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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Foreign investment

This destruction of the housing stock by rich foreign owners is the sort of consequence the free traders never factor into their "it's good for the economy" arguments when considering the free flow of capital:
Drained whirlpools, decaying walls and foliage creeping up the stairs can be seen on a North London street called Billionaires' Row. Bishops Avenue in Hampstead, north London, is one of the most exclusive roads in the country, but many of its 66 mansions lie vacant. Footage taken by 'urban explorers' shows moss growing up the once pristine white walls of the huge rooms and swimming pools with a shallow layer of murky water. The gardens rise high and in many the decor is clearly a few decades behind.

They include a selection of residences worth £73 million, reportedly bought for the Saudi royals between 1989 and 1993. In those days the homes caught be purchased for a cool million, now prices rise to around £20 million. In 2014, an estimated £350 million worth of mansions could be found on the prestigious street, the Guardian reported.

An Iranian resident told the paper: 'Ninety-five percent of the people who live here don't actually live here. It is a terrible place to live really.
So, the best housing stock in the most desirable areas is being destroyed, but on the plus side, the natives can't afford to live there anyway. And the cycle will only continue as new developments are built to house the people who now live elsewhere and are building up a desirable neighborhoods that will attract more foreign "investors".

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56 Comments:

Blogger FrankNorman April 10, 2019 5:33 AM  

Maybe if that area gets run down from neglect enough, the prices will go lower?

Blogger Hieronymus Burgmeister April 10, 2019 5:54 AM  

The material decay shows the moral decay.

Blogger James Dixon April 10, 2019 6:07 AM  

> So, the best housing stock in the most desirable areas is being destroyed, but on the plus side, the natives can't afford to live there anyway.

There are some good arguments for taxing non-resident owners at much higher levels than resident ones. This is one such example.

Blogger The Observer April 10, 2019 6:18 AM  

It's a shame. Houses used to be things that families or entire communities gathered together to build, then became homes by generations of the same family living in it. The shift from houses as legacies to houses as commodities is one of the greatest losses that modernity has imposed upon us.

Blogger Harambe April 10, 2019 6:25 AM  

It's the same thing even here in South Africa. Oprah has a $10m penthouse apartment in the Cape Town waterfront for some reason.

I'm a senior software developer with 12 years experience. I can't afford to buy anything bigger than a 3 bedroom apartment. Without a garage mind you, because apparently garages by themselves are worth almost as much as a single bedroom apartment. I honestly don't know who buys all the real estate. It's not just the prime real estate either. It's become so that only executives and doctors and lawyers can afford housing. Not even us highly skilled professionals and tradesmen have a chance and a white picket fence and a swimming pool.

Well, not on a single income anyway.

Blogger Zaklog the Great April 10, 2019 6:38 AM  

"Free traders" sounds an awful lot like "free [not yet imprisoned] traitors". Was that an intentional bit of rhetoric on your part? Or just happy coincidence?

Blogger God Emperor Memes April 10, 2019 6:42 AM  

This is pretty much exactly what has happened in Sydney. - Wealthy foreigners are permitted to buy the most desirable real estate, while Australians are forced to buy overpriced shitholes

Blogger Dave Dave April 10, 2019 6:49 AM  

Australia's housing crisis is largely driven by (((free trade))) and immigration, the latter being a result of the former.

Blogger Lazarus April 10, 2019 7:07 AM  

James Dixon wrote:There are some good arguments for taxing non-resident owners at much higher levels than resident ones. This is one such example.

That is being done in Vancouver, and other places in B.C. It remains to be seen whether the Chinese oligarchs care or not. House sales have dropped 40% in March. I doubt it will lead to affordability for the rabble. The main value of the property is the land.

The people who will be affected the most are Canadians who have two residences for various reasons.

As with any government effort, it remains to be seen whether there is a net benefit. Probably not.

Blogger Dirtnapninja April 10, 2019 7:07 AM  

There are entire neighborhoods in Vancouver that sit empty, because chinese kleptocrats were using the city as a piggy bank to stash their loot.

Blogger Bobiojimbo April 10, 2019 7:09 AM  

Living in a SW state, I know this all too well. The snow birds occupy homes that would otherwise go to first time buyers or lower income families. They're only here 6 months of the year at most - long gone before it gets too hot.

Blogger Quicksilver April 10, 2019 7:12 AM  

As a london dweller, i can attest. By importing low skilled third world trash on one side and foreign big money from the other the squeeze on the middle class has made it such that a good lifestyle is no longer affordable.

Highly skilled professionals with what once was high levels of pay, are forced to either cram in dangerous neighborhoods with the imported trash or go knees deep in debt to buy a home.

But hey, at least you can get cheap food delivered at your door ey?

Blogger CarpeOro April 10, 2019 7:32 AM  

I remember reading that this is the situation for many high end areas in Vancouver, BC. Mansions bought by wealthy Chinese. More than a few of the owners have "disappeared" in China - in other words they were buying realestate in Canada to hide wealth from the Chinese government, were caught for something they were doing, and executed.

If I recall, foreigners can't own land in Thailand - they can only lease or rent. Not a bad idea for other countries as the true owner would need to maintain or manage the property.

Blogger Harambe April 10, 2019 7:33 AM  

I find it hilarious that house prices in America, when compared to the same type of area here in South Africa, can often be had for the same price or even cheaper. It's one of the main reasons I want to emigrate to the USA instead of, say, Canada or Australia. That, and how cheap cars are.

This stuff is 100% deliberate though. They want to destroy the middleclass. It's explicitly one of the globalists' ideals. And what better way than to force them to live like sardines and console them with cheap electronics and brushed aluminium appliances.

Who cares about privacy and grass for kids to play on when your apartment complex has free Wifi and a gym?

Blogger Salt April 10, 2019 7:33 AM  

Harambe wrote:It's the same thing even here in South Africa. Oprah has a $10m penthouse apartment in the Cape Town waterfront for some reason.

It's one of her toys.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan April 10, 2019 7:34 AM  

The doom and gloom from James Kunstler might actually be appropriate with this issue of housing malinvestment. Those London shitholes are a short step from being "scrapers", scrape em to the ground start over.

Blogger Wishing Star April 10, 2019 7:40 AM  

The laws permitting this can be manipulated to deliberately cause local unrest. Hopefully the Lewis children and Khasar are up for another mission in the UK.

Blogger Cataline Sergius April 10, 2019 7:45 AM  

Those "mansions" were absolutely hideous when they were built but I'll give them this much, they make for pretty decent ruins.

Blogger maniacprovost April 10, 2019 7:46 AM  

Building mansions and selling them to foreign playboys who let them rot seems like a winning formula to me. The only losers are the millionaire Iranians who don't sell out.

In most of the US we have plenty of land to inflate and sell. We'll get it back eventually.

Blogger JonM April 10, 2019 7:58 AM  

Not an isolated incident. A lot of the brand new high-rise condos in Honolulu sit half-empty as Chinese investors snap up the new units at premium prices and then let them sit idle for years. The housing bubble makes enough money for them that they don't have to renting them out and deal with the hassles of upkeep.

And then there is Kahala Avenue. One of the most prestigious neighborhoods on the island. It suffered the same fate for years, but got a lot of press because rundown buildings in rich people's neighborhoods is worse than rundown buildings in pleb neighborhoods. The property values of the millionaire's row were only saved when the Japanese billionaire got dinged for tax evasion and had to sell off all the properties to pay his legal fees. Of course, he was kind of a edgelord, so when people began to complain about the empty homes, he started renting the mansions out to Native Hawaiians for $200/month. That put the binary thinkers in a tailspin because they couldn't complain about him depressing property values without also complaining about him helping the homeless. Watching rich people fight like that would have been hilarious if it hadn't been a sign of underlying problems that affected everyone.

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/21500384/exclusive-billionaire-investor-genshiro-kawamoto-arrested-on-tax-evasion/

Blogger James Dixon April 10, 2019 8:13 AM  

> As with any government effort, it remains to be seen whether there is a net benefit. Probably not.

Yeah. I deliberately did not say whether the arguments were convincing enough, merely that there were some good ones. As with anything that increases government power, it's best to remain skeptical.

> Highly skilled professionals with what once was high levels of pay, are forced to either cram in dangerous neighborhoods with the imported trash or go knees deep in debt to buy a home.

I could make an argument that "company towns" were at least as good a deal. Again, I not sure it's a good enough argument. But an at cost company provided apartment complex would definitely be a benefit many professionals would jump at.

Blogger Gettimothy April 10, 2019 8:23 AM  

https://infogalactic.com/info/Israeli_land_and_property_laws

"Use of land in Israel usually means leasing rights from the ILA for a period of 49 or 98 years. Under Israeli law, the ILA cannot lease land to foreign nationals, which includes Palestinian residents of Jerusalem who have identity cards but are not citizens of Israel. In practice, foreigners may be allowed to lease if they show that they would qualify as Jewish under the Law of Return.[9]"

Color me unsuprised.

Blogger dc.sunsets April 10, 2019 8:56 AM  

You think it's bad now?

America has, for decades and decades, traded IOU's for foreign-made junk. It was a scam from the start, but our Empire was based on Reverse Mercantilism, where instead of exploiting the Wogs in Nowhereistan, our rulers and corporate persons strip-mined Americans by using the Wogs as intermediaries.

What happens when the Wogs who hold all that US purchasing power decide to cash in their chips? They can't buy land or noodles in Bejing with USD's or T-bills.

To me, it's an open question whether the eventual firestorm in the bond market (necessary to burn down all of the excess credit inflation created since 1981) drives nominal goods prices uniformly into the dirt or if useful capital in the USA is simply bought-up en masse and our new landlords (from China/UK/etc.) do to us what English absentee land owners did to the Irish during the Great Potato Famine.

Was the Bond Market a vast pyramid that turned excess cash (the nation's savings) into a fist-full of IOU's collateralized by post-consumer (landfilled) waste, or was it a vast Pawn Shop where Americans partied like it's 1999 for decades while hocking everything including the kitchen sink to foreigners both (((domestic))) and overseas.

Or both?

Blogger Andrew April 10, 2019 9:03 AM  

Foreign investment in the US is the only thing left propping up the dollar reserve system and funding our endless trade deficits. Take that away and it's a long way down (permanently) for the dollar and everyone's retirement/401k/investment accounts.

Blogger dc.sunsets April 10, 2019 9:07 AM  

@21 I could make an argument that "company towns" were at least as good a deal. Again, I not sure it's a good enough argument. But an at cost company provided apartment complex would definitely be a benefit many professionals would jump at.

My ideal is a world full of city-states, each privately owned by a family. The family would issue a charter spelling out all the rules to which those who chose to reside there would abide. There could be cities for the rainbow of debauchery and there could be cities where public drunkenness got you kicked out. And so on. Thousands of variations. Maybe more.

But land ownership would ALWAYS remain with the family, and residents could lease as they desired. The point would be to create a system where the rabble had no means, short of violent overthrow, of changing the system, and people would be encouraged to vote with their feet rather than take the risk of a two-way shooting gallery.

No system of humans can be perfect or static, because humans are not perfect and are living (only dead systems are static.) But my ideal would offer different things for different people, and at least nominally align those who CAN produce the conditions in which they'd like to live with the ability to live in them.

Our current system is a mix of Utopian magical thinking with peoples who want the golden eggs but who both cannot produce them and loathe those who do, mixed geographically and politically with those who produce them. It's quite predictably following the recipe for detonation.

Blogger KG April 10, 2019 9:16 AM  

Foreigners pay ridiculous money for crap property they won’t even live in, and if the going gets tough enough the natives will annex it and ignore whatever ownership claims the absent foreigners had. Win win.

Blogger Jack (LJCSOGHMOMAS) April 10, 2019 9:24 AM  

The most expensive housing market on the planet right now is Hong Kong. One of the chief reasons is that in 2013 Hong Kong opened up its property market to wealthy developers from the Chinese mainland. Not exactly "foreigners" although some Hong Kong people feel that way. Ever since then, property values have been skyrocketing. It's great for "the economy." Meanwhile, ordinary Hong Kong people can no longer afford to own or even rent a shoebox apartment.

Blogger Timmy3 April 10, 2019 9:27 AM  

Silicon Valley (San Francisco) is double the prices of Los Angeles. Chinese money is all over the west coast. All the good areas are bought out by Chinese mainlanders. This sort of slowing down due to China’s crackdown on money leaving the country. Many Chinese send their kids here to live on their own. What are they leaving behind while they are still making a living in China? Spoiled rotten kids.

Blogger sammibandit April 10, 2019 9:49 AM  

Some of the vacant condos are used for girlfriends to use. One of my collaborators brought me to one her father owned for when he visited town. Obviously the girlfriend was absent. It didn't even look like she lived there unless she was visiting her beau.

Blogger James Dixon April 10, 2019 10:01 AM  

> To me, it's an open question whether the eventual firestorm in the bond market (necessary to burn down all of the excess credit inflation created since 1981) drives nominal goods prices uniformly into the dirt or if useful capital in the USA is simply bought-up en masse and our new landlords (from China/UK/etc.) do to us what English absentee land owners did to the Irish during the Great Potato Famine.

I think the debt will be repudiated before it reaches that point. But while I may sometimes offer useful insights and perspective, my crystal ball has been demonstrated to be unreliable.

> Foreigners pay ridiculous money for crap property they won’t even live in, and if the going gets tough enough the natives will annex it and ignore whatever ownership claims the absent foreigners had. Win win.

That seems likely, yes.

Blogger Johnny April 10, 2019 10:15 AM  

>>Foreigners pay ridiculous money for crap property they won’t even live in, and if the going gets tough enough the natives will annex it and ignore whatever ownership claims the absent foreigners had. Win win.

The difficulty with this solution, or simply not paying on debt, is that it will create a period of financial instability that is all but certain to terminate the current leadership, perhaps displaced or literally terminated. That is why borrowers of international debt tend to get locked in.

Blogger Alexander April 10, 2019 10:29 AM  

HongKong natives refer to Chinese Mainlanders as locusts. Not without cause.

Blogger Crush Limbraw April 10, 2019 10:30 AM  

It all fits - we are ruled globally by a dictatorship of global oligarchs - https://washingtonsblog.com/2018/11/america-is-one-dollar-one-vote-not-really-one-person-one-vote.html - Eric Zuesse explains about America, but you can extrapolate this to all of Western Civilization. A few, like Hungary and Russia are trying to break away.

Blogger Desdichado April 10, 2019 10:33 AM  

What was it Camilus said? Non auro, sed ferro, recuperanda est patria.

Sigh. I grieve for the inevitable dead that this foolishness and evil will cause.

Blogger JonM April 10, 2019 10:34 AM  

"if the going gets tough enough the natives will annex it and ignore whatever ownership claims the absent foreigners had."

Until the absent foreigners show up armed and en masse to enforce their claims.

At that point, do midwestern boys enlist to defend the Calexican Coast against the predations of the forces of the Greater Sino-Asian Coprosperity Alliance? Depends on whether it happens fast enough and the bicoastal propaganda mills can keep them convinced that eating out-of-season strawberries is worth dying for.

Blogger James Dixon April 10, 2019 11:02 AM  

> The difficulty with this solution, or simply not paying on debt, is that it will create a period of financial instability that is all but certain to terminate the current leadership, perhaps displaced or literally terminated. That is why borrowers of international debt tend to get locked in.

It's far more likely that the current leadership will get changed first, and the new leadership will repudiate the debt.

> Until the absent foreigners show up armed and en masse to enforce their claims.

Easier said than done.

Blogger Tars Tarkas April 10, 2019 11:07 AM  

Any kind of breakdown of the system is not going to happen in isolation. I just do not buy a scenario where the economic system fails and laws stay the same.
While the status-quo will nearly always be defended at nearly all costs, if the system actually breaks in a fundamental way, all bets are off. All of the foreigners holding US paper might very well find themselves holding completely useless fictions not honored by anyone. Things that are impossible today may be allowed and routine things today my suddenly be illegal. The law is whatever the men with guns say it is and if the law stops serving their interests, it will change.
If they are rolling back Dodd-Frank, that is because Dodd-Frank is no longer serving their interests. They are probably trying to postpone the inevitable.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 April 10, 2019 11:24 AM  

Saudi princes are also known to invest in American models by paying them to be defecated upon.

The only reason that the Saudis have any kind of money, which they use to degenerate other civilization and proselytize Islam in third-world hellholes, is due to oil. Stop free trade with oil, deregulate domestic oil production and fuel refinement, and we may save our daughters from Halal feces.

Blogger Mr Darcy April 10, 2019 11:34 AM  

It reads like a description of post-collapse ancient Rome. Abandoned villas in what was once the world's greatest and richest city.
Complete with vegetation reclaiming the landscape.

Blogger Uncephalized April 10, 2019 11:53 AM  

"Until the absent foreigners show up armed and en masse to enforce their claims."

And they are going to, what, permanently militarily occupy the American coast? I think there are a lot of inland men with guns who would be willing to risk a reconquista with the expected upside of gaining control of what is still some of the best real estate on the planet--when governed competently.

Blogger Tars Tarkas April 10, 2019 12:21 PM  

swiftfoxmark2 wrote:Stop free trade with oil, deregulate domestic oil production and fuel refinement, and we may save our daughters from Halal feces.

The Saudis are sitting on the largest oil field in the world with billions of barrels of light-sweet crude that is ridiculously cheap to produce.
The US produces very expensive stuff that is extremely light and of limited use. That is one of the major reasons we are exporting finished motor gasoline, or so I am told. Though there are a lot of games people play trying to make a point, from what I hear, all the fracking in America has yet to produce healthy profits. If interest rates normalize, could they even raise the money to drill more wells? Of course, this may be asking 'well, if the sky falls...'
This reminds me of when people trying to make other point talk about oil in Venezuela, proclaiming they have the largest reserves in the world. This is not exactly true. What they have is vast reserves of poor quality oil, expensive to produce and for which there is little refining capacity.

Blogger James Dixon April 10, 2019 12:28 PM  

> The law is whatever the men with guns say it is and if the law stops serving their interests, it will change.

Since guns are fairly easy to make, that's a slight over simplification, but largely true. Of course, that's why our founders wrote the second amendment.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine April 10, 2019 12:31 PM  

"Maybe if that area gets run down from neglect enough, the prices will go lower?"

No, because the price has basically nothing to do with the property itself.

Anyone read C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce? Remember housing conditions in hell? Welcome to hell.

"In most of the US we have plenty of land to inflate and sell. We'll get it back eventually."

Not when we finally collapse we won't. Some of those sold areas will magically expand for miles.

Sure, some will be reclaimed. However, it's a losing deal if even one isn't, considering what little benefit the locals had for producing them.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine April 10, 2019 12:33 PM  

"And they are going to, what, permanently militarily occupy the American coast? I think there are a lot of inland men with guns who would be willing to risk a reconquista with the expected upside of gaining control of what is still some of the best real estate on the planet--when governed competently."

Colonization. You don't need a military occupation if you disperse the degenerate people and plant your own. And the inland men aren't going to give a single crap about most of the waterfront property already occupied by the southern colonization forces. Some of the fertile areas inland? Maybe, but they're not going to care enough to save 90% of the coast.

Blogger JonM April 10, 2019 12:38 PM  

"And they are going to, what, permanently militarily occupy the American coast?"

Maybe. Fifty years ago thinking the Chinese would control the Panama Canal looked just as ridiculous. I'm not predicting it, just pointing out that it's a possibility you should factor into your calculations. Hell, just the Chinese wielding the threat of such event should factor into things.

"I think there are a lot of inland men with guns who would be willing to risk a reconquista with the expected upside of gaining control of what is still some of the best real estate on the planet--when governed competently."

Perhaps they would. Eventually. If the risk justifies it, and if they have the excess sons and dearth of decent land of their own to make the price acceptable. Maybe they seize the passes instead, cut the water supply, and let 30 years of natural desertification do the heavy lifting of chasing people off that land. Maybe international pressure - did we really default exclusively on Chinese loans? - means that California goes full Rhodesia. Maybe maybe maybe.

Don't get caught up in the details of the collapse. The point here is that, "it's free loot if we just default on the IOUs" ignores the real-world costs of the backlash against such a decision.

Blogger dc.sunsets April 10, 2019 12:46 PM  

what is still some of the best real estate on the planet

Fresh water & arable land are apt to become THE most important resources in coming years. There are relatively few places on Earth that have them in good quantity, North America being one of them. The other (Central Europe) lacks the "moat" off either of NA's coasts, hence why it is a place of constant warfare.

Blogger DonReynolds April 10, 2019 2:08 PM  

Without being required to maintain the property (or occupy the house), the owner's only carrying costs for owning the property is the property taxes.

This would not happen in the US jurisdictions I have worked with as a city planner. First (and foremost), code enforcement is much more aggressive about human habitation and the maintenance of the property. Secondly, homeowners insurance would lapse after a few months of sitting empty. Thirdly, state law typically states that any property unoccupied for three years is automatically classified as dilapidated and can be demolished, at the expense of the owner. Fourthly, there are a number of anti-vagrant and flop-house laws that require vacant buildings (including homes) to be secured... windows covered, etc. Fifth, pools not in proper use may be ordered to be filled in with dirt, grass not mowed would get a citation, trash dumping would be difficult to prevent...and there goes another citation.

Of course, these are the very things that Libertarians scream their guts out over, but it is how local government protects property values and the public health and safety and prevents fires. Even if the homeowner does not give a fig about destroying his own house, the neighbors often care very much, and so there are plenty of complaints to invite the housing enforcement agents.

Blogger lowercaseb April 10, 2019 2:23 PM  

This has been a huge problem in San Francisco. 3/4s of the Sunset district and a good amount of the other districts are owned by Chinese nationals or relatives of Chinese nationals. People keep thinking that Cali is going to fall to the Mexican invasion. La Raza is going to be very surprised to find that their new masters will be more than willing to sell or rent to them, but woe betide anyone that doesn't pay.

Blogger James Dixon April 10, 2019 2:37 PM  

> The point here is that, "it's free loot if we just default on the IOUs" ignores the real-world costs of the backlash against such a decision.

Loans which can't be repaid won't, backlash or not. US debts will soon reach the level where they cannot be repaid. They may already be there.

Blogger Don't Call Me Len April 10, 2019 4:23 PM  

In most of the US we have plenty of land to inflate and sell

In places that even Americans won't buy. Look, we're never going to turn Detroit into a profitable enterprise again.

A lot of pro-immigration types make the "the US has plenty of land". They're also the type of people who think water comes from the tap, electricity from the outlet, and waste just disappears once you flush. The US, especially the coastal 'elites", have a huge water problem they're ignoring because they believe they can always buy their way out, but that's just not true.

The most expensive housing market on the planet right now is Hong Kong.

And it has been for decades. It's mostly an island after all, and has the same space issues as San Francisco. Not sure how HKers could have keep Mainlanders out of the market post-1997.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 10, 2019 5:01 PM  

Don't Call Me Len wrote:In places that even Americans won't buy. Look, we're never going to turn Detroit into a profitable enterprise again.

All we would have to do is clean out the Africans. It only takes will power.

JonM wrote:"if the going gets tough enough the natives will annex it and ignore whatever ownership claims the absent foreigners had."

Until the absent foreigners show up armed and en masse to enforce their claims.


Sovereign debt is always settled by default, perhaps with a side order of war.

Blogger weka April 10, 2019 5:34 PM  

And Auckland. And Queenstown. I have to maintain family homes, and i see them. Unweeded, unkempt, and ripe for a squatter.

Squatters would do a better job of maintaining these homes

Blogger Zwiebel April 11, 2019 4:23 AM  

Cheap *exotic* food. I've never seen any delivery service for shepherd's pie.

Surely, that's better than a large, loving family, right?

Blogger Dad29 April 11, 2019 8:33 PM  

related: a large enclosed-mall shopping center was purchased by some mainland chinese people a few years ago. Milwaukee's (D) overlords were pleased as punch that someone would revive the place--which was attracting juvenile criminals by the pack.

Oh, well. Milwaukee has now issued a condemnation notice, ordering the place to be razed. Absolutely NOTHING was done to the center in the last few years and it's now a death-trap, an eyesore, and (summarily) a monument befitting Democrat rule.

Blogger Paul M April 13, 2019 11:59 PM  

Because oil billionaires who got their billions by being given cash by foreigners for the oil under their sands don't know that investment is when you buy something that is going to go to work and make an income. The believe what the plebs believe - that asset price speculation is investment.

This is what happens when a society permits wealth imbalance to get so out-of-hand that the rich don't know what to do with all the cash. So it goes into enterprises that do not produce productive output.

The solution is huge redistributive taxes on the giga-rich, and strong national borders to make sure those taxes stick.

Blogger Paul M April 14, 2019 12:06 AM  

DonReynolds wrote:Of course, these are the very things that Libertarians scream their guts out over, but it is how local government protects property values and the public health and safety and prevents fires. Even if the homeowner does not give a fig about destroying his own house, the neighbors often care very much, and so there are plenty of complaints to invite the housing enforcement agents.

Libertarians just don't understand that people do not live in castles: they live in cities.

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