Thursday, July 08, 2004

Dept of Reader Questions: It's all about da money

A person I know just wrote to me about one of my posts today and had this reflection:

From the article you quote on your blog;
Given the pace of global house price growth recently, few would dispute that properties in many countries are to some extent overvalued. In a recent research paper, Goldman Sachs, the investment bank, warned that the US, UK and Australian housing markets were overvalued by 10, 15 and 29 per cent respectively, after prices had risen by 37, 96 and 82 per cent in real terms since the mid-1990s. It said all three markets were at risk from higher rates.

Not really doing the math here, so I might be off base. But if housing prices here have (more than) doubled in less than 10 years but only risen 37% "in real terms", what is this say about real inflation rates?

The oldman's response? It says that inflation is a hell of a lot higher than any lackey working for the government bureaucracies is going to admit it is. Salaries sure as hell haven't grown that fast.
A few readers have asked me what they could possibly do to improve their children's chance of employment in the future? Well the future is unclear but there's definitely one skill that your kids could pick up if they start young that would immensely improve their career prospects:

Learn Foreign Languages

As America moves into the future, foreign languages of all kinds will be in demand. Fluent speakers of the following list (but not limited to) will have improved job prospects going into the future:

As the world becomes more globalized foreign languages will be an indispensible skill in many fields. As America has an increasing Hispanic population, more and more social service or public service jobs will benefit from having Spanish language fluency.

Besides that suggest, if your kids are inclined you may wish to guide them toward jobs in the medical field. There is a shortage of licensed practitioners and despite the healthcare expense crunch it's highly unlikely that their job is going to be either disposed of through automation or offshoring.

There are other suggestions of course, but these others depend upon the situation and tastes of the individuals involved. More specific questions can be emailed to me at oldman (at) and I'll respond to them.


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