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Rajiv
08-07-07, 02:34 PM
Insightful article by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster "Climbing off the real estate grid" (http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_2271.shtml)


There was a time when a home was a place to live, a place where you raised your family, a place to grow your garden
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Today your home is a speculators bet, a henchman's noose.
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There was a time when families worked to pay off their mortgage so that they knew they owned their home free and clear. The mortgage burning was a cause for celebration. No more. Now people determine what the maximum payment is that they can afford, and speculate on internal rates of return, tax deductions, and how fast they can flip their 'home' moving on to a larger home
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Ask yourself, is this how we should be living? What else is wrong with this picture?

Welcome to the non-ownership homeowner club. In this world, the New World Order, so carefully planned for you, we call it the New Serfdom. Serfs were entitled to the use of their land; they were also tied down by their land, tightly restricted.

Serfs could escape by fleeing to a free town, remaining there for a year and a day. No such luck now; No escape for you.

If you were really renting, the owner would be responsible when the place, built unbeknownst to you with shoddy materials and workmanship to cut the real cost, started to fall apart. This way you are the one who pays all costs.

Recent changes in the bankruptcy laws are intended to viciously slander, defame and entrap you into lifelong slavery to your debts. This is not physical incarceration, it's financial imprisonment, and it's available, anywhere to anyone over the Internet. Today you can't even rent an apartment without a credit check.

quigleydoor
08-09-07, 01:01 PM
Rajiv, this piece is somewhat hyperbolic, but indicates that our housing system has made the shift from "society-based market" to "market-based society". See The Great Transformation by Karl Polanyi (1946). Or just read the wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Transformation.

I consider Karl Polanyi to be a fallen angel of the Austrian school. He moved in the same circles as Ludwig von Mieses, and The Great Transformation is an outcome of their debates.

metalman
08-09-07, 09:20 PM
Rajiv, this piece is somewhat hyperbolic, but indicates that our housing system has made the shift from "society-based market" to "market-based society". See The Great Transformation by Karl Polanyi (1946). Or just read the wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Transformation.

I consider Karl Polanyi to be a fallen angel of the Austrian school. He moved in the same circles as Ludwig von Mieses, and The Great Transformation is an outcome of their debates.

i'll go with hudson's fire economy explanation.

Rajiv
08-09-07, 09:52 PM
i'll go with hudson's fire economy explanation.

I think I would agree that this article is more in tune with Hudson's thesis on this issue - rather than as a primary criticism of the "great transformation." I think the element of hyperbole can be taken as a yearning for "simpler times," but to me is not a primary thesis of the article.

Contemptuous
08-10-07, 01:41 AM
Rajiv -

This article seems to me even less than hyperbole - it seems more a literary device upon which to drape a callow journalists story. To equate mortgage debt slavery to the hopeless plight of a serf class six or seven hundred years ago is a flight of considerable fancy. That is the substance of the article, and everything else arranged around it seems like window dressing to provide an intriguing read on present day angst about the "mortgage bubble"- which incidentally will very rapidly recede as a mere footnote in early 21st century history.

With regard to Karl Polanyi somehow prophesying this as a societal shift to "market based housing" as evidence of further degradation of society, the argument loses focus as we consider the new putative "mortgage serf" is a highly localized phenomenon in just a few geographic segments of a few countries in the world. Hardly enough to extrapolate the societal shift he developed to populate a general theory. Today's mortgage serf will not leave even a footnote in history.

It seems other than one or two rare birds in history, all generel theories fate is to increasingly struggle to incorporate disparate data into their framework. Polanyi's theories seem quite ethereal to me. Conversely, I found Murray Rothbard's Mises-derived rebuttal quite compelling.

http://www.mises.org/story/1607

Spartacus
08-15-07, 01:12 AM
IMHO tax-advantaged status of real estate explains part of it.

The bigger part I think is simple social dynamics - social climbing and general acquisitiveness.

luxury cars are not tax-advantaged. Or yachts. Yet they keep getting more and more expensive, bigger, more luxurious, using the latest technology, etc ....

Housing expense is just another example of the same thing.

The only "problem" I see with all this is that more expensive cars generally don't push cheaper cars out of the market - car owners don't form collectives that punish the cheapest car driver in a neighborhood.

This does happen with housing, though - and that's my big beef. How many neighborhoods in a city have to be declared off limits to low income housing before those of low income can no longer live in that city?


i'll go with hudson's fire economy explanation.

Rajiv
08-19-07, 08:16 PM
Listen to Hudson on KPFA (http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1823) he had some good ideas on this very question.