Capitalism, Socialism, and the Affordable Housing Market

One of the cornerstones of capitalist economic theory, as taught and practiced in the business, governmental, and academic sectors of the United States of America, is called the «efficient market hypothesis».

That hypothesis claims that a free market is an «efficient» market, meaning that it perfectly provides for the needs of consumers in a nation, at prices they can afford.

I disagree.

«Efficient market hypothesis» claims that markets are rational, meaning that they will make automatic adjustments in prices, to match supplies of (and demand for) particular commodities (whether they be food, clothing, housing, or gasoline).

However, one of the problems with the efficient market hypothesis, is that markets are not rational, because markets are made by human beings, not computers, and most human beings (from my observation) are not rational.

In fact, from what I’ve witnessed, I would claim that most human beings appear to be famously irrational.

So it would only stand to reason, that markets made by human beings (for things like food, clothing, gasoline, and housing) will not naturally fluctuate with the needs of consumers, but rather, will usually charge prices set as high as the sellers of those various commodities can get away with charging.

But what if thousands of people, in a place like a snow-covered environment, can’t afford to pay what the sellers of housing are demanding to be paid?

Should they merely sleep outside in the snow?

I don’t think so.

Yet many of them do.

Why?

I can’t say definitively, but while visiting the city of Boston, Massachusetts in the Spring of 2012, I had the opportunity to meet a fairly large number of the many, many thousands of homeless people who resided in that city then, and what I found was shocking:

There were what appeared to be, over ten thousand homeless people in that city then, contrasting sharply with the large number of «for rent» signs I saw on various houses and apartment buildings in the city, and it’s various suburbs.

I met former businessmen and women, many of whom had lost their jobs in the mass-company-firings of the recession of the 1990’s and 2000’s, (which apparently caused their companies to permanently downsize their jobs), in what resulted in tens of millions of Americans being put out of work (and in many cases, they and their families being evicted out of their homes).

While learning about the struggles of the homeless in the United States of America, the first thing I noticed is that the formal and informal network set up to help the homeless, in actuality accomplished very little to help in any real, tangible way when it came to housing people whose primary need was just that.

Instead, most of the organizations I contacted, and interacted with, seemed to offer everything but.

Food, clothing, toiletries, (and at a few of the better facilities, phone calls, and occasionally, showers), were often available, but real progress towards attaining permanent housing seemed to be continuously (and maddeningly) elusive, not just for myself, but for almost all of the hundreds of homeless people I met and spoke with.

That lack of the one crucial thing homeless people need the most, appeared to lead to a very high level of despair among many of the dozens of homeless people that I spoke with, and that despair appeared to often led many to engage in self-destructive behaviour, and even angry verbal outbursts.

More depressingly, that despair appeared to be intensified by the self-hatred many homeless people seemed to experience after such (usually-justified, yet often misdirected) outbursts, and many of the people I met seemed to be descending down into a deeper and deeper predicament.

Many began to resort to the habitual use of alcohol or drugs, in an apparent attempt to numb the feelings of resentment and self-hatred that seemed to engulf them.

Then, when those same suffering people went to seek housing, those incidents of self-medication with alcohol or drugs would be included in their «client profile», and many of them would be shunted off into a «bad client» category, and often be:

1) forced leave the homeless shelters,

2) forced to «meet with the police»,

3) forced to attend burdensome anti-«substance abuse» classes and meetings, (despite the fact that some of them had no place to sleep at night),

or…

4) forced to «leave the immediate vicinity» of the homeless shelter, and go…

where?

As a result, many of the hundreds of homeless people I met in Boston, Massachusetts, Manchester, New Hampshire, Miami, Florida, San Diego, California, and Los Angeles, California, seemed to find themselves having no choice but to live outside for many months, years (and some, even decades), at a time, sometimes even in the ice and snow.

I met a few men who had spent entire previous, New England winters outside, some in tents in the snow-blanketed woods, and some feebly attempting to sleep on top of heating exhaust vent grates, to escape the bitter (and sometimes deadly), below-freezing, winter night-time temperatures.

It appeared that every few nights in one of the major north-eastern United States cities, someone would die from sleeping outside in the bitter winter cold. In a rare effort to avoid such tragedies, police officers in progressive Cambridge, Massachusetts would drive around, all throughout the night just before, and during, major snow storms, on the lookout for people who had fallen asleep outside.

While exploring the back streets of Cambridge, Massachusetts in the middle of a few of those bitter cold nights, I occasionally saw people bundled up inside cardboard boxes, feebly (and perilously) attempting attempting to survive the night without freezing to death.

Even more shocking, was the fact that most of the major cities I visited (such as Boston, Massachusetts, Miami, Florida, San Diego, California, and Los Angeles, California), all appeared to have their main homeless shelters located in their downtowns, often within close walking distance (and sometimes in sight of) luxury, high-rise, residential condominium towers, many of which had dozens of empty apartments for rent.

So, despite what many of us may have been taught in college economics courses, the fact is, the free market for housing in the United States of America is not at all efficient. In fact, if you explore the intricacies of many major, urban, United States housing markets, you will often find that they are woefully inefficient.

To make matters worse, the extreme contrast between the levels of contentment of the well-heeled, housed urban professionals, and the barely-surviving homeless appeared to lead to levels of hostility that were, not only disheartening, but even dangerous.

As a result of the predictable frustration experienced by those two extremely alienated groups of «have-more-than-enoughs», and «don’t-have-anythings», conflicts would often erupt, with the housed scurrying away to hide inside, and the police sometimes arriving to accost and interrogate the homeless, who were usually intimidated back to «wherever they came from».

As a result, many of the homeless people I met seemed to be developing an increasing level of resentment towards the United States of America, and the wealthy (or those perceived to be).

After 5 months witnessing the social schisms, and other social unrest caused by homelessness and wealth inequality in Boston, Massachusetts, I boarded a bus for Manchester, New Hampshire, where I witnessed the exact same, corrosive social dynamic at work, actively undermining our national unity and sense of connectedness.

Being unable to find sales work in Manchester, New Hampshire, and knowing that the bitter-cold New Hampshire winter was quickly approaching, I boarded a plane on November 3rd, and flew to Miami, Florida.

Upon my arrival in Miami, I hopped onto a bus straight to Miami Beach, where I witnessed the exact same, depressing social inequality, occurring right alongside the winter-long festivities of one of the most lively international tourist hot-spots in the western hemisphere.

While there, I again noticed the same super-luxurious residential high-rise condominiums that I saw in Boston, Massachusetts, many seemingly built in the last decade or so, during the supposed «recession» that saw millions of American workers jobs (and paychecks) offshored to foreign countries, while corporate profits sky-rocketed, sending the Dow-Jones Industrial average, and wealthy peoples bank accounts, to before-unheard of heights.

Even more disturbingly, while in Miami Beach, I noticed that many of the poor homeless women I met seemed to feel compelled to sell their bodies, in order to afford to pay for basic, life’s necessities, such as food, clothing, shelter, or medication.

Many of the homeless people I met there appeared to spend at least half of their time hiding from the police helicopters, cruisers, and all-terrain-vehicles, that appeared to patrol the beaches relentlessly, in an attempt to chase them away from the sight of the well-heeled international visitors who flock to that city all winter long.

When not resting in my tent concealed in the sand dunes adjacent to the awe-inspiring «South Beach», I spent my days socializing on the seawall running parallel to the beach. While walking by there one day, I met a homeless African-American Iraq war veteran, just returned home from combat.

He appeared to be suffering from a serious case of «Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder», as a result of having his foot blown off by a suicide-bombers attack on the Humvee caravan he was travelling in, and he appeared to be in terrible daily pain, even though army doctors had somehow surgically re-attached his foot.

He spent his days sitting near the seawall adjacent to the boardwalk, and seemed confused, depressed, and very, very angry at the way he had been used, and apparently abandoned and disposed of, by our countries government and military establishment.

After a few months in Miami Beach, the police presence there persecuting myself, and the other homeless people, became too overwhelming, so I decided to relocate to Hollywood Beach, Florida.

Hollywood, Florida is an interesting city. Most of it isn’t anywhere near the beach, but is inland, being despairingly separated from the beachfront by the «intracoastal waterway», and so is very humid, though very calm and sociable, inland.

The beach-front itself is almost entirely for tourists. It has a beautiful boardwalk, is very clean and quiet, and is great for:

– families with children,

– those who don’t like (or can’t tolerate) diverse or international crowds,

or

– those who need a break from the faster paced, party beaches, such as Miami Beach.

However, while in the inland part of the city of Hollywood, I met men who revealed to me that one of the homeless shelters there was charging «rent» to people who slept there, even sending disabled people out onto street corners to sell homeless-advocacy newspapers every day, in order to earn the money to pay their rent.

While walking down the street one day, I met a man in a wheelchair with withered legs due to a serious neurological disease. While listening to him speak, he recounted to me that after he had had a disagreement with the manager of the homeless shelter regarding his pain medication, he was unceremoniously evicted out onto the sidewalk a few blocks away, and left there all by himself, even though he couldn’t walk.

Subsequently, the shelter where he formerly resided was seized by the city, and condemned, and the man who operated it was intimidated out of that Florida town for being:

«too nice to criminally-prone homeless people».

That was the first indication that there is a trend in many warm-weather cities to be hateful and hostile towards homeless people, and the more I investigated the phenomenon, the more disturbed I became.

For example, in both Florida and California, I heard repeated accounts of serious, even murderous violence being repeatedly directed against homeless people, with some cities and towns in Florida appearing to have reached epidemic levels of such repeated outbursts being directed against poor (and sometimes disabled) people living outside, as discussed in this article here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/16/florida-homeless_n_4453312.html?temp-new-window-replacement=true

Sadly, such crimes appear to also be on the rise in California as well, as evidenced by this section of the «Huffington Post» news website, which discusses the rising epidemic of violence against the homeless:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/homeless-hate-crimes/?temp-new-window-replacement=true

My belief is, that at least part of the reason for this, is that poor and working-class Americans are so angry and frustrated because of their recent economic difficulties, that they are striking out at convenient, socially-acceptable targets, and in the United States of America, where we worship rich people, poor people within easy reach are becoming the targets of choice.

The worship of rich people, and the resultant demonization and dehumanization of poor people, are just two symptoms of the extreme wage, income, & wealth inequality that exists in the United States of America today.

In fact, from my research, I would estimate that the last time wealth inequality was so unjust in the United States of America, was during the late 1800’s, in an age of income inequality so extreme, that the chief corporation-owning beneficiaries of our collective labors were frequently called «robber barons».

Because of the refusal of the corporation owners of that time to equitably share the fruits of their corporations (and thus, their workers) efforts, an organized labor movement began to take shape, and by the 1950’s, it managed to secure adequate wages and working conditions for tens of millions of American workers, many of whom still do the bulk of the physical work in this country.

That organized labor movement led to the creation of the often idealized «American Middle-Class», which many credit for the social stability that came to encapsulate the idea of the «American Dream».

However, during the 1970’s, a new mentality began to infect the hearts and minds of the collective consciousness of the American intelligentsia, and many economists and business-people began to promote a new world-view, which disturbingly extolled the perverse paradigm that «greed is good».

In fact, such dangerously infectious slogans were charismatically advocated by the protagonists of movies glorifying such selfish mentalities, as evidenced by Michael Douglas’ «Gordon Gecko», in the 1987 greed-inspiring movie, «Wall Street».

From the 1980’s, through the 1990’s, up until the victory of President Barack Obama in the mid-2000’s, this countries «greed-is-good», and «it’s all about money» paradigms were also advanced by mind-warping, wealth-worshipping television programs, such as:

«Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous»,

and

MTV’s: «Cribs».

As a result, the level of hyper-materialism in the United States of America reached such epidemic proportions, that people who don’t have enough money are no longer merely viewed as «undesirables», but increasingly, as an entire underclass who are «good for nothing» but to be exterminated.

I believe that this new form of socio-economic fascism represents a very clear and present danger, not only to the millions of homeless people in our country, but also to the tens of millions of us who are merely a paycheck, illness, or missed mortgage payment away from homelessness ourselves.

So, contrary to the idea promoted by generally accepted «free-market» economic theory, the free market for housing in the United States of America does not appear to be at all adequate when it comes to meeting the shelter needs of the people who reside within our nations borders.

And so I believe that our elected government officials have, not only the right, but also the responsibility to intervene, and insure that all of the people dwelling within our nations borders of authority have their basic, housing needs met.

Unfortunately, when broaching such topics in economic discussions, it isn’t uncommon to see some contentious mass media commentators irresponsibly launch socio-economic extremist labels at their opponents, in an attempt to marginalize and demonize them, usually utilizing one of the following nebulous labels:

«Communist», «Socialist», «Redistributionist», «Collectivist», et cetera…

Yet, very little thought is often invested into what the exact definitions of those terms are.

With that in mind, I’d like to offer my opinion as to what I perceive to be the correct definition and appropriate usage of such socio-economic labels to be:

First, a «communist» is generally viewed as a person who believes in completely equal ownership of the means, and output, of production, of a nations industry.

(In the past, that goal was frequently attained by government mandate (usually through «nationalization» of a nations private corporations (a form of seizure and redistribution generally regarded as unpleasant by most.)).

On the opposite end of the socio-economic philosophical spectrum, we have what are generally called «capitalists».

Capitalists are those who believe in allowing vastly unequal ownership of the means, and output, of production of a nations industry.

(In recent American history, that philosophy has been pursued almost to the extreme, by unjust recalibration of of our nations tax policy and codes, and has created many tens of millions of «working poor» in our nation (whose ranks appear to be growing by the day)).

Both of those extremes (of Communism, and Capitalism), have generally proven to be very ineffective forms of economic policy in the past, and sadly, they can occasionally result in widespread violence (as witnessed in the cases of both the French & Russian revolutions).

More intelligently, would be a theoretical balance between those two extremes, called «Socialism».

Socialism, (provided it is not enforced by violence, or accompanied by racial, religious, or ethnically supremacist theories) is usually the best economic approach for a nations economy, as both the extremes of «capitalism», and «communism» have historically proven to be ineffective models for meeting the material, and spiritual, needs of a nations populace.

Such deficiencies in meeting the needs of a nations populace can sometimes result in:

Violent internal «civil» wars (a.k.a. «revolutions»), as in the case of pre-revolutionary Russia (where a Tsarist aristocracy attempted to forcibly rule the nations repressively unequal feudalistic peasantry-based agricultural economy,

or

Violent, externally aggressive wars, such as those we are seeing in the modern-day United States of America, the leaders of which appear to be on endless Quixotic quest to (mis)-identify and displace their disenfranchised citizens rage at their increasing economic impoverishment onto convenient, external, foreign targets.

Instead, it might be helpful for our nations leaders to temper our current hyper-capitalist orientation with more socialist economic principles.

Echa un vistazo a nuestra variedad de Camisetas de fútbol. Camisetas de entreno y partido de clubes nacionales y selecciones internacionales. by Erik Dufresne

FC Barcelona – More Than A Club

FC Barcelona is a sports club in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. While it has divisions within in many different sports, it is most famous for its football club, founded in 1899 by a group of twelve people, led by Swiss businessman Joan Gamper.

FC Barcelona and long-standing rival Real Madrid remain the most representative teams within Spain. Barcelona, along with Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid, are the only three teams in Spain to have never been relegated from Spain’s top football league – ‘La Liga’ – which FC Barcelona have won eighteen times, including a run in the 90s that saw them win ‘La Liga’ for four consecutive seasons (1991 – 1994) under the management of Dutch footballing icon, Johan Cruyff. Among many other honours, FC Barcelona has also been crowned European Champions twice, as well as winning the Copa del Ray for a record 24 times.

Until recently, FC Barcelona was well known for being one of the only football clubs in the world to refuse to allow sponsors’ logos on their football shirts. However, in 2006, the club announced a five-year agreement with UNICEF, which includes having the UNICEF logo on their shirts. The agreement has seen FC Barcelona donate US$1.9 million per year to the charity organization.

As in often the case between the two strongest teams in a national league, there is a fierce rivalry between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, with the game between La Liga’s two top sides known as ‘El Clasico’. The clubs are seen as representatives of two rival countries in Spain: Catalonia (Barcelona) and Castille (Real Madrid), as well as of the two cities themselves, and the rivalry projects what many regard as the political and cultural tensions felt between Catalans and the Castilians.

Barcelona play their home games at the Camp Nou (Catalan for «new field»), which is often reversed in both English and Spanish to become the Nou Camp. It is a UEFA 5-star rated stadium and has hosted a number of international competitions, including European Champions League finals.

The stadium has an official capacity of 98,772, making it the largest stadium in Europe. Away from football it has also played host to a number of notable music artists, including U2, Bruce Springsteen The Three Tenors and even Frank Sinatra; while Pope John Paul II celebrated mass in front of a congregation in excess of 120,000 people in the Camp Nou in 1982.

So, as you might expect given the great allure of the Camp Nou and the surrounding environs of Spain’s second largest city, hotels in Barcelona are always likely to be in huge demand – not only from visiting football teams, but also from stars of the music world, their armies of fans and tourists looking to explore Catalonia’s capital city.

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Sehwag Inspires Delhi to Easy Win in IPL

KOCHI (India), April 30: Virender Sehwag struck a 47-ball 80 to power Delhi Daredevils to a 38-run victory over Kochi Tuskers Kerala in the Indian Premier League on Saturday.

The Delhi captain lashed eight fours and five sixes to help his team post a challenging 157-7 following a disastrous start after choosing to bat first.

Medium-pacers Morne Morkel, Irfan Pathan and Ajit Agarkar then shared seven wickets before South African spinner Roelof van der Merwe claimed the last three dismissals from five deliveries to bowl out Kochi for 119 in 18.5 overs.

It was only the Delhi’s third win in eight matches.

Delhi lost two wickets with four runs on the board after India paceman Shanthakumaran Sreesanth struck twice in four balls on a pitch with variable bounce.

Sreesanth bowled Australian opener David Warner (3) and Naman Ojha (0) before Sehwag opened up to hammer spinner Ravindra Jadeja for two successive sixes and then his 50 with a six off medium-pacer Vinay Kumar.

Sehwag put on 56 for the fourth wicket with Yogesh Nagar (22) before holing out at the extra cover boundary after having hit 49 runs off the last 15 balls he faced.

Pathan dismissed New Zealand opener Brendon McCullum (7) and Parthiv Patel (1) and Morkel sent back Australian batsmen Michael Klinger (2) and Brad Hodge (27) plus Balachandra Akhil (13).

Agarkar had skipper Mahela Jayawardene (18) caught by Sehwag and Jadeja (31), before van der Merwe polished off the tail to ensure Kochi lost their fifth match out of eight.

Meanwhile in another match played on Friday, Virat Kohli smashed a 42ball 67 with the help of four sixes and West Indies opener Chris Gayle a brisk 49 off 26 balls to set up Royal Challengers Bangalore’s 26-run victory over Pune Warriors in Bangalore.

Pune finished on 155-5 chasing a 182-run target to suffer their fifth defeat in seven matches.

New Zealander Jesse Ryder top-scored with a 34ball 51 for Pune and skipper Yuvraj Singh cracked 41 off 23 balls with the help of three sixes.

Summarised scores:

Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Pune Warriors by 26 runs.

Royal Challengers Bangalore 181-5 in 20 overs (V. Kohli 67, C.H. Gayle 49, A.B. de Villiers 26; A. Thomas 2-23, R. Sharma 2-27); Pune Warriors 155-5 in 20 overs (J.D. Ryder 51, Yuvraj Singh 41, R.V. Uthappa 23 not out).

Delhi Daredevils beat Kochi Tuskers Kerala by 38 runs.

Delhi Daredevils 157-7 in 20 overs (V. Sehwag 80; S. Sreesanth 210); Kochi Tuskers Kerala 119 in 18.5 overs (R.A. Jadeja 31, B.J. Hodge 27, I.K. Pathan 2-27, M. Morkel 3-18, A.B. Agarkar 2-23, R.E. van der Merwe 320).-Agencies

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How to Manage National Team in Football Manager FM 2010

Football Manager is a series of football management simulation PC games developed by Sports Interactive (SIGames) and published by Sega. The latest version is Football Manager 2010 (FM 2010).

I have managed various national teams in Football Manager, you can manage one club and one national team concurrently in Football Manager. This is essentially 2 teams management. When I’m playing with Manchester United, I am offered to manage Brazil & England team. When I play in Spanish league as Xerez, I was offered manager position for Italy, Spain, and French. I usually don’t apply for this job. If you are winning many league cups as well as UEFA Champions League, you will be offered any of this national manager position instantly by the FA. The position usually will open after major cup such as World Cup or European Cup every 2-4 years. Most managers will get sack after poor performance in this major cup or the manager will resign by himself.

Managing national team is easy. I usually use generic tactic such as 4-4-2 most of the time or 4-1-2-1-2 variation for defence if needed. One thing to keep in mind is to keep winning when you are managing the national team.

Managing the Brazil team is a challenge, you will need to win almost all the time. Any consecutive draw will force the FA to boot you from the team. I was fired when I drew by playing with Argentina, Bolivia and Peru. If you can stay away from Brazil national team. The FA is just too unreasonable I think.

If possible, try to manage the national team which you have the league selected such as If you are managing English League team, try to manage England. Usually there is more young talent in your league that you play with the exception of Brazil.

I usually don’t select the national team player, I just ask a suggestion from my assistant manager to select the team. This option usually is available from time to time. If not, select the best team by using the game filter such as rating etc.

4-4-2 tactic

I mainly used a 4-4-2 formation with both center back/ defender arrow down, wingers has upward arrow, and 1 fast striker downward arrow. The center back usually have man marking and rarely close down position. One of midfielder is played as defensive midfielder with closing down. Other your back will be out of position whenever the other team counter attack your team. The passing is set to short or mix, wide formation and quick tempo. Offside and counter attack is on.

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Betfair Football Trading Strategies

Football, or Soccer, is the most popular sport on the planet and there are many people making money from it on Betfair every weekend.

Trading on this market is a lot different from what some might call traditional trading. You can’t just watch weight of money or trends to know when to get in and out of the market. Odds on football matches react to events on the pitch and can react massively. A goal or a red card will cause massive swings, so it’s important to make sure you are on the right side of this.

One such strategy to ensure you are on the right side of such swings is to Lay the Draw result. In a match between two even teams the draw odds will rise massively once a goal goes in. For example, in a recent match between Arsenal and Manchester United, the lay odds for a draw were 3.5. Manchester United took the lead in the 30th minute and these odds were now available to be backed at 5.1! A truly massive swing that would have made a lot of people a lot of money. Of course, you need to make sure you do get a goal so only look to use this strategy on games where goals look likely.

A common strategy to use on games where goals aren’t expected is to trade the under/over 2.5 market. If you back Under 2.5 pre-match you can very often trade out after the first ten minutes of the game as the odds will drop extremely quick just in the first ten minutes. For example, in the same match between Arsenal and Manchester United, the Under 2.5 odds were at 2.04 to be backed before kick off, by the 11th minute these odds were at 1.85. Some very quick and easy money to be made there!

With all football trading strategies match selection is crucial and its important you do your own research before entering the market. Also, like any true trader you must have an exit strategy or stop loss in mind!

Camisetas de fútbol , NBA y NFL baratas de la mejor calidad y de los mejores equipos y selecciones del mundo de Hombre,Mujer y Niños. by Michael Goldingson