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Old 11-20-2013, 04:17 PM   #1626
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No author and poor grasp of basic grammar?

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Old 11-20-2013, 05:27 PM   #1627
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Why Vancouver Real Estate is Not Going To Crash | Vancity Buzz | Vancouver Events, News, Food, Lifestyle and More

WHY VANCOUVER REAL ESTATE IS NOT GOING TO CRASH
BY VANCITY BUZZ | 3 HOURS AGO | SPEAK UP




It’s Vancouver’s greatest economic export: telling everyone outside of Vancouver how great it is to live here. It’s even on our license plate (“the greatest place on earth”). No – we’re not arrogant, we just live in a delusional rainy day reality.

The Economics

The definition of a real estate bubble is when the price of an asset rises above what local incomes can afford. It’s that simple. If the locals can’t afford it – then an asset is over priced. How do we gauge if something is too expensive?

Easy – we have historical real estate valuations that are based on the incomes of local residents. The historical national average over a very long period of time is approximately three times income to one. What does this mean in English and not finance talk? It means that if you and your partner make a combined income of $100,000 per year, then the house you should be buying is about $300,000.

This isn’t an exact science – but that sounds about right for affordability doesn’t it? This way you can pay your mortgage, save for your kids college, perhaps take a vacation every year or two, and save for a rainy day.

So here’s the magic question – if the rest of Canadian families are making $100,000 per year and buying $300,000 houses, how much do pay at the greatest place on earth?

Well, let me assure you we’re not making any more money: Vancouver is not a great place for young couples to get ahead (think Calgary, Fort Mac, or Toronto if you want to live somewhere and make good coin). So if a Vancouver couple is making $100,000, the average home they are purchasing is $900,000. These aren’t exact numbers, but give or take $100,000 in either direction and you’re probably about bang on. So what are the implications to this?

If you believe in putting down a 25 per cent down payment you’d have to first save about $225,000 to just for your down payment. That’s nearly the cost of a $300,000 house that everyone else in the country is paying. Comparatively speaking, your mortgage is $450,000 higher with living in Vancouver than somewhere else in the country.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is pure insanity.

Never mind the increased mortgage cost, the real cost is what you pay in interest for borrowing that insane amount of money.

I whipped out my trusty mortgage rate calculator (never leave home without it) and believe with a historical 5% interest rate (with a 25 year mortgage), the amount of interest a Vancouver resident will pay in real dollars is $508,794 (Simple Mortgage Interest Calculator | CalcMyMortgage.com).

I hope you love living in the greatest place on earth is worth giving your retirement, college kids savings, and your first born child to the bank, because that’s basically what it’s costing. The average Vancouver family could literally own three homes if they lived somewhere else.

So now that we’ve already figured out that its completely unaffordable to live in this city, let’s try to determine why.

The Limited Land Argument

From a geographic perspective, Vancouver is unlike most American (and Canadian) cities in the sense that we are surrounded by mountains, water and the international border with the United states. This creates a limited space for the region to build housing for its residents.

It’s simple, Vancouver is not a city that can just perpetually build out in every direction (like Calgary), which means we all get stuffed in next to each other as prices continue to escalate. Despite the limited land argument, this is not the main reason why the average Vancouver home is more than twice the national average.

The Foreign Money Argument

Metro Vancouver is touted as one of the most “ethnically diverse” places to live in the world. There’s no argument there, this must be one of the only places in North America where you can live a comfortable lifestyle and never have to speak a word of English.

This has caused Vancouver to be a hot bed of foreign ownership and investment in our real estate, and this is the key reason why Vancouver real estate prices are so high. How you say? Let’s dissect further.

I never really understood why foreigners want to live in Vancouver so much. I mean, why Vancouver over any other city. You would think they would want to live somewhere else like Seattle, Toronto or Montreal. What makes us so special?

There are already well established immigrant communities in Vancouver. Don’t believe me? I would challenge you to hang out in Richmond for the day and take a poll of how many people speak English versus a foreign language. It makes perfect sense – if you wanted to buy real estate outside your own country, you’d buy the next best thing and that’s exactly what Vancouver offers this wealthy foreign contingent.

You need a lot of money to buy real estate in Vancouver, right? The people that can afford to still buy in Vancouver are not exactly middle class, they’re business owners, professionals, and basically already very wealthy in their own country. To these people it doesn’t matter if a Vancouver home costs $500,000, $600,000 or a million dollars.

They’re recession proof, this is the key argument that every real estate analyst (that’s calling for a Vancouver housing crash) is missing. The local residents are simply completely priced out of the market, they’re not buying locally or at all. Ask any realtor (selling houses and not condos) how many of his/her sales are to foreign versus local money. I did a poll in of three realtors in Burnaby and each told me greater then 90 per cent are offshore or only live for a portion of the year.

If you are a wealthy Hong Kong or Mainland Chinese businessman worth millions of dollars, do you think it matters if the Vancouver real estate market crashes? Of course not, they’re investing in Vancouver real estate with cash. They don’t need Canadian mortgages and they wouldn’t qualify anyways, they don’t have any Canadian income.

Their money is made somewhere else – so they just pay cash. If you’re worth millions of dollars, do you think you will care if your $1 million dollar house declined in value by 20%? No – of course you don’t. That’s precisely why the Vancouver market is not in for a housing crash.

Could we see some sort of “correction” of 10 – 20 percent? Sure we could – I wouldn’t say a 1 million dollar box in the sky condo that declined to $800,000 a “huge real estate crash.”

It certainly would be a decline in price – but it’s not exactly going to change the game and make real estate affordable in this city.

How We’re Different then the American Real Estate Crash

Wealthy offshore investors purchase homes in cash (not credit). Therefore less leverage making the market more stable.
Local residents mortgage themselves up with real estate they can’t afford, but they’ll get by through renting out the basement, spare upstairs bedroom, and eating canned soup.
There’s no real trigger for a crash as “thousands of owners flood the market with listings” because the majority of Vancouver real estate are all long term holders and not flippers.
American mortgages are different than Canadian mortgages with respect to the fact that in the United States, you can literally just mail the bank the keys to your place and move out. In Canada, when you default on your mortgage they come after the mortgage owner’s personal assets.
How the Government Can Actually Be Useful Here

Living in a place where foreign investors and non-residents are buying up all the affordable real estate is nothing new. There are similar situations all around the world where this is happening.

Think about it – if you were worth millions of dollars and lived in a developing or politically oppressed country, wouldn’t you want to store your cash in a delightfully, economically and politically stable jurisdiction? You have no idea what the government will do next month never mind the next 50 years. This is what the Government can do:

Start collecting statistics on local real estate. I know it’s crazy – for all of the unnecessary stuff that government does, they haven’t even mandated that proper statistics start being collected for who buys and owns real estate (arguably our most precious asset as a country).
Consider implementing foreign ownership rules in a phased approach over time. Why is it that whenever a foreign government wants to buy a big natural resource or technology company, it becomes mainstream news and it’s subject to a “net benefit test.” But when the same thing happends to individual residents (i.e. real estate being purchased en masse, severely disrupting the equilibrium of a local market), it’s ok and no one does anything. I personally do not care if BHP wants to purchase Potash – where do politician’s think the natural resources are going to go? England? I won’t babble too much about this because that’s a separate opinion article.
The Canadian Government needs to get serious about this foreign ownership of our real estate. Residents need to start standing up and protesting our land being sold to the highest bidder in another country who doesn’t truly plan to live here.

Other countries have implemented foreign ownership rules successfully, most notably Sydney, Australia. Our real estate and home prices are not an investment, they are a home.

It is not good for our society to live in a place where homes are expected to increase $30,000 per year.
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This person is right in saying that prices for SINGLE HOUSE PROPERTIES will not crash. I think the most prices will fall is 10% and there will be tons of people waiting to start buying again.

I am more interested in the future of apartment/condo properties in the up coming months or years. Especially in Richmond, Burnaby, Coquitlam, and Surrey.
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:22 AM   #1628
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Sorry Saucy. That was one of the worst real estate articles I have ever read to date. Just an opinion piece with no credible sources that doesn't even begin to tackle the reasons for the high cost of housing here. All that article managed to do was pander to the worldview of a bunch of people who feel entitled to own and inflame tensions further. I guess that's why there was no author listed.
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:41 AM   #1629
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Lol at the limited land argument. It's not like Van has problem with space to fill people.

GVA has 2.5M in total pop in an area over 2800km2 or roughly 850/km2. All true world class cities in the world (we are talking NYC, Paris, London, Tokyo... etc)? all well over 10k/km2... with many surpassing 20k/km2

If the land limit theory holds, all those cities should have at the very least, 3~5x the property prices of Vancouver. And yet, Vancouver is more expensive than most of them.
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:29 AM   #1630
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People will always want to live here, it is a resort city with so many amenities and gorgeous women. Pay up, fuck amazing women, mate with the best you can get, or just fuck off back to Surrey.
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:49 AM   #1631
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A bit off topic but I need to vent about vancitybuzz...it's one of the biggest BS site out there. Not only do they censor comments and opinions with they don't agree with by deleting posts both on the site and on fb but most of the shit on that site is reposts or absolutely nonsense like the idiotic Vancouver map they posted a couple days ago. At least on RS you can have a open and honest debate and don't have to worry about mods coming along and deleting comments which go against a particular mods opinions, it's one reason why I've stuck around here since 2002.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:03 AM   #1632
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People will always want to live here, it is a resort city with so many amenities and gorgeous women. Pay up, fuck amazing women, mate with the best you can get, or just fuck off back to Surrey.
why pay when you can just drive out from surrey
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:05 AM   #1633
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The Condo Game - Doc Zone

Airs on CBC tonight; might get some realtors' panties in a bunch...
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:37 AM   #1634
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Vancity Buzz can eat a fat dick.

It basically takes whatever journalistic integrity is left and shits on it. Then again, based on my FB feed, most of the people who read their articles probably have zero abilities to fact check.

They are doing their part to put people at ease and make them buy more property while ignoring the catastrophic outcome that could take place WHEN the market crashes. No author of the article can imply it was written by anyone, including someone who works in real estate.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:06 AM   #1635
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People will always want to live here, it is a resort city with so many amenities and gorgeous women. Pay up, fuck amazing women, mate with the best you can get, or just fuck off back to Surrey.
resort city? Vancouver?

have you ever traveled? this city is hella boring and only provides limited 'resort' activities, mostly related to snowboarding/skiing/hiking. yes we have coast line, but we don't have true beaches

this is a destination city for boring old retired people and asian students, don't confuse destination with resort
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:08 AM   #1636
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I'm scraping my car windows constantly.

SUCH RESORT

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Old 11-21-2013, 02:30 PM   #1637
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Lol at the limited land argument. It's not like Van has problem with space to fill people.

GVA has 2.5M in total pop in an area over 2800km2 or roughly 850/km2. All true world class cities in the world (we are talking NYC, Paris, London, Tokyo... etc)? all well over 10k/km2... with many surpassing 20k/km2

If the land limit theory holds, all those cities should have at the very least, 3~5x the property prices of Vancouver. And yet, Vancouver is more expensive than most of them.
Vancouver as we know it is not equipped to accommodate a high density population. Then mentality of home owners need to change, and it is, albeit slowly. People want to own houses with backyards and garages that they themselves grew up in. This does not work with the concept of increasing density, and that is where the limited land argument is fully valid--its dependent on what home owners are willing or wanting to own. BUT

we see all the new towers going up, especially around major transportation hubs (which is the way to do it) and we have people complaining that there are TOO many towers going up, Vancouver has no real economy to support all of the units, blah blah blah. So what is it, do we want to grow to become a bigger city and develop an economy, or do we not? It has to be one or the other, and the last time I checked economies don't spring up overnight nor does population density. It's very much a process of growth that we are going through right now, and there will likely be some growing pains. It likely won't even come to fruition in our generation, but the next generation things will look vastly different in Vancouver

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Vancity Buzz can eat a fat dick.

It basically takes whatever journalistic integrity is left and shits on it. Then again, based on my FB feed, most of the people who read their articles probably have zero abilities to fact check.
Don't know why everybody is placing such high expectations on Vancity Buzz. Their content is blog material at best, they clearly have their own agendas from numerous other things I've read from them in the past. If the Province caters to a grade 4 reading level, VC Buzz caters to those who found that moving from half day kindergarten to full day kindergarten was too big a jump. Do we actually think people are basing important life decisions based on what this rag publishes?
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:06 PM   #1638
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lol Vancity Buzz. It's okay for reading about events happening in Vancouver but anything posted there that's above tabloid journalism is just plain garbage written by people with no research or writing ability. I bet they hire unpaid English/communications/journalism interns from Langara or Douglas to do their writing.
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:03 PM   #1639
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resort city? Vancouver?

have you ever traveled? this city is hella boring and only provides limited 'resort' activities, mostly related to snowboarding/skiing/hiking. yes we have coast line, but we don't have true beaches

this is a destination city for boring old retired people and asian students, don't confuse destination with resort

You're obviously someone with very little social life
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:16 PM   #1640
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You're obviously someone with very little social life
Vancouver isn't a resort city. It's a destination city for some who are big into snow sports, and is a loading/unloading point for cruise ships, but a resort city... no. Whistler, Niagra Falls, Cancun, Nice,... those are examples of resort towns, mainly because they survive mostly on tourism dollars. DT Vancouver is, broadly spoken, just an overblown suburb town. Tourists don't come here for our rocky beaches or the shitty night life on Granville or even to climb the Grouse Grind.

From the outside, Vancouver is a pretty city but that's about it. Glass skyscrapers nestled up against an ocean and mountains do not make a resort destination city.
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Old 11-21-2013, 06:15 PM   #1641
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Sorry Saucy. That was one of the worst real estate articles I have ever read to date. Just an opinion piece with no credible sources that doesn't even begin to tackle the reasons for the high cost of housing here. All that article managed to do was pander to the worldview of a bunch of people who feel entitled to own and inflame tensions further. I guess that's why there was no author listed.
I didn't post it because I agree with it. I posted it for discussion purposes on what was written flame away all you want, I am neither for or against this article lol
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:11 PM   #1642
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Vancouver isn't a resort city.

From the outside, Vancouver is a pretty city but that's about it. Glass skyscrapers nestled up against an ocean and mountains do not make a resort destination city.

From my knowledge of people who come here, they intend to live here and have as much fun as possible. Who moves to Edmonton to live a life of excess and luxury? I know quite a few people who moved from places like Edmonton to live the Vancouver lifestyle.

Vancouver is a playground. Perhaps calling it a resort city is confusing, but most assuredly I could claim that most people live a resort-like lifestyle here. Being downtown, you have so many things, bars, drugs, and people, to do right at your doorstep!
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:01 PM   #1643
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watched the "Doc Zone"... pretty predictable and almost one sided, but still some good points brought up... Also, found it funny that the Former Vancouver city planner is against the over development and over building of condos. I guess that's why he's the Former planner... They found someone else who would play ball and let the developers do what they want... it's clearly all about money and the short term future. no one cares about the long term.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:57 AM   #1644
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Vancouver as we know it is not equipped to accommodate a high density population. Then mentality of home owners need to change, and it is, albeit slowly. People want to own houses with backyards and garages that they themselves grew up in. This does not work with the concept of increasing density, and that is where the limited land argument is fully valid--its dependent on what home owners are willing or wanting to own. BUT

we see all the new towers going up, especially around major transportation hubs (which is the way to do it) and we have people complaining that there are TOO many towers going up, Vancouver has no real economy to support all of the units, blah blah blah. So what is it, do we want to grow to become a bigger city and develop an economy, or do we not? It has to be one or the other, and the last time I checked economies don't spring up overnight nor does population density. It's very much a process of growth that we are going through right now, and there will likely be some growing pains. It likely won't even come to fruition in our generation, but the next generation things will look vastly different in Vancouver
?
The rise of all those towers is not by choice. The consumers didn't simply shift their preference of housing from detached to condos... they did it because the inflated price in Vancouver made owning a detached house impossible for younger generations. And condos are all they could afford given their preference of area.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:27 AM   #1645
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You're obviously someone with very little social life
Attempting some veil personal attack just reflects poorly on you.

I have more friends than I want, perhaps I just don't have much desire to 'hang around' with ppl, especially not Vancouver ppl.

Vancouver has a terrible social scene. Go the Europe, uk, there are social scenes in all the cities there. Vancouver is known as 'no-fun-couver' for a reason, the people are cold, the pubs are not for mingling. That's not to say you're not going there meeting ppl. Good on you, you can bang loose women to the cows come home, I prefer not to.

I'm glad u consider urself a man about town, and that Vancouver is pumping. Ur in the minority. You can think we're all so sad and losing out, I don't see it that way. I'm happy as a clam with my decisions (the latest of which is to move away from Vancouver bc the lack of industry here)
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From my knowledge of people who come here, they intend to live here and have as much fun as possible. Who moves to Edmonton to live a life of excess and luxury? I know quite a few people who moved from places like Edmonton to live the Vancouver lifestyle.

Vancouver is a playground. Perhaps calling it a resort city is confusing, but most assuredly I could claim that most people live a resort-like lifestyle here. Being downtown, you have so many things, bars, drugs, and people, to do right at your doorstep!
You need to travel outside of Canada and open your eyes. Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto could be considered the "fun" cities within Canada. But outside it? They pale in comparison to a real metropolitan city.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:50 AM   #1647
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watched the "Doc Zone"... pretty predictable and almost one sided, but still some good points brought up... Also, found it funny that the Former Vancouver city planner is against the over development and over building of condos. I guess that's why he's the Former planner... They found someone else who would play ball and let the developers do what they want... it's clearly all about money and the short term future. no one cares about the long term.
I feel that we're covering the same issues over and over again.

Municipal politicians are limited in terms of they can raise revenue, so they don't have much choice but to allow density because they need property tax revenue to continue providing existing services and not to alienate existing home owners. Condos are less than desirable and I wish that there were more forms of other housing, such as non-strata row-housing, but condos provide the most "bang for your buck" in terms of tax revenue. Now, you could always argue that the cities should get out of things like providing community centres, etc to keep taxes low, but those are difficult decisions to make.

Of course, if you want to be really cynical, then you could say that there are kickbacks and that the decision-makers are all corrupt.
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You need to travel outside of Canada and open your eyes. Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto could be considered the "fun" cities within Canada. But outside it? They pale in comparison to a real metropolitan city.
I will say that when you're a tourist, other cities always seem more alive and fun than your home city. But, if you were to live in a city like NYC, Shanghai, etc., you would probably find lots to complain about unless you were in the top 10% and not just some wage slave.

On the other hand, I'm sure most of us on RS have only Vancouver to blame for our lack of success.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:30 AM   #1649
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I always hear about co-workers and random people complaining about Vancouver and how much they hate it here and how much the want to move. I hear how much better "x" city is because of nightlife, cost of living, transit options, blah, blah blah.

But at the end of the day, those complainers are still here, living/working/complaining in Vancouver.

The oddest part I've noticed is that those who move away from Vancouver and act all high and mighty because they feel they have made the better decision, will eventually move back to Vancouver in a heartbeat if a decent career opportunity is offered to them. As if the shitty nightlife, high cost of living and bike lanes are no longer an issue to a slight increase in salary. Like muticartual said... No one moves to Edmonton to live a life of luxury, even if the economy and the oil money is more attractive than anything we have to offer in Vancouver and will make that luxury living more feasible.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:50 AM   #1650
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapioca View Post
Of course, if you want to be really cynical, then you could say that there are kickbacks and that the decision-makers are all corrupt.
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of course it's all corrupt, otherwise nothing would ever get done. most, if not all, people are motivated by monetary gain to some degree. the "what's in it for me mentality" is why we are here and it's only going to get worse
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