The Happy Slave

This is my surrender to the Powers that Be, who wish we all were just happy little slaves, tooling along without a care in the world, doing what our better-educated masters tell us to do, not daring to step out of line. I'm so bad at surrender...

Location: Indianapolis, United States

I'm an old-fashioned Get-out-of-my-face-atarian. So long as the gubmint left me alone, I had no problems with it. Gubmint wants to run my life, so I'm doing something about it. (Not just blogging, either.)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Stuck on Stupid State

There is a state in our union that so very often produces bizarre stories and stupid behavior that a weird news story site has given it its own special category. I refer, of course, to the state of Florida. Once again, Florida proves that it is stuck on stupid. In an effort to deal with the housing bubble, the idiots in the Senility State have decided to give handouts to everybody who makes less than about $70,000 per year. Let's think about that. We have a housing bubble, home prices are obscenely inflated. What is the government's "solution"? Hand out money to keep the prices inflated! This program ultimately will only help real-estate speculators and similar fatcats. A market so excessively high needs to crash now, because it will eventually crash, no matter what the government does. If it crashes later, it will be worse than if it crashes now. Government handout scams for "affordable housing" will only prolong the illness and make things far worse when the inevitable crash happens. What "should" government do? Government should let the market determine. If an area is too expensive for the middle income family to live in (see below on "middle income"), then middle income families have every right to go somewhere affordable. It's part of that whole "freedom of movement" right we have. Now, as for what constitutes "middle income", a lot of geeks (especially, unfortunately, Libertarian geeks) are severely out of touch when it comes to evaluating income levels. Here's a dose of reality: According to the US Census, the "median" (that's "middle" for those of you who can't handle simple statistics) US household income is around $44,000 per year. That's gross income, by the way. Of course, the "exact middle" is not too broad, so let's say that "middle income" is the income of the "middle third" of the population. It's a rational category. So, what would we get if we use this? "Lower income" (the lowest 1/3 of the population) would be $0 to $27.5k, "middle income" would be $27.5k to $65k. Everybody above $65k would, by impartial and objective mathematic criteria, be upper income. It's simple math--if you have the income of the highest 1/3 of the population, you are "upper"--on a three-tier system. So you out-of-touch wastrels who whine about how you just "can't get buy" on less than $100k only show the extent of your lack of thrift. Feel free to whine to me about how "hard" your lives are. Those of us familiar with the real world will give you all the sympathy you deserve. What does it say about our attitudes when we have decided the best way to deal with a mass market (housing) that has priced itself out of the reach of 2/3 of the population requires government subsidies? Think about that. I predict that most of you won't think at all about the matter. If idle speculators wish to price themselves out of the market, they deserve to lose their investments.