Big, gluttonous homes (60 Minutes piece)


E

Enough Already

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/11/22/60minutes/main1067145.shtml

While watching the recent 60 Minutes segment, "Living Large" (November
27) all I could think of was the word GLUTTONY. A lot of people are
buying homes far bigger than they need. It goes beyond sprawl because
they are demolishing thousands of decent smaller houses and replacing
them with behemoths, often with the disapproval of neighbors.

One owner in the 60 Minutes piece said the neighbors were just jealous
of him. It's an ego thing more than a pragmatic trend. Paper-pushers
and wheeler-dealers are making huge incomes which they use to justify
these castles. A Houston woman with only one child (plus husband) was
giving Morely Safer a bragging tour of her 6,800 square foot home. She
was confusing a lot of wants with needs. Others interviewed gave strong
evidence of runaway materialistic thinking. They want to show the world
what they can afford but they're never satisfied.

Of course, builders have no problem getting an extra "bloat bonus" from
the pyramid scheme of endless growth, but big homes and their energy
usage are a bad trend as resources get scarcer. People at all levels
should be conserving more than ever, instead of living like Romans
before the fall.

E.A.

http://enough_already.tripod.com/
If any other species behaved like Man we'd call it a plague.
 
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3

3D Peruna

Enough Already said:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/11/22/60minutes/main1067145.shtml

While watching the recent 60 Minutes segment, "Living Large" (November
27) all I could think of was the word GLUTTONY. A lot of people are
buying homes far bigger than they need. It goes beyond sprawl because
they are demolishing thousands of decent smaller houses and replacing
them with behemoths, often with the disapproval of neighbors.

Who are YOU to decide if it is gluttony? Are you making a moral judgement?
If so, do you mind if I come to your house and start questioning your
choices? Maybe I'll find some gluttony there, too?
One owner in the 60 Minutes piece said the neighbors were just jealous
of him. It's an ego thing more than a pragmatic trend. Paper-pushers
and wheeler-dealers are making huge incomes which they use to justify
these castles. A Houston woman with only one child (plus husband) was
giving Morely Safer a bragging tour of her 6,800 square foot home. She
was confusing a lot of wants with needs. Others interviewed gave strong
evidence of runaway materialistic thinking. They want to show the world
what they can afford but they're never satisfied.
Yeah...so. Again, are you pushing your idea of morality on everybody else?
What, in you life, can I start complaining about?

Of course, builders have no problem getting an extra "bloat bonus" from
the pyramid scheme of endless growth, but big homes and their energy
usage are a bad trend as resources get scarcer. People at all levels
should be conserving more than ever, instead of living like Romans
before the fall.

You can say "people should" or "people shouldn't" all you want. But
people, being people, will do as they damn well please. They will only
change when they decide to personally change for personal reasons, not
because some fool on a newsgroup told them they were being stupid.

Just a quick question... do you have any idea how many people are employed
building these "gluttonous" structures? How many families are fed?

This, is just another example of 60 Minutes creating the illusion of a
problem that doesn't exist.
 
C

CWatters

Sorry I don't believe that either. Planning rules typically make it hard to
replace a small house with a much larger one, particularly if the nearby
houses are small. In places like Watford large houses are being purchased by
builders who knock them down and build multiple small flats or town houses.
 
C

CWatters

CWatters said:
Sorry I don't believe that either. Planning rules typically make it hard to
replace a small house with a much larger one, particularly if the nearby
houses are small. In places like Watford large houses are being purchased by
builders who knock them down and build multiple small flats or town
houses.

Oops sorry I forgot this wasn't a UK centric newsgroup. The above is the
position in the UK.
 
B

BP

Enough Already said:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/11/22/60minutes/main1067145.shtml

While watching the recent 60 Minutes segment, "Living Large" (November
27) all I could think of was the word GLUTTONY. A lot of people are
buying homes far bigger than they need. It goes beyond sprawl because
they are demolishing thousands of decent smaller houses and replacing
them with behemoths, often with the disapproval of neighbors.

One owner in the 60 Minutes piece said the neighbors were just jealous
of him. It's an ego thing more than a pragmatic trend. Paper-pushers
and wheeler-dealers are making huge incomes which they use to justify
these castles. A Houston woman with only one child (plus husband) was
giving Morely Safer a bragging tour of her 6,800 square foot home. She
was confusing a lot of wants with needs. Others interviewed gave strong
evidence of runaway materialistic thinking. They want to show the world
what they can afford but they're never satisfied.

Of course, builders have no problem getting an extra "bloat bonus" from
the pyramid scheme of endless growth, but big homes and their energy
usage are a bad trend as resources get scarcer. People at all levels
should be conserving more than ever, instead of living like Romans
before the fall.

E.A.

http://enough_already.tripod.com/
If any other species behaved like Man we'd call it a plague.
History repeating. In the US this happened before, during the roaring 20's.
Every town in the northeast has it's 20's era behemoths, I don't know what
it's like out in the wilderness. The funny thing is that most of these
trophy houses were turned into 3 and 4 family rentals in the 30's. Not
saying it would happen again. That's just what happened (here) before.
 
M

Matt Barrow

Enough Already said:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/11/22/60minutes/main1067145.shtml

While watching the recent 60 Minutes segment, "Living Large" (November
27) all I could think of was the word GLUTTONY. A lot of people are
buying homes far bigger than they need. It goes beyond sprawl because
they are demolishing thousands of decent smaller houses and replacing
them with behemoths, often with the disapproval of neighbors.
Only an idiot would build a large home in a mid-range neighborhood.

Given '60 Minutes' propensity for hype, I'd suggest that they were "Cherry
Picking" their "facts".


Matt
--
....as the Democratic National Committee
pointed out during the presidential
campaign last year. Its radio
advertisement declared: "John Kerry
fought to establish the Department
of Homeland Security. George Bush
opposed it for almost a year after 9/11." . . .
 
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3

3D Peruna

CWatters said:
houses.

Oops sorry I forgot this wasn't a UK centric newsgroup. The above is the
position in the UK.
That's OK... we forgive you ;).

Why has most of the world given up private property rights? It's bad enough
in the US... It appears to be much much worse around the rest of the world
 
R

Roarmeister

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/11/22/60minutes/main1067145.shtml

While watching the recent 60 Minutes segment, "Living Large" (November
27) all I could think of was the word GLUTTONY. A lot of people are
buying homes far bigger than they need. It goes beyond sprawl because
they are demolishing thousands of decent smaller houses and replacing
them with behemoths, often with the disapproval of neighbors.

One owner in the 60 Minutes piece said the neighbors were just jealous
of him. It's an ego thing more than a pragmatic trend. Paper-pushers
and wheeler-dealers are making huge incomes which they use to justify
these castles. A Houston woman with only one child (plus husband) was
giving Morely Safer a bragging tour of her 6,800 square foot home. She
was confusing a lot of wants with needs. Others interviewed gave strong
evidence of runaway materialistic thinking. They want to show the world
what they can afford but they're never satisfied.

Of course, builders have no problem getting an extra "bloat bonus" from
the pyramid scheme of endless growth, but big homes and their energy
usage are a bad trend as resources get scarcer. People at all levels
should be conserving more than ever, instead of living like Romans
before the fall.
I did some working drawings for an architectural designed house (6200 ft2,
3 storey walkout, 3 car garage, built on to the side of a hill overlooking
a golf course. The woman and her husband were both commodity traders and
she was pregnant with her first child. The woman's brother is a well known
builder in the area so he built her home at a reduced cost. It cost them
less than 500k (1997) not including furnishings and fittings. They paid
for it with ONE YEAR's earnings. This is in Regina, SK, CAN - you couldn't
come close to building the same thing in most areas of the USA, even using
Yankee bucks.

I suppose if you can afford it, why not? Some people just like to put
their priorities into their THINGS. They entertain a lot, so they have a
number of entertainment rooms. I actually counted 30 rooms for the house
and I commented to my buddy that the couple could keep busy for a whole
month "baptizing" each and every room! :) That particular subdivision
was located in a bedroom community where the taxes were considerably lower.
Couple that with a huge oversized lot; the min. size home in that area was
2500 ft and architecturally controlled.
 
J

JerryD\(upstateNY\)

So who put you in charge of how big someone can build their home ?
It's none of your business HOW big someone else's house is.
I am sure you don't believe in trickle down economics but building large
homes is a perfect example of it.
Instead of a Realtor making 6% on $300,000.00, he made 6% of $3,000,000.00.
Instead of the mason making $5,000 on the house, he made $50,000.
Instead of the electrician making $6,000 on the house, he made $60,000.
Instead of the carpenter making $8,000 on the house, he made $80,000.
And the list goes on and on, right down to the lawn service guy who gets
$300.00 to mow the lawn instead of the $50.00 he gets from the neighbors.
Go hug a tree and MYOB.

--
JerryD(upstateNY)

While watching the recent 60 Minutes segment, "Living Large" (November
27) all I could think of was the word GLUTTONY. A lot of people are
buying homes far bigger than they need. It goes beyond sprawl because
they are demolishing thousands of decent smaller houses and replacing
them with behemoths, often with the disapproval of neighbors.
 
M

me

Enough Already said:
People at all levels
should be conserving more than ever, instead of living like Romans
before the fall.
Agree 100 percent!
 
M

Matt Barrow

Agree 100 percent!
As long as they are consuming their own production, it's none of your damn
business.

Matt

"Produce more -- Consume more"
 
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M

me

Matt Barrow said:
As long as they are consuming their own production, it's none of your damn
business.
I suppose so

But this kind of use of resources is not sustainable
 
C

Chas Hurst

Roy Scherer said:
Like their classic piece on the Audi 5000 "sudden acceleration" back in 1985
or so. Total piece of journalistic BS"3D Peruna"
That piece almost ruined Audi, and there was never an apology. I quit
watching the magazine shows years ago.
 
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M

Matt Barrow

I will google it and read it
Here's a clue: In 1798, Bishop Thomas Malthus said that within a short time,
mankind would starve themselves into extinction due to profligate population
growth. In the 19th century, mankind flourished as never before.

Read up on Paul Erlich's bet (around 1980) with Julian Simon, which he lost
so badly it was embarrassing. NTL, the media (you're 60 Minutes folk) still
kiss his ass, even though he's 0-for-100.
 
C

Chas Hurst

Matt Barrow said:
Here's a clue: In 1798, Bishop Thomas Malthus said that within a short time,
mankind would starve themselves into extinction due to profligate population
growth. In the 19th century, mankind flourished as never before.

Read up on Paul Erlich's bet (around 1980) with Julian Simon, which he lost
so badly it was embarrassing. NTL, the media (you're 60 Minutes folk) still
kiss his ass, even though he's 0-for-100.
That Malthus and Erlich were wrong in no way means you are right.
 
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H

HerHusband

While watching the recent 60 Minutes segment, "Living Large" (November
27) all I could think of was the word GLUTTONY.
big homes and their energy usage are a bad trend
as resources get scarcer.
I did not see the show, but I totally agree with you. House sizes have
grown ridiculously large around here, and many are occupied by a couple
with no kids. If fact, developers frequently come in, log off all the
trees, build a huge mini-mansion and then it sits vacant for years. We
have one just down the road like that. My neighbor calls it the "white
dinosaur". :) Others are built and sit unused most of the time because
both spouses are working overtime to pay for the large house they thought
they needed.

I find it interesting how defensive people get that own these large
homes. Comments like "what right do you have", "I can afford it so why
shouldn't I", etc... It seems like many of these folks are unable to step
back and ask, "OK, just WHY do I NEED this space"?

I totally agree with the position "it's my land, I should be able to do
what I want on it". I don't want to tell my neighbors what to do anymore
than I want them telling me what to do. However, none of us live in
isolation. I "am" affected by my neighbors, no matter how much I try to
keep to myself.

Case in point, we bought a couple of acres in a quiet, rural, forested
area. Wildlife was abundant, and we valued the privacy, nature, and
simple living. Within a few years, developers logged the surrounding
properties and built mini-mansions. Through no action of our own, our
property value (and property taxes) skyrocketed, we have one of the few
forested properties in our area, and the wildlife has all but
disappeared.

When we finally decided to build a small house (1456 sq/ft), most of the
contractors I spoke with wouldn't take our jobs because they were "too
small". Why pour our little foundation when they can earn a better profit
on the mini-mansion next door? So, we ended up doing all the work
ourselves.

In addition, all these large houses consume lots of extra resources.
Electric demand increased beyond local supply, and now the power company
has to buy from more expensive outside sources, increasing our rates
along with theirs.

Anthony
 

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