The Problem With Housing As A Commodity

Housing is a human right, not a commodity
Canada is now seeing the consequences of governments placing the interests of investors ahead of citizens

Housing is now predominantly valued as a commodity, traded and sold on markets, promoted and invested in as a secure place to park unprecedented amounts of excess capital. The view of housing as a human dwelling, a place to raise families and thrive within a community, has largely been eroded. Despite its firm place in international human rights law, housing has lost its currency as a human right.

Housing prices have increased at three times the rate of income. No longer commensurate with household income levels, housing prices are driven instead by demand for high-end assets among global investors.

In other countries, the result has been devastating. In the U.S., in the five years after the 2008 mortgage crisis, nine million households were evicted due to foreclosure; in Spain during the same period, 300,000 were evicted. Legendary Wall Street short-seller Marc Cohodes has predicted that this is the direction in which Canada is now headed.


The Psychology of Pandemics

Wondering why society went off-kilter during the pandemic? It was all predicted in this book
A year and a half into the pandemic, a group of citizens still refuse to acknowledge that a major health event is even happening. Why? A prophetic book by a psychologist in Vancouver, B.C., predicted this, as well as most…

Taylor would know because he predicted it. He wrote a remarkable little book back in 2019 called “The Psychology of Pandemics.” Its premise is that pandemics are “not simply events in which some harmful microbe ‘goes viral,’” but rather are mass psychological phenomena about the behaviors, attitudes and emotions of people.

The denialists and refuseniks today are engaging in what the psychology field calls “psychological reactance.” It’s “a motivational response to rules, regulations, or attempts at persuasion that are perceived as threatening one’s autonomy and freedom of choice,” the book describes.

Pandemics bring out all these extremes in behavior,” Taylor told me. “Anxiety, fear, denial, racism, conspiracy theories, the popularity of quack cures, the ‘you’re not the boss of me’ backlash to health directives — these things have all been seen dating back to the medieval plagues.”


Men Giving Up on “Real” Jobs

7 ways men live without working in America
Almost one third of all working age men in America aren’t doing diddly-squat. They don’t have a job and they aren’t looking for one either. How do they live? What are they doing for money? To me, this is one of the great mysteries of our time.

Almost one-third of all working-age men in America aren’t doing diddly-squat. They don’t have a job, and they aren’t looking for one either. One-third of all working-age men. That’s almost 30 million people!

But the fact that millions of American males have not been working precedes COVID-19 by decades.

It’s also the case that some men in this group may be unemployed and not seeking work because they’ve given up looking just for now — perhaps waiting for COVID to abate — and will start the search again soon. Here too, society needs to help.


Grieving & Denying The Loss of Identity

Opinion | The Limits of My Empathy for Covid Deniers
We are all grieving. But some of us are rushing into a collective denial of death and loss.

She suggests that the anti-science, narcissistic, antisocial Covid deniers are displaying a collective grief response. We are all grieving the loss of big things and small things.

I am thinking about the big losses but also about the small losses, like our professional identities as we lost jobs or our work changed dramatically and the loss of our daily rituals.


Hospitality Workers Seeking Better Work

A third of former hospitality workers won’t return to the industry during the labor shortage because they want higher pay, better benefits, and a new work environment
Many workers who were either laid off or quit hospitality jobs are reluctant to go back, even as wages rise in the labor shortage, a survey suggests.

Low pay, bad benefits, and a stressful workplace are putting off former restaurant and hotel staff from returning to the industry, according to a survey by job site Joblist.

Massive lay-offs, remote working, and caring responsibilities have forced thousands of Americans to consider switching their careers during the pandemic. Some were forced out of their roles because their employers downsized or even shut down during the pandemic. Others have been “rage quitting” in search of better pay and conditions.


Understanding the Shifting Meaning of Working Class

Understanding the Working Class | Demos
The working class today is much more complex and diverse than the white, male, manufacturing archetype often evoked in popular narratives.

As the manufacturing footprint in the working class has shrunk, so has the white male archetype that has historically defined the working class. And as the share of private-sector workers in unions shrank along with those jobs, and working-class jobs became more diffuse and spread across numerous sectors, the idea of a coherent working class has lost its force.

Put simply, the working class shifted from “making stuff” to “serving and caring for people”—a change that carried significant sociological baggage. The long-standing “others” in our society—women and people of color—became a much larger share of the non-collegeeducated workforce. And their marginalized status in our society carried over into the working class, making it easier to overlook and devalue their work.

Women and people of color have made great strides in the past 50 years, but there’s no turning away from the reality that our society is still organized along relatively rigid gender and racial hierarchies. As the quality of the new jobs being created in America continues to deteriorate, the inequities by race and gender are further exacerbated.

Nearly twice as many women as men work in jobs paying wages below the poverty line.


Walking Back Down the Mountain of Wisdom & Experience

In the fall of 2001, my life imploded along with the bursting of the Dot-Com Bubble and I ended up on the street corner questioning the way that work worked, as it felt like it was no longer working for me but was beginning to work against me instead.

Over the next two decades, this questioning of the way that work worked evolved into a lifelong quest that took me far and wide, exploring unconventional domains of knowledge that shattered and shifted my perception of reality, helping me to see the wisdom of it in a much broader and human way.

And yet with each exhilarating step of this adventure, as I climbed this metaphorical mountain, gaining more advantageous vistas to understand myself and my world better, the more I felt like I was stepping away from the very people I wanted to help back in the conventional world I had left behind.

In fact, over the past few years, I’ve felt like I’ve reach this impasse where I feel like I can no longer go forward and no longer go back because I’m stuck in trying to figure out how to communicate this unconventional knowledge to a conventional person. Put another way, how do you communicate a larger perception of reality to someone who doesn’t have the larger perception to understand it yet?

Yesterday it finally dawned upon me that you can’t. All you can do is “meet them where they are at”, as the saying goes. In effect, there is no way that a conventional person can understand the meaning of what I’m talking about from my perspective until they go through similar life experiences that cause them to “level up” their perception of reality and see it from a broader viewpoint as well.

So until they experience a dramatic life challenge that causes them to actually question their world and themselves within it, reimagining it in a broader way, they won’t be able to grasp the meaning and understanding of my life’s work from my own higher vantage point.

But here’s the beauty of it. To help them, they don’t need to do so. Why? Because I can meet them where they are at. And where is that exactly? Where I was two decades ago when my world came crashing down around me. For that’s the exact very same place many people are at today. They feel like the world that they know is collapsing around them, no longer works, and they don’t know what to do about it…well besides channelling their anger at someone and blaming them for it, which really doesn’t help you constructively speaking.

So all this time, while I’ve been off adventuring beyond the edge of the known, conventional world and wishing others could see and understand what I’ve been seeing, I had the completely wrong perspective. To begin helping others, it’s not about getting them to understand me and my perspective. Rather it’s about me understanding and empathizing with their perspective and where they are at.

So I need to now walk back down the mountain of wisdom and experience I have climbed and return to the base of it. In doing so, I’ll be able to remember and clarify the essence of what it felt like for me two decades ago, my fears and uncertainty, so that I can help others understand each stage of the journey before them. In effect, they’re not alone and there is a way forward, regardless of how uncertain it feels to them at the moment.

Vertical Development

Major Life Challenges Trigger Growth

What triggers a person to open up to a later, more complex stage of consciousness? According to the research, the trigger for vertical growth always comes in the form of a major life challenge that cannot be resolved from the current worldview.

Frederic Laloux, Reinventing Organizations
Vertical Development

Humanity Evolves in Stages

In their exploration, they found consistently that humanity evolves in stages. We are not like trees that grow continuously. We evolve by sudden transformations, like a caterpillar that becomes a butterfly, or a tadpole a frog.

Human consciousness evolves in successive stages; there is no wishing away the massive amount of evidence that backs this reality.

Frederic Laloux, Reinventing Organizations
Vertical Development

Why People Stop Evolving Their Worldview

3 Ways People Become Stuck, Undeveloped, and Unsuccessful
Are you born the way you are and never change?

The main idea is that, while growing up, a person often has powerful and emotional experiences that inform their worldview and personality development.

According to the Heath brothers (and all the research they cite in their book), most of these “paradigm shifting” experiences happen during a person’s teens, 20’s, and begin tapering off during a person’s 30’s. They become almost non-existent for people over 40. And thus, people become frozen at a certain stage of their personality — and assume that’s how it’s supposed to be.

However, the Heath brothers explain that this doesn’t need to be the case. You can actually manufacture these experiences regularly, and throughout your entire life.

The reason most people stop having “peak experiences” — which according to Dr. Abraham Maslow, is required to become fully actualized as a person — is because they settle into societal norms.

They stop growing.

They stop putting themselves into wildly new and demanding situations. They stop exercising faith after having life experiences — and grow to become skeptical or cynical.