A Dummkopf’s Guide to How Things Work

Look, Jane. See Punkt run. Oh, Dick… Punkt of course is German for Spot, and Dick, Jane and Spot taught many of us old timers to read. They were our first Dummkopf books. I think the style of those first readers is quite appropriate for today. I can’t decide whether to change Dick and Jane to Horst und Gretchen, but will think more about it. I will keep Punkt for Spot.

Lesson One: Wasted Public Space

Look,  Jane. See the school building? the recreation center? that big complex on the water called Harbourfront? That’s all valuable real estate being wasted. You’ve got to look at the world through the eyes of a real estate developer to understand how things work. Publicly owned buildings are just wasted land. Close down the service or cultural venue and put it to work as office space or condos.  Hire a former politico like Tom Jacobek (in Toronto) to ensure that City Council does your bidding. Sell off all public housing and hope those poor folk die or move out of town. Shit, Toronto real estate is undervalued. We’re the Zurich of North America. Pack City Council with Newbies who don’t understand the strings attached to them. Run, Punkt, run.

Lesson Two: Cars and Trucks

Look, Jane. See Punkt run over by the speeding car on Kingston Road. Why are there no cops enforcing the speed limit? Because they don’t want you to cross safely, Dummkopf.  They work for the men who run the province, who run the world. The men who gave you G8 and G20. Think of trying to cross a raging river. Roads like Kingston are raging rivers. They keep poor and old people out of valuable real estate areas. Think Bayview extension. Think 401. (Apologies for the Canadian content: My American friends can just think Manhattan if there were no East River. )

The real estate developers who own the politicians, who own the police, want Rich People with Cars to Buy their Condos. Fortunately, they are also Dummkopfs. They don’t understand that the pollution and noise generated by the Traffic will drive (excuse the pun) people away from buying their overpriced condos. Toronto condo prices will crash. The rich will take their money offshore. The economy will crash. But the developers will have made their profit and moved on. Think Rape. Oops. This is supposed to be 1st grade friendly. Oops. My American roots are showing. Grade One friendly.

To be continued.

Editor’s note: Ingrid, act locally, but think more globally. For example, examine how All Inclusive tourism is destroying prime real estate all over the world, but especially in emerging nations. Today’s hotel; Tomorrow’s condo. In the eyes of developers, earthquakes and tsunami devastation are just nature’s free bulldozers.



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