Unsustainable Living

Today, the BBC came out and agreed with an opinion I’ve held for well over a decade now. Well done Beeb, perhaps within the next decade or so, you might get around to questioning how a state funded news agency in this country is different to a state funded news agency in any other part of the world! I shan’t hold my breath waiting though.

Anyone with any eye on the situation, would already be fully aware that houses are not being sold at affordable prices, no matter where they’re built. You can read the full article by clicking the following link

Affordable homes on green belt ‘a lie’, say campaigners

Sadly, the article falls short of explaining why housing is so expensive. That will be because the reasons for why go directly against the establishment; the Beeb would certainly be biting the hand that feeds them (not a good move for a state dependant organisation). It’s possible that what I’m about to say will cause a significant uproar among certain groups of people, who seem to think it’s possible to legislate our way to freedom. Unlike the BBC, I don’t care for towing the line, so here goes.

  • Equality. While I agree that people, regardless of gender, who do the same job, to the same productivity level, deserve the same pay, bridging the gender pay gap comes at a huge cost. 60 years ago, it was possible for one member of a household to afford a mortgage, and in many cases, be the only breadwinner in the family. Not so now. While women’s wages have increased, men’s wages have fallen proportionately in real terms. In other words, household earnings are actually worse than 60 years ago, because it takes 2 people to bring home the same as 1 person could before. Factor in the cost of childcare, and you have the first generation in history to be worse off than their parents.
  • Minimum Wage. When the minimum wage was first brought in, there were many scare stories about how it would cause mass unemployment because businesses wouldn’t be able to afford to hire people. I always considered this to be a ridiculous argument, because it disregards that simple fact that businesses aren’t charities; they only employ out of need. The minimum wage was set so low, that it made very little difference to employment numbers, or the cost of goods and services. However, with every annual well above inflation increase in the minimum wage, skilled workers are finding that their wages are struggling to keep up with inflation: they are actually earning less in real terms than they were just a decade ago. I would say that the real danger of the minimum wage is that sooner or later, there’ll be no point in taking on supervisory roles or training to do skilled work, because you’ll earn so little more than someone litter picking, that it’s not worth the headache! The point is though, the minimum wage is reducing real income while trumpeting about lifting a few people out of poverty.
  • Finally, the most obvious. House prices are not counted when calculating inflation. Whether you rent or buy, the cost of having a roof over your head is not considered to be a cost of living! Housing developers throw together shoddy buildings in the most appalling housing estate designs with no amenities and little infrastructure, while the banks applaud the increase in forecast profits.

That, BBC, is why affordable housing is a lie. It doesn’t matter where it’s built, it’s not affordable, and it sure ain’t sustainable.

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