The Return of Human Signs—Cheap Labor Personified
May 14, 2010, 01:09 AM
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Back in 2005, I pointed out that the proliferation of people standing on street corners in Southern California jiggling big arrows pointing to real estate open houses personified the Cheap Wage / Expensive Land economy:
The real estate salesperson's commission, at six percent, on a $600,000 house is $36,000. That pays for a lot of sign twirlers. But it also raises more questions than it answers about the long-term prospects for our economy and for our once solidly middle-class society—in a 21st Century where the well-off increasingly make their living selling houses to each other; and the less lucky make their living, such as it is, jiggling signs.
Then, the Human Signs disappeared for awhile when the economy crashed. Lately, though, they are back. The Human Signs are less often advertising real estate now and more often advertising cellphones or what not, but they're back.