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The stainless steel renovation revolution

 
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brian-hansen
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:43 pm    Post subject: The stainless steel renovation revolution Reply with quote

A while back I claimed credit (?) for the bad economy.

I even claimed naming rights, calling it the "Hansen Economy".

In brief, people acting like I do/have are buying less, buying used,
not buying, making do, and otherwise living like grad students.
Terrible for the GNP, and for getting dates on Saturday night,
but financially efficient, and, incidentally, not so bad for the ecology.

The recession has brought more people into this lifestyle, which puts
a crimp in the style of folks who acted this way all along. Happily,
there's still areas where a guy can save big bucks with a bit of effort.

One in particular is in the area of household appliances. There are
still folks doing renovations on their homes, and stainless steel has
become so trendy that any kitchen that does not have these is to
be considered as "dated". In other words, my kitchen appliances
don't make me seem like a millionaire, unless they are stainless.

I'm not quite sure if there is a term that means the opposite of
"a perfect storm", but stainless steel appliances are an example
of where everything comes together for the Hansen Economy.
1) perfectly functional appliances become available when a kitchen/
laundry room renovation is done. Resourceful folks can get the
old appliances for $50 or less. 2) Since multiple appliances must
match, a single "bad" appliance can trigger the replacement of
all, meaning other "good" appliances are available too. 3) Since
non-stainless appliances are not trendy, there is not much of a
secondary market for good, used appliances. 4) The more trend-
oriented the original owner is, the newer the old appliances will be,
correlating with being highly functional. 5) Stainless devotees are
likely to not want to bother charging much if anything for the purchase
of their (used) appliances -- these are busy people, not concerned
about negotiating small amounts. Having the convenience of someone
take away the old appliance is often payment enough. 6) Since
purchase price is small (or non-existent), original owners don't have
so much incentive to lie about the condition. 7) We now have Craigslist
and freecycle.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is amusing because just yesterday I was shopping
at IKEA and I bought several pieces of stainless steel
cookery -- pots mainly. The cost was very low, something
like $7 for a set of five small pots and pans.

Also, the look of these pots and pans was that of what
a Hansenist might find when shopping at yard sale.
Those same cheezy black handles that you know will
burn your hand if you heat the pot too much, for example.

So, IKEA, has in some sense made a "mockery" of the
Hansen economy. They sell new goods, in a stylish
warehouse, that are meant to look like the cheap goods
that students, poor people and frugality go hunting for
at yard sales and on Craigslist. A form of Hansen Mimicry.

Another bizarre shopping experience I had the day before
was looking for a mattress now that I have moved into
a two bedroom apartment and wanted to outfit it
with a cheap bedset for guests. I went to the Sleep
Country outlet where I had previously found a futon
I have used (as replacement for couch upholstery that
I stripped off a frame). I started to circle the showroom,
a salesman tracking my motion like Kinect scanner. The prices:
$1000....$1600....$2400...$4000! The salesman, seeing
my distress, hauled me back to the far corner where
there was a mattress, queen size, for $300. Whew!

As I was happily giving him my debit card, glad that
the amounts of money I had had not been inflated to
cents by 2010 prices, I asked -- do you really sell a
lot of $3200 mattresses? He didn't quite answer with a
specific number, but he indicated that yes, all the time.
And he considered his operation to be a low ball place.
It's not uncommon for people to spend $10,000 for a mattress!

So there you have it people...evidence of the existence
of the Anti-Hansen Economy! Hopefully the two
multi-verses will stay as far apart from one another as possible.
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jabailo



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hansen Economy creeps upward!

In A Tough Economy, Old Stigmas Fall Away

Quote:
The Goodwill store in Paramus, N.J., a middle-class New York suburb, is buzzing on a recent weekend afternoon. A steady flow of shoppers comb through racks filled with second-hand clothes, shoes, blankets and dishes.

A few years ago, opening a Goodwill store here wouldn't have made sense. Paramus is one of the biggest ZIP codes in the country for retail sales. Shoppers have their pick of hundreds of respected names like Macy's and Lord &Taylor along this busy highway strip.


http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=131167803
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brian-hansen
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The $3200 mattress is just what Dr. Hansen* ordered.

Only a day or two ago I was able to pick up my reserve
copy of the "Men who Stare at Goats" DVD from the library.

How to put this? Without either over- or under-estimating
how much I will enjoy this particular production, a few years
ago, I would've had my turn at this item months ago.
The Hansen Economy has had a significant deleterious effect
on the Hansen Lifestyle.

The emergence of the $3200 mattress is a sign that the
competition at the shallow end of the pool will be relieved somewhat.

For many years now I have taken comfort from the fact that
the rich have things they can spend their money on that are not
directly in competition with me. Furs, diamonds, sleeping bags
with built-in MP3 players: all of these have served to soak up the
wealth of the 2 groups that form the basis for pricing of items,
the conspicuous consumers, and the don't-have-to-ask-ers.
I've been thankful that there are still plentiful glass paperweights in
the form of platonic solids, quirky postcards from the 1970's,
and only just to mention, diet soda and groceries approaching their
sell-by date.

Living the Hansen Lifestyle pretty much requires that there be the
Anti-Hansenistas you mention. The more the better.

If you don't require that your purchase increase your status, if
you can wait for your shot at what everyone is talking about,
if you have some extra time, and are as clever as average,
you can live for pennies on the dollar in a great many areas
of life. At least, that's how it has been. The bad economy has
made it harder to live a Vente Latte Lifestyle on a Tapwater
and Folger's Budget.

I think we need another set of things that
rich people (and their emulators) just absolutely need to have.
The $3200 mattress seems like a good start, assuming it isn't
already played out. If you could work in 2000 thread counts,
Egyptian cotton and stainless steel into other product areas,
then maybe we could finally end this recession and go back
to the easy living that being on the outskirts of madness can
bring.



======================


* not really a doctor, has a master's degree (in science!)
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hansen Economy Subsuming All Classes!

Meet the cheapskates

Quote:
Kate Easlick of northern Michigan got her house for free. She found a local house slated for demolition and paid to move it to her property instead. "It only cost $6,500 to move the cottage here, and we put about another $20,000 into building the foundation, basement, remodeling, and so on."


https://retirementplans.vanguard.com/VGApp/pe/pubnews/MeetCheapskates.jsf?SelectedSegment=StartingtoSave
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jabailo



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

brian-hansen wrote:

I think we need another set of things that rich people (and their emulators) just absolutely need to have.
The $3200 mattress seems like a good start, assuming it isn't
already played out. If you could work in 2000 thread counts,
Egyptian cotton and stainless steel into other product areas,
then maybe we could finally end this recession and go back
to the easy living that being on the outskirts of madness can
bring.


Do you not think that this argues somewhat for the "Bush Tax cuts" including those for "the rich" so long as we can ply the money away from them using boutiques and luxury automobiles? Seems like it would indeed be the fastest way of spreading the loot. The trick to economic well being is having a lot of thrifty poor folk and burghers, and a lot of spendthift rich crazies "fertilizing" the economy.

What you say makes me wonder. Was there really a Free Market solution to all the wealth inequality of the last decades? Your thesis is simply that we didn't come up with enough ways for the super rich to spend their money? In a world of so many billionaires, $20 million mansions become a dime a dozen...Thus, as you said, the $3200 is only a start. We need the $500,000 depleted uranium kitchen countertop, the $235 million maglev sports car and the $5 million dollar a night hooker to drain those bank accounts.
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brian-hansen
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jabailo wrote:
Do you not think that this argues somewhat for the "Bush Tax cuts" including those for "the rich" so long as we can ply the money away from them using boutiques and luxury automobiles? Seems like it would indeed be the fastest way of spreading the loot. The trick to economic well being is having a lot of thrifty poor folk and burghers, and a lot of spendthift rich crazies "fertilizing" the economy.

I am having a very difficult time seeing how you could reach that
conclusion from the posting I've made. In fact, I would draw just the
opposite conclusion. As a boost to the economy, the prevailing wisdom
is that if you want to get a multiplier effect on injected money, then
you would be better off injecting that money into the poor, who are
pretty much sure to spend it. This reasoning seems sound to me.

Of course, if income or wealth inequality is what you hope to address,
then the case is even clearer: offering large (in absolute numbers)
tax breaks to the rich will mean that wealth inequality will be amplified.

Meanwhile, there's the question of the overall utility of these expenditures.
Sure, if the billionaire builds a factory, then its easy to see that it could
help the economy, by improving the infrastructure going forward.
But upgrading a stainless steel faucet to be gold-plated (for the rich)
doesn't contribute much to the world, whereas replacing a plain
faucet with another one that doesn't leak (for the poor), reduces
water consumption, the need for harsh chemical cleaners, and cuts
the water bill going forward. The law of diminishing returns suggests
that (everything else being equal) the poor will get more bang for
the (limited) buck than the rich.

So the only criterion that remains is which would most benefit me
in particular. Here, I guess I start to see your point. Having rich
people tossing out perfectly good second editions of books, last year's
luxury cars, and coupons for buffalo wings, would represent a real
value to me. Much more than ratty romance novels, broken down
Pontiac Le Barons, and coupons for Lima beans.

I'm at a bit of a loss. Maybe I should be supporting the billionaire
tax breaks with the hope that some of the "fertilizer" will trickle
down on me. But I can't bring myself to.

jabailo wrote:

What you say makes me wonder. Was there really a Free Market solution to all the wealth inequality of the last decades? Your thesis is simply that we didn't come up with enough ways for the super rich to spend their money? In a world of so many billionaires, $20 million mansions become a dime a dozen...Thus, as you said, the $3200 is only a start. We need the $500,000 depleted uranium kitchen countertop, the $235 million maglev sports car and the $5 million dollar a night hooker to drain those bank accounts.


Those would be a good start, yes. We don't need to give them
tax breaks, just need to invent more crazy, extravagant goods for
those poor rich f**kers to boast about back in the Hamptons.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hansen Economy Subsuming All Known Retail

Target Trots Out $3 Appliances on Black Friday

Quote:
Here's a sampling of what Black Friday shoppers at Target stores could score this year: $3 appliances, deep deals on HDTVs and 50% off on clothes and toys, according to a website that says it has received a leaked copy of the retailer's circular.


http://financiallyfit.yahoo.com/finance/article-111272-7383-6-target-trots-out-3-appliances-on-black-Friday?ywaad=ad0035&nc

The source for this was a site called Gotta Deal

http://gottadeal.com/

Don't know if you've heard of it...


Last edited by jabailo on Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:18 am; edited 2 times in total
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jabailo



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

brian-hansen wrote:
jabailo wrote:
Do you not think that this argues somewhat for the "Bush Tax cuts" including those for "the rich" so long as we can ply the

I am having a very difficult time seeing how you could reach that
conclusion from the posting I've made. In fact, I would draw just the
opposite conclusion. As a boost to the economy, the prevailing wisdom
is that if you want to get a multiplier effect on injected money, then
you would be better off injecting that money into the poor, who are
pretty much sure to spend it. This reasoning seems sound to me.

[...]

Maybe I should be supporting the billionaire
tax breaks with the hope that some of the "fertilizer" will trickle
down on me. But I can't bring myself to.



Definitely its a hypothesis, not a fact, so I shouldn't have made it a conclusion to your premise, my apologies!

But I would say its a possible extension of the Trickle Down concept, now recast as the Hand Me Down economy. So, it's not just that the rich get money and give us jobs...cleaning their mansions, accounting their taxes, enhancing their software...but also, we get their used goods...the Hansen economy. So, then, a reasonable study would be is there an ecosystem of used goods, where the rich hand down to the upper middle class, the upper to the middle, and so on...until finally reaching the Hansenistas.
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brian-hansen
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jabailo wrote:
But I would say its a possible extension of the Trickle Down concept, now recast as the Hand Me Down economy. So, it's not just that the rich get money and give us jobs...cleaning their mansions, accounting their taxes, enhancing their software...but also, we get their used goods...the Hansen economy.

I like the concept of the Hand-Me-Down Economy. Elements of the Potlatch
Economy, and a better name than the Hansen Economy, though a bit too
narrow.

Meantime, though, I object to it being an extension to "trickle-down".
I'd say I just gave a pretty good critique of this. In a situation like the
one we find ourselves in, apparently you don't put much value in reducing
income/wealth inequality, or in getting a multiplier effect (bang for the buck).
It makes me wonder just what criteria you use that makes it seem like
trickle-down is a good policy.

The fact that as a side-effect of tax breaks
for billionaires, clever people like me, who also don't strive to extract
social status from their purchases, can eke out a middle class lifestyle
based on lower class finances, however attractive for me, doesn't
seem like the basis for policy. The Hansen Lifestyle only works in situations
where there is a great deal of waste and a heightened overvaluing of
status and fashion. We could make it government policy to encourage
these things (more than we currently do, I mean), and it might tend
to go in my favor.

[Now if only I could figure out a (legal) way to also
turn fraud and abuse to my favor, then I might not ever need to work
an honest day again... just kidding, of course. It's not my intention
to start up a Department of Waste, Fraud and Abuse (DoWFA), because
I know, in hard times, my budget would be first to be cut. Right?]

But I digress. An economic model based on maximizing waste has
a kind of macabre fascination. I start to think of it as a satiric lens,
another tool in the belt.

But I digress again. I'm not sure how hard I need to work to
reject it, but you'd have to convince me that this waste-based
strategy is good for the economy or people on the whole.
I wonder what criteria you would choose. How about this?
How about effectiveness?

Instead of giving tax breaks to those who least need it, who will
likely not use it to get a multiplier, or bang for your buck effect,
seemingly any other policy would be preferable. It adds a huge
amount to the US Debt going forward. It heightens wealth and
income disparities, which are rising again to historically extreme
levels. I sure hope it is not extended. I predict it's passage would
measurably increase the likelihood and severity of future financial
crises for our country. Tea Party People aren't the only ones that
worry about deficits.

So maybe there's a pathway between fancy ski boot bindings and
designer tea kettles that look great but dribble, for these to find
their way to me for pennies on the dollar, along with that persistent
"trickle" of fertilizer. But for all the opportunity this suggests,
that world doesn't seem so nice to me, especially the cleaning
their mansions part.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

brian-hansen wrote:

It makes me wonder just what criteria you use that makes it seem like
trickle-down is a good policy.

The fact that as a side-effect of tax breaks
for billionaires, clever people like me, who also don't strive to extract
social status from their purchases, can eke out a middle class lifestyle
based on lower class finances, however attractive for me, doesn't
seem like the basis for policy. The Hansen Lifestyle only works in situations
where there is a great deal of waste and a heightened overvaluing of
status and fashion. We could make it government policy to encourage
these things (more than we currently do, I mean), and it might tend
to go in my favor.


In some sense, the Hansen/Hand-Me-Down economy is the private sector's answer to your demand for a Floor ("You Might Be a Liberal..."). If the economy is capable of producing such a surplus of goods, that no one really does go hungry any more, then case closed.

That said, we have to look at each of Maslow's hierarchy of needs and give us (US) a score as to how well we do.

Starting with the basics...food, clothing, shelter, I'd say we manage 2 out of 3 fairly well, and the last, housing, horribly, except maybe for the last few years. Looking at street people, it seems that very few of them are emaciated or starving. Very few are naked. But obviously, they don't have homes...the recent spate of foreclosures may help that and there is even a guy in Florida (recently arrested) who made a business out of putting The Poor into brand new, but empty and foreclosed, bank properties.


brian-hansen wrote:

I'm not sure how hard I need to work to
reject it, but you'd have to convince me that this waste-based
strategy is good for the economy or people on the whole.
I wonder what criteria you would choose. How about this?
How about effectiveness?

[...]

It heightens wealth and
income disparities, which are rising again to historically extreme
levels.

[...]

So maybe there's a pathway between fancy ski boot bindings and
designer tea kettles that look great but dribble, for these to find
their way to me for pennies on the dollar, along with that persistent
"trickle" of fertilizer.


Our economy is basically a machine, with some degree of human "administration". We come in, and watch the welding robots build the cars. We sit at the computers, and run reports that tell us whether the money is moving to the right places. We are toll booth operators, and dam inspection officers, on a grand scale.

So, yes, it's all a fantastic joke. The richest of the rich create foundations and spend millions of their billions figuring out how to give away their money!
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sahlie



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stainless steel is one of the most durable steel which comes with an elegant natural finish and is ideal for furniture and art décor. Because of its qualities, it is one of the most cost effective materials for construction applications. The extensive range of stainless steel products finds its wide application in clinics, hospitals, and medical institutes.

Last edited by sahlie on Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

are you from the Stainless Steel Advisory Council?
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm starting to see signs of a "counter-revolution". Marble isn't giving up yet, but (non-ferrous) stainless steel, is starting to see some competition at the high end.

Check this link:
http://www.refrigeratorinfo.com/News/So-Long-Stainless-Whirlpool-Introduces-a-New-Finish-For-Premium-Kitchens.htm?utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=cpc
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This seems more like an affirmation of stainless steel's success. That it is so good (and so cheap) that they have to come up with a way of "gilding the lily" to make future profits.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whirlpool seems to be aiming their new finish at customers who have grown weary of stainless and its numerous imitators. Indeed, the manufacturer says the new finish is "signifying a shift in the culture of home appliances." Because it's essentially an update of the classic white exterior, White Ice may appeal to consumers who are bored by stainless but also don't want their kitchens to look dated. For Whirlpool, it's an attempt to appeal to homeowners in a bottomed-out housing market, where renovating is less about increasing resale value and more about appealing to an individual's own tastes.

http://refrigerators.reviewed.com/News/So-Long-Stainless-Whirlpool-Introduces-a-New-Finish-For-Premium-Kitchens.htm?utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=cpc
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