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

Weekend Edition
February 23, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Richard D. Wolff
Capitalism as Obstacle to Equality and Democracy: the US Story
Paul Street
Where’s the Beef Stroganoff? Eight Sacrilegious Reflections on Russiagate
Jeffrey St. Clair
They Came, They Saw, They Tweeted
Andrew Levine
Their Meddlers and Ours
Charles Pierson
Nuclear Nonproliferation, American Style
Joseph Essertier
Why Japan’s Ultranationalists Hate the Olympic Truce
W. T. Whitney
US and Allies Look to Military Intervention in Venezuela
John Laforge
Maybe All Threats of Mass Destruction are “Mentally Deranged”
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: an American Reckoning
David Rosen
For Some Reason, Being White Still Matters
Robert Fantina
Nikki Haley: the U.S. Embarrassment at the United Nations
Joyce Nelson
Why Mueller’s Indictments Are Hugely Important
Joshua Frank
Pearl Jam, Will You Help Stop Sen. Tester From Destroying Montana’s Public Lands?
Dana E. Abizaid
The Attack on Historical Perspective
Conn Hallinan
Immigration and the Italian Elections
George Ochenski
The Great Danger of Anthropocentricity
Pete Dolack
China Can’t Save Capitalism from Environmental Destruction
Joseph Natoli
Broken Lives
Manuel García, Jr.
Why Did Russia Vote For Trump?
Geoff Dutton
One Regime to Rule Them All
Torkil Lauesen – Gabriel Kuhn
Radical Theory and Academia: a Thorny Relationship
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: The Work of Persuasion
Thomas Klikauer
Umberto Eco and Germany’s New Fascism
George Burchett
La Folie Des Grandeurs
Howard Lisnoff
Minister of War
Eileen Appelbaum
Why Trump’s Plan Won’t Solve the Problems of America’s Crumbling Infrastructure
Ramzy Baroud
More Than a Fight over Couscous: Why the Palestinian Narrative Must Be Embraced
Jill Richardson
Mass Shootings Shouldn’t Be the Only Time We Talk About Mental Illness
Jessicah Pierre
Racism is Killing African American Mothers
Steve Horn
Wyoming Now Third State to Propose ALEC Bill Cracking Down on Pipeline Protests
David Griscom
When ‘Fake News’ is Good For Business
Barton Kunstler
Brainwashed Nation
Griffin Bird
I’m an Eagle Scout and I Don’t Want Pipelines in My Wilderness
Edward Curtin
The Coming Wars to End All Wars
Missy Comley Beattie
Message To New Activists
Jonah Raskin
Literary Hubbub in Sonoma: Novel about Mrs. Jack London Roils the Faithful
Binoy Kampmark
Frontiersman of the Internet: John Perry Barlow
Chelli Stanley
The Mirrors of Palestine
James McEnteer
How Brexit Won World War Two
Ralph Nader
Absorbing the Irresistible Consumer Reports Magazine
Cesar Chelala
A Word I Shouldn’t Use
Louis Proyect
Marx at the Movies
Osha Neumann
A White Guy Watches “The Black Panther”
Stephen Cooper
Rebel Talk with Nattali Rize: the Interview
David Yearsley
Market Music
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail