Monday, February 04, 2008

Since when is it a Right?

The harsh reality for millions of families is that despite declining prices in many cities, homeownership remains unaffordable in a majority of cities for service workers in the fastest-growing occupations: nurses, retail salespeople, customer-service representatives, food-preparation workers and office clerks, according to research released Tuesday by the Center for Housing Policy. (Emphasis mine.)
They should have farmed this study out to the Department of the Obvious, who could have done it much cheaper. If they wanted to run with the theme, they could have pointed out that home ownership is also out of reach of the incarcerated, minor children, and the deceased.

Isn't trying to get people who couldn't frickin' afford it into home ownership one of the reasons we wound up in our current pickle? Look, people, while owning your own home may be part of the American Dream, it's not part of the Bill of Rights, okay?

7 comments:

JD said...

You want the masses to lean from their mistakes??

If they could do that would we have the folks running for President that we do?

Wishful thinking I fear.. . .

Anonymous said...

If you want a house have a big life insurance policy on your parents.et45

OA said...

"Look, people, while owning your own home may be part of the American Dream, it's not part of the Bill of Rights, okay?"

Aye, and not just a home, but a poorly built, poorly insulated McMansion tract home in a fancy-named subdivision (complete with superfluous "e" at the end of the name) that had turkeys running around it eight months ago. And of course a heating/cooling bill that's almost as much as the mortgage (takes a lot of energy to condition the air amongst some 4,000 square feet...go figure), two on-lease automobiles in the already cracked driveway, thousands upon thousands of dollars of credit card debt, and enough electronic gadgets to over-stimulate a South Korean. The most amazing thing? They constantly whine, fight and stress over their debt, yet see what they have as an absolute right, because hey, they deserve a high standard of living. They won't condescend to anything less.

As if being one of the twelve families living under an overpass is conducive to high-hog livin'...

phlegmfatale said...

People who dream of owning a home need to make a bigger effort, either by making more money or scaling down their expectations of size and/or quality. No one in our society has the cojones to just tell people this universal truth, and no way in hell is a McMansion a constitutional right. When FHA started about 8 decades ago, this program was meant to help people have access to the "American dream," but terms were way different then: buyers had to come to the table with a 50% down payment. The whole idea that people can possess homes/cars/furniture/finery without putting any of their own cash on the line up front is the leading edge of precisely what is bankrupting American culture.

Let's talk about what home ownership really is, though-- if I buy a piece of ground and I have to pay tax on it forever to state/federal/world governments or risk losing it forever, I don't own it--I'm RENTING it from the government.

I call that supremely effed up. Did the government cause the ground my home is on to exist? Nope. As for roads and utilities, do I not already pay taxes and things like universal fees to make sure everyone in the country has access? Yup.

When you consider how said house makes one beholden to the government and mortgage people, you might easily perceive it to be indentured servitude. People need to free themselves of these shackles-- it's sick. Else, why'd we ever even cross the pond in the first place?

perlhaqr said...

phglemfatale: I strongly agree with your position. I have a hard time deciding whether I find income tax or property tax more odious. The one because it implies that the Government owns me and rents me out like a mule to who ever needs me, and then lets me keep some portion of my earnings; the other because it implies that the government still owns everything I buy with what portion of my labor they deign to let me keep.

It makes me rather hot under the collar, to put it mildly.

phlegmfatale said...

perlhaqr - makes my blood boil, too.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure this obsession with widespread home ownership is a relic of the Clinton Era, when some voodoo economist managed to convince the higher-ups that, since people who own houses tend to be well-off, making people who are not well-off own houses will correct that problem.

Come to think of it, a lot of offensively stupid government programs are based on the correlation/causality fallacy.