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  • another one
    09-29 07:20 PM
    To me collateral damage to GC is more acceptable than the same to human life.

    On economic front, the only person on either side who truly supports free market policies is Ron Paul. He is the one of the few Republicans who actually thinks about balancing the budget. Tax cuts are ok, only if you back them up with reduced spending, without increasing the national levergage. National debt is now at 100% of GDP (in the company of zimbabwe and jamiaca) , 20-30% of future income tax will go towards paying of the interest on Govt tax. It will definitely crowd out future private investments. Look at the history of national debt, and correlate them to the administrations.

    "Supply side" tax reductions of Reagan admin were good but even he increased the debt during his tenure. Leveraging is good for private cos (to certain limit, as we can say from recent developments), but not for Govts, as they do not really do much economically productive activity. Keynesian economists have all been hiding in their basement in the last two weeks.

    It is just my belief that Repubs dumb down everything.. from education to how to sell a war or economic plan to people.

    So you are ok with "colateral damage" to your GC ? I have never seen a school force creationism on a child, as for reading its the same everywhere (i remember in india my catholic shool was at pains to teach us that Ramayan was a legend...i didnt change my religion because of that). How many wars were fought during regans adminstration? Do you remember the tax rate during the Carter years? people were shelling out 17% on home loans while banks were paying 13% interest on their CD's. Media driven pontification is ok as long as you can substantiate them with valid reasoning. (Clinton years were good for us but some say that it laid the foundation for the dot com crisis, which lead to easy credit and so on)





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  • tabletpc
    12-17 02:04 PM
    This forum is for immigration related discussion. Discuss other matters in yahoo answers or any other similiar forum.:mad::mad:





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  • rkadayam2
    07-14 02:56 PM
    Maybe I should not say "high" paid but rather above average but once I get my GC I can really start to stretch my legs, think about starting a company or seek a much higher paying job or go freelance.

    But for that day will have to wait until my LC gets approved and then 140 and 485, etc so safe to say I have a long way to go.

    I may be better paid than the average american or even a skilled immigrant neverthless I'm still a slave who will have to stay confined with this one measly job for the last 5 years and put up with the whims of my management.

    I'm not dreaming of settling down in this country forever or becoming a citizen but I just need a valid status that will allow me to pursue a fruitful career. BCIS needs to re-think the H1B programme because there are lot of people who do not want to become citizens but just remain legal residents without a time limit. So long as we are able to stay employed and contributing tax dollars why try to kick us out.





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  • Macaca
    08-14 11:37 AM
    Congressman, It's (Still) on Us: The Ethics Law's Many Loopholes (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/13/AR2007081300980.html?hpid=topnews) By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum | Washington Post, August 14, 2007

    Activists on the reform side of the lobbying debate have been celebrating that Congress finally got around to passing an ethics bill. The question is: Should voters celebrate as well?

    Paul A. Miller, a former president of the American League of Lobbyists, thinks the hoorahs should be muted, and he has a point. The legislation bars lobbyists from providing meals and gifts to lawmakers, a provision long sought by the advocates of change as a way to keep well-heeled interests from buying their way into the hearts of decision-makers.

    But Miller and others point out that the ban is full of loopholes. The largest of the gaps, Miller said, could end up worsening the public's perception that lawmakers are for sale.

    If lobbyists are prevented from buying meals for lawmakers for lobbying purposes, he noted, lobbyists will almost certainly make up for the loss by boosting the number of meals they buy lawmakers as part of campaign fundraising events.

    And believe it or not, they will be perfectly able to do so. Lobbying laws are separate from campaign finance laws, and the new ban on meals and gifts applies only to lobbying laws. That means the legislation does not rein in fundraising events, so lobbyists and their clients will still be able to buy food and entertainment for lawmakers at those events.

    Hence the following perversity: Lobbyists will not be able to pick up the check for members of Congress unless they also hand the lawmakers a check to help their reelections.

    "Lobbyists will move lunches and dinners to the campaign side of things," Miller predicts. "They will increasingly get members of Congress for an hour or so to give them a campaign check; that's a better deal for the lobbyists and will also make it more likely for corruption to happen."

    Jan W. Baran, the campaign finance expert at the law firm Wiley Rein, finds it hard to imagine that lawmakers can schedule more fundraisers than they already do. But he does think there will continue to be plenty of lobbyist-financed partying thanks to the nearly two dozen exceptions to the meal-and-gift ban.

    Baran said that members of Congress will be able to accept invitations from lobbyists to events that are widely attended, including receptions and charity golf tournaments. Lobbyists will also still be allowed to underwrite visits by lawmakers if they have some official or ceremonial role. Members of Congress generally cannot accept tickets to sporting events from lobbyists. But they can be comped to a baseball game if they throw out the first pitch, to a football game if they toss the opening coin or to a NASCAR race if they wave the checkered flag. That's nice work if you can get it, and you can bet there'll be a lot more of it available soon.

    Interest groups are also expressing concern about another feature of the legislation. The provision would require more disclosure by organizations about who is paying for and actively participating in the lobbying activities of coalitions and trade groups. At the moment, most of that information is proprietary and protected by Supreme Court decisions that shield the members of many kinds of groups. Organizations are worried that they might, for the first time, have to disclose who their top members are.

    But they probably need not worry. Ways are always found to get around laws like this one. "The balloon will be pressed, and the air will come out another way," said Kenneth A. Gross, a lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.



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  • mariner5555
    03-24 12:01 AM
    I live in NJ close to the cherry hill area and i am looking to buy only in Burlington county. I have been living here for about 9 years now and so far haven't thought of investing here. I invested in india and the investment appreciated 4 times or more so i am happy about the decision. I actually needed a bigger place now and i am not seeing that as a investment but if it turns out that way that's fine with me. I just wanted to find out what are people's experiences with the house escpecially for those who are under H1/EAD. well the experience that I gave above was as good as I could since it was told to me in person. it all depends on yr long term horizon .....do u think u will be in NJ for a long time ? if yes and if u are getting a good deal, then house makes sense - price of house would always go up by the cost of inflation + 1 percent (except during bubble burst ..like now) - and I guess RE in NJ will always be in demand ..but u would know better.
    house is definitely better in many many respects --
    if u don't see it as an investment -- then why not ..take the plunge !!
    The only problem that I have (in my case) is GC !! and the fact that prices went up by average of 10% during last 4 - 5 years - which is craziness (And as we know now - a bubble). I for one am not a sucker who wants to pay high for an asset than it is actually worth..in most areas in US atleast --land is plenty and time it takes to build infrastructure is less . demand is low and will be low -- and I don't think of renting as throwing money (did extensive research on the same) - as of now I am happy as I have lot more time on hand , commutes are shorter and the money that I save - I am investing aggresively in stocks etc. here is a latest article about home prices - I guess bottom in 2009 feb ?
    ----------
    Even as sales have plunged, more supply has come on the market, from home builders, foreclosed homes, and from owners who need or want to sell. It'll take a year at least to work off the excess supply, which is driving prices lower.
    Falling home prices could be keeping some buyers on the sidelines, waiting for a better deal. But prices have already fallen significantly, which means more potential buyers can find an affordable house.
    The two major home price indexes will be released on Tuesday by Standard & Poor's and the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. S&P's Case-Shiller index will probably see a decline of 11% in the 12 months ending in January, down from 9% through December, according to economists at UBS.
    Futures markets predict home prices will fall another 14% by next February, UBS said.

    ----------





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  • suavesandeep
    06-24 11:08 AM
    IMHO, It does not matter what your status in this country is. Or how much you make and all other parameters you need to consider while buying your primary residential home. If you are in the home flipping business please ignore the post.

    There is too much data out there which says housing will go down for at least another year, and will then stay flat for a long time.

    I know home is not an investment. But buying something when you know its gonna lose value just does not make sense even with all the credits + low interest rate out there. For me the most important thing is the total principal you pay to buy the home. Everything else are cheap gimmicks. Its like a car salesman saying you monthly payment for this car is only $200, but wait you will be paying this $200 for the next 10 years instead of 5. Or a Bank saying you get $50 to open an account etc. Also as others pointed out even in 2004/2005 there was enough data being floated that the housing bubble will crash, but i guess lot of people just ignored it.

    If you need a house for luxury, Go ahead and rent one for the next couple of years. Not sure why people think renting restricts them to only small apartments. I am pretty sure renting a house in today's market will be lot cheaper than buying. I am currently renting a home and very happy in it.

    Also consider that housing market is not as volatile as the stock market. So once the correction is complete it will take a long time for the appreciation curve to kick in. So timing the housing market dynamics would be different compared to the stock market.



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  • priti8888
    08-09 06:43 PM
    Hi UN,

    Sorry to post here. I have posted in some other thread but no response.

    I just got my FP notice for Aug 23rd for myself,spouse and 8yrs old son.My wife and son is in India, we cancelled our trip back in May for my 485.We waited till we got our receipts,they went to India for some important work.At this point they cann't make it by Aug 23rd. They both have valid H4 I797 with them.

    Can you please advice, what is the best procedure to follow here.

    1. Can I take my FP and request to postpone of my wife & son ?
    2. Postpone for all three members, and request for a later date ?
    3. Can we go after Sep3rd with the old receipts dated for Aug 23rd 2007?

    Thanks In Advance,
    kSR

    since u r the primary applicant choose option 1





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  • zshakyaz
    03-31 10:46 PM
    Today I received a call from my lawyers office asking me whether my wife had taken the TB test as we skipped that test when we applied for I-485 in July 2007 as my wife was expecting at that time. My PD is Feb 2007

    Lawyers office said they received a call from USCIS as they are getting the cases ready to be adjudicated. USCIS wanted to know whether my wife got her TB test done or not.

    Did anyone else got such a call from USCIS? And Gurus, what do you all think this means?

    Hello burnt
    From my own experience USCIS actually called me directly . So don't be surprised USCIS calling your attorney. The best thing about the call was the immigration officer, verified all my info and notified on my 485 approval and my wife on that same call. It was hard to believe it , since even infopass couldn't confirm my approval. And I recieved my card in just 3 business days after the approval. So chill out , its a good thing that USCIS is trying to resolve your case. nothing to be worried about

    cheers



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  • jonty_11
    05-29 08:27 PM
    Lobbying is like bribery - but legalized here in US....the smart people here didnt want to get caught....so legislators can make lobbyists like Jack Abramoff and ilk - scapegoats.....





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  • mallu
    01-28 02:46 PM
    Why should anybody listen to this guy? This guy doesnt really represent the facts.

    The fact is that he is against IMMIGRATION of any form. I am sure he denies the fact that fore-fathers were immigrants and came from a distant land.

    That is surely amnesia. What to say, one of my desi coworker who who got his citizenship recently has started "Why we need more people" . When asked about his case, "mine was different, because of y2k etc there were great demand around 1999-2000".



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  • gimme_GC2006
    03-23 01:54 PM
    my only problem is Work contracts.

    How am I supposed to get contracts of all clients.
    My employer doesnt share saying its private and confidential..I worked for a top 5 Indian IT in the past..no way I can get those details..duh :confused:





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  • anai
    12-24 11:14 AM
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Will the Aryans return the land to Dravidians now?

    If you are talking about Rahul Dravid, I think he already owns a lot of land in various parts of India.



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  • rockstart
    07-14 08:29 PM
    I agree, does anybody have a link to the policy of how spill over of visa numbers works?

    Still better abolish Eb1/ Eb2/ Eb3 when there is no EBx in H1 then why EBx in GC? come on guys stratification on EB is reality along with preference order set by CIS. What is stopping eb3 guys from moving to eb2?





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  • ScratchingHead
    10-01 01:28 PM
    For the record the raising of the FDIC limit was proposed by John Blunt and not Obama. One article spinned it to show that Obama proposed it and then that news got the most clicks and now everyone says that he proposed the limit.

    Thats because the rich folks all of sudden who have more then 100k in their accounts felt unsecured and obviously the US government for the rich is helping the rich.



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  • Madhuri
    09-30 02:19 PM
    Yes, you are right, the recent 485 denials for people using AC-21 have nothing to do with Obama/Durbin immigtaion policy. But I kind of remember there were some harsh provisions for people using AC 21 in CIR 2007 version. I am trying to find out the details about it.
    Correct me if I am wrong.

    AC21 denial is nothing to do with immigaration policy of Durbin or Obama. It is due to lack of regulations in USCIS or USCIS not efficient to follow the law/rules or bad customer service. This is where we need Obama. Becuase, he is favor of more/stright regulation or more accountability or strong government.





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  • nojoke
    04-06 01:57 PM
    Quoting from various sources

    Slower building? �The demand for new homes in the Columbia region slowed significantly so far this year. Builders in Richland, Lexington and Kershaw counties saw a 33 percent drop to 1,082 single-family homes in the first three months of the year, according to the Home Builders Association of Greater Columbia.�
    ��We were expecting a downturn. I don�t know if I was expecting that much,� association executive director Earl McLeod said.�
    ��This is the worst I�ve ever seen it,� said builder David Beck, who has worked in the Columbia area for 17 years. �We�re just riding this to see what�s going to happen. I don�t think that it�s ever going to get back to the way it was.��
    -----------------------------------------
    ��The residential real estate industry ripple effect is a blood bath,� said David Marino of Irving Hughes, which specializes in representing tenants. �When we got hit hard in 2001 through 2003 in the tech side, the residential real estate guys took a lot of that space. Today, there�s no recovering industry sector to offset� the decline from housing-related companies.�
    --------------------------------------------------

    From ABC 30. �That foreclosure crisis is hitting the Valley hard. Dozens of new homes will hit the auction block in Chowchilla this weekend.�
    �This three bedroom, two bath home has a starting price of 280-thousand dollars. That�s about 120-thousand dollars less than its previous price. And this is just one of 43 discounted homes that will be up for auction on Sunday.�
    �Project manager Ginger Hoggarth says this auction will be very different than those that sell foreclosed homes. �They are brand new homes and you do still get the one year warranty the builder would normally offer as well as a walk through.��
    ------------------------------------------

    �When the owners default, it leads to repossession rather than foreclosure, and these defaults are not included in the foreclosure data, said Moises Loza, HAC executive director. �It�s happening all over,� Loza said.�
    �Merced County, population 246,000, underwent a housing boom over the past few years that saw developments spring up on what used to be farmland, said Rep. Dennis Cardoza from Merced. Now, in towns like Atwater, housing values have dropped as much as 50 percent, the congressman said.�
    �The skeletons of houses where construction halted when the market went bust stand across a development where houses that sold for $400,000 just three years ago are now going begging at half the price.�
    --------------------------------------

    The Mountain View Voice. �Market conditions and tight money are causing some builders to shut down large housing projects here, despite relatively firm prices and brisk sales of completed homes.�
    �At least two large developments have been halted or dropped so far, after the builders were frightened off by negative signs in the housing market. Two others are rumored to face problems.�
    �Just east of Highway 237 near the Sunnyvale border is evidence of the trouble. At 505 E. Evelyn Ave., a maze of driveways makes its way around the huge lot but leads up to only four model homes on the corner. The other 147 have yet to be built, and there have been no signs of construction for nearly a year.�
    �Dave Best, the project manager at Shea Homes, denied rumors that Shea was having trouble getting bank loans for the project.�
    ��It�s not that we don�t have the money to build it, we just have decided not to put our efforts in that particular project,� he said. �When we determine the market has come back and it makes sense to build, we will continue.��
    ---------------------------------------------
    The Sacramento Bee. �After all the intellectual assessments and recital of statistics about the subprime loan crisis, a woman from Chicago asked the question on the minds of many people in neighborhoods where so many have lost their homes. She asked the question in a setting far removed from those neighborhoods, at a California conference hosted earlier this week by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.�
    ��I want to know � how many people are going to jail?� asked Yevette Boutall, director of a community development fund that works in lower-income neighborhoods of Cook County.�
    ��That�s how angry people are in communities,� said Boutall. �They want to know how many people are going to go to jail, people who misled them and got away with it and earned money on their misery.��
    �In San Francisco at the Fairmont Hotel, Boutall�s question went unanswered for the moment. But it struck a real note about people bearing the consequences of a time when mortgages and home prices went wild.�
    �Speakers at the San Francisco Fed conference uniformly estimated that 2 million households will surrender their keys to lenders in the next year or two. That was their prediction despite all the voluntary lender-government agreements, the millions of dollars for new nonprofit loan counselors and the average $40,000 to $70,000 a lender loses with every foreclosure.�
    ��I wish I had better news for you in the short term,� said Tom Cunningham, director of the risk monitoring and analysis group at the Fed�s San Francisco bank.�
    �He called the situation �unprecedented. We have never seen this before.��
    �What seemed new at the Fed conference was how few major ideas there are to stop it. Speakers defined the problem, defined proposals to help assure it doesn�t happen again. But they could not be encouraging about solutions.�
    �Speakers from the Fed, NeighborWorks America, the Center for Responsible Lending, Colorado Foreclosure Prevention Task Force and JPMorgan Chase talked about proposed legislation at state capitols and in Congress. They detailed efforts to reach out to struggling borrowers. But the big number � 2 million households during the next year or two � didn�t change.�



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  • alisa
    04-07 03:52 PM
    Thats a very good question.

    I think we should call Senators Durbin and Grassley and ask them why they want to hurt American businesses (that provide employment to millions of Americans) by stifling and increasing the cost of innovation, and losing American trained/American educated employees to India/China?

    And so, why do they want to hurt American workers by encouraging outsourcing?


    The deeper question is why are Senator Durbin and Senator Grassley pushing so hard for outsourcing, which will be the final outcome of this bill. If American companies can't hire local H1-Bs they will go somewhere else. I am going to call their office after the Easter break and ask for their response.





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  • sayantan76
    12-29 11:20 PM
    I agree with you. British occupied USA and India at around same time (1600) and USA got it's independence by 1789 and we had to wait until 1947. UK was very badly hurt post second world war and had to borrow money heavily from USA to pay for veterans and keep war time employment rates. Clement Atlee in his wisdom thought that UK can not maintain it's empire any longer and let go of colonies. Winston Churchill was opposed to this but could not prevail over Atlee. I admire Mahatma immensely. But let us not kid ourselves that we got independence solely based on peaceful independence struggle. To all those peaceniks, if you think non-violence is such a great weapon, why can't we scratch the whole army and use that massive defence budget for something else? If we are maintaining an army, we are going to use it some time.
    at the risk of adding to this "no longer relevant" thread - there is a huge difference between US and India gaining independence.....in case of the former - it was some Britishers now settled in America fighting other Britishers (loyalists to the throne) for autonomy and independence......

    India was perhaps the first successful example of natives gaining independence from a colonial European power....

    also - to brush up on some more history - India was not occupied in 1600 - actually East India Company was established in that year.....the real establishment and consolidation of territorial control happened between two historical events (Battle of Plassey in 1757 and Sepoy Mutiny in 1857).....if we consider the 1757 date as start of colonization in true earnest - then India was independent in 190 years (1947 - 1757) against your calculation of 189 years for USA (as per your post - 1789-1600) - so not bad for a mostly non-violent struggle :-)

    Also - one of the reasons Atlee thought it was too expensive to maintain colonies was because of all the Quit India and Civil Disobedience type regular movements -these movements took much political and military bandwidth that Britain simply did not have after the war.....if maitaining a colony was easy sailing - i doubt Britain would have given it up easily and we have to credit the non-violent movements for helping India becoming a pain in the neck for Britain......





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  • axp817
    03-25 03:31 PM
    I know many people think about it but they don't have the kahunas to actually execute it. I am not aware of anyone who has tried it and was open about it with uscis.

    In my case when my 485 was pending I went self employment route. I had to give updated g-325a to show employmnet history and I put it right there for officer to see at local office interview. He actually made an astonishing face and I told him that it was allowed and 485 was pending and I can do what I wish during this time. I also told him that I was not my ac21 employer I was just doing this while 485 was pending and I was porting to another job after my 485 was approved. I gave him offer letter and company tax returns from the ac21 employer that I hadn't joined yet.

    Thank you, that is helpful information, although I was talking about a situation where you are self-employed while in AOS, and intend to stay self employed even after your 485 is approved. Self employment being your 'AC21 employer' essentially.

    Any cases you might have come across?





    sledge_hammer
    06-23 12:38 PM
    I don't believe the housing market slump will last more than 3 years!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Echo boomers a lifeline for embattled U.S. housing | Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSTRE55L0AO20090622)

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The children of baby boomers will eventually resuscitate the pummeled U.S. housing market, Harvard University said on Monday, but in the meantime, limits on income and credit are sustaining the three-year bust.

    The highest unemployment in almost 26 years, record foreclosures and rigid lending threaten to overcome emerging home sales progress despite unprecedented efforts by the Obama administration, Harvard's State of the Nation's Housing 2009 report said.

    Echo boomers, the children of the post-World War Two baby boomer generation, offer a massive source of support for housing, the study said. The generation is entering the peak home buying and renting ages of 25 to 44 and numbers over five million people more than did their parents' record-sized group in the 1970s.

    "Echo boomers are larger than the baby boomer population. Couple that with immigration and you have the seeds, the possibility of a housing recovery," Nicolas Retsinas, director of Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies, said in an interview.

    The group will bolster demand for the next 10 years and beyond, supporting the sagging housing market even if immigration drops, the study said.

    The challenges are myriad, however, said Retsinas, a widely followed housing industry expert and former senior official in the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    "We have to find a way to stabilize housing finance in this country," he said.

    A healthy housing market is integral to a growing economy. In the current cycle, the housing crash has propelled the economy into its longest recession since the Great Depression. Jobs lost to the recession have derailed any housing recovery.

    "Seedlings of the housing recovery have to come through this thicket of job losses and foreclosures," Retsinas said. "The housing market has not seen these challenges for over 60 years."

    Mortgage rates have risen from all-time lows in the past two months despite massive government steps to keep them down.

    Foreclosures escalate as federal efforts to keep borrowers in their houses cannot keep pace with loan failures caused by job losses or punishing home price erosion.

    THIN SILVER LININGS

    Home sales have started to pick up, thanks mostly to a first-time buyer tax credit this year of up to $8,000 and demand for foreclosure properties at bargain-basement prices.

    "While we do see some signs of stabilization, you can barely see those silver linings," Retsinas said.

    The lending pendulum swung vastly after the unsustainable five-year record home price surge early this decade. Lenders clamped down after lax conditions spawned record home sales and then fueled the torrent of foreclosures.

    Now, more than 85 percent of mortgage loans are created through the government and its agencies. Private lending companies either shut down or slammed on the credit brakes to prevent a repeat of major losses on flawed loans.

    What happens to mortgage availability currently rests in the hands of the federal government, the report said.

    But Retsinas noted: "Eventually you want a sustainable credit system, and that has to include private capital."

    The share of minority households, hurt most in the housing crisis, will rise to 35 percent in 2020 from 29 percent in 2005, the study projected. Those households typically have lower average incomes and wealth, and higher unemployment.

    In Cleveland, Boston and Washington, DC, price declines at the low end of the market through December were more than twice those at the high end in percentage terms, while in San Francisco they were nearly three times greater.

    Real median household incomes in all age groups under 55 have not risen since 2000, the Harvard study said. For the first time in at least 40 years, there is a chance that median household income will end the decade lower than where it started.

    The severity of the recession could hold incomes down for years.

    "The number of households that were severely cost-burdened -- people paying over 50 percent of their income for housing -- has grown dramatically," Retsinas said. The number spiked by 30 percent to 17.9 million between 2001 and 2007, the most recent data available.

    "The reality is that it's not just the cost of a house, but it's how much you make," he said. "Of course as people struggle with their jobs, as they lose that second job, they lose that overtime, their income drops make it more difficult to pay."

    Echo boomers will expand the number of needed housing units. But they also likely will enter the housing market with lower real incomes than people the same age did a decade ago, the study said.

    "While fundamentally we see what could be the foundation for long-term recovery, we still have to get through today's challenges," said Retsinas.





    Macaca
    11-20 11:02 AM
    A Call to Advocacy for Nonprofits (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/19/AR2007111901333.html) By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum | Washington Post, November 20, 2007

    Charities are sweet things, but Gary D. Bass wants them to get rough and tumble when it comes to dealing with government.

    In his new book, "Seen But Not Heard: Strengthening Nonprofit Advocacy," Bass and three co-authors argue that charities need to lobby more often and more effectively. "Democracy would be better off," said Bass, executive director of OMB Watch, a nonprofit group that pushes for government accountability.

    Most people -- and, clearly, most charities -- think of lobbyists as corporate frontmen trying to grab taxpayer largesse for themselves. They also consider lobbying kind of dirty, given the criminality of infamous lobbyists such as the now-imprisoned Jack Abramoff.

    But lobbyists come in all shapes and sizes, including the charitable sort. Bass's book, which is part of a larger effort called the Strengthening Nonprofit Advocacy Project, or SNAP, is a useful reminder of that.

    Bass has been trying to convince charities for years that they should not be afraid to lobby. He and others, including the Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest, have even devised ways to ease -- or at least simplify -- the limitations now imposed on charities so they can press their causes more aggressively.

    That's right, they are lobbying to be allowed to lobby more.

    Conservative lawmakers and a few campaign-finance scholars don't like the idea. They worry that, among other things, the ability of charities to keep their donors anonymous could lead to huge and largely untraceable infusions of cash into elections, all under the guise of lobbying.

    And please, call it advocacy. Charities don't like to use the "L" word. Only a third of nonprofits polled recently owned up to "lobbying" two or more times a month. But when asked if they "advocate," closer to half admitted to that.

    Many nonprofits also are unsure how much lobbying the law permits them to do. Only 72 percent even knew that they could support or oppose federal legislation. (They can, up to a point.)

    Bass's biggest problem is convincing charities that they not only can make their case to government, but that they really ought to do so . In effect, he needs to convince his fellow do-gooders that lobbying is not so bad.

    "Nonprofit lobbyists have been involved in nearly every major public policy accomplishment in this country -- from civil rights to environmental protection to health care," Bass said in an e-mail. "Tens of thousands of lives have been saved by passing laws that improve car safety and reduce drunk driving."

    "In other words, nonprofit lobbying is an honorable tradition," he added, "and not just the ugly Abramoff side" of the profession.

    Convincing charities of that, however, will not be a snap.



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