Stealth Nationalization

A friend today posted this article, ostensibly about the ripple effects of the Coronavirus response in the US. The gist of the article was a need for the government to step in and save people who have not paid rent from being evicted. Posted in a magazine for teenagers, it describes housing as a human right, decries the “oppression” of landlords, and ends with the following credos

“We need a housing movement based on a rejection of the construct that any one person should own this earth’s land.”

-Karl Marx, probably.

This raises two very large Red Flags (pun intended).

  1. The overt use of marxist propaganda in a publication for teenagers. Then again, they’ve been at this game for decades, why shouldn’t they be comfortable being open about it now?
  2. A huge precedent has been set- real estate as the property of its owner has been obliterated. It has been stealth-nationalized. Where instead of outright seizing it, the state makes the owners still bear all the burdens of ownership (including taxation) but redistributes the benefit/profit to others.

    To be clear, the precedent wasn’t set by the article. It was set by the royal decrees executive orders of governors around the nation banning evictions during the lockdown. Of course we ought to be concerned for the plight of someone prevented by the government from working, now unable to pay rent as a result. But when the same government tied the hands of those who own properties, they essentially robbed them of their assets. Real estate as an investment was destroyed overnight. The savings, planning and hard work of real people was vaporized. To own rental properties is now a pure liability without any reasonable guarantee of profit.

    Some reading this will rejoice or at least feel a smug satisfaction at this blow to the “rich”, but while you revel in your envious shadenfreud, know that if it can happen to them, it can happen to you. The snowball has begun rolling with terrifying speed; who will it find in its path next?

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