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 have to admit, I once bought a new car. I was in my mid-20s. I had no children. I still didn’t know the fun of a mortgage. The car was blisteringly fast and I like cars which go fast. So I bought one fresh and new. I shouldn’t have.
Probably the last post on this we’ll do on the “Nazis are socialists” debate for a while, but this essay comes from Jonah Goldberg, the author of the book Liberal Fascism so we’ll include it.
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.
Regulations can be used as a weapon. They often are. Dodd-Frank is an example of this. The big banks were in on the writing of the legislation and the little banks, the community banks, were left out in the cold. Too big to fail and too small to succeed, as determined by the state.
I personally like Ralph Nader. I think he’s wrong on all sorts of things but the sense when one meets him is that he is a man who really thinks about the issues and who does not drift with the political wind. He seems to be intellectually honest, which even though he’s completely off base on all sorts of issues, counts for a heck of a lot. Especially in Washington DC. He could have sold out. He never did.
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.
Attached in an interesting and disturbing article from Truthout.com, a generally progressive site. It says that those “terms and conditions” contracts we sign when we get a credit card or sign up for iTunes represent a new form of “fascism.”
Though the article acknowledges the actual definition of fascism, that is the marriage of government and business, it argues that something which doesn’t involve the government can also constitute “fascism.”
The fight for policy is often fought along K Street not in the Capitol or in the White House. In Gucci Gulch the future of industries is worked out. Who gets government largesse, who does not. Who gets what contract, who does not. Who gets surveilled and…
I am proud to say that I work with people from all 3 groups regularly. The libertarians I find are the most intellectually stimulating and they have the best taste in music. The progressives are fun because they are bewildered by my positions and seem amazed that anyone not wearing a coon skin cap can be for the 2nd Amendment. They also always have a vegetarian option for lunch. Conservatives invariably have the best food generally, the best liquor, (I don’t drink liquor) and play golf. (Which is a positive in my book.)