Occupy Wall Street

Here’s one of the best ever quotes on democracy I have ever read:

“Democracy destroys itself because it abuses its right to freedom and equality. Because it teaches its citizens to consider audacity as a right, lawlessness as a freedom, abrasive speech as equality, and anarchy as progress.”

The citizens protesting on Wall Street and throughout the world have a right to be upset. The trust they placed in their governments to oversee the banking and investment system was misplaced for sure. We used to complain about the Canadian banking system with our American counterparts who couldn’t believe how hard it is to borrow money in Canada compared to the States. Now Canada looks like the beacon of how to do it to the rest of the world!

Yet protesters seem to be protesting just for the sake of protesting and as an avenue to vent their anger. They want for some sort of change, although none can explain what kind of change they are looking for. The most common is a share the wealth scenario. In North America, the protests are for now small. But in Europe, you can’t discount 300,000 people showing up in Madrid for example.

Change for change’s sake can be very dangerous. Just ask any Egyptian on the streets of Cairo. How does this affect real estate markets here? Not much at the moment. But global unrest causes uncertainty and fear, which historically pushes investors to brick and mortar investments such as real estate and precious metals. Not paper precious metals, such as investment certificates but the actual coin itself. Real estate should remain stable if not continue to rise in certain markets, but this will be dependent on interest rates. For the short term, no foreseeable issues in larger urban real estate markets in Canada (aside from local market conditions of course).

By the way, the quote above is from Isocrates. A Greek philosopher who lived from 436 to 338 BC. Well over 2000 years ago. And they say history doesn’t repeat itself…

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