Wednesday, August 16, 2017

How "Good School Districts" Ruin Families


Out of boredom I found myself walking on a newly paved path in a newly constructed development of suburbanite bliss.  The paving was perfect. The houses were perfect.  The yards were perfect.  It was just so perfectly perfect it couldn't be perfected anymore.  And though this particular development wasn't one of the elite suburbs of the Twin Cities such as Edina or Wayzata, it was one of the up-and-coming where the starting price for a BASE house was $530,000.

I'm no longer in banking, so I'm no longer paid (nor bored at my desk enough) to study the housing market like I once did.  But these type of "Perfectly Perfect to Perfection" suburbanite developments are popping up everywhere.  And it is not uncommon for the starting price to be on the higher side of half a million.  And since this has been going on for the better part of 5 years, my spidey senses have been tingling.  There's something amiss because there just isn't enough "Doctor-Accountant" couples out there to afford all of these high-end homes.

Still, not really having any vested interest (professional or financial) in the outcome of the housing market, I contacted my Realty Agent in the Field to see what he thought was going on and he uttered just one phrase:

Good school districts.

Perplexed I looked at him, but my mind had already raced to the conclusion.  So before I could speak my face went from one of being confused to that of "no way."

He looked back at me and said, "Yep, Precious Princesses' kids just "HAVE TO" be in a good school district."

I was then regaled with instances and explanations of the phenomenon I was seeing.  There was one development where houses sold for an extra $50,000-$100,000 across the street from an identical development because one was in Wayzata while the other was in that filthy, no good "Plymouth" school district.  The developments and trail systems I've been walking about are in Woodbury, Lakeville, Eagan, Lakeville, Lino Lakes, and far-flung Carver, all of which are far-flung, all of which make for hellish commutes, but all of which have "great school schools."

My Realty Agent in the Field and I know each other well enough, plus my finely honed cynicism skills are advanced enough I was easily able to figure out what was happening while my buddy just nodded his head.

"Gen X'ers and what modicum of older millennials who can afford kids need a bigger house."

Mmmmhmmmm.

"A lot of them bought during the depths of the housing crash, and some actually have seen gains on their starter homes."

Mmmmhmmmm.

"But they don't want their kid going to Fridley, St. Louis Park, Richfield, or other leftist-shitholes they voted for and ultimately created and are now jettisoning out for the suburbs."

Mmmmmhmmm.

"And now that wifey poo has kids of her own, all that leftist rah rah diversity bullshit is out the window and they have to move to these picturesque suburbs."

Mmmmhmmmm.

And then I looked at him and said, "But there just CAN'T be that many doctors and surgeons and electrical engineers.  I know low interest rates help people afford more houses, but there's no way all these people can actually afford these homes."

And then he spilled the beans.

Half the purchases are a proto-wanna-be power couple where they need two incomes to afford these Neo-McMansions.  The kid is dropped off at daycare.  Wifey gets to work and pursue what's more important in her life.  Hubby works the real job to help keep the lifestyle facade up.  The other half is wifey poo is a stay at home mom, but hubby's income is juuuuust enough to pay for the car PAYMENT, house PAYMENT, and credit card PAYMENT.  And bar 5-10% of genuine rich people who can actually afford these houses, 90%+ of these house are afforded by the same material used to build them - plastic.

And this is where good school districts ruin families.

Though sclerotic, economic growth has at least been consistent.  And while most millennials and some Gen X'ers have dropped out of the labor force, those that remain are facing a pretty tight labor market and can make decent money.  But as you know, I know, and any introductory student of economics knows, economies do and will go into recession.  And since these people are leveraged to the hilt, living paycheck to paycheck, the slightest hiccup, the slightest bump in the economy can result in lay-offs, furloughs, or pay-cuts, any of which will through a monkey wrench into these perfectly-perfect-plastic suburbanite plans.

Wifey poos across the country, I doubt know this.  I saw this in banking in the 00's where wives and girlfriends had NO CLUE their hubby or lover was technically insolvent.  They simply didn't care.  They also didn't know the difference between debt and equity spending.  Long as their man was spending money on them, affording them this unsustainable lifestyle, wifey was happy.  But whereas in the 00's it may have been luxury cars, McMansions in the suburbs, or downtown condos, it is now the insistence that wifey's precious little children have ONLY the BEST schools, which forces a bunch of pussy-addicted husbands to buy houses they can't afford in school districts that are really no better than the blue collar ones they left behind.

This then paints the picture anybody who's been divorced or seen their parents get divorced is all too familiar with.  Tight finances.

Finances (in case you didn't know) is the number one reason cited for divorce and marital problems.  And in case you didn't know, ALL financial problems are caused by debt - ie - spending more than you make.  And whereas it may have been material things such as luxury cars, trips to Europe, McMansions, and fancy clothes, my abbreviated research is telling me its school districts that are disproportionately driving this particular bubble.

"Nothing's too good for my children" even if it means redlining your family finances, dramatically increasing the chances of divorce.

"But it's a good school district" even though it's not better than the burb next door.

"We need to get Jr. into the ABC School District!" even though the kid is doomed to bad grades because you're bad parents and never spent time with the kid and are stupid enough to think "Magic Dirt" theory will overcome your absentee parenting.

It's not that I'm cheering on the demise of these fake, picture-perfect Ken and Barbie doll families.  It's not that I'm jealous of having car and mortgage payments eat up 98% of my take home pay.
It's my defeatedly-reluctant acceptance that you humans, even the presumably "smart ones" are truly idiotic sheep, incapable of independent thought, and will just do what you're told, even if it is at the expense of your family.  That wifey-poos across America are seemingly incapable of GENUINE critical thinking (not the bullshit they told you in college) and hubbies across America are seemingly incapable of not letting pussy impair their thinking.  And that your kids (which, again, you just love SOOOOO much) are going to end up suffering either because you get divorced, or your effectively absent anyway because you're always working to afford these stupid things in life.

You vice presidents in banking with your part-time assistant-reserve-deputy-director at the non-profit wives enjoy sending your kids to those "great school districts."  The rest of us are going to enjoy the decline.
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22 comments:

Robert What? said...

Sorry to be the racist pointing this out... oh who am I kidding I'm not sorry ... but "better school system" invariably means 80% or better majority White.

Anonymous said...

What's hilarious is that if you standardize family demographics, you'd see that performance across public schools is similar. Of course the town full of doctors, lawyers, and engineers have better student test scores than a blue collar town, the students are more likely to be of a high IQ.

Samuel Russell said...

Good schools are a false because in this case. Not only are the schools not better, but if schools really were important, buying a much more expensive house to get access to them is a terrible plan. Just pay for private schools and the cost will be much less.

People buy those houses because they like the house and the perceived status. They use school quality as an excuse because it makes them feel less shallow.

VFM #7916 said...

There's another group.

One that didn't follow the path you describe. One that won't enjoy the decline, but will come out the other side as hard men.

They're growing, Cappy. They don't advertise, they're quiet, they're having kids, staying married, and working outside the systems built to farm the sheeple. They're not immigrant invaders or leftists.

They are leaders, though.


On a procedural note, is there an identifier system that does not rely on Google? Given the events of the last couple of weeks you may have some systemic vulnerabilities. Have you addressed these? Your loyal readers would like a tad bit of reassurance that you won't be deplatformed and unpersoned.

Roscoe P Coaltrain said...

It's even worse than that -- this isn't even about the kids.

It's entirely about the wifey-poos, as you call these Special Suburbanite Bitches.

"Good schools" in a place where everyone is overly comfortable end up turning out self-satisfied twits. Some of them might turn into more bankers, more accountants, more lawyers, and so on, but many of them will become disaffected $hitbuck$ baristas who wonder when the magic picked itself up and left town. Overall, expect a net loss of competence over time.

If these Special Suburbanite Bitches would send their kids to a really tough school, they might have some kids who would know how to survive in the world. There's that school that Robert Young Pelton went to (which I think is in Manitoba) -- not only was it tough, but also it sounded like the kind of school where you might actually not survive to be old enough to get your driving licence. That's where these kids need to go so they won't wind up spoiled rotten in their souls.

Instead, the house is a lifestyle choice, the kids are a lifestyle choice, and it's all fed by feckless "beta provider males" who are so twat-twisted and pussy-addicted that they can't even look themselves in the mirror. Everything is about the Special Suburbanite Bitches.

If the kids are smart, once the economic implosion hits, they'll bulldoze these places and turn them back into fields with flowers as a final fuck-you-Maw and fuck-you-Paw.

But chances are good many of them will be stupid enough to think this was paradise with a front lawn, and they'll continue to try to go back to it until America as a whole has to move away from this delusional lifestyle.

Otherwise, apparently for a few hundred thousand dolla and some yougogrrl career "freedom", them bitches love you long time. The kids, however, will ship your ancient asses off to a nursing home staffed with retrained $hitbuck$ baristas once it's clear you've pissed away their inheritance.

Observasaurus Rex said...

"Good School District" is code for "I don't want my kids to go to a school with metal detectors, knife wielding members of a peaceful religion, drive by shooting 'youfs', and other issues caused by certain demographics".

And frankly I get it. If you are only going to have one kid, best make sure it doesn't get murdered in 7th grade because it didn't submit hard enough to a diverse group of diverse thugs awaiting their 18th birthday so they can be put in prison where they belong.

One Fat Oz Guy said...

I've been reading your blog for a while now but I'd have to disagree with you on this.
Being a family man myself (and perhaps simply justifying what I'm planning to do) I currently live in an area in Australia that has terrible public schools.
The reason in this area is a combination of leftover lower socio-economic people who can't afford to send their children to better schools or move to areas with better schools or simply don't care.
Question for you: if you want your child to have the best chance, do you want them to be friends with children whose parents don't care enough about their education to make any changes or children whose parents have made big changes and are therefore more likely to take an interest?
In any school, the number of children whose parents care and who don't vary greatly, but being in an area people are dying to get into ensures that the percentage of interested parents will be higher.
Some parents simply see school as cheap daycare and the child's level of motivation is usually reflected by how the parents show their interest.
This is why parents want to send their children to private schools with rich parents, in case they might become best friends with (or date and marry) billionaire's child.
Kind of like winning the lottery.
To win that lottery, you have to buy the tickets.
The workaround for people like me is that I'll rent in an area of a good school long enough to get my children accepted, then I'm free to move around.
I'll get the benefit of the good school without the massive 30 year mortgage.

Anonymous said...

The most tragic outcome is when families move into a cheap school district instead, get their kids blasted out of their brains on Ritalin, and hope test scores explode and they make leveraged returns on their home. The kids might even be the primary source of income!

It's 21st century child labor. Brutal Victorian era factory grinds were more honest, better paid, and more humane than modern child labor based on test scores.

In all seriousness, I can see exactly why ghetto people (not always black) are absolutely right about their hostility towards formal education and use of public housing. In absolute genetic terms, they're expanding and the yuppies are gradually dying off.

Anonymous said...

What if the government left schooling to the free market ?

Are diplomas obsolete ? Should we let children and parents decide what they want to study ?

I wanted to study math, physics and computer programming at an early age, but instead I had to do phys.ed, religion, morality because that was imposed to me by a government mandated curriculum.

In a free market, there would not be any school districts, there would not be property taxes and there would not be urban codes.

You could live in a tiny house and attend school online etc.

In a free market, currency would be privately minted and backed by hard assets, therefore the interest rates would be decided by the market, not by government decree.

The lack of available credit would put downward pressure on house prices. The banks technically OWN all of the real estate and most people are their tenants.

The banks have enough money to buy all the real estate and rent it instead of loaning money and collecting mortgage interest. The reason they don't do this is because they avoid taxes, maintenance fees, delinquent tenants, real estate agents etc.

It's much easier to loan money and collect interest.

If we had sound money, the financial sector would be smaller than the real economy, not bigger.

David Reynolds said...

I have never married or have children. If I did and my wife didn't like the schools in my district for whatever reason, I would sit down with her and tell her that we aren't going to pay $530k to live somewhere just for the schools. I would calmly and rationally tell her,

"Babe! Honey Buns! If you don't like the schools our kid would have to go to by living where we live, we have two cheaper options: 1) One of us can stay home and home school the kid or 2) If we have to, we can pay $8K -$12K per year to send him or her to private school. Either way, it is way the hell cheaper than paying $3,000 per month to live in that neighborhood just for some crummy school."

Anonymous said...

I recently visited my younger brother who lives near a Big 10 university and saw the same neighborhoods you saw-- immaculate houses and lawns, 2 luxury cars in every drive, any kind of restuarant imagineable, etc.. very different from the rust belt town we were raised (and fled).

When I asked him what drives people to come to this place and pay the exuberant taxes and cost of living expenses, he said, "the school district. They have excellenct schools here and alot of the faculty live in the area, of course, so price of entry keeps the riff-raff out." His neighbors are just like him and his wife. White middle class and indebted out to the gills with no savings. God help them if any health issues arise, but I foresee alot of Gen X working until they drop to pay for their current "perks."

SFC TON said...

Good school district = no or very few negroes

Yeah materialism and living above ones means is a part of the equation but never forget the other half of the equation is a response to ending Jim Crow and dealing with diviserty

Bike Bubba said...

The funny thing about paying more for a "good school district" is that Minnesota allows families to choose the school district their children will be educated in--they just have to make sure the transportation is there. So instead of a hundred grand more for a house, you can get the cheaper house and have Mom commute the kids to a Wayzata school for a few grand a year.

Some people ain't the brightest bulbs in the chandelier, even in Wayzata and Edina, to put it mildly.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, you kind of agree with Elizabeth Warren on this point. The book she wrote with her daughter, "The Two Income Trap" argued that families were engaged in a bidding war for homes in good school districts and that, as a result, families were stuck with high fixed costs for housing. Her proposed solution was housing vouchers that would allow children from bad neighborhoods to attend schools in good ones. (One wonders how this would work in practice when every child within a 25 mile radius sought to attend the same school).
BTW, not an Elizabeth Warren fan. The main thesis of her book was that consumer overspending was NOT responsible for bankruptcy. She "proved" this by pointing out that, in 90% of the cases, a bankruptcy filing was caused by job loss, divorce or a medical emergency. This is akin to interviewing people who fell after dancing on the edge of a cliff and finding out that 90% of them stumbled on a rock before falling and attributing their fall to rocks. The interviewer never asks the relevant question - why were you dancing next to a cliff?
The average American family spends 100% or more of its income and saves virtually nothing. Of course that family is going to declare bankruptcy if an "unforeseen" emergency happens. Emergencies, however, are not unforeseen and you should prepare for them. For example, I earn a decent living but I have saved and have the ability to lower my expenses such that I could keep my home for the rest of my life by merely getting a minimum wage job for 40 hours a week.

Anonymous said...

My girl friend lived one of the "good" public school districts. She bought her house in 08 after the crash and in the nine years she has owned it put nothing into it but a coat of paint. She is walking away with enough to pay off her 40K in student loans, pay cash for a good used car plus, and put 20% down on another house in a not so sought after neighborhood. For what the buyers paid for the house plus what they have to put into it, they could have almost gotten into the luxury real estate market. Yeah, this market is not going to last much longer.

Glen Filthie said...

Stellar post Cap.

Back in the mid 90's I bought a brand new starter home, for $120,000.00. That mortgage kept me awake at nights. 17 years later we paid it off and even managed to have some left over for savings and for a few toys and trips. All the people that moved into that new housing development flipped their homes, moved out and moved up... and they are probably going to retire with mortgages. Are they nuts? How in hell is that supposed to work?

Tucanae Services said...

One Fat Oz Guy,

One problem with the logic. ALL of the teachers themselves, regardless of how fancy the school building came from a system where the lesser IQ go for 'training' at a pedagogical institution. All of them. The building might be new, the bond issue large and shiny, but the one thing -- the teacher -- is substandard.

Tucanae Services said...

I have had a rule -- don't buy a $500k or more house unless it sits on a couple of acres. The higher the price the smaller the envelope of buyers capable purchasing your humble abode. Its held up over the years. I have seen friends sit waiting for their property to sell. Result is usually hubby is at the new town cause of the relo while the rest of the family sits in the old location. Mega stress. Been the cause of a couple divorces too.

Anonymous said...

@VFM#7916

"One that won't enjoy the decline, but will come out the other side as hard men.

They're growing, Cappy. They don't advertise, they're quiet, they're having kids, staying married, ..."

Correct. And the left fears us the most as we have a vested interest in the future and are all in. Stay vigilant brother.

Anonymous said...

In Australia, the same trend is visible. I know of some parents that rent an apartment or unit (detached or semi-detached house on a multiple occupancy property) in the right district (called "zones" here) to get their kids in. This encourages property speculators to bid up the smallest houses, units and apartments in the zone as they know parents will in turn bid up the rents, and of course the amazing future capital gains. Like the US these are leftists that don't want their kids studying with any "riffraff"

DrTorch said...

That's why homeschooling is such an important option. You live in an affordable neighborhood and your kids get an education that is equal to or better than any "good school" in your area, probably in your state.

Oh yeah, kids grow up w/ parents at home and parents enjoy their children. Society/Civilization continues.

flighter said...

I agree.