Sorry to be off air for few days. We have just moved which is massively disruptive as always. But we are in snug for Christmas and the books are returning to their shelves.
A couple of random observations. The place we are moving from was a lovely, large, Uplands house which is going up on the market. There it will join literally two dozen other, lovely, large Uplands houses which have, I fear, been rendered relics of a demographically and socially lost era. Ours was relatively sensible in that it had only four bedrooms. Most of the others have 5 or more. Families are simply no longer that big. Plus, families tend not to buy 2 million dollar houses. (We got an incredible deal on the rent for a couple of years; but even if we had the money we would not have bought the house.)
Along with the couple of dozen listed on MLS, there were, in fact, four vacant houses on my daily dog walk. As well there were a dozen more which had been for sale but had been pulled from the market. Call me crazy but I have to think that the upper end of the Victoria housing market is due for a significant price correction.
Second, I was in a small supermarket the other day and there was a staffing panic going on. It was occasioned by one person phoning in sick to an already short staffed store. And the reason it, and many other stores like it are short staffed is that there are not that many kids around to do the cashier/restocking jobs. I suspect this trend will continue (which is great for my younger boys who will be looking for work in a few years.)
All the kids my now childless female friends from highschool and university didn’t have are, of course, not around to fill entry level jobs while going to school or university.
A final and somewhat related point: sitting in our much cozier living room last night Sam, my nearly 12 year old, and I were talking about what he would actually like to do over the next decade or so. “I’ve been looking at some Apprenticeship programs Dad. You can start when you are sixteen and have your ticket by 20 or 21.” “University?” I asked. “Absolutely, but I’d like to do it part time and then do refrigeration stuff three days a week.”
For the refrigeration idea I want to thank the nice, 20 something guy who bought the double oven from us. HVAC and refrigeration has been good to him…he runs $90 an hour and has more work than he can handle. Which he told Sam and Sam is good at multiplication.
Many years ago, I met a guy named Joseph Tussman, a philosopher of education, who maintained that a candidate for a graduate degree in any of the Liberal Arts should be required to have a trade. I suspect he was right.