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Breaking the Mold

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Richard Glover

Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 185
Location: Ealing, London, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:53 am    Post subject: Breaking the Mold Reply with quote

In today's BBC news is an example of how to overcome the present impasse of no-money, no-work, no-home. Spain has been hit very hard by property greed and its aftermath. In Marinaleda, a self-build scheme has enabled over 350 homes to be built, without any money being involved. Background on this can be found on Wikipedia,_Spain, which quotes the leftish mayor on the boom/bust: "They all thought that the market was God, who made everything work with his invisible hand. Before, it was a mortal sin to talk about the government having a role in the economy. Now, we see we have to put the economy at the service of man."

There have been similar schemes elsewhere. One was even featured on Grand Designs in Aug 2001, run by a Birmingham Housing Association.

Are there other examples of practical "breaking the mold" schemes that could be encouraged?
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Brian Chance

Joined: 09 Nov 2008
Posts: 115
Location: Croydon Surrey U.K.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not believe that the Marinelada initiative is a satisfactory solution to the housing problem. The gift in this way of a plot of land and of the bricks and mortar required to build a house on it can only be at the indirect expense of other people. This is not economics with justice. Nor is it sensible when there are already plenty of empty houses ready for occupation.

The real problem is that houses cost too much and the remedy can only come, in the words used by Mr Mason in his presentation to the United Nations General Assembly, "by collecting an annual levy based on the annual value a community puts on any particular piece of land and its usefulness"

If banks foreclosing on homes knew that they would still have to pay such a levy, they would be less likely to foreclose and more ready to sell their empty properties at whatever they would fetch.

The income from the levy would be used to reduce taxation of earnings and make it easier to repay existing loans.

The longer the Spaniards and everybody else tries to avoid facing up to the great wrong of the appropriation of the economic rent of land, the greater the ultimate disaster will be.
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