Phil Gramm got in trouble for calling Americans a bunch of whiners. Example A, is a WSJ story by the Personal Finance editor, talking about selling his house. He bought his Dallas home for $360k in 2004, and sold it for $429k this year. That's a 4.5% annual rate of appreciation, about the risk free rate. But of course, that's buried in the article, as he highlights that he put the house on the market for $490k, and got a first offer 6 months later for $390k. Talk about the world's smallest violin.