FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Why the Republicans are in Deep Trouble

by ALAN FARAGO

Judging from the violence of Rudy Guiliani’s collapse as a presidential candidate, Republicans are in big trouble. The American voter, who whistled to work while the foundation of the national economy eroded, is awake.

Rudy Giuliani bet the farm on the national security card. He was right about the card, but wrong about the face.

Voters are afraid. The greatest threat to our national security is the state of our economy. And it is the economy–in terms of impacts to people–that will drive voters’ decisions on the next president of the United States. The Republicans are the party in trouble.

It took Florida voters most of 2007 to realize the state had been hit by an economic hurricane wrecking property values in a way that hasn’t occurred since the hurricanes of the 1920’s.

It was a story that the mainstream media didn’t want to report and, finally, couldn’t avoid: the statistics are just too revealing.

The government fudges numbers on inflation any number of ways. But there is no escape on the value of a home: it is only worth what a buyer will pay.

In December 2007, there were 3557 homes for sale in Miami-Dade County–Florida’s most populous and politically influential–with listing prices over $1 million dollars (statistics based on numbers provided by the South Florida Realtors Association).

Compared to a year earlier, pending home sales are down 33%. Homes sold are down 59%. A year ago December, based on the number of homes valued over $1 million, there was 34.7 months of inventory.

By December 2007, the inventory based on homes sold shot up to 87 months, or, more than 7 years.

There are a few obvious conclusions to draw from these numbers, and some that need teasing out.

First of all, Miami housing markets are frozen unless sellers are willing to sharply discount their price. 40% discount from listing price is the number going around.

Of the 3557 homeowners, some are foreigners whose purchases are based in Euros or petrodollars, and some are US taxpayers wealthy enough to ride out the storm. In any case, in Florida homeowners who can afford homes over $1 million are mostly Republican.

A high percentage cannot ride out the storm indefinitely–which is what 7 years of inventory represents. Some families are going to be ruined, and some will not be able to recover the loss of net worth represented by the collapsed value of their homes.

It is not clear that the Democratic Congress has grasped the severity of economic distress, represented in this snapshot of the wealthiest segment of Miami-Dade county. The government cannot bail out wealthy homeowners who made or were persuading to make bad choices on housing investments.

The housing market bubble was so excessive, concealed such great abuses of fiduciary responsibility–from the origination of securitized debt, to the issuance of individual mortgages, to the regulatory framework from the highest level to the lowest order of zoning council–that legislative, fiscal and monetary fixes cannot revive the housing markets until the excesses are fully wrung out.

Why single out the pain of the wealthiest homeowners? They are mostly Republican–and by next November, if the Democratic candidate for president can clearly state the case, they will have to agree that their own party, the party of fiscal conservatism, lost the mandate to the White House.

Voters will hold Republicans responsible. The race for president is the Democrat’s to lose.

ALAN FARAGO of Coral Gables, who writes about the environment and the politics of South Florida, can be reached at alanfarago@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Alan Farago is president of Friends of the Everglades and can be reached at afarago@bellsouth.net

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
June 23, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Democrats in the Dead Zone
Gary Leupp
Trump, Qatar and the Danger of Total Confusion
Andrew Levine
The “Democracies” We Deserve
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
The FBI’s “Operation Backfire” and the Case of Briana Waters
Rob Urie
Cannibal Corpse
Joseph G. Ramsey
Savage Calculations: On the Exoneration of Philando Castille’s Killer
John Wight
Trump’s Attack on Cuba
Dave Lindorff
We Need a Mass Movement to Demand Radical Progressive Change
Brian Cloughley
Moving Closer to Doom
David Rosen
The Sex Offender: the 21st Century Witch
John Feffer
All Signs Point to Trump’s Coming War With Iran
Jennifer L. Lieberman
What’s Really New About the Gig Economy?
Pete Dolack
Analyzing the Failures of Syriza
Vijay Prashad
The Russian Nexus
Mike Whitney
Putin Tries to Avoid a Wider War With the US
Gregory Barrett
“Realpolitik” in Berlin: Merkel Fawns Over Kissinger
Louis Yako
The Road to Understanding Syria Goes Through Iraq
Graham Peebles
Grenfell Tower: A Disaster Waiting to Happen
Ezra Rosser
The Poverty State of Mind and the State’s Obligations to the Poor
Ron Jacobs
Andrew Jackson and the American Psyche
Pepe Escobar
Fear and Loathing on the Afghan Silk Road
Andre Vltchek
Why I Reject Western Courts and Justice
Lawrence Davidson
On Hidden Cultural Corruptors
Christopher Brauchli
The Routinization of Mass Shootings in America
Missy Comley Beattie
The Poor Need Not Apply
Martin Billheimer
White Man’s Country and the Iron Room
Joseph Natoli
What to Wonder Now
Tom Clifford
Hong Kong: the Chinese Meant Business
Thomas Knapp
The Castile Doctrine: Cops Without Consequences
Nyla Ali Khan
Borders Versus Memory
Binoy Kampmark
Death on the Road: Memory in Tim Winton’s Shrine
Tony McKenna
The Oily Politics of Unity: Owen Smith as Northern Ireland Shadow Secretary
Nizar Visram
If North Korea Didn’t Exist US Would Create It
John Carroll Md
At St. Catherine’s Hospital, Cite Soleil, Haiti
Kenneth Surin
Brief Impressions of the Singaporean Conjucture
Paul C. Bermanzohn
Trump: the Birth of the Hero
Jill Richardson
Trump on Cuba: If Obama Did It, It’s Bad
Olivia Alperstein
Our President’s Word Wars
REZA FIYOUZAT
Useless Idiots or Useful Collaborators?
Clark T. Scott
Parallel in Significance
Louis Proyect
Hitler and the Lone Wolf Assassin
Julian Vigo
Theresa May Can’t Win for Losing
Richard Klin
Prog Rock: Pomp and Circumstance
Charles R. Larson
Review: Malin Persson Giolito’s “Quicksand”
David Yearsley
RIP: Pomp and Circumstance
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail