Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Income Required for a Median-Priced Two-Bedroom Apartment.

In 2006, the hourly wage required to afford the average market-rate priced two-bedroom apartment was $16.31 an hour.  This equated to $2,287 a month or $33,925 a year.  Assuming the limit of affordability at 1/3 the monthly gross income (1/2 net income after taxes), the average market rate nationwide was $942.00 a month.

What are the requirements in 2017?

Source: ZeroHedge via The Automatic Earth
Well it looks like the average rent is about $1,540 a month.  So what are the income requirements? Gross monthly income required to be able to afford one at 33% affordability index is $4,620 a month, $55,440 a year.  This computes to an hourly wage of $26.65 an hour. Half of that for a two-wageearner family is $13.33 an hour. An HOUR! Clearly, a lot of businesses cannot afford to pay this kind of wage, especially when their establishments are subject to the same insane rent inflation that residential apartments' prices are going through.

Which is why half of all people have a family income less than the (2015) median of $56,516.

What kind of a madhouse country when you need to have the kind of wage distribution close to the average that people like Barbara Ehrenreich found was found to exist in places like Key West FL (yes, I know: an expensive outlier), Portland, ME and Minneapolis-St Paul, MN.  The rental rates affordable enough for those making minimum wage ($7.25/hr for two wage earners per household) exist only in the markets at the low end of the scale below for average market rates, measured county by county:

Source: ZeroHedge

You see, the cheapest is about half the national average and a lot are bunched right around this average of $1,540 a month.  Half the rest are distributed in-between and the remainder above the average, up to about $4,800 a month (San Francisco).  Obviously the more expensive markets have a severe affordability problem and the less expensive markets probably have a jobs shortage.

We need to stop the inflation in property sales and rental prices.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


This is an article or the first of a small series of articles that US East Coast Cities must do to avoid being made dysfunctional or worse inundated by the rising sea level from the melting ice-caps.  The melting of the ice caps can only be stopped by a cessation of emissions of greenhouse gasses combined with a drastic reduction in energy output from the Sun.

So here goes: the example for this article is Miami, including Miami Beach and all of Miami-Dade County.

"Miami Beach is surrounded by seas accelerating at an astonishing 9mm a year – vastly more than the 3mm-a-year global average" - UK Guardian. At this rate, when global mean sea level rise reaches 2 feet above the 1988 level, the amount of rise in Miami Beach, Miami and Miami-Dade County will be six feet (6 ft). This vast metropolitan area is a blend of the traditional city (Miami Beach), the Radiant City (Miami and Miami Beach) and the lesser-known Broadacre City (Miami and Miami-Dade County) that was hawked by Frank Lloyd Wright.

First, the Broadacre City.

Original image source: UK Guardian.
Miami-Dade County which includes Miami proper and Miami Beach, is not all towers-in-a -park by the bayshore (Downtown Miami and Hotel Row), nor is it all Art Deco and Art Moderne takes on a traditional village (South Beach, Surfside). Most of it is sprawled out suburban development inter-connected by freeways and highways very much like Wright's Broadacre City. When or even before the global mean sea level rises by two feet (meaning six feet in Miami), most of the underground infrastructure---water, sewer, drains, will be rendered dysfunctional or even nonfunctional. The county water supply, the Biscayne Aquifer, will be destroyed: evicted from the surface by the intrusion of salt water through the porous limestone that holds it. As shown on the image to the left, the western low-lying parts of the county, most of which are not shown, will be flooded -- the northwest sections being impacted the worst. The higher portions, closer to the bayshore, will be subdivided into "keys" ( the island in the bottom centre of the image above is called Key Biscayne ). The islands and beach towns will be reduced to strands, submerged or eroded away.

Now the Radiant City.

Andrea Sandoval, Photomontage. Source: Miami Herald.

The image above depicts how Downtown Miami *might* cope with a six-foot sea-level rise -- with brand new canals and harbours carved out of the oolitic limestone, ostensibly to provide landfill or floodwall protection to the remaining low-lying shoreline areas and new land extensions and even flottants out in the bay.

But it is not very likely that greater Miami will cope as cleverly or even as well as this. Even befoire the local sea level rise meets six feet (6 ft), it is very possible that a breakthrough will occur at Hotel Row, causing the waters of Indian Creek to overflow onto Route A1A and cover parkland and the yards and parking areas of some of the large hotels developed in the 1950s, a scenario shown in the image to the right. It is also possible that this same breakthrough could continue to the Atlantic Ocean, as apparent in the lower right of the image.

Photo-Illustration by Darrow; © Richard Cavalleri/Shutterstock (Mid-Beach).
Original image source: Vanity Fair via Pinterest.

Already there have been street and parking lot floodings throughout Miami Beach and Downtown Miami, such as this image below documented in WPBT TV-2's South Florida's Rising Seas - Sea Level Rise Documentary.

Flooding in Miami Beach in broad sunlight.
Image Source: WPB2 South Florida PBS's Youtube Channel:
South Florida's Rising Seas - Sea Level Rise Documentary.

And last, the Traditional City.

This last image shows oceanic surf coursing through the streets of South Beach, displacing and submerging the last holdouts' cars in the morning light even as deeper flooding occurs further up the street. What's peculiar about this image is that the flooding appears to be coming from the bay and not the sea---the actual flooding, should it occur in this direction as it is most likely to, probably would not be accompanied by the surf.

Photo-Illustration by Darrow; From ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images (Left car),
© Meuinerd/Shutterstock (Miami Beach),
By Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images (Right cars).
Original image source: Vanity Fair.
Vanity Fair says: "Despite dire predictions, visionary planners believe that Miami Beach can adapt—and show other cities the way." For the shores, it's Dam or Be Damned. For the inland parts, it's Fill and Damn or Be Damned.


"La m√©tropole 
Miami-Dade est condamnée."

(Updated 26 March 2017)

(To be updated -- DAMN OR BE DAMNED image surrounds coming soon.)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Ara Pacis, the Augustan Altar of Peace.

Originally posted by Rob Shergold on Facebook/The Roman World, on 18 March 2018. 
This altar was dedicated by (Octavian) Caesar Augustus on 30 January, 9 BCE, five years after the quelling of 30 years of fighting that was sparked by the assasination of the divine Gaius Iulius Caesar on the 15 March, 44 BCE.  This existential crisis of the Roman Republic, however, started after Caesar conquered Gaul, in 49 BCE when the Senate ordered Caesar to relinquish his military command and Caesar crossed the Rubicon with his 13th Legion (lucky bastard!) instead, leaving his province and illegally entering Roman Italy under arms.  Civil peace was utterly destroyed as a result, and Caesar's victory in the fighting put him in place as Dictator, for him an unrivalled position of power and influence.

When the crisis was over with the Second Settlement in 23 BCE, the Roman Republic had mutated into an Empire.  The crisis had lasted twenty-six years.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

What is it?

Recently I got two entrees from GenoVive, a local company. I have no idea where they came from; they don't get sold at the local supermarkets. My partner (Andrew Porter) and I tried them, but found them to be utterly vile. The sauces for both were utterly fermented. One was a beef entree in a tomato-based sauce and it was recognisably so--otherwise the sauce was still a mystery; the other was chicken in vodka sauce but we couldn't recognise the meat as chicken, or the sauce as vodka-based. So here are the products we sampled!

What is it? Mystery Meat in Mystery Sauce.

What is it? Beef in tomato-based Mystery Sauce.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

This blog is to succeed Fin des Voies Rapides / If Peak Oil Were No Object.

Due to concerns expressed by my partner Andrew Porter about the commingling of my blogs and YouTube posts with his gmail inbox: he's got two gmail addresses with his name on it: one that he uses himself, and one that he has been letting me use because Google attached my blog and my YouTube account to it without asking me, when we tried to sign him up for gmail initially. Now the comments I've been expressing elsewhere under my old Google ID "Ed-M" and my YouTube ID "PfctvsPontivsPilatvs" has been showing up in the latter email address as is right and proper, but is also polluting the former address--the one that he's using! So I'm stopping my using those and going by my real ID now in order to prevent any further cross-pollution.

To expedite this, I'm starting a new trio of blogs to succeed Fin des Voies Rapides / If Peak Oil Were No Object (this blog), Cruci Blog ( Ed-M's Cruci Blog ), and International Highway Makeover 2 ( Ed-M's International Highway Makeover ).

Thank you.