How about one TV commercial about ending exclusionary zoning instead of 10 about expanding social security? That was my latest plea to the Sanders campaign along with the following.
Imagine what financial security feels like and what it means. It would feel wonderful if you didn't have to work anymore. You could go to bed when you felt like it. You could get up when you felt like it. You could do whatever you wanted within reason. Maybe that's how you imagined retirement would be like. It can happen a whole lot sooner than you thought possible if we just ended exclusionary zoning. I wasn't able to save for retirement until my last job and that last job only lasted 22 years. I never got sucked into a 30 year mortgage which is partly how I was just able to retire after I lost my job at 59. Even though I didn't flush a lot of money down the 30 year mortgage toilet I still paid some kind of rent until I was 59.
For about 21 years I rented an apartment here and there and then for 18 years I paid a lot rent to a mobile home park. I figure all that renting easily cost me $90,000 over what I would've otherwise paid. In other words that would've been what I could've otherwise saved. I could've taken that money and bought an income for life annuity. That was the cost to me of exclusionary zoning. Exclusionary zoning restricts the kind of home you can live in on a residential lot. Why rent if you can buy? But it's those pesky restrictions that keep you from buying. As long as a home is not a threat to anyone's health or safety then it should not be prohibited. Our constitution says we have a right to LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Shelter is a necessity of LIFE. So why don't we have the LIBERTY to be HAPPY in a home of our own choosing? Why can't we spend our money as we see fit instead of as how someone else sees fit? Money is freedom. When they take away your money they take away your freedom. Freedom leads to prosperity.
And what about the opportunity costs? If moving was easy and inexpensive then you'd live where there was a good job. You'd live where the weather was nice. It would mean the freedom to live, work and learn where you wanted. There would be so much more opportunity. And you could save so much more and retire so much sooner. You'd be free to take a chance and try a different job or start a business because you'd be financially secure. You wouldn't worry about having a roof over your head or paying rent or buying groceries because you could make it on so much less money. The happiness index in the US would soar off the charts. It would be like spring break, merry Christmas, happy new year and family vacation year round. And you'd see all kinds of homes. I personally like small, mobile homes such as travel trailers, motor homes and singlewide mobile homes. But you would see small, immovable ones too. This would force the housing market to be stable, honest, and very competitive. Consumers Reports would be evaluating houses just like they evaluate cars. 'Ask this old house' would also be getting in on the act.
Every politician takes an oath to protect and defend the constitution. Ever hear of anyone campaigning on ending exclusionary zoning? One third of Americans are not homeowners. Many others have signed up for 30 years of debt slavery to get into a $210,000 home (the average price of a home). Just look at the numbers. Borrow just $100,000 at 5% and pay it back over 30 years and you pay back $193,000. Plus you have to pay for property insurance and you pay property taxes based on the value of your home multiplied by the millage (tax rate). So the more expensive your home is then the more property taxes you pay. And that home isn't moving, ever. So if you want to relocate then you got to sell it. That home owns you, you don't own it.
So why do I have to keep asking the Sanders campaign to advocate for an end to exclusionary zoning? We've seen the picture of Bernie as a young man laying on the ground chained to a black woman. Both of them were arrested for protesting against housing segregation. Segregation would disappear if exclusionary zoning was ended because anyone could afford to live anywhere within reason. Exclusionary zoning is financial slavery. It needs to end just like regular slavery finally had to end. If not now then when? If not Bernie then who? Some people look at things the way they are and ask why. Others look at things the way they could be and ask why not?
I would love to see Bernie do this TV commercial. Imagine Bernie standing in front of a singlewide mobile home in a mobile home park and he says the following: "A home that is not a threat to anyone's health or safety should not be prohibited. Exclusionary zoning should be ended. Some people think freedom means the freedom to take away someone else's freedom. Bernie Sanders is not one of those people."
And nobody and I mean nobody would have to ask "sounds good but how are you going to pay for it?" Being tolerant doesn't cost anything. Being intolerant costs us everything. Think about it. And remember, FDR said "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." We can all be happy. That is nothing to fear. That is something to embrace. Thanks.