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Zoning Creates Debts, Debtors & Government Dependents

13 May

English: Diagram of zoning change in Nell Fish...

Diagram of zoning change in Nell Fisher reserve and adjacent plots of land. Each “Zone” is based on a purported PURPOSE.  But what is the real PURPOSE?  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Forty years ago, my father bought a little retirement farm in Wisconsin.  The farm included a wonderful old barn and a house that was started back about A.D. 1900.

The house was a standard, two-story farm house.  But it was particularly interesting because it was built one room at a time.  You could tell because not one of the six ground-floor rooms had a floor that matched the level of any adjacent room’s floor. Each room’s floor was a half or three-quarter’s inch higher or lower than the adjacent room’s floor.

It was apparent that the original farmer had saved his money, bought the land, and then saved more money to build his first room (now, the kitchen).  I’m sure that he, his wife and kids all lived in that first 250 ft2 room.  Later, as the farmer worked and saved more of his profits, he bought more lumber to build a second room (probably a bedroom).  Then he even dug a basement under the third addition (no small feat in that rocky soil).  After what may have been five or ten years, the farmer had built a pretty nice, two-story home.

I can imagine how hard that farmer had to work.  I can imagine the strain of saving enough of his earnings each year to buy more lumber to add another room.  I can also imagine the pride that the farmer, and his wife, and even their kids felt each time the farmer was able to add another room onto their house.  There had to be a real sense of accomplishment.

But, most importantly, they had to be delighted that there was no debt.

When the farmer finished adding rooms to his original cabin, he owned the building free and clear.  He had an asset.  He was not a debtor.

Compare that farmer (who probably spent five years building his home but was never a debtor) to a modern home-owner who can have a complete, new house built in 90 days—but will remain a debtor for the next 20 to 30 years.

Which form of home construction is better?  To slowly build room-by-room for 5 years—and never be in debt?  Or to build quickly and completely, but remain in debt for 20 to 30 years?

 

•  Today, it’s almost impossible to emulate the farmer’s “modular” home.  Today, we don’t generally build a cabin, and then add one room, and then another.  We usually build the entire house all at once.  Three bedrooms, two baths, kitchen, living room, dining room, basement, garage.

There might be a certain efficiency in building the whole house, all-at-once.  (Surely, every room on the ground floor can be on one level throughout the house.)

But, before today’s new owners can move in, they must first go deeply into debt. The average home buyer can’t afford to pay cash for his new home.  Instead, he “buys” a new home with credit based on a mortgage that will keep him indebted for 20 to 30 years.  As a result, the new home owner will typically spend the prime of his life as a “debtor”.

Why is it almost impossible to build a home “room-by-room”?

Because zoning regulations effectively prohibit the construction of do-it-yourself, one-room-at-a-time home construction in most communities.  The result is homogenous neighborhoods where virtually all the homes are of a similar price range.

Understandably, most home-owners don’t want someone building a ramshackle “cabin” for $30,000 on the lot next to their $250,000 home since that cabin might cause the market value of the $250,000 home to fall to, say, $175,000.

Therefore, we establish zoning regulations that force any upstart who wants to live in our neighborhood to come up with $250,000 cash or credit to build a home that won’t impinge on the property values of the pre-existing, neighborhood homes.

I understand that the owners of every existing home want to protect the value of their homes.  That’s natural.

I also understand that the kind of man or woman who would start by building a $30,000 “cabin” in a neighborhood filled with $250,000 homes might be a drunken bum.  But he might also be a very hard-working, innovative, entrepreneur who’d be a valuable addition to the neighborhood.

In any case, the modern zoning laws essentially prevent the young, ambitious, hard-working entrepreneur from building his home “room-by-room” over a period of several years.

 

•  We presume that zoning regs are required to protect the property values and equity of existing homes and existing home-owners.

But we could also look at zoning regs as a means to create more debtors.

Thanks to zoning, the American dream of owning your own home had been degraded into a de facto nightmare of becoming a life-long debtor.   In most instances, if you dream of not just having, but building your own home, that dream can’t be.  Instead, your “American dream” must include a bank that’ll loan you enough currency to build your house now and saddle you with a mortgage that you may later learn to hate. Instead of building your own home over a period of several years and for, say, $125,000 in materials and hundreds of hours of your own labor—today, you’ll have an instant house and a mortgage that over the next 30 years might ultimately cost you $500,000.

Think how prosperous a young man might become if, by building his own house, he could save the equivalent of $375,000 over the course of the next 30 years.

Conversely, think how unprofitable some banks might become if most people started building their own homes and avoiding mortgages.

When I contemplate how bank profits might fall if the American Dream included building your own home without debt, rather than borrowing the money to have someone else build, I begin to wonder whether the primary purpose for residential zoning laws is to protect the property value of adjacent homeowners—or to protect the banks’ profits.

 

•  I even begin to wonder if zoning laws are primarily intended to protect the “property value” of the banks’ mortgages rather than the home-buyer’s property values.

For example, suppose I buy a home for $250,000.  Suppose some eager teenager buys the adjacent lot and builds a $35,000 one-room “cabin” that he plans to expand over the course of the next 5 or 10 years.  By building his $35,000 cabin next to my $250,000 McMansion, my new neighbor will almost certainly reduce the property value of my home from $250,000 to, say, $175,000.  I won’t like that one bit.

If the property value of my McMansion falls by 30%, my home might be “underwater”—the market value of my home might be less than the remaining debt due on my mortgage.  Therefore, I might be tempted to abandon my home and leave the bank stuck with a non-performing mortgage on a house of significantly diminished value.

If the neighbor’s cabin diminished the market value of my home, I’d suffer a loss.  But if I abandoned my home, the bank that issued the mortgage might suffer an even greater loss.

So, I’m wondering if zoning laws that prevent young or poor people from building “cabins” on adjacent lots are primarily intended to protect the neighborhood “homeowners” (debtors) or the banks that issued the neighborhood mortgages.

 

•  In fact, we could look at a lot of government regulations over businesses, corporations, etc. and wonder about their primary purpose.

For example, thanks to the FDA’s drug regulations and approval process, a hard-working and insightful American entrepreneur will never: 1) discover a drug while working in his garage/lab that will eliminate cancer or stop heart attacks; and 2) get that drug on the market.  Our industrious entrepreneur may have brains enough to discover that new drug, but he’s unlikely to have brains enough to “discover” enough money to pay for the testing procedures required by FDA regulations.

Result? He’ll be forced by FDA regs to either sell his drug discovery to a major corporation (that has ready access to enough credit to pay for the testing procedure) or he’ll have to abandon the drug to die stillborn in his garage.

In the end, no one—not the hard-working entrepreneurial genius, or the major corporation is going to put any new drug on the market without first going into significant debt.

So—what’s the primary purpose for FDA drug tests?  To insure that drugs are safe?  To force people or corporations to go deeper into debt?  Or to protect major pharmaceutical corporations from competition by entrepreneurs?

I guarantee that the primary purpose for the FDA tests is not to insure drug safety.  One way or the other, the primary purpose for those regulations is to enrich banks or enrich corporations, or both.  Those regs are not about safety—they’re about money.

And it’s not an accident.

 

  TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com published an article entitled, “They Are Murdering Small Business” in which they reported more evidence of excessive government regulation:

 

“The percentage of Americans that are working for themselves has never been lower in the history of the United States.  Once upon a time, the United States was a paradise for entrepreneurs and small businesses, but now the control freak bureaucrats that dominate our society have created a system that absolutely eviscerates them. . . . [B]y murdering small business, the bureaucrats are destroying the primary engine of job growth in this country.  One of the big reasons why there are not enough jobs in America today is because small business creation is way down.  Entrepreneurs and small businesses are being absolutely devastated by rules, regulations, red tape and by oppressive levels of taxation.

The percentage of unincorporated, self-employed Americans as a share of non-farm employment has fallen from about 25% in 1950 to 7% today—a level never before seen.  When we were the richest, most prosperous country in the world . . . when we had the world’s strongest middle class . . . 25% of non-farm Americans were unincorporated and self-employed.  Twenty-five percent.    Is the loss of the middle class and the loss of the self-employed people a coincidence?  I’ll bet it’s not.

 

“As a share of the population, the percentage of “new entrepreneurs and business owners” dropped by a staggering 53% between 1977 and 2010.”

Is it any surprise that wealth is disproportionally concentrated in the top 2 or 3% of the nation’s people who can manage to work their way through government’s endless regulations and paperwork?   Without the self-employed, our economy is stagnating, the distribution of wealth is hugely disproportional, and the middle class is disappearing.

Cause?  The same kind of excessive government regulation and paperwork that prevents young people from building a home one room at a time.  Today, to be a self-employed plumber, or a carpenter, or a handyman, it’s not enough that you merely know your job and be good at it.  No, instead, in order to be self-employed, you must first become a lawyer able to negotiate government’s endless rules, regs and forms.  If you can’t become a lawyer or afford to hire a lawyer, you can only become an employee or a welfare recipient.

 

•  Economist Tim Kane reports that there’s,

 

“anecdotal evidence that the U.S. policy environment has become inadvertently hostile to entrepreneurial employment.  At the federal level, high taxes and higher uncertainty about taxes are undoubtedly inhibiting entrepreneurship . . . . The dominant factor may be new regulations on labor.  The passage of the Affordable Care Act is creating a sweeping alteration of the regulatory environment that directly changes how employers engage their workforces . . . .”

But has the national government’s regulatory regime become “inadvertently” or intentionally “hostile to entrepreneurial employment”?   I’d bet on “intentionally”.

 

“Separately, there has been a federal crackdown since 2009 by the IRS on U.S. employers that hire U.S. workers as independent contractors rather than employees . . . . The dilemma for U.S. policy is that an American entrepreneur has zero tax or regulatory burden when hiring a consultant/contractor who resides abroad. But that same employer is subject to paperwork, taxation, and possible IRS harassment if employing U.S.-based contractors. . . . [similarly] the rise of occupational licensing is destroying startup opportunities for poor and middle class Americans.”

Thus, the Internal Revenue Code effectively forces entrepreneurs to “outsource” jobs to foreign countries and thus increases U.S. unemployment.  Simultaneously, occupational licensing requirements (for roofers, lawn care people, service workers, etc.) are reducing the number of lower- and middle-class entrepreneurs.

Again, the big question is whether these adverse consequences (more unemployment and fewer entrepreneurs) are inadvertent or intended?

Are zoning laws, FDA regs, endless business regulations and licensing requirements primarily intended to protect our property rights and make us safer?  Or is the primary intent to cause most of us to become debtors and/or government-dependents and insure that no significant economic progress is allowed unless the bankers get their cut and the gov-co is in control?

What is government really trying to accomplish with all its regulations?  Are they working to improve our standard of living or degrade it? Are they working to make us safer or more subservient?   Are we moving towards liberty or overt fascism?  The answers are obvious.  Thanks to government regulations, Americans are becoming less free and therefore less prosperous.

Your government is destroying this country.

Your government . . .  yours . . . is destroying this country.

The only real question is whether government is destroying this country by accident or by intent.

We don’t want to believe our own eyes.  We don’t want to believe that our congressmen, senators and presidents are engaged in treason—intentional destruction of our nation.  But if you look around, open your eyes and find the courage to really “see,” what other conclusion is tenable?

This is purportedly the “land of the free”.  And yet, we are seldom free to build our own homes or to build our own businesses.  Our commercial freedoms are fast becoming just two:  freedom to go deeply into debt and freedom to work for major corporations or gov-co.

Does that sound like the kind of freedom anyone ever fought for?  Or does it sound more like the kind of despotism that our Founders fought against?

What are you going to do about?

Take out a loan?  Put in a job application to a major corporation or government agency?

Or start pushing your government hard to end the regulations that are killing our freedom to build our own homes and build our own businesses?

 

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18 responses to “Zoning Creates Debts, Debtors & Government Dependents

  1. palani

    May 13, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    I recall George Gordon in one of his old radio shows talking of a guy in Utah who wanted to build shelter rather than a commercial dwelling. It made quite a story. He tried to get a permit but when asked how much his home was going to cost he said under $100. ‘Course no permit could be offered for a project this small. He did have some problems getting hooked up to electric and sewer and water. He never did get the postal service to deliver mail as he was not entitled to an occupancy permit. So apparently he lived there over 5 years and when he was ready to move on no bank would loan money to the next buyer so it had to be sold on a land contract with him providing the credit.

    Along the same lines, I get a newsletter from a group that promotes eating raw. I believe the writer (Matt Monarch) is located in Ecuador. In one of his newscasts he tells of a native who bought several acres of land along a river. He used the river for sand for cement and motar and for rock and built himself and his family a nice sized home. The url of the program is here

    The key is not to enter your shelter into commerce. Build it for low cost and with cheap or free materials. Prepare to innovate.

     
    • Adask

      May 13, 2013 at 6:52 PM

      Your story about a “shelter” rather than a “commercial dwelling” illustrate the critical importance of your choice of definitions. In a similar vein, a friend of mine (Robert Fox) had two or three old trucks on the lawn of a home he was renting. The city tried use zoning laws to compel him to move the “junk trucks” off the properties. Robert responded to their notice by claiming the trucks were “lawn art”. The city dropped the enforcement action. I know this story is true because one of those trucks was mine.

       
  2. Matthew

    May 13, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    @Adask “Or start pushing your government hard to end the regulations that are killing our freedom to build our own homes and build our own businesses?”

    But zoning regulations aren’t doing that. They only tell you WHERE you can’t build, not WHAT you can’t build.

    You have the freedom to build whatever home or business you want, just not someplace an existing community has already set its own standards to the contrary. The people who got there before you have their freedoms too.

    Among the many freedoms you have in this country is the freedom to start a new community where your idea of a home and business is okay. The best of luck to you, young entrepreneur.

     
    • We R One

      May 14, 2013 at 9:38 AM

      You say:
      “You have the freedom to build whatever home or business you want, just not someplace an existing community has already set its own standards to the contrary. ”
      My thoughts:
      Does that include any native American community who were there first? As I have heard from Al & others, the ?law/adage? of ‘First in time is first in line’ applies in court & life, both fiction & reality and ‘paper-world’ and ‘real-world’, does it not? Where in line does ‘The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof’ belong? Is the earth His or does it belong to whoever has his ‘papers’ in order? And then, we can go into really deep discussion on LOL! can man ”OWN” some ?what? a house? a piece of land? or has man only been given ‘dominion’ not ‘ownership’ ?
      To that discussion, I leave those accomplished writers to discuss as yours truly has not arrived there (and may be I never want to arrive there – let the reader understand)

       
  3. Christian

    May 13, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    I was under the impression zoning laws where a way to make sure everyone is engaged in commerce?

     
  4. SLIM

    May 14, 2013 at 1:11 AM

    SHEESH !!! I am SO GLAD to FINALLY see a thread of substance to dicuss instead od ALL that religious B.S.. Alfred,YOU ARE RIGHT !!! CHRIST IS NOT GOD !!! Also as you say, …it seems inconceivable that God the Master would sacrifice Himself for mankind. RIGHT AGAIN !!! As you probably know, by now, ALL the bible belt thumpers are not going to be persuaded otherwise.YOU,Alfred are RIGHT TOO when you say,”The Bible teaches that God is the “ever-living,” eternal and cannot die–not even for an instant.” I hope you do not bring up/start ANYMORE religious threads. I have had all the yahs,yeshuas & yahshuahs yah,yah,yah, yah this & yah that & Yahwho/Yahooze I can stomach !!! Enough is enough !!!

     
    • Adask

      May 14, 2013 at 2:32 AM

      I actually feel a sense of dread even time I bring up a religious issue because I know that the result will be controversy and even conflict. I don’t mean to offend anyone with my notions concerning religion. I try to equivocate on most statements. I try to make it clear that the articles are only presented as a means to consider and debate an anomaly in religion. But my intent never matters. Inevitably, someone takes something I’ve described as a possibility to be a statement of “absolute truth,” and then takes issue. And then a minor “holy war” erupts on this blog.

      If you want to stir the hornet’s nest, start talking about religion in a way that’s inconsistent with the listener’s dogma. What you might initiate as a discussion or debate or merely an “exploration” will quickly be perceived to be an attack. Nothing finally moves people to such passion as their faith.

      But I can’t promise not to raise any more “religious threads”. I have one in mind, right now, about “dark matter”. I know that, no matter how hard I try write clearly, some readers will misunderstand what I write, jump to conclusions, and get so mad that they’ll be unable to speak without spitting. The knowledge makes me laugh. But, whether I’m understood or not, it’s one of those ideas or insights that I feel compelled to write. Push comes to shove, I’m just as big a “Bible thumper” as any of my readers–I just thump it with an unconventional rhythm. Therefore, sometime in the next week or two, you can expect to see another religious article entitled “Dark Matter” or some such.

      Hide the women and children.

       
      • Gary

        May 14, 2013 at 8:41 AM

        Good Day Al: If God puts it on your heart to present His Word in your blogs then do it. Remember that we are exhorted to plant and water……the increase is up to God. We are not responsible for the various reactions of men. The parable of the sower and the seed is still true.

         
  5. Howard R Music

    May 14, 2013 at 6:47 AM

    Great analysis. Also, property tax increases probably stop a lot of people from adding on. Code enforcement is the reason I won’t construct extra space on my house, even though I can do virtually all of the work myself, it just isn’t worth the battles with inspectors and tax appraisers.

     
    • Jethro!

      May 14, 2013 at 9:52 AM

      “Also, property tax increases probably stop a lot of people from adding on.”

      I have a good friend who, upon the death of his grandmother, intended to inherit and move into her huge, beautiful old home. However, as both he and his wife were “starving artists”, they could not afford the *property taxes*. So instead of the home remaining with the family and providing them a place to live, they instead had to sell it and rent.

      Absolutely disgraceful.

       
    • Yartap

      May 15, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Howard, your words are so true.

      As I live, I will always be an enemy of property taxation, the remover of freedom and sovereignty.

       
  6. Anthony Clifton

    May 14, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    I really look forward to the dark matter episode…

    and, in the for what it is worth dept., the whole point of freedom of speech is the freedom to explore the conditioned responses of the brain damaged “proles” who watch TV.

    given a choice I’d prefer to re-read back issues of the Anti-Shyster than be forced to listen to Rachel Maddow or…look at a Dianne Sawyer…even if they offered to remunerate me.

     
  7. We R One

    May 14, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    I ‘stumbled’ on to the truth of what you have said by (accident or providence or by ?) many years ago at a conference on agriculture of all things. A scientist/researcher had been contacted by (cannot remember the drug company name whether Pfizer or Bayer or ?) who paid him & his group of researchers $450,000 to do drug testing for a new drug they wanted to get FDA approval to bring to market. After a year of testing on the drug, they presented the results to ?????? explaining that the drug had caused several deaths and other complications. He said they were ‘very polite and appreciative and handed him the $450,000 and then they left’. About a year later, he was reading JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) publication, when he saw that the same drug which he had tested was being brought to market with FDA approval after another research group had tested the drug and were paid $1,000,000 for their part and no deaths, no serious complications were reported this time (with no mention of any previous research work done he added) and this group of research scientists now have many lucrative contracts with the ?????? drug company and him & his group have never been contacted again.
    As you said herein, inadvertant or intended?, coincidence, happenstance or by default or by design?’ I say, ‘Follow the Money’. If you are willing to sell out for the (money/bucks/almighty dollar/mammon) do you risk losing your soul? your integrity? your way? or do you just become a ward of the state and lose your liberty with no worse consequences? And that becomes a subject for a much more in-depth discussion to which I will leave to more accomplished authors such as Alfred. WAY TO GO! Love your ‘blog’ if that’s the right word?

     
  8. Yartap

    May 15, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Thank You Al!

    You have hit the target square in the middle. Great insight!

     
  9. Jason Smythe

    June 14, 2013 at 7:20 AM

    Interesting perspective Al. Its (and everything is) all about the money. The US, under its treason Constitution, was founded for the stealing of wealth from us by wealthy money speculators and bankers, now felony fraud committing artifice money creators who control their.(?our?) US governments and enslave us all to them and to the bankers fraudulent money.

     
  10. Jason Smythe

    June 14, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    Interesting perspective Al. It’s (and everything is) all about the money. The US, under its treason Constitution, was founded for the stealing of wealth from us by wealthy money speculators and bankers, now felony fraud committing artifice money creators who control their.(?our?) US governments and enslave us all to them and to the bankers fraudulent money, making them wealthy from enslaving our efforts. But, as the US-PIIGS now evidence, climbing the mathematical parabola after too many iterations of usury, can too hard to impossible as the curve becomes too vertical, so that artifice fraud money is mathematically certain to fail, as are the provisions of all written on paper claimed constitutions, including of the US and the most splendid rights guaranteeing constitution, that of 1936 in Russia – and we all know what happened to that and to the 4th to 7th and 14th Amendments to the never ratified US’s 1787 treason constitutionthat overthrew America’s only civil government ever under the Articles of Confederation (America’s present treason constitution government being a m ilitary, martial rule government). Especially note the most important Common Law individual rights that it knowingly and purposely omitted – our individual rights to initiate both criminal prosecution and civil damages recovery in a single suit from those (including in government) committing felonies against us. Now we have corruption enforcing cops co-conspiring with venally corrupt government Mafia Don prosecutors and also with Godfather judges, to allow them all to commit mass felony atrocities against we people with co-conspired no adverse consequences for them (while they continue to suck up outrageously high taxpayer paid for wages and benefits, instead of being imprisoned) and criminally prosecute us for their crimes against us – all of which they call freedom under the Federalist Papers. Can this be what Hamilton and Madison really meant for us with their “Federalist” lies about a national Talmudist plot to enslave us all to their Protocols?

     
  11. Jason Smythe

    June 14, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    An interesting perspective. It’s (and everything else in today’s world) is ultimately all about the money. The US, under its treason Constitution, was founded for the stealing of wealth from us by wealthy money speculators and bankers, now felony fraud committing artifice money creators who control their.(?our?) US governments and enslave us all to them and to the bankers fraudulent money, making them wealthy from enslaving our efforts. But, as the US-PIIGS now evidence, climbing the mathematical parabola after too many iterations of usury, can too hard to impossible as the curve becomes too vertical, so that artifice fraud money is mathematically certain to fail, as are the provisions of all written on paper claimed constitutions, including of the US and the most splendid rights guaranteeing constitution, that of 1936 in Russia – and we all know what happened to that and to the 4th to 7th and 14th Amendments to the never ratified US’s 1787 treason constitutionthat overthrew America’s only civil government ever under the Articles of Confederation (America’s present treason constitution government being a m ilitary, martial rule government). Especially note the most important Common Law individual rights that it knowingly and purposely omitted – our individual rights to initiate both criminal prosecution and civil damages recovery in a single suit from those (including in government) committing felonies against us. Now we have corruption enforcing cops co-conspiring with venally corrupt government Mafia Don prosecutors and also with Godfather judges, to allow them all to commit mass felony atrocities against we people with co-conspired no adverse consequences for them (while they continue to suck up outrageously high taxpayer paid for wages and benefits, instead of being imprisoned) and criminally prosecute us for their crimes against us – all of which they call freedom under the Federalist Papers. Can this be what Hamilton and Madison really meant for us with their “Federalist” lies about a 2,600 year old international Talmudist plot to enslave us all to their Protocols after God divorced them? (Jer. 3:6 to 14, Rev 2:9 and 3:9; Ezra Chapter 10, Mt. 15:9, Mk 7:7, Lu. 23:2 and Arthur Koestler’s book “The Thirteenth Tribe.”)

     

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