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Revolutionary response to home forclosure
#11
Yes, some people get themselves into debt by biting off more than they can chew. Big mistake. However, the culture and system here and there supports this. Bigger is better. Buy more = be more happy. You can have it all now and pay it off later. All of these messages bombard people everyday where ever they go. People internalise it and it seems 'normal'. But this message is driven by those that profit from it and it isn't the borrower but the lender/banks/finance institutions which benefit very nicely indeed. As David has pointed out it is not an equal relationship. Banks have knowingly created this situation because it profits them to do so. They are supposed to be taking a risk too but it is all skewed in their favor and the risk is not shared equally.
Quote:So the question to be asked is this: what's the difference between irresponsible lending and irresponsible borrowing? Why weight one higher than the other? It doesn't make sense does it. But then again, it's not supposed to.
Also people in this society are almost totally dependent of banks as a means to have a home. There are few options other than banks or landlords for one to acquire a home to live in. Both are parasites. This creates a monopoly situation. It also commodifies a basic human need - shelter. Institutions are meant to provide for human needs. If they aren't doing that they are not worth supporting. Banks do not exist to give people housing. They exist to make money for their owners/shareholders. They couldn't give a flying fig if you have a home to live in or not. They are not a human person lending you their money (which would be quite different) they are a corporation lending you other peoples money for profit (including your own more than likely).

I support non-violence also but I do not consider what this man has done as violence. It was a building not a person. Direct action, yes. He was reclaiming and doing what he wished with his part of the house. As a by product it deprived the bank of their part because it is in one whole. But then the bank were going to deprive him of his half weren't they? And as David has also pointed out banks and corporations do this all the time and it is quite legal and called asset stripping. To bad he wasn't incorporated.
The guy that flew the plane into the IRS building was violent because he caused the death of people. If he had flown the plane in to the building with out people in it, say at night time, or had them evacuated, it would have been different.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#12
Quote:The guy that flew the plane into the IRS building was violent because he caused the death of people. If he had flown the plane in to the building with out people in it, say at night time, or had them evacuated, it would have been different.
Magda, with the utmost respect, I posit:

Who owns the building? I understand your position that property ownership is in itself evil but suppose:

I have worked as a wage slave for 20 years and I squirreled away every dime I had and scrimped and saved and did without and my family lived a pauper's lifestyle for all that time until I could afford a 10% down payment on a commercial building (an investment for my future, better than what the banks offered) and that building had good long-term tenants such as the U.S. Government and the IRS who were going to make the payments, and...

...I paid the down payment and took out a 30 year mortgage on this building because a bank agreed to front the money on the investment...

...and now I was set up to semi-retire and pay for my mother's liver transplant on the proceeds. The lease payments are secure and bring in a little more than the bank takes.

...And then along comes this guy with a grievance against the IRS so he crashes his plane into my building and destroys it. And of course I have lost everything because my insurance doesn't pay for acts of "terrorism".

How is that not destroying MY life? How is that different?

You see, my struggle with your adamant stands is this...in my experience as an American worker and as a small business owner...it's not just the banks nor the "Capitalists" who are affected by radical acts. 90% of business in America is classified as "small business". Now granted, they control much less of the economy than the multinationals, but they actually offer far more of the employment.

I submit that the real situation is much more complex and sensitive than the arguments you offer that "property ownership is evil" and all the banks are at fault and that capitalism is the culprit. At least in my experience, where I grew up and where I currently live, capitalism IS my neighbor. It is the barber shop proprietor, the pizza franchise owner, the corner market owner.

These are not evil people. These are people who are trying their best to be fair to others and still make their way in a hard cold world.

So when I ask what is a better, more fair approach, I hope for an answer that offers something other than that banks and corporations are bad.

I agree with you on that level. But without them my Pakastani friend down at the Quicky-Mart would not have had the chance to even start.

And I guarantee you that the IRS was not hurt by the guy who blew up the building they were in. Dammit, the IRS didn't own the building. Someone else did; someone probably innocent of the whole situation...they were the ones who were hurt.

I greatly respect you and the work you are doing here...And I am very willing to consider the points you make to help me see things as you do.
"If you're looking for something that isn't there, you're wasting your time and the taxpayers' money."

-Michael Neuman, U.S. Government bureaucrat, on why NIST didn't address explosives in its report on the WTC collapses
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#13
Bruce Clemens Wrote:
Quote:The guy that flew the plane into the IRS building was violent because he caused the death of people. If he had flown the plane in to the building with out people in it, say at night time, or had them evacuated, it would have been different.
Magda, with the utmost respect, I posit:

Who owns the building? I understand your position that property ownership is in itself evil but suppose:

Bruce, to be sure, life can often be complex and many layered and individual cases in particular. The following scenario you describe is possible but unlikely and seems to me, and I may very well be wrong I admit, but it seems like a very Norman Rockwell version of the US mythology. Mythology being very important in any society not just the US. Even if it ever were like that, and maybe people just wish it were like that rather than it reflecting a reality, it is not really like that now. However taking it as a basis to work with.....

Bruce Clemens Wrote:I have worked as a wage slave for 20 years and I squirreled away every dime I had and scrimped and saved and did without and my family lived a pauper's lifestyle for all that time until I could afford a 10% down payment on a commercial building (an investment for my future, better than what the banks offered) and that building had good long-term tenants such as the U.S. Government and the IRS who were going to make the payments, and...

Not sure about the figures in the US but here the vast majority, about 90%, of landlords are commercial entities. Not individuals who may have inherited mom's home and are renting it out until their children get married and they can give it to them as a present or until the family can agree on what to do with it sort of thing. I know there are some individuals who rent out mostly domestic but sometimes commercial properties because they've managed to save up some and think property is a good investment (your scenario) but in Australia most of the rental properties are owned by companies and investment funds.

Also, again, there is this society which does not provide for its citizens in their aging years. All of this should be a basic human right. It is criminal that people are thrown away like this.

Bruce Clemens Wrote:...I paid the down payment and took out a 30 year mortgage on this building because a bank agreed to front the money on the investment...


But remember they lent it to you because they make a profit from doing so. Not because they care about your retirement plans just your repayment plans which can just as easily come from your estate for all they care. There could be other ways of funding your business/retirement.

Bruce Clemens Wrote:...and now I was set up to semi-retire and pay for my mother's liver transplant on the proceeds. The lease payments are secure and bring in a little more than the bank takes.

I'm sorry, I will never understand how a society could allow their citizens to suffer like this. I know that American individuals are extremely generous, of their time as well as money, and often have fund raisers for their friends who are needing medical treatment but...what about universal health care for all? Others can do it in poorer nations and it is a better, more efficient and a cheaper system than currently exists in the US. Better that US military do fundraising breakfast to pay for their extravagances and American citizens can just get on with their breakfasts with out all that fund raising and just have the community and nutritional aspects to consider.

Bruce Clemens Wrote:...And then along comes this guy with a grievance against the IRS so he crashes his plane into my building and destroys it. And of course I have lost everything because my insurance doesn't pay for acts of "terrorism".

Larry Silverstien did. Lucky for some I suppose. Not all landlords are equal it is true. But in the case of the Austin crash they are saying that it was a criminal act and not domestic terrorism.

Bruce Clemens Wrote:How is that not destroying MY life? How is that different?

In this individual case it may well destroy your life or at least your mother's life if you/she can't afford a liver transplant. And the odds of it being like this particular case are....? And what of the society's role in not providing life saving health care and a secure and dignified retirement for all its human citizens not just corporate citizens? That is criminal negligence too and on a far greater scale than one off course pilot could ever hope to achieve.

Bruce Clemens Wrote:You see, my struggle with your adamant stands is this...in my experience as an American worker and as a small business owner...it's not just the banks nor the "Capitalists" who are affected by radical acts. 90% of business in America is classified as "small business". Now granted, they control much less of the economy than the multinationals, but they actually offer far more of the employment.

I think the numbers are similar here too Bruce. I would also like to say that in the case here many of those 'small businesses' are people who were made redundant from government and multinational and big bussiness downsizing and asset stripping. They have been forced to set them selves up as a business and apply for their former positions on six monthly contracts but now have to provide their own sick leave, holidays, lunch hours and office space at their own costs in order to have a job at all. Small business can be a hard road to travel regardless of whether it is forced upon you or chosen with eyes wide open and open arms.

Bruce Clemens Wrote:I submit that the real situation is much more complex and sensitive than the arguments you offer that "property ownership is evil" and all the banks are at fault and that capitalism is the culprit. At least in my experience, where I grew up and where I currently live, capitalism IS my neighbor. It is the barber shop proprietor, the pizza franchise owner, the corner market owner.

These are not evil people. These are people who are trying their best to be fair to others and still make their way in a hard cold world.

I agree they are not evil people. There are no issues with buying or selling a service or product per se. I do it myself. People need hair cuts, shoes made, toilets fixed, milk to buy. It is the context, particularly the legal and ideological context in which that happens which creates the conditions for these normal human interactions. Capitalism is most definitely your neighbour and it creates a bad neighbourhood. It is broken and doesn't work. It doesn't have to be the way it is.

Bruce Clemens Wrote:So when I ask what is a better, more fair approach, I hope for an answer that offers something other than that banks and corporations are bad.

I hope I have provided that within here. Banks and corporations need not be bad per se. Just that within this system, a system not set up to serve you and me and most other human beings, they do not function well for us though they are indeed meeting some one's need but only a tiny handful. It is, of course, useful to have a place to keep one's money and a source from which to borrow money if and when needed. We also need to think outside the box. There are other means of exchange besides money that can be used. The main things that come up as problematic for me are the sociopathic structure of corporations as they presently exist (a la The Corporation doco) which causes the humans within them to also behave in sociopathic ways and the legally permitted theft of surplus value from producers in capitalist structures/societies.

Bruce Clemens Wrote:I agree with you on that level. But without them my Pakastani friend down at the Quicky-Mart would not have had the chance to even start.


Your Pakistani friend at the Quickie Mart probably has a PhD in microbiology and ancient Urdu but his qualifications are probably not recognised there (if the US is like Australia in this respect) He has been allowed into the country to be fodder for the machine. To keep wages down, landlords coffers full and to consume. His is probably very home sick and would rather be home except life is impossible there for him perhaps because some foreign powers are messing with his country and his neighbours too. The banks lent him money, like they lend all monies, because they will make a huge profit from doing so not because they want to see a nice Pakistani guy get a start up in life. It's really not that personal. Just business bottom line stuff. Even if some one personally benefits...eventually. Nor do they have a thing for Quickie Marts. Banks will lend to cut down forests and build polluting factories or anything as long as it pays off well in the end for the owners of the bank. Other countries/systems, (I'll make this an individual and personal case too) like Hungary when it was socialist (don't know now) also received migrants and refugees (also because a foreign power was messing with their country and their neighbours) and they received free housing. For the first year they were paid an average wage and provided with free Hungarian language lessons for several hours per day 5 days per week. Children were educated for free (to tertiary level) and there was free child care. There was also free health care. The various migrant groups were given a physical space to make a cultural center for theater, arts, meeting, projects, classes to pass their language on to their children. The second year after language lessons finished there was refresher and reskilling training for some occupations or training for new occupations and jobs found for all including the unskilled. And, yes, they could change jobs they were not slaves. Pensions were usually tied to the workplace not the state. Did you notice there were no banks involved? And yet everyone's basic human needs (shelter, means to purchase food, healthcare, education, employment and access to money) were met? Hungary was much poorer than the US but was able to do that for immigrants. If they wanted to they could drive taxis or work at the Quickie Mart equivalent there but they had more choices and could work in their area of training and much less stress. They had banks in Hungary then in which you kept your money and could borrow from also.

Bruce Clemens Wrote:And I guarantee you that the IRS was not hurt by the guy who blew up the building they were in. Dammit, the IRS didn't own the building. Someone else did; someone probably innocent of the whole situation...they were the ones who were hurt.

No, the IRS is not a human and cannot be hurt but people sure are looking and talking and drawing comparisons with their own experiences and observations. I don't think one event will change anything but a few of them might. I don't mean others flying into occupied buildings as that will just piss people off but other scorched earth dealings with the banks. Hit them where it hurts. In the pocket.

Bruce Clemens Wrote:I greatly respect you and the work you are doing here...And I am very willing to consider the points you make to help me see things as you do.
Thank you Bruce and I've really do respect your thoughts on this too. Confusedhakehands:
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#14
I want to throw some small coinage into this argument. I respect all of you here, so I''m not picking a fight or standing up for anyone (DPF member, the 'Austin Red Baron', or "the state").

A fast scan of the thread shows that I agree with the idea that it is virtually impossible to escape the banks and the predatory lenders; they throw the cards at your feet with attractive offers, then change the rules once you are in to the game.

Example #1: When at a time when I was virtually living off my credit card and doing my utmost to keep purchases to a minimum ( I was out of work and in the middle of relocation), the lender suddenly jacked my APR to 24.6% (virtual usury). I secured work, called the company, immediately made major direct transfers of $300 payments for two weeks with others to follow, and then suffered a medical event that caused me to be hospitalized without access to records or files (quite literally I was unconscious for two weeks, after which I was in a state of bed-ridden immobilization for a longer period) and, when discharged, discovered that the balance had grown egregiously, the card suspended, the credit bureaus notified, and efforts put underway to sue and seize. Despite calls and verification of my situation, I was met with little compromise, understanding or planning. Though it was paid off fast enough to avoid a legal case, it caused radical escalation in APR on other cards, and downward availability of credit. But it turns out this is also fueled by other things.

Example #2: My elderly mother-in-law, living on Social Security alone with significant health issues and bills, including pharmaceutical bills that would choke a horse, has a credit card she had run up to $5K on which they are charging 29.9% APR. That's literal usury. It's the money Chase. The one that has you going in circles trying to keep up.

[Image: chase.gif]

Secondly, although on a relatively minor level, I have had the pleasure of an IRS audit; I would not wish it on anyone. It is prior training for Abu Ghraib wardens.

Third, tax resistance is a significant issue/threat/reality in the States; there is the case (among others) of Ed Brown, upon whom was visited "diesel therapy". The whole issue of whether U.S. income is valid is hotly debated on some circles and there are enough holes in the argument that it is valid that are big enough to drive a wedge through, if not a bus.

Fourth, Magda is right about the culture selling the situation of home ownership and "keeping up with the Joneses". It is so thick, particularly on TV, as to choke someone who is alert. One need look no further for proof than to watch HGTV which has multiple shows on real estate.

Fifth, it is one thing for those of us out here in the cheap seats to visit opinion and judgment upon this poor fellow. Is what he did wrong? Yes, of course it was. But first we must walk in his shoes. Who here has been under the same degree of stress? Who here, from this distance, can really be absolutely clear on all of the factors involved in this act?

Sixth, the real issue is perhaps not what this fellow did, but how the media has treated it. More people likely died that day on the freeways in the Texan metropolitan centers that did in this event.

On that note, has anyone seen Ed Encho? He had an interesting POV on the matter.
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
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#15
I can sympathize with you Ed on the IRS audit. I had the same situation with our tax authorities. It is not pleasant.

For my sins I spent a period of almost 20 years with no credit rating, no credit, no assets, no cards and no bank (but I did have a post office account) -- all pleasures which accrued after having my house repossessed. During that period I learned several important lessons, the first of which was that anything not absolutely essential to living, food, heating etc., is an unaffordable extravagance. The second lesson learned was that the system was designed to cause fear of loss and that this fear is used freely and liberally by collection agencies etc. Fear is a terribly dehumanizing strategy.

But having nothing, I found considerable strength in sending these agencies packing with laughter. I discovered how to fight the system -- because that's how I stayed sane in an insane world. I learned self respect because out of great difficulty a great spurt of growth takes root. And so losing can be also winning.

But it remains the case that the system as it now is, is foul and corrupt and has been designed to subjugate the human spirit. The system does not need to be the way it is. It could be so different. But it suits a very small group of elites who grow wealthy and powerful off the sweat of the backs of the rest of society. They feed on us.

One can only hope that an ever greater number of people will gradually wake up, and having awoken, face the fear and take back their own lives. But they will have to do it themselves.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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#16
I appreciate your reply, Magda.

I again would like to express my appreciation to all of you for the points you have made in this thread. Your well-reasoned and patient responses to my challenges highlight the unique nature of this forum. I am proud to be a member and to be able to participate in discussions with people of such quality.

I am willing to let things lie at this point and digest what you all have shared. Personally, for me paradigm shifts tend to be mentally, spiritually and emotionally tumultuous. But I am always thankful for it when it is over!

:beer: Thank you all.
"If you're looking for something that isn't there, you're wasting your time and the taxpayers' money."

-Michael Neuman, U.S. Government bureaucrat, on why NIST didn't address explosives in its report on the WTC collapses
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