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NYT: How Bush's Increasing Minority Homeownership Push Led to the Great Recession
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For the last decade I’ve largely been alone in pointing out that the Housing Bubble/Crash of the previous decade had quite a bit to do with George W. Bush’s 2002-2003 Increasing Minority Homeownership campaign. But while this has been been forgotten due to how it fits into neither party’s partisan narratives while also raising disturbing questions about America’s fattest sacred cow, Diversity, the evidence was laid out in a long news story in the New York Times in late 2008:

White House Philosophy Stoked Mortgage Bonfire

In June 2002, President Bush spoke in Atlanta to unveil a plan to increase minority homeownership.

By Jo Becker, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Stephen Labaton
Dec. 20, 2008

“We can put light where there’s darkness, and hope where there’s despondency in this country. And part of it is working together as a nation to encourage folks to own their own home.” — President Bush, Oct. 15, 2002

That quote is from Bush’s White House Conference on Increasing Minority Homeownership

WASHINGTON — The global financial system was teetering on the edge of collapse …

Mr. Bush, according to several people in the room, paused for a single, stunned moment to take it all in.

“How,” he wondered aloud, “did we get here?”

Eight years after arriving in Washington vowing to spread the dream of homeownership, Mr. Bush is leaving office, as he himself said recently, “faced with the prospect of a global meltdown” with roots in the housing sector he so ardently championed.

There are plenty of culprits, like lenders who peddled easy credit, consumers who took on mortgages they could not afford and Wall Street chieftains who loaded up on mortgage-backed securities without regard to the risk.

But the story of how we got here is partly one of Mr. Bush’s own making, according to a review of his tenure that included interviews with dozens of current and former administration officials.

From his earliest days in office, Mr. Bush paired his belief that Americans do best when they own their own home with his conviction that markets do best when let alone.

He pushed hard to expand homeownership, especially among minorities, an initiative that dovetailed with his ambition to expand the Republican tent — and with the business interests of some of his biggest donors. But his housing policies and hands-off approach to regulation encouraged lax lending standards.

Mr. Bush did foresee the danger posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored mortgage finance giants.

… But Mr. Hennessey did say he regretted that the administration did not pay more heed to the dangers of easy lending practices. And both Mr. Paulson and his predecessor, John W. Snow, say the housing push went too far.

“The Bush administration took a lot of pride that homeownership had reached historic highs,” Mr. Snow said in an interview. “But what we forgot in the process was that it has to be done in the context of people being able to afford their house. We now realize there was a high cost.”…

Lawrence B. Lindsey, Mr. Bush’s first chief economics adviser, said there was little impetus to raise alarms about the proliferation of easy credit that was helping Mr. Bush meet housing goals.

“No one wanted to stop that bubble,” Mr. Lindsey said. “It would have conflicted with the president’s own policies.” …

The president declined to be interviewed for this article. But in recent weeks Mr. Bush has shared his views of how the nation came to the brink of economic disaster. He cites corporate greed and market excesses fueled by a flood of foreign cash — “Wall Street got drunk,” he has said — and the policies of past administrations.

… But in private moments, aides say, the president is looking inward. During a recent ride aboard Marine One, the presidential helicopter, Mr. Bush sounded a reflective note.

“We absolutely wanted to increase homeownership,” Tony Fratto, his deputy press secretary, recalled him saying. “But we never wanted lenders to make bad decisions.”

A Policy Gone Awry

Darrin West could not believe it. The president of the United States was standing in his living room.

It was June 17, 2002, a day Mr. West recalls as “the highlight of my life.” Mr. Bush, in Atlanta to unveil a plan to increase the number of minority homeowners by 5.5 million, was touring Park Place South, a development of starter homes in a neighborhood once marked by blight and crime.

Mr. West had patrolled there as a police officer, and now he was the proud owner of a $130,000 town house, bought with an adjustable-rate mortgage and a $20,000 government loan as his down payment — just the sort of creative public-private financing Mr. Bush was promoting.

“Part of economic security,” Mr. Bush declared that day, “is owning your own home.”

A lot has changed since then. Mr. West, beset by personal problems, left Atlanta. Unable to sell his home for what he owed, he said, he gave it back to the bank last year. Like other communities across America, Park Place South has been hit with a foreclosure crisis affecting at least 10 percent of its 232 homes, according to Masharn Wilson, a developer who led Mr. Bush’s tour.

“I just don’t think what he envisioned was actually carried out,” she said.

Park Place South is, in microcosm, the story of a well-intentioned policy gone awry.

Advocating homeownership is hardly novel; the Clinton administration did it, too. For Mr. Bush, it was part of his vision of an “ownership society,” in which Americans would rely less on the government for health care, retirement and shelter. It was also good politics, a way to court black and Hispanic voters.

But for much of Mr. Bush’s tenure, government statistics show, incomes for most families remained relatively stagnant while housing prices skyrocketed. That put homeownership increasingly out of reach for first-time buyers like Mr. West.

So Mr. Bush had to, in his words, “use the mighty muscle of the federal government” to meet his goal. He proposed affordable housing tax incentives. He insisted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac meet ambitious new goals for low-income lending.

Concerned that down payments were a barrier, Mr. Bush persuaded Congress to spend up to $200 million a year to help first-time buyers with down payments and closing costs.

This American Dream Down Payment Assistance Act that Bush signed in December 2003 was just a drop in the bucket, but I think it was politically significant in signaling that not just the Administration but also Congress was on board with lowering traditional credit standards for mortgages.

And he pushed to allow first-time buyers to qualify for federally insured mortgages with no money down. Republican Congressional leaders and some housing advocates balked, arguing that homeowners with no stake in their investments would be more prone to walk away, as Mr. West did. Many economic experts, including some in the White House, now share that view.

The president also leaned on mortgage brokers and lenders to devise their own innovations. “Corporate America,” he said, “has a responsibility to work to make America a compassionate place.”

And corporate America, eyeing a lucrative market, delivered in ways Mr. Bush might not have expected, with a proliferation of too-good-to-be-true teaser rates and interest-only loans that were sold to investors in a loosely regulated environment.

“This administration made decisions that allowed the free market to operate as a barroom brawl instead of a prize fight,” said L. William Seidman, who advised Republican presidents and led the savings and loan bailout in the 1990s. “To make the market work well, you have to have a lot of rules.”

But Mr. Bush populated the financial system’s alphabet soup of oversight agencies with people who, like him, wanted fewer rules, not more.

Like Minds on Laissez-Faire

The president’s first chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission promised a “kinder, gentler” agency. The second was pushed out amid industry complaints that he was too aggressive. Under its current leader, the agency failed to police the catastrophic decisions that toppled the investment bank Bear Stearns and contributed to the current crisis, according to a recent inspector general’s report.

As for Mr. Bush’s banking regulators, they once brandished a chain saw over a 9,000-page pile of regulations as they promised to ease burdens on the industry. When states tried to use consumer protection laws to crack down on predatory lending, the comptroller of the currency blocked the effort, asserting that states had no authority over national banks.

The administration won that fight at the Supreme Court. But Roy Cooper, North Carolina’s attorney general, said, “They took 50 sheriffs off the beat at a time when lending was becoming the Wild West.”

The president did push rules aimed at forcing lenders to more clearly explain loan terms. But the White House shelved them in 2004, after industry-friendly members of Congress threatened to block confirmation of his new housing secretary.

… Among the Republican Party’s top 10 donors in 2004 was Roland Arnall. He founded Ameriquest, then the nation’s largest lender in the subprime market, which focuses on less creditworthy borrowers. In July 2005, the company agreed to set aside $325 million to settle allegations in 30 states that it had preyed on borrowers with hidden fees and ballooning payments. It was an early signal that deceptive lending practices, which would later set off a wave of foreclosures, were widespread.

Andrew H. Card Jr., Mr. Bush’s former chief of staff, said White House aides discussed Ameriquest’s troubles, though not what they might portend for the economy. Mr. Bush had just nominated Mr. Arnall as his ambassador to the Netherlands, and the White House was primarily concerned with making sure he would be confirmed.

“Maybe I was asleep at the switch,” Mr. Card said in an interview.

Brian Montgomery, the Federal Housing Administration commissioner, understood the significance. His agency insures home loans, traditionally for the same low-income minority borrowers Mr. Bush wanted to help. When he arrived in June 2005, he was shocked to find those customers had been lured away by the “fool’s gold” of subprime loans. The Ameriquest settlement, he said, reinforced his concern that the industry was exploiting borrowers.

In December 2005, Mr. Montgomery drafted a memo and brought it to the White House. “I don’t think this is what the president had in mind here,” he recalled telling Ryan Streeter, then the president’s chief housing policy analyst.

It was an opportunity to address the risky subprime lending practices head on. But that was never seriously discussed. More senior aides, like Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s chief political strategist, were wary of overly regulating an industry that, Mr. Rove said in an interview, provided “a valuable service to people who could not otherwise get credit.” While he had some concerns about the industry’s practices, he said, “it did provide an opportunity for people, a lot of whom are still in their houses today.”

In defense of Bush and Rove, they were Texans familiar with Texas’s reasonable home prices rather than with California’s outlandish home prices. In Texas, a boost in demand for homes leads to a spate of new supply within a year or so. But in California, a boost in demand sets off years of regulatory siege warfare during which prices spike.

For example, I did some research years ago intending to show that one of Bush’s political allies in his Increasing Minority Homeownership push — a black minister in the suburbs of Houston who had started his own housing tract for his congregation — turned into a disaster. But when I looked it up in 2009 or 2010, the people who had bought homes were largely doing okay, still making their payments. Why? Because these houses outside Houston had only cost $90,000.

Increasing Minority Homeownership isn’t at all a bad idea at $90,000 for a new house.

 
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  1. So Mr. Bush had to, in his words, “use the mighty muscle of the federal government” to meet his goal.

    Pretty much sums up why many people fear a Bernie Sanders presidency.

    • Replies: @Kronos
    Many people in government (who should’ve known better) went along with Bush’s policies. They’ll kick and buck under Sanders for sure. Trump’s been having one hell of a ride.
    , @Prester John
    And which is why, if by some miracle he DOES get elected, Sanders will either have to shelve all his bulls**t "promises" or face an emasculated (and one-term) presidency.

    This country wasn't built on fantasies spewed out by Greenwich Village coffee house pseudo-intellectuals or their linear descendants at Vox, The Atlantic, Slate or at Ivy liberal arts departments.
  2. I’m betting not more than 1% of those minority home owners switched Parties.

    • Agree: Charon
  3. The essential problem behind all of this, is the leftist philosophy that America is not really a nation, populated by the American people, but that it is instead an enormous cookie jar, and everybody on earth deserves a cookie. And that the browner you are, the more cookies you magically deserve. We are racistly oppressing the entire world by not letting them all come live here instead of in their sh!tholes, which by the way are definitely NOT sh!tholes. And the fact that White people built a paradise out of a wilderness in record time, whereas Africans and Bangladeshis had roughly 30,000 years to make something that was not a sh!thole, and somehow failed to prioritize this goal, says nothing about anything.

    The rot became obvious (it was already there) when George W. Bush, may his future torments in Hell be doubled, made the ridiculous, Shucks-guess-I-just-really-hate-Americans statement, “Family values don’t end at the Rio Grande.” Nobody in authority took the trouble to point out, “But the U.S. border DOES end at the Rio Grande: no one is saying that these millions of moochers can’t have families, they just can’t have them HERE.”

    The fact that the duly elected Chief Executive of the United States could say to the American people with a perfectly straight face, “I don’t care at all about this country or its people, I am just going to prioritize my poorly thought-out personal beliefs instead” and he was not strung from a lamp post on the spot, tells you all you need to know about the depth of hypnosis. America is not a nation, it’s a cookie jar.

    Here, endless tidal waves of dusky begging paupers, have another cookie. There’s infinite cookies after all. I don’t actually know that, I mean I haven’t really checked. But I bet there are. I think I saw it on Rick and Morty.

    • Agree: Hail
    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    The best way to help poor dark-skinned in America would be to build lots of affordable housing and let them rent it at a low cost. Or he could've given them the housing for free. However, Bush didn't do that. Why? It's because helping non-whites acquire cheap housing wasn't his primary motivation.

    Bush's primary motivation was to pump up the economy through real estate, which benefited huge numbers of contractors, brokers, speculators, developers, investors, etc.

    Even in the absence of large numbers of non-white immigrants, there likely would've been a huge mortgage bubble. According to Ron Unz, Blacks and Hispanics only accounted for 10-15% of the mortgage defaults (in dollars).

    Bush was an irresponsible and incompetent President who coasted to reelection for 3 reasons.

    1. He whipped up hysteria about Iraq having "weapons of mass destruction." By invading Iraq, he pushed up his poll ratings (Americans love war).
    2. He juiced up the economy through deregulating the mortgage market, and further injecting in govt cash (through Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae).
    3. He juiced up the economy further through massive defense spending.

    None of that was done to help Non-White people. If Bush wanted to help Non-White people, he'd just send them larger welfare checks, not engage in this subprime mortgage gimmickry.
    , @MBlanc46
    Hear, hear!
  4. MIT finance professor Deborah Lucas showed that the total dollar amount of mortgage default was dominated by the (upper) middle class. White people in California with $500K-$1MM mortgages cost a lot more money than blacks in Mississippi with $80K mortgages.

    • Replies: @res
    Do you have a link to where she did that? I don't doubt it is true, but would like to see the analysis.

    It is worth considering whether the demographics of those causing the most loss in the end were the same as those who initially defaulted triggering the crisis.
    , @Travis
    good point.

    most of the losses were due to the Synthetic bonds (CDOs) and the insurance (swaps) sold on the bonds. The amount of money lost on the actual sub-prime mortgages was less than $500 billion but the losses on the synthetic mortgage backed securities was closer to $4 Trillion. The big institutions lost even more on the Credit Default Swaps.. The derivatives were worth much more than the underlining Mortgage backed securities. The derivatives (CDOs and Swaps) were worth 50 times as much as the actual mortgages.

    Credit default swaps came into existence in 1994 when they were invented by JP Morgan. They became popular in the early 2000s, and by 2007, the outstanding credit default swaps value stood at $90 trillion. During the financial crisis of 2008, the value of CDS was hit hard, and it dropped to $26.3 trillion by 2010.

    in 2007 there was only $1 trillion in sub-prime debt sold , yet the investment banks created $9 trillion in synthetic bonds (CDOs) to meet demand and then sold $70 Trillion worth of credit swaps on the bonds...this is the reason AIG went under, they were selling insurance on the mortgage backed securities and were unable to pay the firms who bought the swaps.

    The Banks became insolvent and needed to be bailed out because of the insurance they sold on the bonds and the leverage they created via the synthetic debt instruments they created.

    If the banks never created the synthetic bonds and then sold swaps on the debt the crisis would have been largely avoided but John Paulson would not be a billionaire today if Goldman did not create synthetic mortgage backed securities for him to short. Goldman lost $100 Million on the deal, while the other long investors lost $900 million and Paulson made $1 Billion via the ABACUS CDO. This is the transaction which made John Paulson a billionaire while bankrupting a German Bank and ACA Capital. While a few people became wealthy from these CDOs , many firms went bankrupt because they were on the wrong side of the trade. For every winner there was a loser. But the losers were typically banks and insurance firms, while the winners were the hedge funds. The winners were small hedge funds with a few employees while the losers were the big firms, pension funds, banks with thousands of employees.
    , @Desiderius
    White hispanics. Don’t let the AWFLs fool you.
  5. (i) “working together as a nation”: too fascistic for my tastes (except in the face of some great emergency).

    (ii) “to encourage folks”: oh, dear God, spare us from “folks”. Please, God, please. Would I be more persuasive, God, if I referred to it as “fölkisch” rhetoric?

    This sort of twaddle was hard to bear from a dim bulb such as W. It was impossible to bear from a brighter bulb like O.

  6. The NYT narrative is all about so-called “deregulation” and misses the real point. Many regulations , direct and indirect, stoked the fire, not the least of which was requiring Fannie Mae to buy bad paper. It was the intervention environment that requires offsetting regulations to prevent the worst abuses of the new rules rather than lack of regulation per se.

    “use the mighty muscle of the federal government” to meet his goal.“ sets off all sorts or reactions that are hard to control . It is fair to criticize Bush for not addressing the ensuing chaos, but calling it free market is bizarre.

  7. “his conviction that markets do best when let alone.”

    This had a lot to do with it. Synthetic derivatives, paid-off ratings agencies, mortgage agents incentivized to make lots of loans regardless of quality, rent-seeking via Wall Street bribery of politicians and revolving door jobs for regulators, captured corporate financial press: all due to private market actors.

    Surely that “conviction” about markets doing best when unregulated had something to do with the massive influx of campaign contributions from the financial sector.

    • Replies: @midtown
    Most of the time, the free market does correct itself. However, when the federal government intrudes, it makes everyone think the taxpayer will make everyone whole no matter how irresponsible we become. Which is exactly what happened. Let businesses fail. And let interest rates float to their natural levels.
    , @Guy De Champlagne
    It really is embarrassing how few people here realize that the blame rests primarily with the financial sector (aka the ones making trillions of dollars in profits from this whole thing). And remain somehow convinced that people had to be forced to accept the regulations that made them all that money. And are deluded enough to think that George W. Bush and his GOP braintrust would ever do anything of significance solely or even primarily for blacks.and Hispanics as opposed to what everything the GOP ever does anything for, which is to help rich people and large businesses. Financiers bought off all these (corrupt, shakedown operation) civil rights groups just like Bloomberg is doing with his presidential run and all the dummies here are buying it hook, line, and sinker and thinking they originated this whole thing.

    Free market fundamentalism is just as stupid and evil as equality fundamentalism.

  8. Common sense says that home ownership will be good for some people and bad for others. Experience confirms this.

    Small things come up. Windows need repainting, bathtubs caulking, holes in walls spackling, GFIC sockets replacing, branches trimming. Ownership works much better for people with the interests, skills and resources to tackle these jobs. Or with the income to dedicate to hiring folks to do them.

    Big things happen: furnaces fail, roofs leak, termites damage, trees lean. An aptitude for planning and saving is a big help.

    Being a decent tenant is much less demanding — if you are on the left side of the income distribution and DIY isn’t for you, put the effort into finding a good landlord, instead.

    GW Bush’s idea that owning a home is an essential part of The American Dream has caused a lot of needless heartbreak for working class people, especially non-traditional families.

    • Replies: @Travis
    true, homeownership is not the road to wealth for most people.

    Even when homebuyers have the ability to properly maintain their property, they often will spend much more money on their home than they will get out of it. Looking at my Parents and Grandparents and almost all those in my hometown lost money with their homes.

    This was due to demographic changes to our town, thus homes which sold for $200,000 in 1988 were selling for $200,000 in 2018. Although the township is still 80% white , the public schools are now 40% Black. In 1990 the schools were 99% White, and still 95% white in the year 2000.

    People get attached to their home, neighbors, churches , families etc.. My father wanted to move back in the 90s , but my Mother did not want to leave her parents, friends, church etc...My grandfather still lived in the house he was born in , and would never consider leaving. He saw the changes but could not easily escape the consequences. My maternal grandparents had been part of the white flight out of Philadelphia, but they remained in the inner suburbs , 100 yards from the church they attended daily and in the same town they raised 6 children, all of them still in the area.

    The money my grandparents spent on their home would never be recovered. They bought the home in 1960 , but when calculating the money they spend on the home they did not earn a return over inflation. The home was bought for $18,000 in 1959 and sold for $195,000 in 2018. But they easily spent over $100,000 on the home over the last 30 years they owned it, replacing the roof, heating system, adding Air conditioning, new Kitchen , new bathrooms, etc...$18,000 invested in Gold in 1960 would be worth $750,000 today.
    , @Kronos

    GW Bush’s idea that owning a home is an essential part of The American Dream has caused a lot of needless heartbreak for working class people, especially non-traditional families.
     
    But was it really Bush or the electorate that desired home ownership?
    , @Jim Don Bob
    Right. Some people have no more aptitude for DIY work than I do for oil painting. It's almost like these qualities are, dare I say, somehow genetic in nature.

    Nah! SMDH!
  9. Anonymous[256] • Disclaimer says:

    Whatever the forensic details of the proximate cause of the MMM, it must be born in mind that that time period, the turn of the millennium, represents something epochal in economic history namely, the addition of *hundreds of millions* of tradeable wage industrial workers to the globalized economy. Namely the rise of China to industrial, manufacturing, export and economic dominance.
    Nothing like this has been seen before – or indeed will ever been seen again in world economic history.
    Surely, the shockwaves expressed themselves in odd and unexpected ways.

    Also, we must acknowledge the addition to the US economy of millions upon millions of the lowly productive – to an economy predicated on high worker productivity.
    Surely, this too, must make itself manifest in unexpected ways.

    • Agree: Hail
  10. And yet today we still see housing advocates push for homeownership for low income people. A local branch of Habitat for Humanity recently decided to bless a family of eight who were refugees from Africa with a newly built 2000 SF house.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    CRA was already destroying HfH through corporatization when I was there in the 1990s.

    I headed up the first combined audit of all Habitat affiliates in 1996. Despite the best Program Ratio in the nonprofit world on an aggregate level you could see the problems creeping in Caldwell-style with big urban affiliates paying as much in salaries and environmental Danegeld as building materials.

    As with Steve’s example, Houston was a holdout/leader in doing it right.
    , @Anonymous
    I dislike Habitat for Humanity. It picks winners and losers. Too many community resources are used to benefit too few people.
    , @notsaying
    The houses from Habitat for Humanity are mortgage-free, aren't they?

    If so then lower-income families can afford to keep them up unless something truly unlucky and/or disastrous happens.

    But that's a genuine exception. For ordinary low income people who can barely afford their monthly mortgage payment and taxes, they are one job loss or major repair bill away from foreclosure. Putting people in that position on purpose is just nuts.

    And yet I just got an email today from the Mayor Pete campaign about his housing plans. He has plans to spend hundreds of billions on housing for lower income Americans. Whatever you think of him, he is right about rental housing: lower income Americans can't afford housing anymore and to get the number of housing units we need for them the federal government will have to step in and pay lots of money to build millions of units. He points out that already "over 30 percent of U.S. households pay nearly a third of their income on rent and almost half of those pay over half of their income on rent." Thank you to all those who allowed mass migration to happen and the gentrifiers too we now have millions of families who can't afford rent. And this will only get worse as the years go by and our population continues to increase.

    But I do disagree with the plan to

    "Enable 1 million households to become first-time homebuyers by investing $4 billion in matching funds to scale successful low-income homeownership programs.
     
    "Low income" and "homeowner" do not belong together unless you give the family the house for free.

    It's another George Bush-style disaster in the making.

    https://peteforamerica.com/policies/housing/?emci=d786dfcf-3751-ea11-a94c-00155d039e74&emdi=bc1e6d26-9151-ea11-a94c-00155d039e74&ceid=1569000
  11. IIRC, a key milestone was passed in 2003, when Freddie Mac slashed underwriting standards. I believe nearly all the underwater properties to be found, ca. 2009, carried mortgages which were issued after 2003.

    Truckling to leftoid culture in certain venues was a Bush signature. The Bushes, father and son, worked to defuse Republican opposition to racial preference schemes (see Bush the Younger’s preferred scheme for allocating admissions slots at the University of Texas) and adopted marketing strategies (‘kinder, gentler nation’; ‘compassionate conservatisim’) which legitimated the social worker mentality by implicitly conceding points to the social work lobby.

    • Thanks: Hail
  12. You don’t need many rules if you enforce a small number of vital ones. Of course…..enforcement of the rules is racist!

  13. Rather shocked that the author hasn’t been struggle sessioned yet! Particularly regarding the fact that is article is in the NYT of all places!

    Perhaps deplorable opinions are more acceptable from Big Bucks Bloomberg.

  14. @Arclight
    And yet today we still see housing advocates push for homeownership for low income people. A local branch of Habitat for Humanity recently decided to bless a family of eight who were refugees from Africa with a newly built 2000 SF house.

    CRA was already destroying HfH through corporatization when I was there in the 1990s.

    I headed up the first combined audit of all Habitat affiliates in 1996. Despite the best Program Ratio in the nonprofit world on an aggregate level you could see the problems creeping in Caldwell-style with big urban affiliates paying as much in salaries and environmental Danegeld as building materials.

    As with Steve’s example, Houston was a holdout/leader in doing it right.

    • Replies: @Kronos

    As with Steve’s example, Houston was a holdout/leader in doing it right.
     
    Who was the absolute worst?
  15. Trillions of dollars have been taken from Whites to push these schemes. Justice requires some kind of financial restitution.

  16. Is the recent panic over redlining just an organic growth of the woke hivemind? Or is it deliberately being pushed in order to preemptively shut down any dissent during an upcoming minority mortgage bubble?

  17. Uh do you guys even no about slavery, redlining, jim crow, colonialism, concentratin camps, exclusion, white flight, hair terrorism and trolling?

    Do you now understand how People of Color and women live in fear everyday

    Watch the vlogbrothers

    • Replies: @anon
    Uh do you guys even no

    Meghan Trainor, is that you?
    , @Reg Cæsar
    https://mtdinotrail.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Anatotitan.png
  18. Remember that this article was written before the arrival of The Good Black Man a/k/a “The Magic Negro.” I’m surprised it’s still available.

  19. @bomag

    So Mr. Bush had to, in his words, “use the mighty muscle of the federal government” to meet his goal.
     
    Pretty much sums up why many people fear a Bernie Sanders presidency.

    Many people in government (who should’ve known better) went along with Bush’s policies. They’ll kick and buck under Sanders for sure. Trump’s been having one hell of a ride.

    • Replies: @bomag
    Much truth in what you say, but Sanders will find more sympathy in the Permanent State than Trump.
  20. @bomag

    So Mr. Bush had to, in his words, “use the mighty muscle of the federal government” to meet his goal.
     
    Pretty much sums up why many people fear a Bernie Sanders presidency.

    And which is why, if by some miracle he DOES get elected, Sanders will either have to shelve all his bulls**t “promises” or face an emasculated (and one-term) presidency.

    This country wasn’t built on fantasies spewed out by Greenwich Village coffee house pseudo-intellectuals or their linear descendants at Vox, The Atlantic, Slate or at Ivy liberal arts departments.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123

    This country wasn’t built on fantasies spewed out by Greenwich Village coffee house pseudo-intellectuals or their linear descendants at Vox, The Atlantic, Slate or at Ivy liberal arts departments.

     

    Of course not. It was built on fantasies of "weapons of mass destruction," foreign wars, and endless celebration of "the troops." All of which have cost the country countless trillions of dollars.

    If Bernie's promises are unaffordable, it's because the Conservatives and bipartisan "Centrists" spent the national inheritance on all these wars. Since everybody (including many "Greenwich Village coffee house pseudo-intellectuals") are afraid of being slurred as "unpatriotic," people just keep their mouth as trillions are burned away.

    The reality is that Bernie's ideas have worked just fine in Scandinavia and could work just fine here. However, due to our coming national bankruptcy, his ideas can't be financed.

    Though to be fair, neither can Trump's massive tax cuts.
    , @Jonathan Mason

    This country wasn’t built on fantasies spewed out by Greenwich Village coffee house pseudo-intellectuals
     
    Well, coffee stimulates the brain, and maybe that is what is needed so that the US can catch up with every single other developed country and have a universal health care system that is affordable enough so that people can get necessary health care and avoid medical bankruptcy when they have a serious injury or terminal condition.

    Many people on this page believe this is impossible because they have been brainwashed into believing that such a thing is a fantasy. So look at what other countries are doing!

    If the Republicans don't like what Bernie is running on, then why don't they come up with some better ideas?

  21. @ic1000
    Common sense says that home ownership will be good for some people and bad for others. Experience confirms this.

    Small things come up. Windows need repainting, bathtubs caulking, holes in walls spackling, GFIC sockets replacing, branches trimming. Ownership works much better for people with the interests, skills and resources to tackle these jobs. Or with the income to dedicate to hiring folks to do them.

    Big things happen: furnaces fail, roofs leak, termites damage, trees lean. An aptitude for planning and saving is a big help.

    Being a decent tenant is much less demanding -- if you are on the left side of the income distribution and DIY isn't for you, put the effort into finding a good landlord, instead.

    GW Bush's idea that owning a home is an essential part of The American Dream has caused a lot of needless heartbreak for working class people, especially non-traditional families.

    true, homeownership is not the road to wealth for most people.

    Even when homebuyers have the ability to properly maintain their property, they often will spend much more money on their home than they will get out of it. Looking at my Parents and Grandparents and almost all those in my hometown lost money with their homes.

    This was due to demographic changes to our town, thus homes which sold for $200,000 in 1988 were selling for $200,000 in 2018. Although the township is still 80% white , the public schools are now 40% Black. In 1990 the schools were 99% White, and still 95% white in the year 2000.

    People get attached to their home, neighbors, churches , families etc.. My father wanted to move back in the 90s , but my Mother did not want to leave her parents, friends, church etc…My grandfather still lived in the house he was born in , and would never consider leaving. He saw the changes but could not easily escape the consequences. My maternal grandparents had been part of the white flight out of Philadelphia, but they remained in the inner suburbs , 100 yards from the church they attended daily and in the same town they raised 6 children, all of them still in the area.

    The money my grandparents spent on their home would never be recovered. They bought the home in 1960 , but when calculating the money they spend on the home they did not earn a return over inflation. The home was bought for $18,000 in 1959 and sold for $195,000 in 2018. But they easily spent over $100,000 on the home over the last 30 years they owned it, replacing the roof, heating system, adding Air conditioning, new Kitchen , new bathrooms, etc…$18,000 invested in Gold in 1960 would be worth $750,000 today.

  22. Anonymous[264] • Disclaimer says:

    The president also leaned on mortgage brokers and lenders to devise their own innovations. “Corporate America,” he said, “has a responsibility to work to make America a compassionate place.”

    And corporate America, eyeing a lucrative market, delivered in ways Mr. Bush might not have expected, with a proliferation of too-good-to-be-true teaser rates and interest-only loans that were sold to investors in a loosely regulated environment.

    It makes me sad – and angry – that the people who’ve been running our country are this fu****g stupid and greedy.

    • Replies: @res

    It makes me sad – and angry – that the people who’ve been running our country are this fu****g stupid and greedy.
     
    Not to mention that so few seem to have actually learned anything from the experience.
  23. @Arclight
    And yet today we still see housing advocates push for homeownership for low income people. A local branch of Habitat for Humanity recently decided to bless a family of eight who were refugees from Africa with a newly built 2000 SF house.

    I dislike Habitat for Humanity. It picks winners and losers. Too many community resources are used to benefit too few people.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
    • Replies: @res
    That is a problem with many selective aid programs. I sometimes wonder how much corruption is going on behind the scenes in various affordable housing programs (i.e. who gets accepted).
  24. demonstrate a single policy that dictated, authorized promoted, lending to people who could not meet their mortgage schedule.

  25. Name a single policy that required or encouraged WS to bundle grade “D” products as “A” products and sell them as grade “A”.

    Note a single policy that encouraged calculating formulas that hid balloon payments to unsophisticated buyers.

    Name a single policy that encouraged lending to people who had no employment, or ability to afford a standard down payment .

    Name a single policy that mandated offering loans to people that did not meet the standards afforded to the general population to which the same standards would apply.

    The Basel Accords which encouraged or relaxed loan risk to bank liquidity had nothing to do with the Pres. Bush’s policies to standardize home lending so that it did not target certain populations who could meet the standards applied generally.

    ————————

    To be clear my comments do not ignore that people should have examined their amoritization schedules from start to end which should have included the balloon payments. But even if they had for those engaged in misleading the balloon payments would not have been in their formulas.

    Name a single policy that encouraged pension fund managers to invest in home mortgage products with investigating the value of the products and how they were calculated as a matter of due diligence.

  26. It’s Cargo Cult thinking that has driven U.S. Housing policy since probably LBJ, perhaps earlier.

    The thought seems to go that married middle class people are generally the least trouble and the most productive, stable and self-sufficient. Their communities are generally success stories – the kind of social outcomes that you’d like to take credit for if you’re a politician.

    So, you reason that what you need to do is get poorly behaving people who aren’t productive to behave like normal married middle class people. You figure that if the underclass started behaving like decent middle class folks, your societies’ metrics of well being would improve and you could take credit for the improvement. So what do most decent middle class folks have? They have a home and a mortgage. You take the poorly performing underclass people and put them in a salt box with a picket fence and a mortgage, and they’re bound to start behaving like the sorts of people with homes and mortgages, right?

    It was the same ideological madness that doomed middle class white urban neighborhoods and led to white flight. What the black people need is to get out of their bad neighborhoods with high crime and poverty. So we’ll just move whole dysfunctional black families from their neighborhoods and into existing good and functioning neighborhoods. In short order they’ll come to behave just like those middle class white folks who are employed and don’t commit much serious crime, right?

    In all cases, the adage “a rotten apple spoils the bunch” made much more practical sense.

    It turns out that the house and mortgage are the product of certain behaviors and habits, rather than the cause of those behaviors and habits. As a social project, inculcating those behaviors and habits in adults is much more difficult than just giving them houses for a time.

    • Replies: @Hail

    It’s Cargo Cult thinking
     

    It turns out that the house and mortgage are the product of certain behaviors and habits, rather than the cause of those behaviors and habits. As a social project, inculcating those behaviors and habits in adults is much more difficult than just giving them houses for a time.
     
    That is a great metaphor.

    But I wonder how much of it was truly deluded/misguided, another one of the small "political cargo cults" to which we are accustomed, and how much was cynical, simply racial vote-pandering?

    In other words, a true cargo cult really believes their new religion.

  27. I’ll also add from personal experience on the creditor’s rights end of things that a lot of the post 2008 residential mortgage defaults I saw were Puerto Ricans who had come to the mainland for unskilled and low skilled work in the 2000s. Lots of them had no fluency in the English language whatsoever.

    The sense I got was that when things went bad it wasn’t such a big deal for them. Many, I think, contemplated living in the home until it was sold – delaying things as long as possible – with perhaps the ultimate fall back plan of eventually returning to Puerto Rico all else being equal.

    So, in a way home ownership in the mainland U.S. was more of a hedge than a long term dedicated plan.

  28. Government is the shadow cast by business and almost all charities, superficially noble-sounding policies, and fake movements are the plots of vile oligarches. The reasonable reaction is to become suspicious of moral-sounding government pronouncements.
    ——
    Speaking of which, one (1) of the Virginia State House’s attacks on our foundational law has been “shelved” (which is like tabled*, or kicked out of the running but not totally gone). Maybe this will be how they all go. But remember that Mike Bloomberg’s personally sponsored attacks on our foundational law were deliberately formed in their interlocking thousands, redudant and well-reinforced, so stopping one law is like unhorsing one Mongol.
    *Where is it the case that “tabled” is used in opposite ways? Was it that American tabled is killed and British tabled is presented?

  29. If I had to apportion blame for the meltdown it would go Clinton 70%, Bush 30%. The seeds had already been planted by 2000. The government tapeworms were busy undermining decades of common sense regs and they weren’t going anywhere. Bush could have stopped it, but he was an idiot. Anyway he and Clinton were part of the same cartel.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    "The seeds had already been planted by 2000. "

    See City Journal of that year, Howard Husock.

    https://www.city-journal.org/html/trillion-dollar-bank-shakedown-bodes-ill-cities-12096.html
  30. “How,” he wondered aloud, “did we get here?”

    You may find yourself in a beautiful house
    and you may wonder aloud, well
    How did we get here?

  31. @ic1000
    Common sense says that home ownership will be good for some people and bad for others. Experience confirms this.

    Small things come up. Windows need repainting, bathtubs caulking, holes in walls spackling, GFIC sockets replacing, branches trimming. Ownership works much better for people with the interests, skills and resources to tackle these jobs. Or with the income to dedicate to hiring folks to do them.

    Big things happen: furnaces fail, roofs leak, termites damage, trees lean. An aptitude for planning and saving is a big help.

    Being a decent tenant is much less demanding -- if you are on the left side of the income distribution and DIY isn't for you, put the effort into finding a good landlord, instead.

    GW Bush's idea that owning a home is an essential part of The American Dream has caused a lot of needless heartbreak for working class people, especially non-traditional families.

    GW Bush’s idea that owning a home is an essential part of The American Dream has caused a lot of needless heartbreak for working class people, especially non-traditional families.

    But was it really Bush or the electorate that desired home ownership?

    • Replies: @Hail
    People are told what they want and believe it.

    The iSteve comment-readership often has to remind itself that most people don't do much independent thinking and believe what they are told uncriticially.

    One thing that also surprises many is how little home-ownership rates correlate in other relatively wealthy nations with success. A glance at t he numbers suggests a negative correlation, even if unlikely to be causal.

    Take a look at this graph on home ownership rate in Europe; look at the types of nations at the top and those at bottom:

    ("Home Truth: Ownership Rates in Europe," 2007 and 2016)

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EQ_pCxOWkAItRt_.jpg
    , @anon
    But was it really Bush or the electorate that desired home ownership?

    Lots of people do not understand the difference between correlation and causation. Combine that with blank slate ideology and it's easy to assume "mortgaged house -> middle class lifestyle", when in facts it's more the other way around. But the other way around is hard, taking time and effort. Much easier to just hand out NINJA loans, at least for a while.
  32. @Desiderius
    CRA was already destroying HfH through corporatization when I was there in the 1990s.

    I headed up the first combined audit of all Habitat affiliates in 1996. Despite the best Program Ratio in the nonprofit world on an aggregate level you could see the problems creeping in Caldwell-style with big urban affiliates paying as much in salaries and environmental Danegeld as building materials.

    As with Steve’s example, Houston was a holdout/leader in doing it right.

    As with Steve’s example, Houston was a holdout/leader in doing it right.

    Who was the absolute worst?

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    That’s proprietary. I can say it wouldn’t take many guesses.
  33. “In defense of Bush and Rove”

    No. There is no defense.

    Bush was blatantly trying to buy votes with other people’s money, making his allies rich in the process. Exact same thing as Bill Clinton, just with more focus on a different racial group.

    The coincidence that it dovetailed with some of your theories (affordable family formation, etc) never crossed anyone’s mind, because the people making the decisions wanted money and votes, not kids.

    Every public statement you cited in this article isn’t what bush, rove, etc thought about the issue, or an insight into their motivations. They are just rationalizations (sometimes after the fact) created for the general public who think that the people on TV or in the newspaper are on their side, and care about them, and have something in common with them, or (come down to it) even inhabit the same universe as them.

    The biggest mistake Bush and Rove made was inducing stupid people into long term commitments (ie mortgages), which is something stupid people are notoriously poor at maintaining. If bush (or any president or govt) REALLY wanted to buy votes without a threat to the financial system, they’d give free money for APARTMENT LEASES, a type of home that appeals to the dumb and short sighted AND bankers and real estate developers.

  34. Ah, it got started with Bill Clinton a few years earlier, see, e.g….

    https://www.nytimes.com/1999/09/30/business/fannie-mae-eases-credit-to-aid-mortgage-lending.html

    “In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

    The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets — including the New York metropolitan region — will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.” (Emphasis added.)

    Can you say “sub-prime mortgage”?.

  35. @Kronos

    GW Bush’s idea that owning a home is an essential part of The American Dream has caused a lot of needless heartbreak for working class people, especially non-traditional families.
     
    But was it really Bush or the electorate that desired home ownership?

    People are told what they want and believe it.

    The iSteve comment-readership often has to remind itself that most people don’t do much independent thinking and believe what they are told uncriticially.

    One thing that also surprises many is how little home-ownership rates correlate in other relatively wealthy nations with success. A glance at t he numbers suggests a negative correlation, even if unlikely to be causal.

    Take a look at this graph on home ownership rate in Europe; look at the types of nations at the top and those at bottom:

    [MORE]

    (“Home Truth: Ownership Rates in Europe,” 2007 and 2016)

    • Replies: @res
    Interesting. Thanks. I wonder what factors are driving those differences? Some possibilities: tax regimes, move frequency, social norms. Any more ideas?

    This article takes a detailed look at Germany which may give some ideas:
    https://qz.com/167887/germany-has-one-of-the-worlds-lowest-homeownership-rates/
    , @Romanian
    The key similarity is not how poor most of them are relative to the Western standard. It is that most of them used to be Communist. The state was the sole builder and owner of homes in the country - most of them small, cramped and in grey blocks, though an improvement for the rural or slum populations which may have only experienced backyard toilets.

    When Communism fell, a vast range of assets were privatized. Most people focus on the state owned companies, factories etc that were undervalued and then looted or became the property of well-connected nouveau riche people. But some of the greatest privatizations, overall, were of individual property - people's homes, which were either given to them for free or for a very small sum. Also, the Eastern countries and Southern ones (which were poor and underdeveloped in recent memory - Portugal etc) have a long-term homeowner mentality that is not present in Western countries, where a lot of people view housing as a consumer product or a sort of commodity and renting is just another option that preserves mobility for career and better opportunities. Comes with the atomization of the individual and the inhibition of social capital formation. This is also starting to happen among the younger generations here, though they usually snap out of it when they (delayed) family formation kicks in.

    My father used to commute to a larger city nearby for a project when I was born in addition to his usual job. Our domicile was in a smaller industrial town where his main workplace was. Being in the strategic sector of metallurgy, he had the privilege of being given a studio apartment in the bigger town, in addition to the two bedroom flat in which he lived with me and my mother (also given by the state a few months before, when I was born; being an engineer meant he was allocated the new home quickly and in a newly built area near the city center). He gave the second home up when the project ended because he did not want another project and to commute any more. A few months later, Communism fell and the homes were privatized. The studio apartment from the bigger city would have been a windfall of around 50-60 thousand euros today. He might have sold it before, it would have been worth 5000 deutschmarks in the late 1990s which was also real money back then.

  36. anon[132] • Disclaimer says:
    @Kronos

    GW Bush’s idea that owning a home is an essential part of The American Dream has caused a lot of needless heartbreak for working class people, especially non-traditional families.
     
    But was it really Bush or the electorate that desired home ownership?

    But was it really Bush or the electorate that desired home ownership?

    Lots of people do not understand the difference between correlation and causation. Combine that with blank slate ideology and it’s easy to assume “mortgaged house -> middle class lifestyle”, when in facts it’s more the other way around. But the other way around is hard, taking time and effort. Much easier to just hand out NINJA loans, at least for a while.

  37. Back in the day Walter Bagehot wrote in Lombard Street that the credit system needs two things: properly collateralized loans that can liquidate the loan upon default; and borrowers that can make their payments.

    If you chuck both of these babies out with the bath water…

    The book is free on Kindle. Read it and you will know more than 97 percent of experts.

  38. I was the recipient of a subprime loan in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1999. I had a very high credit rating, 813, but was quite low in the income Dept. I borrowed 3,000.00 from my boyfriend for the down payment and the mortgage broker pretended the money was from an “Uncle”, as there was a rule that the money has to be loaned by a relative. The broker also put down that I had a “Second job” doing paperwork for my boyfriend’s company.

    The real problem with those loans were the extremely high interest rates. My interest rate was 8.75. At the time, 4.0 rates were common. The difference between the monthly payments for the 2 different rates was important. They also required an escrow account for the taxes. The payments were just too high. Having to pay for all the utilities was also a shock. I shopped around for refis. My mortgage company got wind of it and sent me an overnight package with an offer for a 6.75 with no fees or closing costs. I took it and my payments became much more reasonable. I refied a few years later and took it down to 4.75 and got rid of the escrow. The subprime loan originators had a rule that you had to pay a 4k fee if you refied. Now I am down to 3.75 due to Obama pushing Banks to renegotiate high interest loans.

    A lot of people could have afforded their payments if the interest rates were lower. My house is only 420 sq ft and it’s now worth 450k. I paid 102k for it in ’99. Also many people took the balloon payment options thinking that they could refi again when the higher interest rates took effect. When they tried, they didn’t qualify for the lower interest rates.

  39. In defense of Bush and Rove, they were Texans familiar with Texas’s reasonable home prices rather than with California’s outlandish home prices.

    Increasing Minority Homeownership isn’t at all a bad idea at $90,000 for a new house.

    Good points. Insights like these are one of my favorite things about your blog. One major issue with encouraging the real estate market is that virtually everyone involved (except for the home buyer) wants higher prices. The seller, realtor, lender, city/county/state (property taxes), etc. Add into that the rising market dynamic which makes naive buyers also see price increases as a good thing and it’s easy to see how prices can spiral up until something bad happens.

    The scary thing right now is pondering what a return to historically normal (not to mention 1980s style >10%) interest rates would do to the ability of buyers to pay current prices and the ability of homeowners with ARMs to keep paying their mortgages. (not to mention servicing the national debt!)

    Currently ARMs are 5.5% of all loans (Dec 2019) down from a recent high of 9.2% in Dec 2018.
    https://static.elliemae.com/pdf/origination-insight-reports/EM_OIR_DECEMBER2019.pdf
    That site has reports back to 2012:
    https://www.elliemae.com/mortgage-data/origination-insight-reports

    This is nothing like the >50% (by dollar volume) we saw in mid-2005 though.
    https://www.corelogic.com/blog/2018/11/are-adjustable-rate-mortgages-more-popular-as-mortgages-rates-rise.aspx

    It appears the percentage of adjustable rate mortgages by dollar value is significantly greater than the percentage by number of loans. From the link above (does anyone know of ARM share data going back further in a single dataset?).

    Their analysis of ARM share by metro area and loan size is interesting. For example (notice how much of an outlier San Jose is):

    I’ve included too many graphs already, but also take a look at their Figure 3. The major difference in ARM share pre and post crash is in loans under $1 million. Over $1M the proportion dropped much less.

    Monthly 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Rates Since 1971
    http://www.freddiemac.com/pmms/pmms30.html

    For those who prefer graphics:
    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MORTGAGE30US

    I don’t think this will embed (query string), but let’s give it a try.

    P.S. Another interesting post-crash trend is the increasing median number of years a home is owned:
    https://www.corelogic.com/blog/2016/08/us-economic-outlook-august-2016.aspx

    I wonder if that is a generational artifact (e.g. more baby boomers in homes long term and fewer new buyers in the younger generations, the post mentions something like this)? It would be interesting to see a breakdown of that statistic by homeowner age.

  40. @Hail
    People are told what they want and believe it.

    The iSteve comment-readership often has to remind itself that most people don't do much independent thinking and believe what they are told uncriticially.

    One thing that also surprises many is how little home-ownership rates correlate in other relatively wealthy nations with success. A glance at t he numbers suggests a negative correlation, even if unlikely to be causal.

    Take a look at this graph on home ownership rate in Europe; look at the types of nations at the top and those at bottom:

    ("Home Truth: Ownership Rates in Europe," 2007 and 2016)

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EQ_pCxOWkAItRt_.jpg

    Interesting. Thanks. I wonder what factors are driving those differences? Some possibilities: tax regimes, move frequency, social norms. Any more ideas?

    This article takes a detailed look at Germany which may give some ideas:
    https://qz.com/167887/germany-has-one-of-the-worlds-lowest-homeownership-rates/

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    Switzerland has a very high proportion of foreign residents. Can they own property? If not, that skews the percentage down.
  41. 9/11, yellowcake-lies, 20 year Afghan War, Iraq War and occupation, ballooning debt, lawless border, millions of lost factory jobs……..

    W. Bush was plum awful.

  42. @ic1000
    Common sense says that home ownership will be good for some people and bad for others. Experience confirms this.

    Small things come up. Windows need repainting, bathtubs caulking, holes in walls spackling, GFIC sockets replacing, branches trimming. Ownership works much better for people with the interests, skills and resources to tackle these jobs. Or with the income to dedicate to hiring folks to do them.

    Big things happen: furnaces fail, roofs leak, termites damage, trees lean. An aptitude for planning and saving is a big help.

    Being a decent tenant is much less demanding -- if you are on the left side of the income distribution and DIY isn't for you, put the effort into finding a good landlord, instead.

    GW Bush's idea that owning a home is an essential part of The American Dream has caused a lot of needless heartbreak for working class people, especially non-traditional families.

    Right. Some people have no more aptitude for DIY work than I do for oil painting. It’s almost like these qualities are, dare I say, somehow genetic in nature.

    Nah! SMDH!

  43. Crazy, violent trannies, what a twist edition: crazy violent tranny is a chick (though it clearly says “boy” right on her arm, where she carved it) and tried to use biological gender to get a lighter sentence. This fails and she gets fifty years for being a murderer.
    https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/ezra-mccandless-alex-woodworth-murder-sentencing-why-was-the-word-boy-carved-into-the-arm-of-accused-killer

  44. @Kronos

    As with Steve’s example, Houston was a holdout/leader in doing it right.
     
    Who was the absolute worst?

    That’s proprietary. I can say it wouldn’t take many guesses.

  45. In summation, it was this quintessential act of compassionate conservatism that caused so much disruption for all.

  46. Michael Bloomberg made a 1-minute video targeting Bernie Sanders.

    Go to 14 seconds in the video.

    Apparently, some “Bernie Bros” showed up to a Biden campaign event. They had a coffin with Biden’s name on it.

    • Replies: @Hail
    At 0:15 in that Bernie speech video, it looks like a guy in a "gray" alien mask wanders in front of the podium. Am I the only one who sees it? Something with the lighting. Funny.

    As for the B-man,


    We will not create the energy and excitement we need to defeat Donald Trump if that candidate pursed, advocated for, and enacted, racist policies like Stop & Frisk ...
     
    At this point he was interrupted by cheers.

    ... which caused communities of color in his city to live in fear.
     
  47. Are we about to experience another housing bubble? Housing prices have increased significantly in the last 5 years where I live, and we have a slightly lower cost of living compared to the nation. It may not be official government policy as it was under W, but the banks seem to be pushing for risks again.

    My husband and I are in the top 5 percent of income for our metro. Yet our house is only 5ok more expensive than the average for the area. We could have gone a little bigger for our budget, but nothing that much more enhanced. And we live in the city; lots of folks in a nearby swanky suburb live in large McMansions with neighborhood amenities like pools, gyms, etc. I know for a fact many of these people earn less than us, plus they have children to take care of (go ahead and lambast me but we intend to be DINKs until we are 32-35). There is more family wealth than most Americans know of out there, but not enough to account for all of the barely-middle income people living in nice suburban houses.

    So what gives? Seems like risky mortgages are a thing again.

    • Replies: @notsaying
    Funny you mention this. I just saw a commercial on TV for liar loans: the ones with no income verification and no appraisals. It was the mortgage company that always uses a retired military general in its advertisements (and boy do I hate to see that). Anyway, I haven't seen an ad for liar loans in years and I wish I'd never see another one.

    I think consumer debt is at or near record levels. I think more and more adults 30+ are getting money from their parents.

    Certainly the way real estate prices are going up -- way above the rate of inflation in many places -- it's hard to see where people are getting the money. I'd love to know the answer too.

    Certainly savings are being neglected. These people in the McMansions will not be able to do for their own children what was done for them by their own parents and in-laws. That would make me feel terrible.
    , @Anon
    I used to live in an area like this, but rented. My rent was a third of what it should have been for the area, so I was fortunate (I was paying $500 for a unit that could have easily garnered $1,500 or more).

    Now, I'm blessed. I live completely off the grid in a small cabin that I built on unincorporated land deep in one of the most isolated areas of the Rocky Mountains. My cabin is less than 500 square feet and fully self sufficient.

    My wife and two kids also live here, and the kids are home schooled as we're an Orthodox Christian family and don't support public schools as they're nothing but indoctrination centers.

    Our place has spring water, a water tank, solar panel, wood stove (we'll use this and wool blankets in the winter to save resources), a garden, and much more. We're advocates of natural and holistic health; we consume a mostly raw diet and are all exceptionally healthy.

    We climb mountains, hike, hunt, fish, trap, explore the backcountry, trail run, mountain bike, photograph, canoe, and much more.

    I have my own business and work as a contractor in operational environments.
  48. @res
    Interesting. Thanks. I wonder what factors are driving those differences? Some possibilities: tax regimes, move frequency, social norms. Any more ideas?

    This article takes a detailed look at Germany which may give some ideas:
    https://qz.com/167887/germany-has-one-of-the-worlds-lowest-homeownership-rates/

    Switzerland has a very high proportion of foreign residents. Can they own property? If not, that skews the percentage down.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Switzerland has a very high proportion of foreign residents. Can they own property?
     
    Uhhhh.... kinda... the swiss are a queer folk...

    https://tranio.com/articles/lex_koller_the_swiss_law_that_limits_foreign_property_purchases/
  49. @JohnnyWalker123
    Michael Bloomberg made a 1-minute video targeting Bernie Sanders.

    https://twitter.com/MikeBloomberg/status/1229369357471551488

    Go to 14 seconds in the video.

    Apparently, some "Bernie Bros" showed up to a Biden campaign event. They had a coffin with Biden's name on it.

    At 0:15 in that Bernie speech video, it looks like a guy in a “gray” alien mask wanders in front of the podium. Am I the only one who sees it? Something with the lighting. Funny.

    As for the B-man,

    We will not create the energy and excitement we need to defeat Donald Trump if that candidate pursed, advocated for, and enacted, racist policies like Stop & Frisk …

    At this point he was interrupted by cheers.

    … which caused communities of color in his city to live in fear.

  50. Anonymous[329] • Disclaimer says:

    Increasing Minority Homeownership isn’t at all a bad idea at $90,000 for a new house.

    The problem is too many folks want to buy a $90,000 hose near the beach in Santa Monica.

    A major reason for the lower income housing shortage in Southern California is the over abundance of illegal aliens, partially enabled by their unconstitutional Sanctuary City policy.

    I know of one rental property owner, who owns around 15 different rental properties, who only rents to illegal aliens. The properties are in mostly middle-class areas. He never advertises vacancies. When anyone moves, he puts the word out amongst his “tenants,” and they always find a renter for him. He prefers illegal aliens because they take care of problems themselves. They always know someone who is a plumber or a carpenter, who will take care of any minor problems for free. But what this means is, his properties are effectively off the market for non-illegal aliens.

    I know of another property owner who does the same thing. I can’t believe more landlords aren’t doing this.

    Thinking of the housing shortage, if one could press a button, that would immediately eliminate half the population of illegal aliens in California, would there be a lot more low-income housing available, or less?

    Want to open up housing fast? Legally require landlords to use e-verify for tenants. Any violating landlords get hefty fines. You’ll see housing open up. No new housing required.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Want to open up housing fast? Legally require landlords to use e-verify for tenants. Any violating landlords get hefty fines. You’ll see housing open up. No new housing required.
     
    Of course, some of those property owners would simply sell their properties, or otherwise take them off the market. As some people in ethnic neighborhoods in Chicago did. I had an aunt and uncle that owned a three-story-and basement big row house within sight of St. Michael's parish church in Chicago, near US Steel , that rented the top floor for decades. When the Puerto Ricans took over the neighborhood they just stopped renting the top floor and used it for storage.
  51. @Alec Leamas (hard at work)
    It's Cargo Cult thinking that has driven U.S. Housing policy since probably LBJ, perhaps earlier.

    The thought seems to go that married middle class people are generally the least trouble and the most productive, stable and self-sufficient. Their communities are generally success stories - the kind of social outcomes that you'd like to take credit for if you're a politician.

    So, you reason that what you need to do is get poorly behaving people who aren't productive to behave like normal married middle class people. You figure that if the underclass started behaving like decent middle class folks, your societies' metrics of well being would improve and you could take credit for the improvement. So what do most decent middle class folks have? They have a home and a mortgage. You take the poorly performing underclass people and put them in a salt box with a picket fence and a mortgage, and they're bound to start behaving like the sorts of people with homes and mortgages, right?

    It was the same ideological madness that doomed middle class white urban neighborhoods and led to white flight. What the black people need is to get out of their bad neighborhoods with high crime and poverty. So we'll just move whole dysfunctional black families from their neighborhoods and into existing good and functioning neighborhoods. In short order they'll come to behave just like those middle class white folks who are employed and don't commit much serious crime, right?

    In all cases, the adage "a rotten apple spoils the bunch" made much more practical sense.

    It turns out that the house and mortgage are the product of certain behaviors and habits, rather than the cause of those behaviors and habits. As a social project, inculcating those behaviors and habits in adults is much more difficult than just giving them houses for a time.

    It’s Cargo Cult thinking

    It turns out that the house and mortgage are the product of certain behaviors and habits, rather than the cause of those behaviors and habits. As a social project, inculcating those behaviors and habits in adults is much more difficult than just giving them houses for a time.

    That is a great metaphor.

    But I wonder how much of it was truly deluded/misguided, another one of the small “political cargo cults” to which we are accustomed, and how much was cynical, simply racial vote-pandering?

    In other words, a true cargo cult really believes their new religion.

  52. @Prester John
    And which is why, if by some miracle he DOES get elected, Sanders will either have to shelve all his bulls**t "promises" or face an emasculated (and one-term) presidency.

    This country wasn't built on fantasies spewed out by Greenwich Village coffee house pseudo-intellectuals or their linear descendants at Vox, The Atlantic, Slate or at Ivy liberal arts departments.

    This country wasn’t built on fantasies spewed out by Greenwich Village coffee house pseudo-intellectuals or their linear descendants at Vox, The Atlantic, Slate or at Ivy liberal arts departments.

    Of course not. It was built on fantasies of “weapons of mass destruction,” foreign wars, and endless celebration of “the troops.” All of which have cost the country countless trillions of dollars.

    If Bernie’s promises are unaffordable, it’s because the Conservatives and bipartisan “Centrists” spent the national inheritance on all these wars. Since everybody (including many “Greenwich Village coffee house pseudo-intellectuals”) are afraid of being slurred as “unpatriotic,” people just keep their mouth as trillions are burned away.

    The reality is that Bernie’s ideas have worked just fine in Scandinavia and could work just fine here. However, due to our coming national bankruptcy, his ideas can’t be financed.

    Though to be fair, neither can Trump’s massive tax cuts.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    The reality is that Bernie’s ideas have worked just fine in Scandinavia...
     
    https://www.icenews.is/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/squatters.jpg

    https://live.staticflickr.com/6103/6390466689_496f0e4406_b.jpg

    https://cdni.rt.com/files/2018.09/original/5baba5ecdda4c848088b458a.jpg

    https://d24fkeqntp1r7r.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/12114855/sweden_explosions3.jpg
    , @notsaying
    I'd love to live like the Scandanavians -- at least like the native born there people do.

    Reg Caesar's photo array of immigrants living there does not change the fact that the people in the white neighborhoods there have some of the highest living standards on earth for average people. They don't have to worry about paying for medical and college debt, they have good paying jobs and know if they lose that job that they will obtain training (free too, I imagine) so they can get another good paying job.

    And of course their safety and security is nicely guaranteed by the US. They don't have to worry that their soldier boys and girls won't come home.
  53. @Tiny Duck
    Uh do you guys even no about slavery, redlining, jim crow, colonialism, concentratin camps, exclusion, white flight, hair terrorism and trolling?

    Do you now understand how People of Color and women live in fear everyday

    Watch the vlogbrothers

    Uh do you guys even no

    Meghan Trainor, is that you?

  54. @Bragadocious
    If I had to apportion blame for the meltdown it would go Clinton 70%, Bush 30%. The seeds had already been planted by 2000. The government tapeworms were busy undermining decades of common sense regs and they weren't going anywhere. Bush could have stopped it, but he was an idiot. Anyway he and Clinton were part of the same cartel.

    “The seeds had already been planted by 2000. “

    See City Journal of that year, Howard Husock.

    https://www.city-journal.org/html/trillion-dollar-bank-shakedown-bodes-ill-cities-12096.html

  55. @Reg Cæsar
    Switzerland has a very high proportion of foreign residents. Can they own property? If not, that skews the percentage down.

    Switzerland has a very high proportion of foreign residents. Can they own property?

    Uhhhh…. kinda… the swiss are a queer folk…

    https://tranio.com/articles/lex_koller_the_swiss_law_that_limits_foreign_property_purchases/

  56. @The Germ Theory of Disease
    The essential problem behind all of this, is the leftist philosophy that America is not really a nation, populated by the American people, but that it is instead an enormous cookie jar, and everybody on earth deserves a cookie. And that the browner you are, the more cookies you magically deserve. We are racistly oppressing the entire world by not letting them all come live here instead of in their sh!tholes, which by the way are definitely NOT sh!tholes. And the fact that White people built a paradise out of a wilderness in record time, whereas Africans and Bangladeshis had roughly 30,000 years to make something that was not a sh!thole, and somehow failed to prioritize this goal, says nothing about anything.

    The rot became obvious (it was already there) when George W. Bush, may his future torments in Hell be doubled, made the ridiculous, Shucks-guess-I-just-really-hate-Americans statement, "Family values don't end at the Rio Grande." Nobody in authority took the trouble to point out, "But the U.S. border DOES end at the Rio Grande: no one is saying that these millions of moochers can't have families, they just can't have them HERE."

    The fact that the duly elected Chief Executive of the United States could say to the American people with a perfectly straight face, "I don't care at all about this country or its people, I am just going to prioritize my poorly thought-out personal beliefs instead" and he was not strung from a lamp post on the spot, tells you all you need to know about the depth of hypnosis. America is not a nation, it's a cookie jar.

    Here, endless tidal waves of dusky begging paupers, have another cookie. There's infinite cookies after all. I don't actually know that, I mean I haven't really checked. But I bet there are. I think I saw it on Rick and Morty.

    The best way to help poor dark-skinned in America would be to build lots of affordable housing and let them rent it at a low cost. Or he could’ve given them the housing for free. However, Bush didn’t do that. Why? It’s because helping non-whites acquire cheap housing wasn’t his primary motivation.

    Bush’s primary motivation was to pump up the economy through real estate, which benefited huge numbers of contractors, brokers, speculators, developers, investors, etc.

    Even in the absence of large numbers of non-white immigrants, there likely would’ve been a huge mortgage bubble. According to Ron Unz, Blacks and Hispanics only accounted for 10-15% of the mortgage defaults (in dollars).

    Bush was an irresponsible and incompetent President who coasted to reelection for 3 reasons.

    1. He whipped up hysteria about Iraq having “weapons of mass destruction.” By invading Iraq, he pushed up his poll ratings (Americans love war).
    2. He juiced up the economy through deregulating the mortgage market, and further injecting in govt cash (through Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae).
    3. He juiced up the economy further through massive defense spending.

    None of that was done to help Non-White people. If Bush wanted to help Non-White people, he’d just send them larger welfare checks, not engage in this subprime mortgage gimmickry.

    • Agree: notsaying
  57. @Tiny Duck
    Uh do you guys even no about slavery, redlining, jim crow, colonialism, concentratin camps, exclusion, white flight, hair terrorism and trolling?

    Do you now understand how People of Color and women live in fear everyday

    Watch the vlogbrothers

  58. @JohnnyWalker123

    This country wasn’t built on fantasies spewed out by Greenwich Village coffee house pseudo-intellectuals or their linear descendants at Vox, The Atlantic, Slate or at Ivy liberal arts departments.

     

    Of course not. It was built on fantasies of "weapons of mass destruction," foreign wars, and endless celebration of "the troops." All of which have cost the country countless trillions of dollars.

    If Bernie's promises are unaffordable, it's because the Conservatives and bipartisan "Centrists" spent the national inheritance on all these wars. Since everybody (including many "Greenwich Village coffee house pseudo-intellectuals") are afraid of being slurred as "unpatriotic," people just keep their mouth as trillions are burned away.

    The reality is that Bernie's ideas have worked just fine in Scandinavia and could work just fine here. However, due to our coming national bankruptcy, his ideas can't be financed.

    Though to be fair, neither can Trump's massive tax cuts.

    The reality is that Bernie’s ideas have worked just fine in Scandinavia…

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH9vdMTbRG4

    That could be us, but we have to send our hard earned money to the U.S. military.
    , @Guy De Champlagne
    How deluded do you have to be to say that the us is better than Europe because we have no urban blight and crime. It's so patently ridiculous that you would think it would have to be some kind of singular Oliver Sacks level disorder but it's near universal among a particular kind of conservative.
  59. @Arclight
    And yet today we still see housing advocates push for homeownership for low income people. A local branch of Habitat for Humanity recently decided to bless a family of eight who were refugees from Africa with a newly built 2000 SF house.

    The houses from Habitat for Humanity are mortgage-free, aren’t they?

    If so then lower-income families can afford to keep them up unless something truly unlucky and/or disastrous happens.

    But that’s a genuine exception. For ordinary low income people who can barely afford their monthly mortgage payment and taxes, they are one job loss or major repair bill away from foreclosure. Putting people in that position on purpose is just nuts.

    And yet I just got an email today from the Mayor Pete campaign about his housing plans. He has plans to spend hundreds of billions on housing for lower income Americans. Whatever you think of him, he is right about rental housing: lower income Americans can’t afford housing anymore and to get the number of housing units we need for them the federal government will have to step in and pay lots of money to build millions of units. He points out that already “over 30 percent of U.S. households pay nearly a third of their income on rent and almost half of those pay over half of their income on rent.” Thank you to all those who allowed mass migration to happen and the gentrifiers too we now have millions of families who can’t afford rent. And this will only get worse as the years go by and our population continues to increase.

    But I do disagree with the plan to

    “Enable 1 million households to become first-time homebuyers by investing $4 billion in matching funds to scale successful low-income homeownership programs.

    “Low income” and “homeowner” do not belong together unless you give the family the house for free.

    It’s another George Bush-style disaster in the making.

    https://peteforamerica.com/policies/housing/?emci=d786dfcf-3751-ea11-a94c-00155d039e74&emdi=bc1e6d26-9151-ea11-a94c-00155d039e74&ceid=1569000

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    No they’re not mortgage free. Jesus H. Christ.

    Why do people feel compelled to expound on matters with which they lack a modicum of familiarity?

    The whole point is to build up equity (including sweat equity, the requirement to put in a minimum of 500 hours work on your own home) and credit. This was once the principal focus of the ministry. When it was a ministry.
    , @Anonymous

    “Low income” and “homeowner” do not belong together unless you give the family the house for free.
     
    And agree to maintain it for them for free forever.

    Most low income people have no skills and no motivation. They are not going to be climbing ladders cleaning gutters, painting, getting up in the attic, those kinds of things.

    Renting for them is far better. There is a superintendant and you just pay the rent and utilities.

    I have two houses and as I get older the work is a bigger and bigger pain in the ass. I would have to have sold my second house years ago except for the fact it was way overbuilt by a union official and has needed little maintenance, and also my immediate neighbors there are in construction and have cut me a very good deal on repairs in a couple of cases.
    , @bomag

    Whatever you think of him, he is right about rental housing: lower income Americans can’t afford housing anymore and to get the number of housing units we need for them the federal government will have to step in and pay lots of money to build millions of units.
     
    I cringe at such solutions; gov't built housing tends to be plenty expensive with plenty of issues.

    Better jobs; lower cost housing; fewer immigrants and their crowding effect would be better solutions, but they're off the table for the usual, dreary reasons.
  60. Off-Topic —

    Speaking of housing, as we know there are millions of homes in stupid places in the US where they are at high risk for flooding — sometimes over and over again — yet we keep on defending them.

    According to the Telegraph, the UK intends to stop some of its anti-flooding efforts.

    Climate change means homeowners should no longer expect protection from floods, government to announce

    Homeowners should no longer automatically expect to be protected from major floods, ministers will announce in the coming weeks.

    Under a radical policy shift drawn up by the Environment Agency, flooding will be seen as inevitable due to the predicted effects of climate change.

    Instead of spending millions on “limitlessly high walls” and barriers, the government will help people to rebuild their water-damaged homes or to move away from flood-risk areas.

    But rebuilding and buy-outs cost billions, sometimes more than mitigation, I think. I don’t see how it will all work. Still, I am shocked and amazed that a First World country is ready to throw in the towel at the prospect of dealing with climate change already, before things have even gotten that bad.

    That could happen here too. Certainly it seems high time to stop people from building new homes on coasts, flood plains and places vulnerable to wild fires too.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/02/17/climate-change-means-homeowners-should-no-longer-expect-protection/

  61. @Reg Cæsar

    The reality is that Bernie’s ideas have worked just fine in Scandinavia...
     
    https://www.icenews.is/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/squatters.jpg

    https://live.staticflickr.com/6103/6390466689_496f0e4406_b.jpg

    https://cdni.rt.com/files/2018.09/original/5baba5ecdda4c848088b458a.jpg

    https://d24fkeqntp1r7r.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/12114855/sweden_explosions3.jpg

    That could be us, but we have to send our hard earned money to the U.S. military.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    That could be us, but we have to send our hard earned money to the U.S. military.
     
    The Danes certainly spent less on their military from 1940-45 than we did on ours. How did that turn out?
  62. @JohnnyWalker123

    This country wasn’t built on fantasies spewed out by Greenwich Village coffee house pseudo-intellectuals or their linear descendants at Vox, The Atlantic, Slate or at Ivy liberal arts departments.

     

    Of course not. It was built on fantasies of "weapons of mass destruction," foreign wars, and endless celebration of "the troops." All of which have cost the country countless trillions of dollars.

    If Bernie's promises are unaffordable, it's because the Conservatives and bipartisan "Centrists" spent the national inheritance on all these wars. Since everybody (including many "Greenwich Village coffee house pseudo-intellectuals") are afraid of being slurred as "unpatriotic," people just keep their mouth as trillions are burned away.

    The reality is that Bernie's ideas have worked just fine in Scandinavia and could work just fine here. However, due to our coming national bankruptcy, his ideas can't be financed.

    Though to be fair, neither can Trump's massive tax cuts.

    I’d love to live like the Scandanavians — at least like the native born there people do.

    Reg Caesar’s photo array of immigrants living there does not change the fact that the people in the white neighborhoods there have some of the highest living standards on earth for average people. They don’t have to worry about paying for medical and college debt, they have good paying jobs and know if they lose that job that they will obtain training (free too, I imagine) so they can get another good paying job.

    And of course their safety and security is nicely guaranteed by the US. They don’t have to worry that their soldier boys and girls won’t come home.

    • Agree: JohnnyWalker123
  63. @S. Anonyia
    Are we about to experience another housing bubble? Housing prices have increased significantly in the last 5 years where I live, and we have a slightly lower cost of living compared to the nation. It may not be official government policy as it was under W, but the banks seem to be pushing for risks again.

    My husband and I are in the top 5 percent of income for our metro. Yet our house is only 5ok more expensive than the average for the area. We could have gone a little bigger for our budget, but nothing that much more enhanced. And we live in the city; lots of folks in a nearby swanky suburb live in large McMansions with neighborhood amenities like pools, gyms, etc. I know for a fact many of these people earn less than us, plus they have children to take care of (go ahead and lambast me but we intend to be DINKs until we are 32-35). There is more family wealth than most Americans know of out there, but not enough to account for all of the barely-middle income people living in nice suburban houses.

    So what gives? Seems like risky mortgages are a thing again.

    Funny you mention this. I just saw a commercial on TV for liar loans: the ones with no income verification and no appraisals. It was the mortgage company that always uses a retired military general in its advertisements (and boy do I hate to see that). Anyway, I haven’t seen an ad for liar loans in years and I wish I’d never see another one.

    I think consumer debt is at or near record levels. I think more and more adults 30+ are getting money from their parents.

    Certainly the way real estate prices are going up — way above the rate of inflation in many places — it’s hard to see where people are getting the money. I’d love to know the answer too.

    Certainly savings are being neglected. These people in the McMansions will not be able to do for their own children what was done for them by their own parents and in-laws. That would make me feel terrible.

  64. @KL
    MIT finance professor Deborah Lucas showed that the total dollar amount of mortgage default was dominated by the (upper) middle class. White people in California with $500K-$1MM mortgages cost a lot more money than blacks in Mississippi with $80K mortgages.

    Do you have a link to where she did that? I don’t doubt it is true, but would like to see the analysis.

    It is worth considering whether the demographics of those causing the most loss in the end were the same as those who initially defaulted triggering the crisis.

  65. @Anonymous

    The president also leaned on mortgage brokers and lenders to devise their own innovations. “Corporate America,” he said, “has a responsibility to work to make America a compassionate place.”

    And corporate America, eyeing a lucrative market, delivered in ways Mr. Bush might not have expected, with a proliferation of too-good-to-be-true teaser rates and interest-only loans that were sold to investors in a loosely regulated environment.

     

    It makes me sad - and angry - that the people who’ve been running our country are this fu****g stupid and greedy.

    It makes me sad – and angry – that the people who’ve been running our country are this fu****g stupid and greedy.

    Not to mention that so few seem to have actually learned anything from the experience.

    • Replies: @black sea

    Not to mention that so few seem to have actually learned anything from the experience.
     
    Perhaps they've learned that they can get away with it.
  66. @Anonymous
    I dislike Habitat for Humanity. It picks winners and losers. Too many community resources are used to benefit too few people.

    That is a problem with many selective aid programs. I sometimes wonder how much corruption is going on behind the scenes in various affordable housing programs (i.e. who gets accepted).

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Before CRA it was a very effective ministry focusing on the real deficit - family nurture, making sure people were working on their own houses (physical and biblical), and knowing where the money/help was coming from (God).

    Obv once Uncle Sugar showed up things went downhill.
    , @Arclight
    Not much in terms of who gets an apartment, other than stuff like property managers putting their relatives on the waiting list as soon as they are 18 to ensure they get a subsidized apartment when they are ready to move out.

    Now as far as which developers get financing to build, that can get political. But that’s often true of real estate development.
  67. @JohnnyWalker123
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH9vdMTbRG4

    That could be us, but we have to send our hard earned money to the U.S. military.

    That could be us, but we have to send our hard earned money to the U.S. military.

    The Danes certainly spent less on their military from 1940-45 than we did on ours. How did that turn out?

  68. @KL
    MIT finance professor Deborah Lucas showed that the total dollar amount of mortgage default was dominated by the (upper) middle class. White people in California with $500K-$1MM mortgages cost a lot more money than blacks in Mississippi with $80K mortgages.

    good point.

    most of the losses were due to the Synthetic bonds (CDOs) and the insurance (swaps) sold on the bonds. The amount of money lost on the actual sub-prime mortgages was less than $500 billion but the losses on the synthetic mortgage backed securities was closer to $4 Trillion. The big institutions lost even more on the Credit Default Swaps.. The derivatives were worth much more than the underlining Mortgage backed securities. The derivatives (CDOs and Swaps) were worth 50 times as much as the actual mortgages.

    Credit default swaps came into existence in 1994 when they were invented by JP Morgan. They became popular in the early 2000s, and by 2007, the outstanding credit default swaps value stood at $90 trillion. During the financial crisis of 2008, the value of CDS was hit hard, and it dropped to $26.3 trillion by 2010.

    in 2007 there was only $1 trillion in sub-prime debt sold , yet the investment banks created $9 trillion in synthetic bonds (CDOs) to meet demand and then sold $70 Trillion worth of credit swaps on the bonds…this is the reason AIG went under, they were selling insurance on the mortgage backed securities and were unable to pay the firms who bought the swaps.

    The Banks became insolvent and needed to be bailed out because of the insurance they sold on the bonds and the leverage they created via the synthetic debt instruments they created.

    If the banks never created the synthetic bonds and then sold swaps on the debt the crisis would have been largely avoided but John Paulson would not be a billionaire today if Goldman did not create synthetic mortgage backed securities for him to short. Goldman lost $100 Million on the deal, while the other long investors lost $900 million and Paulson made $1 Billion via the ABACUS CDO. This is the transaction which made John Paulson a billionaire while bankrupting a German Bank and ACA Capital. While a few people became wealthy from these CDOs , many firms went bankrupt because they were on the wrong side of the trade. For every winner there was a loser. But the losers were typically banks and insurance firms, while the winners were the hedge funds. The winners were small hedge funds with a few employees while the losers were the big firms, pension funds, banks with thousands of employees.

  69. @KL
    MIT finance professor Deborah Lucas showed that the total dollar amount of mortgage default was dominated by the (upper) middle class. White people in California with $500K-$1MM mortgages cost a lot more money than blacks in Mississippi with $80K mortgages.

    White hispanics. Don’t let the AWFLs fool you.

  70. @res
    That is a problem with many selective aid programs. I sometimes wonder how much corruption is going on behind the scenes in various affordable housing programs (i.e. who gets accepted).

    Before CRA it was a very effective ministry focusing on the real deficit – family nurture, making sure people were working on their own houses (physical and biblical), and knowing where the money/help was coming from (God).

    Obv once Uncle Sugar showed up things went downhill.

  71. @notsaying
    The houses from Habitat for Humanity are mortgage-free, aren't they?

    If so then lower-income families can afford to keep them up unless something truly unlucky and/or disastrous happens.

    But that's a genuine exception. For ordinary low income people who can barely afford their monthly mortgage payment and taxes, they are one job loss or major repair bill away from foreclosure. Putting people in that position on purpose is just nuts.

    And yet I just got an email today from the Mayor Pete campaign about his housing plans. He has plans to spend hundreds of billions on housing for lower income Americans. Whatever you think of him, he is right about rental housing: lower income Americans can't afford housing anymore and to get the number of housing units we need for them the federal government will have to step in and pay lots of money to build millions of units. He points out that already "over 30 percent of U.S. households pay nearly a third of their income on rent and almost half of those pay over half of their income on rent." Thank you to all those who allowed mass migration to happen and the gentrifiers too we now have millions of families who can't afford rent. And this will only get worse as the years go by and our population continues to increase.

    But I do disagree with the plan to

    "Enable 1 million households to become first-time homebuyers by investing $4 billion in matching funds to scale successful low-income homeownership programs.
     
    "Low income" and "homeowner" do not belong together unless you give the family the house for free.

    It's another George Bush-style disaster in the making.

    https://peteforamerica.com/policies/housing/?emci=d786dfcf-3751-ea11-a94c-00155d039e74&emdi=bc1e6d26-9151-ea11-a94c-00155d039e74&ceid=1569000

    No they’re not mortgage free. Jesus H. Christ.

    Why do people feel compelled to expound on matters with which they lack a modicum of familiarity?

    The whole point is to build up equity (including sweat equity, the requirement to put in a minimum of 500 hours work on your own home) and credit. This was once the principal focus of the ministry. When it was a ministry.

    • Replies: @notsaying
    Don't get upset with me.

    Habitat for Humanity's been around for years. They get people and municipalities to donate land to them. They choose to emphasize the sweat equity and the fact that volunteers build the houses (or does it turn out that they use professional labor as well?).

    They never mention that people have mortgages too. Is the public supposed to somehow magically know that mortgages are involved?

    I'd be interested to know what their minimum/maximum income a year is to get a house.

  72. @res
    That is a problem with many selective aid programs. I sometimes wonder how much corruption is going on behind the scenes in various affordable housing programs (i.e. who gets accepted).

    Not much in terms of who gets an apartment, other than stuff like property managers putting their relatives on the waiting list as soon as they are 18 to ensure they get a subsidized apartment when they are ready to move out.

    Now as far as which developers get financing to build, that can get political. But that’s often true of real estate development.

  73. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @notsaying
    The houses from Habitat for Humanity are mortgage-free, aren't they?

    If so then lower-income families can afford to keep them up unless something truly unlucky and/or disastrous happens.

    But that's a genuine exception. For ordinary low income people who can barely afford their monthly mortgage payment and taxes, they are one job loss or major repair bill away from foreclosure. Putting people in that position on purpose is just nuts.

    And yet I just got an email today from the Mayor Pete campaign about his housing plans. He has plans to spend hundreds of billions on housing for lower income Americans. Whatever you think of him, he is right about rental housing: lower income Americans can't afford housing anymore and to get the number of housing units we need for them the federal government will have to step in and pay lots of money to build millions of units. He points out that already "over 30 percent of U.S. households pay nearly a third of their income on rent and almost half of those pay over half of their income on rent." Thank you to all those who allowed mass migration to happen and the gentrifiers too we now have millions of families who can't afford rent. And this will only get worse as the years go by and our population continues to increase.

    But I do disagree with the plan to

    "Enable 1 million households to become first-time homebuyers by investing $4 billion in matching funds to scale successful low-income homeownership programs.
     
    "Low income" and "homeowner" do not belong together unless you give the family the house for free.

    It's another George Bush-style disaster in the making.

    https://peteforamerica.com/policies/housing/?emci=d786dfcf-3751-ea11-a94c-00155d039e74&emdi=bc1e6d26-9151-ea11-a94c-00155d039e74&ceid=1569000

    “Low income” and “homeowner” do not belong together unless you give the family the house for free.

    And agree to maintain it for them for free forever.

    Most low income people have no skills and no motivation. They are not going to be climbing ladders cleaning gutters, painting, getting up in the attic, those kinds of things.

    Renting for them is far better. There is a superintendant and you just pay the rent and utilities.

    I have two houses and as I get older the work is a bigger and bigger pain in the ass. I would have to have sold my second house years ago except for the fact it was way overbuilt by a union official and has needed little maintenance, and also my immediate neighbors there are in construction and have cut me a very good deal on repairs in a couple of cases.

  74. @Lockean Proviso
    "his conviction that markets do best when let alone."

    This had a lot to do with it. Synthetic derivatives, paid-off ratings agencies, mortgage agents incentivized to make lots of loans regardless of quality, rent-seeking via Wall Street bribery of politicians and revolving door jobs for regulators, captured corporate financial press: all due to private market actors.

    Surely that "conviction" about markets doing best when unregulated had something to do with the massive influx of campaign contributions from the financial sector.

    Most of the time, the free market does correct itself. However, when the federal government intrudes, it makes everyone think the taxpayer will make everyone whole no matter how irresponsible we become. Which is exactly what happened. Let businesses fail. And let interest rates float to their natural levels.

  75. @Kronos
    Many people in government (who should’ve known better) went along with Bush’s policies. They’ll kick and buck under Sanders for sure. Trump’s been having one hell of a ride.

    Much truth in what you say, but Sanders will find more sympathy in the Permanent State than Trump.

    • Replies: @Kronos
    I believe he’ll face much less “open” hostility. The Clinton Democrats are terrified of returning to pre-1992 Democratic platforms. They’ll do everything in their power to sabotage, delay, and flip the Sanders agenda. Sanders will unfortunately have to draw from Neoliberals to fill his cabinet/administration akin to Trump with the Neocons. There’ll be more “Deep State” tactics than Open Impeachment.

    https://youtu.be/PrC1Fk03Dt4

    (Does anyone know of any new Stephan Miller/Pat Buchanan style think tanks emerging yet? We need some for the second Trump Administration. Otherwise we’ll need to draw people from this comment board.

    Jack D: Treasury Secretary

    TinyDuck: Toilet Cleaning

    EducationRealist: Education Secretary

    Res: HUD Secretary

    PalioLiberal: Director of Communications

    Reg Caesar: what do you want? An important diplomatic posting or a big seat at the FED?

    Spots for Immigration and Supreme Court postings are still open. Please apply down below.

  76. anon[414] • Disclaimer says:

    Well, now you’re approaching relevance in economics, Steve. Not everything was hunky-dory in Texas, though. San An was one the hardest hit areas of the country thanks to the faggot mestizos running the place. Runs right up against your ideas about what should be built on OPP, don’t you think?

  77. @notsaying
    The houses from Habitat for Humanity are mortgage-free, aren't they?

    If so then lower-income families can afford to keep them up unless something truly unlucky and/or disastrous happens.

    But that's a genuine exception. For ordinary low income people who can barely afford their monthly mortgage payment and taxes, they are one job loss or major repair bill away from foreclosure. Putting people in that position on purpose is just nuts.

    And yet I just got an email today from the Mayor Pete campaign about his housing plans. He has plans to spend hundreds of billions on housing for lower income Americans. Whatever you think of him, he is right about rental housing: lower income Americans can't afford housing anymore and to get the number of housing units we need for them the federal government will have to step in and pay lots of money to build millions of units. He points out that already "over 30 percent of U.S. households pay nearly a third of their income on rent and almost half of those pay over half of their income on rent." Thank you to all those who allowed mass migration to happen and the gentrifiers too we now have millions of families who can't afford rent. And this will only get worse as the years go by and our population continues to increase.

    But I do disagree with the plan to

    "Enable 1 million households to become first-time homebuyers by investing $4 billion in matching funds to scale successful low-income homeownership programs.
     
    "Low income" and "homeowner" do not belong together unless you give the family the house for free.

    It's another George Bush-style disaster in the making.

    https://peteforamerica.com/policies/housing/?emci=d786dfcf-3751-ea11-a94c-00155d039e74&emdi=bc1e6d26-9151-ea11-a94c-00155d039e74&ceid=1569000

    Whatever you think of him, he is right about rental housing: lower income Americans can’t afford housing anymore and to get the number of housing units we need for them the federal government will have to step in and pay lots of money to build millions of units.

    I cringe at such solutions; gov’t built housing tends to be plenty expensive with plenty of issues.

    Better jobs; lower cost housing; fewer immigrants and their crowding effect would be better solutions, but they’re off the table for the usual, dreary reasons.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    I cringe at such solutions; gov’t built housing tends to be plenty expensive with plenty of issues.
     
    In Florida 1 in 7 residential units are mobile homes, which are fairly cheap to build and can be built indoors all the year round. With a government trailer building program, you could probably bring prices down by cutting out expensive items like sales commissions and give people lower interest rates to make home purchase affordable and include maintenance contracts in with the price of purchase. If purchasers get behind with payments, tax refunds and EIC could be garnished.

    And then there is Section 8 housing.

    However the real problem is that the US is gradually failing economically and although there are plenty of jobs available in many cases and in many areas wages are not enough to pay for health care and housing.

    This is structural failure of the economy and the this slide downwards may go on for many years until a very large percentage of the population are homeless, camping, or living in prisons or the workhouse.

    I was amazed to hear just the other day that in Florida as many as 2 million driver licenses out of a total of 14 million are currently suspended. This is not because Floridians are particularly bad drivers but because licenses are suspended when people fail to pay fees or fines to the state government.

    In a state that has almost no public transportation, people without driver's licenses have no way to get to work and earn money without breaking the law. The fact that such a large number of people in one of the largest states in the US are in this predicament is an indication that our economy is failing, though Trump did not mention this in his State of the Union speech.
    , @notsaying
    The mass building of housing paid for by the government is something that most people are against for many reasons.

    In the cities -- and not just the big ones, either -- we need towers yet we know if we build them big and tall they'll end up full of misery and crime because we don't know how to get a lot of poor young people together without gangs and crime developing. Nobody wants the towers like those that have been exploded during the past 20 years in big cities back and yet with limited land and no housing what else are we going to do? Disperse the poor across America in buildings of 6 stories? Build hundred of acres of townhouses in San Francisco? Actually we will end up building millions of low-rise apartment units and thousands of acres of government subsidized townhouses but they won't be in the cities, they will be taking up green space across America. I feel sick at heart when I think of how much green space will be eaten up for housing for people we never should have had here.

    We have another 100 million people than we did in 1980 and a federal minimum wage that hasn't changed since 2009.

    We made poor decisions in the past on immigration that we persist on making now and make other poor decisions that favor putting more money into the hands of the rich.

    Housing is just the first issue that's become impossibly big and unsolvable without government intervention. There will be others in the future.
  78. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Increasing Minority Homeownership isn’t at all a bad idea at $90,000 for a new house.
     
    The problem is too many folks want to buy a $90,000 hose near the beach in Santa Monica.

    A major reason for the lower income housing shortage in Southern California is the over abundance of illegal aliens, partially enabled by their unconstitutional Sanctuary City policy.

    I know of one rental property owner, who owns around 15 different rental properties, who only rents to illegal aliens. The properties are in mostly middle-class areas. He never advertises vacancies. When anyone moves, he puts the word out amongst his "tenants," and they always find a renter for him. He prefers illegal aliens because they take care of problems themselves. They always know someone who is a plumber or a carpenter, who will take care of any minor problems for free. But what this means is, his properties are effectively off the market for non-illegal aliens.

    I know of another property owner who does the same thing. I can’t believe more landlords aren’t doing this.

    Thinking of the housing shortage, if one could press a button, that would immediately eliminate half the population of illegal aliens in California, would there be a lot more low-income housing available, or less?

    Want to open up housing fast? Legally require landlords to use e-verify for tenants. Any violating landlords get hefty fines. You’ll see housing open up. No new housing required.

    Want to open up housing fast? Legally require landlords to use e-verify for tenants. Any violating landlords get hefty fines. You’ll see housing open up. No new housing required.

    Of course, some of those property owners would simply sell their properties, or otherwise take them off the market. As some people in ethnic neighborhoods in Chicago did. I had an aunt and uncle that owned a three-story-and basement big row house within sight of St. Michael’s parish church in Chicago, near US Steel , that rented the top floor for decades. When the Puerto Ricans took over the neighborhood they just stopped renting the top floor and used it for storage.

  79. @Prester John
    And which is why, if by some miracle he DOES get elected, Sanders will either have to shelve all his bulls**t "promises" or face an emasculated (and one-term) presidency.

    This country wasn't built on fantasies spewed out by Greenwich Village coffee house pseudo-intellectuals or their linear descendants at Vox, The Atlantic, Slate or at Ivy liberal arts departments.

    This country wasn’t built on fantasies spewed out by Greenwich Village coffee house pseudo-intellectuals

    Well, coffee stimulates the brain, and maybe that is what is needed so that the US can catch up with every single other developed country and have a universal health care system that is affordable enough so that people can get necessary health care and avoid medical bankruptcy when they have a serious injury or terminal condition.

    Many people on this page believe this is impossible because they have been brainwashed into believing that such a thing is a fantasy. So look at what other countries are doing!

    If the Republicans don’t like what Bernie is running on, then why don’t they come up with some better ideas?

    • Agree: notsaying
    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    The US isn’t “other countries”. Perhaps, if we hadn’t opened the floodgates in 1965, we might have had a chance at a federally-directed medical-care system. But only, perhaps. You’ve got to have a “we’re all in this together” population to make society wide programs work. And we don’t have that sort if program.
    , @anon
    Well, coffee stimulates the brain, and maybe that is what is needed so that the US can catch up with every single other developed country and have a universal health care system that is affordable enough so that people can get necessary health care and avoid medical bankruptcy when they have a serious injury or terminal condition and blah, blah, blah, blah, yatta, yatta, yatta.

    https://i.imgflip.com/rdkvg.jpg
  80. @bomag

    Whatever you think of him, he is right about rental housing: lower income Americans can’t afford housing anymore and to get the number of housing units we need for them the federal government will have to step in and pay lots of money to build millions of units.
     
    I cringe at such solutions; gov't built housing tends to be plenty expensive with plenty of issues.

    Better jobs; lower cost housing; fewer immigrants and their crowding effect would be better solutions, but they're off the table for the usual, dreary reasons.

    I cringe at such solutions; gov’t built housing tends to be plenty expensive with plenty of issues.

    In Florida 1 in 7 residential units are mobile homes, which are fairly cheap to build and can be built indoors all the year round. With a government trailer building program, you could probably bring prices down by cutting out expensive items like sales commissions and give people lower interest rates to make home purchase affordable and include maintenance contracts in with the price of purchase. If purchasers get behind with payments, tax refunds and EIC could be garnished.

    And then there is Section 8 housing.

    However the real problem is that the US is gradually failing economically and although there are plenty of jobs available in many cases and in many areas wages are not enough to pay for health care and housing.

    This is structural failure of the economy and the this slide downwards may go on for many years until a very large percentage of the population are homeless, camping, or living in prisons or the workhouse.

    I was amazed to hear just the other day that in Florida as many as 2 million driver licenses out of a total of 14 million are currently suspended. This is not because Floridians are particularly bad drivers but because licenses are suspended when people fail to pay fees or fines to the state government.

    In a state that has almost no public transportation, people without driver’s licenses have no way to get to work and earn money without breaking the law. The fact that such a large number of people in one of the largest states in the US are in this predicament is an indication that our economy is failing, though Trump did not mention this in his State of the Union speech.

    • Replies: @notsaying
    I cannot support using dangerous and deadly mobile homes as a way to solve our housing crisis. I have heard too many reports of deaths in them during storms and floods.

    Other than that, I mostly agree with what you say.

    The country is silently going to the dogs in thousands of unknown and underappreciated ways. Your point about the 2 million suspended licenses in Florida is one of them. Thank you for making me aware of this fact, it is truly appalling but also indicative of real life in America today. And who is going to do something to change that? If things go on as they have been, they will only get worse.

    The people doing well keep doing better and their statistics mask the terrible things happening to those at the other end of the scale. We have the richest country in the world full of cash-strapped and miserable people whose lives have become progressively worse during my adult life. That includes people who used to think themselves secure and middle class. No more.
  81. @bomag
    Much truth in what you say, but Sanders will find more sympathy in the Permanent State than Trump.

    I believe he’ll face much less “open” hostility. The Clinton Democrats are terrified of returning to pre-1992 Democratic platforms. They’ll do everything in their power to sabotage, delay, and flip the Sanders agenda. Sanders will unfortunately have to draw from Neoliberals to fill his cabinet/administration akin to Trump with the Neocons. There’ll be more “Deep State” tactics than Open Impeachment.

    (Does anyone know of any new Stephan Miller/Pat Buchanan style think tanks emerging yet? We need some for the second Trump Administration. Otherwise we’ll need to draw people from this comment board.

    Jack D: Treasury Secretary

    TinyDuck: Toilet Cleaning

    EducationRealist: Education Secretary

    Res: HUD Secretary

    PalioLiberal: Director of Communications

    Reg Caesar: what do you want? An important diplomatic posting or a big seat at the FED?

    Spots for Immigration and Supreme Court postings are still open. Please apply down below.

  82. @The Germ Theory of Disease
    The essential problem behind all of this, is the leftist philosophy that America is not really a nation, populated by the American people, but that it is instead an enormous cookie jar, and everybody on earth deserves a cookie. And that the browner you are, the more cookies you magically deserve. We are racistly oppressing the entire world by not letting them all come live here instead of in their sh!tholes, which by the way are definitely NOT sh!tholes. And the fact that White people built a paradise out of a wilderness in record time, whereas Africans and Bangladeshis had roughly 30,000 years to make something that was not a sh!thole, and somehow failed to prioritize this goal, says nothing about anything.

    The rot became obvious (it was already there) when George W. Bush, may his future torments in Hell be doubled, made the ridiculous, Shucks-guess-I-just-really-hate-Americans statement, "Family values don't end at the Rio Grande." Nobody in authority took the trouble to point out, "But the U.S. border DOES end at the Rio Grande: no one is saying that these millions of moochers can't have families, they just can't have them HERE."

    The fact that the duly elected Chief Executive of the United States could say to the American people with a perfectly straight face, "I don't care at all about this country or its people, I am just going to prioritize my poorly thought-out personal beliefs instead" and he was not strung from a lamp post on the spot, tells you all you need to know about the depth of hypnosis. America is not a nation, it's a cookie jar.

    Here, endless tidal waves of dusky begging paupers, have another cookie. There's infinite cookies after all. I don't actually know that, I mean I haven't really checked. But I bet there are. I think I saw it on Rick and Morty.

    Hear, hear!

  83. @Jonathan Mason

    This country wasn’t built on fantasies spewed out by Greenwich Village coffee house pseudo-intellectuals
     
    Well, coffee stimulates the brain, and maybe that is what is needed so that the US can catch up with every single other developed country and have a universal health care system that is affordable enough so that people can get necessary health care and avoid medical bankruptcy when they have a serious injury or terminal condition.

    Many people on this page believe this is impossible because they have been brainwashed into believing that such a thing is a fantasy. So look at what other countries are doing!

    If the Republicans don't like what Bernie is running on, then why don't they come up with some better ideas?

    The US isn’t “other countries”. Perhaps, if we hadn’t opened the floodgates in 1965, we might have had a chance at a federally-directed medical-care system. But only, perhaps. You’ve got to have a “we’re all in this together” population to make society wide programs work. And we don’t have that sort if program.

  84. anon[105] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    This country wasn’t built on fantasies spewed out by Greenwich Village coffee house pseudo-intellectuals
     
    Well, coffee stimulates the brain, and maybe that is what is needed so that the US can catch up with every single other developed country and have a universal health care system that is affordable enough so that people can get necessary health care and avoid medical bankruptcy when they have a serious injury or terminal condition.

    Many people on this page believe this is impossible because they have been brainwashed into believing that such a thing is a fantasy. So look at what other countries are doing!

    If the Republicans don't like what Bernie is running on, then why don't they come up with some better ideas?

    Well, coffee stimulates the brain, and maybe that is what is needed so that the US can catch up with every single other developed country and have a universal health care system that is affordable enough so that people can get necessary health care and avoid medical bankruptcy when they have a serious injury or terminal condition and blah, blah, blah, blah, yatta, yatta, yatta.

  85. @Lockean Proviso
    "his conviction that markets do best when let alone."

    This had a lot to do with it. Synthetic derivatives, paid-off ratings agencies, mortgage agents incentivized to make lots of loans regardless of quality, rent-seeking via Wall Street bribery of politicians and revolving door jobs for regulators, captured corporate financial press: all due to private market actors.

    Surely that "conviction" about markets doing best when unregulated had something to do with the massive influx of campaign contributions from the financial sector.

    It really is embarrassing how few people here realize that the blame rests primarily with the financial sector (aka the ones making trillions of dollars in profits from this whole thing). And remain somehow convinced that people had to be forced to accept the regulations that made them all that money. And are deluded enough to think that George W. Bush and his GOP braintrust would ever do anything of significance solely or even primarily for blacks.and Hispanics as opposed to what everything the GOP ever does anything for, which is to help rich people and large businesses. Financiers bought off all these (corrupt, shakedown operation) civil rights groups just like Bloomberg is doing with his presidential run and all the dummies here are buying it hook, line, and sinker and thinking they originated this whole thing.

    Free market fundamentalism is just as stupid and evil as equality fundamentalism.

  86. @Reg Cæsar

    The reality is that Bernie’s ideas have worked just fine in Scandinavia...
     
    https://www.icenews.is/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/squatters.jpg

    https://live.staticflickr.com/6103/6390466689_496f0e4406_b.jpg

    https://cdni.rt.com/files/2018.09/original/5baba5ecdda4c848088b458a.jpg

    https://d24fkeqntp1r7r.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/12114855/sweden_explosions3.jpg

    How deluded do you have to be to say that the us is better than Europe because we have no urban blight and crime. It’s so patently ridiculous that you would think it would have to be some kind of singular Oliver Sacks level disorder but it’s near universal among a particular kind of conservative.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    How deluded do you have to be to say that the us is better than Europe because we have no urban blight and crime
     
    The topic was "Bernie's ideas". I just illustrated how those ideas worked in Malmö.

    Swedes copied such American ideas, as did Parisians. Hence, "carbecues".


    https://aussiemadness.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/paris_carbecues.jpg?w=300&h=234

    The Swedes also disestablished their state church a few years ago-- another American idea. That the Danes, Norwegians, Icelanders, and Finns have rejected.

    Who's right?

    However, the Germans have now made their "church tax" voluntary, which means those worthless Turks aren't contributing a pfennig to the upkeep of those beautiful cathedrals. You know, the ones the low-church Presbyterian Truman bombed to rubble and the Germans had to rebuild at great cost.

    Why they're allowed to stay is beyond me.

  87. @Hail
    People are told what they want and believe it.

    The iSteve comment-readership often has to remind itself that most people don't do much independent thinking and believe what they are told uncriticially.

    One thing that also surprises many is how little home-ownership rates correlate in other relatively wealthy nations with success. A glance at t he numbers suggests a negative correlation, even if unlikely to be causal.

    Take a look at this graph on home ownership rate in Europe; look at the types of nations at the top and those at bottom:

    ("Home Truth: Ownership Rates in Europe," 2007 and 2016)

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EQ_pCxOWkAItRt_.jpg

    The key similarity is not how poor most of them are relative to the Western standard. It is that most of them used to be Communist. The state was the sole builder and owner of homes in the country – most of them small, cramped and in grey blocks, though an improvement for the rural or slum populations which may have only experienced backyard toilets.

    When Communism fell, a vast range of assets were privatized. Most people focus on the state owned companies, factories etc that were undervalued and then looted or became the property of well-connected nouveau riche people. But some of the greatest privatizations, overall, were of individual property – people’s homes, which were either given to them for free or for a very small sum. Also, the Eastern countries and Southern ones (which were poor and underdeveloped in recent memory – Portugal etc) have a long-term homeowner mentality that is not present in Western countries, where a lot of people view housing as a consumer product or a sort of commodity and renting is just another option that preserves mobility for career and better opportunities. Comes with the atomization of the individual and the inhibition of social capital formation. This is also starting to happen among the younger generations here, though they usually snap out of it when they (delayed) family formation kicks in.

    My father used to commute to a larger city nearby for a project when I was born in addition to his usual job. Our domicile was in a smaller industrial town where his main workplace was. Being in the strategic sector of metallurgy, he had the privilege of being given a studio apartment in the bigger town, in addition to the two bedroom flat in which he lived with me and my mother (also given by the state a few months before, when I was born; being an engineer meant he was allocated the new home quickly and in a newly built area near the city center). He gave the second home up when the project ended because he did not want another project and to commute any more. A few months later, Communism fell and the homes were privatized. The studio apartment from the bigger city would have been a windfall of around 50-60 thousand euros today. He might have sold it before, it would have been worth 5000 deutschmarks in the late 1990s which was also real money back then.

    • Replies: @Hail
    Thanks for this thoughtful reply,

    I see that of the 11 that got 85%+ on either of the measuring-years (2007, 2016):

    - 1 was NATO (Iceland)
    - 8 were Warsaw Pact (Romania, Lithuania, Slovakia, Russia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia)
    - 2 were in Yugoslavia (Croatia, Macedonia)

    Many of the above are small states and so data can be distorted when comparing to giants like Germany, but the pattern cannot be dismissed; you have a point.

    Of the 10 countries that got 70% or less on either of the two measuring-years:

    - 6 were NATO (Netherlands, France, UK, Denmark, Turkey [if it belongs on this list at all], Germany [or the rump-state of the Federal Republic, anyway])
    - 0 were Warsaw Pact or Yugoslav
    - 4 were formally Neutrals (Ireland, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland)

    __________________

    I have a feeling the story is too complicated nation to nation for any simple narratives to work. Why is home ownership at 85% in Norway but only 62-65% in Denmark/Sweden? This is a big gap that must have local origins. Sweeping 'monocasual' theories fail.

    Another sweeping theory that fails, which is the original point of citing this graph, is the George W. Bush Strategy of Homeownership (= toss house-deeds to as Nonwhites as possible and watch the Republican votes roll in).

    __________________

    Looking at the data again, and taking only the wealthy non-communist nations in the list, I perceive a likely correlation between low home-ownership and higher social trust.

    In other words, you trust your neighbor as landlord, you trust he will not be a jerk and cheat you; people in places with lower social trust would tend to be distrustful of landlords and therefore want to own their homes, to the extent it is possible, to avoid the evil landlord problem. Though this theory fails to explain Norway's high home-ownership.

  88. @res

    It makes me sad – and angry – that the people who’ve been running our country are this fu****g stupid and greedy.
     
    Not to mention that so few seem to have actually learned anything from the experience.

    Not to mention that so few seem to have actually learned anything from the experience.

    Perhaps they’ve learned that they can get away with it.

  89. @Romanian
    The key similarity is not how poor most of them are relative to the Western standard. It is that most of them used to be Communist. The state was the sole builder and owner of homes in the country - most of them small, cramped and in grey blocks, though an improvement for the rural or slum populations which may have only experienced backyard toilets.

    When Communism fell, a vast range of assets were privatized. Most people focus on the state owned companies, factories etc that were undervalued and then looted or became the property of well-connected nouveau riche people. But some of the greatest privatizations, overall, were of individual property - people's homes, which were either given to them for free or for a very small sum. Also, the Eastern countries and Southern ones (which were poor and underdeveloped in recent memory - Portugal etc) have a long-term homeowner mentality that is not present in Western countries, where a lot of people view housing as a consumer product or a sort of commodity and renting is just another option that preserves mobility for career and better opportunities. Comes with the atomization of the individual and the inhibition of social capital formation. This is also starting to happen among the younger generations here, though they usually snap out of it when they (delayed) family formation kicks in.

    My father used to commute to a larger city nearby for a project when I was born in addition to his usual job. Our domicile was in a smaller industrial town where his main workplace was. Being in the strategic sector of metallurgy, he had the privilege of being given a studio apartment in the bigger town, in addition to the two bedroom flat in which he lived with me and my mother (also given by the state a few months before, when I was born; being an engineer meant he was allocated the new home quickly and in a newly built area near the city center). He gave the second home up when the project ended because he did not want another project and to commute any more. A few months later, Communism fell and the homes were privatized. The studio apartment from the bigger city would have been a windfall of around 50-60 thousand euros today. He might have sold it before, it would have been worth 5000 deutschmarks in the late 1990s which was also real money back then.

    Thanks for this thoughtful reply,

    I see that of the 11 that got 85%+ on either of the measuring-years (2007, 2016):

    – 1 was NATO (Iceland)
    – 8 were Warsaw Pact (Romania, Lithuania, Slovakia, Russia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia)
    – 2 were in Yugoslavia (Croatia, Macedonia)

    Many of the above are small states and so data can be distorted when comparing to giants like Germany, but the pattern cannot be dismissed; you have a point.

    Of the 10 countries that got 70% or less on either of the two measuring-years:

    – 6 were NATO (Netherlands, France, UK, Denmark, Turkey [if it belongs on this list at all], Germany [or the rump-state of the Federal Republic, anyway])
    – 0 were Warsaw Pact or Yugoslav
    – 4 were formally Neutrals (Ireland, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland)

    __________________

    I have a feeling the story is too complicated nation to nation for any simple narratives to work. Why is home ownership at 85% in Norway but only 62-65% in Denmark/Sweden? This is a big gap that must have local origins. Sweeping ‘monocasual’ theories fail.

    Another sweeping theory that fails, which is the original point of citing this graph, is the George W. Bush Strategy of Homeownership (= toss house-deeds to as Nonwhites as possible and watch the Republican votes roll in).

    __________________

    Looking at the data again, and taking only the wealthy non-communist nations in the list, I perceive a likely correlation between low home-ownership and higher social trust.

    In other words, you trust your neighbor as landlord, you trust he will not be a jerk and cheat you; people in places with lower social trust would tend to be distrustful of landlords and therefore want to own their homes, to the extent it is possible, to avoid the evil landlord problem. Though this theory fails to explain Norway’s high home-ownership.

  90. Anon[205] • Disclaimer says:
    @S. Anonyia
    Are we about to experience another housing bubble? Housing prices have increased significantly in the last 5 years where I live, and we have a slightly lower cost of living compared to the nation. It may not be official government policy as it was under W, but the banks seem to be pushing for risks again.

    My husband and I are in the top 5 percent of income for our metro. Yet our house is only 5ok more expensive than the average for the area. We could have gone a little bigger for our budget, but nothing that much more enhanced. And we live in the city; lots of folks in a nearby swanky suburb live in large McMansions with neighborhood amenities like pools, gyms, etc. I know for a fact many of these people earn less than us, plus they have children to take care of (go ahead and lambast me but we intend to be DINKs until we are 32-35). There is more family wealth than most Americans know of out there, but not enough to account for all of the barely-middle income people living in nice suburban houses.

    So what gives? Seems like risky mortgages are a thing again.

    I used to live in an area like this, but rented. My rent was a third of what it should have been for the area, so I was fortunate (I was paying $500 for a unit that could have easily garnered $1,500 or more).

    Now, I’m blessed. I live completely off the grid in a small cabin that I built on unincorporated land deep in one of the most isolated areas of the Rocky Mountains. My cabin is less than 500 square feet and fully self sufficient.

    My wife and two kids also live here, and the kids are home schooled as we’re an Orthodox Christian family and don’t support public schools as they’re nothing but indoctrination centers.

    Our place has spring water, a water tank, solar panel, wood stove (we’ll use this and wool blankets in the winter to save resources), a garden, and much more. We’re advocates of natural and holistic health; we consume a mostly raw diet and are all exceptionally healthy.

    We climb mountains, hike, hunt, fish, trap, explore the backcountry, trail run, mountain bike, photograph, canoe, and much more.

    I have my own business and work as a contractor in operational environments.

  91. Yeah, but Obama made entry level housing impossible for whites. Texas, Iowa, and Oklahoma have some of the highest hikes for rent this past year since Obama and Frank and Dodd encourage high ended housing rather than entry level. In fact Austin tract housing is above the US in pricing not LA or San Diego prices, but not cheap. Obama encourage the Chinese and other foreigners to buy up housing and driving up prices and rent.

    • Agree: notsaying
  92. @Desiderius
    No they’re not mortgage free. Jesus H. Christ.

    Why do people feel compelled to expound on matters with which they lack a modicum of familiarity?

    The whole point is to build up equity (including sweat equity, the requirement to put in a minimum of 500 hours work on your own home) and credit. This was once the principal focus of the ministry. When it was a ministry.

    Don’t get upset with me.

    Habitat for Humanity’s been around for years. They get people and municipalities to donate land to them. They choose to emphasize the sweat equity and the fact that volunteers build the houses (or does it turn out that they use professional labor as well?).

    They never mention that people have mortgages too. Is the public supposed to somehow magically know that mortgages are involved?

    I’d be interested to know what their minimum/maximum income a year is to get a house.

    • Replies: @Desiderius

    They never mention that people have mortgages too. Is the public supposed to somehow magically know that mortgages are involved?
     
    The part of the public that feels compelled to hold forth in public on their merits and demerits? Exactly so. Again, the mortgages are a, if not the, central purpose. Burghers making more burghers, as we do.

    I haven't been much involved myself since they were flooded with CRA money, and the inevitable and inimical strings attached, in the 90s. Wouldn't be surprised if they've moved more toward professional labor since if often ends up less expensive than volunteer management. The best affiliates have always used retired professionals/skilled amateurs.
  93. @bomag

    Whatever you think of him, he is right about rental housing: lower income Americans can’t afford housing anymore and to get the number of housing units we need for them the federal government will have to step in and pay lots of money to build millions of units.
     
    I cringe at such solutions; gov't built housing tends to be plenty expensive with plenty of issues.

    Better jobs; lower cost housing; fewer immigrants and their crowding effect would be better solutions, but they're off the table for the usual, dreary reasons.

    The mass building of housing paid for by the government is something that most people are against for many reasons.

    In the cities — and not just the big ones, either — we need towers yet we know if we build them big and tall they’ll end up full of misery and crime because we don’t know how to get a lot of poor young people together without gangs and crime developing. Nobody wants the towers like those that have been exploded during the past 20 years in big cities back and yet with limited land and no housing what else are we going to do? Disperse the poor across America in buildings of 6 stories? Build hundred of acres of townhouses in San Francisco? Actually we will end up building millions of low-rise apartment units and thousands of acres of government subsidized townhouses but they won’t be in the cities, they will be taking up green space across America. I feel sick at heart when I think of how much green space will be eaten up for housing for people we never should have had here.

    We have another 100 million people than we did in 1980 and a federal minimum wage that hasn’t changed since 2009.

    We made poor decisions in the past on immigration that we persist on making now and make other poor decisions that favor putting more money into the hands of the rich.

    Housing is just the first issue that’s become impossibly big and unsolvable without government intervention. There will be others in the future.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    No government intervention is needed at all and there are only side problems. Housing is a continually replenished commodity, the market for it is not crippled by information imperfections, and one's consumption of it is sensitive to considerations of amenity. If you have a mix of transfer and insurance programs which act to socialize provision in problem markets (medical care, long-term care, and schooling), act to provide income floors for the elderly and disabled, and act to provide matching funds for the earned income of those neither elderly nor disabled, you don't need specific interventions to manipulate patterns of production and consumption of housing.

    You do benefit from some degree of local land use planning (which is usually botched) and from health-and-safety regulations. There are externalities in the real estate market that need to be addressed. However, see Marc Hinshaw's work: such regulations are often copied wholesale from form books and do not incorporate local adaptations and regulate to excess in certain realms. The excess reduces the menu of housing options available to impecunious people without improving public health appreciably. (Hinshaw offers examples). The menu should include flop houses, boarding houses, apartments with shared facilities, &c. These have largely disappeared in American cities.

    Slum crime isn't a housing problem except to the degree that graffiti, broken windows, trash, and urine promote a general sense of disorder which emboldens criminals. Slum crime can be addressed through ample staffing and best practices in policing, as well as a court system which doesn't attempt to substitute social work for punishment. Decay in the built environment can be addressed by removing property taxes in impecunious neighborhoods and adding to local sales taxes to replace the revenue, by having streamlined eviction procedures so these buildings function as income-producing assets, having supplementary street sweeping patrols (which include sandblasting graffiti), and issuing citations to landlords for certain sorts of disorder-generating neglect. You're never going to make slums tranquil, but you can make large improvements in slum conditions.

  94. @Jonathan Mason

    I cringe at such solutions; gov’t built housing tends to be plenty expensive with plenty of issues.
     
    In Florida 1 in 7 residential units are mobile homes, which are fairly cheap to build and can be built indoors all the year round. With a government trailer building program, you could probably bring prices down by cutting out expensive items like sales commissions and give people lower interest rates to make home purchase affordable and include maintenance contracts in with the price of purchase. If purchasers get behind with payments, tax refunds and EIC could be garnished.

    And then there is Section 8 housing.

    However the real problem is that the US is gradually failing economically and although there are plenty of jobs available in many cases and in many areas wages are not enough to pay for health care and housing.

    This is structural failure of the economy and the this slide downwards may go on for many years until a very large percentage of the population are homeless, camping, or living in prisons or the workhouse.

    I was amazed to hear just the other day that in Florida as many as 2 million driver licenses out of a total of 14 million are currently suspended. This is not because Floridians are particularly bad drivers but because licenses are suspended when people fail to pay fees or fines to the state government.

    In a state that has almost no public transportation, people without driver's licenses have no way to get to work and earn money without breaking the law. The fact that such a large number of people in one of the largest states in the US are in this predicament is an indication that our economy is failing, though Trump did not mention this in his State of the Union speech.

    I cannot support using dangerous and deadly mobile homes as a way to solve our housing crisis. I have heard too many reports of deaths in them during storms and floods.

    Other than that, I mostly agree with what you say.

    The country is silently going to the dogs in thousands of unknown and underappreciated ways. Your point about the 2 million suspended licenses in Florida is one of them. Thank you for making me aware of this fact, it is truly appalling but also indicative of real life in America today. And who is going to do something to change that? If things go on as they have been, they will only get worse.

    The people doing well keep doing better and their statistics mask the terrible things happening to those at the other end of the scale. We have the richest country in the world full of cash-strapped and miserable people whose lives have become progressively worse during my adult life. That includes people who used to think themselves secure and middle class. No more.

    • Replies: @res

    I cannot support using dangerous and deadly mobile homes as a way to solve our housing crisis. I have heard too many reports of deaths in them during storms and floods.
     
    Flooding is much more an issue with the sites than the homes. And yes, there is a problem with mobile home parks having been historically sited in flood plains.

    Storms are definitely an issue with trailer style mobile homes and poorly built and installed manufactured homes. But I think it is possible to make them somewhat comparable.
    https://www.manufacturedhousing.org/safe-storm/

    I keep thinking high quality manufactured homes are going to take off at some point given the economy of scale and ability to avoid weather during construction, but I have been consistently wrong. I think much of that is due to them being perceived as lower class.

    One difficulty I see is at the moment the market for manufactured homes seems to have divided into excessively cheap (e.g. those trailers) and overly expensive (e.g. boutique tiny homes at insane costs per square foot).
  95. No mobile homes are not a very good place to be during hurricanes, but probably better than the corrugated roof shacks that many people inhabit in the Caribbean islands. Cheap tenements are not that great either.

    I know they are not ideal, but we are becoming a poor country–or at least a nation that contains the equivalent of many poor countries– and people have to live somewhere. Some are very reasonably priced, especially in tenant owned parks.

    https://mobilehomeliving.org/mobile-home-community-lot-rent-across-nation/#19-tenant-owned-park-in-fl

    And here is some more about the driver license situation in sunny FL.

    https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/crime/os-ne-drivers-license-suspensions-report-20191219-xazyr2cdkff7xfljjvgkcz6tum-story.html

  96. @notsaying
    I cannot support using dangerous and deadly mobile homes as a way to solve our housing crisis. I have heard too many reports of deaths in them during storms and floods.

    Other than that, I mostly agree with what you say.

    The country is silently going to the dogs in thousands of unknown and underappreciated ways. Your point about the 2 million suspended licenses in Florida is one of them. Thank you for making me aware of this fact, it is truly appalling but also indicative of real life in America today. And who is going to do something to change that? If things go on as they have been, they will only get worse.

    The people doing well keep doing better and their statistics mask the terrible things happening to those at the other end of the scale. We have the richest country in the world full of cash-strapped and miserable people whose lives have become progressively worse during my adult life. That includes people who used to think themselves secure and middle class. No more.

    I cannot support using dangerous and deadly mobile homes as a way to solve our housing crisis. I have heard too many reports of deaths in them during storms and floods.

    Flooding is much more an issue with the sites than the homes. And yes, there is a problem with mobile home parks having been historically sited in flood plains.

    Storms are definitely an issue with trailer style mobile homes and poorly built and installed manufactured homes. But I think it is possible to make them somewhat comparable.
    https://www.manufacturedhousing.org/safe-storm/

    I keep thinking high quality manufactured homes are going to take off at some point given the economy of scale and ability to avoid weather during construction, but I have been consistently wrong. I think much of that is due to them being perceived as lower class.

    One difficulty I see is at the moment the market for manufactured homes seems to have divided into excessively cheap (e.g. those trailers) and overly expensive (e.g. boutique tiny homes at insane costs per square foot).

  97. @Guy De Champlagne
    How deluded do you have to be to say that the us is better than Europe because we have no urban blight and crime. It's so patently ridiculous that you would think it would have to be some kind of singular Oliver Sacks level disorder but it's near universal among a particular kind of conservative.

    How deluded do you have to be to say that the us is better than Europe because we have no urban blight and crime

    The topic was “Bernie’s ideas”. I just illustrated how those ideas worked in Malmö.

    Swedes copied such American ideas, as did Parisians. Hence, “carbecues”.


    The Swedes also disestablished their state church a few years ago– another American idea. That the Danes, Norwegians, Icelanders, and Finns have rejected.

    Who’s right?

    However, the Germans have now made their “church tax” voluntary, which means those worthless Turks aren’t contributing a pfennig to the upkeep of those beautiful cathedrals. You know, the ones the low-church Presbyterian Truman bombed to rubble and the Germans had to rebuild at great cost.

    Why they’re allowed to stay is beyond me.

  98. @notsaying
    Don't get upset with me.

    Habitat for Humanity's been around for years. They get people and municipalities to donate land to them. They choose to emphasize the sweat equity and the fact that volunteers build the houses (or does it turn out that they use professional labor as well?).

    They never mention that people have mortgages too. Is the public supposed to somehow magically know that mortgages are involved?

    I'd be interested to know what their minimum/maximum income a year is to get a house.

    They never mention that people have mortgages too. Is the public supposed to somehow magically know that mortgages are involved?

    The part of the public that feels compelled to hold forth in public on their merits and demerits? Exactly so. Again, the mortgages are a, if not the, central purpose. Burghers making more burghers, as we do.

    I haven’t been much involved myself since they were flooded with CRA money, and the inevitable and inimical strings attached, in the 90s. Wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve moved more toward professional labor since if often ends up less expensive than volunteer management. The best affiliates have always used retired professionals/skilled amateurs.

  99. @notsaying
    The mass building of housing paid for by the government is something that most people are against for many reasons.

    In the cities -- and not just the big ones, either -- we need towers yet we know if we build them big and tall they'll end up full of misery and crime because we don't know how to get a lot of poor young people together without gangs and crime developing. Nobody wants the towers like those that have been exploded during the past 20 years in big cities back and yet with limited land and no housing what else are we going to do? Disperse the poor across America in buildings of 6 stories? Build hundred of acres of townhouses in San Francisco? Actually we will end up building millions of low-rise apartment units and thousands of acres of government subsidized townhouses but they won't be in the cities, they will be taking up green space across America. I feel sick at heart when I think of how much green space will be eaten up for housing for people we never should have had here.

    We have another 100 million people than we did in 1980 and a federal minimum wage that hasn't changed since 2009.

    We made poor decisions in the past on immigration that we persist on making now and make other poor decisions that favor putting more money into the hands of the rich.

    Housing is just the first issue that's become impossibly big and unsolvable without government intervention. There will be others in the future.

    No government intervention is needed at all and there are only side problems. Housing is a continually replenished commodity, the market for it is not crippled by information imperfections, and one’s consumption of it is sensitive to considerations of amenity. If you have a mix of transfer and insurance programs which act to socialize provision in problem markets (medical care, long-term care, and schooling), act to provide income floors for the elderly and disabled, and act to provide matching funds for the earned income of those neither elderly nor disabled, you don’t need specific interventions to manipulate patterns of production and consumption of housing.

    You do benefit from some degree of local land use planning (which is usually botched) and from health-and-safety regulations. There are externalities in the real estate market that need to be addressed. However, see Marc Hinshaw’s work: such regulations are often copied wholesale from form books and do not incorporate local adaptations and regulate to excess in certain realms. The excess reduces the menu of housing options available to impecunious people without improving public health appreciably. (Hinshaw offers examples). The menu should include flop houses, boarding houses, apartments with shared facilities, &c. These have largely disappeared in American cities.

    Slum crime isn’t a housing problem except to the degree that graffiti, broken windows, trash, and urine promote a general sense of disorder which emboldens criminals. Slum crime can be addressed through ample staffing and best practices in policing, as well as a court system which doesn’t attempt to substitute social work for punishment. Decay in the built environment can be addressed by removing property taxes in impecunious neighborhoods and adding to local sales taxes to replace the revenue, by having streamlined eviction procedures so these buildings function as income-producing assets, having supplementary street sweeping patrols (which include sandblasting graffiti), and issuing citations to landlords for certain sorts of disorder-generating neglect. You’re never going to make slums tranquil, but you can make large improvements in slum conditions.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
  100. The menu should include flop houses, boarding houses, apartments with shared facilities, &c. These have largely disappeared in American cities.

    I realized a few years ago that our post-WWII American way of life is under threat and probably will end up disappearing for some in the future. What a terrible realization that was.

    Yes, I can foresee a time when we return to life as it is portrayed in old 1930s and 1940s movies with adults staying at home for years after their educations are finished and group living or sharing situations.

    This is not what I want for our descendants at all. I want them to have the same advantageous and freedom that my own generation had. This is what will come of bringing in too many people.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    This is not what I want for our descendants at all. I want them to have the same advantageous and freedom that my own generation had. This is what will come of bringing in too many people.

    When you have a variety of options to choose from for your housing, that is an element of freedom.

    No clue why you object to multi-generational households per se. That aside, as recently as 1928, only about 6% of each cohort attended colleges and universities (though an additional increment attended junior colleges or hospital nursing schools). The modal age to leave school was 15 in wage earning families and 18 for bourgeois families. The median age at 1st marriage was just shy of 23. Of course you had the younger generation living at home.

    As ever, urban and suburban development occupy only a single-digit % of the available land. "Too many people" is not the source of problems in housing markets.
  101. @notsaying

    The menu should include flop houses, boarding houses, apartments with shared facilities, &c. These have largely disappeared in American cities.
     
    I realized a few years ago that our post-WWII American way of life is under threat and probably will end up disappearing for some in the future. What a terrible realization that was.

    Yes, I can foresee a time when we return to life as it is portrayed in old 1930s and 1940s movies with adults staying at home for years after their educations are finished and group living or sharing situations.

    This is not what I want for our descendants at all. I want them to have the same advantageous and freedom that my own generation had. This is what will come of bringing in too many people.

    This is not what I want for our descendants at all. I want them to have the same advantageous and freedom that my own generation had. This is what will come of bringing in too many people.

    When you have a variety of options to choose from for your housing, that is an element of freedom.

    No clue why you object to multi-generational households per se. That aside, as recently as 1928, only about 6% of each cohort attended colleges and universities (though an additional increment attended junior colleges or hospital nursing schools). The modal age to leave school was 15 in wage earning families and 18 for bourgeois families. The median age at 1st marriage was just shy of 23. Of course you had the younger generation living at home.

    As ever, urban and suburban development occupy only a single-digit % of the available land. “Too many people” is not the source of problems in housing markets.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke

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