Mark Hittinger at Zero Hedge has come up with a slightly futuristic, slightly silly scenario that reads like Jetsons meets Clockwork Orange.
You pick a house and take it in lieu of your social security stipend. The federal government has one less house to get rid of and one less check to cut every month in your old age.
A worthless government owned house has just been exchanged for a worthless government supplied pension. Is this not the perfect match? You now have a fixer upper real asset instead of a broken down paper promise.
I find it appealing because it describes the transformation of fantasy value (make-believe pensions and overvalued houses) into actual doable projects (baby boomers fixing leaks on otherwise-abandoned homes). It’s a reminder of where wealth actually comes from: land+labor+love, the mixing of your human ingenuity with the preexisting created order in the context of your actual needs and the needs of your family.
As opposed to wealth being based on how clever you are at getting other suckers to be the ones holding your hot potatoes when the music ends.