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The Death of the McMansion-When housing market returns, we'll want smaller homes closer together
Slate ^ | May 11, 2011 | Witold Rybczynski

Posted on 05/30/2011 9:29:40 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

The U.S. housing market is going through an adjustment of historic proportions. Before 2006, when the housing slump commenced, American home builders regularly built as many as 2 million new houses annually, rarely less than a million. This amount was needed to keep up with new household formation, immigration, homeowners moving up, and replacement due to obsolescence. Since then the number of new houses built has dropped drastically—the seasonally adjusted annual figure announced by the federal government in February 2011 was about 400,000! What's going on?

The recession, obviously. High unemployment and unease about the economy have made potential first-time homebuyers leery of entering the market, and many have decided to wait on the side lines. Although house prices have fallen, few are convinced that they have bottomed, and no one wants to buy a house and see its price decline. The large number of foreclosed (or about to be foreclosed) houses on the market, which account for no less than four out of 10 sales of existing homes, likewise dampens demand for new houses. And those willing to take the plunge discover that, despite low interest rates, lenders who were burned by the subprime mess now require large down payments. The other chief cause for weak demand is a slowdown in household formation—the U.S. Census reports that the rate of household formation is currently lower than at any time since 1947, as people put off getting married and starting a family. According to my colleague, real estate economist Peter Linneman, the marginal household size, which has historically hovered around two or three, shot up to more than six in 2009 and 2010, the result of doubling-up and moving in with relatives.

Common wisdom is that eventually the housing market will stabilize.....

(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Society
KEYWORDS: economy; energy; home; homeprices; housing; mcmansion; realestate; trends
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Prediction: At this rate, us peons will be in small cardboard cookie-cutter homes, biking, walking or taking a bus to work (if we have a job) and the elites will continue to party like it's 2005. Plus, there are so many forclosures, REOs, HUDs, etc. out there that there won't be a demand for new houses for a decade or more.
1 posted on 05/30/2011 9:29:44 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

smaller: I can see that. Closer together, not so much.


2 posted on 05/30/2011 9:30:23 PM PDT by balch3
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Wrong. When the housing market returns, we’ll want less government interference. Then folks will buy what they want and what they can afford.

How dense can folks be?


3 posted on 05/30/2011 9:31:19 PM PDT by Larry Lucido (Free Lazamataz! With every purchase!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Send about 30 million illegals back across the river and points beyond and we will have plenty of houses to go around. It’ll ease up the fuel demand. It’ll ease up government expenditures. It’ll raise education standards. It’ll open up the job market. It’ll ease up on crimes. Other than a major voting block, where’s the down side?


4 posted on 05/30/2011 9:33:24 PM PDT by bgill (Kenyan Parliament - how could a man born in Kenya who is not even a native American become the POTUS)
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To: Larry Lucido
How dense can folks be?

Still givin' me the lulz.
5 posted on 05/30/2011 9:35:23 PM PDT by andyk (Wealth != Income)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This is the ruling class vision of how we “little people... taxpayer peons” should live.


6 posted on 05/30/2011 9:38:30 PM PDT by antceecee (Bless us Father.. have mercy on us and protect us from evil.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

yeah, I bought too much house back when things were going better. I love it but I wish I hadn’t bought it. I think you’re going to see a lot of people becoming increasingly hesitant to buy a house from here on out. What used to be an asset/investment has turned into a big liability. With the economy going the way it is, everybody has their hand out too and the dumba%% voters seem all to willing to give them the property tax increases they want. I’m beginning to feel like an ATM and it looks like it isn’t going to be cheap or easy to escape that servitude. I don’t think I’ll ever buy another house.


7 posted on 05/30/2011 9:39:02 PM PDT by RC one (DO NOT RAISE THE DEBT LIMIT!)
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To: balch3

I do not buy into the smaller homes close together...that is the problem now in the cities. Especially the big, crime-laden cities like Chicago, Philedelphia, DC, Detroit, LA etc etc etc.

Give me a home on the range...where the buffalo roam...etc

I live in a nice house on 5 1/2 acres. I would not choose to live in a cracker-box on a 50 ft frontage lot.

I am not rich, we live on SS and a small pension. And before you all go off on me for the SS, it is not an entitlement. I earned it. 15% of my pay for 40 years went into it. If that had been invested at a modest interest rate, I would have several millions in the bank now. Welfare is an entitlement. I am not on welfare.


8 posted on 05/30/2011 9:42:30 PM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a tea party descendant - steeped in the Constitutional legacy handed down by the Founders)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
As you well know, the key is buyers. Yet, because of Government mandated guidelines, lenders have slowed loan approvals and fundings to a trickle.

How can a housing market recover without financing? It can't.

Notice how almost all of the expert predictions keep backing off on their guesstimates of a recovery? First it was late in 2010, then the summer of 2011. Now, I see in this article where an expert is saying between 2012 and 2016?

I agree with your estimation for both new homes and resales, a decade or more.

9 posted on 05/30/2011 9:44:20 PM PDT by Rational Thought
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Government incompetence in social engineering is at the root of most problems, and dictating the size of a home and penalizing their sizes and compositions through taxation, building codes, and regulation are prime examples of such incompetence.

There was a time when some Southern homes were designed and constructed with a room in the center of the house with no windows to the exterior. During hurricanes and tornadoes, the central room provided some measure of protection against deadly strom driven shrapnel, espeically window glass and wooden splinters. Incompetent building codes mandating a certain amount of glazing to the exterior eliminated the windowless central rooms and put the inhabitants of the home at greater mortal risks.

Confiscatory property taxes compel the construction of new homes with wall to wall carpeting and no wood and/or tile flooring which is taxed at much higher rates. Residents with allergies are then confronted with dirty carpeting rather than the esier to clean wood and tile flooring.

Larger houses with high square footage is a much more efficient home to heat and cool by passive Solar constructoin methods than the smaller buildings. Old multi-story homes are legendary in their ability to buffer the hot air in the attic, keeping the lowr floors much cooler in even the hottest weather. At a time when the energy saving properties of these large homes are most needed to conserve energy resources and reduce consumption of fossil fuels, government compels home owners to make their homes too small to employ such passive Solar methods of heating and cooling.

At some point people have to wake up and realize government is the source of the problems and not the solution to the problems created by government.


10 posted on 05/30/2011 9:48:08 PM PDT by WhiskeyX
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This whole thing reminds me of a female county commissioner locally, who made it her mission to oppose “density” of development while promoting “walkable communities” and bike paths.

That’s what happens when you rely on buzzwording via focus groups, but don’t really have a clue what the buzzwords might actually mean. Those are going to be some long walks and long bike rides, lol.

People bought the bigger houses with all the bells and whistles because they could and because they were appreciating in value, and women were the prime motivator behind it. Reality has smacked them all upside the head and there will be an excess of caution well past any literal market bottom.

This trend to smaller houses is being driven by reduced incomes and inability to get approved for larger loans, let alone actually coming up for 20% down on a whopping big house that formerly required no down payment at all, or could even be had for a 110% or more loan with money back at signing.

Apparatchiks and bureaucrats will mistake this for a grand opportunity to, again, start championing condos and walk/bike oriented center city living, nevermind that those properties are faring even worse than the hated suburban McMansions. People want a little privacy and the ideal of the cottage with a picket fence is a powerful one that will not go away any time soon.

Government-encouraged malinvestment looms yet again, to jumpstart residential construction. They’re going to slap up a bunch of very close together houses with condos intermingled, probably with subsidized low income individuals thrown into the mix, too. Wouldn’t be “fair,” don’t you know. Wrong, wrong, wrong, it’ll fail again.

They’ll never get it because they’re adverse and even hostile to the notion of people buying what they want themselves, not what bureaucrats and apparatchiks find fashionable on the basis of ideology.


11 posted on 05/30/2011 9:49:43 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: balch3

I did the math one time (please don’t make me do it again!) — every human being on the planet could comfortably fit in the State of Texas (or frigidly but with twice the arm-swing room in Alaska).

We don’t need to be closer and the urban planners who want to make it so don’t plan on living in their inventions.


12 posted on 05/30/2011 9:52:26 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Herman Cain 2012)
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To: bgill

“Send about 30 million illegals back across the river and points beyond and we will have plenty of houses to go around...”

A man after me own heart:)


13 posted on 05/30/2011 9:52:39 PM PDT by Beowulf9
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To: RC one

We have 4 kids and have chosen to live in a smaller-than-average house (even though we have a larger-than-average family!) on a bigger-than-average lot.

Since in CA everything is price-per-sq-ft, we thought: why buy a single sq ft more than necessary? It’s just more to clean and walk through, and adds so much $$$. Our kids do each have their own rooms though—but we got rid of the dining room (built a wall) to provide the 5th bedroom. Every single sq ft of our house is used every day.

It’s nice to not see any neighboring houses. . .(well, I do see a glimpse of one). Big yards (or better yet, land) is the way to go.


14 posted on 05/30/2011 9:53:08 PM PDT by olivia3boys
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To: balch3

Maybe a return to multiple families under one McMansion roof. San Jose has been the home of the return of the 1800’s boarding house.


15 posted on 05/30/2011 9:53:27 PM PDT by Semperfiwife (Thank you veterans for keeping us free. Now we have to free ourselves from Obama tyranny)
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To: balch3
smaller: I can see that. Closer together, not so much.

My thought exactly.

Well, liberals will want their houses -- and everyone else's houses too -- closer together. They like the idea of row housing the same way they like trains.

16 posted on 05/30/2011 9:54:27 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Semperfiwife

>>Maybe a return to multiple families under one McMansion roof. <<

Any chance they brought back the hamburgler? And my man Grimace? And Capt. Crook?

Dang, now I am hungry!


17 posted on 05/30/2011 9:57:13 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Herman Cain 2012)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
One of the things which make some houses McMansions are too large of house on too small of property. Huge 4000 square foot houses on quarter (or less) acre lots. Yuck! Give me land. My ideal house would have at least 9 acres (1 acre is about 200x200, so 3 in each direction would give a nice piece of land).

There is some evidence that urban townhomes and infill housing are more popular, as rising gas prices increase the cost of commuting.

That presupposes that the jobs are in the central city. Many of the new jobs are in the suburbs along with the people. Shorter commutes are not from moving into the city, but moving to the right suburb.

18 posted on 05/30/2011 9:57:26 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! Tea Party extremism is a badge of honor.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Or smaller houses further apart.


19 posted on 05/30/2011 9:57:59 PM PDT by familyop (Shut up, and eat your brains!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The Death of the McMansion-When housing market returns, we'll want smaller homes closer together

I love how the liberals at Slate use the word "we" when talking about what they'd like for the rest of us. What they'd really like is to pack all of us together in high-rise rat warrens in urban centers, taking mass transit every day to work in other high-rises a few miles away.
20 posted on 05/30/2011 10:01:35 PM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“When housing market returns, we’ll want smaller homes closer together”

That asshole must have a mouse in his pocket, he sure doesn’t speak for me!


21 posted on 05/30/2011 10:04:29 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I don’t know who they have been talking too, but it sure ain’t most red-blooded Americans.

Seems more like wishful thinking on the part of left-wing idiots than anything else.


22 posted on 05/30/2011 10:04:45 PM PDT by SoConPubbie
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To: AnotherUnixGeek
What they'd really like is to pack all of us together in high-rise rat warrens in urban centers, taking mass transit every day to work in other high-rises a few miles away.

Just as it was in their beloved Soviet Union.

23 posted on 05/30/2011 10:04:45 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: olivia3boys

I have a 3,000 sq ft, 2 bathroom, five bedroom farm house with a dining room, living room, family room, kitchen, nursery, laundry room, utility room, and a sun room on 2 acres with a 2,500-3,000 sq ft barn and a smaller barn with a small vineyard and a fruit orchard. It’s just me and I spend more time at my girlfriends house. I was thinking clearly when I bought it.


24 posted on 05/30/2011 10:07:19 PM PDT by RC one (DO NOT RAISE THE DEBT LIMIT!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I like a big house on a big lot. I like more room than I “need”. I like fast cars and fast boats. I like good cigars and good wine. I don’t care if other people don’t like what I like.
Anyone would recognize me as an American.


25 posted on 05/30/2011 10:07:32 PM PDT by Prokopton
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To: WhiskeyX

I’ve never heard of property tax rates based on your floor covering.


26 posted on 05/30/2011 10:08:51 PM PDT by thecabal (The Sanction of the Victim)
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To: RC one

wasn’t thinking clearly I meant.


27 posted on 05/30/2011 10:09:24 PM PDT by RC one (DO NOT RAISE THE DEBT LIMIT!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

One reason city planners like more houses per acre is the increase in tax revenues.


28 posted on 05/30/2011 10:22:39 PM PDT by existtoexcel
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To: Larry Lucido
Wrong. When the housing market returns, we’ll want less government interference. Then folks will buy what they want and what they can afford. How dense can folks be?

BINGO! We have a winner here!! ;-D.

29 posted on 05/30/2011 10:23:31 PM PDT by GOP Poet (Obama is an OLYMPIC failure.)
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To: RegulatorCountry; WhiskeyX; freedumb2003; Yardstick; KarlInOhio; AnotherUnixGeek; dfwgator; ...
the idea of "walkable communities" and the omnipotent use of the word 'sustainability' is all part of the UN sponsored AGENDA 21 ! Just look at how many US cities and counties are already paying dues to the UN to belong to ICLEI.

Have a look at THE ICLEI MEMBER LIST. If your community is one of these dues paying members, you are paying for the loss of your unalienable rights.

30 posted on 05/30/2011 10:24:28 PM PDT by Baynative (Truth is treason in an empire of lies)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
...eventually the housing market will stabilize....

I think that's a long way off. For the most part, the McMansion houses are boxy, ugly and cheaply built. Retiring baby boomers on fixed incomes don't want to live in a house like that. People are downsizing, but personally, I still like to have some space. And some of the deed restrictions they have in these "master planned" communities are just plain silly.

31 posted on 05/30/2011 10:25:32 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open ( <o> ---)
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To: existtoexcel
One reason city planners like more houses per acre is the increase in tax revenues.

Exactly. The commies won't be happy until we call ourselves USSR.

32 posted on 05/30/2011 10:25:32 PM PDT by GOP Poet (Obama is an OLYMPIC failure.)
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To: antceecee
This is the ruling class vision of how we “little people... taxpayer peons” should live.

Exactly. It's their wet dream. But why stop at little homes ? Why not put us all in Soviet style high rise apartment buildings placed conveniently near train stations ?

33 posted on 05/30/2011 10:27:45 PM PDT by libh8er
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To: Larry Lucido
You can bet Al Gore and those of his "class" will not give up on square millimeter.


34 posted on 05/30/2011 10:32:04 PM PDT by Clock King (Ellisworth Toohey was right: My head's gonna explode.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’d rather live in a 1910 bungalow on a half-acre lot.


35 posted on 05/30/2011 10:34:18 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: GGpaX4DumpedTea; balch3
do not buy into the smaller homes close together...that is the problem now in the cities. Especially the big, crime-laden cities like Chicago, Philedelphia, DC, Detroit, LA etc etc etc.

Uh, your crime in Ohio Major cities is substantially higer per capita than LA and other majors cities .

Cincinnati and Los Angeles Comparative Crime Ratios per 100,000 People Latest 2006 Crimes per 100,000 People:

Cincinnati, OH Los Angeles, CA National
Murder: 28.8 12.4 7
Forcible Rape: 94.14 27.3 32.2
Robbery: 756.7 370 205.8
Aggravated Assault: 338.7 377.2 336.5
Burglary: 1944 524.8 813.2
Larceny Theft: 4374.9 1539.2 2601.7
Vehicle Theft: 833.1 654.4 501.5

36 posted on 05/30/2011 10:37:22 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit))
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To: Beowulf9

Make that 30 million and ONE And I will be thrilled beyond words


37 posted on 05/30/2011 10:48:18 PM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom!!! I know i was kidding)
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To: freedumb2003

I think mathematically everyone will fit in Texas on an acre of land. I’d have to review the numbers again too. It blows people’s minds, they still won’t believe it.


38 posted on 05/30/2011 10:49:10 PM PDT by brushcop
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

No, I want ROOM in my house and SPACE between me and my neighbors!


39 posted on 05/30/2011 10:49:19 PM PDT by beaversmom
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To: WhiskeyX

I vote yours the best post of 2011!


40 posted on 05/30/2011 10:50:40 PM PDT by anonsquared
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Get to know me ...

41 posted on 05/30/2011 10:53:19 PM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

To meet the global ideal we will all be piled up in urban projects.


42 posted on 05/30/2011 11:07:27 PM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a matter of fact, not a matter of opinion)
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To: Baynative

Do you have a link to “are already paying dues to the UN to belong to ICLEI.”

I tried to look around at their site, but I could not find it.

Thanks!


43 posted on 05/30/2011 11:22:47 PM PDT by TruthConquers (.Delendae sunt publicae scholae)
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To: Liberty Valance

Hilarious.


44 posted on 05/30/2011 11:26:03 PM PDT by Lazlo in PA (Now living in a newly minted Red State.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The age of fake communities connected by a socialist freeway system are over. That social model was never viable over the long term. It was created by cheap, domestic gasoline and is dying with cheap, domestic gasoline.

Man is a social animal. He was not meant to live in sterile, isolated tracts of plastic houses. He was not meant to live in a place where ownership of a motor vehicle is required in order to live. He was meant to live in a walkable city, like the polis of Athens. The very word “civilization” and “citizen” are derived from the word “city”. The word “heathen”, by contrast, means “those who live in the heath” — the countryside.

There’s nothing inhuman about living in the country, of course. The problem is that people who live in the suburbs want the pleasures of country living without the inconveniences. It would be one thing if city people who wanted a country lifestyle had settled for real country living, without convenient retail shopping, restaurants and so forth. It would have been fine if they were willing to farm of ranch or engage in some rural means of earning a living. But no, the suburban locusts had to have their shopping malls, fast food joints, and (ultimately) their cubicle jobs “out there”. End result: another city where “the country” once was — and the locusts move on, leaving another empty shell as a home for the Section 8s. Madness!

Even so, it’s not so much the suburbanites themselves that are the problem. They are mostly just people who failed to think the whole idea through. The problem is the acres and acres of fantastically expensive, taxpayer-funded concrete required to support the average suburbanite. The suburbs worked fine when they were connected to the cities by interurban electric railways. But when the government killed the railroads with their gigantic, socialist freeway systems, it was all over.

The suburbs wrecked the countryside of America. Well, no more. The era of paving over the countryside in order to give working class city people the chance to play “let’s pretend we live in the country” is over. If people want to live in the country, they should by God live in the country and live the life of a country dweller — a life of isolation and inconvenience, without dry cleaning, movie theaters, convenience stores, and paved roads. If they want city conveniences, they should suck it up, move back into town, and fight for their neighborhoods, as millions of us already do.

Join us and help drive out the parasites. We can rebuild the cities!


45 posted on 05/30/2011 11:36:30 PM PDT by Oculus III
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To: Larry Lucido

“Wrong. When the housing market returns,...”

Starting when?????


46 posted on 05/30/2011 11:39:02 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Oculus III

Are you for real? You love rail but you think highways are socialistic? Wait, wait, I know! You’re Willie Green’s sockpuppet!


47 posted on 05/30/2011 11:42:39 PM PDT by thecabal (The Sanction of the Victim)
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To: Oculus III

What was so special about May 19th that you thought to sign up here?


48 posted on 05/31/2011 12:19:15 AM PDT by x_plus_one (Q:How many middle class debt slaves does it take to pay for Obama care? A: All of them)
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To: Oculus III

What was so special about May 19th that you thought to sign up here?


49 posted on 05/31/2011 12:19:26 AM PDT by x_plus_one (Q:How many middle class debt slaves does it take to pay for Obama care? A: All of them)
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To: Oculus III

‘The suburbs worked fine when they were connected to the cities by interurban electric railways. But when the government killed the railroads with their gigantic, socialist freeway systems, it was all over.’

Socialist Freeway System? Excuse me, but, in my state, $.42 per gallon is collected and only half of that money is used to build and maintain our roads. The other half goes to some socialist agenda that not self supporting like Amtrak.


50 posted on 05/31/2011 12:40:40 AM PDT by steveab (When was the last time someone tried to sell you a CO2 induced climate control system for your home?)
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