Why Home-Owners No Longer Truly Own Their Homes
Endlessly paying to maintain your living space is called renting
Mortgage. From Old French. Mort "dead", and gage "pledge".
The pledge till death.
If the mortgage is paid off, they can squeeze you with property taxes, the rates of which - like the mortgage itself - can increase.
Looking back at history, it wasn’t always this way. Property taxes were introduced gradually by states in the US. Even by 1796 still only 14 of the 15 then states taxed land.
Yet we assume all this is normal. How many people today complain about this? About having to forever pay to keep something you supposedly own under the threat of seizure? Does that sound like ownership to you?
You might even ask, what makes this different from feudalism? Feudalism comes from the Latin, feodum, meaning “fee”. Feudalism is Fee-ism.
This disguised form of feudalism is, in some respects, worse than feudalism. A peasant had to pay tax to a landlord and a tithe to the church. A home owner today may very well have to pay a mortgage (to the real land lord), property taxes (essentially a protection fee), a Home Owners Association membership fee (which can also boss you around and tell you what you can and can’t do with “your” home), and various forms of insurance plan fees. Can’t get your home “up to code”? Guess what, there are fees for that, too.
Yet we think we are “progressing”. Certainly the fees are progressing.
Indeed we still have the term “landlord” from feudalism today.
Benjamin R. Tucker wrote of landlords:
Rent is the tribute paid by the non-owning user of land to the non-using owner of land.
Robert Anton Wilson said:
Like most forms of insanity, rent is not recognized as schizo because it is so commonplace. Only the man or woman who invents an original idea – such as demanding tribute from those who breathe, on the basis of a claim that he or she “owns” the air – would be diagnosed correctly as a megalomaniac. The landlord is, like the banker, a man whose delusion has been institutionalized and people really believe he owns what he claims to own.
More and more Americans are losing their homes with many more on the brink of losing them. Instead of internalizing these as personal failures, it’s time to recognize this as the result of the system, doing what it is designed to do, serving those whom it is designed to serve. Americans are being kicked to the curb or packed into boxes like cattle. There’s a reason for the tiny-home trend. A reason for the rise in micro-apartments. A reason for an increase in shared living spaces.
Like Jacob, the supplanter, of the Biblical tale, what is stolen through cunning is legitimized. Woody Guthrie sings of this old wisdom, too, in his song Pretty Boy Floyd.
Yes, as through this world I've wandered
I've seen lots of funny men
Some will rob you with a six-gun
And some with a fountain pen
And as through your life you travel
Yes, as through your life you roam
You won't never see an outlaw
Drive a family from their home