The War on Homeownership has begun - ObamaTime Magazine weighs in.

By
Real Estate Agent with 1st Action Real Estate

The administration's war on home ownership has begun. The first salvo's were lobbed months ago as rumors leaked out that 'high level discussion' were being held about the value of housing. It escalated a couple weeks ago with the White House Conference on Housing, where the predominant message was the failure of housing and the inequity of benefits for the wealthy.

Yesterday it took another leap with the ObamaTime Magazine cover devoted to "Rethinking Home Ownership". The magazine didn't even make a paean to fairness with it's cover subtitle - 'Why owning a home may no longer make economic sense'. Inside the article itself laid out the case under the headline "The Case Against Homeownership" going on to state that the 'American Dream may well be a fantasy'. The first line of the article read - "Home ownership has let us down..." and went downhill from there.

The article, by a Barbara kiviat, drones on for 5 pages providing a combination of research, history and non-sequitur. It gives a historical perspective of Presidential views on the benefits of homeownership (minus our current leader) then states 'Our leaders, with our encouragement, went too far. The dark side of home ownership is now all too apparent." Whoops - that's just the first of numerous non-sequitur's where the author makes a series of generally negative statements and then fails to provide a nexus to housing. She points to a failure of leadership but lays the blame on housing. What?

A paragraph later she does it again pointing out that 'easy lending, stimulated by the cult of homeownership may have triggered the financial crisis.' The cult of homeownership? And while she references 'easy lending', again the blame lies squarely on housing - not greedy, rapacious lenders nor the hack politicians that fostered mis-directed programs like the Community Reinvestment Act - folks like Barney Frank and Maxine Waters, who are nowhere mentioned in this article. 

In fact while she is able to blame homeowners for a variety of societal ills including lack of mobility, inflexibility, being security conscious, wanting a safe place to raise families, freezing low income rentals out of upper end neighborhoods and the like, she does not once mention the administration policies that brought us to our current position. In addition to this glaring omission of government culpability, she completely glosses over the complicity of Wall Street, not even mentioned in the article, nor the rampant fraud and fiscal impropriety that exacerbated the problem.

No, in her simplistic, administration-centric view, all these ills were not the cause of the housing crisis but rather were caused by housing itself - as if housing were a malevolent entity that, rather than being the American Dream, was hell-bent on destroying the American Dream. Of course she raises the flag of inequity raise by Mark Zandi at the housing conference a couple weeks back that government subsidies like the mortgage interest deduction and capital gains benefits are primarily enjoyed by the wealthy while poor and middle class homeowners have to be content with just a safe and secure place to raise their families. 

She also spends a few pages discussing the merits of renting rather than  owning, pointing out cities with a supposed advantage engendered by having higher percentages of their citizens as renters - San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles are outstanding on her list because they are high rental/high output cities. Likewise the Swiss are held up as icons because they have the highest income as a percent of their GDP yet only 34.6% of their population are homeowners. On the same circular chart that supposedly has some relevance, the Spanish have the lowest per capita income yet have an 89.1% home ownership rate. The US lies somewhere in the middle of that chart between Japan and Australia. I'm sure the chart makes sense to someone for some reason depending on your agenda. Notably absent from the list are other socialist countries. Apparently the author sees no use in tipping her hand quite that far by noting that the ultimate in rental-centric societies are also the lowest per capita income generators. Noooo, that equation don't work. 

Well, I cease to be amazed at the slant or tenor of any article contained in most of today's media, especially in ObamaTime. I mean the same issue carries a glowing article on how the $787 Billion stimulus package has been such a success (?) and how it is 'quietly changing the way America works, moves and innovates. They apparently don't see the irony in that headline as more Americans are out of work, moving out of their homes and that innovation has been outsourced off-shore. 

Just be aware, the battle against housing has begun. I'm not sure of the goal, but if the battle is waged as successfully as the war for healthcare reform, financial reform, corporate bail-out's and takeovers, you can expect significant changes. They are waging this media battle for the hearts and minds of the lowest common denominator - another aspect of their class warfare. The have's against the have-not's. This time it seeks to pit homeowners against non-homeowners and further divide upper level homeowners against lower level homeowners. It is insidious in nature and has proven a successful strategy of this administration. 

Make no mistake - Homeownership is under attack and if you don't take a stand, most of you will be out of business within the decade and the ownership of individual private proerty will become a hazy memory. 

Of course that's just my opinion - I could be wrong. Hope I am. 

time

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Re-Bloggged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lenn Harley 08/31/2010 02:58 PM
  2. Karen Kruschka 08/31/2010 03:31 PM
  3. Tony Marriott 08/31/2010 04:17 PM
  4. Fran Gatti 08/31/2010 06:08 PM
  5. Jim Hale 08/31/2010 08:07 PM
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Comments 64 New Comment

Ambassador
1,775,048
Nestor & Katerina Gasset
Realtors, Wellington Florida Homes For Sale
International Properties and Investments LLC

This is a post that gets to be featured because the essence of Gene's post is about PRIVATE OWNERSHIP RIGHTS which is a HUGE part of REAL ESTATE. HIs post is NOT partisan. What the political featured posts not being featured are ones where they are partisan and about candidates not about issues. 

What PART of REAL ESTATE is NOT POLITICAL. 

Lola wrote a very good featured post about your duty as REALTORS® if you are REALTORS® and the NAR PREAMBLE . Maybe you should read it sometimes. I wrote a featured post about how you can not NOR should NOT separate real estate from politics because the very essence of the word real estate is political. 

But you know, that is the new communication method these days, when you don't like what someone says- you shut them up instead of allow them to speak. This is becoming ALL too common in our country right now. 

Don't shoot the messenger because the comment stream turned it into one side bashing the other side. 

IF you READ Gene's article- you will see that NO WHERE did he say this was the President's fault. NO WHERE. So Gregory started the bashing when he brought up red vs blue in his comment to Gene which had nothing to do with Gene's post. 

How do you even practice real estate as a business and NOT care about Private property rights? 

 

September 01, 2010 08:59 AM
Ambassador
1,775,048
Nestor & Katerina Gasset
Realtors, Wellington Florida Homes For Sale
International Properties and Investments LLC

Many people in America that are generational American- which is why I am all for changing our immigration laws- which they won't ever do- the generational Americans- generally speaking- went to Public Schools where they got fed the lies, humanism, me, me, me, free lunches, everyone gets a trophy and socialism for so many years that now they are ready to wait in bread lines for hours just to get a free loaf of bread and then go home to vegetate on their couch being entertained by more propaganda. 

So what does that produce? Serfs. And who wants serfs? The elite- and believe me this is NOT just an Obama thing- this has been in the making for over 100 years. IT does not take a year to breed liberty out of people. It takes a century. Now the people are ready for a king. They want monarchy. They are ready to worship a man or a woman. This has been repeated throughout history. 

Study Russian history, study the Russian revolution. So sad that the truth of it all has been taken out of the schools. This is near and dear to me. Talk to me any time about serfdom- my family lost all their land- we were evil landowners in Latvia. We were evil rich people. Talk to me about how the breeding of anti land ownership starts. 

Study Rome and the Fall of Rome- study their politics- study what did the Senators of Rome do to keep the masses entertained while they did their corruption to the point where Rome falls. 

September 01, 2010 09:13 AM
Rainmaker
224,999
Gene Wunderlich
Realtor & Legislative Liaison
1st Action Real Estate

I can always count on N & K for reasoned and insightful comments - just as I can count on others for the obverse.

Ron - As a 30+ year subscriber to TIME Mag, I have come to call it ObamaTIME over the past couple years as their level of objective journalism has fallen by the wayside and more often than not they are in the bag for whatever claptrap this administration spins out. As an inveterate reader, it is one of several sources I peruse to gather a broad coalition of viewpoints. Some of the commenters here should try it. There are some that come without Kool-aid. 

Once again, I will point out, for those of you like Roberty who neither read the article nor apparently my post, but felt compelled to discourse at some length anyway, I do not blame this adminstration for the housiing meltdown. But as Rahm Emanuel has stated more than once - never waste a good crisis - and that's exactly what I'm criticizing this administration for. While the housing market, how it is funded and the level of government support may indeed require some re-evaluation, I simply don't trust this administration to make the right call.

They question the 'payback' they're getting from housing and judging it not enough.What that translates to is they see it as a missed tax opportunity that would plug a small part of the massive fiscal hole they digging. Their current spin is the classic class warfare angle seeking to pit the have's against the have-nots - and even the people with regular homes against the people with bigger homes. That's wrong.

We need the government out of our business today so our market can work as intended. Instead they are entrenching themselves deeper and deeper, extending the problems through misguided and ineffectual programs. And if you don't understand how closely real estate and politics are intertwined I can't help you. As the button I carry from the California Association of Realtors states - get into politics or get out of the business.

September 01, 2010 12:53 PM
Rainmaker
224,999
Gene Wunderlich
Realtor & Legislative Liaison
1st Action Real Estate

N & K - so many good and heartfelt points. My concern is that this nation, founded as a Republic, has become a Democracy and is heading toward a more totalitarian form of government. After all, even a democracy can only survive until 51% of the voters decide they can bleed the other 49% dry for their own benefit. That is happening today in California where voters in ever greater numbers continue to elect the representatives that feed their do nothing lifestyle. It's why we have 11% of the country's population yet 32% of it's welfare cases. And if you don't think that makes a difference in how government operates, or that it can't happen here, just re-read what N & K, or Mirela say from personal experience.

September 01, 2010 01:01 PM
Rainer
212,417
Geoff ONeill
John L. Scott Medford

I was not aware that anyone actually read TIME anymore.  Think I saw one in a waiting room a few years ago.

September 02, 2010 10:45 AM
Rainmaker
224,999

Gene Wunderlich

Realtor & Legislative Liaison
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