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When the housing bubble was growing, my dad could look out the window and see how they were building the houses. He used to complain about how flimsy they were, the lack of insulation. I don't know if 1971 insulation was all that good, but I think the point about the quality of homes is a good one.
I don't think banks and the government are motivated by robbing the little guy of his power. Many of them may be trying to amass power and wealth for themselves. But they may not see amassing wealth as a zero sum game. Why would you if you can just print or loan it into existence?
Our financial system is about 100 years old, or about 40 years old depending on how you look at it. The currency system took on it's modern form for the most part about 40 years ago. Money is based on government or private management of the system and our trust in it. There is no gold to back it up. That was considered valuable because people considered it valuable. This is a blip on the time line of history. It's a short time for an economic system to exist. It could come crashing down.
Pegging currency to a basket of commodities may make more sense.
My house was built in 1970. Not old by european or american standards, but old by SA standards as nothing existed 100 years ago. My area was open veld in 1970. In those days they built to last, only on stable ground, and they had incorruptible government building inspectors who had to approve the plans. They came out at different stages, like check the foundation before you build further. You could not continue to the next phase until he approved. Now they build on any open ground, there are no building inspectors, and contractors do what they want to make more money. So the houses built post 1990 are shoddy. They crack, walls are thin and not straight,they all look alike as all built to 1 plan, and in 20 years they look run down. But people move as they always want a new house. I just renovate. every few years I change something; add on, paint, new gutters, new floors, new counters, new lights, new bathrooms etc. There is not 1 crack in the house. I cannot see my neighbours, nor hear them. The bedrooms are large. There are several entertainment areas as the house was built for a family in the tradional why were kids sat in one place, women in another and men in another. You had a family lounge and a dominee lounge, so called for when the minister came for tea on sunday, and other formal events. Now they build open plan which is fine if you have no kids. Bedrooms are tiny. Garden tiny. They call it modern. I call it BS. It is not a home, it is an ape cage.
New houses are in security complexes, which are boomed off, walled of complexes. In the old days houses were open like in america. You could leave your door unlocked. There was no crime because the pass law system kept darkies out of white areas if they had no business there. Now we have all put up walls, razor wire, electrified fences, beams, armed response security etc.