Christmas List 2011 - A House
Santa dear, yesterday we spoke about a money machine. Even though it sounded like a great idea, obviously the notion of everyone getting a money machine (authorized by the government so that everyone would have legal tender) was rather impractical.
But what would be a darling gift is you could get my mortgage forgiven. I’ve been very faithful in paying it off. I was a very good girl. I didn’t buy an enormous house as my brother tried to urge me to go into hock for. I only bought what I could afford. What’s more, I bought the condo on a short sale for $60 thousand. The mortgage was a 20-year mortgage at 7.25 percent interest, with $20,000 down. Currently, the mortgage is at about $15 thousand. By next summer, when my severance pay runs out, it should be below the teens.
Santa, it’s such a tiny amount. Yes, it’s true that I have enough savings, more or less, to pay it off myself as long as I’m careful with my spending. I’ve been a very good girl about my electricity usage. Instead of chicken breast, which is expensive, I buy the cheaper chicken legs. I cancelled my cable television. I walk to the A&P instead of driving my car. I’d walk down to Stop & Shop if there were sidewalks on Ringwood Avenue. I love walking.
I’ve sworn off all fast foods and I’m watching my diet so I lessen my chances of becoming seriously ill, since I also won’t have health insurance. I’d rather die than have the working class taxpayers pay my bill. It’s so embarrassing thinking that I’ll have to be on unemployment for so long, but New Jersey has done such a fantastic job of driving away business with excessive tax rates in order to support the inner cities, that there are few jobs to be had.
Life would be so much easier, Santa, if I didn’t have to worry about the mortgage. Then I’d only have to worry about the exorbitant property taxes. $4,500, Santa, for a 750 square foot condo. All so some teacher can buy a vacation home in Florida.
I’d love to have a house, Santa. Not a big one. One of those nice little Cape Cods or ranches that haven’t been transmogrified into a center hall colonial. I'd have a little garden in the back, all my own. I could let my cats out to chase butterflies, and I could even get a dog. Oh, living in a condo complex has its conveniences. The landscaper takes care of mowing the grass and clearing the snow (for the most part). R., our maintenance guy, maintains the outer portions of the building, fixing the roof, cleaning the gutters and so forth. You give up a lot of freedoms when you live in a condo, though.
The town does all sorts of inspections, everything from smoke alarms to garbage inspections. Our association is good about gardening and putting out decorations. Most aren’t, though. Still, we have a 50-page booklet of rules we have to follow. One rule even dictates what you may or may not do within your own unit. Smoking is forbidden (well, I don’t smoke anyway). They don’t allow apartment-sized washers and dryers and the association’s laundry facilities are down a steep, dangerous set of stairs.
If anyone wants to know what communism is like, just go live in a condo association. That’s exactly what the state of New Jersey has in mind for its Senior Citizens, Santa. I’ve grown used to the trade-offs. But they can’t go move my mother out of her house at age 87 (she’ll be 88) next month. It would kill her.
That’s just what New Jersey intends to do to its seniors, though. The Progressives call it Smart Planning. There are two words that should ring any freedom-loving citizen’s liberty bell, Santa. One is “planning”, the other is “growth”. No one should be planning anyone else’s life. “Planning” is another word for “social engineering”. New Jersey just released the proposed final draft of “The State Strategic Plan: New Jersey’s State Development and Redevelopment Plan.”
The SSP is 50 pages long, not counting additional directives. It’s a nightmare. Basically, they want to redevelop New Jersey along the Holland model. In Holland, they’ve built senior citizen housing over shopping malls. Mom’s friend lives in one. Some people go to these places and are very happy. Others aren’t.
On paper, it sounds great. New Jersey is worried that too many seniors are holding onto their homes for too long, long past the time their grown children have left, causing a housing shortage. The next generation goes out and builds new houses. For their part, the children don’t want to live in those older houses because they’re too old and small.
So the state is planning to redistribute the property, shepherding older people into retirement homes, whether they want to go or not, and moving urban families out of their rented apartments and into the unoccupied homes. I haven’t waded through all the details of the plan yet to figure out how they’re going to manage this.
In reality, this isn’t the great idea it seems. When a bureaucrat talks about growth, he means to grow the government. That means higher taxes. What kind of bureaucracy will it take to accomplish this population redistribution? How do they plan to enforce it? Then, too, there’s the problem of crime. People moved out to the suburbs in the 1960s to escape the crime the Progressives unleashed upon them. Now, the crime will be redistributed; it’ll be everywhere, and no one will do a thing about.
All they care about are those empty rooms in my mother’s house (and my older brothers). If you really want to “engineer” a society, you start with the basic values. Teach children to be honest and to make themselves useful. Teach married people how to save their marriages, starting with kindness and patience. Stop taxing families to death, so it’s not so expensive to have more children.
Americans fell for the notion of Zero Population “Growth” back in the Sixties. The result is, we have a diminished, non-competitive labor force. Poorer families have produced more children who are undereducated. The overeducated children who are literate don’t want to work at menial tasks. Because there’s actually a general shortage of labor, Americans, especially American unions, demand a wage that’s too high compared to other countries. When the companies flee, they take with them their jobs and their corporate tax base.
I guess I really don’t need a house, Santa. I’m actually quite comfortable where I am, with the shopping center right around the corner. I don’t have to mow grass or worry about loss mitigation on the property. I don’t have to trim trees or hedges. Housekeeping is relatively easy, which means I can devote more time to studying and writing my blog, and warning Americans about the dangers they’re ignoring. It’s a 24/7 task. Americans are very stubborn, Santa.
They have to pay attention to this United Nations-inspired Agenda 21, under its many names and guises. Americans love their homes and property and they’re going to lose them if they don’t watch out. Once you’re trapped inside a government housing development, there’s no escape. I’m sorry to say, it’s rather like being in prison. I happen to have the neighbor from Hell. There are going to be a lot of unhappy people once this plan is realized.
She shouldn’t be living in a condo at all. She has a big dog, big ears and a big mouth. She needs plenty of space between her and any unfortunate neighbors. So, Santa, if you can’t get me into a house, that’s okay.
But could you please find a house for my Neighbor from Hell?