Monday, October 10, 2011

The Panda Bear on Home Ownership, Fidel Castro and Capitalism

The Panda Bear had a three day weekend. She had to take care of her abscessed tooth, attend a religious event, and do some home projects which have become more urgent under the War On Mice and Clutter (WOMAC).

As readers of the Panda Bear Blog know, the Panda Bear hates home projects. The Panda Bear is fortunate in that she owns a condo as is not underwater on her mortgage. However, the Panda Bear is annoyed at the US government of making home ownership a universal goal for all Americans. She things some people would prefer to rent-not just for monetary reasons but because there is less work involved in renting than in owning a home. The Panda Bear believes that the US government in part is pushing home ownership to distract Americans from the problem that salaries aren't increasing and the government feels the need to do something to make Americans feel that they increasing their incomes.

Anyway when the Panda Bear feels blue about the time she needs to do on home projects, she thinks of a story Walter Cronkite told in his autobiography about a meeting Walter Cronkite had with Fidel Castro. Walter Cronkite asked Fidel Castro why property is so badly taken care in communist countries. At first, Castro gave some high minded reasons (i.e. because they need to build new housing). Finally, Castro admitted that people did not take good care of property if they did not own it. The Panda Bear things that property may be better taken care of when people own it as opposed to renting it. Owners have pride in ownership and there become financial incentives to maintain property. Where one lives becomes a financial asset with ownership.

However, the Panda Bear notes that sometimes it can be simplistic to talk about capitalistic societies like the US to be ownership societies. The Panda Bear things there is some truth that paying something from one's own money "feels" different than having some else pay for it. However, even if the US the Panda Bear thinks that probably most in most jobs people are handling someone else's money at someone else's expense. A lot of money and property managers are managing some else's goods. The Panda Bear's condo is managed by a property management organization and she things it shows they don't own the property they manage and don't care about it as much.   Some people feel professional money managers can do things to benefits themselves at their client’s expense.

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