The cult of home ownership is dangerous and damaging – Adam Posen –

Dr Alf's Blog

This is an excellent, MUST READ article by Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics and is published in the FT.

via The cult of home ownership is dangerous and damaging –

The article highlights the risks at both the individual and national level of the home ownership cult, especially in the US and the UK.

These days, home ownership favors the wealthy and inherited wealth. The article cites latest research in the US that home ownership impacts mobility and aggravates unemployment. The financial crisis started in the US in 2008, and was triggered by sub-prime mortgages supporting home loans to the less advantaged. Now, once again, the big US banks are booming, and both the US and the UK governments are propping up the housing market.

Surely, the UK Government should be subsidizing language training rather than mortgage finance, and encouraging more people to go…

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What has Osborne done to improve UK young people’s competitiveness with peers in the Far East? – John Gelmini

United Kingdom: stamp

United Kingdom: stamp (Photo credit: Sem Paradeiro)

Economic Growth and the Production Possibility...

Economic Growth and the Production Possibility Curve (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Korea Economic Growth Rate from 1997~...

English: Korea Economic Growth Rate from 1997~2007 한국어: 10년간 한국 경제성장률 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Dr Alf poses an interesting question to which the answer is “Nothing!”

Our State education system, in the UK, is 44th in the world. We have slipped to 29th in the world for literacy and numeracy at all levels, and we have young people, 1 in 5 of whom cannot read, cannot write and cannot communicate.

Parents, particularly from social groups C1, C2, D and E, are often not giving proper example to the young, by and large, by not valuing education, who cannot inculcate discipline, by not making sacrifices, being lazy and unproductive (we are 16% below the average for the G7 and 20th in the world at 48% for the private sector and 32% for the public sector).

Our schools have a preponderance of left-wing, female teachers, who favor trendy teaching methods, sloppy thinking and are turning out testosterone deficient blockheads, incapable of competing with anyone.

To have full employment, you need 3% economic growth, a stable and controlled population matched to the resources and size of the country.

Our population is 70 million and rising, at a time when the optimum figure ought to be 35 million people, with many fewer old and economically costly people than we actually have.

Where is the sense in letting in more migrants when we have a housing shortage of 11 million houses and just 100,000 new houses built every year to put them in?

Our economic growth has averaged just 1.4% since 1946 and under George Osborne it has not done much better.

The figures are alarming because there are 47 people for every vacancy now and with Bulgarians and Romanians coming in the New Year that will rise to 50 people per vacancy.

What is needed is a realization that without a massive increase in self -employment or migration of these young people, at least half of them, will probably never get jobs, never own their own house, never be able to marry, cohabit or start a family.

They are in effect doomed to a life of unemployment, and possibly drug-taking, crime and poverty within a feral underclass unless there is very radical action.

The political classes and the mainstream media will not properly acknowledge the problem, let alone tackle it. In my mind, what is needed is clear:

1) Reintroduce National Service for all eighteen year olds, with a minimum tenure of two years

2) A wholesale clear-out of trendy heads and teachers, and their replacement by Army Officers transformed into teachers in a UK version of the American style “Troops to Teachers” programme

3) Discipline re-applied in schools along with whole class teaching

4) A much-longer school-day of 12 hours and compulsory language teaching by teaching in the language concerned as Carnegie Mellon is doing with software engineering graduates in China

5) Pimsleur language training in Mandarin,Arabic,German,Brazilian Portuguese

6) Sink schools to close and the children of the 120,000 dysfunctional families removed to Army run boarding schools complete with drills,bed inspections, cross-country running, PE and initiative exercises

7) Business boot camps established as a halfway house for those who are not academically inclined between school, national service and self employment to get people to become self-employed.
Those unable to go to university and without any prospect of paid employment would be assigned to one of these business boot camps

8) Saturday schools for the laggards/slow learners

9) New Assisted Passage Schemes with countries like Australia for those rendered job ready and /or self employable

10) Accelerated writing down allowances and Benefits recycling for the unemployed

11) Variable taxes on foods and a reduction in annual holiday entitlement to 4 weeks including Bank Holidays unless and until productivity improved to top Global decile levels

12) Systems built housing upwards into high-rise skyscrapers and underground social housing to alleviate the housing shortage

13) Improved food and nutritional quality with a ban on Aspartame,Fluoride,aluminium saucepans/cooking utensils, estrogen contaminated water, e-numbers, Bisphenol A and excessive sugar and salt content in food

14)  Mandatory PE at schools and colleges

Any thoughts?

John Gelmini


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George Osborne at Conservative Spring Forum 20...

George Osborne at Conservative Spring Forum 2006 in Manchester. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)