Archive for September 13th, 2012

The Beginning of the End?

America is the greatest country in the world and has been such since long before I was born.  Will that continue forever?  If history is any indication, the answer is no.  Consider the Roman Empire.  The Soviet Union.  Germany.  Is America doomed to the same fate?  If so, will it happen in our lifetimes?  If it does happen, will we be able to tell?  Will there be warning signs?

I don’t consider myself an alarmist, a radical, or anti-government.  I’d imagine, though, that if America’s existence as we know it were to end, or were to be fundamentally altered, the beginning of the end might have headlines which look something like this …

California Company Buys 700 Florida Foreclosures in a Single Sale

Nobody in the mainstream media is talking about this, so please take a few minutes and think about the ramifications of this story.  Think about what’s going on in “our” country.

It started, in my view, when “our” federal government insured millions of mortgages (guaranteeing it would pay the banks the full loan amount in the event the borrower defaulted), inducing banks to lend at unprecedented rates.  The big banks committed all sorts of nefarious acts along the way with an eye towards increasing the bottom line.  The biggest real estate bubble in world history resulted.

The bubble burst, helping to destroy the American economy.

The big banks and corporate America were bailed out with taxpayer dollars, but those same taxpayers – lower and middle class America – got no such bailout.  The corporate crooks who committed the nefarious acts faced no punishment.

Millions upon millions of Americans lost the equity/wealth in their homes, and, ultimately, lost their homes altogether to foreclosure.

Meanwhile, the bailed-out banks refused to negotiate with homeowners, and “our” government refused to do anything to force them to do so.  Hence, the cycle continued, as the economy remained in the toilet, banks kept foreclosing, and homeowners kept getting thrown onto the street.

Now for perhaps the most outrageous part … what has happened to all of the houses?  You know, all of the houses that were taken from middle class America via foreclosure instead of giving principal reductions?  “Our” government is selling those houses in bulk sales to private investors.  As the headline reads … California Company Buys 700 Florida Foreclosures in a Single Sale.

That’s 700 of my fellow Floridians who lost their homes … why?  So those homes could be sold to one, uber-wealthy investor for $12.3 million?  Do the math, folks – that’s $17,571 per house.

Are you seriously telling me that 700 of my fellow Floridians were foreclosed upon so “our” government could sell these houses, free and clear, for $17,571 each?  Seriously?  Selling hundreds of houses to one rich guy for pennies on the dollar is better than giving hundreds of homeowners a principal reduction … how, exactly?

I could sort of understand, maybe, the argument that our government can’t give principal reductions on a widespread basis because it would induce everyone to default.  I don’t agree, but I could at least understand that.  However, even if you accept the argument that foreclosure was/is the only option, there are certainly options for the re-sale of these properties other than selling them in bulk to the uber-wealthy.

For instance, why doesn’t “our” government set up public auctions for each property – one at a time – so anyone can bid?  Isn’t that the American way?  You work hard, save money, buy a house.  Why exclude 99.9999 percent of the American population from buying the houses that were foreclosed, allowing only the richest of the rich to buy these houses?  Why set up a system where the houses are sold for pennies on the dollar instead of something closer to their fair market value?

Bear in mind … it’s our taxpayer dollars at work here.  Our taxpayer dollars are what paid the banks the full judgment amounts.  So when we’re all footing the bill for it, why is it that only the mega-wealthy stand to gain?


Because that’s how America operates in 2012.

If you’re mega-wealthy, you get high-level positions in government, and you create the system in a way that it caters to the mega-rich.  That’s what we see in national politics from both Democrats and Republicans.  That’s what’s happening with these foreclosure sales – Fannie Mae is selling to the uber-wealthy because the high-level executives at Fannie are uber-wealthy.  You scratch my back, I scratch yours … and on and on the crooked system goes, catering to the whims of the sociological elite while the 99% get left behind.

I don’t know that this is the beginning of the end of America as we know it.  For all I know, this could be a blip on the radar.  However, if we look back in 20, 30, or 50 years and realize this was the beginning of the end, we can’t say we didn’t see the warning signs.

Mark Stopa

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