I once envisioned a new feudalism where gated communities and large estates evolved into fortresses to protect the super rich from those whose labor created their wealth.
We do have armed compounds of crazies who spout “liberty” when they only mean their own selfish license to do anything they want with no regard to collateral consequences or the freedom of others.
But, the walled cities of the Middle Ages have yet to materialize. Instead, a new kind of serfdom is emerging around that most American of the American Dreams – a home of one’s own.
The American housing market is rapidly becoming the latest get-rich-quick scheme of predatory capitalists whose only goal is gaudy profits. In this guise, multi-national investment firms have made the despised corporate raiders of the eighties the capitalistic heroes of this century.
Their progenitors would force their way into companies, demand “efficient” streamlining to cut workers (the more experienced, and thus costlier ones, first), sell off assets for quick profits (product be damned) and then unload the depleted company for more money, with tax laws –enacted by legislative co-conspirators – designed to maximize their take.
This new twist in capitalism switched the emphasis from creating widgets to sell to creating money with as little effort as possible.
Using this model – after its originators destroyed American industry in favor of child/slave labor in foreign lands – today’s money-to-make-money investors are not interested in creating the housing the rising population needs. Instead, they have swooped into booming areas to buy up as much of the housing market as they can.
The investment managers have the capital to take homes off the market, which pushes home prices even farther out of reach for many folks (in a continuing upward spiral), leaving them dependent upon renting from the investors (yes, they’re buying apartments, too) at jacked-up rates with the minimum – or less – landlord upkeep.
Ironically, laws have been introduced in both Oklahoma, Texas and other states to prohibit property purchases by any foreigners.
The Texas measure “follows legislation enacted in 2021 that prohibits the government, businesses and citizens of China, Russia, Iran and North Korea from owning or controlling critical infrastructure projects in Texas,” according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
KFOR-TV reports the Oklahoma bill would strengthen the states’ prohibition on the foreign ownership of Oklahoma land. Sen. Warren Hamilton, R-McCurtain, says his proposal comes after, “we’ve seen an increasing number of foreign interests come into our state and purchase our farmland for astronomical amounts of money in order to set up (marijuana) grows and other related businesses.”
While foreign land ownership is currently banned here, foreign money has set up businesses to circumvent this prohibition.
If our state legislatures truly wanted to protect their citizens from evil land-grabbers with alien principles, they would take action against the capitalistic predators whose avarice threatens to make future generations of Americans the new serfs, allowed a roof over their heads in exchange for what they earn by the sweat of their brows – or the brains behind them.
Of, if you prefer the southern model, it’s a new population of sharecroppers, where housing depends upon how they satisfy – with money and acquiescence – the new plantation owners who control their fate.
Oh, yeah. They’re taking their business model into health care as well.