The tolls for the maintenance of a high road, cannot with any safety be made the property of private persons. — Adam Smith
Anarchism is no patent solution for all human problems, no Utopia of a perfect social order, as it has so often been called, since on principle it rejects all absolute schemes and concepts — Rudolf Rocker
I can understand why mankind hasn't given up war. During a war you get to drive tanks through the sides of buildings and shoot foreigners— two things that are usually frowned on during peacetime. — P.J. O'Rourke
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure. — Thomas Jefferson
What is Anarchism? It is logical human liberty. It is the ideal of human life without a master. — John William Lloyd
The sword is the weapon of him who is in the wrong, the commonest resource of ignorance and stupidity. — Marquis de Sade
"Man truly achieves his full human condition when he produces without being compelled by the physical necessity of selling himself as a commodity." — Ernesto 'Che' Guevara
We must therefore turn to history for enlightenment; here we find that none of the proclaimed anarchist groups correspond to the libertarian position, that even the best of them have unrealistic and socialistic elements in their doctrines. Furthermore, we find that all of the current anarchists are irrational collectivists, and therefore at opposite poles from our position. We must therefore conclude that we are not anarchists, and that those who call us anarchists are not on firm etymological ground, and are being completely unhistorical. — Murray Rothbard
I define anarchist society as one where there is no legal possibility for coercive aggression against the person or property of any individual. Anarchists oppose the State because it has its very being in such aggression, namely, the expropriation of private property through taxation, the coercive exclusion of other providers of defense service from its territory, and all of the other depredations and coercions that are built upon these twin foci of invasions of individual rights. — Murray Rothbard
The writer is a spiritual anarchist, as in the depth of his soul every man is. He is discontented with everything and everybody. The writer is everybody's best friend and only true enemy — the good and great enemy. He neither walks with the multitude nor cheers with them. The writer who is a writer is a rebel who never stops. — William Saroyan
Nov 132012
 

Going hungry and unsheltered is an unpleasant prospect; we all seek to avoid that situation. Honest but simple people can think of no other way to get their meal ticket but to earn it through some useful work.  Poor fools!  Clever people realise that work is just as unpleasant as going hungry and unsheltered.  Clever people conjure up scams to extract the wealth created by those that work so they can get their meal ticket without doing anything useful for anyone and have a good laugh at the poor boobs they swindled.  No one excels at scams more than those clever clever people in government.  Early governments were unsophisticated in their scams practically the only one they had was the Mafia’s favourite the protection racket.  You know the gag, round up some thugs, go round the working people and offer to ‘protect’ them in return for a fat slice of their hard earned wealth and if they refuse show them why they need protection…  Government has come a long way since those days!  In addition to the old favourite the protection racket, government now has the permission racket.  The routine goes like this, find something people want or need to do and then sell them the permission to do it.  If they refuse then just send the thugs round to show them why they need permission…

Unlike the protection racket the permission racket is infinitely versatile; there is no human activity that doesn’t have the potential to be pillaged for permission by the powers that be.  In the future us peasants can look forward to being coerced into paying for permission to start a family, eat, use the toilet and even breathe.  Right now we need to buy our lord’s permission to travel, use a car, work, trade, keep a means of self-defence such as a gun and build a shelter from the elements.

Permission to build is a racket that offers an additional income stream for our bureaucratic overlords besides the price of permission.  By restricting permission the market in housing is artificially distorted making prices and rents rise over time and therefore make great fortunes for the landlords, mortgage lenders and other friends of the state.  A measure of how far property prices have been artificially inflated by the permission racket compare the market price of land without permission, land with permission to build but nothing yet built and land with something built.  In the UK currently land without permission sells for around £5000 an acre, land with permission but nothing yet built sells for £200,000 an acre and with something built around £400,000 an acre…  We can easily see that the permission racket has inflated land by nearly £200,000 an acre and in consequence doubled the total build cost.  A fancy price for thin air!  Absent the ‘need’ for permission the price of a house would in general be half what it is or even less.  In 1952 you only needed £1500 to get on the property ladder now you need £160,000.  Think that rise is just from the devaluation of currency, another government scam, otherwise known as inflation?  Think again £1500 is equivalent to £39,000 today accounting for inflation which is a long way short of £160,000.  What is a house really?  It is nothing too fancy really; a heap of bricks on a patch of dirt, some simple wiring and piping, in no way can it cost a substantial portion of a lifetimes’ earnings without some serious market manipulation.

This side effect of the housing permission racket amounts to a ponzi scheme.

Ponzi Scheme -
A fraud disguised as an investment opportunity, in which initial investors and the perpetrators of the fraud are paid out of funds raised from later investors, and the later investors lose all funds invested.

The perpetrators of the fraud being in this case the government and the initial investors being those that bought property early on in the racket.  The later on you buy in the more inflated that the price you pay will be and the more you will have to lose if the scam comes undone.  In this way the propertied are co-opted into supporting the scam; no one wants to see their ‘investment’ demolished neither in value nor in its physical existence by means of a council bulldozer.  It is an especially invidious ponzi scheme because unlike most such schemes you can’t practically avoid being ensnared in it.  People need buildings and unless you are willing to be homeless you must have or use at least one building to be your home.  Renting instead of buying offers some distance from the risk of collapse but before the collapse you are still paying much more for shelter than you would without the racket.

Can it collapse? Better ask when will it collapse?  The air inflating the house price bubble comes from nothing more substantial than government legislation and the bureaucracy that implements it.  Governments are paper tigers they look fierce but are soon burnt to ash when the spark of common discontent is put to them.  That discontent is rising in temperature steadily inflamed not least by the artificially ballooning cost of living of which the housing bubble is but one of many causes.

UK house prices adjusted for inflation


Permission Rackets and the Property Ponzi Scheme.
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