Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2013:July:29 Monday
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2013/7/29-8/23 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:54716 Activity:nil
7/28    Mountain View, the not so pretty side:
2013/7/29-9/16 [Finance/Investment] UID:54717 Activity:nil
        Only 28% of millionaires consider themselves wealthy. So it is
        not just my wife!
        \_ People have been using the term "millionaire" as a synonym for
           "rich" for a very long time.  But there's this little thing called
           inflation.  Having a million dollars in 1900 is roughly equivalent
           to 20-25 million dollars today.  As time goes on, it becomes easier
           to be a millionaire, and that million buys less than it used to.
           Yet people fixate on that number.  *shrug*
           \- I think for the purposes of this conversation it's more useful
              to compare to say 1970. Today paris hilton and i have the same
              iphone [although she probably has a more expensive case]. in 1900
              you didnt have indoor plumbing, travel was risky etc. I think
              the real effect here is one of cohort. Also longer lifespan
              adds to insecurity, as does the state of medicine/medical
              expenses ... insurance doesnt make all of that go away.
              BTW, David Cay Johnston is always worth reading.
              \_ Ooooookay, one million in 1970 is about six million today.
                 My point is unchanged.  Are you happy now?
                 \- this coming from the person whose point is "there is inflation"
                 \- this coming from the person whose point is "there is
                    \_ Not at all.  Reporters going off about "ZOMG!!!
                       Millionaires don't think they're rich!!!" is a bit
                       silly, because we've been using the term "millionaire"
                       as a synonym for "rich" for so long that today there's a
                       substantial gap in meaning.  Inflation, in this case,
                       has made the words no longer truly synonymous, but
                       people keep using them as synonyms anyway.
                       \_ Pentamillionaire is too hard to say and would just
                          confuse most people anyway. But even just one million
                          US dollars is quite a lot in most of the US (and the
                          \_ If you live in the bay area, if you had a million
                             1970 dollars you could retire and live comfortably
                             for the rest of your life.  If you have a million
                             2013 dollars, you're going to be going to work
                             monday through friday and paying your mortgage.
                             That's the difference.  "Sounds big" isn't enough
                             to retire on.
                             \_ Sure and I am in that exact situation. But it
                                is plenty to retire on in most of the country.
                                It is even enough to retire on here, if you are
                                happy with a modest, middle-class lifestyle and
                                have no kids (or your kids are grown).
                        \- The most notorious cases of the "whiney rich"
                           which got a lot of press that I am aware of [such
                           as the Plutocracy-apologist University of Chicago
                           Business School Prof] were people with high
                           *incomes* who were talking about how they were
                           having trouble making ends meet saying they hardly
                           had any money at the end of the year, but were
                           including expenses like private school for 2 kids,
                           saving $75,000/yr toward retrement, $15,000
                           vacations ... based on their car lease estimates,
                           they were driving a pair of $100k cars etc. So
                           they were people making say $250k/yr per couple
                           and upset that 1. they couldnt vacation like their
                           college friends who were making $2.5m year on wall
                           street, 2. couldnt keep spending the same money on
                           cars/restaurants/wine/hobby post-kids. As far as I
                           know, when I was a kid, rich and poor had to stand
                           in line at Disneyland.  Now rich people can buy
                           their way to the front ...  so there is a lot of
                           "plutocratization"/pecuniary externalities.
                           But my point is you have to look at wealth and
                           income. The south bay is filled with retired
                           millionaire school teachers who bought houses
                           in the late 60s and 70s for essentially 0 [$20k?].
                           But I agree the ones who bought investment property
                           and thus are maybe worth $5m have a different
                           lifestyle than the folks with "only" a teacher's
                           pension and a $1.5m house.
                           \_ Can rich people literally buy their way to the
                              front of the line at Disneyland? Or is that a
                              figure of speech?
                              \_ Last time my wife and I went to Disneyland
                                 there was some kind of scheme where you could
                                 reserve a place in the short line.  If you
                                 bought a regular ticket, like us, I think you
                                 were limited to just 2 short lines, but I
                                 recall there being a more expensive ticket
                                 that gave you access to 5 lines or something.
                                 \_ I do not think that this is true, but
                                    will see if I can find some info. I do
                                    know about the Fast Pass, but am pretty
                                    sure that everyone can only hold one at
                                    a time.
                                 \_ Plus, even Gilory Gardens, a non-profit
                                    park, has a similar scheme.
                              \_ The sleazier way to go about this is to hire
                                 a disabled person to accompany you in their
                                 wheelchair so your group can bypass the lines.
                                 I read an article about tour guides doing this
                                 for affluent families at Disneyworld not too
                                 long ago.
                                 \_ Gee, I wouldn't want to put up with having
                                    a stranger in my vacation with my family
                                    just to get to the front of the lines, let
                                    alone paying for it.
                                    \_ I've stood in plenty of long lines at
                                       amusement parks.  Standing in the summer
                                       sun for an hour and a half to two hours
                                       with young kids?  I can see the appeal.
                                       It's hot, kids get bored in the lines,
                                       and if you can skip it, then you get to
                                       do more with your day.  Do you consider
                                       a tour guide an intrusion into your
                                 \_ The even sleazier way is to rent your own
2013/7/29-10/28 [Uncategorized] UID:54718 Activity:nil
7/29    Looking for some good engineers, esp iOS and Android.
        -- email
        \_ Why do you have two offices, and which one does what?
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2013:July:29 Monday