Venezuela Takes Permanent Three-Day Weekend
. . . it has driven the country with the largest energy reserves in the world into energy poverty.
"The Venezuelan government, facing a deepening economic crisis, rampant hyperinflation, widespread shortages, and an escalating political crisis, has decided to give everyone in the country Fridays off. As Bloomberg reports:
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has designated every Friday in the months of April and May as a non-working holiday, a bid to save electricity as a prolonged drought pushes water levels to a critical threshold at hydro-generation plants.
The country will unveil details of a 60-day plan to conserve energy Thursday, Maduro said, adding that measures would include asking large users such as shopping malls and hotels to generate their own electricity for nine hours a day. Heavy industries operating in the country will be asked to cut consumption by 20 percent, he said."
List of countries by proven oil reserves - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Proven reserves" is a bit of a canard. "Because proven reserves include oil recoverable under current economic conditions, nations may see large increases in proven reserves when known, but previously uneconomic deposits become economic to develop." Proven reserves also require the political freedom to develop, and drill for the oil, so America always ranks low because so much of our oil reserves remain under federal lands off limits to oil production, or in the offshore continental shelf , or Alaska which are also off limits to production.
Back to the many wonders of Socialism, of which the primary seem to be the democidal murder of tens of millions of people. Perhaps its time for a Dead Pool on when and how many Venezuelans will need to die to propel the "revolution" forward for another year? It looks like the economy is about dead. How much longer before even the poor rise up in revolt?
Well at least they will have a three day weekends now to scour the land for toilet paper, cooking oil, and flour. The ability of the Socialist economy to provide for the people is unmatched.
California Gov. Signs Minimum Wage Hike: Admits It "Doesn’t Make Economic Sense" As Locals Flee For Texas
. . . owns? This would go along way towards explaining the unfathomable California $15 per hour minimum wage!
Mark Perry has an occasional and repeating column about U-Haul truck rental rate between various locations. The difference points out the volume of people moving from one location to another. These figures are from Mark's May 1, 2014 post:
Californians exodus to Texas - U-Haul one-way rates
"Torrance, CA to Plano, TX: $2,626
Plano, TX to Torrance, CA: $1,264
Los Angeles, CA to Dallas, TX: $2,558
Dallas TX to Los Angeles: $1,232"
Ouch! More than double the price. It seems even then they were breaking down the door to get out of Cali! I would suggest that after the minimum wage implementation, these numbers will simply continue to rise along with the minimum wage rate steps. The lower class has no options in California but welfare or move. The middle class in California has few other options but to leave. They cannot afford the housing prices in the wealthy coastal enclaves, and there are very few good paying jobs in the housing affordable areas of the California. In the end, they are forced to either commute very long distances, or leave. I don't know where the breaking point is but it will happen. It did in Sweden.
Johan Norberg has some thoughts on Sweden, welfare, and medicine . . .
Norberg offers Californians a piece of sage advice when he notes that Sweden built its wealth during an era when it followed free trade, and free market principles, and it became the 4th richest nation in the world. After that the Swedes adopted a rich welfare safety net, and promptly dropped to 14 wealthiest nation. They are in the midst now of reforming their welfare state.
It might be prudent for states like California with an overly rich safety net, which are entering economic decline induced by welfare spasm, to look at what Sweden has done, how it reformed its welfare state, and then create a plan to emulate the best of the Swedish reform model.
I amuse myself. California will do nothing of the kind. It will slowly strangle itself with bad ideas until it is forced to reform. Sigh!
I hope Governor Moonbeams U-Haul stock holding pay off, at least he will have that.
China tussles over legacy of cultural revolution - FT.com
What could have possibly been worth the deaths of tens of millions of people?
"An editorial in the Global Times, the party-controlled tabloid, on Tuesday warned against “small groups” creating “a totally chaotic misunderstanding of the cultural revolution” on the upcoming anniversary, criticizing both those seeking to restore the legacy of the period and those who might be overly critical.
“After the party has long ago given an official conclusion . . . discussions strictly should not depart from the party’s decided politics or thinking,” it said.
The party’s official verdict on the period is that it was a “leftist deviation” primarily caused by Mao but manipulated by counter-revolutionaries."
Oh bloody hell! A detour, a lark, a mere side trip, which resulted in economic disaster, millions murdered, and for a while it was very clear, Mordor was China.
It simply is not possible to take authoritarian socialism seriously. It is what happens when a country allows a group of psychopaths to play with the levers of power. Never forget progressivism is its idiot younger sibling.
London House Prices Soar but Posh Districts Lose Their Shine
. . . results in spiraling costs no matter where it happens!
As in America, this hurts the poor, and the middle income the most, while it protects the wealthy, and the upper middle class from the predation of having to live next to the hoi polloi. One would think we would learn, but no. We continue to do the same destructive things over and over again.
Of course, for progressives this is a benefit. They win when people are in poverty because their power relies upon people dependent upon government largess. Independence from that would mean the awakening of the people to what progressivism really is, and the ultimate death of progressivism.
BrothersJudd Blog: A RUN OF THE MILL MALTHUSIAN:
Well, these wankers do!
"Prominent MIT economist and dean Lester Thurow dies at 77 : Scholar and public intellectual examined globalization and its consequences. (Peter Dizikes, 3/30/16, MIT News Office )
The influential MIT economist and public intellectual Lester Thurow, whose work addressed the many consequences of an increasingly global economy, died on Friday at his home in Westport, Massachusetts. Thurow, who also served as dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management, was 77 years old. [...]
In many years of engagement with the public and government officials -- and in a series of bestselling books -- Thurow advocated a distinctive set of policy ideas that defied simple political labeling.
He was just lucky that there are no consequences for intellectuals when everything they say turns out to be wrong, Zero-Sum Fallacies (Rich Karlgaard)
At the dawn of the U.S. economic boom in 1980 MIT economist Lester C. Thurow looked backward into the dark night. He called his sad new book The Zero-Sum Society: Distribution and the Possibilities for Economic Change. Here is a description on Amazon:
"Interpreting macroeconomics as a zero-sum game, Thurow proposes that the American economy will not solve its most trenchant problems-inflation, slow economic growth, the environment-until the political economy can support, in theory and in practice, the idea that certain members of society will have to bear the brunt of taxation and other government-sponsored economic actions."
That yawner of a 58-word sentence gives you the flavor of the book. Nevertheless, the famed Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith called Zero-Sum Society "an extraordinarily good and lucid examination of current economic difficulties." Galbraith was wrong about prose and prophecy. It was a horrible book and a crimped way of looking at economics and the human spirit. President Ronald Reagan neglected to read it. One assumes the founders and backers of Apple, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, Dell, Oracle, Cisco, Palm, Yahoo and Google passed on it, too.
Zero-sum implies no net progress in human affairs. The facts scream otherwise. Global production in 2006 amounted to $66 tril-lion, or $10,200 per person. Two hundred years ago per capita income was about $300. Five thousand years ago it was equivalent to $200. For the mass of mankind there was no detectable economic progress for 4,800 years. Then came the Industrial Revolution with its hockey-stick curve in income and life span.
Yet the zero-sum myth lives on. Like a retrovirus it burrows and hides and waits. In 1968 it popped up in the form of a bestselling book by Paul R. Ehrlich entitled The Population Bomb. As investor Gary Alexander recounted in a recent speech: "[Ehrlich] opened famously by saying, 'The battle to feed [all of] humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.' Writing in Ramparts magazine, Ehrlich went even further, 'Millions of people will soon perish in smog disasters in New York and Los Angeles the oceans will die of DDT poisoning by 1979 the U.S. life expectancy will drop to 42 years by 1980, due to cancer epidemics.' Hepatitis and dysentery would sweep America by 1980 and nearly all of us would wear gas masks. Over 65 million Americans would starve in the 1980s, leaving only 22.6 million starved Americans alive in 1990."
Then, to Ehrlich's apparent dismay, the inventive human spirit intervened.
While Ehrlich was gnashing his teeth, Alexander writes, "Dr. Norman Borlaug was launching the Green Revolution, which has managed to feed billions more people on moderately more arable soil than in the 1960s. Instead of starving against our will, millions of us are trying to starve voluntarily-by dieting. Food is far cheaper, relative to the overall growth of the cost of living, than in the 1960s. From 1977 to 1994 food costs fell 77% in real terms.'"
Today seems to be progressive, and neoMalthusian claptrap day. All of the environmental, neoMalthusian, zero sum fads like population bomb, global cooling, DDT, fluoridated drinking water, peak oil, Club of Rome over-population, acid rain, high tension electromagnetic fields, ozone hole, radon, dioxin, mad cow disease, mercury, global warming, climate change are nothing more than fadish beliefs which make us feel important and special. The reality is we are not. We no more need to band together to save the world than we can band together to climb to the moon.
These beliefs are destructive. This should be pointed out at every turn.
What cures the ills behind by these scares is wealth. The wealthier the people, the cleaner the environment, and the more limited the family size. Human ingenuity will conquer the problems facing us in the future, as it has in the past. fearfully fretting like a spinster aunt is a worthless endeavor, don't engage in it. When you see others engaging in it, mock them, point out their folly. Be merciless about it!
California Cruises Towards $15 Hr Minimum Wage: Expect Budget Deficits, Higher Taxes, Job Losses | MishTalk
. . . so let's get this thing collapsing.
"California governor Jerry Brown has proposed a $15 minimum wage by 2022. If the legislation passes, it will wreak havoc on city budgets, state budgets, businesses, and jobs."
But, since it does not appear we will find a way out outside of the collapse, we might as well get there quickly. Time to go full socialism/progressivism, full $15 per hour minimum wage, and all the rest of the trimmings, and perks. Then be ready to sort out the disaster once the collapse happens.
Ok, so I am not quite ready to actually embrace this mindset, but I do think it will be the most likely mechanism of escape for states like New York, Rhode Island, Illinois, California, Oregon, and other fully invested blue states.
California is a strange state with massive wealth clotted a few miles from the coast around the SF bay area, LA, and San Diego. The interior of the state is quickly becoming a welfare state, filled with the destitute, and desperate. Because the blighted areas are far from the wealthy enclave, it is easy to simply overlook them. But even overlooked, they grow. But to keep this insane system afloat, the state must extract more taxes, and while the wealthy can afford these, and even wonder why anyone would complain, the middle class is squeezed, and increasingly leave. Those who remain need assistance to survive.
In Facebook’s Hometown, the First Responders Aren’t Local
Of course, they are not local, the cost of housing in the wealthy enclave is too high for the middle class who do not already have homes.
"The department’s challenge reflects a flip side of the tech boom: Facebook, Google parent Alphabet Inc. and other companies have brought thousands of high-paying jobs to Silicon Valley, but that has driven housing costs sharply higher, pushing firefighters, teachers, nurses and other middle-class workers to live far from their jobs. The trend creates difficulties, including worsening traffic and the risk that emergency workers won’t be able to get there in the case of a natural disaster."
Yes, the demand part of the housing problem is driven by tech companies bringing in new workers. But the other part is that the government will not allow any significant amount of land be utilized for new housing. If they would Free up 400,000 square acres of land, this would immediately change the cost problem.
"The public-sector workers leaving the Bay Area aren’t alone. Americans are moving away from the tech hub faster than they are arriving, according to a report published last month by the Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovation Project.
Other expensive regions are trying to maintain workers nearby. The Fire Department of New York awards job applicants who are residents of the city and nearby counties extra points on the firefighter exam, giving preference to them over applicants who live farther away.
The problem usually comes down to housing. South of Menlo Park, in Cupertino, where Apple Inc. is based, school-district officials in December said they plan to build more than 200 affordable apartments for teachers.
Menlo Park fire district workers will earn an average $147,000 this year, Mr. Schapelhouman said. But that money doesn’t go far in a region where the median home value is $2 million, up 18% in the past year, according to real-estate website Zillow Group Inc. Home prices have risen dramatically since Facebook moved to Menlo Park five years ago."
This shows the insanity of the problem. More people move out of the area than into the area, yet housing prices still spike. This is because the tech companies are able to pay huge salaries, and the housing supply is incredibly limited. This means that the older middle class people are being bought out of their homes by new tech employees with huge salaries, while the remaining middle class cannot afford to buy houses in the region. This means the limited apartment rentals are sky-high as well.
In the end, people live far from their work.
The existing homeowners will never let the local, or state government change this situation. The results would be average home prices falling from $2 million to well less than one half of that amount. That is a real loss of money, and the homeowners will not stand for that change.
Walther Russell Mead wrote an article a few years ago which describes this problem well.
He ends with the following:
"But there’s a serious political opportunity in America for a movement that cares deeply about ensuring that the people who need public services (whether provided directly by the state as in public schools or indirectly through vouchers and charter schools) receive good value for their money. A movement that fights to reform government and make it work, to strip away unnecessary frills and patronage posts, to disempower bureaucracies and return control to citizens and to create a regulatory and legal framework that can bring start ups and jobs into inner cities could change the balance of power in American politics.
We wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the young people who’ve gone into programs like Teach For America, or been active in movements like the effort to rebuild New Orleans begin to think outside the blue box about what kind of agenda America’s troubled cities really need. When and if that happens, the politics of the both century will finally begin to shut down, and the politics of a new and more hopeful era in American life will get under way."
I agree with this assessment completely. However, I am increasingly less persuaded by the idea that the change will somehow come from the young, the Millennials. While they as a cohort are larger than the Boomers, the Boomers have indoctrinated them with what seems to be a terminal belief that 20th century progressivism is the End of History. It is not even a good idea.
I am increasingly concerned that we will actually have to wait for the blue model to fully seize before the change will become possible. And even then, we will likely see partial implementation, and attempts to retain the very worst aspects of the 20th century blue economic model.
The educational system has been in collapse since the 1960s, yet we continue to drag it along as if it is the best thing available. The only inroads to change occurs in the deep blue states, or states where serious catastrophe's have occurred. The two which come to mind are New York City, and New Orleans. Both have majority or close to majority charter schools, and both have seen much improved educational outcomes from these school. They also both still see strong pushback against these superior schools.
The Boomers are not willing to let their childish dreams of control die so something better can replace them. Worst generation ever.
Gov John Bel Edwards proposes curbs on Louisiana vouchers, charter schools
NY rejects all applications for new charter schools
The charter school tide is turning, and de Blasio may be left behind
Renewables industry collapsing
. . . but fantasy rules the roost in politics.
You see renewable energy is sustainable, which by definition means, anything which requires a large and increasing government subsidy, or what we called in the bad old days, unsustainable. Green speak is like opposite day, you simply use a word, but define it as its antonym. Viola!
With the government subsidies running out, renewable energy investment is cratering. Which means it was only worth investing in as long as free "other peoples money" was available. But we should hear about how this is terrible, since renewables are at the point where they will soon be cheaper than fossil fuel alternatives, so it would be economic madness to walk away now! Except this is the same argument we oldsters have heard since Carter was President. The solution is always the same, more subsidies, to get renewables over the hump, and then Nirvana!
But the only thing that comes are the taxes to create the subsidy.
Like train transit, renewables look fantastic on paper, trains can carry huge number of people over the course of a day, and renewables have the potential to produce huge amounts of electricity. Potential. But potential is not reality, and only reality matters. Rail transit carries no consequential numbers outside of New York City and possibly one or two other large metro areas. Renewable energy sources never actually produce much energy, and if you take into account the transmission losses, and the standby fossil fuel energy used, they are pretty close to zero actual energy production.
But they are truly sustainable, since they required huge, and increasing government subsidies.
Why it seems impossible to buy your first home
. . . housing prices in most of the areas discussed are high due to growth boundaries, services boundaries, and/or zoning restrictions.
San Francisco bay area has a huge amount of land, 4.5 million square acres in total, and all of the development is only on about 0.8 million square acres. But nearly all of the rest of the land is off limits for development. There is apparently between 300-500 thousand square acres which could be developed but which lunatics are attempting to make into land permanently unavailable for development.
The reason San Francisco's property values are insanely high, is lack of land to build more housing, and this is purely a man made catastrophe. Releasing 400,000 acres of land for development would quickly return the San Francisco housing market to rational pricing, but it would also cause the interstellar individual house prices to fall, likely by half or more, and then remain low. And existing homeowners would be apoplectic with that outcome.
Once a growth, or service boundary, or zoning scheme begins to artificially inflate prices, it becomes nearly impossible to reduce the underlying cause of the problem. The existing homeowners want high home prices more than they are interested in housing affordability for others. They make silly arguments about how land must remain off limits for development, promote infill development, and seek to spend all transportation dollars on transit, and not on roadways. This drives congestion through the roof, and causes large increases in costs to the individuals, pollution, and carbon. This is what is commonly defined as "sprawl," it is the natural outcome of "Smart Growth" and "Urban Planning."
How Badger missed this 900 lb gorilla in the living room is beyond me. These prices are seldom natural, and when they are they are nearly always driven by a natural limit on available land which looks like a growth boundary.
These artificial prices will only remain as long as people find reason to live in the area, once that stops, and the people begin leaving, housing prices will decline. Commonly this is pooh poohed, but that is exactly how Detroit went from America's fourth largest, and most prosperous city to the burned out hulk of a city it is today. It underwent this change between 1970, and the present, a mere 45 years.
The inequity at the heart of France’s labour market - FT.com
. . . not competition, and labor.
"It is a bruising setback for Mr Hollande, who has repeatedly said he will run for re-election in 2017 only if he has made significant progress in cutting France’s double-digit unemployment. This is still hampered by the high cost of labour, the confrontational nature of labour relations and the inequity of a two-tier system in which employees with permanent contracts enjoy too much protection. Meanwhile young people spend years hopping between precarious temporary positions. The lesson Mr Hollande should draw from the debacle, however, is to be bolder rather than more cautious in framing his ambitions for a second term."
Worldwide, the Boomers are the worst generation in history. They want security, and sinecure here in France, and do not care if it destroys the country, and bankrupts their children, and grandchildren. They want the good life, and will have it regardless of the sacrifice their children will need to make.
"The main problem is that the president, elected on a manifesto that played to traditional socialist values, has failed to make the case for reform to a sceptical public. Instead, he spent his first year in office delivering crowd-pleasing promises made on the campaign trail. Now, voters on the left feel betrayed; those on the right doubt his motives; and he is heavily constrained by the need to unite the leftwing of his party in order to combat the populist appeal of the National Front. More-over, a backdrop of sluggish growth is not conducive to structural reforms that rarely pay off in the short term.
In Italy, Mr Renzi has been able to take more decisive action because he came to power with a clear commitment to reform — and because the Italian economy was far closer to crisis. In France, economic growth has been disappointing, but stable; public debt manageable; and productivity comparable with that of most major economies. Many people do not see the urgency of more disruptive changes.
Nonetheless, the current system is failing young people, whose future Mr Hollande pledged to improve at the outset of his presidency. If he wants to win their support for a second term, he should address the inequity at the heart of France’s labour market, changing the terms of employment for all and not perpetuating the divide between insiders and new entrants. He must make the case now, if he is to win a mandate to be bolder next time round."
The system in both countries, and Spain, Portugal, and Greece is failing the young people. In all of these countries, it is uncommon for the young to be able to find paying jobs, and if they do, the jobs are for short periods of time, perhaps up to a year, and are seldom career oriented. So it is common to find trained lawyers spending their years 25- 35 working retail shoe sales, and occasionally for a few months "working" for free as a legal clerk, with a limited room/board stipend. It is impossible to understand how these people will be able to work from age 35 until retirement at age 65, and fund a reasonable retirement.
Young, qualified and jobless: plight of Europe's best-educated generation
"'All your life," says Argyro Paraskeva, "you've been told you're a golden prince. The future awaits: it's bright, it's yours. You have a degree! You'll have a good job, a fine life. And then suddenly you find it's not true."
Or not so suddenly. Paraskeva left Thessaloniki University five years ago with an MSc in molecular biology. Beyond some private tutoring, paid essay writing ("I'm not proud. But a 50-page essay is €150") and a short unhappy spell in a medical laboratory, she hasn't worked since.
Over cold tea in a sunlit cafe in Greece's second city, Paraskeva says she has written "literally hundreds of letters". Every few months, a new round: schools, labs, hospitals, clinics, companies. She delivers them by hand, around the region. She's had three interviews. "I will go anywhere, really anywhere," she says. "I no longer have the luxury of believing I have a choice. If someone wants a teacher, I will go. If they want a secretary, I will go. If they want a lab assistant, I will go.'"
Why in the world are we not willing to take any and all of these highly qualified professionals, whether in molecular biology, or any other STEM degree? We have positions which need to be filled, and they have workers which need work. Mr. Obama what is the problem?
" According to data out on Monday more than 5.5 million under-25s are without work, and the number rises inexorably every month. It's been called the "lost generation", a legion of young, often highly qualified people, entering a so-called job market that offers very few any hope of a job – let alone the kind they have been educated for.
European leaders are rarely without a new initiative. Last week, they pledged to spend €6bn (£5bn) over two years to fund job creation, training and apprenticeships for young people in an attempt to counter a scourge that has attained historic proportions. This week, Angela Merkel is convening a jobs summit to address the issue. Yet still the numbers mount up. In Greece, 59.2% of under-25s are out of work. In Spain, youth unemployment stands at 56.5%; in Italy, it hovers around 40%."
We need the competition for jobs, which will allow the best to reinvigorate our businesses, and these young people need jobs. We know these people will integrate into US society. Offer green cards to any of these highly trained professionals who will come, apply for citizenship, and work.
"But others point out Europe's "economically inactive" now include millions of young people (14 million, according to the French president, François Hollande) not in work, education or training but who, while technically not unemployed, are nonetheless jobless – and have all but given up looking, at least in their own country. Millions more are on low-paying, temporary contracts. By most measures, the situation is dire.
In the words of Enrico Giovannini, Italy's employment minister, this is a disaster all the more shocking because it is hitting Europe's best-educated generation: in Spain, nearly 40% of people in their 20s and early 30s have degrees; in Greece it's 30%; in Italy, more than 20%.
The crisis is even more acute because of its knock-on impact: these are often young people with no pensions, no social security contributions, diminishing networks, limited opportunities for independence. High youth unemployment doesn't just mean social problems and productivity wasted; it means falling birthrates and intergenerational tension between parents and their thirtysomethings still living at home. "A wholesale destruction," a Bologna University professor says, "of human capital"."
This has been going on for nearly a decade now, and many of these young people will never be able to utilize their skills, they will have been out of the market so long, their skills will have rotted. This is the ultimate wages of socialism, and the economic stagnation which accompanies it.
We have the power to do what we did in the 19th century, and provide Europe with a way out, emigration to the US. Only this will be emigration of the educated, the professional, the skilled, which will mean we will need even more immigrants to cross our Southern border to provide services for these new workers. We will also need to slash regulations on businesses, and do a Reaganesque turn to tax sanity. The best course of action would be to impose a national consumption/sales tax to completely replace the individual, corporate income tax systems, and the Estate/Death, and gift tax system. This change would make the tax system simple, and need no IRS. Since all but a few states have sales taxes, the federal government could pay the state sales tax collectors to collect the federal tax, and remit to the federal government. The result would be a federal system which needed only a small legal collections arm, and this could be performed by existing private collection services, and the Department of Justice for legal issues. The cost savings alone would be a multibillion dollar boost to the economy.
In this environment, American business would be able to grow the economy, which would allow us to utilize more of the European skilled workers and more of the unskilled labor we obtain from Mexico and Central America. This would allow revitalization of much of middle America which is currently fearful of immigration taking their jobs, the Trump voters. This would be a win/win/win/win approach.
But Obama has had 7 years to figure this out, and he has not done so. Perhaps the next President will, but not if it is Hillary, she is the status quo, war/hawk President. Sanders is a fool, too stupid to know which side the bread the butter is on, and Cruz is an enigma in this regard. Trump could likely be persuaded, but that would require someone from the Republican party addressing this issue, that seems a bridge too far in the current climate.
Economic growth is the only solution, and will provide the funds necessary to solve our gargantuan debt problem, along with our stagnating economy, and its consequences.
Not holding my breath, we are blessed with the worst political class in human history.
More lunacy from the Portland Clown College: Smart Growth: Driving up housing prices, and increasing congestion! Twofer!!!
Trouble In Smart Growth's Nirvana
"Recent developments in Portland and Oregon suggest that smart growth is having only a modest effect, while driving down housing affordability, increasing traffic congestion and losing popularity in neighborhoods."
Hold on! Smart Growth is supposed to make housing affordable, not unaffordable, and all those billion dollar light rail projects are supposed to decrease traffic congestion. It's almost like it's some sort of bait and switch scheme. Hold on . . . Maddogswif is speaking to me sotto vocce . . . She says it is a bait and switch scheme. Mon Dieu! Who would have guessed? Government lying to the taxpayers, what's the world coming to?
Answer: Expensive bullshit, that's what the world is coming to.
"Despite the claims of the transit-media complex, Portland’s anti-highway policies are failing. The 2000 Census shows that transit’s work trip market share remains 20 percent below the 1980 Census rate, which preceded opening of the first light rail line. And, Portland’s highway congestion has become the worst of any metropolitan area of its size."
Great, we are in reverse and accelerating!
"The most destructive result has been Portland’s “green-lining” of housing opportunity by the urban growth boundary. According to the National Association of Homebuilders, Portland’s housing affordability declined at a far greater rate in the last decade than in any other major metropolitan area. At the same time, housing affordability improved in faster growing areas, such as Atlanta, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Raleigh-Durham."
The verdict is in, Urban Planners are imbeciles. The whole Smart Growth thing is nothing but one of those Gorian secular religions, similar to the great gorical's Gaiastic Apocalyptic Global Warming religion. And Smart Growth comes with the same outcomes, the opposite of the prophecies. This is like a 3rd rate SciFi POC (piece of crap). Luckily, I live mid stream of the River Effluent, er, Portlandia, or ground zero as it is known by those remaining rational in the area.
So Where Should People Live in the Future?
Probably exactly where they want to live, because from what I can see, that's where they end up living.
Sorry, time for a detour . . .
"What was perhaps most intriguing was that the top ranked city for unhappiness is Portland, Oregon, the city that many planners hold up as Nirvana." Well, only for the Smart Growth Urban Planners, and people who believe the press tongue bathings, er, news. For us who live here, especially those of us who have lived here for a long time (1972 for me), this is OBVIOUS, TANGIBLE, AND PALPABLE. Loud enough? Terrible traffic, unaffordable housing, idiotic transit which mangles everything from roadways, to bicycle riders.
Will Portland Streetcar ever find a way to prevent bike-rail crashes? - BikePortland.org
"Twelve years after Portland Streetcar added its rails to city streets, it’s still a Portland rite of passage to crash your bike on its tracks — and it’s still a maddening problem for the handful of people trying to solve it.
“'I just can’t believe that in a place like Amsterdam or any number of European cities where they have had girder rail — I can’t believe that somebody hasn’t figured this out,' Portland Streetcar consultant Carter MacNichol said in an interview Wednesday. 'But apparently they haven’t.'"
Said the Portland Streetcar Consultant, excuse me, idiot. The Antiplanner is not as uninformed as this idiot Portland Streetcar Consultant, there is a fix: "There’s one good thing about the streetcar, at least if you are a Portland auto driver annoyed by the city’s aggressive cyclists. More than two-thirds of Portland cyclists surveyed in 2008 said they’ve crashed on the streetcar tracks. There’s an engineering fix–putting rubber flaps on the rails that are flexible enough for the streetcars to push out of the way but too stiff for bicycles to sink into. But Portland Streetcar doesn’t want to install them because it’s too expensive and they’d have to replace them every two or three years."
Why is government so willing to hire know-nothing consultants, when a bit of perusing around the Internet would answer most of their questions? Yeah I know, they hire them because the politician want a cushy job once they fail out of "public service" and nothing is as cushy as a job which requires not one whit of knowledge, like Portland Streetcar Consultant! It's the old I'll scratch your back two step.
The cure is simple, get rid of the streetcar, and light rail. I can already hear the shrieks from the transit Mafia. But as the Antiplanner observes, "[c]onsidering that the 2013 American Community Survey found that more than 18,000 workers living in the city of Portland bicycle to work while only 7,800 take some form of rail transit–including both streetcars and light rail–it seems like the city has its priorities exactly backwards. I hope officials from other cities who look to Portland as a model for transportation planning take the time to read these audits."
So, rail transit in Portlandia, which carries about one half of all transit riders, only takes 7,800 workers each day? Jesus H. Tap-dancing Christ! We spent billions on this crap, and it carries less than 8,000 people to work? Taxis would have been cheaper, and with those impossibly low ridership numbers the roadways wouldn't notice the increased carriage.
Sorry for the detour, back to the question of where people want to live. Portlandia's Smart Growth Urban Planners know exactly where people want to live, in the city, in a high density environment. You know like rats in a packed maze.
This was confirmed by the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Project's national survey assessing where people would like to live:
"A new national survey by the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Project finds that nearly half (46%) of the public would rather live in a different type of community from the one they're living in now- a sentiment that is most prevalent among city dwellers. When asked about specific metropolitan areas where they would like to live, respondents rank Denver, San Diego and Seattle at the top of a list of 30 cities, and Detroit, Cleveland and Cincinnati at the bottom. Other survey findings include:
• Americans are all over the map in their views about their ideal community type: 30% say they would most like to live in a small town, 25% in a suburb, 23% in a city and 21% in a rural area.
• By a ratio of more than three-to-one, Americans prefer living where the pace of life is slow, not fast. A similarly lopsided majority prefer a place where neighbors know each other well to one where neighbors don't generally know each other's business."
Ok, so the Portlandia Smart Growth Urban Planners lied, through their teeth. People want to live in lower density, with a slower pace, and where neighbors know each other. That pretty much redlines cities, where no one knows, or cares about the neighbors.
Ironically, we have had a number of friends who became enamored with the Pearl District a trendy urban neighborhood in Portlandia. The ones who moved to the Pearl all followed the same pattern, point by point, it was like a comedy bit their behavior was so predictable. They would first become enamored, then they would watch the Pearl's housing prices, and notice the housing prices were going up, up, up. So, they would buy in, and instantly become wildly excited about The Pearl. They would throw 6 or more parties the first year, where before they might have thrown a single holiday party. The second year they would remain enthusiastic, but the parties would fall to perhaps three. The third year they might throw a holiday party, but no more. The fourth year we would meet them at someone elses party, and they would have moved back to the suburbs. They weren't talking about the Pearl. It was a comedy bit!
Some did well with home prices, especially the early adopters, but the latecomers, I suspect got burned. While I asked softly about why, I could only get something along the lines of, "we missed our neighbors in [the suburbs]." Well, yes, and all the concrete, and hard surfaces of the city would get old, as would being trapped with only one car. Plus, we would only go to one party per couple, per year. Parking was a bitch, and I was not about to prostrate myself on the altar of Smart Growth. I suspect they found that with time fewer, and fewer people would trek down to parking hell to visit, which meant they were always doing the driving.
If hell is other people, the city is surely hell. Leave it for the young to populate, and with experience, realize they don't like the city as much as they thought they would.
Remember, Portlandia is a cautionary tale.