Archive for October, 2010

Economics lesson

We may live on the far side of the world, but the economic web keeps us closely tied to events back in the US. Having been in one place for almost three years(!) we’ve met lots of people and heard their stories. The latest chitchat at lunch today came from a teacher at JM’s school. He bought a house in USA at $150k, poured all his paychecks into it to fix it up and pay it off earlier than normal. A few decades later he was ready to sell it at $700k and retire, only to meet the housing crisis full force. He hasn’t gotten an offer above $160k since then. Hence his move to China, where he’ll find steady teaching work and wait until real retirement eventually kicks in.

China is a boom economy right now, but you have to wonder how long it will last. What would happen if a country of 1.6 billion people all lost their savings in a downturn? Real estate is a huge industry here too. One main difference, though, is many people wait till they have all the money to buy property. Makes us wonder if we should do the same.

On the lake

We haven’t been keeping up our blog nearly as much as we’ve wanted to. Almost every day we think of something that would make an interesting blog entry, but the limits of time and energy always get in the way!

We’ve been enjoying the unusually good weather here in town, recently taking a little paddleboat ride on the large lake in the central district. You can catch a glimpse of the world’s sixth- or
seventh-largest (depending who you ask) building, the Nanjing Zifeng Tower. We have yet to visit the observation deck, but it’s supposed to be magnificent. It finally opened this year- we’ve watched it under continual construction since arriving in 2008.

China continues to build and build, but I wonder where it’s all going to end up. All this newly created real estate is selling like wildfire, but who will actually end up using it? Keep in mind that in our city of 6 million people, probably more than half are migrant workers who have come to work ‘lucrative’ service jobs that pay about $200 to $300 a month. They’re not the ones needing these office high rise suites!

On the lake

We haven’t been keeping up our blog nearly as much as we’ve wanted to. Almost every day we think of something that would make an interesting blog entry, but the limits of time and energy always get in the way!

We’ve been enjoying the unusually good weather here in town, recently taking a little paddleboat ride on the large lake in the central district. You can catch a glimpse of the world’s sixth- or
seventh-largest (depending who you ask) building, the Nanjing Zifeng Tower. We have yet to visit the observation deck, but it’s supposed to be magnificent. It finally opened this year- we’ve watched it under continual construction since arriving in 2008.

China continues to build and build, but I wonder where it’s all going to end up. All this newly created real estate is selling like wildfire, but who will actually end up using it? Keep in mind that in our city of 6 million people, probably more than half are migrant workers who have come to work ‘lucrative’ service jobs that pay about $200 to $300 a month. They’re not the ones needing these office high rise suites!