if on EAD / H1 - have atleast 12 months living expenses (food, mortgage, utilities taxes etc ..for worst case scenario - maybe even more -- since you won't be able to sell the house easily if you have to move for a new job) ..if on GC, I guess 6 months. depends on yr area, skills etc ..my guess only.
here is the latest from Wachovia ..(I know it is a repeat ..but to answer the original thread question for others who may want opinions) ..These economists are generally optimistic even when the situation is bad (since it hurts their own stock prices) ..the fact that they are pessimistic shows the real situation. In other words (my thoughts) - if your 485 is pending, then there is no hurry to buy a house ..deals will get better in the next 18 months. (after that house prices will be stagnant for a longer time -- this is for most locations or around 95% of US cities/towns)
Don Truslow, chief risk officer of banking giant Wachovia (WB, Fortune 500), said home prices should fall through 2008 before finally hitting bottom in the middle of 2009. (Wachovia, the No. 4 U.S. bank by assets, reported an unexpected loss Monday.)
Sinai argues that until housing prices turn around, there isn't much hope for a pick-up in the economy because housing woes will continue be a drag on consumer spending and the credit markets.
"So much borrowing and lending was leveraged to [housing], that as long as values keep going down, the exposure of consumers, of financial institutions and of investors remains extremely high," he said.
if you are technical person ..read this article ..not sure how he (Mr. Makin is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.)comes up with 23% figure ..but I guess he must have done research.
As average house prices plummet – declining at a 23% annual rate over the three months ending in January – lenders are sharply curtailing access to mortgage-based, home-equity loans. The 15% of U.S. mortgage holders with negative equity in their homes have no access to credit, and 20% with marginal equity have limited access at best.Overall access to credit is contracting: Ask Americans trying to utilize home-equity lines or arrange student loans.
wallpaper hair André Balazs andre balazs
At the outset, I am not against EB3, but lets think about this for a moment. Any logic that we use to break up spillover between EB2 and EB3 can also easily be applied to EB1 and EB2. I'll repeat an earlier post of mine. "How can EB1 of 2008 get the GC immediately when EB2-I (in my case) has to wait for more than 4 years - clearly preference is at play here".
Any split will artificially retrogress EB2 more than what it otherwise would have. Similarly one can always argue to artificially retrogress EB1 to give more visas to EB2 just because someone from EB2 is waiting for 4 years.
Isnt that against the law. Any break up of spill over visas invalidates the category preference as per current law.
Please also note that any unfavorable change to the EB1 category based on a hypothetical approval of an EB2/EB3 break up will invite the attention of Fortune 500 companies and prestigious research/educational institutions (who use EB1 the most) with all their political and financial resources at their disposal. That could put a halt to everything.
Irrational passion calls for dispassionate rationality.
An objective evaluation of changing contours of our engagement with Africa, especially in light of significant developments in 2010, might interest Africa watchers and others.
Conceptual richness and consistency appear to characterise recent interactions, although their impact may still take a while to be felt tangibly.
If the period from our Independence to the end of the 1980s was marked by India's close involvement with Africa in political affairs, peacekeeping, training, culture and education, the 1990s turned out to be a lost decade. That was the time when policy makers were busy trying to re-adapt India's foreign policy to the post-Cold War world. Subsequently, the Africans' unhappiness with their neglect by India, China's rapidly growing profile on the continent, and the enhanced dynamism of India Inc. combined to initiate a renewal of India-Africa relations. The Government's three initiatives, namely the ‘Focus Africa Programme' under Exim policy for 2002-07, the ‘Techno-Economic Approach for Africa and India Movement' or TEAM-9 programme, launched in 2004 to upgrade economic relations with West Africa, and the Pan-African e-Network started in 2007, helped in sending the signal that India had not vacated space in Africa for others.
In this backdrop, the India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) in 2008 represented a veritable high point, showcasing a new, vibrant India as well as its reinvigorated Africa policy. The following year was a relative disappointment. But, developments during 2010 seem to have put India's engagement with Africa on a fast track.
India played host to at least eight high-level African dignitaries, one each from the Seychelles, Ghana, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Kenya, Malawi and Ethiopia. Visits by presidents, prime ministers and other VIPs throughout the year demonstrated that Africa was keen to expand political and development cooperation with India. Armando Guebuza, President of Mozambique, endorsed India's approach towards Africa, expressing readiness “to raise the (bilateral relationship) to a strategic partnership.” Hailemariam Desalegn, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, chose to accord high importance to economic issues. Following a productive meeting of the joint commission, the two sides decided, “to infuse the close political relationship with greater economic content.” The visit by South African President Jacob Zuma helped in re-defining the bilateral agenda and re-launching the joint CEOs Forum.
Happily, Indian leaders found time to visit Africa in 2010. Vice-President Hamid Ansari's three-country tour covering Zambia, Malawi and Botswana was a notable success. Given his credentials, he was able to evoke old memories of deep political and emotional affinity as well as highlight mutuality of interests and the need for expansion of economic cooperation, thus lending a contemporary character to age-old ties. That he backed it with the announcement of credits and grants (for the three countries) amounting to about $200 million, in addition to credit lines valued at $60 million that were operational prior to the visit, showed India's new strength. This was on display again as the Government agreed to arrange major lines of credits for others: $705 million for Ethiopia for sugar and power sector development and $500 million for Mozambique for infrastructure, agriculture and energy projects.
The decision by the IAFS to set aside $5.4 billion for lines of credit and $500 million for human resource development during a five-year period means that now nearly $1 billion a year is available for cooperation with Africa. Utilising India's new financial muscle, an ambitious expansion of training programmes for the benefit of Africans is being attempted at present.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna got a direct feel of issues and personalities on his visit to the Seychelles, Mauritius and Mozambique. As these are all Indian Ocean countries, the strategic dimension of cooperation, especially relating to piracy, terrorism and changing foreign maritime presence, received considerable attention during his discussions. Later the minister, talking to a group of African journalists visiting India, emphasised that our relationship with Africa had “transformed”, with the two sides becoming “development partners looking out for each other's interests and well-being.”
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma undertook visits to South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. He was instrumental in facilitating and moulding business-to-business dialogues in all the countries visited, with the help of organisations such as the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). For business level exchanges, however, the most significant event in the year was CII-Exim Bank Conclave, held in Delhi in March. About 1,000 delegates attended it, half of whom were from various African countries.
Bilateral India-Africa trade, which stood at about $1 billion in 2001, has now reached the $40 billion mark. It is an encouraging growth. Figures about India's investments in Africa are confusing, but by taking an average of the figures of cumulative investments released by the Reserve Bank, the CII and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), one could place a value of $50 billion on them.
Three other highlights need to be mentioned here. First, India hosted a meeting of top officials of Africa's Regional Economic Communities (RECs). A first of its kind, the meeting was attended by six of the eight RECs, namely Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Southern African Development Community (SADC), Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) and United Nations Association/Arab Maghreb Union (UNA/AMU). It gave them the opportunity to interact with numerous Ministries and business enterprises. Coverage of areas viz stock exchanges, small industry, food processing, infrastructure, IT and telecommunications was quite wide. The visitors expressed “gratitude” to India for the initiative “to recognise the regional dimension of Africa's development.”
Second, top officials of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) undertook visits to Kampala and Addis Ababa in order to carry forward India's dialogue with the African Union (AU) for nurturing ties at the continental level. On the sidelines of its 15th Summit in Kampala in July, Jean Ping, Chairman of the African Union Commission (AUC), expressed immense satisfaction at the model of engagement created by India, adding that it was “the most unique and preferred of Africa's partnerships.” In plain language, he seemed to confirm the view that among many suitors of Africa, both old and new, the two most active are China and India. Ping was also happy with “the determined pace at which implementation (of IAFS decisions) has been undertaken.” However, this might have been more credible had the two sides announced, by now, the venue and timing of the second IAFS.
Third, a boost to our Africa diplomacy came with the announcement of the Hermes Prize for Innovation 2010 for India's Pan-African e-Network project. The prize was given by the European Institute of Creative Strategies and Innovation, a prestigious think tank. It called the project as “the most ambitious programme of distance education and tele-medicine in Africa ever undertaken.”\
A few tips
While moving determinedly to strengthen relations with Africa, the Government needs to do more. African diplomats still speak of the deficit in India's political visibility. Therefore, our President and Prime Minister should find time to visit Africa in 2011. More visits by Mr. Krishna would be helpful. Implementation of the first IAFS decisions, though improving, needs to be speeded up. India Inc. should be more active. In preparing for the second IAFS, South Block should draw from outside expertise. The civil society's potential to strengthen people-to-people relations should be tapped optimally. By according higher attention to Africa, the media could serve as a valuable bridge of mutual understanding.
Finally, India should declare and celebrate 2011 as its Africa Year.
The author is former High Commissioner to South Africa, Lesotho and Kenya
More for Asia:
Rebalancing World Oil and Gas (http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/files/18066_1210pr_mitchell.pdf)
By John Mitchell | Chatham House
What is Beijing willing to do to secure oil and gas supplies? (http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20101227mr.html) By Michael Richardson | Japan Times
2011 by hotelier Andre Balazs,
Google 'identity theft' and you will be surprised.
Do not answer anyone unless you check. Ask for a call back number. Find the name , badge number. ask them to send you an email with a legit id and you will call back.
You should anyways never talk alone to such people even if they are real. Ask them to talk to your lawyer. If they ask you his number, tell them to find from the application.
Basically never give any information on the phone.
Easier said than done :-) Well a lot of us are waiting anxiously for some activity on the USCIS side regarding our petitions and suddenly you get a call!!! Wow, I am sure a lot of us would panic and give out exactly what they want. Now whether immigration officials are permitted to make calls? who knows? But honestly we are in a screw either way. What is the official is genuinely trying to help and we start asking him.. Give me your number and let me call back. what if he/she is ofended (most often that can happen). On the other hand if as you said, if it happens to be a ID theif/crook, if you give him all that he wants :-(
Why dont we prepare ourselves for such events:---
when you get a call from Immigration---
1) Dont loose your cool 2) be very polite and ask politely "Sir / madam, may I obtain a phone number that I can call back and I will do that immediately or at your convenience. I have waited long and would provide you with all the details that you require on calling back.
Any "English" experts, please contribute to better way of answering the "Unexpected" phone calls from immigration dept. We should be prepared to not loose their initiative (that little angel that rests deep within any persons heart).
Charities are sweet things, but Gary D. Bass wants them to get rough and tumble when it comes to dealing with government.
In his new book, "Seen But Not Heard: Strengthening Nonprofit Advocacy," Bass and three co-authors argue that charities need to lobby more often and more effectively. "Democracy would be better off," said Bass, executive director of OMB Watch, a nonprofit group that pushes for government accountability.
Most people -- and, clearly, most charities -- think of lobbyists as corporate frontmen trying to grab taxpayer largesse for themselves. They also consider lobbying kind of dirty, given the criminality of infamous lobbyists such as the now-imprisoned Jack Abramoff.
But lobbyists come in all shapes and sizes, including the charitable sort. Bass's book, which is part of a larger effort called the Strengthening Nonprofit Advocacy Project, or SNAP, is a useful reminder of that.
Bass has been trying to convince charities for years that they should not be afraid to lobby. He and others, including the Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest, have even devised ways to ease -- or at least simplify -- the limitations now imposed on charities so they can press their causes more aggressively.
That's right, they are lobbying to be allowed to lobby more.
Conservative lawmakers and a few campaign-finance scholars don't like the idea. They worry that, among other things, the ability of charities to keep their donors anonymous could lead to huge and largely untraceable infusions of cash into elections, all under the guise of lobbying.
And please, call it advocacy. Charities don't like to use the "L" word. Only a third of nonprofits polled recently owned up to "lobbying" two or more times a month. But when asked if they "advocate," closer to half admitted to that.
Many nonprofits also are unsure how much lobbying the law permits them to do. Only 72 percent even knew that they could support or oppose federal legislation. (They can, up to a point.)
Bass's biggest problem is convincing charities that they not only can make their case to government, but that they really ought to do so . In effect, he needs to convince his fellow do-gooders that lobbying is not so bad.
"Nonprofit lobbyists have been involved in nearly every major public policy accomplishment in this country -- from civil rights to environmental protection to health care," Bass said in an e-mail. "Tens of thousands of lives have been saved by passing laws that improve car safety and reduce drunk driving."
"In other words, nonprofit lobbying is an honorable tradition," he added, "and not just the ugly Abramoff side" of the profession.
Convincing charities of that, however, will not be a snap.
Employer X revokes 140 so as to not run into any issues like you pointed out. Nothing personal against the employee, just business.
That person after a while decides to go back to employer X (485 is still pending) under AC21.
Does the USCIS look at that as okay to do? Or do they question the employer's intentions since the employer had earlier revoked the 140.
Thanks in advance for sharing your opinion on this.
We had similar case. It was in 2002. Company was ready to issue another future offer letter. Local USCIS office at Buffalo NY did not agree to continue process. They said job offer is gone the I-485 is gone and has valid reason the denial. They asked my friend to refile I-140 and I-485.
2010 For Hotelier Andre Balazs
Oh really? Thats how they bombed the school and killed more than 40 kids?
If Israel want to kill terrorist, they have every right to kill those terrorist who kill Isrealis. Instead they are bombing kids. Which is not acceptable by any people or any nation.
LOL. Why dont you throw in Armageddon, Knowing and Deep Impact. Those are also valid points since thats what can happen to the earth tommorow or the day after.
Investment carries risk. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. I have lost money on other investments before, but that is what makes u grow smarter. You fall and you get back up and you know better the next time round.
If you spend the rest of your life renting, the risk is 100%�you end up with nothing. I will take my chances investing my money in buying a home because its certainly better than losing 100%.
hair Hotelier Andre Balazs
... around that they offered a standing $1000 bet.
The bartender would squeeze a lemon until all the juice ran into a glass, and hand the lemon to a patron. Anyone who could squeeze one more drop of juice out would win the money.
Many people had tried over time (weight-lifters, longshoremen, etc.) but nobody could do it.
One day this scrawny little man came into the bar, wearing thick glasses and a polyester suit, and said in a tiny squeaky voice "I'd like to try the bet."
After the laughter had died down, the bartender said OK, grabbed a lemon, and squeezed away. Then he handed the wrinkled remains of the rind to the little man.
But the crowd's laughter turned to total silence as the man clenched his fist around the lemon and six drops fell into the glass.
As the crowd cheered, the bartender paid the $1000, and asked the little man "what do you do for a living? Are you a lumberjack, a weight-lifter, or what?"
The man replied "I work for the IRS."
The problem is most often the information and numbers given on this show are not actual facts and often exaggerated and misleading. The info looks most likely derived from FAIR or NumbersUSA or Heritage foundation or one of their associates.
The reasons can be summed up simply as ratings and the revenue defined from high ratings. CNN is taking a beating from Fox and has decided to adopt an ultra conservative agenda. At the end of the day if being pro-immigrant would improve ratings for CNN such that it would beat Fox News ratings, I am willing to bet that CNN would make a turn around and sing praises in honor of immigrants. See my next post for how low CNN is willing to go in associating with anti-immigrant groups to the extent of propagating myths.
hot hotelier Andre Balazs.
house Hotelier Andre Balazs may
Characteristics of Specialty Occupation Workers (H-1B): Fiscal Year 2005 (http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/H1B_FY05_Characteristics.pdf) November 2006
Visa Statistics (http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/statistics/statistics_1476.html) Report of the Visa Office Department of State
The Report of the Visa Office is an annual report providing statistical information on immigrant and non-immigrant visa issuances by consular offices, as well as information on the use of visa numbers in numerically limited categories.
Visa Statistics (http://www.dhs.gov/ximgtn/statistics/) Department of Homeland Security
Nonimmigrant Visas Issued by Classification (Including Crewlist Visas and Border Crossing Cards): Table XVI(B)
Fiscal Years 2002-2006 (http://travel.state.gov/pdf/FY06AnnualReportTableXVIA.pdf)
Fiscal Years 2001-2005 (http://travel.state.gov/pdf/FY05tableXVIb.pdf)
Fiscal Years 2000-2004 (http://travel.state.gov/pdf/FY04tableXVIb.pdf)
tattoo hotelier Andre Balazs.
2. For the 6 mos period he was without pay check, does he have any proof of employment and correspondingly any letter showing that he was on vacation/leave of absense. I had a 15 day period between 2 jobs where I took time off but had no vacation, hence leave without pay but I have leave letter from my manager in letter-head (I know a lot of people do that as taking vacation between jobs gives them a fresh start).
3. Did the period length where he did not have a pay check exceed 180 days at a stretch?
Bottomline, it seems an overzealous USCIS officer is trying to find ways to deny your application - you should involve a good lawyer and get immediate rebuttal for Notice of Denial.
1. 245(k) is applicable automatically for all eb I-485. There is no penalty fee for 245(k).
2. Each I-485 application is independent for out of status issues. Does not matter Primary or Dependent.
3. Needs more information. A person can be out of status even with pay-checks. Example: H-1B LCA location is different from actual job location, putting him/her out of status.
Not a legal advice.
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Go ahead & post it on the some news websites THAT ARE NOT RELATED WITH EB ISSUES. THIS FORM IS ONLY FOR EMPLOYMENT BASED IMMIGRATION RELATED ISSUES PERIOD & END OF DISCUSSION.
As I already said it is very sad to hear innocent kids got killed. Opening a thread here & giving your baseless comments will not going to help the ppl suffering over there so why not you go over there and help them out by fighting with Israeli forces instead of whining here.
GCBatman, i didn't give you red. Let me know how to give red or green. I never tried this before.
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More killing while the world watches silently.
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Leaks of tapped phone conversations reveal how corruption propels India's booming economy (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/dec/26/india-sleaze-corruption-economy)
By Praful Bidwai | The Guardian
The leak of hundreds of nearly 6,000 tapped telephone conversations between corporate lobbyist and British citizen Niira Radia and many of India's politicians, businessmen, bureaucrats and journalists has shocked the country. The tapes reveal the lobbying to assign the telecommunications portfolio to the politician A Raja, who sold mobile telephone licences at throwaway prices to favour particular companies, at an estimated loss of $12bn to $38bn to the exchequer � the highest-ever figure for an Indian corruption scandal.
Even more important, though, are the corporate lobbyists' attempts to influence government policies in a host of areas; to rig cabinet appointments; and to plant stories with high-profile journalists in which support for parochial business interests would be dressed up as "the national interest".
The tapes' dramatis personae read like a Who's Who of India, but despite the personalities involved attention is now turning to the larger story � the influence of business over politics, and lobbyists' intrusion into policy-making on scarce natural resources, licensing of industries, and "regulatory capture". Suddenly, the inner workings of government, the compromised roles of high officials and the limitless venality of businessmen stand exposed to the harsh light of public scrutiny.
The Radia tapes are the tip of the iceberg. They shock because they provide the clinching evidence for a few of the many recent scandals, including the astronomical corruption in contracts for the Commonwealth Games; mining and metallurgical projects that blatantly violate environmental regulations; corporate land grabs in the guise of export promotion zones; the razing of virgin tropical rainforest to make way for opulent housing; and the ripping up of mountain ranges to build dams.
Scandals and corruption are not new to India. Businessmen have long milked the exchequer through tax breaks, rigged licensing procedures and fraud. What is new is the neoliberal policy context, the quality and intimacy of business-politician-bureaucrat collusion bordering on a corporate takeover of government, and the growing plunder of public money. The thinktank Global Financial Integrity estimates that rich Indians have spirited abroad the equivalent of half of India's GDP over six decades. Illicit flows have greatly increased since the economy was liberalised in 1991. The notorious (often exaggerated) excesses of the "licence-permit raj" of the 1960s and 1970s pale beside the new crony-capitalism.
Sleaze is integral to India's growth, and one of its main drivers. The growth is skewed. Agriculture has stagnated, per capita food consumption has fallen, 200,000 indebted farmers have committed suicide. Industry has grown sluggishly and only forms about one-fourth of GDP. But services have boomed. The highest growth sectors are property, construction, telecoms and road transport � not IT. Capital accumulates through the privatisation of natural resources and dispossession of whole communities. In all these sectors, and in mining and metallurgical production, what counts is privileged access to natural resources and the national commons, most critically land, which is at the core of the government's discretionary powers.
"Liberalisation" has recast discretionary powers and allowed a new business-politics relationship to develop. Behind each of India's new billionaires is political patronage. Here lies the underbelly of India's growth: using crony-capitalist influence to corner mining leases, property development rights, construction permits and airwaves. It is not the free market, but manipulation and distortion, that propels growth.
One part of the seamy side of India's growth is well-known: persistent poverty, social bondage and economic servitude. The Radia tapes highlight another: sleaze and collusive business-politics relations that mock transparency, accountability, democratic policy-making and the public interest.
girlfriend 2011 André Balazs about the
Delax: I agree entirely with what you are saying. Your arguments are 100% valid. The part that I don't get is why are you trying so desperately hard to convince EB3-Indians that their letter campaign lacks merit?
Remember, a drowning man will clutch on to a straw for hope. You are like a sailor in a boat trying to tell the drowning man that a straw is no good. So, if you cannot get Eb3-Indians to see your point-of-view, just lay off this thread. Do you really expect all EB3-Indians to say "Thanks to delax, we now see the folly of our arguments. Let's stop this irrational effort, and instead just do nothing!"
I can assure you that despite being an EB3-Indian, I am not participating in this campaign. Because I know that it is a ridiculous argument to expect PD to take preference over skills. And honestly, I cannot come up with a single rational reason to demand a GC for me over any EB1 or EB2 applicant.
To all you EB3-Indians, chisel this into your brain: The US immigration system wants EB1 first, then EB2 and then EB3. It doesn't matter what your qualifications are or what the profession is...what matters is in which employment-based category was your LC filed. If you think, you are skilled enough, then stop wasting time in arguing with EB2 folks. Use your skills to apply for EB1 (which is current) or EB2 and get your GC fast. Otherwise, get this chiselled into your head as well: You are less skilled than EB2 and EB1 (purely on the basis of the LC category), so it makes 100% sense that US will give you the lowest priority. Period.
As I wrote earlier, I'm an EB3-Indian as well. Only differences being, I have still maintained my sanity, and I have the patience to wait for IV to deliver the official guidance on proceeding further.
Great one -
Yes - if you have enough skills and experience amend your category to EB1, you will get your visa way faster before EB2.
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The initial rough-and-ready calculations estimate that the business loss on those two days is close to $10 billion and the foreign exchange hit is approximately $20 billion.
A bomb scare in any software park in India (just a scare - no loss of life and property) will generate enough fear factor to shut it down for several weeks! How much loss do you think it entails?
So your justification on spending billions more on what was lost is the right thing???
And what about the loss of civilian lives? The lives of soldiers dying in shelling across India-Pak borders? The loss of morale of Mumbaities!! The feeling of insecurity when you hop on to the daily commuter train? Who will account for all of that?
Going to war to retaliate might give the impression of satisfaction, but the insecurity caused by trauma is still going to live on forever.
Of course, wars are costly! It doesn't mean you should not go on war, it doesn't mean you should zero out your defence budgets, or does it?
Do you drive your car without an insurance?
Exactly. The state, the county, the city and the insurance company make money off of your will to comply! Thousands more will die off of your desire to go to war whereas the arms dealers make money.
Again, this bill embodies the basic principle that displaces US workers do not want to understand:
"What is good for the economy may not be good for an individual".
And I say that because I have been myself displaces 2 times in my life, and every time, I have fallen (or stumbled), I have walked an extra mile to get a better life.
I just feel sorry for people like me and many others who came to this country with a different mindset and now find themselves in the midst of the worst anti-immigrant clime that has existed in a long time.
That said, I feel obligated to remind everyone - "Do yourself a favor and do everything within your means to make a meaningful change, self-help is the best help you will get"
1. Time Value of money (Wiki Link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_value_of_money)).
2. Cash Flow (Wiki Link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cash_flow))
3. Risk, not the english term - but the quantifiable aspects of it (Wiki link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk))
4. Leverage (Wiki Link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leverage_(finance)))
I have worked on many of these concepts for > 2 years at work (I am a techie - but have also worked as a BA and part time quant for some time). I still personally find it very difficult to intuitively understand many of those concepts.
A proper conclusion of whether buying is better or renting is would involve each and every one of these concepts - and a lot of assumptions (what will be rate of inflation, how will the home prices behave etc). Since there would be so many assumptions - I doubt it will be at all possible to arrive at any definitive conclusion. Your best bet would probably be a monte carlo analysis and see which one is more probably the superior one.
So surprise of surprises - there is no "right answer"!!
That said - I personally follow the a modified model of "dynamic programming" that my college taught me in the 2nd year of bachelors. You CAN NOT estimate future variables with ANY accuracy. So optimize your present steps based on some cost function.
Applying that to the present problem - you CAN NOT estimate how the home prices will behave in future or how will the rent be or how will the inflation (or - horror of horrors - deflation) behave. The only thing you can optimize is your cash flow TODAY and the Present Value of any investment you hold. Present value = market value of your equity (even if the price is 40% lower than when you bought). Your "cost function" (maybe we should rename it to "wealth function") that you are trying to optimize is your net worth.
The result of the "dynamic programming" approach if probably not going to be the most optimal - but it will be the best that I know of. :-)
Best of luck guys.