It was a rare reflection by Mitt Romney on his life as a young Mormon, offered as proof to struggling Americans that despite being born into privilege and amassing a $250 million fortune, he too had known hard times.
A day after being labelled "out of touch" for casually offering a $10,000 bet to a rival candidate, Mr Romney told supporters he had experienced austerity as a missionary in France, using a bucket for a lavatory and a hose for a shower. "You're not living high on the hog at that kind of level," he said.
But the Republican presidential hopeful spent a significant portion of his 30-month mission in a Paris mansion described by fellow American missionaries to The Daily Telegraph as "palace". It featured stained glass window, chandeliers, and an extensive art collection. It was staffed by two servants - a Spanish chef and a houseboy.
Although he spent time in other French cities, for most of 1968, Mr Romney lived in the Mission Home, a 19th century neoclassical building in the French capital's chic 16th arrondissement. "It was a house built by and for rich people," said Richard Anderson, the son of the mission president at the time of Mr Romney's stay. "I would describe it as a palace".
The fall wasn't nearly as dramatic as you would have expected it to be, which meant the rebound wasn't either.
Just like China a lot of the excess units were bought for cash so they weren't sold, just sat on. The closed banks and finance companies and the slow resolution and auctioning of their assets meant that a lot of property was released for years after and most of their assets were in the form of debt that the buyers of the debt had to spend years going through debtor friendly courts to get the collateral.
So prices took about 3 years after the crash to fall about 35% then they bounced along the bottom for about 7 years barely rising at all before starting to rise in price again in about 2007-8.
But its been patchy. Because of the collapse of 98 the banks never reopened the spigots on personal debt or loaning to developers, so the big increases came in very specific segments of the market where foreigners were buying using money made overseas, Phuket luxury villas, Bangkok highest end condos and some Pattaya condos.
Rises have stopped again and the highest end stuff bought by foreigners is seeing declines, but again very specific declines. Stuff bought by Russians and Singaporeans is stable, stuff bought by Westerners is falling.
The stuff bought by Thais is doing well.
Thailand has benefited from the rise of China as its a huge agricultural exporter so the rise in agricultural commodity prices has kept the whole economy going despite the global downturn and local political problems.
Might see a decline now though as the flood was devastating to agriculture as well as industry
China's credit bubble has finally popped. The property market is swinging wildly from boom to bust, the cautionary exhibit of a BRIC's dream that is at last coming down to earth with a thud.
It is hard to obtain good data in China, but something is wrong when the country's Homelink property website can report that new home prices in Beijing fell 35pc in November from the month before. If this is remotely true, the calibrated soft-landing intended by Chinese authorities has gone badly wrong and risks spinning out of control.
The growth of the M2 money supply slumped to 12.7pc in November, the lowest in 10 years. New lending fell 5pc on a month-to-month basis.
Chinese stocks are flashing warning signs. The Shanghai index has fallen 30pc since May. It is off 60pc from its peak in 2008, almost as much in real terms as Wall Street from 1929 to 1933.
"The BRICs are falling like bricks and the crises are home-blown, caused by their own boom-bust credit cycles. Industrial production is already falling in India, and Brazil will soon follow."
"There is so much spare capacity that they will start dumping goods, risking a deflation shock for the rest of the world. It no surpise that China has just imposed tariffs on imports of GM cars. I think it is highly likely that China will devalue the yuan next year, risking a trade war," he said.
That's logical but in the case of health care in the US is missing the fact that you have a multi-billion dollar lobbying group that has inserted itself between health care users and health care providers and works very energetically to keep itself from being dislodged from this position.
I read statistics that in the UK, the government bureaucratic socialist inefficient NHS spends approximately 3% of its budget on admin. The super efficient free market US has 30% of its total health care spend spent on admin (i.e. insurance companies and what health care providers have to do to deal with them)
Since the UK spends about 8% of GDP on health care and the US spends 15% you're looking at almost the entire difference in costs being because of that parasitical middle man and what they cause others to have to do.
The rest of the difference and differences in health outcomes can be explained by demographics and different priorities (i.e the US spends far more on end of life extension for cancer victims etc)
There's an $800 billion parasite sitting at the center of your health care system that does nothing for anyone but enrich itself, and until that's dealt with US health care and many other economic and social issues can't be dealt with
The middle class mostly keep themselves healthy and seek care early and follow treatments.
The poor suffer from way more illnesses due to lifestyle and stress of being poor. Plus they delay seeking treatment making it much more expensive to treat and they don't follow treatment regimes so they need more direct intervention and treatment.
Plus they drink, do drugs and fight each other which is a huge burden on emergency rooms.
When I did my ER block at med school, most of it was dealing with drunks. Either they'd fallen, crashed, fought or intoxicated themselves to the point of danger. Awful people.
Europe spends 8% of GDP on health care with a health cost inflation rate of 8%, covers everyone from cradle to grave, no-one ever loses a nights sleep worrying about health care for themselves or their families, workers are free to move from job to job where they can be more productive without being trapped by worrying about changing health care insurers, entrepreneurs can start companies without having to provide health care to workers and their life expectancy is longer than the US.
America spends 15% of GDP on health care with a health cost inflation rate of 15%, millions aren't covered, millions suffer from illnesses they can't afford to have treated, medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy, the passage of saved wealth to the next generation is hijacked by the health care industry, millions work in jobs they aren't well suited to for fear of moving and having their health insurance affected and entrepreneurs struggle to start businesses because of the additional burdens of providing health insurance to themselves and their employees.
I don care about no facts. I ain't paying fer no ni66er!