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There’s always something to howl about

Want to know where real estate corruption comes from? Whatever you do, don’t look in the newspaper . . .

I have a bunch of Phoenix-area real estate news piling up in browser tabs, so I want to reference it now, before it blows away in the autumnal desert breezes.

First, more fake good news downtown: “Phoenix is putting in place the final building block in its plan to construct a new downtown.” How? What are you, new? Massive tax-payer subsidies, of course. How else? But, not to worry. This will be the piece that completes the puzzle for a true downtown in Downtown Phoenix. Pay no attention to all those other, past, failed pieces that were to complete the puzzle. This is the real deal, you betcha. If you say otherwise you’re a counter-revolutionary running-dog imperialist wrecker. Oops! Wrong propagandists…

But don’t get the idea that Pravda — er, the Arizona Republic can’t issue a discouraging word: It turns out that trolley riders, if there are any, may have trouble finding shaded parking. If they can find any shaded parking now, in this benighted pre-trolley epoch, they should move to Vegas. They’re beyond lucky…

But at the same time, don’t conclude that the Republic can’t strain at gnats over a good press release: Active-adult housing is popular in the Southwest Valley — even though there almost isn’t any. The article justifies its spin by stretching as far as Sun City Festival — which is in the Northwest Valley. (Disclosure: I am a long-time friend and confederate of Tom Horton, who wrote the biography of Ed Robson, founder and owner of Robson Communities, which in turn owns PebbleCreek, the principle focus of this article.)

Did I say something about the Northwest Valley? Here comes the Northern Parkway, to relieve all the traffic out there where nobody lives — yet. The City of Glendale, which used to end at 67th Avenue, is going to extend itself miles and miles further west so that its tax-payers can delight in subsidizing thousands of new homes along the incipient SR-303 Freeway.

All of this serves as a nice way of distinguishing capitalism from mixed-economy socialism. None of this would be happening if our real estate economy were governed by capitalist principles. How many entrepreneurs would build 1,100 houses where there are no roads? Zero. How many entrepreneurs would build skyscrapers in a “downtown” where there are no people? Zero. How many entrepreneurs would build a trolley system that will lose twenty dollars for every dollar it manages to collect? Zero.

All of these things, and thousands more incredibly stupid blunders, are made possible only by government. Without using force against the owners of the land, and without using force against the producers of wealth to acquire tax funds, none of these things would happen. They are not artifacts of capitalism but of statism — not mutually-voluntary trade but coercion. They are the joint creations of the “statesmen” and the thousands of parasitic pretend-businessmen who feed at the tax-payers’ teat. If we were to put government out of the real estate business, we would put all those grafters out of business overnight…

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  • 1 comment

    1 Comment so far

    1. George Goquingco November 11th, 2008 5:20 am

      here in the Philippines my company has been assessed by the City goverment of Caloocan for back taxes amounting to Php18,000,000.00 as of Sept 2008. The NBI caught the bag lady Atty. Teophanie Sy. Carrying a bag with PHP4,000,000.00 She was caught way back April 16, 2005 and were now only hearing the case. That is how slow justice is here if you deal with corrupt local officials.