Suggestions for the Democratic Party, Part 2:  The Housing Issue March 29, 2017

I just put out a post on the weaknesses and inconsistencies of the Democratic Party, and then realized that I had omitted one issue that is close to our heart here at Blue Kennel.  I refer to, of course, the issue of housing.  Jed Kolko and Derek Thompson discovered that the housing crunch was most severe in metropolitan divisions that voted Democratic.  The outlier among expensive metropolitan divisions was Orange County; and Orange County was narrowly captured by the Democratic presidential candidate last year for the first time since 1936.  The least expensive Democratic area was Detroit; I think that means the part south of Eight Mile Road, because the part north of it is a separate ‘metropolitan division’.

Shane Phillips, of the blog Better Institutions, is a white liberal Democrat from Los Angeles.  In a post last year he pointed out the inconsistencies of his peers on issues that affect housing.  He charges that they are:

‘pro-environment but anti-growth and density’

‘pro-immigration but anti-migration’

‘pro-equity but anti-housing’

What is this about?  I think it has a bit to do with the priorities of Silicon Valley–Hollywood Democrats, which cannot possibly be the same as those of East and South LA Democrats.  Since the Silicon Valley and Hollywood Democrats are not particularly poor, the issues that lock them into the Democratic Party as opposed to the party that used to be the ‘party of the rich’ [though a lot of rich people haven’t known that for the last 40 years or so] and is now moving toward being the ‘white ethnic minority party’, are not the same as those that interest South and East LA.  The affluent whites are moved by issues of culture, environment, and aesthetics.  Many of them may even remember Paul Ehrlich and the now discredited ‘zero population growth’ movement of almost 50 years ago.  Arguments that dense cities actually produce less carbon may fall on deaf ears with such a crowd.  In my other post I called them the REI Whites, which I set over as polarized against what I call the Cabela’s Whites.  [Cabela’s is a famous hunting and fishing megastore in the Midwest; the fact I had to tell you, dear reader, shows you which cultural side you’re probably on.]  Once again, an example of how the tensions between the various cultures of the Democratic Party even in California may pull it apart.

Dana 05/01/2017

What do you think of the new Corporate Landlord crisis? Billion dollar companies that caused the housing crisis, now buying up foreclosed homes and acting as slumlords. Waypoint Homes/Colony, Blackstone/Invitation Homes, and American Homes 4 Rent have BBB ratings of “F” and the Fed Reserve of Atlanta documents eviction rates at 32% in Atlanta – “evict, not fix” over maintenance issues. Founder of Colony is Trump’s BFF and also Feinstein’s husband claims losses involved in Colony. Both sides of the aisle seem to be involved, and the victims are the average American – even targeted minorities and low income. Advice to address both sides of the aisle?

Howard Ahmanson 09/08/2017

If they rent the houses out long term, the houses are at least on the rental market, competing with other houses, therefore driving rents down. If the houses are only rented short term, or Airbnb, or kept vacant, it doesn’t help. A stiff tax should be placed on anyone who owns a house that they keep vacant or only let for short term rentals more than four months of the year.

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