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Woland
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Anybody here remember "Doctor Zhivago?" You know it had a great cast, with the immortal Klaus Kinski in a tiny bit role . . . but so beautifully and meaningfully played.

Do you remember the part when Omar Sharif comes home, and finds Alec Guiness organizing things at Geraldine Chaplin's family's home? With all of the proletarians who were moved in?

Well it seems that there are still some Julie Christie fans in Great Britain. They remembered:

Quote:
Older people should be taxed out of their family homes to free up space for younger generations, says a report backed by Labour.

It argues that 'empty nesters' in their 60s are taking up too much room and should be 'encouraged' by a new 'land tax' to downsize to smaller homes.

The call comes from the Intergenerational Foundation, a left-leaning think-tank that aims to 'promote fairness between generations'.

* * * *

The Intergenerational Foundation says there are 25million unused bedrooms in the country and eight million ‘under-occupied’ homes.

More than half of people aged over 65 live in homes with two or more spare bedrooms that could be used by young families, it adds.

The report, Hoarding of Housing, says: ‘While younger families are increasingly being squeezed into small flats and under-sized houses, older people are often rattling around in big houses with many bedrooms standing empty, often for years.’

Report co-author Matthew Griffiths said: ‘It is perfectly understandable that retired people cling to their home long after it has outlived its usefulness as a place to bring a family up in.

‘But there are profound social consequences of their actions which are now causing real problems in a country where new house building is almost non-existent.’


Although the English used to say, "a man's home is his castle," it seems that your English home is now part of the "common good" to be disposed of by the State.

O tempora! O mores!

By the way, "Doctor Zhivago" is a wonderful book. It gives a rather too-rosy picture of life in the Soviet Union, but what a story!
LobowolfXXX
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Wow...I can't decide whether that's more horrifying or nauseating.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Big Jeff
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What about younger people who live alone? They should be forced to share housing.

NOBODY should be allowed to live alone and take up space and resources that should be shared.
Magnus Eisengrim
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How about a positive financial incentive? Would it be more palatable if tax breaks and/or credits were offered to seniors if they moved to higher density housing?

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Woland
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How about offering to purchase houses and property at market prices? What a novel idea that would be! Of course I don't think that a legitimate governmental function, but at least it would be non-coercive. But as Hayek and others have pointed out on purely economic grounds, when you eliminate the free market, economic decision-making inevitably comes down to coercion.
Magnus Eisengrim
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Quote:
On 2011-10-20 15:44, Woland wrote:
How about offering to purchase houses and property at market prices? What a novel idea that would be!


I suspect that wouldn't help, because if they wanted market price, they'd already be selling.



John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
LobowolfXXX
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How about putting a really high per-tax child on young people whose choices to have children are burdening a limited housing market? We could try it out as a pilot program, starting with members of the Intergenerational Foundation.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Woland
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In a free market, if people are unwilling to sell at the "market price" it isn't the real price; you have to offer more until they agree to sell - that's what establishes the real price.

One -just one- of the flaws in the socialist system(s) (but it is sufficient to doom them) is the absence of realtime accurate price information. When the prices of things are determined by bureaucrats, nobody knows what the costs really are. (Hayek again.)

Of course, as Lobowolf's example shows, once you decide that you have the right to coerce people into doing whatever it is that you think at the moment is socially useful, there is literally no end to what you can come up with.
Magnus Eisengrim
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What does "the socialist system(s)" have to do with this?

Governments always used financial incentives/disincentives to change behaviour. Tolls, consumption taxes, pollution taxes, tax deductions for charitable contributions, airport levies, capital gains deductions, etc. etc. etc.

Please don't read this as support for the report or its recommendations, BTW.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Woland
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What does the socialist system have to do with this? 1) This is a proposal put forth by Labour. 2) The proposal is in its language and ideology self-evidently socialist. 3) The basis of socialism is the substitution of economic decisions by ukase for economic decisions by the market.

After all, if there really was a market for more housing in Britain, private developers would clamor to satisfy it. Whay can't they? What is holding them back? Government policy and regulation, no doubt.

Richard Fernandez has some useful comments to make on this subject, as usual:

Quote:
Buried beneath the language of ‘reform’, ‘fairness’, ‘clinging’, and the ‘profound social consequences’ of the lack of housing is one salient idea: where can we find money. Its proponents are looking for a new source of taxes to provide for things the real economy can no longer produce. And since the IF is based “in a country where new house-building is almost non-existent” the best place to find resources is under grandma’s bed, or quite literally, in grandma’s house. If only government could take it or make it available then society’s problems are solved.

Anyhow, grandma had it coming. The Intergenerational Foundation argues that grandma’s prosperity was based on theft because she was given stuff she did not ultimately deserve So it is only right for society to take some of it back. “The younger generation have reason to be angry: for decades to come they will be burdened by the spending spree of previous generations – national debt, unfunded government pensions liabilities, debts from student fees, paying for the windfall profits in housing.”

In calling for a government solution to rectify “intergenerational injustice”, the IF is oblivious to the fact that government solutions created the problem in the first place, largely through Ponzi-like schemes called welfare. Moreover they seem surprisingly undisturbed by the idea that a society can no longer produce new affordable housing for its young and are oblivious to the fact that by imposing their policies they would discourage the younger generation from investing in the kind of large houses they now covet for their use.

Perhaps it is closer to the truth to argue that the cry for “intergenerational justice” is just the scream of a dying welfare state. It is the sound of chairs being rearranged on the deck of the Titanic. As they themselves note, there is a specter haunting Europe:

Quote:
indeed all over Europe young people have taken to the streets to protest at their lot in one way or another. The recent demonstrations in Israel – the largest protests in the nation’s history, mainly directed at the housing crisis – are only the latest in a growing list.


They should have gone on to say that it is the specter of communism, or rather the lack of money caused by those 163-year old ideas. And yet those notions are evergreen, ever “new”, ever “progressive”. Though IF is not a very important organization, its proposals mimic the underlying assumptions of a very important class of people. The “Occupy” protesters, who are in Wall Street, are a stalking horse for those who want know whether something created in large part by government favoritism can now safely be made the target for a program of wealth redistribution. After all, the god-state giveth; therefore the god-state can taketh away.


An economy that can no longer produce affordable housing for productive young people is dying. A society that confiscates what its elders have labored all their lives to achieve is dying. Its ruling class of bien-pensants have run out of good ideas, and so turn back to the tried and true remedies of tyrants everywhere.
LobowolfXXX
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There are people who believe that if anyone has something that they don't, it's a sign of "unfairness," wholly irrespective of the circumstances of the other's acquisition of it, or their own inability to acquire it.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Woland
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And of course it is "fairness" for those people to use violence and the threat of violence to seize whatever it is that they think they deserve to enjoy.
Magnus Eisengrim
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Who is advocating seizing what? Reading past the inflammatory rhetoric in the Daily Mail article, the report suggests taxing seniors over 60 who own large homes. There is no voilence or threat of violence here.

Maybe it's a good idea, and maybe it's outrageous. But it's a propsed taxation increase, not a pogrom.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Magnus Eisengrim
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Quote:
On 2011-10-20 16:31, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Who is advocating seizing what? Reading past the inflammatory rhetoric in the Daily Mail article, the report suggests taxing seniors over 60 who own large homes. There is no voilence or threat of violence here.

Maybe it's a good idea, and maybe it's outrageous. But it's a propsed taxation increase, not a pogrom.

Oh, and here is the actual report (of which, I confess, I have only read the executive summary).
John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Woland
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Taxation is just the first step in coercion, Magnus. The taxes can be raised until the elderly homeowners can't pay them. Then their proerty can be seized by armed agents of the State. The decisions of the State always imply violence as a sanction. If the homeowners resist, they will be imprisoned or killed. That's the way it works in socialist systems.
Magnus Eisengrim
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Oh, I thought you were serious for a second, Woland. Thanks for bringing Onion humour to the Café.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2011-10-20 16:35, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Oh, I thought you were serious for a second, Woland. Thanks for bringing Onion humour to the Café.


Do you see a fundamental difference between the actual proposal and the proposal for "positive financial incentives" that you propose, or is it all just different economic incentive options?
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Woland
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Thanks for posting the report.

First of all, let's look at the title: "Hoarding of Housing." This is an obvious linguistic attempt to turn owning your own home into an anti-social crime. The practitioners of Newspeak couldn't have done it any better than that.

Then there is the concept that all of the homes in the country should be aggregated as a public resource.

Finally come a variety of measures, beginning with taxes, to solve the problem as defined by the IF by forcing other people to do what they want them to do.
Woland
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When they come to take your house, Magnus, don't tell me that you were not warned.
Magnus Eisengrim
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Again, don't confuse me for someone who agrees with the report. Or for someone who understands the housing situation in Great Britain for that matter. I don't have a problem with the general policy of using taxation (or credits) as (dis)incentives, that's all. The devil, as always, is in the details.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
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