We are all just two or three crises away from the street

Some time I’ll have to tell my grand kids about theirs.



This. Whatever you think of the idea of oft-quoted ideas like how making people share health care costs will reduce societal costs, health care is not a market the way it is set up today.

I’m very lucky, I have great health insurance. But when I fill a prescription at CVS (which has my insurance information on file), I literally can’t find out how much it will cost until I go to pick it up after it has been filled.


You’re putting words into my text. I don’t see where I questioned the writer’s compassion for her neighbour or suggested that the homeless deserve anything;(

I said the text, by virtue of mentioning the issue of mental ill health implicitly IMPLIES (as opposed to explicitly expressing) that the link between mental ill health and homelessness is relevant in this particular instance, even though the central focus of the argument is about the lack of social safety net and the injustice and cruel way poor people are treated in society.

Clearly, mental health has an impact on housing status (and there are many fold historical and social reasons for that), but so does your social background or whether or not your employer can get away with not paying you a living wage for your labour. Bringing mental health into the equation potentially diffuses the argument about social responsibility.

As to stopping the madness that, I think, is about a significant shift in thinking, and a very big part of that is reflecting on our biases.

No it doesn’t; that’s a strange reading of the original text. The original text was all about social responsibility despite mental illness or personal capacity. It also potentially raises awareness, since mental health was mentioned so explicitly.

I just don’t see your critique of the OP. I think she wrote something fine, with nothing detracting from it. She didn’t write something biased and containing judgments, even subtle ones. If anything, it was imploring and asking more questions than it resolved.

I just went for beer supplies today, and there was a cider press sitting there, just waiting to be bought. I resisted. For now.

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Hey! Good thing you didn’t! I built my own cider press from a $20 bottle jack and scrap wood. Total cost, about $50 because I needed nice stout bolts, some clear pine and some fine muslin. Let me dig up a picture… you’ll see what I mean.

Uhh… still digging… please hold… OK, found it.


I’m pretty sure that in a true crisis, no one will accept your gold.

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So, uh, you’ve never bought a house, eh?

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To catch local cats?

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Nope, and I don’t plan to, unless I can pay up front. I’m not interested in getting tangled up with the next inevitable lending crisis the government has done nothing so far to prevent.

Good luck with that unless you’re in Omaha. Where I live, houses range from $400K hovels to over a million dollars.

Besides, the lending crisis is only a crisis if you’re an idiot. I bought my house and I’m on a 15 year fixed mortgage that’s under 5% interest. I’ll own it in less than 10 years.


Are you sure you’ll be able to keep up with payments for the next 10 years? If so, congratulations. I can’t imagine making such a long term commitment myself. I can barely make sure I get my prescriptions refilled on time, and I have no confidence that I can stay consistently employed 10 years in a row, so I don’t think it’s wise for me to agree to pay lots of money now in order to own something later that I probably don’t need and wouldn’t be able to maintain anyway.

And squirrels & the occasional rat

My wife and I are both mid-career engineers in silicon valley. I manage a six person engineering org, among other duties. I’m generally not worried about having a job. Before this, I was at Microsoft for most of a decade.

My mortgage is half of what most people’s rent is in the Bay Area for a house and about the same as an apartment. In fact, two bedroom apartments within a mile of me regularly rent for more than my mortgage. So, yeah, I think I can pay it. If I can’t pay it, I’m not going to be able to pay for an apartment either.

As to “need,” well, in the Bay Area, housing appreciates value. My house is worth about 40% more than I paid for it now. If I couldn’t pay my mortgage, I’d could sell it. These days, houses in my area sell in less than two weeks. I doubt real estate in the Bay Area, like New York City or a number of other cities, is going to go down dramatically in value. That happened a decade ago and then it recovered.

There you go. You make decisions based on your current situation and career. And it works out for you.

In my case, I’d rather not risk the debt because I’m a 20 something millenial who just doesn’t have the kind of stability and employer loyalty that was part of the standard package my parents’ generation were given.


I’d be wary of turning into a 40-something millenial wondering why he’s paying $3K a month for an apartment in someone else’s building eventually. That’s just me but then I have a very stable job history and am not a millenial so I don’t feel a need to change jobs every 18 months (not that you do but I actually talk to a lot of them in tech and they seem to think there is a pot of gold out there somewhere).

Really, do you think that I, as a generation X’er, have any belief in employer loyalty? Ha ha ha. I make my own career. I just don’t seek change for its own sake. Of course, if I did, I might be making 30 or 40% more somewhere.


Houses there are crazy expensive and you get so very little. We specifically moved to an area that we could enjoy an upgrade, though, of course the jobs are not as good here as where you are. Tradeoffs everywhere.

More to the other point, for @LDoBe: how to buy a house. Save, save save! But don’t save thinking that you could pay cash for a house! There’s negotiation and escrow all kinds of stuff that needs to happen that will subvert your plan to just walk up hand them a wad and they hand you the door keys.

Just accept that you’ll have a mortgage. But if you did your homework, you saved a sizeable chunk for your down payment. By sizeable I mean well north of 20% of your house’s price. That way you have minimized the amount of loan exposure you are facing.

But don’t spend ALL of your savings! When you move into a house, you’re going to want to have some furnishings and pay for a few basic things that you overlooked in your negotiations to have stuff repaired and ship-shape before you moved in. So reserve about 5 thousand, so that you don’t hit rock bottom while you are waiting for the house deal to close. Stuff always comes up.

If you follow this basic protocol, it’s not that stressful, and you get what you want: a house that you can develop equity in, and therefore reap the rewards of ownership someday and not have to throw rent money down a pit and never see it again. With a house, you might see that money again someday, so that you can upgrade to a better one.

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The one downside of home ownership is once you own it, you’re stuck with it. We bought in the year before the recession hit and we actually lost over $100K of the house’s value for probably four years or so until it all recovered here. For that time period, no matter what, we knew we couldn’t sell it or move.

Buying a home is definitely nailing your feet in place. That said, it is the only way to get any real return on the money you pay every month to live inside a building. You’re either paying your own mortgage or you’re paying someone else’s (or they own the building now and you’re just handing them that cash to keep).

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I’m just saying that I spent the better part of a decade unemployed, trying to get work in the field of my education and, I don’t know whether or not I’ll ever be able to do it again.

It was awful, depressing, and every day I had dozens of confirmations from prospective employers that I was of no value and my existence is wasteful. I don’t know if I’m psychologically able to handle that and have debt and lose my health insurance which pays for medication that helps me not kill myself.

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Yeah. Houses will appreciate quicker than you can save.

Mortgages are crazy expensive. Next year they’ll be worse. Soon you’re paying less than renters.

The equity isn’t worth a damn, mind, because every other house is increasing as much as yours is. It’s paper money. But at least you’ve fixed the outgoings for a while.