Death by a Thousand Cuts
(c) 2003, Mike Barkley

Low income? Can't find a place to live? This is why.

There used to be a huge industry in this country dedicated to providing you cheap housing. You and the politicians who work for you have systematically destroyed it. Congratulations! You're living in your car because you succeeded so well! Yet, you still blame the people you ran out of business. How silly you are.

And you think it's bad now? It's just begun. In the coming years you are going to see an avalanche of homelessness as commercial low income housing stock continues to disappear without replacement.

Operating rental housing is not for the timid. It's a quick way to meet the worst in human behavior. Most people get out of it fairly early, and of those who remain, they either get hard or go broke. Still, until 1986 it didn't matter because there was always someone new to step into the market. Until 1986, sufficient commercial low-income rental housing was assured because sufficient housing for everyone was assured. After 1986, all the low-income patch programs were mere spitting in the wind because no government program conceived could begin to make up for the loss of commercial viability of the industry.

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Felonies against person and property have two remedies, one civil by the victim in the courts and the other criminal on behalf of the state. The unlawful detention of real property, an embezzlement under California law as it is written, is the only major felony which is never prosecuted (at least in California) and it's also the only one not prosecuted because the government asserts that the civil remedy is adequate, a position victims know to be an unsupportable fiction. When representatives of the government assert such embezzlement is not a felony, they are parroting the ignorance they were taught or they are lying to protect themselves against litigation. The failure to treat landlords equally with the people who steal from them should be actionable under Federal civil rights statutes.
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--Mike Barkley, 161 N. Sheridan Ave. #1, Manteca, CA 95336 (H) 209/823-4817
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