Our General Election and The American Dream
Will the election of our next POTUS determine whether millions of middle and lower income citizens realize the ‘American dream’ of affordable homeownership? Only time will tell.
“What does a democracy depend on? A democracy depends on the individual voter making an intelligent and rational choice for what he regards as his enlightened self-interests, in any given circumstance.” ~ Aldous Huxley, early 20th-century writer/philosopher
By this time next week, tens of millions of hard-working Americans will have thankfully cast their ballot for either Clinton or Trump. Surviving one of the most improbable and contentious presidential election in American history.
No more e-mail controversies, sex-related scandals, Wiki-leaks, or lies. No more outrageous pronouncements, character assassinations, polls, pundits, electoral maps, conspiracies, flip flops, or pay-for-play shenanigans. No more tax evasion, media bias, F.B.I. investigations, chants of “lock her up” or October surprises. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, by next Wednesday morning … our fate will be sealed.
Our General Election
The contenders, Clinton and Trump, are equally flawed and disliked by the electorate. Neither candidate is trusted, and both have checkered histories and are loathed by some members of their own political parties. With a deep sigh and much hesitation, many Americans are choosing to vote for the candidate they dislike the least. Whether anyone likes it or not, either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will most assuredly become the 45th president of our historic republic.
Perhaps we should take the advice of Aldous Huxley and ignore all the campaign rhetoric and hyperbole and cast a vote for the candidate that best represents “our enlightened self-interest.” For millions of middle and lower income citizens, affordable homeownership is still the American dream, not to be confused with affordable housing (rentals).
Studies have determined the number one concern of voters is the economy, with the lack of “affordable housing” being in the forefront of that concern. Seldom has any candidate, national or locally, addressed the crisis of homeownership affordability in America. When politicians discuss remedies for the affordable housing crisis, they are usually promising more high density subsidized rental units in the inner cities – “not that there is anything wrong with that,” as Seinfeld would say.
The American Dream
The uniquely American dream of affordable homeownership is slowly slipping away for millions of hardworking middle and lower income citizens, primarily a result of our government’s inactions and unwillingness to admit that homeownership is an essential component of the American dream.
Perhaps those millions of citizens who still want desperately to realize homeownership should know how Clinton and Trump view America’s homeownership crises. When addressing the housing crisis across this great country, there are two words that address the problem which has never been uttered by either candidate in this campaign, “manufactured homes.”
Today’s modern manufactured home is the only non-subsidized form of quality homeownership that could offer millions of hardworking families an opportunity to experience the American dream of owning their own home.
So, why aren’t more citizens purchasing America’s only affordable housing? Even though 1000’s of families purchase new manufactured homes monthly, there are more middle and lower income citizens that are victims of discriminatory government policies. Limited by overly burdensome regulations and legislation that blatantly discriminates against prefabricated housing, by withholding the necessary financing opportunities for manufactured home ownership, the feds have relegated thousands of would-be homeowners to the housing abyss.
In briefly drilling down on the Trump / Clinton references, as limited as they are in relation to affordable home ownership, and in particular, the onerous Dodd/Frank financial reform legislation:
Hillary Clinton, a professional politician, has remained ambivalent towards Dodd/Frank. As she famously told a Goldman Sachs gathering, after the financial collapse, there was “a need to do something because, for political reasons … you can’t sit idly by and do nothing.”
According to CNN and WikiLeaks, In her infamous Goldman Sachs speech, for which she received $675,000, HRC ( Hillary Rodham Clinton) repeated again that her support for Dodd/Frank was only for “political reasons.”
During her 2016 run for POTUS, Clinton has frequently campaigned against any changes to Dodd/Frank. Echoing on several occasions that she would not only retain the finance reform legislation … but would actively seek to “make it stronger than ever.”
“As president, I would not only veto any legislation that
would weaken financial reform, but I would also fight for
tough new rules, stronger enforcement and more
accountability that go well beyond Dodd/Frank.”
On the plus side for HRC, there’s a study by the progressive “think tank” Center of American Progress (CAP) that endorses a secondary financing market for manufactured homes sited in rural areas. The CAP chairman is also the manager of the Clinton presidential campaign, John Podesta. Despite that, there is every reason to believe that Clinton as POTUS would indeed maintain her newfound support of Dodd/Frank. Particularly in light of her close association with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Dodd/Frank’s biggest advocate. And more importantly, her total commitment to continue all policies and philosophies of President Barack Obama – particularly protective of two of his signature accomplishments; ObamaCare and Dodd/Frank.
Donald Trump, as a new politician, has yet to master the subtle nuances of delivering an effective speech that would be politically expedient. While speaking “from the hip” can be refreshing for some, it’s often appalling to others. To his credit, Trump has advocated his desire to address the nation’s “homeownership crisis,” pointing out on many occasions that he will address this “disaster” if elected president, albeit with few details.
American homeownership rate in Q2 2016 was 62.9% – lowest rate in 51yrs. WE will bring back the ‘American Dream!’ pic.twitter.com/yI4Q8FHRjp
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2016
Regarding Dodd/Frank, Trump has repeatedly said he would move to scale back or scrap the 2010 law:
“I think, absolutely, Dodd/Frank has to be either eliminated or
changed greatly.” ~ May 5, 2016 CNN interview.
“We have to get rid of Dodd/Frank. The banks aren’t loaning
money to people that need it … The regulators are running
the banks.” ~ Oct.20, 2016 Fox News
Based upon the singular issue, “affordable home access,” it would appear that Donald Trump would be the lukewarm choice for many hardworking Americans. Particularly if Trump wins the White House and Republicans hold onto majorities in the House and Senate.