Monday, June 2, 2014

The Waste of it all.

Did you know that there are currently enough vacant homes to house every single homeless man, woman and child in the US today?  Thats right, we could ensure every American has a home, just from all the homes vacated or lost in the 2007 economic collapse.  But there is more to this.

Let me ask you, what happens to cars that fail to sell in their model year?  Certainly some can still be found on car lots, for a reduced price.  Its how I picked up a 2007 F-150 in 2008.  It was not a deal, but many people can pick up a nice car a year older, and most people wouldn't know the difference (Tell me the difference between a 2010-2014 F-150).  You'd have to check the door and be a car person to know.  I could tell my landlords F-150 was a 2010 based on engine sound (it had the same engine issues mine did).  What we are told is that the economy is improving, and I agree, for many areas it is.  But what we aren't told is that many people are not buying.

But also most people are clueless about some other aspects of the car market, I know I was.  See, when you go to a car lot and buy a car, you are not buying directly from the maker.  You are buying from the dealership, which has bought the vehicle from the maker.  Basically, I make my own brand of knives, you as a shop owner buy them from me to sell to your potential customers.  But, what happens to all the knives I make that you as the shop owner do not buy?  Well, I sit on them.  I store them somewhere with the hopes that someone will come along and pay the price I want for them, or I scrap them, while I still produce more.

The latter is what car makers have been doing.  Now, the cars are produced based on assumptions of sales, so you will always have cars sitting somewhere, waiting on a dealership to place an order.  But keep in mind that not every new car that is made finds a home.  Many eventually find their way to a used car lot to be sold.  But some inevitably rust away in some bone yard.  And while I won't complain, this in no way affects me as a person, and cutting back production would be harmful (more people looking for even fewer jobs), we have several options, most conservatives and libertarians will bitch about.

Like the current housing market (with gluts of empty homes), we do have sitting cars.  One estimate stated that there was enough to give every resident of Iowa, that is men/women/children a new car that has been sitting.  But lets assume that they are only talking about those vehicles that are on a car lot waiting to be sold, there is not a problem.  Eventually those cars will find an owner and all is right with the world. 

But I really want to talk about peopleless homes.  We have homes without people.  Corporations own them.  They will sell them and they will do everything in their power to get their price.  Forget the fact that they caused the problem.  I'm sorry, I do not see a problem with them eating the loss.  They caused the problem, and have yet to be held accountable.  So they have all these empty houses, waiting to attempt to recover the money they lost jobbing the system.  So, we could effectively house every homeless person in the United States, the banks would loose what they are attempting to recover for their poor behavior.  But it would make the nation better.

Now many people would say "oh they don't deserve it" or "well how are they going to take care of a home".  Yeah, the second statement might have a bit of truth.  But everyone deserves a home.  A domain where they can escape the cruelty of the world.  It would save money, well except for the banks.  People would have adequate shelter, which would save money in other sectors.  It would make it easier for people to get jobs, trust me when you don't have a physical address (or 911 address) it makes it harder to get a job.  Actually, it makes it impossible to get a job.  You are seen as shifty, untrustworthy. 

Really, we need to empty any caches of new older cars that car companies are hording and holding onto for their price, fill empty homes with people, and then set to work of ensuring that we get back to full employment.  I don't mean with jobs like McDonald's or Wal-Mart, I mean jobs people can make a living with.  Until we actually try to eliminate homelessness with actual effort, until we recognize that each person should make a living wage, nothing will change.