NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Forecast: An ill wind blows political

Terry Lamphier gets it wrong in Growth gets more public scrutiny," September 8, 2005

I am wondering what is this all about?
“political winds have recently been blowing in some new directions.” "beginning to give more scrutiny to existing traffic and land-use policies", "higher expectation of accountability by our government of its policies", "Increasingly active community groups are leading the efforts to spotlight and expand upon the issues.”
How is this different from what went on the 90s when the County, when political activitist elected a liberal board of supervisors and planning commissioners? Does the writer think we are headed back to the old days squishyihy leadership. Not on my watch.
“For instance, CCAT (Citizens Concerned About Traffic) didn't exist a year ago and now counts its membership at more than 200 and growing."
CCAT may not have existed a year ago but countless other organizations of the same tactics and ideology did.
“the Nevada County Contractor's Association still has difficulty understanding the City of Grass Valley's traffic mitigation fee system, particularly as regards to accountability of monies paid relative to projects done (or not done)."
Yes, where did the money go, and why have we not seen more action to fix traffic problems. Government seem to do more studies, than solve traffic problems. The contractor's are paying mitigation fees, business have been paying for stop lights we never see, and the public expectations have been raised. But, doing more studies, and more studies, and yet again another study, is just a long series of excuse for not making tough decisions and moving forward.
"Meanwhile, Organizations for Rural Quality (formerly RQC)"
Why did the RQC need to change it's name to the ORQ? What will the next name of the CCAT be? Do these organizations change their names to fool the public after their radical agendas are exposed? The NCCA, NCBA or CABPRO have not had to change their names or their policies.
"One bright spot is that Grass Valley's five Planning Commission members have recently been mandating a 20 percent set-aside of affordable housing based on actual incomes of Grass Valley residents, not "affordable" relative to the free market, and this incremental and orderly addition of housing assures that some of our most needy residents will be able to buy a house in a socially desirable development or community of mixed incomes, not clustered low-income developments."
Resorting to government sponsored socialism is not a bright spot. If a developer builds twelve houses and two are to be affordable, but must look like all the others, then the other ten houses are going cost the home buyers more. They will be paying for the other two houses. What incentive will the affordable home owners have to maintain the property, they have little invested, and will gain less than their neighbors when the houses are sold. We will have two homes that will drag down the value of neighboring homes. Get the government out of the housing business.
"Now if local government planners and builders could support SB 1 or something similar (a bill currently working its way through Sacramento and supported by the California Building Industry Association, which would, according to CBIA senior vice president Timothy Coyle, "make solar power a new development staple in California), our community could be at the leading edge of some urban issues."
I think solar power is great, we should have more of it. But, government mandated solar power the requires installers be paid prevailing wages is nothing but welfare for unions. SB-1 is another mandate that increases the cost of homes, making them even more unaffordable. If government wants solar, then develop incentive programs, not punitive mandates that increase housing costs

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Blogger Frederic Christie said...

Wait, RADICAL organizations? Asking for government-sponsored low-income housing and opposing some degree of development because it raises traffic? Have you ever READ Marx, Bakunin, Bookchin, Kropotkin, Goldman, Malatesta, Rocker....?

I'd say that resorting to government intervention to make up for the failures of capitalism is quite a bright spot, given the horrible situation many here face. But that's hardly "socialism", even your ridiculous definition of the term (newsflash, Russ: all economies have government intervention, and even feudalism invested into the poor; don't you imagine 'socialism' means something a bit different?).

Russ, not everyone does things based on market incentives. In any respect, the market for numerous reason offers horrible incentives. But fine, let's look at the situation you offer. Those ten people are paying more (unless the government foots the bill, which there is a reasonable argument that it should, and even Dinesh D'Souza can see that things like anti-disability laws make sense if the government helps pay for its mandates) because the society has decided (and remember: I am anti-statist, so I know darn well what we have is not "the society" but vested elite interests; nonetheless) to privilege the poorer members of it and make sure they are taken care of. Since that society also protects those richer individuals with fire departments, police, roads, etc. and allows the market on which they survive to exist, I hardly think they're getting the raw end of the deal here. The affordable home owners may have little PROPORTIONAL TO YOUR INCOME, but proportional to their income they have quite a bit invested, and if it is a worthwhile home, why would they want to trash a place they plan on living at? One could make a regulation then that if an affordable home owner screws up, they do not get access to any more affordable homes, though I hardly think that's necessary.

No one gave people the right to have homes at higher property values. Other values also matter, like compassion, solidarity and taking care of weaker members of society. But the only reason why property values would go down is because people have classist presuppositions about living next to... ugh... poor people. That is NOT something that should be coddled or brooked in a society.

Now, of course, if government has all these mandates, prices go up. But that wouldn't be a problem if wages in our society made any sense. Further, even if they don't mandate, Russ, that doesn't obviate a need or interest in government intervention: why not incentives?

Fri Sep 09, 09:58:00 AM PDT  

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