Our Problem is Free Market Investment as Housing Policy & Investors as a Global Social Class, Not “Foreign” Investors
July 14, 2016
On the ground in contact with people displaced by the demoviction crisis, we’re seeing a frightening effect of the mainstream media’s “foreign ownership” explanation of the housing crisis: a rise in anti-Chinese racism. Please stop posting “foreign ownership” ideas as the quick, go-to, default explanation of why people are being driven out into the streets.
We suspect “foreign investment” is an attractive explanation to some because it is grounded in a settler-nativism (the idea that those in Canada now are more entitled to homes than those not yet here) at best, and, at worst, a powerful legacy of BC as a “White Man’s Province” (that White Canadians are the central and most important social group in BC, and deserve homes and jobs ahead of all others).
Besides spreading racism, the foreign investment myth confuses the real problems – that all levels of government are incentivizing and organizing the liquidation of low-income homes in the pursuit of growth at all costs, and of houses as investment properties, with their development dictated by their profitability for corporations not peoples’ needs. And it covers up the real solutions: in the immediate term, for the state to pass laws that stop the further destruction of homes and increase taxes on the rich to redistribute wealth downwards, building 77,000 units of social housing a year in Canada. In the longer term, the only solution is the abolition of private property and the end of settler-colonial property relations.
Let’s cut off and oppose the foreign investment myth.
THIS IS A ZERO-TOLERANCE ZONE FOR RACE-BASED ANALYSIS
HERE WE ARE COMMITTED TO CLASS STRUGGLE AND ANTI-CAPITALIST SOLUTIONS TO CAPITALIST PROBLEMS