Monday, October 15, 2012

Detroit woman forced to live with house squatter

Believe it or not I really don't like writing negative blog posts about my home town. So this will be the last one for a while. There's good people in Detroit. You should know that. But there are also some dirty no good bottom feeder parasites. Every time I think I am finished writing about foolishness, lo and behold here comes another story. This story touched a nerve because I think it provides a perfect example of what plagues Detroit. This situation has a legal twist. Hopefully The Janitor or Old Guru can explain it because I am simply not understanding what is going on here.

Imagine that you left town for an extended period of time to work, have a baby, take an overseas vacation, visit a terminally ill relative, settle an estate, wait for repairs to be made on your home, wander the earth or whatever. Let's say that upon your return, you discovered that someone (a previous tenant? mentally challenged write-in presidential candidate?) had moved into your home, changed the locks, altered the wiring and plumbing, taken out liens, thrown out or sold your belongings, and otherwise taken possession of the home that you bought and paid for. Now I think that even the most peaceful person on the planet might get a little upset. And let's say that when you called the police, fully expecting that that they would remove this insolent interloper and drag them away to a richly deserved jail cell, the police said "Hey this is a civil dispute. We're not qualified to make decisions about who owns what. Tell it to the judge. Don't do anything rash. Stop bothering us. Don't call us again!"

If this happened to me I think that someone (not me) would have a rather serious problem. I don't want to think about what other people I know who are not as levelheaded, peaceful and calm as I am would do in that situation. This hard to believe event allegedly occurred in an area I know very well. Watch the video.


To be blunt, this is why many people have fled Detroit. In Detroit, there is a serious chronic problem with lack of respect for law and for other people's property. I have occasionally considered investing in Detroit property or in certain Detroit business opportunities. However I would have to spend an inordinate amount of money on lawyers, insurance and security. All else equal, who would do that if they could invest in another city where there's some basic understanding of the difference between yours and mine?

So when a burglar enters your home, don't call the police. Call a lawyer to start a case to prove you actually own the home??? Does that make any sort of sense? There may be excellent reasons for society not to allow violence to be automatically used in so-called civil disputes. I am sure our legal experts can think of many. But squatters don't squat in places where they will be immediately ejected and subjected to pain for even trying. Say what you like about the Koch Brothers or any other millionaire or billionaire but I bet that they don't have to worry about this problem because anyone trying it would get removed and/or hurt just as soon as they did. If you attempted this in a rich area security would immediately toss you out and maybe throw you a beating before the cops arrived to take you away.

Must we all hire private security to watch our homes and cars 24-7? Squatting lends credence to the idea that law is whatever the strong say it is. Therefore, increasingly people will just ignore the law. If you don't then you're just a sucker looking to get taken. Whichever woman is lying here, she's a predator. She's sought out a weak herd member and is trying to bring them down. You simply can not have a functioning market place without the ability to make and keep contracts and own property. You can't. Economic activity will move to places where people don't think that they somehow deserve to just take your property. I don't mean to sound like a crazed Ayn Rand disciple but even a broken clock is right twice a day. It's almost enough to make you vote for Mitt Romney.* If this attitude spreads, and it has, Detroit will remain largely bereft of good businesses, good schools, and young families. Property tax revenue will continue to dwindle and Detroiters will wonder why their city continues its long decline. About a decade ago area home prices were close to eight to ten times the price quoted in the story. I wonder if increased crime, poor city services and squatters had anything to do with that price fall? Nah. Couldn't be. Could it?

Questions

What's your take? Can you believe this? Can this story be real?

What's the difference between a home invasion and a squatter?

Should the proper owner take the law into her own hands?

*Grand Central that's a joke....
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