Weekly Roundup: Don’t Count On Keeping Your Home Edition

I have a confession to make: I almost never read the “conservative media”. And why should I? Traditional conservative, or “tradcon”, publications are worse than useless. They’re the “Washington Generals of politics”, so to speak, preaching a bizarre gospel of corporate personhood and ever-decreasing taxation to a statistically insignificant demographic of drywall contractors and YouTube grifters. Their “conservative” positions are merely the “liberal” positions of twenty years ago, and they are adjusted on an annual basis. Today’s Koch-Brothers-funded mouthpieces are solidly to the left of Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign platform. In two decades, they’ll be advocating a Green New Deal.

Which is just another way of saying that magazines and websites like National Review are utterly irrelevant. They are literally allowing the Washington Post to beat them to a comprehensive dismantling of Rachel Maddow. The only place where the Buckley crowd is out in front with a policy position is with regards to immigration — the Democrats want it to be both unlimited and socialized, but the conservatives want it to be unlimited, subsidized, and untaxed.

No, I’m afraid that if you want to see where public opinion is going, you have to read the far left wing — publications like Jacobin and The Nation. Anything you see in there is usually no more than five years away from being mainstreamed, ten years away from being compulsory, and twenty years away from being strongly advocated by National Review. And what is The Nation saying lately? Here’s a hint: you might want to hold off on that kitchen remodel.

Alright, buckle up:

Let’s get rid of private housing… Closer to home, private ownership of land underlies racist segregation… For a start, everyone should be compensated for their exclusion from passage over certain locations on the earth. To do this, we ought to levy an exclusion fee whereby the location price of the property in question would be returned to its rightful recipient, the community. As long as land value is socially created and land ownership is duty-free, a theft is occurring.

That’s the gist of this piece, which argues that we should all live in public housing and that “private housing” is theft. Ah, but surely this is some kind of lone-wolf thinking, right? Guess again. Dig this tagline:

If we want to keep cities safe in the face of climate change, we need to seriously question the ideal of private homeownership.

It’s time for the Country Mouse to move to the city and take uneasy root in a low-priority housing allocation in a public building that is deliberately, offensively ugly. And this is where the future of centrist and right-wing Americans becomes drastically and permanently different from their present. The vast majority of American conservatives are “OK Boomers” who are more than perceptive enough to see where this strategy is headed — they simply don’t think they will live to see it. If you were born in 1950, you’re not going to see the day when your home is forcibly returned to “the community” in some Maoist relocation strategy. But if you were born in 1970, you might — and if you were born in 2009, like my son, then you can be pretty well assured that private home ownership will be the racism/sexism/everythingphobia of your middle age. The math is against you: there are more renters than homeowners out there, so this will be the classic case of democracy being two wolves and a lamb voting on dinner.

The National Review-slash-prepper-slash-“boogaloo” fantasy that conservatives will be living some sort of Laura Ingalls Wilder existence in pristine, crime-free flyover states while the trash of our society is compacted in massive arcologies — well, it’s precisely that, a fantasy, based on the idea that those massive urban collections of miserable and furious +2SD IQ individuals would simply suffer their detractors to live in peace. Letting your detractors live in peace is an outdated and obsolete philosophy. It’s the Lexan shield behind which today’s progressives developed their chokehold on American society — millions of Greatest Generation and Baby Boomer types looking at Berkeley or Brooklyn and saying, “Oh, the hell with it, let them believe, say, and do whatever they want. It’s not my right to interfere.” It is not a courtesy which will be reciprocated. William Buckley believed that everyone had an American right to disagree with him. The architects of the Green New Deal view its detractors with the same murderous fanaticism present in the eyes of Tomas de Torquemada. They have no intention of permitting anyone to “opt out”.

The frustrating part is that the authors of the various Nation pieces have a few extremely cogent points. The price and value of real estate, considered in the aggregate, has an outsized effect on the American and global economies. The government has no business guaranteeing home loans or engaging in social engineering via the FHA or any other program like it. There is something obscene about private citizens acting as landlords to hundreds of families; it stinks of feudalism. And I wouldn’t lift a finger to defend the so-called McMansions or the system which makes them almost mandatory for entire segments of our population. The Nation is right to decry these distortions of American life as what people are increasingly calling “late stage capitalism”, the inevitable result of modern conservatism’s enthusiastic decoupling of fiscal and moral priorities.

Plainly stated, you cannot have largely unregulated financial and real-estate marketplaces if you cannot rely on the people participating in those marketplaces to have some sort of moral sensibility. There’s a reason that Ebenezer Scrooge was such a memorable character a few centuries ago; he was that rare creature who put wealth above moral concerns. Jeff Bezos and Travis Kalanick make Scrooge look like Ralph Nader. There is no record that Scrooge ever forced his employees to urinate in bottles, nor do we read that ten percent of his employees were injured on the job every year. For these and many other sins, we venerate our tech leaders and make them richer than any known figure in human history. They have been elevated to the status of idols in a society which nonetheless unironically claims to have eliminated the Godhead.

To this accusation, a tradcon might plead, “But we didn’t support the destruction of public morality!” Of course you did. You had a certain amount of political and social capital on hand — and you used it to keep the marginal tax rates low. Meanwhile, the people across the aisle eagerly accepted that sacrifice as a largely inconsequential tradeoff for full control of the national discourse. They were smarter than you were. They out-thought you. The Buckley Conservatives, and their modern successors like Ben Shapiro, simply aren’t intelligent enough to think in terms of strategy instead of tactics. They were outflanked. And now they have nothing. Soon enough, that will be a literal fact. Don’t plan on keeping your home. It doesn’t align with our future priorities as a society. If you disagree, you’ll have to so something more serious about it than just subscribing to National Review.

* * *

This week I wrote about the statistical ghost of texting and driving. Brother Bark triggered a national meltdown.

83 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: Don’t Count On Keeping Your Home Edition”

  1. AvatarLynnG

    Jack, I would like comment on your quote below:
    “There’s a reason that Ebenezer Scrooge was such a memorable character a few centuries ago; he was that rare creature who put wealth above moral concerns. Jeff Bezos and Travis Kalanick make Scrooge look like Ralph Nader. There is no record that Scrooge ever forced his employees to urinate in bottles, nor do we read that ten percent of his employees were injured on the job every year. For these and many other sins, we venerate our tech leaders and make them richer than any known figure in human history. They have been elevated to the status of idols in a society which nonetheless unironically claims to have eliminated the Godhead.”

    Now first let me inoculate the conversation by saying that I know you are much more well read then I, considering the two three hour lit courses from under grad school were the only two “C’s” in class I had… However, in considering the Bezos, Kalanicks, Gates, Musks, and Jobs that have amassed tremendous wealth at the dawn of the 21st Century. Each with a well deserved reputation of being cut throat (could not think of a better word). Have you considered the following. At the dawn of the 20th Century there were the Fords (automotive), Vanderbilts (railroads) Rockefellers (oil) and others that also built tremendous wealth.

    So here is a though, about every one hundred years you have society and economy converge that make it possible for tremendous advances in innovation and expansion in areas just a generation before would have been believed impossible.

    And one of the major characteristics uniting the Fords and Rockefellers with the Bezos and the Jobs is limitless drive and ability to not consider the human cost. Think about the 100’s if not 1,000’s of lives lost building the railroads across the county, lives lost in oil well blow outs, countless limbs lost in crude assembly plants. To the elites it was the cost of moving society forward.

    Now one of the things I propose that separates the current group of elites from those how came before is that the Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Hursts, left cultural monuments that we still admire 100 years later. The current crop don’t seem to have the same reverence for history.

    Just my pontificating in response to another thoughtful posting. But Jack I will have to think longer regarding your point of the masses coming to take my house….

    Oh, by the way Merry Christmas, hope you and your son enjoyed the warm December Ohio weather, you know you going to pay in January or March 🙂

    Lynn

    Reply
    • Avatardejal

      Look up “The Center for Investigative Reporting”. They went after Amazon’s Fall River Mass. facility. Look at their list of top supporters. Some of the names you mention are supporters. One of the supporters to this organization is the Open Society Foundations, which is George Soros. Another is Steve Jobs’s widow.

      It’s like Highlander “There can only be one!!!”

      Reply
      • Avatar-Nate

        I low live in the big city and I see discarded piss bottles every where, that’s disgusting .

        There was even a news story about this where they took a female reporter out and she P’ed in a bottle on camera (careful skirt holding) and then capped it and tossed out the window as the flew down a busy freeway .

        In the 1960’s pretty much all the farmers and long haul drivers I knew used piss bottles but would never, _EVER_ toss one out the window .

        -Nate

        Reply
  2. AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

    “millions of Greatest Generation and Baby Boomer types looking at Berkeley or Brooklyn and saying, “Oh, the hell with it, let them believe, say, and do whatever they want. It’s not my right to interfere.” It is not a courtesy which will be reciprocated.”

    So is it too late to nuke those places flat? I, for one, would gladly help with this activity.

    As for millennial home ownership, not all hope is lost;

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/samanthasharf/2019/07/08/yes-millennials-really-are-buying-homes-heres-how/#cf5032245040

    Reply
  3. Avatartoly arutunoff

    oh how I wish you could talk to my dad–born in 1893 in Georgia; lived thru/escaped from the revolution. carefully observed the development of the early soviet. his Econ professor came in one day and said ‘I give america 100 more years. they’ve just established an oligarch bank: the federal reserve.’ there’s too much for me to write–I need a blackboard

    Reply
  4. AvatarFred Lee

    I’m a fan of statistics, and it’s too bad that there are lousy ones around distracted driving and cell-phone usage.

    But worth considering; when someone drives drunk, they are usually drunk from when they get into their car until they get out. When someone uses their phone while driving, it is intermittent. In a 20 mile drive, maybe 1/4 mile of that is distracted by punching an address into the GPS on your smartphone or texting ‘lol ikr rofl’ to your buddy. And unless you’re completely antisocial you’re not doing it on a blind-corner.

    Which is just to say that looking solely at the absolute numbers isn’t a good indication of the danger of distracted driving.

    I’ll admit to having used my phone while driving. And I’ll admit that, more than once, I’ve been sending a quick text while at a stoplight, seen the light turn green, and started moving before noticing the pedestrian who is trying to sneak across the road at the last second. Or fiddling with the GPS on the highway, and then noticing a car next to me and wondering “where did he come from?”. I’m man enough to admit that maybe the academic studies that show how dangerous texting or talking is just might apply to me as well. It turns out that we all suffer from the same cognitive shortcomings, and I’m not special. So for me, after a few “not real close but too close” incidents, I keep my phone in the cubby.

    Reply
    • AvatarRock36

      I think Jack’s main thrust is that there is a disproportionate amount of attention and resources dedicated to solving the distracted driving problem relative to fatalities that can be reliably attributed to the phenomenon.

      Jack never said it wasn’t a problem, just that there were bigger problems worth at least as much attention. So far any claims to the contrary are largely anecdotal and prone to the limits of inductive reasoning at best, and motivated by emotion and narcissistic injury at its worst.

      But this hasn’t gone completely unnoticed. Speed does kill more than distracted driving, and it is inly a matter of time before new cars seek to electronically limit speed too. The effort is already underway in the EU:

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/davekeating/2019/03/26/new-eu-law-will-require-all-new-cars-to-be-fit-with-anti-speeding-devices/amp/

      Reply
      • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

        From what I’ve read, statistically failure to yield right of way is the cause of more fatal car collisions than anything else.

        Reply
  5. AvatarJustPassinThru

    There’s a lot to chew on, here, and in the main, the observations are spot-on.

    Jack is making a few errors, or accepting incorrect premises – one or the other, and with the Outrage Mob always in the wings.

    First, there’s the confusion between American Conservatism and RINO-Corporatism. The first which Classical Liberalism (before the Left appropriated the term, which is the opposite of their true tendencies). It is Jefferson’s insight of limited, decentralized government – of a union of nation-states, where the Central Government is only concerned of issues of importance to the whole of the union.

    The second group, the mainstream in Republican circles, is what’s mistakenly called “crony capitalism.” Mistakenly, because it is not capitalism. It is a government-private cooperative to leverage tax monies from voters to government to large corporations that are willing to play ball and kickback, support and monies, to key personnel.

    You reference the “obscenity” of having one man assume the role of Landlord for 25 tenants. Assumed, here, is the unequal distribution of wealth. Well, a society of equal rights and equal opportunities, will always have unequal results. You make a decent living writing about your subjects, in various publications. It’s not like being born rich, but it’s surely a fascinating life that meets your needs.

    Many others would like to have lived that way. And for many of us, there’s a good reason for it – we were not good enough, not blessed enough in talents or discipline. Many of us had to make what living we could, the old-fashioned way. With dirty hands, long hours, inconvenient times.

    But, while wealth falls unequally in a world of equal opportunities…Capitalism is a great equalizer. There was a Chinese proverb – four generations, peasant to merchant to magnate to peasant.

    Talent, like other things, tends to rise, in the bowl of life. In a meritocracy, which is what we once had, still have some traces of, those who perform best will be rewarded commensurate.

    And those who have 25 houses for rent, and indolence, and drug problems and tastes for loose women…soon find those houses gone and renting their own domicile. Or worse.

    What is stopping this natural re-distribution of wealth? Several things, but the biggest is the Progressive Income Tax. THAT was intended to PREVENT uppity proles or peons from rising above their station – by taxing it away before it’s banked.

    To that, add today’s (liberal) public-fiscal nightmare of deliberate 4-percent inflation – which eats savings – coupled to artificial Zero-Percent interest out of the Fed Discount Window. Which means that the cautious, prudent ways of saving – Savings Bonds or T-Bills, Money-Market accounts, savings accounts – pay fractions of percent of interest.

    Good luck saving for a house that way. Next comes E. Warren’s Wealth Tax – guaranteed to empoverish the former Middle Class. The moderrn “Rich” who, because they’re connected to liberal politicians, give heavily, Virtue-Signal publicly, will be left ways of protecting their vast wealth.

    The way to return to the America that was, is not with more government interference. It is not to look for more of Mister Clinton’s Third Way.

    It’s to return to what worked. What made America what it was, until recently.

    That, sir, is true American Conservatism.

    Reply
  6. AvatarMrGreenMan

    “a public building that is deliberately, offensively ugly”

    Most projects were planned to be soul-crushing. The one that makes me sad is Compton.

    https://infogalactic.com/info/Compton,_California

    “For many years, Compton was a much sought after neighborhood for the black middle class of Los Angeles. Now, only some areas of Compton are still middle class communities. This past affluence is reflected in the area’s appearance—Compton’s streets are lined with relatively spacious and attractive single family houses.”

    Of course, the local politicians will say that, whomever hangs onto the crumbling vestiges of suburban scenes from a memory, when he’s robbed of his possessions, it is “caring for the poor” to refuse to provide the poor man equal protection for his property as the rich – because he’s not really a man to them.

    Reply
  7. AvatarGreg Hamilton

    I’ve never thought of Katrina’s publication as a prognostication journal, but you learn something every day. If I run into her soon, I’ll be sure to pass on the compliment.

    Reply
  8. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    All of those CCP and PLA connected Chinese investors in U.S. real estate aren’t going to be happy about that.

    Still, it’s refreshing to see some leftists be honest about confiscating private property.

    Reply
  9. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    There is something obscene about private citizens acting as landlords to hundreds of families; it stinks of feudalism.

    That’s a poor analogy. Serfs couldn’t leave. Feudal lords had virtual monopolies on just about everything. Tenants can move. Landlords have to deal with markets.

    If the alternative is the government being the landlord, I’ll stick with the private sector. Also, while there are obviously investor owned apartment complexes, a significant number of U.S. landlords are people like my cousin, who own a small number of rental properties, mostly single family homes, duplexes, or small multi-unit buildings.

    Reply
  10. AvatarJohn C.

    With the inability of the younger generation to marry and afford a house or a affordably priced domestic car, I wonder if the government seizing of private homes might be yet another subsidy to us older folks. At some point the checks that they are issuing will be themselves a joke but what is the alternative to what we have wrought on the young. if we can just keep the Asian made smart phones going…..

    Reply
  11. Avatar-Nate

    Oy, crap .

    My plan is to will my little house to my grand daughter, I hope she’s able to keep it or leverage it into something nicer if smaller .

    Tip for the mobs with pitch forks : smear poop in the tines, even if you only give a flesh wound the resulting infection will get them shortly .

    -Nate

    Reply
  12. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    If I have to pick between Ben Shapiro and Nick Fuentes, I’ll go with Ben. His wife is a doctor (quite beautiful and descended from an illustrious Sephardic family, btw). Has Fuentes ever been seen with a female? I do think it’s interesting how Fuentes has aped Shapiro’s preppy look.

    The groypers have Jews on the brain and their arguments are almost all in bad faith. Anyone who brings up the USS Liberty and didn’t have a family member on that ship is likely a Jew hater. Your mileage may vary but that’s my experience, 100% of the time. Of course, those folks also likely think that Patton was murdered. Conspiracies are their bread and butter. Not surprisingly, there’s some Venn overlap with the moon landing hoax crowd.

    Some criticisms of Conservatism Inc. are valid. There are plenty of grifters ostensibly on the American right. Grifters killed off the Tea Party movement as much as media slander did. However, it’s telling that Fuentes and crew are trying to gain traction by exploiting events held by YAF and Turning Point. He can’t draw crowds like that on his own. Similarly, I see Jew haters trolling (in the fishing sense) for possible like-thinkers or impressionable minds in YouTube livestream chats for anything that is at all right wing. The groypers are about recruiting fellow travelers, not implementing policy in any practical way.

    One reason for Trump’s success is that normies are tired of political correct nonsense from the left. Like the good professor says, all they had to do is not be crazy, and they’ve gone crazy. America is a centrist country and crazies who see themselves as correcting the right (sorry, folks worried about the survival of “white people” are collectivists and not really on the American right, but that’s for another time) aren’t going to win any elections in my lifetime.

    You can mock Buckley all you want (though I don’t think it’s fair to blame him for the current state of affairs at NR) but his kicking the Birchers and other crazies out of the conservative movment laid the groundwork for Reagan’s election. I suppose you could argue that an undivided right might have done better in 1964, but after the Kennedy assassination any Republican, even Rockefeller, would have gotten landslided. Goldwater did, after all, get the nomination.

    Times change, and so do publications. I stopped reading the site regularly years ago but it was at the National Review website where I first saw the name Gramsci and learned how leftists took over the cultural institutions to the point that they now dominate almost all discource, political and otherwise.

    Reply
    • AvatarJohn C.

      Do you agree with turning over NR to Lowry upon Buckley’s death? If so, is it only because your understandable trust of a fellow member of your tribe/race/religion? Whatever you prefer.

      Don’t you think, as I do, that a fellow like Fuentes, deserves the benefit of the doubt because of his age. Surely you have noticed Kirk and Shapiro parroting to their shame, the commerce/Ryan party line on racial replacement. Somebody has to take them on, and isn’t it much better a smart 21 year old do it than boomer or gen x rumblings? The alternative after all is not some Jewish utopia but a Detroit ruin nationwide.

      Reply
      • Avatararbuckle

        “Don’t you think, as I do, that a fellow like Fuentes, deserves the benefit of the doubt because of his age.”

        Not really. He’s 21 not 12 and I haven’t seen anything impressive (or even new) out of him. His entire “Groyper” club just exists to rip on other right-leaning groups. He’s just an edgier and younger analog to David French and Charlie Sykes scolding Trump voters. Nothing is getting accomplished. Just a bunch of internet personalities sucking their own wangs.

        Reply
        • AvatarJohn C.

          What would you have a young man like Fuentes do when he notices the obvious truth that other right leaning youth groups aren’t right leaning but fronts? He asks polite questions of them and offers debate. Liberals 20+ years ago were much rougher on DLC types trying to hijack their cause.

          Reply
        • Avatarrambo furum

          Uh, you do know that Fuentes did actual campaign work for Trump, as opposed to all those other carpetbaggers like Kirk and Shapiro, right?

          Reply
      • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

        Who’s a fellow member of my tribe/race/religion? Lowry may or may not be Jewish, I have no idea, he’s certainly never indicated any religious or ethnic affiliations in anything of his that I’ve read. Lowry also doesn’t strike me as a Jewish surname. Perhaps it was Loewy (Raymond Loewy’s father was Jewish, it’s a variation on Levy) or Iwry (from Ivri, the Hebrew word for Hebrew), but Lowry makes me think of seasoned salt, not Jews.

        As for what I’ve “surely noticed”, my life is full enough without hanging on the words of Shapiro or Kirk. I’ve never paid much attention to Kirk and at most I’ll watch a Shapiro video a handful of times a year.

        As a person who makes a big chunk of my income from selling words, I’m not going to bash Shapiro for his success as a writer and broadcaster any more than I’d bash Rush Limbaugh for his success.

        Regarding immigration, I think the U.S. benefits from having smart, ambitious people who embrace the American idea living here, creating wealth. At the same time, we have an unprecedented percentage of people living here that weren’t born here, even higher than in the mass immigration period of 1880-1920. That is complicated by the abandonment of teaching civics in our schools and no longer indoctrinating immigrants into American civic culture, through the public schools.

        You may give members of your own tribe, race or religion greater trust than others. I don’t. My experience is that no group has a monopoly on good or evil. I certainly don’t trust Adam Schiff, Chuck Schumer, or George Soros in a general sense of the word trust and more specifically trusting that they’d act in my interest, Americans’ interest, or, for the matter, my tribe/race/religion’s interest.

        Reply
        • AvatarJohn C.

          My understanding is that it was conscious decision to turn over NR to Neocons like Lowry and Goldberg because though Buckley disagreed with them he thought the Trotskyites were the only cohesive younger voice in conservatism in the 2000s. Remember Buckley’s own son was a untalented liberal. Well that was before Fuentes. John Derbyshire wrote a lot about it at Takimag.

          I am not accusing Lowry of committing a crime for being Jewish, so there is no need to try to invoke reasonable doubt about it without the direct dishonesty of denying it.

          I think the USA has thought too much about helping talented Indians like Kamala and hardworking Oriental industrialists and the pathetic sewer dwellers of Honduras when there are people right here who have had their ability to provide for themselves taken away. That goes a great deal to explain Detroit, Baltimore, and Saint Louis. What happens when those we help outnumber those we ignore here? To paraphrase a certain smart 21 year old, if you bake a cake using different ingredients, it will not taste the same. Remember after all, Liberia’s constitution is almost word for word our own. Somehow the constitution as yet to make Liberia a world beater.

          Reply
          • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

            Because the people in Detroit, Baltimore, and Saint Louis are not at all responsible for the conditions in their cities, right? It’s all the fault of outside forces bringing in all those foreign others. The people who have run Detroit, Baltimore, and Saint Louis for the past 50 years really have had no agency, no, none at all.

          • AvatarJohn C.

            Well yes. The low end IQ Southern former ag workers moved there seeking industrial work with generous union wages with which they could marry, own a home, and live a decent life in return for their labor. Then the USA decided to outsource those jobs and they were left jobless with their neighborhoods turning to slums. The slums then caused high IQ flight which left them with a majority and the kind of poverty pimp leadership that marked post colonial shit holes around the world. The kind of thing that will happen writ large with population replacement of the type that is only be opposed by those that attract nasty labels from those who don’t want to face head on the real questions

      • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

        What does Detroit’s ruin have to do with immigration, or Jews for the matter? Detroit’s greatest period of growth, really when the city got established as a major city, took place during a period of massive immigration. Detroit’s always been an immigrant city. The city’s decline has more to do with race, Coleman Young, and stupidity at GM, Ford, Chrysler, and the UAW, that it does with immigration.

        As it happens two of the three big real estate developers active in commercial real estate behind what rebirth the city has had, Bedrock and Sterling, have Jewish principals, and unlike the Illitch holdings, nobody’s accusing them of dragging their feet.

        What does the USS Liberty incident and U.S. aid to Israel have to do with immigration? It seems to me that the groypers hate Jews more than they love the U.S.A.

        As for Fuentes’ tender age, we entrust 21 year olds with being officers in the U.S. military and give them the authority to order men into harm’s way. Politics ain’t beanbag and if Fuentes wants to knowingly stir up a bit of Jew hatred to promote himself as the alt-right Ben Shapiro, he’ll just have to suffer the slings and arrows provoked by his outrageous conduct.

        Reply
        • Avatarrambo furum

          Nice attempt to pre-emptively change the focus on the attack on the USS Liberty! Ad-hominem attacks on the accusers are needed when no other argument exists.

          “But I was never satisfied with the Israeli explanation. Their sustained attack to disable and sink Liberty precluded an assault by accident or some trigger-happy local commander. Through diplomatic channels we refused to accept their explanations. I didn’t believe them then, and I don’t believe them to this day. The attack was outrageous.” — US Secretary of State Dean Rusk

          Charlie Kirk was properly exposed as either ill-informed or a liar when he claimed that the attack was a conspiracy theory. Recall that the question being asked was how TPUSA, as an alleged America first group, felt about us giving more aid to Israel than to the continents of Africa and South America combined.

          Kirk’s answer referenced homosexual freedom of “our greatest ally” and he also thought that there was something good about our taxpayer money for Israel was used to buy weapons from us, as if that gift was somehow stimulating the economy.

          I’m sorry, but exposing the hypocrisy and dishonesty of these astroturf fake-conservatives is the goal, and hurting the feels of those with a higher allegiance to Israel than to the US is a mere byproduct. It’s not about you.

          Reply
          • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

            You’re just proving my point that groypers hate Jews more than they love America. You’ve got Jews living in your brain, rent free, 23/7/365. To be honest, even if the rent is free, it’s not such a great deal. The rooms are small and it smells a bit like mildew.

            If not one penny of American aid went to Israel, you’d still find something else to complain about. Perhaps if you had ever accomplished a worthwhile thing in your life, you wouldn’t be looking for boogeymen on which to blame your failures.

            Military aid to Israel has tangible benefits to the U.S. American pilots are glad to have Israeli avionics on their fighters as are American tankers protected by the Trophy missile defense system.

            I understand that you don’t like military aid to Israel. The idea of Jews being able to shoot back seems to cause you distress.

          • Avatarrambo furum

            I’d encourage you to watch Yoav Shamir’s documentary “Defamed” which spills the beans on the tiny group of people interested in creating this myth of massive anti-semitism and persecution. It really makes you feel for the poor Jewish people subjected to this adversarial mythology in the interest of promoting a group adhesion and influence.

        • AvatarJohn C.

          We should also entrust 21 year olds to express with confidence their opinions on aid to Israel or anyone else. Personally I don’t believe the Liberty attack was on purpose. That does not mean Rambo and Fuentes are not free to differ. I do believe that military aid should have been cut off years ago when the F16 was reversed engineered by Isreal as the Lavi and then the technology passed on to China. Surprise, surprise now China markets a knockoff. Did we not learn anything from Israel doing the same thing before to France/Dassault/Bloch with the Kfir knockoff of the Mirage 5.

          Reply
    • Avatarrambo furum

      I just had a look at the Youtube channels of Fuentes and Shapiro. Nick, the young kid filming at home definitely seems to have over half the views of multi-media darling Ben. The “you’re not popular” argument is both lame and false.

      More importantly, have you seen the Andy Ngo video of Shapiro using his child as a human shield from polite Nick’s inconvenient question regarding Shapiro badmouthing him for 45 minutes at Stanford? Look it up. Notice how the child is in the stroller before he sees Fuentes, but is quickly picked up.

      Reply
    • Avatarrambo furum

      Do you know that TPUSA fired Ashley St. Clair for being in a photo with Nick Fuentes? I don’t think Shapiro marrying some foreign broad is a badge of honor. Is she even a citizen? So much for America first with Ben, I guess.

      Reply
      • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

        “Foreign broad”? There were Sephardic Jews in America in colonial times. Can you say the same about your own family?

        Reply
        • Avatarrambo furum

          She was born and raised in another nation, and appears to hold foreign citizenship. I cannot confirm that she is a United States citizen. Can you?

          Since you brought up her influential family, do you mean Ralph de Toledano, editor of the Socialist Party of America’s magazine, The New Leader, who worked for the OSS before going on to edit the National Review, or Schmuel Toledano of the Mossad?

          Reply
      • AvatarJohn C.

        Obviously our back and fourth was about whether Fuentes and the Groypers are about Jew hating or population replacement, a discussion initiated by Ronnie. It was perhaps not the time for it when there are real Jew haters on the rampage in the form of the “Black Isrealites”. I suspect left and right will unite to remove them quickly before they hurt anyone else.

        Reply
    • Avatartrollson

      Not a Jew hater and just learning about the USS Liberty from your comment.

      Cliff notes: US radio spy ship hanging out listening in to the 6-day war, flying the US flag. Buzzed 13 times by IDF recon planes, then attacked in 3 waves: strafed by Mirage fighters, napalmed (!) by Mystere bombers, then torpedoed by three torpedo boats.

      Now I’m no military expert, but that doesn’t seem like an accident to me. More like a calculated attack where there was something going on that they didn’t want anyone to have/know about, and it was worth it to prevent that ship from listening in and then apologize and pay for it later.

      Reply
      • AvatarOne Leg at a Time

        The trick with the USS Liberty is to care less about it. It was a single incident that occurred in a war zone, more than fifty years ago. My guess is that someone saw the Liberty as a threat, and responded in kind. Given that there were Americans who supported the Arabs in the Six Day War, they may have felt that there was intel that would be passed to their enemy at a time when their country was in a fight for its life. They took action that they felt protected their own interests.

        It is also completely possible that they thought the Liberty was an enemy craft, flying US colors. I have flown patrols in the Persian Gulf, and seen ships change flags based on their activities / location. Not my personal opinion of the incident, but not out of the question.

        Reply
    • Avatardejal

      I was born a few years after that. I can’t do anything about the future, but the future is going to suck.

      The “Ok boomer” thing is taking off. Someone will post that right out of the box as a written smear to get it out the way. Of course, we boomers then think, have a nice day you hump. I think the line is used so the writer can virtue signal to their group that they are “One of the good ones”. I think these people are going to be in for a rude surprise. I think the term is “Useful idiots”.

      Reply
  13. AvatarRock36

    It is interesting that both articles cite the Homestead Act of 1962.

    Clearly private land ownership in the United States existed before this, and the development and parcelling of Homestead Act lands had little to do with the urban and city planning issues they deride.

    One even questions the narrative that land ownership encourages you to be an upstanding citizen. It might not make you “upstanding“, but it certainly increases your stakes in a political process complete with civic duties that you ignore at your own risk as a homeowner.

    Besides, all the issues and problems these articles point out seem to have other root causes than private homeownership in and of itself.

    Finally, one article indirectly touches on it slightly, but how are property taxes not an existing mechanism for the state to extract wealth from land value? The state continuously and indefinitely derives wealth from private land through them.

    If the problems are house speculation, house flipping, leveraging debt, urban flight, poor city planning, and the environment as the articles explicitly and implicitly state, there are plenty of ways to mitigate these than making everything public.

    The basic value and aspiration of home ownership they try to undermine never encouraged these things anyway.

    These are poorly written articles that have fundamental logic problems, and imply causal links that aren’t as self-evident as they wish. It’s unfortunate that they may be on the leading edge of thought as Jack suggests.

    Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      Every Leftist article has fundamental logic problems. For example, Leftists want to import millions of unskilled foreigners and then expect businesses to pay a “living wage” and provide “free” health care. They want to take all the profits out of property ownership through rent control and high property taxes while also expecting property developers to build more low income housing. They encourage dark skinned young people who have been poor/disruptive students in K-12 to apply to the selective/expensive universities and then expect them to succeed in their studies exactly as well as the higher test score applicants they displaced. They want to implement gun control so that only criminals and cops they believe are racist will have guns. They expect hard working and innovative people to continue to work just as hard, and start new companies and invent new products just as often even after most of the income and wealth they earn from their efforts and investment is taxed away to be “invested” in people who don’t work hard and don’t have any good ideas. They think homosexuals are born that way and cannot possibly be changed, but that transgenders should be be encouraged to change from the sex they were born with. They believe they are helping the poor by forcing them to buy ultra-expensive and unreliable renewable energy. They also believe that diversity is a strength, but tend to live in neighborhoods and work in places that are Lilly white (just look at pictures of the top management and boards of any Leftist organization/publication). It is hard to think of any modern Leftist positions that are not contradictory, hypocritical, and that work as intended in the real world, which is why they always ultimately fail.

      Reply
      • AvatarJustPassinThru

        That’s not a flaw, it’s a feature.

        Their leaders’ strategy is that of Cloward and Piven – two radical academians who advocated overwhelming the social-welfare and criminal-justice systems to bring about the collapse which would give Marxists the opportunity for Transformation.

        That’s the leaders. Those on the street, and in the media, and in classrooms…you get some idea how vapid is their intellect, how limited their reasoning power, when you see that they don’t grasp these contradictions.

        Reply
  14. Avatardejal

    I think NR + the Covington kids was the final straw for many NR followers. But even by then, their circulation was down some say 40% in 2 years. After Covington you have outright ridicule and hostility by conservative web sites concerning most NR writers.

    It’s also amazing, that in the last 5 years or so, I’ve come to despise the Bush family (including Barbara), Romney, McCain + Paul Ryan. McCain was the 1st and the easiest. Reports this week that McCain was basically pimping information from Steele 5 times to the FBI after the FBI dropped Steele as a source. I held out the longest for W but finally admitted that he was no different than the others. You campaign for this and that and when given the opportunity to make good you come up with excuses.

    Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      The problem with many of the “conservative” publications such as NR is that most of the staffers live and work in New York City to Washington DC corridor. They attend the same cocktail parties as the staffers at Leftist publications, they went to the same Leftist schools, they may have a Leftist spouse, and they are otherwise almost totally immersed in Leftist media, NGOs, and political activities. These “conservatives” want to “fit in”, they want to get invited to the nice parties, they want to get good tables in nice restaurants and not have their food or themselves spat on by angry Leftist staff and customers, and they want to send their kids to the “good” schools controlled by Leftist administrators. Thus, whatever true conservative or libertarian leanings they might have had (and I believe many are actually Leftists who simply didn’t have the connections to get a position in a Leftist publication), it eventually gets overwhelmed by all the Leftism that surrounds them, which shows up in their anti-Trump rants, their lack of sympathy for the Covington kids, and sympathy for open borders, etc., which is why Jack’s observation about many “conservative” publications is unfortunately all-too-accurate.

      Reply
  15. Avatarstingray65

    Jack – may I ask what your 10 year old son is learning in school these days? Is he learning that racist slave owners stole land from peace loving native Americans and then imported millions of black Africans who did all the real work in building up America? Is he learning that almost all the problems in the world are caused by selfish, misogynist, racist, homophobic white males who haven’t checked their privilege? Is he learning that women are smarter, fairer, kinder, and otherwise better in all ways than men, but are kept down by patriarchy? Is he learning that business owners (aka Capitalists) are greedy and unethical, and constantly trying to cheat their customers, employees, and government out of every nickel they have so he can live in a fancy mansion and fly private jets while everyone else survives on crumbs? Is he learning that Christianity is evil homophobic/tranniephobic/Islamophobic that is only followed by deplorable types living in flyover country, and/or that Jesus was a Socialist, and/or that Islam is the religion of peace? And finally, has he been taught “orange man bad” and so are the climate change denying people who voted for him?

    To the extent these are in the lesson plans at his school, and are somewhat counteracted by the lessons he learns at home by his Right leaning father, imagine what effects they have on children whose parents actually believe and support the school lesson plans? So of course after Leftist indoctrination during 12 years of public education and 4-6 years of college, and graduating with $100K+ in education loan debt and finding the gender studies degree entitles them to an entry level job at Starbucks, they are going to be pissed off at Capitalism and Republicans who caused all their problems, and will be favorably disposed towards the “fairer and more equitable” government solutions offered by Sanders, Warren, and AOC (i.e taxing the rich, forgiveness of student loans, “free” health care and housing, abolishing ICE and law enforcement in general, and mandating a “living” minimum wage and renewable energy). After all, how could anyone except racists, homophobes, and privileged white males object to fairness and equity and peace everlasting?

    Reply
    • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

      graduating with $100K+ in education loan debt and finding the gender studies degree entitles them to an entry level job at Starbucks

      I was watching one of Steven Crowder’s ‘show me I’m wrong’ videos from the Univ of Texas campus. It was about affirmative action and a liberal white student was trying to justify it because education is a stepping stone to moving up socioeconomically. Most of what he said was nonsense, but what really struck me is when he said, “Today you need a masters degree to get an entry level job.” He looked like he genuinely believed that. I wonder if he knows how much welders, CNC operators, or CAD designers make without having to take on six figures of student loan debt.

      Perhaps the educrats’ most effective work has been indoctrinating young Americans to think that they absolutely have to go to college to get ahead in life – at the same time the educrats have lowered academic standards to preserve the pretense that the majority of the population is capable of doing college level academic work.

      Reply
      • Avatarstingray65

        “Trades” and trade schools that teach practical things such as welding, CNC, plumbing, and wiring at low cost in time and money are not appealing fields to women, which is one reason that women now make up 60+% of entering undergraduate classes, where they dominate 9 out of the 10 worst paying majors. And of course the job prospects for an interpretive dance major are pretty sparse, so a graduate degree might postpone reality 2 or 3 more years, at which time our intrepid dancer will have huge loans and be looking up her nose at the deplorable guys wearing MAGA hats with only a technical degree and earning $100K a year. Plus her “career” is too important to get tied down by marriage (unless its a doctor or movie director who does the proposing), and who can afford a kid making $12.50 an hour at Starbucks – it’s hard enough to feed the cat, which is why Democrat proposals to forgive college debt are all about pandering for the woman’s vote.

        Reply
  16. Avatarstingray65

    The phone distraction and accidents piece was very interesting. All the research findings that show phone use and higher accident rates are based on driving simulations, while all the research findings that show little or no relationship are based on analysis of real accident statistics. The general conclusion is that people who use phones while driving (which is almost everyone) slow down and/or leave some extra space in front of their cars to reduce the chance of an accident, which is why the rolling roadblock ahead of you slowing your progress to your destination is almost certainly on her phone. This makes sense because overall accident and death rates have been steadily decreasing even as mobile phone use has been steadily increasing. A good analogy would be when I drive a racing simulation of the Nurburgring versus when I drove it in my own car – I am much more of a hero (and likely to crash) when driving my fake Ferrari on the digital version of the track.

    Reply
  17. AvatarDonald Curton

    Your bit on distracted driving reminds me of my issue with the anti-drunk driving morons. Yes, drunk driving kills. No, an adult man who blows 0.08% is not drunk. And he’s not the one who’s having all the fatality accidents. Every news account I read about fatal drunk driving accidents has the driver at near comatose stage – 0.20% or better. People who are “blacked out” but still driving. And in my neck of the woods, mostly these people are non-citizens.

    Yet the powers that be want to lower the blood-alcohol content even lower, to the point where if you take your wife out to dinner and have a few drinks, you’d better not drive home. And those non-drunk drunk driving arrests? Largely geared to extract money from the defendant rather than actually trying to correct any problem. The issues has gone from “let’s make the roads safer” to “follow the money”.

    So totally agree that distracted driving exists. It always has. From playing with the radio, grabbing something from the back seat, talking to your passenger, staring at the pretty girl in the next lane, etc. Phones are just the latest. An experienced driver will note road conditions and moderate texting as needed – oops, traffic ahead, put the phone down for a minute – road clear, finish my note to boss – etc. And yes, inexperienced drivers (teens) won’t know to do this and have more wrecks. Which they do anyway, always have.

    Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      Traffic policing is almost always about “follow the money”. The safest place and time to speed is in light traffic on a clear, dry and well maintained multi-lane highway, which is also the place and time you are mostly likely to get nabbed in a speed trap. The unsafest place and time to speed is in heavy urban traffic and slippery roads, but setting up a speed trap under such conditions would be too disruptive and might lead to further accidents and citizen complaints.

      You do have to admire the hypocrisy of many who make safety claims in promoting lower limits on drunk driving when in reality they know light social drinkers tend to have money to pay heavy fines, but who will be first to label cops enforcing the tougher laws racist when it turns out that most of the culprits are people of color, and in turn will try to get these “racist” cops fired should they dare to inform ICE about drunken illegals. It seems that a drunken driver who kills or maims is not committing a “serious crime” if their residence status is illegal and might be deported for their crime – we mustn’t let all those welfare dollars go to actual citizens.

      Reply
      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        My wife grew up in New Mexico and had two(2) trucks totaled by illegals who then fled the scene on foot. In one case a bystander caught up with the guy and tackled him… the cops arrested HIM.

        Reply
        • Avatarhank chinaski

          Not in this decade, but the gringos I knew that lived SOTB said that leaving the scene, regardless of fault, was SOP as the alternative was a no phone call trip to the pokey.

          Reply
  18. AvatarJohn Van Stry

    Agenda 21
    They started pushing this in the UN I don’t know how long ago. The previous administration was fully onboard with it and passed a lot of laws and regulations to enforce it. My sister’s neighborhood is being destroyed by it in NY.

    Reply
  19. Avatartoly arutunoff

    we charismatics as bible believers are the best friends Israel has. you ignore the Bible, tough. it’s what’s gonna happen. and when jonathan stein came to look at our cars for fiva papers you shoulda seen his expression when he pulled into my nephew’s mini racetrack and garage and saw the Israeli flag and confederate battle flag hanging side by side!

    Reply
  20. AvatarTrucky McTruckface

    The internet appears to have eaten my original comment, but I have to say that I think you’re right on the money in your assessment of the tradcons, Jack. I started to realize just how full of it the establishment GOP was when Dubya came out on the same side of immigration reform as Teddy Kennedy. Apparently, getting that manslaughtering, lecherous lush to like him was more important than upholding the ideals of the voters who put up with a lot of crap from the left in order to support and re-elect him. The likes of the National Review and Fox News loyally carried the water for him and worked just as hard to sell us rubes on vindictive RINOs like McCain and Romney. Trump’s been a fly in the ointment, but I fully expect the status quo to resume whenever and however the Bad Orange Man finally vacates the executive mansion.

    Meanwhile, the left keeps doubling down on the expansion of government, the dissuasion of personal responsibility, and the restriction of choice.

    So yeah, I’ve come to expect Trotskyite claptrap such as the abolition of private homeownership as an inevitably at this point. Snopes and Politifact (unsurprisingly) swear that Norman Thomas never actually said “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the guise of ‘liberalism,’ they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without ever knowing how it happened.” Perhaps that’s true, but in the words of another wannabe leftist dictator they also blindly defend, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

    On the upside, the majority of public works and private real estate development has been garbage since at least WWII. We’ve abandoned our cities to be run by morons while polluting the once-bucolic suburbs with cheaply-built, mindless sprawl. Unless your particular American Dream is a mortgage you’ll never pay off for a Ryan-build cardboard box on a sub-quarter-acer lot, how much do we really stand to lose?

    Reply
  21. Avatarscotten

    My suspicion is that Jalopnik wouldn’t pay Mark enough to justify him taking the position, but I will consider writing in his name in the 2020 presidential election.

    Reply
    • AvatarJohn C.

      With R/T and C/D getting new editors n chief and TTAC dreaming of hedge fund bailout and saying no to something more realistic, I think Bark’s candidacy might be a shadow campaign for Jack’s number 4 choice.

      Reply
      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        EIC at Jalop is 165k which is decent money IMO if you live in Kentucky. In Manhattan it means having someone you dont know using the toilet at the same time.

        Reply
        • AvatarCJinSD

          That’s sufficient to hire an accountant who lets you take home enough to live alone in a studio in Manhattan. How well does the Jalopnik EIC have to dress? Probably not well, and then you just need to learn to live without trendy food. OTOH, I take it that obsessing over minutiae is why warehoused dolts think they’re part of the middle class and better off than people living in single family homes in flyover states.

          Reply
  22. Avatarhank chinaski

    Lower brow than The Atlantic or The Nation pieces, but of a similar bent: https://dailycaller.com/2019/12/23/virginia-house-zoning-environment/
    The state can use zoning law or property tax to be rid of you as they wish, and they will do so. In high property tax counties, given the mortgage debt carried, it’s probably not unusual for property owners to pay the equivalent of all their equity in taxes over the course of couple of decades. Fail to pay it and they will auction it out from under you.
    In dollars that are worth a fraction of what they were when your parents bought it.

    Eat the bugs. Live in a pod. Get in the cage.
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/amazons-patent-for-caging-workers-was-a-bad-idea-exec-admits/

    Reply
    • Avatar-Nate

      If you’d ever seen an industrial accident you’d understand that this might be a good idea when working in a robotic environment….

      Knowing this or being the head fry cook at Mickey D’s were my job choices would certainly keep me studying instead of dropping out and hitting the streets .

      -Nate

      Reply
      • AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

        Escrow will continue to be higher than principal for many years. Bank is gonna get their interest up front. Thats one reason mortgage’s get sold, sometimes 2-3 times, in the first 10 years. If you’re lucky, in the first year of your mortgage you might have enough equity to own the front door knob.

        When I last had a mortgage, 14 years ago, once a year I would apply a lump sum payment against the PRINCIPAL only. Pissed off the bank as they would have to recalculate the monthly payment (and less principal made for less interest). Not sure if the rules have changed to prevent this from being done, but if you can I recommend doing it.

        Reply
        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          Agreed on all of the above but in my case theres another factor and its this: my annual property taxes are over 5% of my home value.

          Reply
          • AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

            Ouch. Makes me glad I live in a rural area of a (relatively) low tax state. My taxes are aprox 1.3% of assessed, not market, value. Assessed value, in my case, is about 20% lower than market value.

          • AvatarDaniel J

            Oof. I’m glad I live in Alabama. Property tax is less than 1 percent of my homes value. Sales tax has gotten close to 10 percent though.

        • Avatareverybodyhatesscott

          15 year rates are excellent right now and your equity will be higher than the interest starting day 1. Weird they’d re-calc your payment. That should stay the same, the breakdown between interest and principal is different. I’m one of those dorks who runs my own amortization schedule though to make sure they aren’t making any mistakes.

          Reply
        • AvatarZapiens

          “…once a year I would apply a lump sum payment against the PRINCIPAL only. ”

          Isn’t any amount paid over the monthly mortgage payment go to reducing the principal? Where else can it go, really?

          I don’t doubt your words, but I have never heard of a lender recalculating the monthly payment based on accelerated principal reduction. It sounds almost like a refinancing – an expensive proposition for either the borrower or the lender.

          Reply
    • AvatarJohn C.

      Groypers literly doesn’t mean anything. It’s a meme of a frog. It is a battle between some rank and file of college campus republicans. The republican clubs are under Turning Point USA control. The Groypers feel that TPUSA is under control of big money doners that do not support an America First Trump campaign agenda with regards to things like immigration moratoriums, ending wars in the middle east that were part of Trump’s campaign. The leadership were never Trumpers Charlie Kirk and Ben Shapiro who seems Kirk’s boss. The Groypers asked questions at TPUSA events about aid to Israel, green cards for foreign students, and the Liberty attack that are not what TPUSA wants to talk about. Groypers are then removed from events. The leader of the Groypers is Nick Fuentes that hosts a utube channel called America First. Shapiro found an old joke he made about The Cookie Monster baking cookies that could be interpreted as questioning numbers of Jews killed in the Holocaust and are trying to have him silenced/banned to hopefully make TPUSA’s problems go away. It TPUSA changed their views to account for Groyper concerns, their big money backers would dry up. However as College age mostly white, mostly Christian, college Republicans will naturally see population replacement as a big threat to their American Dream, it is a debate that might have to happen.

      Reply
  23. AvatarPaul M.

    Who knows, may be one day government will tax regular people out of home ownership. For now, the best coaching for young people is this, buy a home and pay it off. Then the world is your oyster. Your fortune 500 company can outsource you job, can surplus you, can lay you off because your skills have rotten over the years and you are over 50, doesn’t matter. Who know what future will bring with policy changes that make home ownership tough.

    It reminds me of John Goodman character telling Mark Whalberg this famous line in movie Gambler.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdfeXqHFmPI

    Until then pay your house off and have a paid off ride.

    Reply
  24. AvatarBooty_Toucher

    Commuting in traffic everyday will make you hate distracted drivers. Deaths by distracted drivers are only one metric, as pointed out by others.

    I am curious whether anyone has statistically analyzed the effects of distracted drivers on pedestrian deaths. As I understand, pedestrian deaths are way up in several cities. My gut would be to blame the increase on cell phone use and Uber/Lyft drivers (which aren’t mutually exclusive).

    Reply
  25. AvatarOne Leg at a Time

    Both of this week’s pieces were excellent! Thank you!

    Bark’s writing provided unmitigated joy. I love to watch someone smart poke stupid people with a stick.

    And that was an excellent “fun with statistics” article. Were you actually surprised at the responses, or were both articles planned when you began writing the first one?

    Reply
  26. AvatarCliffG

    The Left: The ideal has ALWAYS been Moscow circa 1972. The proles were hived in their cement high rises and took public transportation to their work (“we pretend to work, they pretend to pay us”). Private transportation and dachas in the countryside were reserved for the elect (nomenclatura) because. Well, because. NR: As a long time reader, i’m talking 1968, the collapse of the publication is disheartening. In hindsight, I am forced to admit that the one national conservative who got it right in the 1980’s was Patrick Buchanan, who was pretty much ridden out of the movement by WFB himself. Was PB an actual anti-Semite? Well, he did a pretty good imitation of one if he wasn’t. Unfortunately that meant of all of his other points got washed away. If the current leadership of NR had read their Russel KIrk, maybe they wouldn’t all be looking quite so stupid.

    Reply
  27. AvatarAoLetsGo

    No. No. No.
    I am sorry, but this time you have taken some hacks absurd drivel and run with it.
    Private homeownership is deeply rooted in American society.
    In order to turn this country into a “Blackfish City” it would take all out warfare and major death and destruction.

    Reply
  28. AvatarZapiens

    The Nation article (which I have yet to read) is from December 2015, so “lately” is hardly applicable. Could it happen? Maybe. Is it going to be mainstreamed in 2020, within the proposed 5 year timeline? I doubt it.

    Jack, you mention that “here are more renters than homeowners out there […]”. It would be great to see some supporting evidence for this statement. The U.S. home ownership rate is around 65% in 2019, if one believes the census statistics (https://www.census.gov/housing/hvs/files/currenthvspress.pdf). Assuming homeowner and renter households are of the same average size, that would make the ratio of homeowners to renters about 2:1. I speculate that homeowner households are, on average, bigger than the renter ones, so this ratio is even more skewed towards homeowners.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      The “home ownership rate” is the percentage of dwellings occupied by their owner. That’s very different from the percentage of people who live in a home they own. To use an extreme example, if I own a condo building with 200 units but one of those units is occupied by me, those other 199 renters are effectively invisible for the purpose of this statistics.

      Reply
      • AvatarZapiens

        “To use an extreme example, if I own a condo building with 200 units but one of those units is occupied by me, those other 199 renters are effectively invisible for the purpose of this statistics.”

        I have to disagree with this statement (or perhaps I misunderstand it.) If census is used to report home ownership or renter status, and if renters and home owners have similar census compliance rates (are these reasonable assumptions?), most of the 199 renter households in your example will report their housing status and increase the non-owner share of the population reported.

        (I have to also briefly mention that is unlikely that a multi-family property that large will be owned by a single household, almost certainly not in their name but even through a corporate structure. You did say that the example was extreme.)

        I do agree that in several large U.S. cities renters constitute a majority and a powerful political force. So far, the their politics have been pro-renter and/or anti-landlord (not the same thing.) New York and San Francisco had rent control for decades; recent city legislation in Seattle and Portland expands the rights of tenants at the expense of landlords.

        One example that can be construed as anti-home-owner, or potentially lead to negative consequences for homeowners, is the recent city-wide upzoning to R3 (triplexes) in Minneapolis. We will have to see what the impact is.

        Reply

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