What is most amazing about the real estate downturn and economic depression is that government
seems to keep on growing. In fact, government at all levels does not seem to have missed a beat, as they all seem to be growing. The only thing that has changed is the reason for continued government growth.
During strong economic times, government kept growing because it needed to provide more services to a rapidly changing world and rapidly growing communities. More police officers were hired to “protect” the community and collect revenue, and more social welfare programs were created to buy votes.
Now that the real estate boom has turned into a catastrophe of historic proportions, government needs to keep growing to meet the demands of a rapidly changing world and growing poverty. More police offers are hired to “protect” dangerous foreclosed neighborhoods, and more social welfare programs are created to buy votes.
The people in the middle who suffer the most are the working people in these communities who are still attempting to hold a job and pay their mortgages. These homeowners are seeing property taxes increase at a time when property values are falling by the day.
In fact, CNN is reporting that home prices have fallen by 27% from their peak, but municipal tax collection has grown by 12% from 2006 to 2008. With fewer homeowners and rising civil unrest, governments across the nation have taken the exact wrong approach by preying on the men and women who are still working and paying their bills..
It seems that the culture of bailout has extended far beyond Wall Street and Washington, DC, as homeowners in all areas of the country are being stolen from in order to pay off anyone with a political connection. The billion dollar bailouts make the news, but many more companies and individuals have profited from government handouts.
The only jobs that have been created by the president’s stimulus plan have been government jobs, all of which need to be funded through additional tax revenue or borrowing. These government jobs, furthermore, have done little else than take resources from the private sector and dump them into giant black holes of public works.
Driving through a large metropolitan area over the weekend, it seemed that there was highway or road construction every few miles, all of which had huge administration recovery plan signs littering the landscape. Some of these roads had been repaired and redone just a few years ago, but are now being repaired again. Some roads were not damaged in the first place.
Is everything the government does just for show? To provide an appearance that, without the central planners, we would all be crawling around in the dirt eating worms and working in caves digging rocks for $1 a day?
But this is not the case, and all of the money being taxed, borrowed, or printed into existence to allow the government to keep growing at the expense of communities will not solve the foreclosure crisis or the broader recession. All we are getting is a show of resources, a few more unnecessary government jobs, and higher property tax rates.
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