Walk along any upscale neighborhood in Orange County and you’ll see empty houses. No, not boarded up houses, just empty as no one lives there.
Story by JMC Orange County Resident
In 2005 and 2006 my neighborhood had a plethora of McMansions built. Developers in a frenzy leveled apartment complexes and displaced hundreds of tenants to build overpriced McMansions that were so close to each other that you could literally hear your neighbor flush his/her toilet. Privacy? Please.
Those McMansions are still empty. No one is buying, people have no money. The owners park their vehicles there to make it look like they’re occupied. The lights are on timers and usually they hire security to make the rounds of the complex in order to avoid squatters.
I saw all this coming a few years ago and tried to warn many of my friends to get out of debt (especially credit card debt). But oh no, date night with the spouse on the weekends and over priced Cosmos were more important. Those dinners were on plastic you know.
Homeowners were delusional. They thought their houses would continue to go up in price, as high as the towers in Dubai. They’d rack up serious MasterCard debt and then pay it off with a home equity loan. Eventually the credit card bill had to be paid. The stopping point was when the homeowner had zero equity and no way to pay off the Master Card bill. Add to that one of the spouses losing their job and you have a recipe for disaster.
Since I live in Orange County – I can only speak for what I see around here. Let me educate the rest of the world on the typical upper income OC resident. (Now mind you the middle income and lower income people of OC are the ones who are really getting screwed right now).
Lives in a gated community and hires an illegal alien nanny and gardener to save money. Places saving a little bit of money over loyalty to their community and paying a liveable wage to a CITIZEN.
Many renters in OC paid their rent on time, paid their taxes and kept out of debt. Now we renters are having to bail out homeowners who purchased houses they couldn’t afford or whose houses are underwater.
I’ve never understood the under water thing. If your house loses value, tough. Suck it up like the rest of us. Our 401K’s and IRA’s have lost value, our wages have declined or stayed the same while we’re paying higher taxes and higher food and gas prices. Where is the bailout for us?
Do I have any problem with someone wanting to live a good life and look good? Of course not. But these debt laden lemmings were the type of people who have had a hand in destroying California’s economy. Instead of saving money, they were on an orgy of spending that you and I are paying for now. Either in higher taxes for bailouts, or higher fees to compensate for credit card defaults. You can’t pay your mortgage, then get rid of the house or face foreclosure. If there is no bailout for renters, no bailout for homeowners.
Then we have the government workers. Living high on the hog with big fat pensions, job security and absolutely NO desire to help you whatsoever. At the most government workers do the very minimum they have to do in order to get through the day. The current California pension for government workers is unsustainable. Many retired workers get another job after retirement, sometimes at the same agency they retired from as an independent contractor – which in essence is double dipping.
Instead of hiring another California worker who could use that job, California with its constant nepotism feels it’s easier to hire a potted plant government worker to do the job, again.
California is a beautiful place to live, but not everyone can live here. There’s not enough food or land. But for the ones who are here now, deserve a California government that listens to the natives and doesn’t pander to the illegal aliens or the liberal establishments that seek to destroy CA and its economy.
Here are some common sense bullet points that I feel would enhance our state and our nation:
1. No social service programs for any non-citizens. If you come here illegally expect to be deported.
2. All government jobs should give priority to US born citizens first.
3. Stiff fines for employers who hire illegals. E-Verify is free and it works. By deporting all illegal aliens, able bodied people on welfare would have to work at minimum wage jobs to earn their keep. California would continue to help you out and give you the benefit of the doubt in order to help you get on your feet. The welfare office could put people to work weatherizing homes for low income seniors citizens and litter and beach cleanup.
4. Government employees should either have to purchase a retirement IRA like private sector employees OR pay into social security like the rest of us.
5. No bailouts for any California homeowner. If you purchased a house you can’t afford, either lose the house and declare bankruptcy or negotiate a different loan with with the lender. It’s not the taxpayer’s responsibility to subsidize you.
6. Streamline the EDD office. Direct deposit for all unemployment checks and continued claim forms would be done online or via phone, saving the state millions of dollars in stamps and printing checks.
7. Empty homes? Allow homeless men and women who lost their job through no fault of their own to rent these empty homes. Give the developers or owners of the property huge tax cuts by renting out those homes to low income men and women. Whatever the loss of income by renting out the house, allow the landowner to deduct that amount of money from their tax return. Once again, these would ONLY go to native born Americans first, and then naturalized citizens if there is sufficient inventory of empty homes.
8. All newly arrived immigrants or naturalized citizens in Section 8 housing would be given 90 days to vacate and then move in US citizens in these homes or apartments who are near homeless or broke.
9. Reverse all sales tax and bring sales tax down to about 5%.
10. Freeze all license plate fees to $25. If you buy a new car in CA you’re screwed until the car is very old as license plate fees are insane.
11. Stop SMOG check. It’s a waste of time, energy and money and places a big burden on low income Californians.
12. Turn on the water in the San Joaquin valley. We have some of the most fertile soil in the world. Feeding our people is much more important than a stupid fish.
13. All government documents, flyers and pamphlets in English ONLY. If you don’t know the language, take an ESL class or use something like the Rosetta Stone.
I see a lot of defeated, depressed and broken people in my neighborhood. Common sense, fair government and tough decisions have to be made. Difficult conversations need to take place. Something has got to give.