[Marxism] (no subject)

paul bunyan cutemdown2003 at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 16 14:17:05 MDT 2005

dwalters at marxists.org wrote: 

>About half the US working class owns their own homes...the other half either is
>trying to get into home ownershp or wishes they did. How does this effect class
>consiousness? Does it unite or divide working class?

In the late 60's early 70's when the overall cost of living was about 20% of current prices, it was easy to find a house in the $14,000-16,000 range, ($70,000-$80,000at today's prices), with the exception of  places such as the New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, metropolitan areas. Anyone with a $5,000-6,000 annual income, which is what most factory, warehouse and transportation type jobs paid, could qualify as a buyer. These same houses today, are priced at $120,000-200,000, double the inflation rate. Most workers to qualify, would need an income of at least $40,000 per year. For most American workers, this requires a two income household.

 While workers buying houses 30 years ago could do so, with a single income, most working class people buying houses today, do so with a two income household. Others do so, buy selling houses that they bought years ago, for inflated prices. While 30 years ago, the rule of thumb was housing costs should be 25% of gross income, today that figure is 30%. Why the change? If the "25% rule" was still in effect the homeless in this country, would number in the tens of millions instead of in the hundreds of thousands. 

Three items have exceeded the cost of inflation in the last 30 years: housing, healthcare, and education costs. One item has increased less than the inflation rate-wages and benefits. I don't believe that owning ones on house is necessary a conservatizing influence, unless fear of foreclosure is a conservatizing influence.  



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