A new virus has infected a number of my friends and colleagues. Like a pen full of monkeys, they have all begun screeching the same xenophobic slogans: "The foreigners are buying downtown Los Angeles' best buildings." "The foreigners are buying California's businesses and corporations." "They are pushing the cost of residential real estate beyond our reach." Well, where would you expect them to invest? Haiti? El Salvador? The Philippines? The Soviet Union? Los Angeles is a financial bargain.
I think it is hard to read anything diabolical into these patterns--if they in fact exist. Wouldn't we be making the same investments--if we could?
The complaint is that country clubs are not being joined anymore--they are being bought! Well, surprise is hardly an appropriate reaction. As anyone who reads the papers knows by now, a membership in a fine Japanese golf club can run from $1 million to $3 million--if and when it becomes available.
At $100 million or so, any good club, including the famous Riviera, might reasonably be said to be a nice buy.
But the fear is likely unfounded. Just as we have rights here, so too do foreign persons and corporations. We respect their rights. They, no doubt, will respect ours.