Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Why I Was Thinking about Barstow

by Ken Houghton

Dilbert Dogbert, in comments to an old post, noted the glory of Barstow:
Barstow is high desert and may not see snow for decades but it is high and therefore colder than hell, California style, in the winter. Other than that the wind can blow like hell too. High winds mixed with sand!

It's not just that my college girl friend* is Barstow High Class of 1976, which, iirc, was the last year that high school was open. It's for precisely those reasons that I was looking at Barstow.

Anyone can want to live on Newport Beach, or in Miami. And you can rationalize building up the suburbs of Chicago.

It takes something else to move to Barstow (good luck with the $4.8million offer). Or Xenia, OH. Or even, say, Southfield, MI.

So I've been looking at Barstow to remind myself that, while there may be areas where the drop is more than 30%, the national average may not get that high. Because I really don't want to be correct that 30% is optimistic.

And I was almost there. until I read this post at CR today.

That "six trillion dollar" figure—first heard, to my knowledge, from Robert Shiller's lips at the AEA two and one-half weeks ago—is now coming reportage.

With the worst yet to come.

*who has been AARP-eligible for the past two months and thirteen days, not that I'm counting.

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