The Pushcart Permanent Assurance

So I arrived for my appointment at Firestone in downtown Van Nuys yesterday for a pair of replacement tires, and was told:  “We’re running a little behind. We can get to it in two hours.”  Of nine service bays, only two were operational.  They were short on manpower, a downstream consequence of America paying people to stay home and not work on the 493rd day of 15 Days to Slow The Spread.

I adjourned to MacLeod to enjoy a pint while I waited. On Erwin St. I encountered this remarkable example of bespoke mobile architecture.  Clean, uncluttered, and minimalist. A privacy compartment of salvaged doors rolling on a stolen Home Depot cart, topped by a bunkbed. If Marie Kondo took to the streets she might come up with something like this.

A sheet flapped in the breeze like a sail, sheltering the shirtless, tattooed man sleeping inside.  It made me think of sailors stacked in bunks and the domestic rituals of prison space.  A glorious workaround to the territorial disputes among People of the Favela.  In the event of flammables, one merely needs to roll around the corner.

Across the street a new five-story, 45 unit building is about to open its apartments to the rental market.  After the five low-income units are filled, the number of people sleeping on the sidewalk of Erwin St. will not change. Behold the Vertical Valley, in a single frame.

For we are living in an era of lawless improvisation.

Chava Sanchez/LAist

After 17 months of paying the poor and the working class to remain idle, the occupant of the White House has decreed through the office of the CDC paying rent is now optional.  Biden has about as much Constitutional predicate for this as I do to shit on the sidewalk, but who in my beloved Los Angeles is gonna stop me?

In case there was confusion the Supreme Court issued a friendly reminder, called a ruling, stating he has no authority to do this. Biden is doing it anyway. Who’s gonna stop him, the NY Times? The Republicans? Heh.

Rent will not be “cancelled”. It will be paid by the federal government printing money like a khat gobbling Zimbabwean warlord and giving it to those landlords willing to accept 80 cents on the dollar after extensive paperwork.  We are doing this while jobs go unfilled everywhere.  Like at Firestone, where after two hours no one could be found to crank a wrench for $60 labor cost per tire.

This morning I went to trusty Ivan, Peruvian immigrant, who got it done in an hour for a little over half the price. He has a lease on a stall and he’s got rent to pay.

Speaking of lawless improvisation:

3 thoughts on “The Pushcart Permanent Assurance”

  1. People tend to have very different reactions to government subsidies depending on the particulars.

    On the one hand, paying people to stay home and not work is a moral abomination. That’s rewarding the lazy unwashed masses who loaf around suckling on the taxpayer’s teat as they hand craft BLM and Antifa posters. NO!

    On the other hand, pushing interest rates to zero for years on end, flooding the financial markets with “liquidity” and massively inflating the value of property and stocks… That’s God’s Will and the Natural Order. (And we can quietly ignore that these policies were first introduced by Trump who had a Republican majority in both the House and Senate. See also, the Bush II stimmies from the 2008 crash followed by Obama’s continuation.)

    A real fiscal and moral conservative would have let everyone – and I mean everyone – take their loses like a red blooded he-man. That way the market could clear malinvestment and put capital and labor to more productive use after the dust settled. Absolutely no one was on board with that.

    Can we just admit that both parties are fucked up and twist the economy into ridiculous shapes? No one has clean hands here.

    1. I have to agree with you on the question of bipartisan moral hazard. The difference in the case of “Cancel rent” is one of clear intent to purchase the allegiance of a constituency through the suspension of contract law, and doing so when there is little underlying need.

  2. How were the Democrat voters stripped of empathy? They’re all convinced that just because their ideas haven’t ruined their own lives yet, their ideas won’t ruin their lives like they have so many people that they rationalize denigrating rather than accepting their responsibility towards. We’re a nation ruled by a large psychopath plurality.

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