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Tharp case still makes me cry

I initially blogged about this case as it unfolded, then re-titled the blog and condensed my comments. As far as I know, nothing has ever ...

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Homeowners associations amount to state-sanctioned racketeering

HOAs are a part of a state-supported racket intended to force homeowners to assume responsibilities and pay costs that should be borne by government. These bullying gangs - a problem all across Police State USA - are run by inept busybodies who delight in forcing homeowners to comply with inane interpretations of regulations, and equally inane - and never-ending - amendments to existing regulations. Membership dues - along with money obtained for cleverly promoted "donation projects" - are squandered on ill-advised "improvements," lining the coffers of those businesses "selected" to do the work. Government has a vested interest in expanding, not limiting, the control these neighborhood gangs have over the taxpaying public. No wonder tax breaks are granted to HOAs.

As residents along South Carolina's Grand Strand appeal to - yes, state legislators - for help, I've reflected on the unlikelihood of meaningful change. It's noteworthy that state legislators held statewide hearings on problems with HOAs three years ago, obviously to no avail, which should surprise nobody who's studied the matter. Reading about the government's relationship with HOAs, at least I realized what the underlying motivations were for a recent "voluntary donation project" cleverly promoted by the HOA gang in my neighborhood.

I thought it wuz kinda strange when the gang wanted homeowners to voluntarily make donations to pay for fancy new replacements for stop signs and street signs when these items, plus maintenance, had already been paid for via Lexington County taxes. Apparently, the HOA gang never thought of requesting the county to fulfill its obligation to replace delapidated signs. Instead, the HOA gang breezed right ahead with colorful flyers promoting ultra expensive, privately financed signs - touted as an "improvement" for the neighborhood - and pulled it off by suckering enough people to donate. Many residents - myself included - thought the idea was ridiculous and simply declined to participate. Seemed innocuous enough at the time. After all, donations were voluntary. What was the big deal?

Now that I've taken a closer look at HOAs and their relationship with government, I realize that it was a very big deal indeed. Lexington County was not only relieved of replacing signs, but Quail Hollow residents foolishly obligated themselves to maintain the new signs in the future. Real hoot when ya start payin' for stuff that's already been paid for. Worse yet, the new signs are an eyesore. The things are as hideous as they are humongous, combining stop signs and street signs in the gaudiest fashion imaginable. Oh, well. What's a measly $18,000 if it helps the tax-hungry, bloodsucking power structure of Lexington County? And just think how happy it made the business people who were selected to do the work. By what process such contracts are awarded, of course, is anyone's guess. To top the joke off, the Quail Hollow Community Association put the original street markers up for sale as "souveniers." Talk about a thigh-slapper.

The stop sign and street sign fiasco is a prime example of the cozy relationship twixt the power structure and so-called homeowners associations. Foxes will be guarding the hen house when state legislators tackle the HOAs problem, prodded by the MASSIVE crowd of irate homeowners who showed up at the 10/29/2014 meeting in Horry County. Expect a grand performance as legislators make a few cosmetic adjustments to the HOAs scam. Perhaps homeowners will be given permission to spend time, money and effort fighting HOAs in magistrates court, while the "people's representatives" feign unawareness of the nature of the racket. And depend on groups such as Realtor organizations - part of the problem from the outset - to take "leadership" roles as they consort with powerful political interests, tossing out a few more bones in an effort to placate an outraged public. Will Realtor groups finally get around to requiring sales people to present documents pertaining to HOAs prior to closing sales? Whoop Dee Doo. For decades, purchasers should have been advised of the details and risks of HOAs not only "prior to closing," but prior to signing sales contracts.

Hundreds of homeowners coming together - over a thousand according to several reports - to protest the dishonest, bullying tactics of homeowners associations is encouraging, and the massive turnout must have terrified the power structure. Hopefully, those folks will come to realize the dimensions of the HOAs scam, and will thereby make their displeasure known when elected officials (don't blame me - I quit voting long ago) refuse to make meaningful changes to one of the best government rackets money can buy. Otherwise...

If Americans are dumb enough - and cowardly enough - to tolerate tyranny, so be it.