Friday, February 02, 2007

the grab bag #4

La-la-la. Humdiddly, can't get enough of them sugar-pants, sugar-pants, sugar-pants.

My life keeps speeding up, and I have no brakes! I'm on pins and needles, tenter-hooks, the edge of my seat, even. Waiting for the crash to commence. Waiting for the waters to break, and the labour to commence. Babby's due date is less than a week, and I have had increasing responsibilities around the house, and without.

I don't have time to read much, or to write much. Most of what I am gleaning is from the radio whilst driving my endless rounds, so I don't have any links. Yer just gonna have to trust in what I report. Rebuttals are always welcome.

Today I heard (on CBC) that the Canadian economy is slowing, and is expected to grow at less than 1% next (this?) year. The Lauriers, Queens and Bordens are falling out of favour in the money markets (Hey! CBC did not supply links either). I've been wondering about the American $ investments in RE, and wondering if the relative values of our $ to their $ has any impact on buy, sell or hold positions on investment properties. Any thoughts on that?

Regarding "rich immigrants" - I have no doubt that there are rich immigrants, but this report indicates that immigrants are having a tough time of it here. I saw on CBC news the other night, an interview with a recent, well-educated immigrant from India who was very disenchanted with his family's move here, and was considering returning to India - where his life was actually better, and had more promise.

A few excerpts from the above-linked article are below.

Recent immigrants not wealthier despite education: StatsCan

Income levels of new Canadian immigrants did not improve after 2000 even though they were better educated and more skilled than people coming to the country a decade earlier, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday.

A report by the federal agency says education and skill level did not make a difference in income because of the state of the economy.

...the agency believes the downturn suffered by the information technology industry at the beginning of the decade is responsible for the low income levels.

But for nearly one in five recent immigrants, the experience of low income was chronic, the report said.

Picot said low income, for the purposes of the study, has been defined as a family of four that earns less than $26,800 a year.
Ya can't buy much with that kind of income (even in NFLD or Winnipeg), and renting in Vancouver would eat up a pretty big portion of your after-tax income. Forget about investment, survival would be tough all on it's own.
...the proportion of new immigrants with university degrees rose to 45 per cent in 2004 from 17 per cent in 1992.

But that change, according to the report, did not translate into higher incomes, because skilled class new immigrants were actually more likely to begin life in Canada with low incomes

..."immigrants who arrived during the early 1990s, about 65 per cent entered low income at some time during their first 10 years in Canada. Of these, two-thirds did so during their first year."

For the group that arrived in 1993, the five-year chronic low-income rate was 20.5 per cent. For those who arrived in 2000, it had declined to 16.2 per cent as the economy improved.
But the economy has been humming since then, and is expected to contract - starting now. It doesn't look too rosey for the recently arrived.

The rich immigrants argument is a bunch of hooey.

In other news:

The VANOC is going to be setting up an "Olympics count-down clock" down at the main library that will count down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the Olympic flim-flam fiesta starts. Money well-spent? I guess if you want to create hype amongst, and distract the un-washed masses, it might be, but give it a rest, will ya?

I also heard that the provincial guvmint claims that the Olympic investment is $600M, but that does not include the Sea-to-Sky highway expansion. When that is accounted for, the total is more in the $1.5 billion neighbourhood. Of course, they do not count the $2.5 billion RAV, the lost revenues of businesses on Cambie St., and hundreds of other costs. Sell me something else now - like private medical clinics.

So there is the grab bag for Feb. 2nd. If there is a sudden dearth of posting here in the next week, or so, it is because I am in the delivery room with my honey, or changing diapers at home. I will be back though, so don't give up on me. I need you all to keep reading - so that I do not lapse into despair at my lack of imaginary friends.

Have a fantastic week-end!


mk-kids said...

solipsist, congratulations! what a fabulous adventure you and your honey are about to start - me & my honey hope to soon follow although we want to get that whole wedding thing outta the way first (april in hawaii! just the two of us, we can't wait!)

best wishes from your imaginary friends mk-kids...

Anonymous said...

whatmeworry said...
(Can't seem to log in tonight)
Congratulations! and Good Luck! Being a parent is tough but it is also so very much fun

I used to work at BC Women's - Don't let them talk you into the PA (Preferred Accomodation) scam (money grab by the hospital).

They give you a few little perks (parking- is only $10 for 24 hours), promise you a PRIVATE room and charge you (I think that it is now around $150 a day).

Over 90% of the rooms are private, paying the money is a waste (Over 90% of the time- also you can pay the money and still end up in one of the few double rooms)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Remember to look out for your honey before during and after. Hospital staff will not always be attentive to her needs and she will not be in any shape to look out for herself. You will need to be there to be "polite and persistent" on her behalf.
PS - I doubt the rich immigrants in my neighbourhood earn their living here, so the CBC report likely doesn't apply to them. (Can't buy a Mercedes and $1m home on $26K/yr)
PPS - I rent

Freako said...

"The VANOC is going to be setting up an "Olympics count-down clock" down at the main library that will count down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the Olympic flim-flam fiesta starts."

I spent some time in Oslo in 1992, and they had a Lillehammer countdown clock (near the train station I believe). I thought it was kind of cool, but I think their games were less controversial and much more anticipated.

And speaking of places like Oslo, Vancouver does lack something that many European cities have. I can't put my finger on it, but some type of central pedestrian gathering place that makes up the heart of the city, where on a summer evening you can literally "feel" the city come to life. Oslo has Karl Johan, Barcelona has Las Ramblas, and so on. Robson Street, Granville Island or the Granville entertainment district does not cut it. Heck even Whistler has us there, tacky Alpenfake and all.

Freako said...

Oh yeah, and best of luck with all things baby. I could swear that you announced a new baby last year, which would be a quick turnaround, but perhaps I confused you with somebody else.

solipsist said...

Thanks for your good wishes everyone. It's a waiting game right now.

I could swear that you announced

You have a good memory freako. I did mention that we were expecting - in the context of a discussion - I think around Sept. The excitement of a first timer, I'm sure. In reflection, 10 months seems to go on forever.

I agree about the "centros" of other cities - they are very alive. Robson seems to be best known for the Stanley Cup riot of a few years ago, and the blat of Harleys. It's a different culture here.

the pope said...

Congratulations my imaginary friend!

The realestate market moves like a snail on quaaludes, so I don't think a week or so away from it will hurt. We'll be here when you get back!

aetakeo said...

Congrats, solipsist. This is your first? It's a thrill and a challenge; good luck and wishes to you all through delivery, and I concur with looking out for your honey... I've had 2 kids and attended 2 births, and hospital staff seem well meaning but are often busy.