Elites want you to own nothing, they even want to take this away

Financial elites in America are busy putting up a white picket fence around the American dream of owning a home

Editor's note: The following op-ed is adapted from author Carol Roth’s new book "You Will Own Nothing" (Broadside Books (July 18, 2023).

Just over a decade ago, you may have taken out a mortgage from a big financial company, but you wouldn’t have to compete with them, or the companies that they have funded, to buy a single-family home. 

But today, the elite are trying to get you to rent the American Dream-- from them.

Yes, some of the biggest names in finance, like BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world and purveyor of ESG ideals, Blackstone, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Capital One, among others, have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into backing companies that purchase single-family homes and rent them back to middle and working-class Americans.


Owning a house has been the defining symbol of that American Dream. There’s a good reason for that—it’s an important asset for creating wealth. If you wanted people to create more wealth, a key path to doing that would be making it easier for them to own a home.

But, the elite in the U.S. and globally don’t want that at all. 

That’s why it is no surprise that a recent report from real estate brokerage firm Redfin showed housing affordability hitting a historic low in the United States, with less than a quarter of the homes listed in 2022 considered affordable for the typical US homebuyer.

There are corporations that have bought tens of thousands of single-family properties across the US for the express purpose of renting back the American Dream to you, so that you own nothing and give up your wealth creation opportunities to them.

It’s not just the US, either. In the UK, top British mortgage lender Halifax noted that property was unaffordable for the average buyer in about 80% of towns. In the Netherlands, it has been recently reported that first-time buyers are priced out of more than 96% of the market.

elites want you to own nothing they even want to take this away

It has been predicted that "you will own nothing…and be happy."

While the second part of that is no doubt as far as you can get from the truth, the wealthy and the well-connected are working hard on the first part. Hoarding assets and renting them back to you seems to be a big part of their plan.


In the United States, as well as around the globe, owning a home helps individuals and families build wealth. Per the Federal Reserve Board’s 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances, the home (aka primary residence) was the largest asset owned by dollar amount across all households and across all ethnic groups. More U.S. households have home equity than stocks and mutual funds or retirement accounts (including IRAs, Keogh plans, Thrift Savings Plans, and 401K(k) accounts)!

But the financial, business and political elite, many of whom own one or more mansions themselves, have overseen an epic transfer of wealth from Main Street to the already wealthy and well-connected, which has accelerated at key points over the last decade and a half. 

During the Great Recession Financial Crisis, the cronies of the well-connected benefited while the average American was punished. 

While both individuals and financial institutions took on too much risk vis-à-vis housing, their outcomes were starkly different. Individuals lost their homes while financial institutions received a bailout.

The wealthy and well-connected benefitted during the crisis in multiple ways. Some received direct bailouts. Many were given access to cheap capital. The financial institutions were able to foreclose on homes—taking away the wealth of the individual. These homes were flipped to capital-rich buyers who bought up these assets at bargain prices.


Meanwhile, as reported by The New York Times Magazine, "[f]rom 2007 to 2011, 4.7 million households lost homes to foreclosure, and a million more to short sale. Private-equity firms developed new ways to secure credit, enabling them to leverage their equity and acquire an astonishing number of homes." 

Following that, housing was underbuilt, creating an undersupplied market. Then, investors flush with cheap capital from the Fed’s "easy money" policies created a new market: competing with you to own your home.

Single-family houses that individuals and families have bought for decades as a means of creating generational wealth were, for the first time, being bought at scale by big corporations.

This is an entirely new phenomenon. Meaningful institutional money in single-family rentals didn’t exist just over a decade ago! 


Now, there are corporations that have bought tens of thousands of single-family properties across the U.S. for the express purpose of renting the American Dream back to you, so that you own nothing and give up your wealth creation opportunities to them.

They are backed by the financial elite, many of whom are the same people who cavort at Davos at the World Economic Forum’s yearly gathering.

These corporate homebuyers are not only driving up prices but are formidable competitors in other ways. They have the financial ability to make all-cash offers, not relying on a mortgage approval like a typical homebuyer would. These corporations don’t even look at the properties in many cases—why would they; they don’t plan to live there. 

In the fourth quarter of 2021 alone, corporations bought 80,000 homes, which was about 18 percent of all single-family homes sold during that quarter. While not all of those corporate buyers were large corporations (some were small landlords with corporate entities), it is a staggering number and more than 24,000 units higher than the same quarter in the prior year.

And, according to data from CoreLogic, investors purchased an estimated 22% of all US homes in 2022. That’s more than one in every five homes being purchased by an investor.

The investors own something, you own nothing, and they collect the rent on the difference.

This practice, enabled by Fed and government policy, is taking aim directly at the middle and working class. It is hurting younger Americans in their quest to own something. In fact, while millennials make more money on an inflation-adjusted basis than prior generations did at the same age bracket, they are generating less wealth and their hopes to buy their own home and a piece of the American Dream are shrinking.

The investors own something, you own nothing, and they collect the rent on the difference.

Redfin’s deputy chief economist Taylor Marr told The Hill "Housing affordability is at the lowest level in history, which is widening the wealth gap—especially between generations." 

It's the one-two punch of the policy-created asset bubble and transferring wealth creation opportunities to the already wealthy. Regular Americans are priced out of ownership, and they are not happy.

The elite want to come out on top, regardless of the fallout. So, they have now put up a white picket fence as a barrier to you achieving the American Dream.

Whether the "you will own nothing" prediction follows the expectations of the new financial world order or is a directive to help create one, it doesn’t matter much. Being a perpetual renter, rather than a homeowner, is a substantial affront to creating individual and generational wealth.

The elite aren’t stopping at homes. They are buying up land, water rights and more. You must work to own whatever you can, because if the elite own everything and you own nothing, they will end up effectively owning you.


Carol Roth is a former investment banker, entrepreneur and author of the new book "You Will Own Nothing" Broadside Books (July 18, 2023). Her previous books are "The War on Small Business" and the New York Times bestseller "The Entrepreneur Equation."

Authored by Carol Roth via FoxNews July 20th 2023