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  #1  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 11:50 AM
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Wendell Cox: California's War on Suburbia

What a buffoon. And this host is ridiculous.

http://online.wsj.com/video/opinion-...=san+francisco
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 12:57 PM
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I hate the way every second journalist throws around the word "War" to describe any slight change (real or debated) in the status quo. Almost as bad as suffixing "-gate" to any political scandal.
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  #3  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 3:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
I hate the way every second journalist throws around the word "War" to describe any slight change (real or debated) in the status quo. Almost as bad as suffixing "-gate" to any political scandal.
I think both of those things are a reporter's way of mocking Richard Nixon.
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  #4  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 6:02 PM
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I'm so sorry guys. I'm from the same area this guy comes from. The people there supported and voted for light rail, despite his objections.
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  #5  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 6:12 PM
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Originally Posted by dimondpark View Post
What a buffoon. And this host is ridiculous.
Good point. No need to refute any of his arguments when you can just sneer at the source.
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  #6  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 6:38 PM
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The WSJ is a right-wing rag.

Urban areas in CA are becoming more dense for the simple reason that people want to live closer to work, entertainment, shopping, etc. and don't want to spend 1-5 hours a day in their cars. Increased demand is driving housing prices up. People want to live in CA, particularly along the coast, due to the weather and scenery.

It's that old "free market" at work and nothing more than that.
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  #7  
Old Posted May 6, 2012, 4:18 PM
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With all due respect, some individuals, groups, and political parties make such absurd, patently biased, and fallacious arguments as to disrespect evidence or the very notion of truth.

Wendall Cox is just such a person.

One does not dignify the absurd hokum that the Earth is flat, the moon is made of green cheese, climate change is a "hoax" by "greedy scientists," that Hawaii-born Obama is a "foreigner," and that presumably liberal politicians have waged a "war" on American suburbs––which in truth have benefitted for over seventy years at the expense of the cities upon which they depend via government tax, zoning, transportation-energy policies and loans and appropriations.

Cox's "argument" is land-fill rubbish, and, as with so much of the noxious rubbish from his side of the aisle that passes for "discourse," it is not worthy of intellectual engagement.
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  #8  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 6:41 PM
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In related news, some people still think the earth is flat.

Wendell Cox is paid sprawl lobbyist whose opinions have been roundly rejected in peer review for years. He deserves approximately the same level of respect and attention as creationists.
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Old Posted Apr 11, 2012, 3:07 AM
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Ironically, it's free market forces that get wendell cox hard, lack of supply (decreasing land)/greater demand that drove home prices up in California during the 90s/early 00s, and not 'socialism' regulations.
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Old Posted Apr 11, 2012, 6:49 PM
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Originally Posted by all of the trash View Post
Ironically, it's free market forces that get wendell cox hard, lack of supply (decreasing land)/greater demand that drove home prices up in California during the 90s/early 00s, and not 'socialism' regulations.
that and fraud
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  #11  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2012, 8:40 PM
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Low-Density Suburbs Are Not Free-Market Capitalism


April 10, 2012

By Jonathan Rothwell

Read More: http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-avenue/1...ket-capitalism

Quote:
Recently in the Wall Street Journal, transportation consultant Wendell Cox published an op-ed entitled: “California Declares War on Suburbia.” Cox argues that “planners” in California are attacking what he calls “the most popular housing choice,” the single-family detached home, and if they get their way, they will weaken California’s economy, drive up housing prices, and increase traffic congestion. Actually, the homogenous prevalence of low-density single-family suburban housing is the outcome of the very government “planning” process that Cox decries, as economist Ed Glaeser has noted.

- While California’s local governments are not as anti-density as their counterparts in the Northeast, its local governments do often rely on various growth management techniques that are likely to raise housing prices. In fact, local governments in California are particularly motivated to encourage large-lot-only housing because of the states cap on property tax rates (through Proposition 13). Research on urban growth boundaries, which are prevalent in California jurisdictions, finds that housing prices increase significantly faster in places that adopt these regulations.

- What opponents of planning might characterize as a war on suburbia and the preferences of the public could just as easily be viewed as a responsible effort by local politicians to respond to high housing prices, automobile congestion, and pollution. Take the Association of Bay Area Governments, which is singled out for criticism by Cox for their effort to coordinate and prioritize the construction of moderately high-density housing near job and transportation hubs. Their goal is to encourage new housing construction to go up near where people work and cluster denser housing developments enough to sustain public transportation.

- This will tend to reduce congestion and pollution by facilitating walking, public transit, and shorter auto commutes. Of course, if there is a populous revolt against these politics, any of the member governments could refuse to comply, since the Association of Bay Area Governments has no land-use authority, as it clearly states on its website. Moreover, since the association isn’t itself a developer, the construction will only take place if private developers find it profitable.

- It’s ironic that the most aggressive defenders of the regulatory enshrinement of the large-lot single-family home claim that any changes to this status-quo are an assault on markets and consumer preferences. In fact, anti-density zoning laws represent the triumph of heavy-handed government over private property rights, as the first major Supreme Court case on zoning demonstrated. These laws prevent private home owners from selling their property to the highest bidder and block housing developers from putting up their preferred housing structures--imposing massive costs on the metropolitan area in terms of traffic, pollution, housing costs, economic segregation (and education, as we will show in a forthcoming paper next week).

.....
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  #12  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2012, 8:55 PM
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Wendell Cox Declares War On Regional Planning, Common Sense


10 April 2012

By Josh Stephens

Read More: http://www.cp-dr.com/node/3169

Quote:
.....

Since 2000 more than 1.6 million people have fled, and my own research as well as that of others points to high housing prices as the principal factor.

SB 375 and AB 32 did not pass until 2008 and 2006, respectively. In the first half of the 2000s, developers could not build homes fast enough in California. So, yes, it must be the climate change regulations and not the incredible demand for housing that has driven prices up.

California has declared war on the most popular housing choice, the single family, detached home

Let’s not confuse most popular with most common. And let’s not forget that the single-family home is most common because of the laws, regulations, and public investments that made it most common.

Metropolitan area governments are adopting plans…

Here’s his first whopper of a falsehood: metropolitan planning agencies are government agencies, but they are not governments. They have no police power and exert influence only to the extent that they control some transportation funding. And much of their policymaking depends on the consensus of their members: typically, cities and counties, which are governments.

… that would require most new housing to be built at 20 or more to the acre, which is at least five times the traditional quarter acre per house.

Cox has built a career on an appealing but often useless observation: less dense areas promote efficiency because cars burn relatively less gas when they travel at consistence speeds on uncongested streets. This metric, however, ignores overall fuel consumption that takes place when you have to drive to the next county to buy a quart of milk.

If every urban area in California continued to build at four houses to the acre, the distances from homes to basic amenities would grow ever greater. And you can forget about your commute: unless companies are going to open up branch offices in Tracy and Palmdale, then commutes from Cox’s fantasy fringe to established job centers would become farcical.

Big houses and the Frontier mentality are fine if you live and work in Jurupa. Sure, people like big houses. They also like living close to their jobs. Some of them even like living close to other people. But what about the inner suburbs? What about Milpitas? Or Covina? Or even Irvine? They can’t keep expanding. So if, as Cox’s whole premise suggests, population growth is a good thing, then how exactly are they going to grow without becoming more dense?

State and regional planners also seek to radically restructure urban areas, forcing …

SB 375 doesn’t force anything on anyone. It provides incentives and a few penalties. No city is going to go out of business if it doesn’t comply. Moreover, planners at MPO’s have insisted that SCS’s will cause anything but "radical" restructuring. Places that are suburban will remain largely suburban. Places that are urban will simply become “more” urban and thus relieve pressure on suruban areas. By promoting this high-density development, most new development will take place on a relatively small footprint, thus largely preserving Cox’s precious status quo.

…much of the new hyperdensity development...

“Hyperdensity”? Hyperdensity is Hong Kong. It’s Mumbai. It’s a Hunger Games screening on opening night. The notion that Cox thinks any place in California could ever be hyperdense is enough to forever disregard him. (Ironically, I don't actually want to disregard him. I like a good contrarian.)

...into narrowly confined corridors.

This description implies that California’s boulevards will turn into sun-starved canyons, with laundry hanging between tenements. That’s hardly the case. But even if it was, Cox willfully ignores the premise behind directing density to “narrow” corridors: it keeps density out of single-family home neighborhoods. What a concept.

If the planners have their way, 68% of new housing in Southern California by 2035 would be condos and apartment complexes. This contrasts with Census Bureau data showing that single-family, detached homes represented more than 80% of the increase in the region's housing stock between 2000 and 2010.

On Day One of moral philosophy class, most professors review the naturalistic fallacy, otherwise known as the is-ought fallacy. It means that what “is” is not necessarily what “ought” to be. (For an example, see the American South, ca. 1600 – 1865.) Mr. Cox apparently was absent that day.

Over the past 40 years, median house prices have doubled relative to household incomes in the Golden State….economic studies…have documented the strong relationship between more intense land-use regulations and exorbitant house prices.

I’m not going to tangle with Cox over studies. We all know that there’s a study for everything. I’ll only say that a lot more things were going on in the 1970s than just the introduction of land use regulations. There was also, say, Prop. 13, the oil crisis, the consumption of readily developable land, and disco too.

Since then, California has weathered the flight of the defense industry, the slow decrease in oil production, the scourge of the War on Drugs, the closure of military bases, the evisceration of the public school system, the near-lifetime incarceration of nonviolent felons, and the rise of the Kardashians (who, not coincidentally, live in Calabasas). I have no idea what this has to do with home prices, but my point is that California is a slightly more complicated place than Cox makes it out to be.

A 2007 report by McKinsey….recommended cost-effective strategies such as improved vehicle economy, improving the carbon efficiency of residential and commercial buildings, upgrading coal-fired electricity plants, and converting more electricity production to natural gas.

The California Legislature recommended the same thing. It’s called AB 32.

It is better to raise children with backyards than on condominium balconies.

In a universe full of empty assertions based on nothing but aesthetic biases, rarely does logic flee from opinion with quite such haste as it does from this one.

In point of fact, only an illiterate boor would categorically privilege the suburbs over all else. Cox needs look only to Betty Friedan (or Betty Draper, for that matter) to consider that maybe life holds more than meatloafs, soap operas, and chain restaurants.

Plenty of young parents would be perfectly happy to live in nice, well located multifamily dwellings rather than in poorly constructed stucco boxes in the high desert. If only there were more such dwellings to go around. However, if Cox thinks that the outer suburbs are so darned attractive, then he can get bargains on just about as many homes in Riverside, Stockton, and Merced as he wants. Everyone else who can afford to buy is buying elsewhere, or so just about all the demographic analyses suggest.

A less affordable California, with less attractive housing, could disadvantage the state as much as its already destructive policies toward business.

Here, Cox conflates the form of housing with the supply of housing. Sustainable Communities Strategies explicitly account for projected population growth. Though Cox may not like them, all the odious little apartments in those regional plans are meant to house exactly the number of people by which each respective region is projected to grow. If Cox thinks all 10-plus million of those new residents should live in detached homes, then I’d like to see what sort of plans he has in mind.

.....
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  #13  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2012, 4:21 PM
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Ironically, it's free market forces that get wendell cox hard, lack of supply (decreasing land)/greater demand that drove home prices up in California during the 90s/early 00s, and not 'socialism' regulations.
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that and fraud
No one seems to bring it up, but my guess is that Prop 13 has also contributed to the overly inflated price of housing in California (among other problems that California has been facing).
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  #14  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2012, 1:49 PM
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The New Class Warfare


04/30/2012

By Joel Kotkin

Read More: http://www.newgeography.com/content/...bout+places%29

Quote:
Few states have offered the class warriors of Occupy Wall Street more enthusiastic support than California has. Before they overstayed their welcome and police began dispersing their camps, the Occupiers won official endorsements from city councils and mayors in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, Irvine, Santa Rosa, and Santa Ana. Such is the extent to which modern-day “progressives” control the state’s politics. But if those progressives really wanted to find the culprits responsible for the state’s widening class divide, they should have looked in a mirror.

- Over the past decade, as California consolidated itself as a bastion of modern progressivism, the state’s class chasm has widened considerably. To close the gap, California needs to embrace pro-growth policies, especially in the critical energy and industrial sectors—but it’s exactly those policies that the progressives most strongly oppose. Even before the economic downturn, California was moving toward greater class inequality, but the Great Recession exacerbated the trend. From 2007 to 2010, according to a recent study by the liberal-leaning Public Policy Institute of California, income among families in the 10th percentile of earners plunged 21 percent. Nationwide, the figure was 14 percent.

- It’s also worth noting that in 2010, the California 10th-percentile families were earning less than their counterparts in the rest of the United States—$15,000 versus $16,300—even though California’s cost of living was substantially higher. A more familiar statistic signaling California’s problems is its unemployment rate, which is now the nation’s second-highest, right after Nevada’s. Of the eight American metropolitan areas where the joblessness rate exceeds 15 percent, seven are in California, and most of them have substantial minority and working-class populations. When California’s housing bubble popped, real-estate prices fell far more steeply than in less regulated markets, such as Texas. The drop hurt the working class in two ways: it took away a major part of their assets; and it destroyed the construction jobs important to many working-class, particularly Latino, families.

- Yet while the working and middle classes struggle, California’s most elite entrepreneurs and venture capitalists are thriving as never before. “We live in a bubble, and I don’t mean a tech bubble or a valuation bubble. I mean a bubble as in our own little world,” Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently told the San Francisco Chronicle. “And what a world it is. Companies can’t hire people fast enough. Young people can work hard and make a fortune. Homes hold their value.” Meanwhile, in nearby Oakland, the metropolitan region ranks dead last in job growth among the nation’s largest metro areas, according to a recent Forbes survey, and one in three children lives in poverty. One reason for California’s widening class divide is that, for a decade or longer, the state’s progressives have fostered a tax environment that slows job creation, particularly for the middle and working classes.

.....



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Old Posted Apr 11, 2012, 4:57 PM
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And if you want worse, there's Randall O'Toole and his antiplanner domain for his website.
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Old Posted Apr 12, 2012, 4:55 AM
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^Was gonna post that article too. Funny little jabs throughout.
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Old Posted Apr 28, 2012, 2:40 PM
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As California Collapses, Obama Follows Its Lead


04/27/2012

By Joel Kotkin

Read More: http://www.newgeography.com/content/...bout+places%29

Quote:
Barack Obama learned the rough sport of politics in Chicago, but his domestic policies have been shaped by California’s progressive creed. As the Golden State crumbles, its troubles point to those America may confront in a second Obama term. From his first days in office, the president has held up California as a model state.

- Obama regularly asserts that green jobs will play a crucial role in the future of the American economy, but California, a trend-setter in the field, has yet to reap such benefits. Green jobs, broadly defined, make up only about 2 percent of jobs in the state—about the same proportion as in Texas. In Silicon Valley, the number of green jobs actually declined between 2003 and 2010. Meanwhile, California’s unemployment rate of 10.9 percent is the nation’s third highest, behind only Nevada and Rhode Island. When Governor Jerry Brown predicted a half-million green jobs by the end of the decade, even The New York Times deemed it “a pipe dream.”

- Obama’s push to nationalize many of California’s economy-stifling green policies has been slowed down, first by the Republican resurgence in 2010 and then by his reelection considerations. But California’s politicians, living in what’s become essentially a one-party state, have doubled down on green orthodoxy. As the president at least tries to cover his flank by claiming to support an “all-in” energy policy, California has simply refused to exploit much of its massive oil and gas resources. Does this matter? Well, Texas has created 200,000 oil and gas jobs over the past decade; California has barely added 20,000.

- The state’s remaining energy producers have been slowing down as the regulatory environment becomes ever more hostile even as producers elsewhere, including in rustbelt states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, ramp up. The oil and gas jobs the Golden State political class shuns pay around $100,000 a year on average. Instead, California has forged ahead with ever-more extreme renewable energy mandates that have resulted in energy costs roughly 50 percent above the national average and expected to rise substantially from there. This tends to drive out manufacturing and other largely blue-collar energy users.

.....
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Old Posted Apr 30, 2012, 7:37 PM
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Course this kind of stuff is long-standing right-wing tactic. Regarding Joel Kotkin's articles, let me suggest that we end subsidies to Oil Companies that are reaping BILLIONS in PROFIT and put that money to green energy companies, then let's talk.
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Old Posted Apr 30, 2012, 10:37 PM
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i WISH there was a California war on suburbs. That'd be great. But as it stands we've catered to the auto dependent single family home for decades. Have no idea WTF cox and his ilk are talking about.
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Old Posted Apr 30, 2012, 10:39 PM
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i WISH there was a California war on suburbs. That'd be great. But as it stands we've catered to the auto dependent single family home for decades. Have no idea WTF cox and his ilk are talking about.
It's like the War on Christianity. Their way is no longer the only way, and they're frightened at the thought of a future where they're not in control.
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