Thursday, February 01, 2018

NOMADISM AND THE COST OF HOUSING---GUEST EDITORIAL





A small portion of the estimated 2000 who attended the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in Quartzsite this January.   Many of our speakers celebrated the vagabond spirit and call of the wild that urged us to take to the
open road.  Some of my readers wrote to add :

kaBLOOnie boonster said...

Let's not get carried away with romantic escapism: 'freedom of the open road' and all that. The real explanation for the growth of 'nomadism' is that normal housing has become over-inflated. The government has made it a policy for decades to turn housing into a financial investment bubble.

I would consider it progress to see the cost of housing go DOWN, not up. Then we could move the financial markets over to Bitcoin and tulip bulbs.
(if you don't know what he's referencing--click here for a quick education)
Anonymous said...
Boonster is spot on. Fully 80% of the working population can no longer survive without some form of government assistance or charity, that is, unless they opt out of the rat-slugging rent seekers and go RVing.

There is nothing new about the lifestyle, no matter what the propheteers are saying. Gypsies have been doing it for centuries. Nomads, thousands of years. Hobos, since railroads began. Mobile-homers, since trailer parks. Romanticizing the lifestyle using a camera and a YouTube channel doesn't make it new, any more than the Gutenberg Press made gypsies new.

Bottom line, cheap RVing is attractive only because it is a viable alternative to paying rent or mortgage payments. Silicon Valley geeks with hundred-thousand-dollar paychecks live in RVs because they do not want to bunk up, like migrant workers, ten in a motel room, but want to save money to one day have real freedom and satisfy some wanderlust.

A lot of the window dressing that bloggers put on RVing, which by no means at all is an easy lifestyle, is compensation for the difficulty of surviving in a world gone mad with greed. The human race is the only ransom species on Earth. Natural resources are owned & monopolized by one person, group or organization, then made available to anyone else for a ransom. The practice has become so normalized throughout history, no one gives thought to the realty that such a system is a simple variation of slavery.

And RVers want no part of it!

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I think Kabloonie and Anonymous are correct: The sheer cost of housing is a major factor in the increase of nomadism.  Kabloonie's (Boonster's) mention of tulip bulbs is a helpful reminder that from time to time whole societies will go bonkers over one fad or another, sometimes bankrupting whole nations.
Housing is indeed an economic bubble that, hopefully, is beginning to burst. The average American is paying 47% of their take home pay for a roof over their head---a staggering disproportion of values.
Thoreau said in Walden that hardly a man in Concord (Massachusetts) owns his home---that Indians living in Teepees were much smarter---took a month to build--were as good as their neighbors--would serve for a lifetime and were movable.  Kudos to the million or so of us who have opted out of the insanity.