Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Robert Reich: Anger boils as recession drags on

Long-term economic woes fuel anger

Widespread and long-term economic insecurity fuels anger. You can already see it in the backlash against globalization. Polls show most Americans don't want more trade, which is why the president can't get Congress to ratify any new trade agreements. Many people are also angry about immigration. Some even propose denying citizenship to children born in the United States of parents here illegally. The anger focuses on every major institution. According to polls, the public has a record low opinion of government, and also of big business and Wall Street.
Add Privatopia -- mandatory membership homeowners associations -- to that list. The authority of private HOA government has never been fully accepted and respected compared to traditional muni and county government. HOAs consequently get plenty of anger and disrespect from their constituents. Current socioeconomic conditions will only make them more willing to flip off the HOA.


Anonymous said...

HOA corporations NEVER DESERVED any respect to begin with. They are parasites begetting more parasites (HOA management companies and attorneys) dipping into the pockets of homeowners. Their proponents falsely claim HOAs "preserve property values" - a sham they continue to promulgate.

The HOA corporation vendors intrudes into the daily lives of homeowners - always seeking to make life more miserable for homeowners in order to create more lucrative disputes for the management and attorney vendors. The only people that want HOAs are the vendors and the board members. The rest of the country mostly realizes that the HOA is a pox forced upon homeowners by developers and local government.

Why would anyone respect such an institution instead of working to destroy it?

gnut said...

> HOAs consequently get plenty of anger and disrespect from their
> constituents. Current socioeconomic conditions will only make them more
> willing to flip off the HOA.

(1) Homeowners in HOAs aren't "constituents," they're "members."

(2) Anger and disrespect are irrelevant, as long as the members obey and pay.

(3) The conservatives, libertarians, Republicans, and Ayn Randians who make up the "Tea Party" demographic are some of the most staunch enablers of HOA corporations.


* They oppose mandatory membership in a labor union as a condition of employment, but favor mandatory membership in an HOA union as a condition of home ownership. The latter is rationalized as a "voluntary contract," while the former is not.

* They want laws to prohibit the use of union dues for political purposes, aka "paycheck protection." But they have voiced no opposition to the use of mandatory HOA dues and fines and fees to fund lobbying by the Communisty Associations Institute.

* They favor tort reform, to make it harder for individuals to sue corporations. But they are apologists for the parasitic tort lawyers representing HOA corporations suing individual homeowners on a regular basis for trivial amounts and reasons.

* They were rightfully outraged by Kelo, and other examples of eminent domain abuse. But you can hear the crickets chirping when HOA corporations and their parasitic tort lawyers foreclose for trivial amounts and reasons. The patriotic "support the troops" punditocracy was silent, while the left-wing Mother Jones and liberal NPR "All Things Considered" were the only national media outlets to report on the theft of Captain Clauer's home while he was deployed to Iraq.

* They are opposed to higher taxes, but support double-taxation of homeowners in HOA communisties.

* They are opposed to voter fraud and Chicago-style elections, except when it comes to the election of the Board of Directors of HOA corporations.

* They like to quote Ben Franklin about trading liberty for security. Yet they believe it's OK to trade essential liberty for the (false) promise of secure property values. Likewise, they deserve neither.

Sadly, I don't think the anger of the "Tea Party" will ever be directed at privatized HOA corporate governments.

Like the useful idiots with their romantic notions of communism, the proponents of privatized corporate government have ignored the real world results of their theories. As much as the conservative/libertarian punditocracy cite Hayek nowadays, they are completely oblivious to The Privatized Toll Road To Serfdom.