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Martell Spy

Workable Socialism

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

So, all apartment complexes should be State owned facilities?  Each person limited to owning one piece of property, or should we all be renting from the State?

No Scot, although maybe eventually.  And I'd prefer to think of it as 'owned by the people'.  It's funny how those who seem to have the most romantic attachment to the whole 'we the people' stuff and are super 'patriotic' scoff at the idea of actually making some kind of productive decision with their fellow citizens.  

There are many other options.  Co-ops where everyone in a building pays into a fund for repair and upkeep of the building, but managed by some kind of housing board.  The idea would be to take the profit out of simply owning something.  There's an entire spectrum here from an independent entity monitoring this or a municipal, state, or federal government agency being involved.  

Nobody's job should be able to be 'investor' where they are simply profiting off the fact that they have so much more than anyone else.  

I work with a lot of landlords and depend on them maintaining their properties for my living.  They are as good or bad as anyone else, that's not the point.  If that's their passion they can be a building super or a property manager.   

Feel free to keep up the fallacy based arguing with stuff like "have you met every landlord lol".  We've had plenty of, to borrow a phrase, dogshit jobs and positions go by the wayside.*

Look, I don't expect you to agree with any of this or think it's legitimate.  But the way housing works is absolutely absurd.  I mean on a survival scale it is absolutely the most essential thing for humans.  There's no reason that it should be the most consuming part of our daily labor.  The fact that most of us have to hand over the bulk of our earnings just to be able to have a roof over our heads is nothing shirt of insane.  

Obviously this all opinion.

 

*Eta: and I'd be happy to see the job/title of 'landlord' join that mass grave.  Ffs the fact that's it's landLORD should give people pause

 

Edited by larrytheimp
They're their there

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Look, I don't expect you to agree with any of this or think it's legitimate.  But the way housing works is absolutely absurd.  I mean on a survival scale it is absolutely the most essential thing for humans.  There's no reason that it should be the most consuming part of our daily labor.  The fact that most of us have to hand over the bulk of our earnings just to be able to have a roof over our heads is nothing shirt of insane.  

Yeah, that is kind of the crux of it. Growing numbers of people feel like their very existence is being questioned. 

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2 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

No landlord is doing it out of the goodness of their heart - I'm sure on an individual level many of them are fine people.  It's not about "treat[ing] your tenants like shit", it's about the whole practice being exploitive.  It's a way to perpetuate an upper class 

Out of curiosity are farmers and resteranturs also being “exploitive” because they are profiting from a basic human need?  Clothing manufacturers?  Should food and clothing also be under the State’s complete control?

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Out of curiosity are farmers and resteranturs also being “exploitive” because they are profiting from a basic human need?  Clothing manufacturers?  Should food and clothing also be under the State’s complete control?

Well, funny you mention those two things.  Textile workers and farm workers are insanely underpaid.  Fuck, many states in the US have lawas that make it ok to pay farm workers less than the states minimum wage.  Even progressive states like Massachusetts ( a lot of this falls under 'seasonal worker' labor law.  

And we have government programs (sorry, directives from The State) that make owning a farm or owning property lucrative. See the mortgage interest deduction, or that tax provision that lets someone evade capital gains tax by selling a property they've 'lived in' for a year ( I've seen so many builders take advantage of this it's insane).  Not to mention that 'builders' generally do nothing other than bankroll a construction project and make aesthetic decisions that are essentially arbitrary.  

I live in a town that is labeled on all of the signs for it '...an agricultural community'.  But these 'family farms' enjoy massive tax breaks while paying their workers $12 an hour.  I'd encourage anyone who thinks that's remotely fair to go work at a farm for a week picking vegetables.  It's a humbling experience.  

I wouldn't expect anyone (not saying this is you) who hasn't worked blue collar jobs out of necessity to understand any of this.  It's one of the things that pisses me off the most about all these people that say 'well what about the working class?'   or even worse 'the white working class' when you don't know shit about it .

 

Eta: and also noticed you didn't rebut anything I said, just asked more leading questions.  Which is fine but if this is just going to be a pseudo devils advocate exercise I'm not that interested.  I'd rather hear a counter argument or some kind of back and forth, not that my desires really have any bearing on this process.

Edited by larrytheimp

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57 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

How efficient has the State been, when it has this power, in making sure people have housing?

Quite efficient actually, even if you look at what people would describe as "failed" states.

57 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

How drab will State issued housing be?

*looks around his appartment*
Depends on your tastes I guess. The view from my place isn't bad (being on the 9th floor and all), though I really find it hard to stomach that my neighbors just across the hallway have a splendid view of the Eiffel Tower (yeah I'm super-duper envious). We've had to redecorate the living room and there's nothing to be done about the shitty plumbing so I guess it's not perfect... Of course, privately owned apartments aren't much better in the area...
The first apartment I lived in was in a Le Corbusier building. Don't know if that qualifies as "drab" or not, they certainly did try to add some colors to that "modern" architecture. I still remember how comfy it is inside though ; for state-issued housing it was a grand luxury to say the least. And I get bragging rights whenever I meet an architect now...

Oh, but I guess you were thinking about Eastern Europe or the Soviet Union again, uh... ? I bet you forgot some of us still experience socialism on a daily basis, didn't you? :P

Pulling your leg a bit... To be fair, French public housing totally depends on where you live. It's aweful in some places and terrific in others. It's still fantastic overall though... In a nutshell, it works. Which of course is why the fucking neoliberals have been trying to kill it for a while now... Would be such a shame if people found out how awesome socialism is.

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19 minutes ago, larrytheimp said:

Well, funny you mention those two things.  Textile workers and farm workers are insanely underpaid.  Fuck, many states in the US have lawas that make it ok to pay farm workers less than the states minimum wage.  Even progressive states like Massachusetts ( a lot of this falls under 'seasonal worker' labor law.  

And we have government programs (sorry, directives from The State) that make owning a farm or owning property lucrative. See the mortgage interest deduction, or that tax provision that lets someone evade capital gains tax by selling a property they've 'lived in' for a year ( I've seen so many builders take advantage of this it's insane).  Not to mention that 'builders' generally do nothing other than bankroll a construction project and make aesthetic decisions that are essentially arbitrary.  

I live in a town that is labeled on all of the signs for it '...an agricultural community'.  But these 'family farms' enjoy massive tax breaks while paying their workers $12 an hour.  I'd encourage anyone who thinks that's remotely fair to go work at a farm for a week picking vegetables.  It's a humbling experience.  

I wouldn't expect anyone (not saying this is you) who hasn't worked blue collar jobs out of necessity to understand any of this.  It's one of the things that pisses me off the most about all these people that say 'well what about the working class?'   or even worse 'the white working class' when you don't know shit about it .

 

Eta: and also noticed you didn't rebut anything I said, just asked more leading questions.  Which is fine but if this is just going to be a pseudo devils advocate exercise I'm not that interested.  I'd rather hear a counter argument or some kind of back and forth, not that my desires really have any bearing on this process.

I just don’t see the State as a panecea that will fix all these problems, particularly if the State is extremely large.  Socialism, as you are describing it works much more effectively on the smaller scale (Thank you Rippounet).

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6 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I just don’t see the State as a panecea that will fix all these problems, particularly if the State is extremely large.  Socialism, as you are describing it works much more effectively on the smaller scale (Thank you Rippounet).

What's smaller scale than a farm or a house?  And remember " the State" in a democracy, is the will of the people.  Especially if you hold your elected officials accountable.  I'm not expecting anything to change overnight.  If you get a chance, read (or reread) Iain Banks' State of the Art.  It's a novella/short story that I think does a great job of pointing out the absurdities or modern Western life (nearly 50 years ago) as something that can be fixed.  This would be the idealistic aspect @Jace, BasilissaBasilissa (Jesus why does the formatting do that) of the duality of man coming through.  

But really Scot, why do these proposals trigger such a response?  You're seriously worried about the fucking interior decorating (hint, when you're not spending 50% of your income on rent, might be able to trick out your crib)?  If that's your biggest concern I'll take this as a backhanded endorsement of eliminating landlords.  Cut out the vampire middleman.

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7 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I just don’t see the State as a panecea that will fix all these problems, particularly if the State is extremely large.  Socialism, as you are describing it works much more effectively on the smaller scale (Thank you Rippounet).

"The primary role of government is to protect property from the majority," as Chomsky once said.

There is no greater or more powerful myth - or outright lie - in the modern world (excepting maybe trickle down economics) than the one that small government is better than a large one. Large governments can be over bureaucratic and slow, and duplicate functions, but small governments are an invitation to outrageous levels of corruption as more and more power is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, and those hands have very little in the way of checks, balances and oversight over them. The libertarian obsession with "small government" has little to do with "freedom" and more to do with salivating at the thought of all the corrupt bullshit they can get away with when there isn't a state (or preferably a police force or a military) to stop them.

As for housing, the general feeling here in the UK seems to be that you should be paying absolutely no more than one-quarter to one-third of your income on rent, maximum, because that allows people to spend more money on more important things, such as saving for retirement or for possible social/health care in older age, or things like holidays to relieve the stress of everyday life. Instead a lot of people are paying well more than half of their income on rent (because house prices have exploded beyond the ability of the average or minimum wage-earner to qualify for a mortgage), with very little left in the tank afterwards. Enormous numbers of people are just one serious case of the flu from losing the house they live in, which is ridiculous. The rent I'm paying for my half-house share right now would have happily paid a mortgage on a two bedroom house ten years ago, but there is zero chance of me getting on the housing ladder, short of a major windfall. Tens of millions of people with relatively good jobs in highly developed countries are living a highly precarious existence purely because of greedy landlords and property developers literally refusing to build houses to need because they know if they keep demand high, they can make insane profits off of a very small amount of work.

This is why various governments saying they wish to encourage more housebuilding from private firms are talking horseshit: there is no imperative to do so, and why the only solution to the housing crisis in major cities worldwide, or pretty much across whole countries in the UK and Ireland, is for the state to directly commission and build new homes on a huge scale to meet demand. And of course that won't fly because it's Communist, or something (rather than an urgent and practical need).

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1 hour ago, a good and nice guy said:

 

yeah, but a large part of that is the scarcity of public housing in relation to the demand. i mean, there is something like 3 unoccupied homes for every homeless person in the us (on my break, will look up the stat later) which is just extremely gross to me in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world

That we as a society make a choice to allow people to be homeless is indeed gross and I don't defend people buying property as investment and letting it sit unoccupied most of the time. Surely massively fining people who have vacant property and using that for low income housing could help the situation a bit.

I don't knew what the stats are in terms of vacant housing and homelessness, but according to HUD there are only available subsidized/affordable housing for 30% of the extremely low income group (based on median area income). But the scarcity of public housing doesn't account for horrendous conditions that exist in much of public housing, like major repairs (broken toilets etc) that don't get made, fire hazards and major pest infestations.

I understand in some countries that the government owns a lot of housing and manages it much better than the US, but unless the government starts renting to middle class people and not just poor people I cannot see that kind of decent management happening here.

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13 minutes ago, Werthead said:

There is no greater or more powerful myth - or outright lie - in the modern world (excepting maybe trickle down economics) than the one that small government is better than a large one. Large governments can be over bureaucratic and slow, and duplicate functions, but small governments are an invitation to outrageous levels of corruption as more and more power is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, and those hands have very little in the way of checks, balances and oversight over them. The libertarian obsession with "small government" has little to do with "freedom" and more to do with salivating at the thought of all the corrupt bullshit they can get away with when there isn't a state (or preferably a police force or a military) to stop them.

Wert, it's "smaller scale" as in "local" not "smaller scale" as in "libertarian bullshit."

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9 minutes ago, Werthead said:

"The primary role of government is to protect property from the majority," as Chomsky once said.

There is no greater or more powerful myth - or outright lie - in the modern world (excepting maybe trickle down economics) than the one that small government is better than a large one. Large governments can be over bureaucratic and slow, and duplicate functions, but small governments are an invitation to outrageous levels of corruption as more and more power is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, and those hands have very little in the way of checks, balances and oversight over them. The libertarian obsession with "small government" has little to do with "freedom" and more to do with salivating at the thought of all the corrupt bullshit they can get away with when there isn't a state (or preferably a police force or a military) to stop them.

As for housing, the general feeling here in the UK seems to be that you should be paying absolutely no more than one-quarter to one-third of your income on rent, maximum, because that allows people to spend more money on more important things, such as saving for retirement or for possible social/health care in older age, or things like holidays to relieve the stress of everyday life. Instead a lot of people are paying well more than half of their income on rent (because house prices have exploded beyond the ability of the average or minimum wage-earner to qualify for a mortgage), with very little left in the tank afterwards. Enormous numbers of people are just one serious case of the flu from losing the house they live in, which is ridiculous. The rent I'm paying for my half-house share right now would have happily paid a mortgage on a two bedroom house ten years ago, but there is zero chance of me getting on the housing ladder, short of a major windfall. Tens of millions of people with relatively good jobs in highly developed countries are living a highly precarious existence purely because of greedy landlords and property developers literally refusing to build houses to need because they know if they keep demand high, they can make insane profits off of a very small amount of work.

This is why various governments saying they wish to encourage more housebuilding from private firms are talking horseshit: there is no imperative to do so, and why the only solution to the housing crisis in major cities worldwide, or pretty much across whole countries in the UK and Ireland, is for the state to directly commission and build new homes on a huge scale to meet demand. And of course that won't fly because it's Communist, or something (rather than an urgent and practical need).

Nice breakdown, thank you!  I'd also point out that here in the US, I've paid my rent on time for ten years straight, with my roommate of about $950 (avg as it's changed a few times).  I could never qualify for a mortgage though, because my credit sucks.  You know why I made those student loan payments late that fucked my credit?  Because I was paying my fucking rent on time so I didn't get evicted.  I can't count how many weeks that literally every penny and returnable can was accounted for and bank accounts overdrawn and shit sold for way less than it was worth last minute on Craigslist or Facebook to make it happen.  And now I'm past the point/place where I even want to own anything. It's another kind of rent, being a homeowner.  

But the point is that the system is designed to keep even those who can afford a home from actually owning one themselves.  And that's in the most prosperous greatest bestest my dad  can beat up your dad OMG I'm cumming country in the world.

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6 minutes ago, larrytheimp said:

Nice breakdown, thank you!  I'd also point out that here in the US, I've paid my rent on time for ten years straight, with my roommate of about $950 (avg as it's changed a few times).  I could never qualify for a mortgage though, because my credit sucks.  You know why I made those student loan payments late that fucked my credit?  Because I was paying my fucking rent on time so I didn't get evicted.  I can't count how many weeks that literally every penny and returnable can was accounted for and bank accounts overdrawn and shit sold for way less than it was worth last minute on Craigslist or Facebook to make it happen.  And now I'm past the point/place where I even want to own anything. It's another kind of rent, being a homeowner.  

But the point is that the system is designed to keep even those who can afford a home from actually owning one themselves.  And that's in the most prosperous greatest bestest my dad  can beat up your dad OMG I'm cumming country in the world.

Same here. I've been renting about 20 years now (I'll never own a home), and I have never missed a rent payment in that time period. It's the first thing I pay, and it always will be. While my credit is shit, if I could get a house payment a bit lower than the absurd rental prices around here, you'd think that common sense would say, "Yeah, he's good." But nope. I'll be renting until (hopefully) the day I die, and I say hopefully because I have some fears that my psoriatic arthritis will take hold more and more as I age, and I could just end up in the street dying slowly! But enough of this levity. 

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55 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I just don’t see the State as a panecea that will fix all these problems, particularly if the State is extremely large.  Socialism, as you are describing it works much more effectively on the smaller scale (Thank you Rippounet).

Look, maybe a better way to continue this dialog, let's start here.  What does this mean?  Wat do you mean smaller scale?  I have no idea what any of this means.  Explain the difference between this small socialism and large socialism because I just don't get it 

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1 hour ago, larrytheimp said:

Look, maybe a better way to continue this dialog, let's start here.  What does this mean?  Wat do you mean smaller scale?  I have no idea what any of this means.  Explain the difference between this small socialism and large socialism because I just don't get it 

Local.  More local influence and local control.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Local.  More local influence and local control.

Ok.  Cool.  So you're fine with this is long as there is local control.  Because there is literally nothing in what I said about eliminating landlords that precludes this.

Edited by larrytheimp
Autocorrect they-that

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5 hours ago, Martell Spy said:

You're trying to make it individual, but it is a systemic problem. In general, renters in the more expensive areas feel like they are being treated like shit. This isn't really based upon personal behavior, like the landlord bullying them or refusing repairs, although I'm sure the latter happens at times. It's based on a larger and larger share of their income being taken for rents. And more and more of the poorest turned out into the streets. 

This is true, but having the government take over will not fix it. The underlying problem is that everyone is rushing to the big cities and there is only so much space (even accounting for our ability to build tall apartment complexes). Capitalism's solution is to have the property go to the highest bidder. If the government allocates housing, then the best connected people get it instead, but in either case, a whole lot of people are going to be disappointed because the supply simply isn't there.

And yes, averaged over entire nations, there's a whole lot of empty housing... but not nearly enough of it is in San Francisco or London or other places where many people want to live.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Altherion said:

This is true, but having the government take over will not fix it. The underlying problem is that everyone is rushing to the big cities and there is only so much space (even accounting for our ability to build tall apartment complexes). Capitalism's solution is to have the property go to the highest bidder. If the government allocates housing, then the best connected people get it instead, but in either case, a whole lot of people are going to be disappointed because the supply simply isn't there.

And yes, averaged over entire nations, there's a whole lot of empty housing... but not nearly enough of it is in San Francisco or London or other places where many people want to live.

Well, what is convenient is we can never test if rent-controls or having the government build housing will work. The capitalist overlords have taken it completely off the table, as it will lead to communist death squads.

It reminds me of the Minimum Wage debate. The 15$ minimum wage was called insanely radical and would lead to huge job losses. The people arguing against it said they were just trying to look out for low-wage workers, who would lose so many hours of work if anything like this ever happened. Due to the Fight For 15 movement, wages were raised all over the country. The result was a large transfer of wealth directly to low-wage workers. (Although the federal min. wage is still crazily low)

And the insane thing is that people still parrot the talking point about it costing workers hours. 

Edited by Martell Spy

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