HOUSING

 

Lots of families are homeless, even though the parent(s) are willing to work reasonably.* At the same time rich families own multiple mansions. All who are willing to work reasonably should enjoy comfortable and adequate housing just as much as anybody else. People will not be homeless in an egalitarian society.

 

Gentrification is illegal in an egalitarian society.

 

Squatting is legal in an egalitarian society.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND EGALITARIANISM

 

This Boston Globe article--about the difficulty poor people have in finding affordable housing in safe communities with good schools--is INFURIATING! Here's why.

 

The Boston Globe identifies a problem--the fact that many poor people cannot obtain decent housing in a safe community with good public schools. Then the Globe examines how a certain totally inadequate, hence phony, "solution" to the problem--letting poor people rent "affordable" housing in well-to-do communities--has been thwarted, but holds out hope that maybe one day this phony solution will not be thwarted.

 

Along the way, the Globe article discusses that there is another solution--building nice low income housing in the poor neighborhoods. This solution is also a phony one because it leaves the tenants poor and it leaves the neighborhoods poor and unsafe with lousy public schools [funded by property taxes that produce little revenue in poor communities and lots of revenue in richer ones], but the Globe doesn't mention this. Instead the Globe points out that some poor people oppose this second solution because it undermines the first (it's a choose your phony solution approach.)

 

The first (phony) solution is portrayed as superior to the second because what poor people need in order to have a good life, according to the article, is to live in a "high-opportunity" neighborhood (this is how the Globe refers to well-to-do communities).

 

What makes this Globe article so infuriating is that it, like virtually all reporting in the mass (and, alas alternative) media, uses phony solutions to hide the real solution, which is egalitarianism--the abolition of class inequality so that there are no rich and no poor and the economy is based not on buying and selling but on sharing according to "From each according to ability, to each according to need." [This is described at http://www.pdrboston.org/egalitarianism .]

 

The problem, in other words, is not that poor people cannot live in well-to-do communities, and nor is the problem that poor people don't have nice homes in their poor unsafe bad-schools communities; the problem is that poor people are very poor while others are much richer, even though the poor work (or are willing to work) doing socially useful labor as hard or harder than the richer people. The problem is that our society is designed to make things good for the richest people, who have the most power because in our society money is power. The problem is that poor people are treated like dirt to ensure that the richest people remain in power (as discussed here ). 

 

Moving very poor people into a community of much richer people is no solution at all. Obviously this phony solution cannot EVER be a real solution because nobody envisions moving ALL the poor people into rich communities. Even if this happened, what would it mean? It would simply result in new ways for the richer people to separate themselves from the poorer ones, and eventually there would be essentially poor communities and rich communities all over again.

Rent Control?

The Globe ran an article about re-introducing rent control (for residential occupants) now after the idea was narrowly voted down in a state referendum in 1994. Rent control in our current capitalist system of housing, is an inherently divisive issue that pits owners of one or a few rental units against tenants.

 

The typical such owner is not a rich person, but one who has invested their small life savings in some rental property and relies on the income from it to live modestly, often after having retired from a working class job. Many working class people in Boston bought their first home by taking out a large mortgage from a bank to buy a "triple decker"--a common (in Boston) form of housing consisting of three units each on its own floor. The new owner would live in one unit and rent the other two out in order to pay the mortgage with that rental income.

Debates about rent control frame the conflicting sides as the owner versus the renter with the former obviously opposed to rent control and the latter obviously favoring it. When framed this way (as the mass media always do) the debate cannot be anything other than divisive, pitting owners versus renters.

If, however, the debate were framed to be a conflict between the interests of the banks versus both the owners and renters, then it would be clear that both the owners and renters would be much better off if we had egalitarianism, and only the bankers would be worse off.

 

In this case, everybody who works reasonably according to ability (or did so before retirement age)--and this includes people who build houses and people who live in them and do other kinds of work--would have the right to take from the economy, for free, what they need or reasonably desire--and that includes a home to live in and everything else to live decently such as food and medical care and education and entertainment, etc. (and have scarce things that are equitably rationed according to need.)

What about the bankers in an egalitarian society? They wouldn't exist; they'd have to find something useful to do so they too could contribute reasonably according to ability and then have the right to take what they need or reasonably desire from the economy for free.

But today bankers, who do no useful work, get rich from making ordinary people pay them mortgage payments to live in a house that the bankers didn't build (and couldn't build if their lives depended on it.)

 

The ruling class promotes infuriating articles like these Globe articles about all the problems in society in order to keep us divided and to prevent us from thinking about the real solutions to our problems. The rulers want to prevent us from thinking about how to ACTUALLY make our society one where everybody can have a good life--by making an egalitarian revolution (which is indeed possible, as discussed at here ).  You can help make it happen; read how here

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* This Boston Globe article reports:

a. "It’s a familiar story in Boston, where older renters have been squeezed out as rents climb and apartments convert to condos for well-heeled newcomers."

b. "Landlords have sued to evict about 40,000 households a year in Massachusetts over the past decade, according to data from the New England Center for Investigative Reporting."

This Boston Globe article reports: "Eviction initiations in Massachusetts spiked in 2008, following the Great Recession. Each year since then, landlords have sued about 40,000 heads of household across the state seeking to evict them, according to data gathered by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. The state doesn’t track how many of these have resulted in actual evictions, but the Eviction Lab at Princeton University found that in 2016, there were roughly 15,708 forced removals in Massachusetts — an average of nearly 43 a day."

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