Friday, April 21, 2006

Money Money Money

The talk at work this morning was all about real estate and money. It was I know a guy who bought a condo that was under construction for 350G and sold it before he even started paying his mortgage for one million and I heard that a guy was paid 40G by someone who wanted his place in line and I hear you can do that for escrow to and it was all money money money blah blah blah make a lot of money yakkity yakkity yak.

The last time I heard talk like this was during the boom. Semi-literate lunk heads would be talking stock options in the gym lockeroom, and the guy who changed the toilet paper at Yahoo! was convinced he'd be a millionaire by December.

Then as now, I feel like an outsider looking in. I make my salary, I save a bit, I spend more, and I'm usually broke two days before pay day. And I think, if I just understood capitalism a bit more then I could make my millions and retire. Just like ... no one I know. And I know it's not gonna happen, and that those who talk the most about how much money they're making are the same ones who will spend the rest of their lives slaves to the banks.

At least the boom was harmless. The real estate boom [and coming bust] is having a real impact. Towers for the rich are going up everwhere. It started a couple years ago in the countryside, as landlords kicked working families out of their homes to build illegal bed and breakfasts. Then it was vacant land in the city. Now they're targeting elderly and low-income housing, tearing them down to build fortress-towers for the rich. All the talk in this city of new urbanism - pedestrian & bike friendly, mixed use zoning, attractive streetscapes, affordability - has gone out the window in our quest for mainland money.

And the governor behind all this is untouchable. We're selling the `aina at an incredible rate - it's the same thing she did on Maui - and the democrats are afraid to take her on.

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