Free houses by the millions - by Rolf A. F. Witzsche

Greening the humanist desert


Will the concept be implemented?

A number of basic necessities are required for a human society to exist. Some of these are food, housing, clothing, energy, and transportation. The human power provide them evermore efficiently unfolded not with harder labor, but with scientific and technological progress has enabled the creation of industries and power-operated processes that vastly extend the productive power of every form of human labor. But key to the economic element in this process that provides the necessities, is the human being. It is the quality of human living and human development that determines the state of civilization, and this quality is greatly effected by the quality of education, culture, and above all, the quality of housing.

Slum living, not to mention homelessness, destroys a society. It disables the human potential. A farmer will have a poor harvest if he puts no seeds into his fields, or just a few seeds of poor quality. Civilization is society's harvest of the 'seeds' it plants, and the quality of housing is a chief factor in the dimension of civilization. A lack of housing, or unlivable conditions, or unaffordable housing, destroys civilization. This lack is therefore one of the greatest barrier a society can impose on its self-development and its civilizational wealth.

But how can we upgrade the current state of housing, which is in a state of crisis that is barely recognized to exist? The cost of housing has risen astronomically to the point that society has become enslaved just to meet the housing cost, and even then, evermore people can't afford any housing at all. 

On this universally enslaving basis there is no economic recovery possible in the modern age whereby society is increasingly doomed to decay. Desperation becomes the outcome, and crime, hopelessness, depression, and disease set in. By society tolerating poor quality housing (or none at all) it is wasting the most precious asset is has, which is itself and its human development potential.

This should have been recognized a long time ago. There should have been an SDI launched on issue. We had plenty of opportunities to do this, and still do. For example, it costs close to 30 million to build a single F15 fighter aircraft, and at this price 750 of them were built. The new F35 costs well over a hundred million a piece. For the cost of a single aircraft of this breed, using the same modern mass-production methods, society could have produced homes for 30,000 homeless people. For the price of ten aircraft, society could have eradicated homelessness in the entire USA. It would have created a whole new industry for mass-produced housing had society devoted itself to this task, utilizing its most advanced machine tool capability and materials. With a little more effort along this line, mankind could eradicated homelessness around the world. This process would have been a real effort for the universal defense of mankind. 

But this is not happening, is it? Instead, society is wasting its resources and manpower for the mass-producing of killing machines. 

Of course the F15 is an amazing aircraft, but it comes at a high price. And even at this high price it is a relatively cheap aircraft in the world of military aviation. The C5-Galaxy transport aircraft, for another example, costs over 170 million each. The USA has built 120 of these. The new B1-B intercontinental supersonic bomber comes at an even higher price, a whopping 280 million for a single plane, of which a hundred were built.  The latest increment along this line, the B2 stealth bomber, came at the price tag of 737 million each, of which 21 were built, though the total cost of the B2 project added up to 44 billion, or two billion dollars each. The tab for just these four aircraft runs up past the 100 billion mark. That's what society quite readily spends to increase its killing potential, while it don't care enough to spend a dime on protecting human life, on aiding the victims of its disintegrating culture, and so on. In many places society lets them rot and die in the streets. If this is so, with what justification can we be talking about the universal defense of mankind, if don't even care to defend the most disenfranchised of our own people, the most vulnerable, for whose defense very little would actually be needed? In fact the entire world would be far better off society cared enough to help at least the most needy of the people and in exchange would built a few less killing machines.

We are talking about the outcome of sophistry here. Inhumanity is not native to the human being. It is a learned tragedy in thinking that prevents us from doing what we should be doing We failed for this reason with the SDI, because we fell for the sophistry of 'educated' opinion, such as the 'philosophy' of monetarism. We need to be exploring what is required to break the sophistry.

"Good luck!" one might say. "That's like beating your head against a wall, or like standing in front of Congress and suggesting that for the price of a single B2 bomber homelessness in America could be eradicated forever. The Congressmen would boo at the very suggestion, because Congress represents the rich, rather than the people of America. If a program doesn't profit the rich, who finance their campaigns, the traitors in Congress won't want to hear of it. They would boo you out of the hall, because what you propose would topple their client's entire real estate pyramid of high priced, gold plated, tarpaper shacks. And so, free universal housing simply would never be put on the agenda, even if it would achieve something that everyone in America could be really proud of as an Americans. The Congressmen would ask immediately why would then pay 600,000 for a house if they can get the same for free.

That's not exaggerating, The free house is achievable, and the consequences of greed have made it necessary. What stands between the realization of what is necessary to liberate society and what is the reality today in the world of high-priced living, if it can still be called living, is nothing more than a thick layer of sophistry that is designed to enrich the rich. Of course Congress would explode with rage if one were to suggest that the monetarist structures that enriches the rich, should be scrapped in order to uplift society out of it poverty whereby the rich would loose their avenue from stealing. And this isn't a joke, nor a dream, because in physical economics this can be done. The free house is achievable, and by the millions for as long as the need exists.

Of course I' not talking about cutting down trees and sawing them into planks to be nailed together laboriously. I am talking about high energy-intensive automated production. I am talking about highly modularized houses, constructed in completely automated assembly processes.

When you think this sounds too wonderful to be true, you are placing yourself in the line against this. You may think that at the moment that you announce that you are going to build 50,000 new houses for the homeless of America, the building materials prices will going through the roof. Then the project would cost you ten times the normal price for materials than what one would normally expect to pay. The price for every stick of wood would instantly increase ten-fold.

But who is saying anything about building with wood? Wood construction is archaic. I'm thinking of building with new materials, the kind that no one owns. I am thinking about utilizing a national resource that most countries in the world have in abundance. I am talking about building houses of basalt and glass. Basalt has a nine times higher tensile strength than steel. I'm talking about the new houses made cast and extruded modules of glass-fiber reinforced basalt. One module might be a curved extruded roof. All the modules would be fully insulated, mostly with basalt micro fibers. Basalt fibers are a three-times-better thermal insulator than asbestos is.

You may have always thought that basalt is just stone, a volcanic stone.  Sure it is that. But it's more than just stone. It's an extremely fine-grained stone and is very dense, and hard. Its stronger and less brittle than glass, and its melting point is 500 degrees below the melting point of high quality glass so that it can be reinforced with glass fibers when needed. It's also nicely fluid when melted. It can be extruded into fibers, even micro fibers, or any other shape you can imagine, such as wall panels or single unit roof modules. Basalt is the perfect stuff for automated fabrication, and it's better in quality than anything on the market is today. What makes basalt an even more ideal building material is the fact that there is plenty of basalt right in backyard in the USA. The Columbia River Basin contains 170,000 cubic-kilometers of this top grade building material. That's enough to cover the entire USA twelve meters deep. Nor would one need to dig into the ground to get to it. It's sitting on the surface. All one needs to do is pick it up, melt it, purify it, and reshape it into whatever one wants to make of it. Also, the stuff is 100% useable. No waste results. The only input that one needs is a lot of process heat. The stuff melts at 1,200 degrees Celsius. Glass melts as 1,700 degrees. One can easily get this kind of process heat from nuclear power. 

The leading edge Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor that has been tested successfully for five years already, would be ideal for that. It provides 500-degree process heat with a high energy-flux density. One can use it to generate electrical power and also run some of it through heat-pump concentrators to get the kind of heat that melts basalt, and also steel, glass, and a lot of other things as well. That's how we would achieve the automated mass production for the new housing units that are urgently required as a first step to jump-start the world. The new housing units would be produced with the same efficiency with which egg cartons are produced today.

Of course, we don't need to build just 50,000 units to help the most desperate of the homeless in America. I am thinking more in the order of a million new houses of about 1,500 to 2,000 square feet in floor area. The point here is that we don't just face a crisis in terms of homeless living, but also in slum-type living. Many of the places that people are forced to live in for the lack of anything else, aren't fit for human habitation, much less for human development. The housing scene is fast becoming a crime scene of horrendous crimes against humanity. We probably need to build several million new free houses to start with, in order to end this crime and dig the nation out of its slum hole. With large-scale automated production, powered by nuclear power plants, that's easily accomplished. We can even make the needed furniture's in a similar fashion, including beds, possible also clothing and shoes. I can see basalt micro-fibers becoming the textile of the future.

Am I dreaming yet? No, I don't. 

Sure the needed plants and equipment to build millions of houses would cost tens of billions of dollars, and there isn't a bank in the world that would lend that kind of money to the governments, much less for a project to help the poor.

But who needs to go begging to the banks to achieve what must be achieved? In a new world, a sane world, Congress would simply nationalize the Federal Reserve system. By doing this, the nation would then extend itself the needed financial credits at interest rates equivalent to the administration cost. So, why wouldn't it work? It would work easily. A nation that is spending billions each year to built more killing machines, and beyond that, tens of billion more on covert operations around the world to destabilize other governments, wreck other nations, create terrorist armies, and so forth, and hand out trillions upon trillions to bail out the gambling circuses of the monetarist speculators, could easily spare a few hundred billions for the creation of industrial infrastructures that would 'green' the social 'desert' and create a whole new world for human living.

Why wouldn't we shut the world's terror machines down in this atmosphere and utilize the economic resources for building a new civilization? And those are huge resources that we waste each year on destroying the world. Isn't it time to do something constructive for a change, and uplift ourselves as nation and as humanity? So don't ever say that we can't afford what needs to be done in order that society can live. If you are saying this, you are a hypocrite, perhaps not by intent, but in effect you are.

Maybe many a man might call me a hypocrite at this point, or insane, for suggesting that any of that will ever work. However, what I'm suggesting has already worked, and it has worked well until a bunch of have traitors wrecked it. And so it could work again, and more efficiently this time. I am referring to American history, and specifically to the Hamiltonian credit system. But am I insane, really, even knowing that it would costs roughly $200,000 just to buy a building lot to put the free house on. I never said anything about buying building lots. Why would one do that? Who needs to buy building lots? I am talking about building brand new cities, utilizing the vast empty spaces of New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and so forth, that are dry deserts right now, without a tree, or garden, or water fountains, and human voices in abundance. I am talking about greening the deserts in every imaginable respect - desserts becoming forests and playgrounds and villages and cities, with all kinds of industries, mixed in with agriculture, universities, engineering labs, and concert halls. I am talking about community oriented cities surrounded by new industrial complexes, all interconnected by high-speed trains. 

Here, the building lots for the houses would be free. The only cost incurred would be for installing the services, such as roads, water, sewage, electricity, telephone, electronics, and some provisions for future services. Of course the required services would be laid in an industrial type fashion at very low cost so that the entire finished house wouldn't cost more than $3,000 that society would bear as an investment into itself.  Sure, big costs would all be accrued for the necessary national infrastructure upgrading, and system designs, and process engineering, and water and power systems, and so on. It would cost us many billion before the first house would be built, but once the new economy is up and running it would rapidly transform the entire country and inspire the world to duplicate the new renaissance.

Indeed we have to enrich our world that way from one end to the other, with rent-free houses and entire new cities. But soon free spaces would be offered by communities all over the place, just for the economic uplift and vitality the new places with rich human living would bring. Entire free-city would then become incorporated into the old cities to keep the old cultural diversity alive. I can also see older cities not just offering free housing, but also offering advanced environments in competition with each other to attract people. Once it is becoming recognized that the people of society, beyond anything else, are a society's most precious resource, then the cities will be in a general competition with each other to attract more people with long-term promises and long-term potentials, and free housing as a standard feature. The resulting universal development process would most certainly transform the whole of America.

The General Welfare Principle would then no longer be dead in America. Real healthcare and real education would resume.  Everything that a person needs to exist, especially the basic necessities, such as housing, transportation, health care and education would by then have been turned away from the profit engines that soon, most people wouldn't remember anymore. And this would happen worldwide. It would have to be promoted that way, otherwise America would open the socialist gateway and the world would instantly line up at America's doorstep, wanting free housing. The country would be overrun. However, with the whole world doing the same, no such dislocation would happen. There would be no need for it. And if this became the reality, the return of the Ice Age, which is already on the horizon, wouldn't represent a challenge that couldn't be met then and mastered and produce a still richer world by the developed power for overcoming the challenge.

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