Where Is the Housing Market? Could a Tax Fix It?
|May 30, 2012||Posted by Jeffery J. Smith under News|
Where Is the Housing Market? Could a Tax Fix It?
Hunger Games Village, District 12, Up For Sale
What pushes up and pulls down land values? And who should benefit? We trim, blend, and append three 2012 articles from: (1) BBC, May 22, on Hunger Games by D. Crookes; (2) Christian Science Monitor, May 29, on home prices by M. Trumbull; and (3) Vermont Press Bureau, February 22, on resources by T. Moats.
by Del Crookes, by Mark Trumbull, and by Thatcher Moats
- Hunger Games Village, District 12, For Sale
T he American village used to portray District 12 in the film version of The Hunger Games is going up for sale.
The run-down, coal-mining area is an abandoned textile mill from the 1920s called Henry River Mill Village in North Carolina.
The Profiles in History auction house says it will be sold for at least $1.2 million (£759,000) in July.
The 72 acres of land includes 22 buildings, woodlands, hills and a pond.
It is being sold by its owner, 83-year-old Wade Shepherd, who said he had become overwhelmed when the property turned into a hot spot for Hunger Games fans coming to see the Everdeens’ shanty home and the Mellark family bakery.
The Hunger Games is based on the first book of a science-fiction trilogy by Suzanne Collins.
The film, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, broke box office records after its release in March.
JJS: While one person will make a fortune off selling that land, should he? He didnt make the land. Nor did he make it valuable. What if everybody in that region got a share of the value of that land, and that owner got a share of the value of all the land in that region. Would that be fairer? It sure would be less dog-eat-dog and detach land speculation from the booms and busts of the business cycle. And itd give everyone a reason to cheer rising home (actually, home site) values, not just the seller, since everyone would benefit equally.
- Home Prices Hit Post-Boom Lows
A major index of US home prices fell to new post-boom lows during in the first quarter.
The S&P Case-Shiller index of home prices nationwide edged down to a level of 123.33 in the first quarter of this year, down 35 percent from its 2006 peak. Prior to the housing boom, in January 2000, this index stood at 100.
On the other hand, compared with the month before, of the 20 major cities in Case-Shiller index, 12 saw average prices rise in March. Only seven of the cities saw price declines for the month, while one was flat.
Further, the price swings during the past year have been modest in most of the cities. Seven cities posted price gains during the past year.
Another home price index, put out by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), also shows home prices stabilizing.
JJS: While the press cheers spendier land, that only benefits sellers and lenders; it hurts buyers and the rest of the economy dependent upon an active housing market. The way to keep land affordable and to keep land use efficient is for the public to recover the socially-generated value of land and resources. Its an idea one candidate has the gumption to suggest.
- Senate Candidate Worries VT Becoming an Indian Reservation
A 48-year-old Ripton resident told the Vermont Press Bureau on Tuesday hes running for the Vermont Senate this year in Addison County and will be specifically targeting Sen. Claire Ayers seat.
Robert Wagner, who said hes a business consultant for the IT company Oracle, hasnt filed his paperwork yet, but has a campaign website up at www.senatorwagner.com. The site gives a glimpse at the Independent candidates libertarian views and is worth checking out.
Wagner said he has never held elected office but was inspired to run by Vermonts financial mess and concerns the state is becoming an Indian reservation.
I have children here and I want it to continue to be a good place for them to live, but I see it turning into an Indian reservation, said Wagner. Indian people should be rich, but theyre living on handouts. The same holds true for Vermont governance in that were given federal handouts in place of opportunities.
If the state taxed its natural resources, said Wagner, it could avoid reliance on the federal government.
Sen. Ayer has entered his crosshairs because of a couple positions she has taken, said Wagner, including her support for a measure pending in the Senate that would pressure more parents to immunize their kids.
Im specifically opposing Claire Ayer, said Wagner. She has used her position on the Health and Welfare Committee to go after parents who arent vaccinating their children on behalf of big pharma while refusing to go after Entergy for fines and damages for Entergys pollution of our groundwater.
Ayer said Wagner ran against her in the last election cycle.
JJS: While the candidate espouses some views not everyone would agree with, at least he does espouse public recovery of the socially-generated value of natural resources.
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