousand of his own people before being driven onto exile as Amin did and because of that, I wouldn't liken his actions to those of Amin.

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Don Bauder March 7, 2013 @ 12:02 p.m.

tomjohnston: I thought the segue from massacres to Hitler and Stalin was logical. You didn't think so. I don't think we have a difference that is terribly significant. Best, Don Bauder

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jnojr March 6, 2013 @ 3:49 p.m.

The Shah ran a particularly brutal secret police ("Mukhabarat", a term lots of Middle Eastern-ish societies love for their version of the Gestapo) and SAVAK, and prison (Evin). He wasn't up there with Bashar, let's say, certainly not Saddam Hussein, but there were more than a few people who got themselves disappeared. Some at the behest of the CIA, which was part of what led to the Revolution.

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Don Bauder March 6, 2013 @ 5 p.m.

jnojr: Has somebody added up the humans massacred by despots that we put in power, such as Saddam Hussein, the Shah, and many others? Would be fascinating to know. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston March 11, 2013 @ 10:41 a.m.

Don Bauder, I think that some would also say that some religious "leaders" are also despots, such as some of those in the catholic church, for example.

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Don Bauder March 30, 2013 @ 8:20 a.m.

tomjohnston: I don't disagree that some religious leaders are despots. This is found throughout history in several religions, particularly in non-secular states. Best, Don Bauder

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dwbat March 9, 2013 @ 8:34 a.m.

People love San Francisco, too. But try to work and live there. It makes San Diego's cost-of-living look like Reno or Tulsa. And as we view the horrendous winter weather in much of the country, our "sun tax" is certainly worth the cost. Snow/ice, hurricanes and flooding are not my idea of good living.

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Don Bauder March 9, 2013 @ 3:50 p.m.

dwbat: The cost of living is much higher in the Bay Area, particularly Silicon Valley, but salaries are higher, too. That doesn't mean salaries make up for the high costs, but they ease the pain. Some facts from the U.S. Census Bureau: Median owner-occupied housing value 2007-2011 for San Jose was $605,400 and for San Diego $455,000. Median household income 2007-2011 San Jose $80,674 and San Diego $63,857. Best, Don Bauder

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dwbat March 10, 2013 @ 3:47 p.m.

Right, but I was referring specifically to the City of San Francisco (not the Bay Area). I believe SF is second only to Manhattan for highest cost of housing (renting and owning).

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Don Bauder March 11, 2013 @ 1:36 p.m.

dwbat: I don't have cost of living stats in front of me now, but I can say that, according to the last report from Zillow.com, San Jose had the highest home values among the 30 largest metro areas at $639,500, compared with San Francisco's $538,900. Similarly, monthly rents in San Jose are $2668, compared with San Francisco's $2522. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston March 12, 2013 @ 9:13 a.m.

Don Bauder, It depends on the methodology. I prefer this report http://nlihc.org/oor/2012
or, if you just want to read the story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/14/san-francisco-rents-the-highest-in-nation_n_1345275.html
or there's this one, listed by state http://abcnews.go.com/Business/10-expensive-10-affordable-housing-markets/story?id=17826391. The is a plethora of lists, depending on which methodology and which criterion you choose.

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Don Bauder March 12, 2013 @ 12:20 p.m.

tomjohnston: You are absolutely right: statistics depend on the methodology. Accountants and statisticians are expert prestidigitators. The Bay Area is interesting statistically. The federal government in one instance bundles the entire Bay Area -- San Francisco, Oakland, Silicon Valley -- into one metro area, one of the largest in the U.S. But the government also breaks down the Bay Area into three separate markets. San Diego County is the 17th largest U.S. market but something like 25th largest media market. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston March 12, 2013 @ 5:09 p.m.

Or it can be even further broken down by zip code.

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Don Bauder March 13, 2013 @ 7:43 a.m.

tomjohnston: Yes, various competing organizations break down statistics into numerous pieces, and also keep inventing new statistics. Of course, politicians are expert at distorting statistics, as are others such as Wall Street analysts and speculators. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston March 13, 2013 @ 10:13 a.m.

I was referring strictly to a previous conversation(s) on one of your blogs/stories in which the topic was most expensive housing zip codes., form the Forbes list if I remember correctly. I was making no political reference at all

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Don Bauder March 13, 2013 @ 12:33 p.m.

tomjohnston: Housing stats are broken down by small geographic areas within a market. Ditto for voting stats. And you can put in an address of houses in the U.S. and find out plenty. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston March 13, 2013 @ 3:30 p.m.

Don Bauder, Agreed. However, as I said, I was referring only to the cost of housing, by zip code,from a Forbes list and was making no political reference, either directly or implied.

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Don Bauder March 13, 2013 @ 7:30 p.m.

tomjohnston: OK. You didn't make a political reference. But I did. In my responses to blog posts, I often broaden the topic. That's what I did. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister March 8, 2013 @ 10:32 p.m.

What is most important is consideration of the tougher questions regarding the nature of CONCENTRATED power. The authoritarian personality needs other authoritarians who will do the boss' bidding. Back to the Milgram study.

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Don Bauder March 9, 2013 @ 6:57 a.m.

Twister: Yes, in numerous areas, such as the media, concentrated power is a difficult societal problem. Best, Don Bauder

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maryellen1952 March 9, 2013 @ 2:33 p.m.

One thing not mentioned is that the Bay area is by far much more liberal and progressive than the San Diego area will ever be. it's like they are two separate states...San Diego has one of the highest # of racial hate groups in the state so that speaks for the conservatism right here in your backyard.

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Don Bauder March 9, 2013 @ 3:59 p.m.

maryellen1952: There is absolutely no question: governments in the Bay Area are far more citizen-oriented. A couple of years ago, I wrote a column showing how, generally, San Francisco preserved the Presidio for use of its citizenry. San Diego gave the Navy Training Center away to McMillin Cos., which had donated more to the local councilmembers. The old NTC now consists mainly of homes on which McMillin made a mint. The amount of historical preservation was minimal compared with the Presidio. Similarly, the Bay Area has miles and miles of green space for citizen use. San Diego County has inadequate green space. Best, Don Bauder

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