We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How Wall Street Has Turned Housing Into a Dangerous Get-Rich-Quick Scheme -- Again

Click here to access article by Laura Gottesdiener from TomDispatch. (Note: if you wish to skip the introduction, you will need to scroll down to the article.)

If you can stomach it, read how capitalists are "making a killing" by buying foreclosed and distressed homes at bargain prices to rent to their former owners, that is, if the latter can afford the rents and not living in tents or under bridges.
Over the last year and a half, Wall Street hedge funds and private equity firms have quietly amassed an unprecedented rental empire, snapping up Queen Anne Victorians in Atlanta, brick-faced bungalows in Chicago, Spanish revivals in Phoenix. In total, these deep-pocketed investors have bought more than 200,000 cheap, mostly foreclosed houses in cities hardest hit by the economic meltdown.