This past week, my daughter and I took a trip up island and did some horseback riding for a few hours on a long trail. I have to tell you being back on a horse after many years of not riding was pure joy for me. Horses and horseback riding—let’s be clear, Western riding, not that English stuff—are my first loves, and it’s been way too long since I’ve allowed myself to have a moment of pure joy. I really love horses, always have, but visiting a part of the island I hadn’t been back to in a long while was eye-opening, considering one thing I’ve been talking about was right in our faces on the ride up.
All everyone wants is to have a roof over their head, but out here on the left coast, and no, that is not a typo, that dream of owning is now out of reach. That brings us to renting a place, which unfortunately is also out of reach. I have often looked, like many, to those we’ve elected to power to do something. I’ve written to many of my elected officials over the years, asking them to put a stop to the market spiralling out of control and to provide housing for working people who can’t afford to put a roof over their heads, yet mostly I never get a response, because the housing problem is not one any one of them wants to fix.
Why would they not want to fix it? Because they created it to begin with.
With the out-of-control price of real estate, wealth has now moved into the hands of the few. There was a moment where I understood that the elected officials have a hand in ensuring wealth stays there and that homelessness, or rather not being able to ever afford a house or rent one, never gets solved. Think about it. Look at the amount of taxes you pay every paycheck, and then there’s the state tax or provincial tax, the sales tax when you buy something at the store or even online, property taxes, and all the other taxes out there. Ask yourself, where is all this money going? Governments love to announce big budgets that sound ridiculously impressive and vague instead of giving a straight answer, and everyone waits every year to see if they’ll get a break.
But take a step back and consider the amount they are collecting. To whose pockets is this money going? It is enormous. When you multiply taxes paid by the everyday average person and add them up, we’re talking billions, maybe more. Does it really matter how many billions? It’s so much money, and if you’re not asking where that money is going, whose pockets it’s going in, and what they’re doing with it, you should be. If all that money stopped going to the elites, everyone would have a home and everyone would be wealthy. Think back. Do you know when taxes were first introduced as a temporary measure to pay for a war? Every time a tax was introduced, was it not a temporary measure for something that then grew and grew?
Now back to the subject that, while it is talked and talked about, no one wants to talk about. We drove onto a nice acreage and saw what we thought were holiday trailers parked in an open field only to learn that those people were living there. That was their home. A trailer and no property, and it cost them $1,100 a month just to park there—and that did not include electricity. Hearing from a young lady who worked there bothered me more than anything. She couldn’t find a place to live because nothing is available. This is despite the fact that there are a ton of empty homes, people’s second, third, or fourth houses, which sit empty most of the year. Anything that did come available was priced so high that it would take all her paycheck.
What is the answer? Well, it certainly isn’t for government officials to do something, because unfortunately, those business managers who are paid far too much are part of the problem, if not the problem. Look at all the available land that is “not available,” owned by governments, designated as state or crown land, for who, exactly? I know I’ve been looking at that lately, wondering why no one is questioning it.
And don’t forget good old BlackRock, which has been snatching up property left and right. What is the reason? I think it was on the World Economic Forum’s agenda. What did they say again, that you will own nothing, you will rent, and you will be happy? Good old Bill Gates is now the biggest farm land owner in the country of land that isn’t farmed. How exactly did he get that land? Remember the farm crises, the farmers back in the ’80s who lost their land, or was it taken from them? May be an idea for us all to dig a little deeper into that.
As I was leaving, driving out with my daughter, I said to her, you know nothing is going to change until the people stand up together and do something. Because right now we are seeing the wheel of greed going round and round. It starts at the top and works its way down.
Think about all those tax dollars. How much is supposed to go toward supporting the homeless, to programming that helps those in need, to looking after our people at home first, to our vets, who get nothing? There are all those charities out there, and don’t forget all the money you donate too because you want to help. I know I give where I can to help those who don’t have much. But I’ve figured out that governments don’t really create programs, genuine programs, to help, because if they did, and if the money you pay in those ridiculously high taxes and all that additional money you actually donated went to help those who needed it, think about how much money that is. No one would be living on the streets unless they chose to. People wouldn’t be forced to work two, three jobs to keep a roof over their head or feed their kids. Everyone would have a house, a place to call their own.
So until the spotlight shines on where all this money is going and whose pockets are being lined, and who it trickles down to, the wheel of greed will continue to go round and round.
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