Posted by Richard Haut on March 25, 2003 at 09:35:34:
In Reply to: Re: I have 2 great ideas - Responsibility - Habitat for Humanity posted by JWmHarmon on March 25, 2003 at 08:52:04:
you are right about the difference in systems - student debt is something new in Britain and the way that things work there working through education as you describe would be very difficult. (What I find worrying is that sudents are encouraged, even pushed, into debt - and fees are set to increase to levels as high as £10,000 to £13,000).
what you describe requires a level playingfield - a fair system. Young people then can live in modest property and work their way up by their own efforts. Something with which I would be in total agreement. In France I believe that people can do that. America has become famous for it. Britain ? Not a hope.
I mention the financial scandals because in Britain the financial services industry was described (by the man appointed to look into it some years ago) as having a "culture of corruption". I believe it to have got far worse since then.
If everything is out of balance (e.g. very high property prices, or college fees, but very low wages) then the figures just do not match up. What happens is that those with family money get the advantage; the others just work to live and maybe (maybe) study part time. This is taking Britain back fifty years.
In housing my favourite scheme was one which involved some thirty young couples who were building their own houses together. It worked brilliantly; it was to everybody's advantage; it was healthy, positive, constructive.
Why aren't there more such schemes ? I have no idea. What I do know is that many people (sometimes at quite high levels in their professions) live in a way you simply would not believe. For all the talk of big money, the quality of life has descended sharply, the value of what one can get has decreased. The result is that for those lower down the scale (which obviously includes those trying to work their way up) the climb assumes unrealistic proportions.
In short, housing problems are the symptom, not the disease.
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