In the wake of the housing crash, wide swathes of the desert Southwest, Florida, Atlanta, parts of California, and other places were littered with relatively new homes which were empty. The pre-seeded lawn turf often hadn’t even taken root before the foreclosures began.
Each vacant home represented a personal economic disaster for someone. Families moved in with grandparents. Pets were left in shelters which were filled far beyond capacity. It was only a couple of years ago. For many the memory is still very fresh.
But at about the same time parts of Tuscon started to be reclaimed by tumbleweeds a few hedge funds (and banks) figured that there was yield to be made from renting the homes which were now unused back to the people who could no longer afford to own them. If the homes could be pooled along with the rents, perhaps the investments could even be sold as derivatives.
Market solution right?
I am all for the liberalization of marijuana laws, as I have written many times before. The prohibition of cannabis is simply wrong in my estimation for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it is a crony capitalist construct. For years millions (really billions) have been made off of keeping weed illegal. From prison unions to Big Pharma lots of interests wanted to keep the inexpensive, relatively innocuous drug in the illegal category. I think legalization of pot is a good thing.
We wrote a couple of weeks ago that Bitcoin was under all out assault. The cryptocurrency was being attacked (and it continues) on all fronts, legally, through DOS attacks, in the media, by Jamie Dimon who surprise surprise said that the government would just regulate the alternative currency out of existence and “that would be the end of them.” Of course JPMorgan, Dimon’s company, has been trying to get its own rival “alternative” currency off of the ground.
The yin to the Koch’s yang, Soros seems to have a hand in nearly everything “progressive.” From Media Matters, to The Center for American Progress, to support for Bill DeBlasio, to Obama’s Organizing for Action, to literally dozens of other political non-profits and advocacy groups, the man likes to spend his money on things which grow the state.
As we have said before we believe that the libertarian movement is the most important movement in American politics right now, perhaps for more than a generation. It is also arguably the most important movement in world politics.
Austerity? Austerity involves tax increases and big time spending cuts. I saw some taxes increased but I didn’t see much in the way of spending cut. What tiny bit was cut in sequestration was reinstated thanks in large part to the Republicans who couldn’t bear to see money to the military contractors reduced.
Hollywood knows how to work the system. There is just something about movie stars which hypnotizes politicians. That and the pile of campaign contributions.
Pot is by far the most widely used illicit drug used in the United States. It is also bulky, odoriferous, and therefore relatively easy to detect. Much of our national law enforcement budget goes to enforcing the prohibition of cannabis. If marijuana became legal much of this budget would go away. If budgets go away, power goes away. Bureaucracies do not like to lose power. As such some in law enforcement are fighting the liberalization of cannabis laws.
Argentina used to be such a gem. In the early 1900s it was considerably wealthier than the United States. People from around the world wanted to live in la Argentina. It, like the United States was a land of opportunity.