How Far Would House Prices Need To Fall For Young People Today To Have It As Good As The Boomers Did?

Boomers have been denying it for years, but young people all over the West have now caught on: the Boomers had it much, much better than young people today do. Measuring exactly how much better is hard, but we can guess by comparing how much saved labour Boomers needed to buy a house to how much saved labour younger generations need. Armed with the Reserve Bank’s Inflation Calculator, we can make some educated guesses.

If the last Boomers were born in 1963, graduated high school, then went to university or did a trade apprenticeship, they would have hit the job market – and started looking for a home to raise a family in – in about 1984. Any Boomers older than this would have had an even easier time. So we will compare the house-buying power of a young adult in 1984 with that of a young adult in 2022.

According to qv.co.nz, the average New Zealand house price in October 2022 was $951,040. The Reserve Bank calculator tells us that housing worth $951,040 in October 2022 would be worth $61,854.79 in the first quarter of 1984.

According to the Government’s NZ History page, the average weekly wage in 1984 was $285. This suggests that the average house price was about 217 times the average weekly wage in 1984. In other words, Boomers had to save about 217 weeks’ worth of wages in order to afford the average house.

According to the wage and salary guide at jobted.nz, the average weekly wage in New Zealand in 2022 was $1,093. So the average house price today is about 870 times the average weekly wage. This means that it’s over four times harder for young people today to buy a home they can raise a family in, when compared to Boomers.

The official narrative is that we need to grow wages if we want to bring back the living standards that our parents enjoyed. But there will never be enough wage inflation to bring today’s worker back to that level of prosperity. Our wages would have to quadruple while house prices remained the same. Therefore, if we are to ever enjoy that standard of living ourselves, we have to hope for a house price collapse.

A return to an average house price that was 217 times the average weekly wage would require a fall of 75.1% from current values. This means a fall from around $951,040 to around $236,809. Note that this would not mean that young people today had a better standard of living than the Boomers – it would merely mean that they would have an equal one.

An average house price of $236,809 seems fantastical to young people today.

It’s incredible how much easier life would be for young people in 2022 if the average house cost less than a quarter of a million. It would mean an end to the mortgage slavery that is strangling the West. It would mean that thousands of hours of labour per mortgage holder, currently getting sucked into bank profits, could be redirected to the benefit of families and communities.

That is also why we can’t expect it to happen – there is nothing more profitable than human misery, and mortgage slavery is one of the prime examples of that in the world today. The more expensive houses are, the more human life energy the owners of those houses can absorb from the lower classes in exchange for them. So the ruling class is not likely to change anything anytime soon.

Therefore, the best young Kiwis can hope for, if they want to ever have the same standard of living that the Boomers had, is a house price collapse of at least 75%. The mainstream media will tell us that we’re not allowed to hope for that, because it would mean the destruction of the New Zealand economy. But the status quo is our effective financial enslavement. Something has to give.

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What Is Meditation?

In the most basic sense, meditation could be said to be attending to what is actually happening for you here and now. There are many methods, techniques, schools and goals. The one thing I would like to emphasise is that meditating ‘for’ something is completely different to meditation in its proper sense. The main question is: what do you want out of it? This question, when answered honestly, should reveal important information about where your experience with meditation will lead.

There are many potential outcomes associated with meditation practice. It could be oriented toward health, longevity, stress-reduction, or it could be to experience blissful or altered states. It is important to note that when we are really interested in paying attention to what is, i.e. Truth, there is no outcome or goal associated with it. If you do want to meditate for some of the reasons specified above, there is really no problem with that, have away at it. All I want to make clear is that meditation is not a prescription for an outcome of how we or anyone else thinks things should be.

Over the past twenty years or so there has been a global shift toward mindfulness, which is really a kind of prescribed meditation practice. It holds onto limitation, and in fact issues from limitation – which isn’t to say that it is wrong, only that it is limited. It is encouraged by big business and educational institutions among others and touted as a way to boost inner health and overall productivity.

The reason it must be anchored in limitation is that groups with special interests such as maintaining productivity and satisfaction levels have an agenda.

Mindfulness has indeed been shown in the literature to have measurable benefits upon human well-being. A corporation or institution can achieve much by way of letting out the leash, however it simply cannot afford to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Progressive religions are also generally comfortable with mindfulness, just so long as it doesn’t push you over into questioning the main tenets of their ideology, in which case the leash is very firmly brought back in.

Corporations are happy to implement measures of mindfulness in the same capacity as they promote regular hand-washing, loud-shirt Wednesdays and sneezing into your elbow. Mindfulness is a prescribed form of limited meditative awareness that promotes mental and physical well-being. It makes for a more well-behaved, cohesive team environment, and staff are less apt to flip out and require stress leave.

Please recognise that you are not being blessed with the keys to the kingdom in this scenario.

At the end of the day, the ultimate interest is minimising loss and maximising profit. If you are the CEO of a multinational corporation, your investors and share-holders aren’t going to be terribly sympathetic to you waking up one morning having discovered that you are unconditionally connected with the source of all life and that your deepest being is as timeless, immortal spirit that feels no need to define itself through achieving material goals.

Meditation by contrast does not have a capped limit placed upon it. In fact, if there is any goal or outcome attached to it, you can say it isn’t really meditation in the true sense.

About twenty or so years ago, a group of Buddhist monks were visiting New Zealand. They visited a cathedral and remarked that it was a very holy place. They noted that there was a small chapel off to the side which was clearly labelled ‘Meditation Room’. Naturally, they asked if they could be permitted to use the room for – you guessed it – meditation.

The clergy responded kindly that no, they may not use the room because they didn’t think the kind of meditation that they were planning to do in the chapel would be appropriately Christian in nature. From that point on, the name ‘Meditation Room’ was abruptly changed to the name ‘Contemplation Room’, underscoring with wonderful irony the requirement of established authorities and institutions to maintain limitation, and therefore control. 

This story perfectly encapsulates the issue surrounding meditation being held as something in abeyance to something else; some other hierarchy of values. True meditation cannot be this, because there can’t be a fixed itinerary on where you are being taken, otherwise it is not really meditation, it is something else.

So, the question arises, should we meditate? I find people struggle with this question, because it really can’t be prescribed. I personally don’t meditate, but that is because it would be redundant for me to set aside time to engage in awareness when I am committed to that every waking moment. The more interesting question would be, are you curious as to the fact that in spite of all the odds, you just happen to exist? Are you curious that perhaps one of the least possible things in the universe is directly observable within you and as you? If not, there isn’t much reason to advise someone to meditate. You may as well be asking them to join you in going to a movie they have no interest in seeing.

I’m not saying that having no interest in meditation is necessarily a terrible thing. It is admittedly a mystery to me why someone would not have their interest piqued by something that seems so profoundly fascinating as the existence of a universal force which is eternally self-aware, but there are reasons for everything. A simple life with no questions may be just as precious or pleasant to participate in as one filled with inquiry or reflection.

I can’t see why the lives of trees and plants shouldn’t be a perfectly valid form of existence, it’s just that the realm of the vegetable doesn’t share any overlap with my current interests and lifestyle.

As humans, the orientation of the intellect and the judging, perceiving mind is such a powerful and often heavy burden to bear. Meditation can certainly be said to provide perspective on the realm of the mind without turning itself inside out and trying ever unsuccessfully to come at itself from a non-intellectual angle. When minds engage in self-examination and analysis, all kinds of twists, ties, and knots are possible.

That is often what the majority of neurosis is, simply thought wrapping around itself again and again until there is an unbroken knot that results in an anxiety loop.

Meditation offers the promise of space and relief from this kind of insanity. Rather than reformulating new solutions within the structure of the known, it opens the doorway to the possibility of reviewing all of our mental content from a broader phenomenological space in which the contents of our inner lives seem relatively small by comparison.

Whilst meditation can provide the space for the entire spectrum of states possible within the human mind, it needs to be understood that so long as your notion of meditation is fixed upon seeking to experience certain states, it will ultimately fail, even if you get very good at it. This isn’t to do with me being pessimistic about your abilities, but concerns a feature of reality itself, specifically the law of impermanence.

No state lasts forever, so at some point or another it needs to be faced that what we are doing in meditation is not ultimately about attaining states or even insights. These will all come and go. Ultimately, meditation in its purest form is coming into a real relationship with what is true and changeless, that within which all states come to pass, including all those states associated with birth and death.

This is why meditation draws your attention to what is happening directly here and now, because 99% of people will miss the significance of it every time. It really does no justice to truth for me to attempt to describe that which you may come into if you persist – I may as well be trying to describe a sunset in binary code. 

I once took it on a heuristic basis that there was more to the world than what was immediately tangible and visible. My curiosity could not be swayed.

A man in the foothills of the Himalayas once said that the best thing that ever happened to him was to have his legs shattered by an avalanche forcing him to live in poverty and solitude, because this allowed him to come into contact with who he truly was. I couldn’t let go of the impetus to understand what inner force could prove that important to a human life. The possibility captivated my attention that something could be so important that it could even be worth losing everything familiar in order to touch upon. Having now looked into this matter satisfactorily, I now hold this to be self-evidently true.

Rather than ask you to believe it, I invite you to consider the possibility that maybe there is as yet undiscovered depths to you that defy description. Awareness is the doorway to understanding the depths of your true nature, and meditation is the opportunity to embrace the awareness of that which is always here, right now. 

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Simon P Murphy is a Nelson-based esotericist and philosopher, and author of His Master’s Wretched Organ, a brilliant collection of weird fiction stories.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay/article, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles from 2021 from Amazon as a Kindle ebook or paperback. Compilations of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2020, the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2019, the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 and the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 are also available.

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Are (You) A Domestic Terrorist?

The New Zealand Government took another leaf out of the authoritarian playbook recently. The NZ Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) published a guide for Kiwis keen to rat out one of their friends or neighbours for wrongthinking. Titled ‘Know the signs – A guide for identifying signs of violent extremism‘ (link goes to .pdf), the booklet marks another step in New Zealand’s descent into dystopia. VJM Publishing examines.

The document opens with a foreword by the ghoulish Director-General of the NZSIS, Rebecca Kitteridge. She explains that the NZSIS wants “to help New Zealanders feel more confident about stepping forward” to rat out their friends and neighbours. Apparently this is necessary in order to combat violent extremism, as one of the NZSIS’s core missions “is to detect violent extremists”.

The reader must note here that violent extremist has a very specific definition (as we will get to later). Mongrel Mob members, for example, are not considered violent extremists. The Government is happy to let violent extremists run free if they’re in gangs, because gangs mostly prey on working-class people. The NZSIS is after a different sort of violent extremist.

“We all have a role to play in keeping each other safe,” Kitteridge proclaims. To that end, we’re all obliged to report to the NZSIS any behaviour that might be concerning. “If you see something, say something,” the booklet demands, in an ominous echo of the wartime admonitions to help uncover enemy spies.

On page 6 it states the NZSIS’s wish for people “to report any behaviours or activities they come across that resemble any of the indicators described in this guide, or that feel concerning.” As we will see, the net has been cast so wide that almost every Kiwi with an original thought is now a suspected terrorist.

On page 8 we are informed that “Extreme ideologies can be based on faith, social or political beliefs that exist on the fringes of society, outside the more broadly accepted views and beliefs of most people.” This normative approach to extremism reveals that Kitteridge and the NZSIS are doing the Establishment’s bidding. If society believes that the Earth is flat, then saying it’s round is extremism.

More alarming is the assertion that violent extremists may seek “to create a community based on their ideology.” The fact is that you, the reader, are a head of human livestock, and you’re not allowed to seek out self-governance, any more than a slave is allowed to leave a plantation. Your community is that of the New Zealand Government, and they speak for you, as the sole source of truth.

The booklet gives the game away when it says “Extremists may seek to radically change the nature of government, religion or society.” This demonstrates that the NZSIS has no interest in truth, freedom or justice. Their interest is simply to maintain the status quo. Therefore, whoever has power is assumed to deserve to have power. The NZ Government is infallible, and so anyone wishing to radically change it is an extremist.

We are warned that “Violent extremists take these ideologies further and justify using violence to achieve radical changes.” Note that only violence used to achieve radical changes is considered bad. Violence used to maintain the existing order is of no concern. As such, the Government’s violence against the people, such as during the Wellington Protest or during the War on Drugs, is of no concern here.

The real material of interest begins on page 12, with the section titled ‘The indicators of violent extremism’.

Under ‘Mindset and ideology’, the booklet asks us to watch out for the person who “Consumes violent extremist videos, media, music or messaging”. The irony here is that the vast majority of violent extremist media consumed in New Zealand is consumed through watching the television news, and Normie television-watchers are far more dangerous than anyone else.

On that topic, we’re told to watch out for the person who “Develops a hostile ‘Us-Versus-Them’ worldview” and who “Makes dehumanising, hostile or violent statements against individuals or groups they perceive as ‘the enemy’ or the ‘other’.” Never in New Zealand history were people dehumanised as much as people who didn’t take the Coronavirus vaccine were in recent years – but the NZSIS isn’t interested in that.

Under ‘Association and relationships’, we’re told to watch out for anyone who “seeks a following to promote their cause.” Realistically this means anyone with even the remotest chance of having successful political influence. The subtext of this booklet is by now becoming clear: anyone who doesn’t submit to The Powers That Be is a security concern.

Even more worrying is being asked to watch out for anyone who “Becomes involved in a group […] where extremist ideas are discussed.” No VJM Publishing Chan Chat TeleGram channel. No 4chan. Not even an Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party forum. No politics are to be discussed by you at all, pleb! Just turn on the television and receive your thoughts for the next 24 hours.

Under ‘Research and planning’ comes the warning to watch out for anyone who “Searches for offshore conflicts related to their ideology.” So anyone with an interest in history is now a terrorist suspect. If you want to broaden your knowledge of the practical realities of your ideology – terrorist. Interested in World War Two? Terrorist.

After these hysterical and paranoid sections come a couple of sections of sanity. Under ‘Gathering knowledge, skills and resources’ the booklet asks us to look out for anyone who “Suddenly or unusually develops a stockpile of knives, firearms or explosive materials.” Under ‘Preparation’ it calls for us to be wary of anyone who “Declares intent to conduct a terrorist or violent extremist act.”

Entirely reasonable – but this hardly had to be asked for. Surely any sane person would contact the authorities if they heard someone else say they were going to commit an act of terrorism?

The next section, ‘Security awareness’, returns us to the madness, asking us to watch out for anyone who “Uses fake names, aliases or pseudonyms when online or within specific communities” (90% of Internet users) or “Creates exclusive groups on secure forums or messaging apps” (80% of Internet users). Again the common refrain: almost any of your neighbours, friends or workmates could be a terrorist waiting to strike.

Even more psychotic is the request to watch out for anyone who “Becomes secretive about their activities with associates” or “Provides limited or false information when questioned about future plans”. In Ardern’s New Zealand, just like in East Germany under the Stasi, secrecy is itself guilt. If you don’t want people prying into your affairs, you’re a terrorist suspect.

Hilariously, this section comes with a proviso that security awareness on its own is not enough to suspect that a person might be a terrorist. The obvious reason for this is because almost all NZSIS officers themselves would fall foul of almost all criteria here (which is why you’ve never spoken to an NZSIS officer using their real name on the Internet).

The final section, ‘Unusual changes in behaviour’, asks us to keep an eye out for basically anyone with a mental illness. Actions such as “Withdraws from or abandons close relationships”, “Appears withdrawn or prone to sudden outbursts” and “Stops participating in regular and established commitments” are all classical signs of depression or anxiety, which most of us are suffering from acutely in the 22nd year of Clown World.

In summary, the ultimate effect of this document will be to spread suspicion, mistrust, hate and fear between and among all communities in New Zealand. This may have been its intent, or the Government might still be chimping out in the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay/article, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles from 2021 from Amazon as a Kindle ebook or paperback. Compilations of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2020, the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2019, the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 and the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 are also available.

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