Digital Currency and More

As I understand it digital currency is being hailed as something new and radical. Yet, I have been using digital currency for some fifty odd years. It is called a credit card. This new digital currency is being invented by our government and sends up a huge smoke signal warning me that it is another way for Uncle to be looking into my private life for ways to take money out of my pocket. Digital currency would help streamline money transaction, and eliminate the need for paper or coinage. It is my belief that this would be okay if the government would then abolish one of it’s bureaucratic establishments. I must be dreaming, or maybe it is the effect of the cannabis supplemented coffee sweetener that I used today, but I think I saw a bureaucracy closing its doors. Yeah, I must be dreaming. Bureaucracies never go out of business, they only grow bigger.

I just finished reading a book titled “Poverty By America” by Matthew Desmond which deals with ideas of how to abolish poverty in our country. I thought it was a collection of words which I have somehow heard before, but with a slightly new twist. The author proposes the poverty can be eliminated by giving poor people more money. Yep, you read that right. He also proposes that we should break down the walls of racism by giving people of color entry into our neighborhoods. He must not realize that the laws affecting Real Estate allow people of color to buy housing in any neighborhood they want. But, he claims we racist white people build only neighborhoods with huge homes that most people of color can’t afford. He infers that we should be building affordable housing in between the current monster houses that we live in.

When I was much younger and I spent a lot of brain power on subjects like eliminating racism through housing I came up with a scheme that would dictate the spread of races throughout all neighborhoods equally. In other words if the people of color in America are twenty percent of the population then four out of every twenty houses should be sold to blacks, but the blacks must be spread out amongst the white proportionally. Anything less than that would create areas of color density similar to what happens in neighborhoods today. My theory was that if we spread the people we don’t like around equally(every fifth house would go to a black family) throughout the country we would then learn to love our neighbors. I ditched the idea when it struck me that this would not work well with our Constitution. It would mean that We the People would be dictating where people should live. It would also necessitate another bureaucracy to manage the spread of people around the country. What would happen if the ratio was met in one city, and there were still too many people to house? Would we force the over flow of poor people to another city, state, or even to another part of the country? How would we deal with ratios going out of balance within a neighborhood if one or the other color moved leaving a gap in the spread? Would we have to import people from other cities to keep a happy balance? I abandoned the idea after I realized it would be best to let the real estate market take care of buyers and sellers without any government interference dictating who can or cannot buy a given property.

It is a fact that Uncle now requires every village, town, or city to report their ratio of affordable vs unaffordable housing. The government guidelines dictate that federal money can be withheld from communities that do not meet the requirements. I searched the published list for my town of Frankfort and saw that we are perilously deficit in offering affordable housing. In fact, there were very few towns within the Chicago area that meet the criterion. The only neighborhoods that come close to meeting the spec are those that are over sixty years old. In other words they were built at a time when homes were small.

In the last year, I have noticed a resurgence of construction in the neighboring cities of Orland Park and Tinley Park. These cities are building high density neighborhoods cramming as many single family homes and townhomes onto available land. Most likely they are trying to catch up to conform to the government requirement. The neighborhood looks terrible with crowded townhomes as many as ten units in a row, and three stories tall. Alongside are single family homes squeezed onto narrow lots with houses so close to each other that you can shake hands with a neighbor by reaching out a window. They are more packed together than the neighborhood where I grew up. Our houses where so close together that our shoulders brushed up against the buildings when we walked from the front to the back. From a social perspective the neighborhood was nice because we knew almost everyone who lived within five blocks of us. To this day, I can name the families who lived on our street from one end to the other.

Along with the crowded living came a desire to be free and in wide open spaces. Thankfully, Mom and Dad took us visit Grandpa Jim in the country for summers. It was during that time that crooner Bing Crosby came out with a hit song called “Don’t Fence Me In”.

Along with this hit song came a lifelong drive to live free away from crowded cities, and the suburbs were born. I was twenty-three years old when I finally moved from my boyhood home to the suburbs. I was motivated to live in open spaces. I was happy there for thirty years then I got the lust for more space again, and we moved to Frankfort which was a frontier town on the edge of great Illinois farms. Lots of space between buildings and lots of free space. Now, I see a new fad returning toward crowded living spaces. Are we moving forward or backward? I say backward, but the population of the country is growing as the Administration allows thousands of people to cross the borders illegally and then helps them get lost inside our borders. These people are all poor and need places to live. Most likely they will cram into the oldest sections of our great city and force the current occupants to move out. Where will they go? Anywhere there is affordable housing.

In the “good old days” property owners took advantage of the need for more housing by converting their basements and attics into apartments. Most suburbs have enacted laws to prohibit such activity by homeowners. In a typical modern suburb the houses are so huge that the owner could easily add two more families into the space and help pay for his mortgage. In my own home I already have house within my house, all it lacks is a separate entrance. Laws such as the one I just described are part of a “racial wall” described by the author. Another of his recommendations is to tear down the walls designed to prevent undesirable people from living in their neighborhoods. A few of the walls he describes are red lining neighborhoods (Banks with holding loans to people from red-lined areas), charging very high interest rates for people who have low paying jobs, stop exploiting the poor by charging high interest for payday loans, and the list goes on. As I stated above non of these things are new, they have been discussed and in some cases implemented without success.

In conclusion, I would say that this author is restating many old principles espoused by Karl Marx in his attempt to paint communism as a pretty picture.

3 Responses

  1. The digital currency seems to be a coordinated movement by governments worldwide. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is what it is called in India. Like you, I have failed to understand what it changes or revolutionizes, apart from the fact that it gives Uncle Sam and Uncle Modi a peek into every penny being saved or earned by you and me. We already have Cards. We already have digital wallets. For greater transparency in the financial systems, the place to start is to STOP numbered and unnamed accounts globally. But that cannot happen as the lawmakers might get impacted. So, the CBDC.

  2. The equity plan for housing (everyone gets to live in an upper middle class neighborhood) is to be achieved by placing Section 8 housing in safe , well groomed neighborhoods. This can be done by building housing in every bit of empty space that exists. Also residential neighborhoods can be re-zoned for apartments and commercial areas too. Do you get those “we want to buy your house” postcards in the mail ? Private investors do want to buy you houses anywhere they can so they can be rented by the federal government to qualifying people as Section 8 and splitting the rent between investor and federal government. Don’t get me wrong. It woukld be wonderful for everyone to live in safe well kept housing. But your investment in your house will crash in value as the places become crack holes, prostitution places , meth labs and dope distribution certers. Oh, and you won’t be able to let your kids walk to school in this filth and they won’t be safe on the bus either. Welcome to equity and digital currency. About that coinless and paperless money – that means you can’t pay me a couple of hundred bucks in cash for painting your house. You have to transfer money from you account to my account and now this become recordable and taxable income. IRS will love it and the extra government revenue from this expanded resource tax base will fund democrats to have more money to build even more things to completely destroy the country. San Francisco and the like are the wave of the future.

    • Thanks for a great response.

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