They may be separated by a generation but the music of John Cougar and Childish Gambino remind us of the same inescapable truth: since the 1970’s, Americans have been left to watch the American dream set beyond the horizon in an epoch of ever-increasing corporate profits and social instability.
These days affordable residential housing has become synonymous with under-maintained or substandard but it wasn’t always. For centuries inexpensive compression systems like log and brick construction were hardy and ubiquitous. But in the cult of doing more with less we regressed, moving from virtually invincible post-frame to balloon-frame and now platform-frame wood construction. Lenders and developers make their money back in 30 years or less often to leave the homeowner with an increasingly unserviceable burden.
So-called conventional construction has upended industry titans from Sears to Pan Abode and independent contractors alike.
Take a moment and realize that more than $5 Trillion in combined assets are held by mortgage giant GSEs Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FHLMC), making them the 1st and 3rd largest asset holders among all American corporations, with a cool 14.2 and 9.235 billion net income in 2018 respectively. While this statistic may be unsurprising considering that buying a home is often the largest investment many of us ever make, decades of precarious policy has concurrently created a system in which construction industry lobbyists have won progressively lower overall standards for construction through prescriptive codes. Combined with a culture of over-borrowing and stricter energy efficiency standards, so-called conventional construction has upended industry titans from Sears to Pan Abode and independent contractors alike. This has delivered the lion’s share of the residential construction sector into the hands a handful of a few mega-developers like D.R. Horton and the Lennar Corporation. Ain’t that America?
This scheme has caused a perpetual and artificial shortage that buoys housing prices and property values, increasing tax revenue. The resulting low home-ownership, rise of corporate landlords, and continuing re–segregation affects many of our communities. These inefficient and corrupt practices guild the toilets of those with deep pockets by allowing lenders resell our debts as financial instruments siphoning our heartland’s wealth out to sea in the name of boosting liquidity, all to buy homes that don’t last; This is America.
As Alexis de Tocqueville reminds us the tyranny of an apathetic majority can too precipitate the unraveling of a democratic system. This happens when a majority cedes power to an increasingly unaccountable legislature, executive, and finally judiciary of aristocrats, autocrats, and sycophants. Can you hear the the wheel of revolution grinding to a halt? In this unacceptable equilibrium, it is our duty to enable home builders to liberate themselves from unjust subjugation to a corrupt system of debt.
A new day has dawned and we have the technology to disrupt this cycle. By bringing back the craftsman, i.e. the affordable DIY cottage home, our patented system enables construction that can be designed to exceed existing codes and that will last for generations. All for up to 40% less than conventional construction, and in a fraction of the time. Join us in standing up for a more sustainable housing future for all.
About The Author
Lincoln Block Inc.