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The Hansen Economy

 
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:05 pm    Post subject: The Hansen Economy Reply with quote

I won't try define it just yet, for those "in the know" already realize what it is, and perhaps a certain eponymous poster may jump in, but I was writing a review of a Star Trek episode in Amazon and found an old review of mine for Toffler's book Revolutionary Wealth.

I reproduce the review here, because it makes mention, not in name, but in concept, of the Hansen Economy:

Quote:
The best things about this book are what he "almost" says, but doesn't. I mean, I respect Toffler and the fact that he, too, has to make a buck selling to his corporate audience...in the way that Rennaisance thinkers could create wildly, but ultimately had to satisfy a patron. Therefore, unlike Galileo, one typically couldn't rebuke the current system that much.

However, Toffler almost goes there. He almost says that "money" is no longer relevant and that a person with knowledge is truly rich. We see this now, where billions of dollars in venture capital goes unclaimed...yet people with popular MySpace places are generating activity in the prime markets that Coke and Pepsi could only hope to reach.

My friend can go into a supermarket, with coupons, and spend 5 dollars for $32 worth of food.

There are all kinds of ways, right now, to live in a cyberized life to make and acquire "money" -- but knowledge to do so is the real value.


http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A15SJAPFLPBL42/ref=cm_pdp_rev_title_2?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview#R38N1U1ABH4ZA4
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brian-hansen
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Admittedly, coining this term was a little cheeky.

I started hearing rumblings that we could blame the
current recession and stock market drop on Barack Obama.

I figured I'd take a hit for our new leader, and take credit for
this phenomenon, rather than leave him the blame.

Combine, then mix the following ingredients:
1) US high standard of living compared to the rest of globe
and also compared to historical quality of life.
2) Cheap manufactured goods and food.
3) Widespread material affluence
4) Ecological concerns about overconsumption
5) Market revolutions (the long tail, and global auctions)
6) Demographic bulge of age group 45 and older
(advertiser's least favorite demographic - they don't buy)
7) Generational transfer of wealth to that same demographic.
8) Voluntary simplicity movement
9) Market uncertainty
10) Recent drop in many family's net worth

What you get is what I call the "Hansen Economy", with
dropping consumption, and dropping prices. I've come
to enjoy not buying very much, and buying used instead
of new, or at a heavy discount. If everyone did that we
would have just about what we have now, a near collapse
of the market economy.

In the era of $10 crescent wrench sets and $6 watches, anyone
who wants one of these things can acquire it, and those who
did don't need another anytime soon. Meanwhile the used
goods market has become eBay, with a few garage sales
and antique malls included peripherally.

Considering that few who had an extra crescent wrench would
take the time to list it on eBay, that extra crescent wrench
has no value. It's only value is the amount of work that one
would expend to try to find a market for it (on Ebay or otherwise).
Your used crescent wrench couldn't compete with a new one
available from China, anyway.

In the area of material goods, many, many goods are only
worth the labor of finding a buyer, otherwise they are worthless.
The exceptions are in the areas of status symbols and "the latest"
technology. If one eschews gaining status via material goods,
and does not need the fastest computer, or the latest gadget,
nearly anything else one might want can typically be found for
"pennies on the dollar", if its even needed in the first place.
If you're looking for a computer, tv, mp3 player, etc. you might
as well wait until someone gives you one. Why buy?

Ironically, with such low prices, its hardly even worth trying
to sell such goods. That is, the time and effort to find a buyer
is more valuable than the object to be sold.

I don't suppose this situation will last more than a few years,
but in the meantime I'd like to say to my fellow citizens: welcome
to my world, and also, sorry about the recession.
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember about 3 or 4 years ago, after my divorce and moving into my current apartment, after I bought my plates from the Dollar Store and my computer and tv and bed and enough furniture that I had trouble figuring out where to put what. There reached a point where I had bought everything I wanted or needed, and the only things I could buy were slightly better (in some cases more expensive and not as good) versions of things I already owned!

As you say, goods are so plentiful and maybe there are just so many basic "slots" that humans have for certain key objects that we've saturated ourselves.

The one thing I have been contending is severely underpriced and which has and will soon rise is human labor. Labor has been disparaged in the last 30 years to the point that people assume it's always available and cheap. In fact, the Hansen Economy may make that assumption for its continuation. But a sudden and rapid increase in wages for even basic manual work, could happen.

India and China have grown to the point where they are in need of importing workers and professionals. Canada is actively encouraging 30 million new immigrants to move there to replace retiring and dying workers. Japan has been removing houses and creating greenways as its populations shrinks and ages. 1/3rd of China's population is already beyond retirement age, and the other 2/3rds has been living under Mao's one-child rule for decades. Mexico's birthrate has dropped from 6 to 2 in the last decade. Since 2006, immigration to the US from Mexico has all but evaporated.
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:10 pm    Post subject: $1000 homes Reply with quote

http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/08/real_estate/thousand_dollar_homes/index.htm?ref=patrick.net



Quote:
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The real estate market is so awful that buyers are now scooping up homes for as little as $1,000.
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You've found the right place to add to your existing collection, or to start a new one.
jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2009/01/13/the_good_trend

Quote:
The meaning of 21st century freedom—freedom from the credit-forged manacles of consumer spending—turns out to be a break from a postmodern form of slavery that was perfected at the end of the 20th century. If this process of emancipation continues, if Americans buy less and less and feel good about doing so, then truly a better world is just around the corner.
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Hansen goes...so goes Buffet!

Buffett Takes Stake in Dollar General

Quote:
Warren E. Buffett noted in an op-ed article in The New York Times that “most Americans struggle to make ends meet.” So it probably makes investment sense that he has taken a stake in a retailer that draws in those very same Americans who are trying to find bargains wherever they can.


http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/buffett-takes-stake-in-dollar-general/
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