There is another way
There was a time when we could rely on local authorities to take on the role of developing all kinds of community projects from social housing to leisure centres. Not anymore. Private developers have taken over this role, but we have to recognize that their main objective is to make a profit, and as significant profit can only come through selling relatively large numbers of flats and small houses. it is easy to understand why so many schemes are considered by so many citizens to be inappropriate.
A community Land Trust would compete with private developers to purchase suitable sites and then develop them on a not for profit basis. Such sites will be developed by the community, owned and managed by the community, for the community. People on the housing waiting list would be housed before anyone from outside the area, unless there were special circumstances.
Britain and western countries are saturated with consumer goods. People are being made redundant and other employers are not taking on new staff. The younger generation coming from education are unable to find work. We are living through the biggest financial crisis to consume North America and Europe for over 50 years. A crisis brought about by a system of greed and recklessness. The free market economics has come to dominate the world over the last three decades. We should be looking at alternatives to the system.
We may be looking at working 3 or 4 days a week in the future. There needs to be a way one can survive on ones income without state handouts.
Politicians, councillors and financial experts should face up to the fact that unemployment is not going to fall, the arrival of commercialism and computers in the 50s started the decline in jobs. We now have automated machinery and robot devices and still the so-called professional pretend it is not happening. For most people all they want is to be happy, to have a home, enough food, a family and friends, and have enough money to pay their way. But what do we have? There is homelessness, starvation and lawlessness on a global scale. When many people go to work, they sit in traffic queues and cramped trains often for a dead end job just to pay a mortgage or rent, and struggle to pay the rest of the bills.
Have you ever asked, ‘What is the point?’
With construction workers laid off, with plant and machinery idle, and with stockpiles of materials, it is evidently not a shortage of labour or capital that is causing distress in the building industry. The problem is that land hoarding and land speculation have driven the price beyond a point at which profitable operation is not possible, not only immediately but in the foreseeable future. Around us already, our welfare state is beginning to crumble.
With the collapse of Lehman Brothers and recently Northern Rock, unemployment could become rife, followed by house repossessions and more debt. These people plus first time buyers will need affordable housing. There is no need to have this so-called ladder.
While Bradford and Bingley were the main lenders for buy to let, this has created an artificial economy, in many cases pushing up housing benefit. Some 250 million pounds a week is given out on housing benefit often paid out to buy to let landlords. Rents would drop if housing benefit wasn’t paid to the private sector.
While the credit crunch may appear to be bad news for some, it is the best news we have had for years. No doubt big business is the cause of the financial crisis on a global scale. It would appear there are some people who have too much capital. They can destroy others by their actions. It is not the fact they have too much money, but what they choose to do with it that causes problems. State capitalism is also a failed system. It may be said we have a market system, but it is the market which is not working, there needs to be a third way.