November 06, 2019

Can't "Build Baby Build" Out of CA Housing Shortage

Timothy Birdnow

Recently Dana Mathewson posted a piece about California Governor Gavin Newsom's passing the buck on the California housing shortage. Bill H. left a great comment and I had something to add as well.

Bill H. responded:

If Google et al were the cause of the housing shortage, why is there a shortage in San Diego? Google is not here, nor is Facebook or Apple. None of them are within commuting distance of here. None of the other tech giants is here. The biggest thing, other than "defense," is Qualcomm, which is not a pimple on Google's butt. So why the shortage in San Diego? Answer, because San Diego is in California.

Bill makes an excellent point!

BTW; remember when oil prices were spiking and these same people were telling us we couldn't "drill our way out of the problem"? Back then supply had nothing to do with demand. Now that they have to live with the results of their own policies supply is apparently everything.

I used to work in the Real Estate business, and I worked with a fellow who worked in the California market (twice, as it turns out). He said landlords were treated like the Joker from Batman by the authorities; they were considered robber barons. There were advocates who would take you to court if you tried to evict a bad tenant, and they would argue it was a "death sentence" before a judge, the logic being that the tenant would become homeless and die. The judges always bought it, too.

So you couldn't kick bad tenants out. They would tear the place up, chase away good tenants, and make your life miserable.

So, a part of the lack of "affordable housing" in California is a result of the soft hearted, soft headed approach taken by state officials.

While many people, and most especially liberals in places like California, think that landlords are these rich guys drinking champagne and eating c aviar for breakfast, the reality is owning rental property is usually a low profit, marginal business with high expenses. I was involved in it for twenty years. This was especially true after the housing market boom started around 2000; many working class people decided to buy cheap buildings and fix them up as investments (this was far more true here in St. Louis than in the pricier California). But still, you have so many costs involved in rental properties. You have a mortgage. You have maintenance (and renters don't care about your property so it's far worse than on a home), you have taxes. You have insurance. You have rent collection, and in a place like California that is difficult as you don't have an easy road to evict non-paying or bad tenants. You have to deal with lawbreaking or unruly behavior. You just have to put up with the tenants, many of whom think that because they pay rent they can yell and scream at you. How many landlords got earfulls when the power company shut off power? Knowing how it works there were more than a few angry calls.

Property management is a very challenging business.

But in California - and no doubt New York and other liberal meccas - the landlord is by definition a Dark Lord of the Sith.

Despite that there are still plenty of landlords, but not enough to provide the needs of the poorer people in CA. Yes, housing prices drive the workers at the tech companies into the cheaper properties, but one must ask why new housing isn't being built? Environmental laws, asthetic laws, all manner of regulatory octopodal strangulation drives the prices way up. You might get paid well at Google, but not well enough to build. Not in California.

So we have the perfect storm in the Golden State. High taxes, heavy regulations, a system that helps deadbeats stay in their homes, a large alien population, and a large tech sector that is drained of resources by the state government. But it is somehow only caused by not enough building. Never does an idiot like Newsom ask WHY there is not enough building going on.

Liberals used to sneer at Conservatives for saying "drill baby drill!" as a solution to high gasoline prices. Barack Obama said we can't "drill our way out of the problem". But now it seems we can do just that with the housing shortage.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 08:11 AM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
Post contains 744 words, total size 5 kb.

1 Obama said we couldn't drill our way out of the problem, then opened up massive areas to drilling and presided over the fracking boom. Completely consistent with his habit of saying one thing and doing precisely the opposite.

The thing with stacking the deck against landlords is all part and parcel of the liberal anti-business crusade. Raise costs for business, raise taxes for business, make business pay for giveaways to taxpayers. This is all "free lunch" for voters because businesses never pass these additional costs on to those who buy their products.

Oh wait, they do pass those costs on the buyers of their products, but those buyers are not voters who are getting all of the "free lunch" stuff.

Oh wait, those buyers are voters who are paying higher prices caused by all the "free lunch" stuff that liberals are paying for by raising costs on those evil businesses.

All of which proves what anyone with an IQ higher than room temperature has known all along, which is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Liberals still believe that a free lunch is free.

Posted by: Bill H at November 06, 2019 10:41 AM (vMiSr)

2 Don't confuse us with facts, Bill!  You're shattering our illusions again...

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at November 06, 2019 10:47 AM (QdQQ3)

3 Bill, if memory serves me (it often doesn't, but I think I'm right here), Obama kept closing prime oil and gas drilling areas. It was Trump who opened them back up. Obama would have been happy to starve the country of oil.

Only under Trump did we become an exporter of gas and oil.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at November 06, 2019 10:52 AM (l70yq)

4 I can't say I'm entirely certain on this. I know he did close some BLM areas and a couple of offshore areas. I seem to recall that he opened some other offshore areas, and I'm almost certain that the fracking boom precedes Trump by quite a bit.

The problem is that during the Obama administration all of the "good" things Obama did were highly touted, while a number of really bad things were mentioned little if at all by the media.

Posted by: Bill H at November 06, 2019 12:46 PM (vMiSr)

5 Found this, the accuracy of which I cannot verify, but it certainly would indicate significant increase in production under Obama if true. "In total energy consumption, the US was between 86% and 91% self-sufficient in 2016. In May 2011, the country became a net exporter of refined petroleum products."

Posted by: Bill H at November 06, 2019 12:50 PM (vMiSr)

6 Fracking went from less than half a million barrels per day in 2007 to 4.5 million barrels per day in 2015. Certainly much larger today, although many earlier wells are already tapping out, but clearly Obama was very much part of the fracking boom.

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=25372

Posted by: Bill H at November 06, 2019 01:02 PM (vMiSr)

7 Guys, I believe Obama kept government lands restricted; the fracking boom happened on private property, where the BHO couldn't stop it. Naturally, he took credit for it.

Also, about that energy exporting business, no doubt a lot of it is because Obama killed the coal industry in America. St. Louis was home to the largest coal company on Earth (Peabody) and the second largest on Earth Arch coal). Both went into bankruptcy during the BHO's tenure. Remember, Obama said he was going to kill coal before he ever took office.

Also, Obama said when asked about high gas prices he was glad about them but wished they would have risen more slowly.

In fact, Obama was hugely lucky that fracking came in when it did; it kept the economy from sliding back into recession.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at November 06, 2019 01:02 PM (QdQQ3)

8 I believe you're right, Tim. If Obama was "part of the fracking boom," it was because he couldn't help it; it was going on in spite of him. I honestly don't remember any actions of his helping the economy.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at November 06, 2019 02:36 PM (nNNqO)

9 The article you share here is great. I really like and appreciate your work http://bit.ly/31P2yWs

Posted by: give up robot 3 at November 06, 2019 08:22 PM (LZcTp)

10 Paul Driessen - whose field of expertiese is energy at CFACT - told me that fracking was unstoppable early on in the Obama administration, and he was right, it seems. I feared it could be killed by low cost oil, something Obama would be glad to have if it meant a long term strategic victory. But prices bottomed out and it survived.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at November 07, 2019 07:25 AM (+lHJ+)

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