San Francisco seems to be a factory for overnight millionaires. Much of the surplus income has surfaced as exorbitantly high land prices, causing a great deal of displacement and hostility between renters and the tech sector. Apparently, San Francisco is more unequal now than Rwanda. These issues serve as much of the impetus for the young Georgist conference taking place in San Francisco next month.
Landlords are having a free for all in the UK with the current “let to buy” scheme.
“The apparent exception to the state’s pandering to rentiers is the government’s Help to Buy scheme. You have not understood the full meaning of the word “disgrace” until you have understood its effects. Help to Buy no longer encourages the building of new homes or affordable homes. It does nothing to stop its potential landlords using taxpayer guarantees to buy homes to rent. (One third of the council homes sold to tenants by Margaret Thatcher are now owned by buy-to-let landlords. Why should it be different this time?) Albert Edwards, of Société Générale, described the use of taxpayers’ money to fund “Help to Buy” as a “moronic policy that stands head and shoulders above most of the stupid economic policies I have seen implemented”.”
The author, Nick Cohen, seems acutely aware of the Georgist solution, and his support for LVT is more apparent in this article.
Read the full article here: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/mar/02/all-that-is-solid-review-house-prices-danny-dorling
“He [the tenant] demanded money. Lots and lots of money. Flabbergasted and unwilling to be held hostage, the Zeckendorfs [landlords] began demolishing the building anyway. They hoped to drive Herb [the tenant] out from all the construction hassle and noise. Herbert was undeterred.
After living in a construction zone for over a year, Herbert’s stubbornness finally paid off in 2005. Admitting defeat, the Zeckendorfs caved and made an offer Herbert could not (and did not) refuse. In order to finally get Herbert to leave his decrepit 350 square foot apartment, they offered him a one time cash buyout of… get ready for it… $17 million.”
“The average worker would earn more than double their current salary if wages had increased as fast as house prices since 1997, a report reveals today. The research highlights the impact of the combination of huge house price rises but minimal, or non-existent, pay rises. Shortages in affordable housing have led to 4.1 million of adults abandoning the dream of having the keys to their own property, according to a new survey – with 1.8 million of these aged 25 to 44.”
Michael Hudson sits down with an Irish podcast to talk about Ireland’s economic crisis. He says:
“Just read Henry George on The Land Question and you’ll get everything you need to know…”
(Listen in around 4:00 minutes)
Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns has come out with another video emphasizing the importance of making good use of space. In this video, he uses the neologism “stroad”.
“The STROAD design — a street/road hybrid — is the futon of transportation alternatives. Where a futon is a piece of furniture that serves both as an uncomfortable couch and an uncomfortable bed, a STROAD moves cars at speeds too slow to get around efficiently but too fast to support productive private sector investment. The result is an expensive highway and a declining tax base.”
According to a new report from Australia, homeowners there receive “$36 billion [AUD] a year in subsidies, landlords about $7 billion and renters less than $3 billion.”
The stratification between wealthy and poor property owners is steep as well. High income owners receive $8,000 per year on average, but low-income owners don’t receive much more than $2,000.
“The report found the skewing of support to ownership, rather than renting, forced people to live further away from the centre of cities than they would like and made it hard for them to move because they face stamp duties.”
Read more: http://bit.ly/1gZ0yQG
View the link below for a comprehensive info-graphic describing the effects of levying fees on car traffic.
“After this summer’s massive protests against spending choices by the once-popular government, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has passed a law that will reserve all of Brazil’s oil royalties for healthcare and education.”
“I decided to be pro-active and head to the Property Investor Show at London’s Excel Centre. As the name suggests, it’s a show for property investors, where they all congregate in a big hall and explain the benefits of letting out poky, one-bed flats in Croydon to weird povvos who can’t get on the housing ladder.
I wanted to get a better insight into why property is so pricey that our city centres are becoming playgrounds for [rich landowners] while the poor are taking up arms and setting up burning barricades to stop bailiffs kicking them out of their homes…
Institute for Public Public Policy Research, for every pound it spends on building houses, the government is spending £19 on subsidising rent. So things are seemingly still geared towards propping up landlords rather than making sure there are enough homes.”