Oct 1, 2013
commented on The Case for Kshama Sawant
@100 Ok, thanks. Simply confused by: a millionaire in assets, thanks to property value inflation, vs. millionaire in annual income. Two very different profiles.
@102 'Totally wrong'? Bullshit. Neither one of us is 'totally wrong'. For example, I totally agree with: "So long as demand is pushing hard on the supply, the rents will climb." Marketplace solution: increase supply faster!
Increasing supply is the only way to keep up with growing demand in a market for housing, unless you want to drastically limit growth and build a wall around the city? Rent control coupled with development limits/restrictive zoning doesn't accomplish that goal on macro level.
Perfect example: San Francisco (thanks for mentioning) those two factors have caused the housing supply to miserably fail to keep up with demand. Rents skyrocket when restrictive zoning and rent control are in place. You can't regulate your way out of people wanting to live in an economically vibrant city. You can build more housing. Will rents go up? Yes, unless we overbuild as much as possible to meet demand. I hope every developer goes bankrupt as much as the next guy, but in the process I hope they overbuild housing. Why not try to encourage that?
NYC: There are MILLIONS of people on the island of Manhattan. There are 200,000 in the "core" of Seattle, but that number is and will continue to go up and get slightly closer to NYC. Rents can still go up as fast as they are in San Francisco (10% per year-ish) on the macro supply of housing if there is rent control, which limits incentive to increase supply, coupled with shitty zoning restrictions, which does even more to limit supply.
In sum those factors reduce the incentive to increase macro supply as much as needed to keep rents stable.
Growth is inevitable in an economically vibrant city: You might not like growth. Sure, NIMBY's are people too. I recommend a wall, moat, fence, and machine guns.
Sep 30, 2013
commented on The Case for Kshama Sawant
* I would like to know the specifics of her "tax the wealthy plans" e.g. what's wealthy? Where's the line? Do you count pensioners (as in receive pensions) who own their home without debt at age 70 and have savings too wealthy?
** Rent control is her only terrible idea, what we need is to drastically increase housing supply and not have an artificial way to keep rents down. She's an economist, she should understand that encouraging new housing development and increasing supply is the best thing for this town in the long run, so her rhetoric against big property developers is opposed to her own goals. If you work with them as a city council member and require as dense of development as possible you increase supply, you create a more sustainable city, and you keep rents of older apartment buildings at their current, inexpensive (compared to other booming cities) levels.
*** How does she plan to be a pragmatic member of the city council while holding true to her ideals? Tea Party idealism is the reason this country can barely function. Idealism is great, I share her views and values on most things except rent control and perhaps taxing pensioners' assets and pensions, depending on her specific structure. In general, I don't trust idealists in the real world and would like to know her specific plans to be a pragmatic representative of our shared values. Can she compromise her ideals daily to keep moving (unlike the representatives sent to federal government by ass hats)?
Apr 25, 2013
commented on Subarea Equity: A Stupid Policy Is a Stupid Policy Is a Stupid Policy
@22 Why on earth would Seattle give up subarea equity at this point? Neither you nor Murray have actually published an alternative: "density blah blah trust me" doesn't count. It's only a risk to Seattle for Seattle to give up SAE for ST3. If Murray wants to help lift the caps on self-taxation so we can fund our city's projects, then that's worth writing about.