11 June 2007

social justice round up

Unfair Lending: The Effect of Race and Ethnicity on the Price of Subprime Mortgages Fucking awesome. Irresponsible (to say the least) lenders are doing racial profiling. Can you say, redlining? hey, isn't that illegal? (Never mind that it still happens.)

'Subprime' Aftermath:
Losing the Family Home
Mortgages Bolstered
Detroit's Middle Class --
Until Money Ran Out
What happens when, oh, say, something unexpected (like life) occurs to upset the payment schedule on a subprime loan.

Subprime Lending is a Drain on Home Ownership Damn straight it is.

Banks or bloodsuckers? If you read the other articles above, you know where this one is going to come out. I love my little local bank (mostly becuase they don't bankrupt me with overdraft fees) but it's a total rarity and probably won't last forever.

I'm mad about this because we are getting gentrified out - our landlady is selling our house for condo conversions. FUCK. I'm just hoping that she's way overpriced and the somerville market won't sustain it. There seem to be a lot of foreclosures in process right now in somerville (according to the Google maps applet, anyway). Jesus. It's ironical (hee), though, that while Dave and I are totally the face of gentrification - white kids with heavy-framed dark glasses - I even own an iPod - we're actually the victims (no, we're not contributing to the problem by paying rent over the odds. Ha fucking ha, like I've got the money to do that.) No, we don't buy coffee at starbucks. No, we try not to shop at big box stores, instead spending the vast majority of our money locally - apart from my car payments and insurance (which are held by a small previously-local-to-me-non-chain bank)- Yes, we'd really really really like to buy but c'mon, the median - not average, median - price for a house in our area is 400K. Yes, that's a condo. You're probably lucky if it's more than 1200 sq feet - price per sq foot is between $300 and $400. Right now median housing prices in Boston exceed the median household income by 5.4 times ... while the rule of thumb for affordable housing is more like 3 - 3.5 times the yearly household income. That is fucked up, people. And here's the original study, which looks at the whole nation.)

Some dude (okay, some dude named Edward Glaeser) has an idea: build more affordable housing!. Sounds good to me, although he says that regulatory issues in MA make building a tougher prospect than elsewhere - which, given the loathsome corruption of the Big Dig, I have no trouble believing (wanna build? better take out an extra loan for all those bribes you'll need to make), although I'd like to see some figures that tell me where and how regulation is stuffing things up. Still, it's a good idea. Because you know why I want to buy a house? because I'm ready to fucking settle down! I'd like to buy so I know my rent won't increase and my landlady won't decide the flip the place she inherited for a shitload of cash. I'd like to buy so I can decorate a house myself, and not have to leave in two years (unless we decide to). I'd like to buy so I can grow tomatoes in my backyard ... or at least make a big old container garden on a porch or something and, jesus, NOT HAVE TO MOVE AGAIN unless I want to. Hear that, people? I hate moving. I moved forty times (no, really) in my twenties (forty-one is looming, as soon as the landlady sells the place), and three of those moves were across continents. I'm good at moving and it doesn't scare me but I fucking hate it. I'd love to have the luxury of acquiring books and then, novelty, KEEPING them because no one will force me out of my house. (Can you tell I take this personally? I fucking well do.)

Okay, rant over, round-up continues.

Here's a great analysis from an online friend of mine The classic American Dream is about how anyone can become rich in the US through hard work and endurance, no matter how humble a background they come from...However, for each such tale, there are literately hundred of thousands of untold stories about those who didn't make it. Those that grew up in poverty, and stayed in poverty. Or those that sank into poverty either through bad decisions, or sheer ill luck.

Just for kicks - being mostly chronically late myself:

For the Chronically Late, It’s Not a Power Trip
(behind the wall now, it's still free but requires registration.) My first husband really was crazily, passive-aggressively late. I'm just a little too optimistic. I think I'm more in the overly optimistic wants-to-do-too-much category.

So some dude in Arizona hit a woman so hard he killed her fetus and, two days later, her (via brain damage.) How did his sentencing go down? "Gurrola was sentenced to 16 years in the death of Monica Sanchez and 20 years for the killing of her fetus." WTF? how come killing the fetus garnered more time than killing the woman? Check out punkassblog's pie chart for a sublimely sarcastic pie chart.


Jesse Wiedinmyer said...

I don't have much to say about sub-prime lending. Though I can say that sub-prime borrowing can be pretty shitty.

The thousands that don't make it have a term in economics. "Survivorship Bias". As a company fails, it's taken off the DOW or Nasdaq and replaced with another company. You could argue that the same is done with people. But this gives us the illusion of constant progress.

And quite a few of the chronically late people I know have explicitly stated that it is about power for them.

Cara deBeer said...

I don't think I said ALL chronically late people aren't passive-aggressive (and in fact I cited my ex as someone who was chronically late on purpose) - I just said some of 'em, me included, weren't so much doing a power play as over-optimistic/unrealistic. Also I should get one of my watches fixed, because watchlessness is helping not at all.

Kaethe said...

Wow. You think he'd get more for killing Sanchez than for killing the embryo, since he also deprived a two-year-old of her mother.

>Sanchez had a daughter, Janelle, from her relationship with Gurrola and moved in with him, despite warnings from her mother, Maria Sanchez, because she was raised without a father and didn't want that for her child.

I'd love to see some justice in the next "social justice round up".

Jesse Wiedinmyer said...

“Justice? - you get justice in the next world, in this world, you have the law.” ~ William Gaddis