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Sep 17, 2014 saeculorum commented on Guest Editorial: I'm Fighting the Seattle Housing Authority Rent Hikes. You Should, Too..
The Seattle Housing Authority has finite funding, finite resources, and a huge tenant backlog - per Seattle Times, in 2013, they had 24,000 applicants for 2,000 housing vouchers. Every single dollar that's spent keeping current tenants at their absurdly low rent keeps a dollar from one of those 22,000 applicants for getting housing. This is exactly a one-for-one trade. If I'm faced between a new tenant that only needs housing for a short period and will work during that time to bring themselves out of public housing and a current tenant that's been in public housing for an average of eight years without work (per the SHA for Stepping Forward), my choice is clear. I don't know why this isn't obvious, and I don't know why it hasn't already been done.

Also, I pay market rent and my home has cheap linoleum floors and requires a few repairs. Welcome to the club.
Jun 13, 2014 saeculorum commented on Seattle Human Rights Commission Urges Jeff Bezos to Investigate Anti-Union Charges.
This letter cost taxpayer dollars.

This letter was directed to the wrong company (Amazon rather than Security Industry Specialists), does not indicate any law violations, and doesn't actually require Amazon to do anything.

Look, I'm a fan of effective government as much as the next guy, but even I get a bit annoyed when my taxpayer money goes to useless crap like this.
Dec 17, 2013 saeculorum commented on City Council Takes Its Sweet-Ass Time Helping Homeowners Struggling With Foreclosure.
There is a finite supply of housing in Seattle. Every person that has their mortgage propped up by Seattle due to their own financial incompetence prevents a financially competent person from buying a house in Seattle.
Feb 8, 2013 saeculorum commented on The End of Yesler Terrace Begins With This....
@3: " Where are you getting this? Perhaps I've missed it, but all I see is that it's a 120 unit apartment complex"

The entire Yesler Terrace redevelopment plan includes selling a (relatively small) portion of Seattle Housing Authority land for private use as mentioned in the KOMO article, and redeveloping the remainder for subsidized and market rate apartments. The net result is more subsidized housing. That is a good thing. Criticizing the means to that end is ridiculous. It is not an affront to subsidized housing to build more subsidized housing even if it means developing more market rate housing as well. To say otherwise is, frankly, absurd.
Feb 8, 2013 saeculorum commented on The End of Yesler Terrace Begins With This....
Of course, this is clearly a parody. I'm not sure what it's a parody of. No serious commentator would claim that replacing 561 low income units with 1701-1801 (including replacing all 561 original ones) is a bad thing. Right?

On the other hand, perhaps Charles is right. It's really never been clear to me how it can be cost-efficient to build low-income housing on prime downtown Seattle real estate. Perhaps abandoning Yesler Terrace as Charles appears to be suggesting could be the first step to locating low income housing where development is cheaper.

I didn't realize how much of a conservative you were, Charles!
Jan 2, 2013 saeculorum commented on House Adjourns Without Considering Sandy Relief Aid.
@17: I'll accept your analysis as-is, because I don't claim to be a Constitutional scholar (although I'm quite happy to provide my own reading of the Constitution, which may or may not be justified).

Last I checked, there are more than 24 states in the United States. In general, I'm suspicious of any attempts at cost-shifting, and fundamentally disaster aid is cost-shifting. People that live in Wyoming are already punished enough by the barrenness of their state to avoid having to subsidize people that prefer to live in civilization.
Jan 2, 2013 saeculorum commented on House Adjourns Without Considering Sandy Relief Aid.
@7: I would not have read "common" and "general" to mean "a few East Coast states only". However, I'm not the person that matters here. So far as I can tell, the Supreme Court disagrees with you. United States v. Butler indicates that the "general welfare" clause can only be used for matters affecting the national welfare, not individual states.
Jan 2, 2013 saeculorum commented on House Adjourns Without Considering Sandy Relief Aid.
@5 I'll ignore the fact that the Constitution is the overriding guideline for how the country works, not your opinion of how it should work.

All states are not equal, and they are not men. It is fundamentally unbalancing for states to subsidize each other for risks associated with states without having to consider the corresponding benefits. Coastal cities exist at least partially because they tend to make excellent harbors. Des Moines does not make a good harbor and partially because of that, it is not a very big city. Oddly enough, it doesn't get many hurricanes. New York should pay for the costs associated with it's harbors because New York gets the benefits of the harbors. Similarly, Iowa should prepare for tornadoes while taking advantage of the great farm land. States certainly have the ability to tax; federal subsidies like this are just a way to offload local taxes onto the federal level.

(Yes, I realize that red states are disproportionately subsidized by the federal government in general. That is also a problem and should be dealt with.)
Jan 2, 2013 saeculorum commented on House Adjourns Without Considering Sandy Relief Aid.
It's not really clear to me why the federal government should be subsidizing disasters in states where one should expect extreme weather.

If you live in the Midwest, prepare for tornadoes.
If you live on the East Coast, prepare for hurricanes.
If you live on the West Coast, prepare for volcanoes and tsunamis.

This is not a federal concern, and it's definitely not in the enumerated powers of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.
Aug 22, 2012 saeculorum commented on Alaska Airlines Craps on SeaTac.
We should not be surprised when companies take advantage of the law to maximize company profits. That's inherent in the structure of corporations, and it is more or less a good thing.

Instead, we should change the law such that companies can not take advantage of it.