Rhys' Newsletter #65

Marsforming Terra. Homeownership is Bad.

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Hi hi! Some links this week:


1) Excellent thread on how we’re Marsforming Terra:

2) Been watching a bunch of videos on housing policy recently.

This video shows how housing-as-equity (instead of housing-as-commodity) leads to NIMBYism and decreasing supply.

I roughly agree with the slogan “homeownership is bad.”

The video shows that homeownership in Switzerland is only 38%, while it’s 62% in the UK. This leads to homes getting built in Switzerland, but not getting built in the UK. When demand increases but supply doesn’t, you get higher prices.

As the graph below shows, in the last 50 years, the cost of housing has barely risen in Switzerland, but has increased dramatically in the UK.

(Great for existing homeowners, bad for everyone else!)

In the video above, I learned that 91% of folks in Singapore own their homes. That’s a ton. But, they still have reasonable prices! What gives?

I found the video below, and learned that:

  • Singapore sees housing-as-a-home (commodity), not as an investment

  • So you’re only allowed to own 1 home

  • Singapore had a housing crisis after WWII, so Lee Kuan Yew had the government buy lots of land, build tons of housing on it, then offer citizens to buy it (under a 99-year lease).

So…yeah. Implement land-value taxes, get rid of the mortgage interest tax deduction, and free/simplify zoning. (Japan only has 12 zones! Various gradients of residential, commercial, and industrial.)

3) Babylon Bee: Mansplaining Down But Woman Confusion Up
4) The Onion: California Employees Hesitant About Returning To Office Currently On Fire
5) Rhys: Trojan Offers Free Condoms To Customers Who Can Show Their V Card

6) Satire From The Crowd: As Americans Return to Work and Life, Many Forget How to Hold in Farts.

(Please send me other funny headlines you’ve written!)

7) TikTok of the Week: @deestroying: When you can’t afford fireworks on the 4th of July 🤣




This is a fun thing:

I have a bunch of these [song : scene] associations with Wes Anderson films (because I did a high school film project studying his movies). Specifically:

It also makes me think of this delightful country song, which is all about these kinds of associations (a song triggering a melody).

“Funny how a melody sounds like a memory.”

What songs are linked to a TV/movie scene for you?

Hope you have a good week! Warmth, Rhys

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