Archive for the ‘America’s land theft’ Category

America’s Land Grab

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

More than 25 million people have been displaced in America since the current real estate debacle started in 2008. The number reported in newspapers are “about 10 million homes lost.” That is not an accurate picture of how many individuals have had to move under duress as America’s banks took their homes rather than negotiate fairly for modifications per any government program.

Historians and economists report on international large-scale displacements of people, but it seems that America’s ongoing property theft is not viewed in the same light.

Millions Forced to Move

Our homes are being stolen by banks. Millions have been forced to leave their communities in this country without adequate (or any) compensation, in either land or money. These displacements often result loss of livelihoods. On a global scale, the loss is referred to as a loss by “pastoralists, gender-specific erosion of social networks, relocating to land less fertile, loss of historical methods (of farming), severing existing social ties, villagers suffering dislocation.”

None of these reports include the psychological destruction faced by more than 25 million Americans since 2007 as national and international banks continue with America’s real estate grab.
News is now reporting a “housing recovery;” however, the reality of the current real estate “renaissance” is that the rich and those on Wall Street are raking in cash while large segments of the population — especially historically marginalized communities — remain stuck in a downward, alternate housing spiral. Moderate income families are still priced out of the market as investment groups offer all cash and pay above market prices for homes.

Investment groups have edged out working Americans

The Washington Post reported that seven out of ten home sales in states such as Florida are made by these institutional investors. Californians are also being outbid by these same institutional investors. In the past few months of working with real estate agents, dozens of clients have lost to these investors.

The irony of this foreclosure crisis, which was caused by Wall Street’s irresponsible behavior, is that it created the massive supply in homes that those very same financial institutions are now profiting from at a record pace. They profited by writing millions of risky mortgages; they then took away the homes; now these same institutional investors are purchasing those same foreclosed houses at rock bottom prices.

These Wall Street minions then flip the homes into rental properties and lease them to the very people they pushed out of the real estate market during the past few years.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffet sums it up this way, “If I had a way of buying a couple-hundred thousand single-family homes, I would load up on them. I could buy them at distressed prices and find renters.” Buffet referred to this as “war” some years ago; he is correct. This is internal displacement of millions of families.

Rather than a renaissance, the current state of America’s real estate market is a catalog of wrongs. Instead of boasting about it, America’s political class needs to find a fairer, new way forward.

However, studies do not address this mass displacement of people in the United States; they invariably refer to poor villagers, agribusiness magnates, ignorant or corrupt governments, petrodollars, commodity traders and hungry multitudes. Studies refer to land grabs relating to farmland. Studies refer to the endless land grabs by the rich in poorer countries. They do not refer to the 10-15% of the American public who have been or are being internally displaced.

In , author Fred Pearce reports on the biggest swindle of the 21st century. With the modern landgrab, the movement has attained vast proportions, resulting in dire consequences for humans, and global environments. However, America is not included and his scale is so large it’s doubtful that the average person can bring this home to realize what is happening in our country by the same world “leaders” that affect the rest of the planet?

  • , Grain.
  • , James C. Scott
  • , Lester R. Brown

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