Creeping Socialism (PART 3) - 90 Million Unoccupied Houses

Wednesday, February 25 2009 @ 04:48 PM JST

Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto


According to Ron Paul, there are 90 million vacant houses in America today. (At first I thought I heard the maverick Senator say there are 19 million unoccupied houses, which was already something that threw me into consternation, but a transcript reads 90 million houses are in that condition.) On the other hand there are tens of millions of people who only have a house or apartment that doesn't meet the minimum living standard, or no place to live in at all.

More than half a century ago, American Marxist Leo Huberman (1903-1968) pointed out that in America the practice of dumping "excess" grain into the ocean was commonplace when millions of people were combating malnutrition. He said this was something inherent to capitalist society. That is not really true but just the same, the same incongruous thing can happen in today's America when a supplier of goods or services teams up with the Federal Reserve to manipurate the market mechanism.

Basically there are three tested ways - almost always tested unworkable - for the government to handle an oversupply situation:
1. Let the supplier destroy the goods while leaving the potential customer unprovided with necessities.
2. Subsidize either side or both so that the excess products can find their way to consumers at a price substantially lower than market.
3. Destroy both.

Since it's too obvious that the first option is doomed to further widen disparity, any government in history hasn't really encouraged suppliers to destroy their goods.

Option 3 can be pursued most typically by means of a destructive war. Everyone knows the Great Depression paved the way for the authoritarian and belligerent regimes in Europe. But even for America, it took WWII to fully recover from the protracted downturn in economy since the 1930s.

Now that Obama, misguided by those multilateralists, has precluded the warring solution, the Harvard-educated Santa Claus will certainly go for Option 2, which is the easiest, but the worst way (even more destructive than the warring option) to close or narrow the gap. Obama seems to believe this alternative is the only practicable course of action for the United States, not only at home but also abroad. The president is right, on the premise that he is not really determined to seek a fourth way to bring about change. In fact he doesn't look prepared to step into an uncharted course. His lack of integrity prevents him from doing so.

According to the statistics, more than 35 million Americans are living below the poverty line which is defined as $18,810 for a household of four. Without doubt, Obama will end up buying up the mortgages to house a good part of poor American households. Taking into account that the average size of American households is in the range of 2.5-3.0, 35 million people will translate into well above 10 million households. I don't know, neither do I care, what he will do with the remainder of these 90 million houses.

By doing so, Obama could make tens of millions of Americans reasonably happy for the time being while mitigating the losses the housing and financial industries were to suffer otherwise.

As I quoted in PART 2 of this series, Marx thought "a railway on which no one travels" is "potentially but not actually a railway." If you only look at the surface of his thought, you may think Obama would actualize the values of these houses. But, in fact, the way the value-adding chain works in an industrialized country is not that simple.

These houses are not meant to be the lairs of animals. Therefore, whether or not the values of these houses can be actualized all hinges on what values the residents could create and share with the rest of the population based in their new residences. If they remain unemployed, choose to live on welfare or take one of those unproductive jobs artificially created by Obama, their houses are not yet houses for human beings at least in a figurative sense.

Actually Obama's benevolent measures tilted toward watered-down socialism have increasingly been undermining these people's sense of values. Not only that, even Congressmen and other upper-class Americans are now behaving as if they are heading for a totalitarian state.

It was somewhat sickening as well as scaring to watch Obama addressing the joint session of the Congress on February 24. The entire audience was in euphoria under the spell of hypnotic words from the mesmerist sitting behind the podium. This was reminiscent of Europe in the 1930s through the early-1940s where Germans and Italians were reacting in a trance to their charismatic leaders.

This is something to confirm that the houses possibly to be occupied by these purposeless souls would still remain virtually vacant, and thus, should be classified in "toxic" assets.

Given the apparent loss of resilience across the board, it seems unlikely that in my lifetime, I see a strong America reemerge from the abyss of cheap, but dreadful socialism. Most American people that I used to know were full of self-esteem, spontaneity and a sense of self-reliance. And equally important, they were open-minded toward different views and new ideas.

To conclude this series, I want to reiterate that in all likelihood, a creeping socialism will ultimately lead to a disguised totalitarianism as Dr./Sen. Ron Paul has warned on various occasions.

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