THE OWNERSHIP SOCIETY

I lit out of work early to do some skiing at Tahoe, and I was stuck behind a beemer at a red light. It had a vanity plate “WHY RNT.” I thought runt, rant, WTF? Then I saw it had a license plate frame from a local Realtor ® and I realized it was WHY RENT? (duh). By the way, if your job title or professional designation has a registered trademark, that should be a red flag right there. But I digress.
“The Ownership Society” was a political catchphrase for deregulation – if banks are “free” to lend more “freely,” then everyone can own a home. The problem is, as we have seen over the past few years, buying is not for everyone (unless you’re “buying” at a foreclosure sale). The tax code and “keeping up with the Joneses” notwithstanding, there is no shame in renting. People were duped into thinking that getting a big house they couldn’t afford was a status symbol. They didn’t own anything except for bare legal title. They were house poor, chained to their jobs for 30 years, and all of their money went to their mortgage, some of which could have gone for retirement, educating their kids, or improving their quality of life. Some of those same people are living under bridges now.
Real estate agents and brokers, and yes, realtors® (my least favorite breed of parasites) fed off the constant churning of loans and refinancings to make a commission. When you see such a real estate “professional” in a BMW with a license plate that says “why rent,” think about where his or her true loyalty lies and how they paid for that vehicle.

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