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Old 03-13-2009, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Macao
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Is the cost of living in Southern Florida changing for the better now that their is such a downturn in the economy?
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Boston MA, by way of NYC
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I don't know Tiger, but I sure hope so!
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Old 03-15-2009, 05:13 PM
 
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To answer your question: No. Things like housing and non-essential consumer goods have gone down in price significantly. But essentials such as food, gas, and insurance are very expensive and will continue to rise at a rapid pace. So it really evens out, but not for the better IMO. I am spending more of my paycheck on essential goods/services than ever right now.

Housing has gone down but is still way too expensive, and the market will not stabilize until prices fall down to optimal levels where people can afford them and they stop building all of this excess supply. Rising unemployment is not helping matters as demand continues to weaken for housing.

Meanwhile, the cost of our insurance will continue to rise because more and more people will be uninsured. Therefore, the people who actually have medical insurance will have to bear the brunt of the increasing number of uninsured people. Also, there is nothing stopping insurance companies from hiking your rates as high as they'd like. Until something major changes to keep these insurance companies in check, expect the cost of insurance to skyrocket.

Food- This is a hard one to figure out. All I know is that food prices have doubled during the past decade.

Consumer goods- A fancy name for "a bunch of crap you don't really need". Things such as tv's, interior decorations/furniture, clothing, movies, toys, or other crap you buy at Wal-Mart that is made in China. These items continue to go down in price, so its a great time to buy crap you don't need. Also, how many Best Buys, Circuit City's, Wal-Marts, etc do we really need in a place like Broward County? This is another reason why all of these stores are closing or discounting items. There is way too much competition driving down prices, and they cannot make a profit.

So overall, I don't like this trend. I think that cost of living will continue to rise because of those 3 major things I mentioned: Food, gas, and Insurance.
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Old 03-15-2009, 05:29 PM
 
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A big misconception about the economy is that declining prices for goods/services is a good thing. In fact, its the opposite. If prices of goods/services are falling, it means that businesses are making less profit. If businesses are making less profit, then they have to lay off people which causes unemployment to rise. If unemployment rises, then less people have money to spend on those goods and services which causes a circle or downward spiral effect that spreads throughout the economy.

The reason why all of these stores are discounting items, laying off workers, and closing their stores is because there is way too much competition amongst retailers during a time when demand for goods is falling. It is out of hand. I believe that so much over-competition came about during the 90's from the population exploding and from people having easy access to credit cards. Now that access to credit cards is drying up and the population growth has leveled off, these big-box stores aren';t making any profit. They are having to fight for their lives by lowering prices more than the next guy.

The last man standing will be the one who can lower prices the most. I'm afraid that man will be Wal-Mart.
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Ft Lauderdale, FL
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The better question would be: Has average/middle class resident's income increased within the last 2 years?? (If they still have a job) Until that happens and wages become fully in sync with housing and average expenses, unfortunately South Florida will ALWAYS have a high cost of living for a lot of people.
And even IF or when it does fall perfectly back in line, the demand of living in South Florida will always be high due to the weather and it's beauty. Which will drive the prices right back up in a few years making it unaffordable to the average working and middle class resident once again.
I'm definitely no economist, but from what I see it's a pretty typical love/hate relationship type situation down here.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Boston MA, by way of NYC
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Nikki - you hammered it on the nose - MIDDLE CLASS - that what this country is losing and if they don't get it together we will be like any other country where there is extremely rich and just poor!
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Ft Lauderdale, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelsa1075 View Post
Nikki - you hammered it on the nose - MIDDLE CLASS - that what this country is losing and if they don't get it together we will be like any other country where there is extremely rich and just poor!
Yup Chelsa, the seperation of classes is unfortunate but a reality...
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:59 PM
 
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The way I see it, there is no middle class. We are now a 2-class society. The average person earning a median income cannot afford to live a comfortable lifestyle. They might be able to pay the bills barely, but cannot save much for retirement or for their kids' college funds. The costs of food and insurance will continue to rise until they are unaffordable for the average person. It will take government intervention to prevent this from happening.
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Boston MA, by way of NYC
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I don't completely agree, but most of it is true. People fear the government intervention as a step closer to socialism, but your right somewhere the line has to be drawn. Otherwise this country will tank very quickly.
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Old 03-18-2009, 05:28 PM
 
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I don't want socialism either. I want capitalism. But what is going on is not either. It is corporate facism IMO. Wages have been driven down to below living standards on average. This has been happening for years as wages have not kept up with inflation. If we keep going at this rate (which we will unless major changes are made) 90% of us will be earning minimum wage in about 20 years, with no medical benefits. CEO's, executives, doctors, and lawyers will be the only ones insulated. Average jobs have mostly been outsourced overseas, and small business is nearly extinct since they cannot compete with large corporations. Americans will have less and less opportunities as time progresses the way things are unless some fundamental changes are made in our economy.

Worker's rights have been slowly stripped away and government has allowed big corporations to find cheaper labor overseas. You can throw in tax-cuts and Enron loopholes into the mix as well. The entire economy has become nothing more than a service-based economy that caters to the wealthy, while corporations run freely and average workers get screwed. Workers have no rights these days since labor unions are virtually non-existent in most fields. Corporations own everything and have all of the rights. AIG can pay their executives outrageous bonuses using our taxpayer money, and there is nothing you and I can do about it except be outraged because AIG is bigger than you, me, and the government apparently, and they can tell you to shove it. We have created companies that are too big to fail. The government is the only entity that can intervene, yet they are even manipulated by these corporations since they are receiving huge campaign and special interest contributions.

I hear all of these smart ones on tv telling us what needs to be done to fix this, yet they are the same people who's ideas got us into this mess and who couldn't see this trainwreck coming when the writing was on the wall. They also profited greatly on deregulatory policies during the Bush years that allowed them to make billions in the derivitaves market. This goes for Republicans and Democrats to be fair. All they want is to continue the same system we've had for the last few decades that is unsustainable and only caters to large corporations and the wealthy just so they can continue to make billions and secure their grandchildrens' multi-million dollar penthouses.

But nobody is acknowledging that we cannot sustain this type of economy, and nobody is pointing out the fundamental causes of the problem which I revert back to simple economics. In order to have a real, long-term economy that works in favor of average people you need to have a strong, demand-based, manufacturing based economy. This has been time-tested throughout thousands of years, yet we are constantly bombarded with these idiots on tv telling us that up is down, left is right. What we have in the U.S. right now is a service-based economy that is built around minimum wage service jobs that cater to a shrinking base of consumers who have less and less wealth to spend. Meanwhile, good jobs are being sent overseas at a quick rate and nothing is replacing them here. Also, it is impossible to start a small business these days because you will get eaten alive by big corporations. Small businesses simply cannot compete with the big boys like Wal-Mart who out-compete others by lowering prices to the point where negative profit margins are recognized.

Sorry for the rant Chelsea, but I really don't see how this type of economy is sustainable or how it benefits anybody like you and me. I think we are doomed if we think we can just chug along doing things how they've been done.
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