Planet Dumbassnotion

The City of Riverside, California today announced a new plan, in light of the high volume of foreclosed homes, that it was going to start buying foreclosed home, fix them up, and resell them to ‘the needy’. Isn’t that nice? The city government in that lovely southern California town is going to do something to ‘make a difference’. Using tax payers dollars, they are going to enter the house-flipping industry in the midst of possibly the most disastrous housing market on record.

Uh…say what??

Okay. Here again I find myself having awakened on the parallel-universe planet of Dumbassnotion – a delightful world where reason and logic are turned upside-down and everything you know is completely wrong.

But let’s play this one out. In order for this to happen, Riverside city government must hire someone to find the foreclosed houses and conduct the real estate deal. Escrow documents, realtor fees, etc, etc. A lot of stuff has to happen for the city to take possession of the distressed properties. Then, some sort of contractor must be hired to assess the property and determine how to fix it up and present it for sale. Then the contractor must hire sub-contractors to come in and do the actual fix-’em-up work. Painters, dry-wallers, carpenters, electricians, carpet cleaners, plumbers, landscapers, etc. Then, the realtor has to find the buyers, in this case ‘the needy’. People who ‘need’ a home, but can’t afford to buy one on their own. Never mind how one actually qualifies as ‘needy’, or whether if someone who is simply ‘wanty’ makes the cut. (I never could figure the distinction between ‘needy’ and ‘wanty’. Maybe it should be a question for the Miss U.S.A. Pageant.) Let’s just assume that one has to offer proof that they need a home and are deficiently qualified to get the home that they are completely unqualified to buy.

Hmmm…this sounds vaguely familiar. Haven’t we seen this sort of thing just recently? I’m thinking Freddie Mac…Fannie Mae…Chris Dodd…Barney Frank…Pelosi-Reid Disease…. And could any of this plan in Riverside possibly have anything to do with the $25 Billion of taxpayer dollars Diane Feinstein gave to the FDIC…days before she awarded that very lucrative contract to her husband’s firm, C.B. Richard Ellis to dispose of foreclosed homes?

I’m probably just being cynical. And I forgot – I’m on the alien planet of Dumbassnotion! You see — on the planet of Dumbassnotion, the cities use taxpayers’ dollars to take houses that people couldn’t afford to pay for, fix them up, and then sell them to people who can’t afford to pay for them. Oh yeah, you betcha. On the planet of Dumbassnotion, this is hope and change you can believe in.

Now understand… I have no problem with ‘the needy’. God bless ’em, I pray they can pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, find work, support their families …and find a way to stop being ‘needy’. Needy is not admirable, virtuous, or even fun. I know, I was ‘needy’ for a few years, I looked for work, got frustrated, felt sorry for myself, lit up a spleef, got depressed, and gave up. Then I realized I was dancing with the wrong monkeys, hanging with the wrong crowd, listening to the wrong influences. I changed my lifestyle, started thinking better of myself and reading books that encouraged me to think big, exercise my creativity and dare to believe that I can accomplish something in this life. It’s tough work being positive when faced with a mountain of negative situations. Everyone’s story is different; I wrote a book about mine: but it’s within that gut-numbing crucible of hardship and adversity that your character is forged.

Plus…who wants to be ‘needy’? In my dating years I remember the first moment I sensed that the girl I was with was ‘needy’. Flashing red lights went off behind my eyes and a loud claxon would sound inside my skull – WARNING! CLASS-FIVE CLINGER! And my back-pedal would turn to a dead-run sprint for my life.

Hey, life is tough. Full of ups and downs. Family, church, community, friends… they’re there to support and console. But more importantly, you…Mr. or Ms. Needy…you can do it! Yes you can! The object of the game is to work hard, (it ain’t easy, nobody is saying it’s easy); do something creative, don’t give up, you can contribute to society — work your butt off — but get so that you are no longer ‘needy’.

There, enough pep talk. Get your butts in gear and get on with it. Stop expecting everyone to feel sorry for you and do things for you. Do things for yourself!

But I do have compassion. I do have sympathy. I have sympathy for those poor taxpaying bastards in the city of Riverside, California, who are called upon not only to provide for their own families in this bad economic climate; now they must also pony up and buy houses for a bunch of welfare cases. Hope they at least send you a Christmas card.

I live in Villaraigosa’s Los Angeles. I feel your pain.

“But think of the benefits, Gary! All those people the program will employ. And we’ll get those distressed homes off the market and stabilize the economy.”

Reality check: The market will stabilize — if the government leaves it alone for ten minutes! Why are our elected officials so obsessed with doing stuff!? Stop doing things, the economy will recover, if you’d just stop doing things to it!!

“Ahh…but it’s their job,” you say, “They were elected to serve the people.” Yes, but if history has taught us anything, it’s that a government governs best that governs least. Governments in business don’t turn profits, they suffer losses. A business that suffers losses does not expand, it contracts, tightens up, consolidates, lays off employees. A government does just the opposite. The more they lose, the more they expand, hire employees, boost benefits, and broaden their activity. It defies the physics of business…so they simply raise taxes. (And they will continue to do so until the participants are no longer willing to play the game. Read, tax revolution.)

On the planet of Dumbassnotion the purpose of government is to take care of the people. Not to protect them so that they can take care of themselves. The government does everything for them on the planet of Dumbassnotion. Because it’s a new day, a new dawning. They don’t have to think for themselves, they only have to Believe. They don’t have to work, they only have to Hope. Needy or not needy, it doesn’t matter — It’s Change we need, dontcha know.

Whatever happened to the anachronistic notion of working hard and saving for what you want before you actually get it? Whatever happened to personal responsibility and pride? Whatever happened to teaching our children that if you want something in life you must work for it because nobody is going to hand it to you; and if you want to be someone in life you have to respect other people and their rights to their own property; and you must work hard to fulfill your own dreams? We live in a country with the highest standard of living, the most freedom, liberty, and the greatest array of opportunity for upward mobility in the world. And still we bitch and moan that life’s not fair? That our government needs to do something, needs to take care of us? Have we turned into a nation of pussies?

As a 150-yr-old Vulcan friend of mine would say… “That’s not logical.”

I feel like a dinosaur, scheduled for extinction. Oh but, I forgot…things are different back home on Planet Earth.

Aren’t they?


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