I think solving real estate will solve the long-term welfare problem, which will improve education and bring to light the rest of effective altruism's movements.
This needs to be discussed much more, because it could be solved quite easily, and have an exponential affect on the rest of society.
I think it's kind of ridiculous, goes back to the emotional aspect of philanthropy in people will donate to something that makes them feel good instead of doing the biggest bang with their buck. Like Anand talks about..
Donating to distributing drugs in Africa is one such thing. You could impact invest in an application that sends people in Africa a reminder to take a TB shot, and save millions of lives... but Prevention is exponentially better. Stop donating money sending americans on trips to africa for 'aid', just build better homes and infrastructure there, you solve many problems at once.
But if we can solve poverty in developed countries, there is just so much more money available for them to also become donors as well. Not even discussing 'poverty', lets just imagine if the 80% of people in the US who are living paycheck to paycheck, could loosen the amount of debt they have (which is mostly due to real estate). They wouldn't then all of a sudden take on more debt by buying more assets, they would save up. They would not have to work multiple jobs. They would volunteer, and donate.
Of the 100 million 'near relative poverty' in the US, 43 million are yes below poverty lines.
Just imagine if we had 100 million people now who were making good money, didn't waste half their income on rent, could now also get a better education, learn about causes, and join us in donating (or impact investing) to the best cause around the world, for prevention.
It would be exponential. More so than half the causes here. And it's systematic change that doesn't require a massive shift in politics. There are already opportunity zones, but they are still in the same field of extracting money. They aren't creating wealth for low-medium income populations. This is systematic change that can be done by investing.
The problem with rent to own is the downpayment, and the locked in contract. Today's society simply doesn't allow the second to occur due to how often people switch jobs, remote working, etc, and too many scams have dissuaded people from doing the first.
The reason why the whole debate of is renting better than buying a home, is more so because of the added interest than the maintenance. Yes back in the day it was probably more of a fair trade, and of course I remember what happened back in 2008 (whole city blocks in Arizona were boarded up)..but there's so much money around now a days, and banks have so many other ways to make money, I think we can move past this stage in life...
It's a broken system, like a pyramid scheme, and I can't believe it's not talked about here. Especially considering 36% of the world is renting their housing. For example, a single parent bank teller makes $16.50/hr @ JP morgan chase, paying less than median rent for a 1 bedroom in a city in california ends up being almost half her income, doesn't even make enough money to support a child's lunch..let alone clothes... teachers, let's not go there...because it's not the wage that doesn't matter, it's that wages don't increase nearly as much as housing costs.
But then again it's not the banks fault for this, they give the opportunity to landlords to offer fair rents, and to not make as much profit, right? Just give out more mortgages, they'll just raise the rent higher to pay them off... And then you can just bail out the banks again...
What is the best way to seriously help the most amount of people living in poverty? Make more money and donate to 'more effective charities'? Seriously what is trump doing to America right now? Keeping people in poverty, keeping people stupid, so they worry more about their bank account not going below $0 this month or next, instead of policies, or climate change, or AI taking over, or the health of people in Africa, etc...
I feel as if most people here don't *really* care about this here, almost like what anand giridharadas talked about the biggest problem with the philanthropists is they don't really want to change the way the system works.. and just seeing how many negative votes I've been getting here on this post, about an idea to improve real estate, makes this all the more true. (but thank you denkenberger for hashing this out with me)
Back to my original post idea, and to use a venture capital analogy, real estate should be a way to provide some sort of equity share for all stakeholders[and please don't say new buildings being built increases land value which improves economic conditions, because we all know about gentrification]. Yes some startups don't give equity to employees until they've been there 2 years. SO why not do this with housing? The value of all stakeholders, simple ESG metrics... the same tragedy that happens to X (coffee, chocolate, cobalt, lithium, etc) still living in poverty in Africa, while the top of the production line are living life of luxury.. well what good is it to donate against malaria, if you would be more effective by paying the X resource harvesters in Africa enough income to begin with to support a clean home, clean water, clean infrastructure...?)
So my idea goes along the idea of the sharing economy, the wealth + some of the appreciation of the asset over time is distributed between money lender/aka investor, to asset manager/aka home owner, but what really matters most is the renter, which could be called an interim asset manager. Even giving them 60% equity... to be debated...
With this mindset, makes renters feel more inclusive in the community, perhaps they would take care of the buildings and neighbourhood more, care about the laws in the city, perhaps be inclined to take part in a circular economy for furniture/electronics..
I'm not talking about the landlord/property owner, I'm speaking for the side of the renter... the people at the bottom of the pyramid... 36% of people 'throw money away' renting someone else's apartment/home.
I'm talking reforming this thought process where we are taking money from people, instead of making money together. Not "for profit", but "with profit". Share the wealth in a non-socialist way
I'm not promoting either rent control or building new housing complexes.
I'm promoting a new type of community, a new type of banking, an option for landlords to create a win-win situation. Don't need to build new buildings, just purchase them, like WeWork, consumers still have the option of just taking their own mortgage, or just to rent, but in reality, there is no reason 'just to rent' with digital technologies available.
Foundations & impact investors can purchase apartment buildings, and still make money renting out the properties. I'm not saying they have to reduce the rent, and take a longer ROI (though feel they should based on a renter's income). I'm saying, rent-to-own should be the norm. And it should be credit transferable, not locked-in to a single property.
Consumers don't have this choice, because even thinking 10 years ahead is so daunting, almost impossible to do. Even today, to think you will be in the same job for 5 years, in the same place, is almost unfeasible. You have no faith for most corporations that you will keep your pension.. And most people aren't even offered rent-to-own to begin with. With a global rent-to-own market, it allows landlords to sell the property for current/future value of the property, without locking it at a given value, the number one reason they don't even consider rent-to-own in the first place.