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EDITORIAL: Thoughts on Housing, History

Massachusetts Affordable Housing Shortage 

Constrains Economy & Makes Life Hard For Many

“Our affordable housing shortage has placed the commonwealth’s financial health at risk,” said Sen. Joseph Boncore (D-Winthrop), chair of the Committee on Housing. “The housing bond bill is the first step toward ensuring Massachusetts develops enough affordable housing to support both its workforce and its economic future.” 

  “The housing bond bill we passed today reflects our commitment to providing housing that is affordable to the vital and diverse workforce that is fueling the commonwealth’s economic growth,” said Sen. John Keenan (D-Quincy).

 “The high cost of housing across Massachusetts strains family incomes and local businesses,” said Senate Ways and Means chair Sen. Karen Spilka (D-Ashland). “These investments are an important step to create more affordable, livable communities, support a growing, healthy economy and expand access to quality housing for everyone.”

 

Studying History Can Loose The Grip of the Past

Quote below is from ‘Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow’ by Yuval Noah Harari P. 59. This book was on Bill Gates’ recommended reading list for last summer. 

  As we consider the possibility of demolishing Prescott House, the view of history presented here offers a different twist on the importance of preserving important historical assets.

     Each and every one of us has been born into a given historical reality, ruled by particular norms and values, and managed by a unique economic and political system. We take this reality for granted, thinking it is natural, inevitable and immutable. We forget that an accidental chain of events created our world, and that history shaped our technology, politics and society, but also our thoughts, fears and dreams. The cold hand of the past emerges from the grave of our ancestors, grips us by the neck and directs our gaze towards a single future. We have felt that grip from the moment we were born, so we assume that it is a natural and inescapable part of who we are. Therefore we seldom try to shake ourselves free, and envision alternative futures. 

    Studying history aims to loosen the grip of the past. It enables us to turn our head this way and that, and begin to notice possibilities that our ancestors could not imagine, or didn’t want us to imagine. 

  By observing the accidental chain of events that led us here, we realize how our very thoughts and dreams took shape - and we can begin to think and dream differently. Studying history will not tell us what to choose, but at least it gives us more options

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