Great stuff, Ron! 8) However I would ask that you don't post the same message to *both* the LPSF-Discuss and LPSF-Activist lists unless it's something vital. Most of the people subscribed to one of the list are on both of them.
<<< starchild >>>
BTW, I sent this letter to the Guardian a couple weeks ago, however I don't think they printed it.
Tim Redmond says (3/8/06) that the crux of San Francisco's housing crisis is that "nothing except tight government regulation has any hope of bringing down prices" because "demand is essentially infinite" and "supply is by definition limited."
Redmond is wrong about both supply and demand. Let's start with supply. It isn't limited "by definition," but by politics. The Sierra Club has stated that an "efficient urban" population density is 500 households per square acre, or (at the U.S. average of 2.4 people per household) about 768,000 people per square mile. San Francisco has only about 16,500 people per square mile. The problem is not that we can't fit more people and housing in San Francisco -- the problem is SF's powerful NIMBY contingent and the politicians who cater to them by imposing onerous restrictions on what can be built.
As for demand, if it were "infinite," then the price of housing would not be affected by changes in supply, since no amount of increase in supply could accommodate the demand. Demand is not unlimited, nor is its cause a mystery -- from 1980 to 2000, San Francisco gained about 100,000 residents, while only adding less than 25,000 units of housing. The cause of housing creation's failure to keep up with population growth is precisely what Redmond recommends as a solution -- tight government regulation. His analysis turns reality upside-down in a manner that would not be out of place in Alice's Wonderland.
In the February 2006 issue of Liberty magazine, Randal O'Toole cites the work of liberal economist Paul Krugman, who divides the country into what he calls the "Zoned Zone" where land use restrictions make it hard to build houses, and "Flatland," the parts of the country that do not have aggressive growth-management planning. Prices are rapidly increasing in the "Zoned Zone" but remain very affordable in Flatland (see http://libertyunbound.com/archive/2006_02/otoole-houses.html).
When government rules drive up the cost of building homes, of course the result is high-priced housing. Politicians can pass anti-housing moratoriums and mandate affordable housing until they're blue in the face (or Red in their ideology), and as long as they impose artificial restrictions on supply that prevent it from meeting demand, the problem of unaffordable housing will persist.
Candidate for Supervisor, District 8
3531 16th Street,
San Francisco, CA 94114
In the Friday Examiner there was an article on how State Assemblyman Haynes introduced a bill to have convicted DUI's have a red DUI 'shame' plate so everyone and cops could see who was a convicted drunk driver.
I immediately realized the 'shame' plates shouldn't stop there and the Examiner agreed. Apparently the LTE also sparked an Examiner Anti-shame plate Editorial which appeared Saturday.
Here's my LTE as it appeared in todays Examiner in their on-line PDF of the street edition. I think you'll enjoy the urgent priority 'shame' plate twist I added:
Assemblyman Ray Haynes, R-Murrieta proposes shame plates for DUI drivers ["Legislator hopes 'shame' plates will cut driving fatalities, DUIs March 24"]. He shouldn’t stop there.
The proposal needs ‘shame’ plates for all felonious crimes. As Haynes said, “Here is a guy who may be dangerous. It alerts cops.” The article said after several decades of tough legislation and progress DUI crimes still continue and have risen. So have all other felonies. Unfair scrutiny and labeling aside, Haynes wants you to believe these people have not paid their debt to society and need to keep paying for their crime.
Haynes leaves out a needed urgent priority ‘shame’ plate titled “tax thief”. This plate is for all tax enacting elected officials. Taxpayers need to watch for and keep an eye on these proliferating thieves. Unfortunately, the tax thieves’ crimes still continue unabated, despite numerous cries for surcease by taxpayers from these hardened criminals.
Chair, Initiatives Committee
Libertarian Party San Francisco
The PDF for the DUI 'shame' plates:
The PDF for the Examiner anti-DUI red 'shame' plate Editorial on Saturday:
YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
+ Visit your group "lpsf-activists" on the web.
+ To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
+ Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.