You Know, There Might Be a Connection Here?

Cambridge\’s residents used to typify the kind of dandruff-flecked, unworldly academics who put loan sharks out of business. But with the flood of computer and biotech companies, and affluent London commuters, came the age of excessive living.

Hmm, lots of highly paid peoplpe in expanding industries arrive in town.

As we trudge the streets of north Cambridge he\’s forever stopping to exclaim: "How the hell can they afford that?" The scenario that typically provokes his ire is a bog-standard dwelling with a gleaming new Audi Q7 parked outside. His wrath is frequently inflamed by the glimpse of a plasma TV in the front room.

I explain to my spouse that there\’s a small but real possibility that the occupant earns shed-loads of wonga in one of those quasi-professions that crop up on The Apprentice, such as "global pricing leader". Either that, or they\’re up to their eyeballs in debt.

Might the cause be those highly paid people mentioned, not the debt?

10 thoughts on “You Know, There Might Be a Connection Here?”

  1. “Might the cause be those highly paid people mentioned, not the debt?”

    Who bought a bog-standard dwelling? Nah, I go with the debt theory.

  2. Since a 42″ LCD TV only costs £750, the other possibility is “they can afford it on a relatively normal salary because Stuff Is Cheap”.

  3. “Stuff Is Cheap”

    Not a phrase applied to the Audi Q7, unless you prefix with with “Audi” and insert “not” between “is” and “Cheap”.

  4. @ KT – yes, you’re right – I was imagining the car as being more A3-shaped. Q7s aren’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination.

    @JM – HP is still debt, though (unless you reckon he’s hiring them month-on-month, which I suppose is possible).

  5. “As long as they accept the consequences of not paying the debt its none of our business”

    Strictly speaking it’s none of our business, but that’s not to say it won’t have an impact on us. When Gordon Brown’s maw is no longer stuffed with debt-fuelled VAT receipts, who is he coming after for fodder?

  6. Kay Tie,

    Yes, but the point I was badly making is that if they lose the car or house as a consequence of the debt then we shouldn’t be bailing them out. As you say, we will though.

  7. Most likely the cause is the enormous cost of property in Cambridge. The viewer was only surprised at the Audi and the plasma TV because they were associated with a “bog-standard dwelling”. Yet who is he to say that it’s unreasonable to save money on accomodation and spend the difference on consumer goods?

    Given property prices in Cambridge, foregoing a remarkably small improvement in your accomodation could yield a remarkable amount of cash. I reckon a top-of-the-line plasma TV might be paid for by having merely an en-suite showerroom instead of an en-suite bathroom, and the Audi was probably paid for by having a sofa-bed in the living room instead of a guest bedroom.

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