Monday, September 7, 2015

dwelling wise 2 of 3


The habit of dwelling in mobile homes and shotgun shacks ( so named because they were so small a single blast from a shotgun would kill everyone inside ) continued the tradition of the original poor white settlers in the South, adopted to changing economics.  The population after the War Of Northern Occupation And Colonization was kept semi-rural and poor, the lucky few “allowed” to work at starvation wages on carpetbagger owned land.  Once the northern population became too enamored with Unions, the South saw factories move in, farms move out to the Midwest where machines and irrigation took the place of Darkies for next to free labor, and the southerners were in the same boat as before as economic chattel.  The difference soon being, of course, that their barely affordable dwellings were also high jacked as a profit center for the northeast coastal bankers.  Soon mobiles were zoned out of affordability, shotgun shacks made illegal due to minimum square footage laws, and the poor were now poor in income AND debt. 


Mobile homes were turned into $100k tipi’s or tents, a very expensive skin uninhabitable without imported fuel ( a failing all those $250k McMansions share ).  In fact, this is the failing of poor and middle class everywhere, dwelling wise.  They overpay for what used to be the homes of the poor.  A shiny coat of paint over stucco does not magically make 2x4’s and sheetrock worth the gross wages of a quarter of your lifetime earnings, but that is what is offered today.  I could construct a similar dwelling, or at least a one room equivalent,  for the price of one ounce of gold.  Cement, chicken wire and stick wood is not all that expensive, and neither is the labor of illegal aliens.  What we are paying is the century long accumulation of bankers tweaking the system a few percent profit at a time.  If you are poor, far better to be poor in an area allowing freedom of zoning restrictions so that your dwelling is once again closer to free rather than closer to the middle class lifetime of debt.


Permanent dwellings are perfectly fine for the poor, and necessary for farmers stuck in one area.  The problem is when you confuse the affordably of a tent with the unaffordability of the rich mans castle.  The old timey rulers had the ability to build permanence.  Why not, as they material was local and the labor was part of the tax system.  They built castles both because of the military need and because they could.  The poor built mud huts, which, with a coat of linseed oil and plaster and similar sealants, made for a dust and relatively pest free dwelling, for the cost of labor ( check out “waddle and daub” which is mud forced into a framework of branches or vines-those growing with abandon in the English countryside-which combined permanence and no cost.  Adobe is similar ).  Today’s poor are forced into toiling a lifetime to build a pseudo-castle at serf wages which performs like a tent.  I’m surprised I have more to say on this.  Continued next article.

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  1. "Today’s poor are forced into toiling a lifetime to build a pseudo-castle at serf wages which performs like a tent."

    Best quote I have ever read on the state of modern housing in the USA (and western world as a whole?).
    The smarter and better off serfs are trying to reduce the inputs for their 'tents' by improving performance (insulation) and conservation (low flow showerheads and toilets) and providing some of their own inputs (solar on the roof for water heating and electric). Not enough, but a good start. We should learn from their successes and failures while we build our own 'wage slave shacks'.

    1. I think most folks are confused by the simple "face south", let alone anything else more advanced. Elko, cold nine months out of twelve, and these idiots spend $150k+ on a house completely covered on all sides by trees ( for the three month summer ).

    2. If a person can excavate (water table decently below grade), staying cool should take a maximum of some vent fans. Adding 15KW of mechanical refrigeration for personal comfort is a huge waste. Trees are nice, but you want them as wind brakes a certain distance from your dwelling (fire, winter shadowing). I want my trees to make fruit and nuts, and am willing to build protection and drip systems for them. Elko may not be suitable for trees that like >30" rain annually, but may be a good place to plant sturdy nut/berry bushes.

      Combination of partial underground building, appropriate solar gain, some PV, some hotwater solar, and 2 kinds of fueled backup heat, should make a comfortable human dwelling that would be marvelous to regular 1920's Americans (300 feet for the first person + 200 ft^2 per person added). Not a hobbit hole, but not a conspicuous palace to be tax-farmed either.


    3. 300 sqft 1st then 200sqft 2nd might be one reason a one person income could get the family through in middle class lifestyle ( yes, I know, Union wages were primarily the reason- by far less debt, plus far less institutionalized greed were very helpful ).

    4. pdxr13: tax-farmed. Classic. I'm not surprised the IRS talks about Head Of Household much like cattlemen talk about Head Of Cattle; same concept - harvestable resource. The real estate taxes in many locations just take your breath away.

      Shelter slavery:
      via Vault-Co

      Rant O'ol