Capitalism Hits Home: Americans Face Mass Evictions

[S4 E10] New

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In this episode of CHH, Dr. Fraad talks about the 40 Million Americans face eviction after October 31, 2021. What kind of society treats the right to shelter, and with that the right to life as a commodity? Should that kind of society exist? Eviction raises just that question.

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Dr. Fraad's Recommended Reading List



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Showing 1 comment

  • Edward Dodson
    commented 2021-11-08 12:33:21 -0500
    To be sure, there is an affordable housing crisis in the United States. Less well understood is that the source of the problem is found in the laws and tax policies that apply to property in land and housing. Our property markets are driven to stress during every business cycle by credit-fueled speculation that drive up land prices (and, as a result, the price of a residential property). How to solve the crisis? In the short run, there is no option but to use public funds to construct permanently affordable housing for people of modest means. In the long run, the solution is to use tax policy to remove the potential to profit by speculation in land. An annual charge or tax equal to the potential annual rental value of every location achieves this outcome. Land prices exist because of the process of market capitalization. Tax land rent, use it to pay for public goods and services (including affordable housing) and prices will come down to levels affordable for the construction of such housing as needed. Housing units themselves, which are depreciating assets, ought to be exempt from the annual property tax. Housing requires ongoing expenditures to maintain the condition of the house. And, about every ten years or so a housing unit’s systems must be replaced. What is the logic of penalizing people who own housing units by requiring them to pay an annual tax on top of the costs of ownership? At least all housing units up to some value ought to be exempt. Mega-homes and huge estates are of a different category (in my view).

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