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ABAG vs. Palo Alto's "infrastructure-housing imbalance"
Original post made
on Sep 6, 2007
Palo Alto's libraries today are in an embarrassing state of disrepair. Our public safety personnel are desperately overdue for new quarters. Our school district needs new classrooms to meet the needs of today's students.
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posted Wednesday, September 5, 2007, 12:00 AM
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Posted by Jeremy Loski
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 11, 2007 at 8:53 pm
WWII were deserved by the veterans, but they were social engineering, nevertheless. There was a specific plan in place to create a stalwart, world-leading economy aftrer WWII, because we held all the cards. An educated managerial class was necessary for that. It's in the history books.
There's no need to exaggerate, as so many have in this thread, about the moderate effects of social engineering. To suggest that municipalities that engage BMR housing builds are administrated by those who resonate with the likes of Pol Pot, is, to, well,,,shall we say...stretch your credibility. But we all know you really don't mean what you said, right?
If you did mean it, I won't tell, but do keep it a secret. People might start to talk.
I would like to be convinced that markets are always neutral; they're clearly not. It's circular to say that markets are always neutral, on the one hand, and then say that they can be enhanced or diminished, on the other. There is no such thing as a perfectly free, neutral market, in most cases - and especially in the huosing markets.
Going back to Don Weden, and his Winds of Change talk a few years ago - it's abundantly clear that housing patterns, distributed in the way they have been for decades, are THE cause of most of our pollution, communter, and housing shortage problems.
Massive inefficiencies have been brought about by building out.
The housing markets are far from neutral, effected always by zoning and materials supply restrictions. Demand and supply are MANIPULATED, thus rendering the housing markets far from neutral.
Econ 101 - there is a difference between the tensions of demand and supply, and the interbening actions that impact same - this rendering markets not free. In a perfect housing market, we would not even have municipal zoning. Think about it.
Back to ABAG.
Palo Alto has a chance to lead this valley forward. Hopefully, we'll elect leadership that does just that. We need far better regional cooperation on infull development, and at the same time need to be demanding and coordinating much better mass transit to feed that housing.
With infill, BMR will take care of itself, because we'll see lots of design and materials construction innovation, along with municipal policy innovation that incentivizes specific income or employment sectors in ways that enables home buyers, and leads to long-term housing investment profits for municipalities.
Everyone can win in this scenario, and it won't be easy to make happen, but it will eventually come about.
Communications technology, and the cost of fossil fuels has started the ball rolling. It's terribly inefficient to be generating longer and longer commutes. It's hard on the environement; hard on the commuters, and very, very costly for employers.
Right now, we're beginning to see domestic employers chasing low wage American workers (a coming trend that will delay infill in many out of the way places). That trend is going to be one more motivator toward infill and affordable housing in large cities.
This is a young region, and we're going to grow, because COMMERCIAL interests drive this Valley. I know that's not PC to say - especially here, but it's true. Thankfully, commercial entitues are becomong more environmentally responsible (but, they still bear monitoring).
We do have a habit re: distributed housing that will take some time to break, but things will change.
This will all take time, but it's going to happen. Growth in not necessarily a bad thing, if it's engineered appropriately.
Make all the Mao jokes you want, you still pay the tolls, and pay your taxes, and watch as the world moves forward. We're all cogs in the wheel.