Flailing About

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Leftists despair when their own principles collide, leaving it impossible to decide who to hate.  Example:

Poor people can’t afford to buy their own homes, so they rent.  Renters don’t own the building so they can’t make improvements.  Landlords have little incentive to make improvements that reduce profits.  So poor people live in crappy housing until they can afford to move somewhere nicer.  We should hate the landlord, right?

Except in St. Paul.  Here, the City requires rental properties to be nicer than owner occupied.  I’m not kidding; I was a landlord here for 15 years and earned Class A ratings for my rentals.  I know the codes and how they’re applied.  The truth is the City set the standards for rental properties so high that landlords can’t afford to maintain them.  And when they don’t, the City tears down privately-owned rental properties and partially replaces them with publicly-owned low-income apartments, otherwise known as “Projects.”  Every renter I ever met preferred a dingy rental house with a bit of yard over the city housing Projects.  But if the City is tearing rental houses down, where else can poor people go?

The policy has the effect of eliminating low-density rental housing stock scattered in neighborhoods and herding poor people into high-density housing projects in centralized locations.  The policy mostly impacts people who receive welfare and in St. Paul, that’s mostly people of color.  So the City’s policy causes disproportionate harm to poor Black families.   Under federal Fair Housing Law, that’s called “disparate impact” and it’s a form of illegal discrimination.  Racists discriminating against welfare recipients . . . we should hate Mayor Chris Coleman’s crew?

A group of landlords sued the City on exactly that legal basis and the case was all set for hearing at the United States Supreme Court when the City backed down rather than lose the case.  The City tried to spin it as worry that Conservative justices on the Supreme Court would overturn the civil rights law that the City was violating.  So now what: hate the Supreme Court?

The City is being sued again, for the same policies that have the same racist impact.  The City Attorney assures us the landlord is a big poop so the policy is justified.  But the City is still tearing down private rentals and still pressing ahead with Projects along the Light Rail line.  Despite everything, the City continues discriminating against poor persons of color, in the name of helping poor persons of color, under cover of media blackout.

Can’t really blame the media.  The want to do the right thing.  But it’s just so hard to know who to hate.

Joe Doakes

They’re just following orders, not entirely confident that headquarters really knows what it’s doing.

7 thoughts on “Flailing About

  1. This is one of the most depressing things I have ever seen. Graft, theft, waste, poverty and stupidity all caused by government.

    I have been studying Austrian economics, Ron Paul stuff, libertarian stuff for a very long time, trying to shoot holes in their theories. You can’t. It’s a simple as that. You can not get more aggregate prosperity and ‘social justice’ by interfering in markets. All you get is Graft, theft, waste, poverty and stupidity.

    For a hundred years the Fed has ran with too much easy money–about 80% of the time or so–and then everyone tries to solve the problems it causes by voting for statist force, which besides not helping, is nothing but rent seeking and graft.

    Except for a very short period in the 30’s, every single intervention the government has made in the housing market has just made it less affordable.

    The future is going to suck big time unless the GOP gets some libertarian principles and leadership; leadership that the West likely has never seen except for Churchill and the BMF that ran the OSS etc.

    We are doomed.

  2. What the Democrat party and 80% of the republicans are trying to do is fix the damage caused by statism and excessive central planning with more statism and central planning. It won’t work, and if we don’t quit soon–the West will collapse.

    We are doomed.

  3. The political and central bank allocation of resources, except as an absolute last resort, when there is utterly no other option, is a disaster.

    That few can see.

    We are doomed.

  4. Let me get this straight: We’re going to take the “control of monetary policy” away from the Federal Reserve– abolish them– and allow that control to revert back to where it Constitutionally belongs– the Congress. Oh, yeah, that should work great! :-/

  5. Regarding the Fed’s control of money vs. Congress’, it’s worth noting that the Constitution actually limits money to be defined as silver and gold, so there isn’t that much for Congress to screw up–though they certainly did with the first “Bank of the United States” and the 1864 State Banking Act.

    But back to the topic, it’s worth noting that smart landlords seem to do a better job with housing than public entities because they’re the ones who suffer if their tenants do and can’t pay rent, and dumb landlords….well, they become ex-landlords, don’t they? And so our cities, state, and federal governments try to improve on this robust, self-correcting system….with predictable and disastrous results. Yeah, we ALL want to say “I live in the projects.”

  6. QUOTE: Let me get this straight: We’re going to take the “control of monetary policy” away from the Federal Reserve– abolish them– and allow that control to revert back to where it Constitutionally belongs– the Congress. Oh, yeah, that should work great! :-/

    All I’m saying is Fed policy has been wrong from day one. So voters vote to “solve” the problems caused by easy money. It’s a vicious cycle. Now we are out of GDP for the debt and unfunded liabilities.

    Congress HAS to set it and otherwise leave it alone after that.

    The Fed has to back up banks is a very punitive fashion and add just add enough paper to the system to reflect population growth and productivity increases. Otherwise you get the disaster we now face.

    I’m not for a Ron Paul world, but we are going to get one the hard way if we don’t get our act together.

  7. Everyone should read “End The Fed.” We don’t have to take things that far IMO, but private money would be a much better deal than what we have now. We are heading for disaster because the whole system is a gigantic speculation, theft and graft machine.

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