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HHO Day 8

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The hunt for the house by October continues…

We looked at 5 or 6 today. The first two had mold growing in the basements. Ew.

Then we saw a victorian that had so much potential. There was a large wrap around porch. It was way more house than we need. But nothing that a hundred grand in renovations couldn’t remedy. Actually, it would be a beautiful house. Not very practical, though, and we can’t afford not to be practical right now.

There were a couple we will keep our eyes on. Nothing we loved. So tomorrow it continues.

But,

It was pretty weird walking through the houses, especially the empty ones. They were in horrible disrepair. Water and mold in the basement, siding peeling off, porches falling apart, yet, with a little love and attention, could be homes. Homes that were sitting empty in a market looking for buyers… in a country teeming with homeless families. I don’t understand capitalism. I guess.

It was also weird realizing these homes we could afford made our current rental house look like a palace. And we don’t do too badly. I’d say our “family income” puts us at “middle class”, definitely above the poverty level and half the residents of this area. Yet, we can’t dream of even looking in most neighborhoods to buy. I really don’t understand capitalism. Hold on, let me check something out.

capitalism: An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market.

OK

free market: A free market economy is an economy in which the allocation for resources is determined only by their supply and the demand for them. This is mainly a theoretical concept as every country, even capitalist ones, places some restrictions on the ownership and exchange of commodities.

Obviously.

So I guess that explains why we have *how* many homeless people, *how* many empty foreclosed homes, and *how* many McMansions for $1million plus popping up in the burbs… (Who are the people they plan to sell those to?- I don’t know any of them. and I know a lot of people.)

But I forget that it’s a “each man for himself”, “pull yourself up by your bootstraps”, “live and let live” kinda country we live in here.

I mean, it obviously would never be feasible to, I don’t know, figure out some way to make all of those empty, profitless homes available to the working class families of the area so that they could invest in their future and contribute to the economy *and* feel a sense of pride of having a decent home of their own.

I mean, if *everyone* could afford to buy a home of their own, then how would the “haves” be able to feel so much better about themselves than the “have nots”? Yeah, I guess that would never work. Giving access to home ownership to the mass population, the working class? Before we know it the people who clean the homes would be living in the same neighborhood as the people whose homes they cleaned to make the money to buy the home. That would just be awkward.

Here’s an example.

Let’s take Blain and Denise. They are living off the interest from Blain’s parents’ trust fund. They worked hard to graduate from the Ivy League schools their parents paid for. They spend a lot of money on gas to run the Lexus and Porsche in rush hour traffic on the beltway. No doubt someone worked hard for their money. Just not them.

And now let’s take John and Mary. John, father of two,gets up at 4am to drive the garbage truck in Blain and Denise’s gated neighborhood, and his wife Mary waits tables in the evenings at Fridays after their kids go to sleep.

Now, obviously, it would be awkward if they lived in the same neighborhood. How are Blain and Denise ever going to know they are better than other people if their trash guy and the waitress that brings them drinks at business lunches live in their neighborhood? I mean, that just would never work.

No, the free market is alive and well in America. And it wants a beer. And, Mary, if you’re polite, you might get a better tip, you know? Trickle down, baby, trickle down. It’s the American way. And maybe if you flirt a little with Blain he’ll flash you that $2000 smile and toss an extra couple of bucks your way. You lucky girl. All the girls in Sigma Delta would have killed for a smile from Blain. Denise sure did.

I think a lot of people are still waiting for it to trickle down. Don’t hold your breath. Seems to me it’s just getting stacked higher and higher. The wealthy have moved from boots to stilts. The gap between the haves and have nots is growing. And there are more on the bottom now than ever. And, remember, stilts are only as stable as the surface they are walking on.

Shit, does this mean I’m a socialist?

My apologies, I diverge.

Tomorrow, the HHO will continue. So, somewhere inside of me the capitalist is alive and well.
I will certainly keep you posted.

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