Thursday, March 27, 2008

House of Cards

Once again, I missed the boom - though it looks like I'll get to share the bust. The millionaires came and went. Now the real estate speculators are about to crash, and are threatening to take the rest of us with them.

I came close to failing Economics in college - it simply never made sense to me. Once in awhile I try to understand what those people were talking about, but I'd usually give up in frustration. Quantum Field Theory makes more sense to me than subprime mortgages and home equity loans.

Maybe the problem is that it never made sense in the first place. People were just making the shit up as they went along. That, or just going along for the ride based upon some misplaced sense of trust in the banks.

I was watching the candidates debate how to rescue the economy this morning. All the talk was on who to bail out and who to let suffer. No one touched on what I see as the basic issue: Land is not a commodity. It should not be bought and sold for profit, or controlled by the government. It's not an issue of left/right, or capitalism/socialism. It's about basic ethics. If the earth is our mother, then land speculation is a blood sport. Trafficking in land does as much damage as trafficking in women or children or slaves. It has to end.

There are indigenous activists who talk about this, and a few of the early environmentalists. But I've read Aldo Leopold and read about Evo Morales. And I still don't know how to apply this, or how to jump start the revolution.

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