Are We Losing our Good American Life? (Part 2)

1950s-homeBy Jeff Boone

Previously I wrote that technology and government are the co-conspirators in a giant spiral downward where our children and future generations will fail to achieve the good American life experienced by previous generations.

As expected, some posters responded with a social justice perspective: that we are better off today with respect to our history of racism and other group discrimination.   Unfortunately, some of those “things are better” arguments included the posters’ own racial and gender bias against while males. Ignoring the irony there, I think most of us would agree that great gains have been made in civil rights progress. In addition, we have made great gains in improving the environment.  But the point of my article was economic. We are experiencing a great economic decline where our children and future generations will have fewer opportunities to achieve the good American economic life.

And one reason is the escalating cost of housing; specifically residential rents.

The demand to raise the local minimum wage to $15 per hour is largely related to the significant growth in housing costs (our largest expense after taxes). However, by raising the minimum wage to a sustainable wage in consideration of housing cost inflation, we will cause a ripple effect that leads to an even greater decrease in the value of labor. With higher local human labor cost (lower labor value), the alternatives become more economically feasible. Those alternatives include machines and software, and outsourcing. Also, along with higher business taxation and regulatory costs, higher labor costs directly impact new business starts and business growth plans by causing them to no longer pencil out. So by increasing the minimum wage we lose jobs to machines, to outsourcing and to a lack of business growth. And we end up with fewer people working, and fewer opportunities for people to earn a good American life.

One of the key problems/opportunities I see is the hyper-inflationary cost of housing relative to wages.   The great divergence in in both started in the late 1990s as the real estate market heated up in response to government actions to increase real estate lending. While real house prices rose by only 3.7 percent between 1985 and 1995, they increased by 46 percent between 1995 and 2005.

Meanwhile, the recession that followed the Clinton years’ tech stock bubble began the stagnation of wages that never recovered and would plummet beginning with the Great Recession of 2008.

Because housing has bubbled, and is again bubbling, the ensuing cost of living increase relative to the drop in wages is putting pressure on politicians to raise the minimum wage. But as pointed out in my previous article, raising the cost of labor damages the job market by reducing the value of labor and consequently incentivizing companies to turn to job-killing labor alternatives, and capital to seek returns from investments other than those that produce jobs. A higher minimum wage (or any minimum wage for that matter) reduces access to those entry-level jobs needed by people to start advancing a career and growing their prosperity to attain the Great American Life.

So what if we could somehow reduce the cost of housing to allow people earning minimum wage to be able to afford a reasonable lifestyle? We would maintain the value of human labor and at least retain more existing jobs.

There are multiple ways to tackle the housing problem. But from my perspective, the best way is to simply build more housing.   The laws of supply and demand are the only absolute laws in economics. We should be building more commercial property for business and economic growth, along with a supply of housing to support the employees that would work there.

And in addition to building more housing, rental housing should be subsidized as needed to reach equilibrium with respect to wages, in consideration of the landlord agreeing to rent controls. Yes, I said it… I support subsidized rents and rent control in some cases. Because shelter is a human necessity, and there is a high level of price inelasticity within a given real estate market, as a society we need some price intervention to insure economic equilibrium between wages and rents.   In most areas of the country this equilibrium should be attained by simply building enough housing to meet the demand. However, in some areas we should support rent controls.

So what is equilibrium?

To answer that question, first I need to mention that I do not believe that a minimum wage should be expected to sustain a person long term, and should never be expected to sustain a family.   A minimum wage is a beginning wage. It is mostly intended for young people beginning their careers.   A young person making minimum wage should be either still living at home, or living with roommates sharing the cost of the rent… or otherwise having his/her livelihood subsidized to some degree. We need a greater supply of jobs that pay better than minimum wage because the jobs require more advanced skills. We need career steps for people and should not accept moribund economic growth and an oversupply of low-skilled labor.   These are problems to be solved with education policy and immigration policy… and are a topic for another day.

My opinion is that the average cost of a single bedroom apartment should be no greater than 50% of the gross income for full-time worker making minimum wage. Or in the absence of a minimum wage, a wage equal to the average for the bottom 5% of all wage-earners within the local real estate market.

Assuming a $10 per hour minimum wage, or average bottom 5% wage, this would mean the average rent for a single bedroom apartment should not exceed $867 per month.

When compared to a mortgage, as a general rule, your monthly mortgage payment, including principal, interest, real estate taxes and homeowners insurance, should not exceed 28 percent of your gross monthly income. And your total debt should not exceed 36% of your income. If we assume that a low income renter has little or no debt, we can use the 36% standard to establish a benchmark for the full-time wage rate required to afford the one-bedroom apartment rent. Assuming this, a person would need a full-time hourly wage of at least $13.89 to be able to afford the $867 per month one-bedroom apartment.

Per the 2013 UC Davis housing report, the average 1 bedroom unit rental cost is $1,005 per month.   The 50% minimum wage, or bottom 5% average wage, would be $11.60 per hour and the rent-affordable wage would be $16.11 per hour.

Now I fully expect some people to just argue that we increase the minimum wage to $16.11 per hour so that minimum wage is a rent-affordable wage. But if you think about this, increasing the minimum wage to match rents will reward real estate investors at the expense of investment in job-producing business growth. It would incentivize capital to flow toward real estate investments rather than job production investments. And by increasing the profitability of real estate investment we increases demand for real estate purchases by investors. The increase in demand causes increased real estate prices that lead to higher rents. Said another way, by increasing minimum wage to a sustainable wage we increase the need to perpetually increase minimum wage… and we perpetually decrease the number of jobs available. This is exactly what we have been doing. And then is it any wonder that rents keep skyrocketing and real unemployment keeps increasing?

We would be half mad to accept this trajectory. Apparently we have been half mad.

Note that my opinions on rents do not translate to home ownership. I still believe purchased residences should remain 100% free market and without government meddling. Home ownership is a complex, long-term, monetary and legal transaction that must be earned… both financially, and informational (there is a lot that a qualified borrower should know before committing to any financial obligation as long and as complex as a home mortgage). However, as explained previously, I believe renting is a separate concern. Renting should be a much cheaper and much simpler alternative to buying… and today it is not much cheaper (thankfully it is reasonable easier, and we need to keep it that way). With respect to the econometrics of renting and buying, we are significantly out of synch precisely because of all the government meddling in the housing and lending industries.

Home ownership is not a human need, and should never be an entitlement. However, clean and safe shelter is a basic human need. We should support public policy to help achieve maximum clean and safe rentals that are priced at wage equilibrium.

Some of my conservative friends, and others owning rental properties, will surely disagree that government should stick their nose into a landlord’s business. I will certainly agree that the residential property investment cat will not go easily back into the bag.   Even if every landlord agreed to pull back rents to being in equilibrium with wages, the immediate change would be too disruptive to the economy.  So we need public policy to deal with rents in the short and medium term.

And related to policy to deal with rents, I think we should demand a minimal rental vacancy rate for most communities. If private investors will not build apartments we need to maintain a reasonable vacancy rate, then we need to provide land use incentives similar to those provided for open space preservation.

I would support more government loan programs for multi-unit rental property development. Investors and developers can secure below market interest rates for projects that would lock them into perpetual rent control. Programs like this already exist, but should be expanded.

By lowering the cost of housing for students, for those starting their career, or those with lower skills that are unwilling or somehow unable to advance their careers, we lower the cost of living and the required sustainable wage. We then improve the value of human labor and encourage more companies to locate here and hire. More people working will improve the overall human condition and that will translate to leaving things better for future generations. After education, working is the first step to building career that allows a person to advance to higher levels of prosperity. It is the way to earn that American good life that so many people on the planet can only dream about.

What if we don’t do these things? What if we don’t turn government to the economy as a first priority? What if we don’t reform our education system to improve the quality of American labor? What if we don’t deal with hyperinflationary housing costs and we instead mandate higher beginning wage levels? If current trends continue we might expect a generation from now a quarter of middle-aged Americans will be out of work at any given moment, and more than half would have an out-of-work spell of more than a year at some point during their prime years. It will mean a lot of our children will reach their adult years having never experienced the good American life. It would mean a transformation from a nation of workers, to a nation of people not used to working and then owning all the social ills that derive from not working. This would be tragic and sad… and frankly, and it would be very selfish of us to not try harder to prevent it from happening.

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246 thoughts on “Are We Losing our Good American Life? (Part 2)”

  1. Barack Palin

    “Unfortunately, some of those “things are better” arguments included the posters’ own racial and gender bias against white males.”

    Yes I noticed that too, some liberals can be very racist.

  2. Tia Will

    Jeff

    “Unfortunately, some of those “things are better” arguments included the posters’ own racial and gender bias against while males.”

    I seem to hear you playing the victim card for the “poor, discriminated against white male”.
    Now there is a real irony for you given how much you abhor anyone else complaining about racism or gender bias
    which you claim no longer exist ( except for those” few outliers ” that you acknowledge).

    1. Barack Palin

      “except for those” few outliers ” that you acknowledge”

      Jeff obviously feels he ran into a “few outliers” in the comment section of his last article. Of course some liberals don’t consider it gender or race bias when white males are the target.

      1. Matt Williams

        Barack, our male human forebearers profited unnaturally from their treatment of women and people of other races. Women were owned by men. People of color were owned by men. Do we not bear responsibility for those biased actions of our male human forebearers?

        1. Tia Will

          Matt

          My position on this is nuanced (Jeff, you can stop reading if you like).
          We are not responsible for the actions of our human fore bearers. We are completely responsible for not repeating their actions, rejecting the profits which have resulted from those actions, and training our children to treat all human beings as equals based only on the merits of their own character and actions, not by race, gender, religion, nationality, gender preference ….

          1. Matt Williams

            Tia, my position on this is nuanced too. With that said, how should we go about “rejecting the profits which have resulted from those actions”?

          2. D.D.

            I agree, Tia. Even if we are not responsible for the sins of our fathers and grandfathers, we still have to clen up the mess.
            An example is child abuse. We as a society have to pay taxes and take care of an injured child who carries the scars of abuse. Many people spend more time in jail for growing pot than for abusing a child. Child abuse is just not a high priority in America. Drug abuse is a much higher priority.
            Even if we’re not directly responsible, we all pay. And if we “look the other way”, we are directly responsible. You mentioned an incident where you, as a doctor, stepped up and did the right thing. We can all do a better job of preventing it.

          3. TrueBlueDevil

            I never got any profits. Where do I sign up for them? (Reminds me of an Eddie Murphy skit where he is in white face, and when he goes into a store, he gets the paper for free, drinks for free, etc… all b/c he is white.)

          4. Matt Williams

            I suspect that if you look a bit closer, you got lots of profits. They started the day you were born and more than likely paid dividends every day of the first 18 years of your life

        2. D.D.

          “Barack, our male human forebearers profited unnaturally from their treatment of women and people of other races. Women were owned by men. People of color were owned by men. Do we not bear responsibility for those biased actions of our male human forebearers?”

          Matt, you are interesting. I learn something, quite often, when I read your posts. This post in particular was very succinct. I learned I need to be more succinct.

          1. Matt Williams

            D.D., most people who know me know I typically turn the succinct into the complex, so this is one of those rare occasions where I avoided that pitfall. I do agree with you that it captures a key element of what we all wrestle with.

        3. Jeff Boone

          Holly cow Matt, I am really surprised to hear this coming from you.

          I expect that you know a little something about the histories of western and eastern civilization. And within that context, I’m sure that you understand that reparations demanded to be provided to one group over some historical harm caused by another group would result in a huge traffic jam of money being passed back and forth. In fact, the money would actually be passed back and forth. How far back can we go? Is there any statute of limitations?

          Those Italians sure have a lot of work to do going back to repay all those people they harmed when the Roman empire ruled the west and much of the east.

          The Persians and Arabs too. Those guys plundered and enslaved millions for hundreds of years.

          Some might say that the descendants of slaves have been given the most valuable of reparation of all being free in the greatest country on God’s green earth. Just look at how many people are risking their life to cross dangerous deserts just so they can live here.

          And women dominate. They by far exceed the number of men attending college. The dominate 12 of the 15 careers on the rise. They don’t need a man for anything these days, and they make that clear on a regular basis.

          And now you want to, what, give them some money because they could not vote or smoke cigarettes?

          Come on Matt.

          1. Barack Palin

            And don’t forget that blacks enslaved blacks in Africa long before their was slavery in America. In fact, Africa still has slavery today.

          2. Matt Williams

            Jeff, in many a public meeting we hear the phrase “I will second that motion for discussion purposes.”

            I am running off to a series of meetings, so I can’t reply in any depth now, but just as you may feel that my post has swung the penduluum way to far to one side, your final “And now …” paragraph swings that penduluum just a wee bit too far to the other side. Do you think there is a productive middle ground between those extremes?

          3. TrueBlueDevil

            Dr. Thomas Sowell notes that the end game here eventually ends up with violence. The grievances never seem to end.

          4. Matt Williams

            That is a dynamic that happens in all societies where there is stratification of Haves and have nots. Dr Kenwyn Smith puts it another way … in such societies, the revolution is inevitable. The only thing that differs from society to society is the form that the revolution takes.

          5. La pace sia con voi.

            Are you & bp actually claiming that American slavery wasn’t so bad?
            Bp’s argument is that Africa also had slaves? Really?
            Your argument is, at least they ended up in America and their descendants are now here & free?
            That’s downright offensive.

          6. Barack Palin

            Gee, I wonder who “La pace sia con voi” is?

            “Are you & bp actually claiming that American slavery wasn’t so bad?”

            Some people really seem to have reading comprehension problems.
            No, I’m not claiming that, slavery was horrible. I’m saying where do you begin when you want to pay reparations. As Jeff put it, the money would just end up being passed back and forth.

          7. Matt Williams

            BP, paying reparations isn’t what is being advocated for. Maximizing opportunity through ramped up productivity will both level the historical playing field, and help the entire economy in the process. The historically privileged will have an opportunity to “up their game” and catch the ride as well. They will just have to work a bit harder to keep up. That is a whole lot better opportunity than women had when they were seen as chattel by “their men” or people of color had when they were owned.

        4. TrueBlueDevil

          For how long; and whom decides?

          The problem seems to be that the game never ends.

          Fact is we have seen the success of numerous Asian-American groups, Nigerian-Americans, Ethiopian Americans, and more.

          1. Matt Williams

            Same answer to you as to Jeff. If the efforts are focused on “extra credit” efforts directed toward increasing the productivity of those members of the previously owned groups then “forever” and “those who step up to take advantage of the opportunities to increase their personal productivity.”

            Of course the game never ends. The whole concept of capitalism is ever increasing productivity. Each individual increase in productivity improves the aggregate productivity of society, and puts the US in a better position to compete on the world-wide stage.

            It isn’t the zero-sum-game that you appear to be thinking it is.

    2. Matt Williams

      Tia and Jeff, for the purposes of discussion let’s accept the premise that active racism or gender bias no longer exists (although women in Iran might argue that point). The question I have is what should our society do about the amassed wealth/power that appears as assets on the balance sheets of a substantial portion of the male members of our society as a result of the very clearly biased activities of the past. Should our society treat those accumulated private assets as “ill gotten gains”?

      1. Barack Palin

        You make a good point Matt. Maybe those afflicted with white guilt should take the deed of their El Macero home and write a check clearing out their bank accounts and give it to the first female person of color they see.

        1. D.D.

          Again, provide a logical, intelligent argument, supported by reputable experts, if possible, with specific examples, instead of your usual pessimistic rant..
          At the very least, back up your opinions with some specific examples and some facts, please.

        2. D.D.

          BP,
          “Maybe those afflicted with white guilt should take the deed of their El Macero home…”
          If you are trying to out someone’s home address by implying one of the posters here lives in El Macero, you have reached an all time low. Why don’t you now tell all of us which neighborhood in Davis you live in?
          Your El Macero comment was unnecessary.
          Since you use a nickname I imagined you, of all people, would respect each poster’s privacy.

          1. Barack Palin

            Matt has said many times on here that he lives in El Macero, it’s no secret and I’m not outing anyone’s address. I live in Wildhorse which I have also posted many times on here. Nice try though with the fake accusations.

          2. Matt Williams

            BP, the fact that you know that almost everyone knows where I live doesn’t make D.D.’s comment “false.” You and I are good at sparring, but if you go back and reread your comment, even you will have to agree that it comes with a personal edge. You and I have been able to coexist in the world of “edginess” for a long time, and just as Tia and Frankly appear to get some energy from their bouts with one another, I think you and I enjoy the sparring. I even feel we are better (more understanding) as a result. However, you can’t assume that everyone knows our “history.” Clearly D.D. doesn’t … thus her comment to you.

          3. Matt Williams

            D.D., there really aren’t too many posters here on the Vanguard who don’t know that I live in El Macero. “Why don’t you walk the walk, not just talk the talk” argument has been used in many situations regarding many issues in the past. It really doesn’t bother me. If it did I probably would post under a pseudonym rather than my real name, and would have an unlisted telephone number. I think BP was trying to use me as a metaphorical equivalent for a lot of liberals, trying to give them a feeling of what it feels like to have one’s life intruded into in the same way that he feels that his life is being intruded into by liberals tilting at windmills.

      2. D.D.

        Matt: “…active racism or gender bias no longer exists (although women in Iran might argue that point).” This American woman would argue it, too!

        P.S. BP, Just because Matt mentions his neighborhood, you don’t have to repeat that info in your arguments. Use your own neighborhood in your own argument and leave other people’s personal info to them.

        1. Barack Palin

          El Macero is its own city, that’s the same as saying someone lives in Davis. It’s a far cry from giving out an address. So once again, you’re wrong and quit with the fake accusations. Your argument holds no water.

      3. TrueBlueDevil

        Actually, wealth rarely survives past 3 generations.

        Oprah is proof of that. She found out through one of her PBS specials that her great grandfather, or great great grandfather was loaded. She never got a dime.

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            So doesn’t a poor American typically have a lot of opportunity?

            Free public education until 18, free public libraries, free high-speed Interent at the library (typically), free online courses, free job training programs, free public health care, free clinics, food assistance, food stamps, sometimes free utilities, welfare, affirmative action, and more?

          2. wdf1

            TBD: So doesn’t a poor American typically have a lot of opportunity?

            The quality and accessibility to that “free” education tends to vary by the income of the community. In another comment elsewhere, you more or less lamented that somehow “what happened to reading, writing, and arithmetic?” These days every single school will give you those subjects in reasonably solid form at a basic level, thanks in significant part to NCLB. What you don’t necessarily get is a credible PE program, art and music, decent & accessible school libraries, lab experience with science classes, varied athletic programs, robotics, computer programming (nowadays called coding), video editing, diverse CTE offerings, foreign language offerings (especially beyond the second year), etc.

          3. TrueBlueDevil

            But what you describe wouldn’t keep a smart, driven child from making it to a local junior college or state school. Even better is possible.

            You’re describing an optimum experience, not squalor.

          4. wdf1

            TBD: But what you describe wouldn’t keep a smart, driven child from making it to a local junior college or state school. Even better is possible.

            What about a kid who isn’t quite smart or self-driven while he/she’s in school? As a parent I see how certain positive relationships and engagement experiences of kids in school are a key part to propelling a kid to a better future.

            A focus on reading, writing, and arithmetic was definitely a good top priority in a pre- and early-industrial society. In a post-industrial society, you need so much more than that.

            Sitting in on hiring processes, I expect all candidates to have solid reading, writing, and basic arithmetic skills. What impresses me is the interesting experiences, skills, and perspectives that more successful candidates bring to the table. Those are the ones that will get hired, and they likelier come from better funded schools.

            Solid, diverse curricular offerings and experiences in the public schools will bring many more students to a level to enter and succeed in local community college or state school, not just the smart, driven child.

      4. Tia Will

        Matt

        My current thoughts on the issue of reparations. I agree with you that we are talking about equalization of opportunity, not redistribution of wealth with money changing hands back and forth.

        First to TBD
        “I never got any profits.”

        I believe that all of us posting here did get profits from the ownership of women and blacks by white men.
        They came in the form of increased educational and social opportunity. The primary determinant of a childs early language acquisition is well known. It is how much the child is spoken to by the primary care giver, often the mother. If the mother is educated, the child benefits from infancy. If the mother has never been allowed to learn to read and write, or is sent to the field to work all day, or is sold away from the child, the child is at extreme disadvantage. This disadvantage will be passed on to their children through no fault of their own.

        All people have the tendency to accept as the norm the way in which they themselves were raised. When one group of people are systematically denied a stable social structure or the ability to determine their own future, they do not, again through no fault of their own, absorb the skills set and mentality of those who are depriving them of that opportunity.

        While it is true that we cannot go back and change what our ancestors did, I believe that we are completely responsible for how we address the inequalities that they left us. You all know how I would start since I have said so many times.

        I would urge a complete re evaluation of how we reward work and community contribution. I recommend a complete leveling of opportunity implemented over time. We all know what we have that is of the same value for everyone….our time. We all know that there are a large number of functions that are absolutely critical for the functioning of our society which are wildly disparate in compensation as things are now ( for example the differential compensation of a garbage collector and a neurosurgeon) even though society would be far more harmed by the absence of the former than the latter .

        What I would recommend is equalization of opportunity by providing equal compensation for every member of the society regardless of the positive contribution that they were making. Children get compensated for gong to school, caretakers whether mom, dad, granny, or just someone who loves kids get compensated for caring for the children, I get compensated for finding and initiating the treatment of breast cancer…..
        all the same. If any of us wants more money for extra goodies, we put in more hours. This would equalize motives for contribution and innovation. If an individual is happy with the amount of compensation ( which would be determined by calculating X amount above the poverty line) then they could spend their free time doing what ever else they want to do with their time. If what they want is more material possessions, they can put in more hours to earn more. How much more “free” could you be to determine how to spend your time ?

        The other advantage would be that motivation would come from the interest of the individual in the contribution that he could make. We see this amongst Kaiser docs and other workers daily. We are an innovation driven system. Everyone is encouraged to look at the work place and consider how processes could be improved. Many of our best innovations have come from front line workers at all professional levels who thought of a “better mouse trap” promoted their idea up the line to management and saw it implemented, not for more money, but because it was a better way to do things.

        We seem to be stuck in the idea that people only work or contribute for material gain. When one actually sees people succeeding with multiple innovations without one additional cent of material gain, one sees non monitory motivation in action. Human satisfaction and recognition are major motivators if we allow ourselves to think outside the box imposed by valuing materialism above all else.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          I think you’ve only thought of half the story. This isn’t 1880 or 1930.

          Government has created many of the problems and issues that have destroyed the cities and families of many people of color. Slavery didn’t create Detroit, liberalism did. Same for Philadelphia and Chicago. The slave owner didn’t drive the black man away from his family, liberal social policies did.

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            Isn’t it interesting that the black family survived slavery, but couldn’t survive liberal do-gooders and their supposedly well-intentioned policies.

            Today in some parts of Oakland you still have great and great great grandparents holding some families together. They will soon be gone.

          2. Tia Will

            TBD

            “The slave owner didn’t drive the black man away from his family, liberal social policies did.”

            Demonstrably not true.

            The slave owner frequently sold members of families away from one another when keeping the family together did not suit his economic model or his personal preference

            As for the second clause of your statement, I exonerate no one in this. Many social programs have been failures. But I do not think it is constructive to merely point partisan fingers. The point for me is how do we get to a place of equal opportunity now ?

            I have just stated my preferred option in another post. I’ll be brief here. I think the best option is to focus on infant and young child education. You cannot take an adult who for what ever reason has never learned to read and write and make them proficient overnight. And if it is not done “overnight” it will be too late for the infants that they are currently attempting to raise. A better way in my opinion would be to ensure that every infant has access to the same reading, visual and tactile stimulation, nutritional food and medical care. If we were to equalize support from infancy, I believe that we would go a long way towards equalizing adult opportunity and allowing individuals to develop their own gifts and skill to a maximal level.

      5. TrueBlueDevil

        Matt, your reading must be quite limited.

        Much of our nations monies and “accumulated wealth” is owned by retired little old ladies. I believe they are still the single wealthiest cohort in America (many of the men havinf died off). Maybe you should condiscate from them some of their ill-gotten gains?

          1. Matt Williams

            Not negative at all. It is a fact of nature. The widows you refer to will reach the end of their existence on this veil, and their wealth will be inherited by their children, who will be a mix of both genders.

        1. Tia Will

          TBD

          “I believe they are still the single wealthiest cohort in America”

          I have often heard the statement that charity is best way to take care of those in need and hear often about American generosity. I think the truth of your statement is enough to demonstrate that generosity and charity from the wealthiest amongst us is not sufficient to the needs of those most in need. My position is that if these wealthy little old ladies, and billionaires and those of us in the top couple of percentage points ( myself included) were giving adequately, there would be no need at all for a social safety net managed by the government. If we don’t like government programs to help those in economic difficulty, perhaps the place that all of us who enjoy comfortable homes, enough to eat, medical care and recreational activities should look is in the mirror.

          Government is only really needed when individuals will not of their own free will act for the advancement of all, not just for themselves. Want a smaller government ? Fix the obvious problems yourself. The right frequently makes the comment that those who are liberal do not believe in individual responsibility. I believe that I take individual responsibility far further than do those who post here from a right philosophic perspective. I believe so much in individual responsibility that I believe that those who have been successful have the individual responsibility to share their advantages so that those who are now struggling to succeed will also be successful.

          My success was a result not only of my individual effort, but of many programs that helped me at various points along the way. It is now my responsibility to give back so that others of responsibility can take advantage of the same opportunities that our society provided me, provided mainly by the government since the free market had certain failed me from the day my father died until I was old enough to work at age 12 ( baby sitting, fruit growing, running errands for neighbors. There is no one, no one in this country….or any other, who built their wealth exclusively through they own efforts free from any societal or infrastructure support. Their are only those who like to claim that they have done so.

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            I’ve never met anyone who has ever said that they “exclusively” built their success. But hundreds of millions are given the same access to more or less the same resources in our democracy, and some have less motivation, less know-how, less talent, or less ability.

            Tia, what percentage of one’s income do you think the government should confiscate? Give us a number.

        1. D.D.

          Get a clue, look at who is still running the courts ,most of the government (yes, we do have a mixed race President, but look at Congress, for example) American law enforcement, American military, and Fortune 500 companies. Then whine to me about the poor white male.
          I happen to adore white men, I am just pointing out that they still run America.
          I’m married to a white man. A liberal.

          1. Jeff Boone

            Which begs the question is a white male liberal really a “man”?

            Sorry, I could not help myself.

            Really though.. D.D. your continued while male rant is troubling. I don’t support racial or gender hate. And you should be careful so that you don’t end up being accused of a hate crime. It is a dangerous world out there with liberals injecting society with so many word police Nazis.

            By the way. I have a bias against females not pursuing those positions you mention. Instead they are pursuing the easier jobs. If we are talking equality here… maybe we should start mandating a percentage equal to the population dig all the ditches, fight all the wars, work all the hours, and do all the traveling that those white males tend to do. Think of this as Title iX for life after college.

          2. Matt Williams

            Jeff, since there is no shortage of ditch diggers and there is a free market of available ditch diggers, my sens is that F=MA drives the ditch digger market for the most part.

            On the other hand, fighting wars isn’t free market employment. For the most part women are denied the opportunity to bear arms for their country on the front line … and that denial is the product of male-dominated decision-making.

            Looking at the jobs that I’ve come in contact with over the years, the women who have filled those jobs have worked just as many hours (sometimes more) and traveled just as much as their male counterparts.

          3. TrueBlueDevil

            Jeff – cute reply.

            Liberals only want to look at the facts that they deem important, with the end goal being victimhood. Then, once victimhood is established, why, guess who are the noble individuals who can right all perceived wrongs? The liberals! Of coarse, you’ll have to pay them a pretty penny to help you solve the perceived problems.

            I have 2 close friends, a couple, where the man makes substantially more money than the woman. Sexism, right? Both have UC degrees, and both have the same MBA degree. A husband and wife. Pure sexism, right? Defacto?

            Well, the man chose to work a high-pressure job in investment banking. The wife chose to work in marketing. Later, she chose to leave the workforce to raise children, and when they got older, she chose to work part time in the art field. Not only does she work in art, she chooses what gives her fulfillment, not what would pay the most money.

            The kicker is that when he dies 7 or 10 or 15 years earlier than his wife, who gets the financial benefits?

            Culture also plays a huge role. I heard on the radio this AM that in the Jeremy Lin documentary ( one of the first prominent Asian stars), his parents demanded that he get straight As in school. If he didn’t get all As, no basketball. Talk to any school teacher who has had a number of Asian-American students, and you will hear stories of sacrifice, hard work, and commitment. Not all, but many, from many different countries.

            The problem is that we’ve also had 50 years of victim studies on campus, and these kids will drop accusations of racism at the drop of a hat. Look at home the Obama camp claimed slick Willie was a racist!

          4. D.D.

            And women dominate. They by far exceed the number of men attending college.”
            Um, graduating college is not a guarantee that you will be accepted into the good ole boys network that still runs this country.
            Does anyone on this website think I’m scared that someone will arrest me for a hate crime? Because I wrote that white males have done some bad things, historically?

            Bring it on!

    3. Jeff Boone

      Tia – I tend to care for all people the same and don’t discriminate on race or gender. Apparently you are in a group that believes it is fine to discriminate against some racial and gender groups. That is a shame.

      Do you have some personal anger issues related to white males?

        1. Jeff Boone

          Because it is historical. And it is bias against a race and a gender. It is hateful. It is destructive. But you should know this.

          Come on DP, there are more appropriate ways to try and get more women to like you than to be so self-denigrating. (I assume you are a white male).

          Clearly we can see by this leftist rant against white males invalidates their demanded credentials of being so pure in their lack of bias. And because of this we can also understand that the race and gender platform of the left is either driven by their own personal resentment from feeling excluded from something, or else just a political power acquisition and retention strategy exploiting the same from others.

          Living in the past is a sign of some psychological, mental or emotional dysfunction… or else some sign that there is manipulation occurring.

          Having been abused versus being abused are too completely different circumstances that demand two completely different approaches. Assuming the abuse is no longer occurring, the former becomes the sole challenge of the abused to move on. The latter requires immediate and direct intervention.

          1. Don Shor

            Jeff: please stop making these kinds of personal comments:

            Come on DP, there are more appropriate ways to try and get more women to like you than to be so self-denigrating. (I assume you are a white male).

            Again, to all Vanguard participants: please avoid making personal comments, and keep to the principles under discussion.

          2. Matt Williams

            Jeff you see it as a rant against white males, and I don’t dispute your right to see it that way, but I neither see it as a rant nor see it as being “against” anyone. In a country that prides itself on its constantly increasing productivity, I see it more as an effort to give women and people of color the opportunity to take extra credit courses in order to advance themselves at an accelerated rate. If they don’t choose to take advantage of that opportunity, then that is their choice.

          3. Matt Williams

            Having been abused versus being abused are too completely different circumstances that demand two completely different approaches. Assuming the abuse is no longer occurring, the former becomes the sole challenge of the abused to move on. The latter requires immediate and direct intervention.

            If we treated diseases in that way … only addressing the symptoms rather than the root causes, then the health of our citizens would be far worse than it is. You appear to be saying that someone who has suffered third degree burns early in their life that have left them with disfiguring scars should not spend any time considering plastic surgery … they should just accept the grimaces of people who look at them (and their scars) and “move on.”

          4. Frankly

            Matt – come on now. You are talking about several generations of people post slavery and civil rights. Nobody alive today should have scars from our history of slavery. Over 600,000 young men died fighting for or against the right to enslave… those against won. The slaves were freed.

            The only scars are those continually burned onto the psych of people from the historical template of racism that serves only a political, media and entertainment agenda. It is long past time to move on.

            You understand the problem with individually unresolved historical problems, right? My brother, who is fine now, was an angry boy and man for many years… blaming his parents for “abuse” and the reason he was so miserable. It took time, but eventually I got him to see that he was stuck in a historical template and unable to focus on the present and his future. He would seek out people to validate his victim status, and reject people that told him he was full of shit.

            I was one of the only ones that would tell him he was full of shit. And my credibility was: one – that I always reminded him that I loved him, and two – I had pretty much the same childhood. He had to listen to me.

            What all people stuck in historical victim status need is to get away from the people that validate it, and connect with their own people that tell them they are full of shit. Otherwise they will continue to be stuck in crappy circumstances and looking to blame others for their misery.

            You really do not do a person any good by validating their victim status over and over and over again. Reparations do nothing because, except for those few mega-rich old-money liberals in the country, the root problem is psychological not economic.

            You do recognize of course that the South lost and lost most of the wealth gained by using slaves. In fact, the North completely destroyed parts of the south just to starve out the union army and southern civilians. The economic devastation to the south was pretty absolute.

            So you have the problem too… making the case that so much wealth has been collected on the backs of slaved.

            And then lets not forget the half million or so southerners that were killed trying to defend their freedoms including freedom to own slaves. That is another cost that you appear to just ignore or discount.

            If you want to do a favor to any person belonging to a group that was historically oppressed, tell that person that your expectations for their behavior and performance and success are no different than for any other group. That is the best way to help them “repair”.

          5. Don Shor

            So, evidently, racism ended with the Civil War.
            I kind of thought this essay would lead to a discussion of economic policy issues. I guess not.

          6. Frankly

            Don – Slavery ended with the civil war. Racism did not end and will never end, but exists at a post civil rights level that does not come close to warrant so much continued ranting from the left, the media and Hollywierd.

            There is a connection since someone stuck in a victim status over slavery and racism would generally not be very effective at achieving and good American life.

            I find it SOOO interesting (ironic?, hypocritical?) that there is this argument against the point by Jeff Boone that we have been, and are, spiraling down in decline… that we have improved so much since those 1950s when white males dominated (just had a thought that those northern European countries must really be racists with all those while males dominating)… but then those same people claim that racism and gender bias are still drastic problems that require more reparations from those dominant while males.

            So, which is it?

            This is not just a cake and eat it too issue… I have serious concerns about the mental and/or psychological health of some posters. Cognitive dissonance does not explain the malady well enough.

          7. Don Shor

            I have serious concerns about the mental and/or psychological health of some posters.

            I think you should stop pretending to know anything about psychology.
            So — sure. Other than Reconstruction, Jim Crow laws, the resurgence of the KKK, segregated facilities, poll taxes, lynchings, separate but ‘equal’ schools, race riots, redlining and housing discrimination, hiring and promotion discrimination, inequality of opportunity in professions, high poverty rates, poorer schools, blighted neighborhoods, and voter ID laws with disproportionate impact on minorities over the last few generations – I’d say everything went great for minorities, and discrimination’s been pretty much resolved? Right.

            The schools I attended were de facto segregated, as was housing. School funding to our schools was much higher, since it was property-tax-based, than to poorer districts in San Diego. Funding was unequal, and I think it is likely that outcomes had some relationship to funding. That was in my lifetime, so presumably there were people my age who were minorities who experienced that, and presumably it had some effect on their career and housing opportunities.

            Sure, you can overcome that. But it is a higher hurdle to do so, and presumably continues to affect the opportunities of the children of my peers who experienced those reduced opportunities. For many of us, our future was helped a great deal by the money our parents could put into our college choices, by the opportunities our race, class, and gender provided us; simply by the way we are treated by society in all ways — when we shop, seek loans, look for housing, choose our career paths. You seem to suggest that background has no impact any more.

          8. Barack Palin

            “I have serious concerns about the mental and/or psychological health of some posters. Cognitive dissonance does not explain the malady well enough.”

            Even though Michael Savage can be way out there sometimes, I have to agree with him when he says “liberalism is a mental disease”.

        2. South of Davis

          DP wrote:

          > i don’t understand why pointing out historical white male privilege
          > is tantamount to discrimination against white males?

          Would it be OK to bring up the fact that historically they had human sacrifices and chucked spears at animals every time you met someone from South America or Africa?

      1. Matt Williams

        Jeff, I accept the fact that you feel that way, which is why we are friends; however, what you are describing has the feel to it of a track and field race where some of the contestants are given a head start. Then even if all the contestants run at the same speed, the head start will never be made up and the people who cross the finish line in first place are given all the ribbons and prizes.

        1. Jeff Boone

          Matt – I guess because I was born in a single-wide trailer and have a family owning more troubles than money and I struggled in school and just worked my way to a good American life, I have a very low tolerance for victimology.

          Life isn’t fair. I’m sure you know that. I’m sure you know that some people are just luckier than others. I’m sure you have been blessed with a higher IQ than me… that you possess academic gifts that allow you to achieve academic credentials with less effort than it would take me. Is that fair? Maybe we should have a progressive tax for people based on their IQ? If you are blessed with brains, you should pay a greater tax so that we can use the money to distribute to the less fortunate lower IQ people.

          Those ignorant, uneducated red state people… I would say that is the new ugly bias that threatens the good of our country, not slavery or oppression of blacks or women.

          Slavery happened and is over long ago. So is the lack of equal rights for women. The playing field is level. A black kid has no more or less trouble in society than does a Lilly white, freckle faced red-headed kid. The difference is that the black kid can more easily slip into that comfortable racial victim excuse thanks to the continued proliferation of it from folks like you continuing to dredge up history as justification. And what is that statute of limitations? My ancestors where largely Irish and Scottish… I think England owes me some money!

          This narrative needs to stop because it is so continually destructive to the people claimed to be helped.

          Wallowing in victim-hood is like a drug. It trades tomorrow’s happiness for feeling better today. Those that perpetuate victim-hood are like the drug dealer.

          If I had a black son or daughter my lessons to him would be to never feel sorry for himself/herself and to thank the lord that he/she lives in the greatest country on God’s green earth… and to take full advantage of this and reject those that see him/her as some victim of historical circumstances because that mindset would be destructive to his/her ability to accept and conquer life’s challenges that are inevitable.

          1. Barack Palin

            Good points Jeff. My daughter tried to get into Berkeley with a 3.83 GPA, tons of extracurricular activities, took all the EP courses, mock trial, etc. and wasn’t accepted. Now my firend at work had a son with a 3.0 GPA, no sports or activities (I know, I asked her) and was excepted in the same year. The only difference, her son was black my daughter was white. So being that my daughter was descriminated against and not allowed to attend CAL I feel this hurt her lifetime earning potential and she’s due some type of reparations. I’m beginning to like this victimy victimized attitude. What can I cry about next?

          2. La pace sia con voi.

            Please. Just stop. You cannot understand the struggles that women face, because you have not lived it. Stick with what you know. You have many intelligent arguments, but your view of women is not one of those.

            BP, Sorry your daughter was disappointed, but you realize many kids get rejected, right? Hope she didn’t have to move too far away to go to a good school. It’s hard when your kids leave their nest. I hope your daughter really enjoyed all those extra curriculars. I always advised my own to pick activities they enjoyed, so if iit didn’t help them get into college, at least they had fun & got some stress relief from al that studying. Hope your daughter is happy with whatever college accepted her. She should be very proud of that high a GPA. That took a lot of hard work.

          3. Frankly

            “Please. Just stop. You cannot understand the struggles that women face”

            LOL. Right. Ignoring the obvious question “how would you know?” I’m sure you certainly know everything about the struggles white males face. You are an expert at that, right?

            This “you can’t comment because you are not one of us” is the essence of destructive liberal tribalism and the common PC-approved victim group deflection of having to accept any challenge of introspection. Better to hurl insults at others than to look at your own behavior, right?

            But really, this is not the way most women think… only the angry, feminist, thin-skinned type. This I know. Let me introduce you to many women that I know that can explain it to you.

          4. TrueBlueDevil

            Barack, notice how “La Pace” has little empathy for the outright discrimination your daughter faced?

            The means justufy the ends.

          5. Matt Williams

            TBD, while I empathize with BP’s daughter’s experience, the reality is that the college admission process is a multi-variable process that varies from institution to institution. Cornell accepted me within two weeks of my sending them my application. Brown rejected me almost as quickly. I was able to talk to Brown’s Director of Admissions and he pulled my file and we discussed their decision. He was very candid about how the notes taken by the person who interviewed me affected the process. The things that I thought were great strengths in my application were seen by the interviewer as turn-offs. It was an interesting lesson in “connecting” during an interview.

      2. Tia Will

        Jeff

        ” I tend to care for all people the same and don’t discriminate on race or gender. Apparently you are in a group that believes it is fine to discriminate against some racial and gender groups. That is a shame.

        Do you have some personal anger issues related to white males?”

        Please cite what I wrote that prompted your statement. I honestly do not have the vaguest idea what you are talking about.

  3. Tia Will

    Jeff

    Thanks again for this series. I truly appreciate hearing your ideas layer out so clearly. A couple of questions.

    1. ” good American life” Please define what you mean by this term. I suspect that part of our difficulties in
    communication are related to very different conceptions of what constitutes the “good American life”

    2. For the moment, let me agree with your statement that the solution to housing, which we agree is a basic
    human need. What would you see as the solution once all of the available land surrounding Davis is used for
    housing and businesses and the city is now contiguous with Woodland on the north and Vacaville to the west ?
    What will our ( however many greats apply) grandchildren do then ? Will they then just have to lose the
    “good American life” because we have used up all the space ? Or maybe they will have to redefine the “good
    American life to mean something other than always having more. Do you see this as so theoretical as to
    discount it ?

    3. You have agreed that housing is a basic human need. I am wondering if you do not feel that health care is a
    basic human need. If you feel that government subsidy is needed for housing, why not for health care ?

    1. Jeff Boone

      1. ” good American life”

      It is essentially the American middle class that solidified after WWII. The freedom that comes from having enough money to pay for all necessities and many wants.

      2. What would you see as the solution once all of the available land surrounding Davis is used?

      This will never happen unless you get your way opening the borders and just allowing people to come and go. There is plenty of open land around Davis. There is even plenty of land around Los Angeles. Except in some older, high population urban areas, and those landlocked areas next to water, land is not the scarce resource you make it out to be.

      American life to mean something other than always having more.

      I am talking about our children and future generations having a lot less. I get the sense that a lot of liberals believe they have academic gifts that provide them the advantage and so they will remain above the fray of humanity having less. It seems very selfish to me since the majority of young people do not have those advantages.

      3. You have agreed that housing is a basic human need. I am wondering if you do not feel that health care is a basic human need. If you feel that government subsidy is needed for housing, why not for health care?

      You are comparing apples to watermelons. Both are needs, but note that I said basic clean and safe housing is a basic need. We would actually have agreement with our healthcare system reform if you could get your liberal mind to accept a base level of healthcare as being entitled instead allowing your egalitarian impulses to run wild and demand that ALL people have access to ALL healthcare services equally. Taking your worldview to housing, we would rip down every house over a certain size and use the materials to build everyone the same size house.

      The issue with both housing and healthcare is that we have had hyper-inflationary run-ups in costs. Education, healthcare and housing… those are the three areas of our economy that are broken with respect to the market controls that would otherwise keep the costs at some sustainable equilibrium. All three are bubbles that will pop (again) without reform.

      Obamacare has done nothing to control costs long term. It will cause costs to rise because of the liberal egalitarian demand that everyone, including the 20 million poor and uneducated illegal immigrants (and growing) they demand we care for, gets access to the same level of service. It will cause service quality to fall. It will cause wait times to increase. We will be back 5-10 years from now having to again try and reform healthcare because Obamacare does not fix the root cause of too high costs. The bubble will pop as average life expectancy starts to decline again from the growing gap in costs verses wages… combined with more access difficulty from a dwindling supply of providers.

      Education will reform under its own weight because education is not a basic human need and humans will seek more affordable alternatives as they are developed.

      So then, what about housing? What is your solution Ms. never-develop-any-land-on-the-periphery?

  4. Don Shor

    The city controls zoning and can control the housing densities of particular projects. More flexible zoning of existing land within the city limits would be a first step. Second would have been to require higher housing densities on the recent Cannery project; the number of housing units on that property could easily have been increased. Abandoning the very costly, inefficient affordable housing policies and focusing on new apartment construction would be a much more effective way to achieve true affordable housing. Rent subsidies in units where landlords agree to rent caps certainly seems like a possibility.

    The city needs to set up a working committee with the chancellor’s office to address the housing issues created by her 2020 Initiative. If we’re adding 600 students a year to the city’s population, along with the staff increases needed to support that, the university needs to provide at least 40% of the housing for that increase. Other than West Village, most of the construction going on at UCD right now is replacement housing, with little net increase in beds. Basically, they need to build a whole second West Village to accommodate their growth. Right now I think there’s a lack of awareness in the UCD administration about the impact of 15 years of insufficient housing growth on campus as the enrollment increased.

    1. D.D.

      It will be interesting to hear the results of the public meeting. How does UCD explain all those empty apartments in that one housing complex? So sorry, I forgot its name.
      I think about two thirds of those apartments are sitting empty.

  5. D.D.

    Tia,
    Of course health care is a basic human need. It’s akin to clean drinking water. A necessity in a country as bountiful as America. Surely we can all try harder to figure out a way to provide health care to all the people who live in our United States.
    Strictly from a cost saving point of view, vs. humanitarian point of view, preventative health care saves us all money. (See my other post on part 1 of this debate.) Thanks.

  6. TrueBlueDevil

    Interesting ideas. But on the one hand you blame government, and on the other you want them to right their wrong. I’d agree more with your first premiss.

    First, reduce regulations which stifle the housing Supply. Simple.

    Second, stop with these super expensive energy goals forced onto us from the UN. I think the biggie is Title 24. (Use common-sense energy conservation methods like double-pane windows and attic insulation.)

    Next, work to reduce the costs of worker’s comp and insurance.

    Now, if you are really serious, close the Border. When you close the border, and even send a few law breakers how, you reduce Demand.

    Fifth, the minimum wage was never meant to be a living wage. It is primarily for first time workers, part timers, and teenagers.

    Sixth, if we did close the border and get illegal immigration under control, restricting the Supply of labor will cause wages to rise, and benefits, too. A Free Market solution! And since liberals say poverty and unemployment cause crime, a lowered unemployment level will also reduce social and business costs.

    I’ll add in one more Free Market solution: open up more remote lands to fracking. There is a Natural Gas boom in North Dakota, and money and jobs are flowing into that state. Last I heard Target was paying workers $17 an hour do to their labor shortage.

    There. Less government, more jobs, higher wages, and no guesswork.

    1. Frankly

      Ha! I have been in a big back and forth with my (landlord) brother on this very set of arguments.

      Brother: What do you mean by sustainable? If I am a landlord, wouldn’t I charge the highest rent I can that would provide for consistent occupancy? If I raise rents so high that my tenants are looking for a more affordable alternative, I will lose them as soon as the market provides a more affordable alternative. Government intervention drives up the cost of construction labor and even property maintenance costs and regulatory compliance costs so it takes a premise of strong rent and sufficient occupancy at that rent to provide incentive for a developer to commit human and financial (money) capital to the risk.

      If my prices are too high as a landlord relative to incomes, I will find myself without an occupant. The government intervention just creates barriers to entry for my competition to come in and provide a more affordable comparable alternative, which would drive down my rent rate in order to maintain occupancy.

      Me: A true free market in housing and real estate lending might do a better job establishing an equilibrium of price as a percentage of consumer income. Certainly we would expect to have to accept some ebb and flow to that. The challenge would be a large and/or sustained ebb and flow.

      Take for example an average middle class family that spends 35% of their discretionary income on rent, but later that goes up to 45% or 50%. And there are no alternatives for them to find cheaper rent (they are already renting from the bottom of the market they access). There goes the money they would otherwise save for retirement or fund education pursuits or to start a business, etc. That would be fine assuming they would also see periods of rents equaling 25% of their discretionary income. That is the ebb and flow from competition and creative destruction. I support that as the optimal approach up until and unless the hit was big and/or long lasting.

      Free market approaches collide with social considerations when the swings are wide and/or the corrections are slow in coming. Because people only work and live for a window of time. But whenever and wherever possible, I value a free market approach over the alternative. Because of the correcting power of the invisible hand.

      If the economy is just a big World Cup game, I want government involved in making it the most dynamic and competitive game… and get them off the damn field trying to control where the ball goes and who gets to kick it. But when they already have messed up the game being on the field directing action, we have no choice but to demand them to direct differently from the field to fix what they screw up.

      Brother: You hit the nail on the head. We are so entrenched in government interference in the marketplace that we need more government to interfere to deal with the side effects of their original interference which leads to more side effects. They prefer the illusion that they are trying to make things perfect rather than accepting something imperfect that is better and sit and accept the imperfection.”

      Me: That is my point. I only support necessary intervention, and intervention where there is a clear economic and social benefit. And there has to be some nuance and objective balance, because we can make the case that government should not be responsible for infrastructure. It all comes down to value judgments.

      Government is supposed to be by the people for the people. So by that core belief we can probably justify government doing a lot of things. My point is always going to be about optimization and the principles of optimization. Perfection is the enemy of the good. What works well enough should be supported, and not destructed just because it is not perfect when it is clear that the alternative is just trading one set of problems for another. But some problems are urgent enough that intervention is required. I see that we are not very far away from a housing crisis in many areas of the country. And the cry from the left will be to increase minimum wages. But that is a sub-optimized solution for the reasons I point out in the article.

  7. Don Shor

    I would support more government loan programs for multi-unit rental property development. Investors and developers can secure below market interest rates for projects that would lock them into perpetual rent control. Programs like this already exist, but should be expanded.

    Where do these exist? I’m curious. And does it affect the maintenance and appearance of the properties when the rents are locked?

    1. Frankly

      HUD has programs. So does the USDA. So does the Treasury. There are so many federal programs that it will make your head spin.

      But they don’t do enough and they are too restricted to specific public policy goals. For example, loans can only be made to economically distressed areas or rural areas or low service areas.

      However, I think we need a state program since Governor Brown killed RDA.

  8. Jim Frame

    The array of market intervention suggestions in this article and followup is impressive, if in scope and ideology (rent control? really?) than anything else. While not very helpful for dealing with the local situation in the near term, I submit that many of the ills being visited upon the Davis housing market today are the direct result of the steady erosion of tax policies designed to foster a robust middle class. The society so conducive to middle class growth, the one that Jeff and most baby boomers like me have long assumed as The Way Things Are And Will Always Be, is really a historical anomaly, and one that’s vanishing fast. It has already substantially disappeared for the Millennials, save for a small percentage.

    I again recommend Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Picketty as a sobering look at where we came from, where we are, and where we might be headed. I’m only about 3/4 of the way through it, but it’s been an eye-opener.

  9. South of Davis

    I’ve never lived in a trailer like Jeff but I did work 6 days a week all four years of High School and worked all through college. I know some kids that had things easier with “white privilege” (your life is easier when all both grandfathers are Bohemians and both sides of the family have donated seven figures to Stanford). Like most white people in America I’m not related to any slave owners (or even anyone that lived in America 100 years ago). We do have more rich white guys, but 99% of them just worked harder than other people (early on in my career I worked as much OT as I could and 90%+ of my co-workers that asked for OT were white males). Opra is a childless unmarried workaholic and has done real well, in my 20’s and 30’s I was a childless unmarried workaholic and pretty much everyone like me was doing real well (white, black, male, female, gay, straight). What I think is sad today is that it seems like you have to work twice as hard (even white males) to have the average American life of 40 years ago.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      But 40 years ago, there was a huge difference … many women didn’t work outside the home. So a couple had less money to spend on a house, one car, less “things”, but more time in the local community.

  10. wdf1

    SoD: What I think is sad today is that it seems like you have to work twice as hard (even white males) to have the average American life of 40 years ago.

    I think Americans were saying roughly the same thing 40 years ago when they (we) were dealing with 10-15% annual inflation in the mid-70’s

    1. South of Davis

      I wrote:

      > What I think is sad today is that it seems like you have to work twice as hard
      > (even white males) to have the average American life of 40 years ago.

      The wdf1 said:

      > I think Americans were saying roughly the same thing 40 years ago when
      > they (we) were dealing with 10-15% annual inflation in the mid-70′s

      It was true 40 years ago and it is true today. 80 years ago my grandfather who came to the US as an orphan with a 6th grade education bought a home in SF, had a wife who didn’t work and sent all four kids to private school.

      40 years ago my parents who were both born in SF and has 12 years of private education (and some college no degrees) were both working hard struggling to pay a double digit mortgage on a Bay Area home even with their kids all working and buying their own clothes (and later cars) and going to free public schools.

      Today I have friends who have advanced degrees in Law and business from schools like Stanford and Harvard who can’t even imagine owning a home like the one I grew up in much less ever have a wife that didn’t work or sending their kids to private schools…

      1. wdf1

        SoD: Today I have friends who have advanced degrees in Law and business from schools like Stanford and Harvard who can’t even imagine owning a home like the one I grew up in much less ever have a wife that didn’t work or sending their kids to private schools…

        I’m interested in how to make life better, but when you look at the span of history, we’re lucky to be here in this time. For instance, before 1955, one of society’s greatest anxieties was polio. Infant mortality was higher. Life spans were shorter. Flu epidemics were worse. Pollution was worse, especially when you throw in smoking. Car accidents were typically deadlier. Alcoholism was a much bigger social problem (they even banned alcohol in the Constitution, it was so bad). Disabled students didn’t typically stand a chance in the public schools. If you were gay, forget it. Information, in general, was harder to come by. Look at the device that you’re reading this on. You could have been born in Guatamala or Honduras, trying to figure out how to escape drug gangs and violence. etc.

        I would be grateful for degrees from Stanford or Harvard, and I think they represent hard work and some luck. But I don’t think those degrees necessarily translate to entitled success later in life.

        1. Tia Will

          wdf1

          “I’m interested in how to make life better, but when you look at the span of history, we’re lucky to be here in this time.”

          With your comments, I believe that you have encapsulated the heart of the different perspectives of what makes life better. Jeff and those who are predominantly in agreement with his analysis seem to be stressing individual material gain.

          What I perceive as a “good American life” is one in which all have enough to live comfortably
          All have the ability to live in a clean safe environment.
          All have the opportunity to pursue an education and to develop their own potential fully.
          All have access to health care.
          My “good American life” is not based on material possessions but rather on gradual advancement of the quality of life ….. for all.

          1. South of Davis

            wdf1 wrote:

            > “I’m interested in how to make life better, but when
            > you look at the span of history, we’re lucky to be here
            > in this time.”

            Just like some people fall in to the camp of we are ALWAYS better off with a Democrat in office some people fall in to the camp that EVERYTHING is better today. When in truth some things are better and some things are worse.

            > before 1955, one of society’s greatest anxieties was polio.

            Most people I know went though life without giving polio much thought (just like most people I know in SF don’t think about a big earthquake or a plane hitting their building). I just did a quick Google search and found that in the highest year of polio deaths in the 1950’s about 3,000 people died and about 30,000 had polio related paralysis (my college boss had polio as a kid and walked with special crutches). The same year about ten (10) times more Americans died in Korea and way more than 10x more had permanent disabilities. I’m sure there are a few people with a super rare disease and a half dozen cross dressing college kids who think thing are better today and think the 1950’s were hell, but my focus is on the majority of people who are finding things harder today.

            Then Tia wrote:

            > With your comments, I believe that you have encapsulated
            > the heart of the different perspectives of what makes life better.

            Just because someone does not mention polio, the environment or gay rights when they are talking about things being tougher today does not mean they don’t care about those issues. I bet 90% of the population thinks about high home, gas and health care prices while a much smaller number really thinks about polio, the environment and gay rights every day…

          2. wdf1

            SoD: I just did a quick Google search and found that in the highest year of polio deaths in the 1950′s about 3,000 people died and about 30,000 had polio related paralysis (my college boss had polio as a kid and walked with special crutches). The same year about ten (10) times more Americans died in Korea and way more than 10x more had permanent disabilities.

            You want to minimize the impact of polio in its time by comparing it to the Korean War. I invite you to scan the local newspapers of the day. I think you would find polio as much in the news as the Korean War through March of Dimes fundraising drives, typically led by volunteer moms of the day. The difference between the Korean War is that it was distant and involved adults, many of whom could make some choice as to whether to engage in combat. For instance, my dad chose to join the Navy instead of the Army in that day. Polio was domestic and more indiscriminate as to whom it affected. Children were at high risk, hence the involvement of moms in March of Dimes drives. On a daily basis chances were high that you would know or see someone who was affected. You cite deaths and paralysis cases of polio but ignore that many times more would get polio and be fortunate enough to recover unscathed. But when one caught polio, it wasn’t clear which category you would end up in — death, paralysis, or full recovery. The Korean War lasted just a few years, but polio epidemics were a longer term issue.

            I understand the need to focus on present day problems, but when you divorce that focus from a longer historical context, then the rant can get ridiculous.

          3. South of Davis

            wdf1 wrote:

            > You want to minimize the impact of polio in its time

            I don’t want to “minimize the impact” I just want to point out that (as far as I have been told since I was not there) “most” people didn’t talk about it or have direct impact to it, vs. today where “most” (over half the population) talk about and are directly effected by high rents and housing prices (and other economic problems we have today like teachers going years without a raise while inflation increases the cost of almost everything they buy).

          4. Don Shor

            From Wikipedia:

            Over millennia, polio survived quietly as an endemic pathogen until the 1880s when major epidemics began to occur in Europe;[1] soon after, widespread epidemics appeared in the United States. By 1910, frequent epidemics became regular events throughout the developed world, primarily in cities during the summer months. At its peak in the 1940s and 1950s, polio would paralyze or kill over half a million people worldwide every year.

            My uncle had polio. It had a huge impact on the family. Polio epidemics caused widespread panic. You are waaaaay underestimating the impact of the disease and the significance of its near-eradication.

          5. Matt Williams

            SoD, I actually was there (born in 1947) so I do have some recollections about the amount that polio was discussed. The discussions of polio came in multiple waves (chapters). The first wave was driven by the fact that we had a President who suffered from the disease. In 1954 polio killed over thirteen hundred Americans and crippled more than eighteen thousand. Compare that to the 33,686 battle deaths and 2,830 non-battle deaths in the three years of the Korean War. Polio and the war had very similar impacts on the Nation. Polio’s impact was predominantly on children. The war’s impact was predominantly on young men. Both those directly impacted groups were multiplied by at least a factor of three because each polio child and each war death directly impacted two parents, and other countless siblings, relatives and close friends.

            The second wave of polio discussion began in 1952 and accelerated in the spring of 1955 with Dr. Jonas Salk’s invention of the polio vaccine. Many a child ran around their pediatrician’s office screaming fear of the pain of “the polio shot.” My younger brother could be heard screaming three counties away.

            The third wave began in 1957 and accelerated in 1962 with Dr. Albert Sabin’s development of an oral polio vaccine.

          6. South of Davis

            wdf1 wrote:

            > I understand the need to focus on present day problems,
            > but when you divorce that focus from a longer historical
            > context, then the rant can get ridiculous

            I just realized that I have fallen in to the trap set by people that don’t want to talk about “if things are tougher today” by changing the debate to “how bad was polio in the 1950’s”…

            Any time we talk about anything from fireplace smoke bans to developing the Nishi site someone can say “how does a little smoke compare to the crusades killing millions” or “is developers taking the vacant Nishi site as bad as the killing of Native Americans to take and develop their land”…

          7. wdf1

            SoD: I just realized that I have fallen in to the trap set by people that don’t want to talk about “if things are tougher today” by changing the debate to “how bad was polio in the 1950′s”…

            I was speaking more generally. You chose specifically to minimize one of several examples, polio.

            I just want to point out that (as far as I have been told since I was not there) “most” people didn’t talk about it or have direct impact to it, vs. today

            I don’t know if you had parents or grandparents who were socially aware of current events prior to 1955, but polio was very much a topic that my older relatives would mention as a topic of the day when I chatted with them. They’re nearly all dead now.

            Again, I invite you to look at local newspapers of the day and you’d be surprised how much in the news it was. Perhaps somewhat similar to the way AIDS has been in the news in recent decades, but it seems to me that polio had a greater overall impact.

            The other thing that’s interesting to follow is how familiar narratives about economics in the past are compared to today. Budget cuts, whether to tax or not, editorials about economic uncertainty and how things were better in the past.

  11. Jim Frame

    I think Americans were saying roughly the same thing 40 years ago when they (we) were dealing with 10-15% annual inflation in the mid-70′s

    The 1970s is when the great middle class boom that began with WWI started to unravel.

    1. Frankly

      The trend lines do not exactly support this theory. I had a marvelous time finding a good job during the 80s and 90s. It started unraveling at the end of the 1990s, and then a recession, 9-11 and another recession… and then the stupid ownership society… add super low fed rates, the accumulative impacts of CRA and the repeal of Glass Steagall in action, and Freddie and Fannie… and the problems that visited at the end of the 1990s just got hidden for another 18 years.

      I think if you are going to make the case that it started unraveling in the 1970s, we should go back to the 1930s when FDR really got the entitlement and hand-out expectation ramped up. Thankfully we had a war to get the economy humping again.

      The thing about the war… the primary reason that the US blasted forward in economic greatness post WWII is that most of the rest of the industrialized world as knocked further back from their war damage and expense. Which then tells us something about the global prosperity pie… there is not enough to go around. We need to be more competitive for acquiring and retaining our piece. Instead we are allowing China and other countries to just take it.

      1. South of Davis

        Jeff wrote:

        > The trend lines do not exactly support this theory. I had a marvelous
        > time finding a good job during the 80s and 90s. It started unraveling
        > at the end of the 1990s

        In the late 80’s in Davis (and Sacramento) life was still affordable (and growing) while the no growth crowd on the SF Peninsula had pushed home prices to close to 5x higher on average. With no growth people pushing Davis homes higher today the average home in a nice part of the Peninsula is “only” about 4x higher than Davis…

      2. Tia Will

        Jeff

        “there is not enough to go around. We need to be more competitive for acquiring and retaining our piece. Instead we are allowing China and other countries to just take it.”

        I agree with your statement that there is not enough to go around. And, I completely disagree with your solution. Competing for inadequate resources will devolve into conflict whether that is economic ( tariffs, sanctions…..) or physical as in war.

        I see an alternative path.
        1) Lessening the word’s population thus lessening demand for resources. We now have the means to do this through improved living conditions for men, women and children, and statistically effective contraception.
        2) Valuing contribution over material wealth.
        3) Accepting collaboration over competition as our basis for operations.
        4) Stop pitting one “tribe” against another but rather seek solutions that advance the good of all.
        There are examples of this in acton two being the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. We know this can be done because it exists and yet we persist in our desire to beat someone else out with our destructive I have to get mine before he gets his attitude.

        1. La pace sia con voi.

          I agree, Ta. Population control is necessary.
          #3 is extremely important, too. And it begins with the way we teach competitive sports to our kids. I have nothing against sports for exercise. But the competitive aspect, especially por sportsmanship, has gotten completely out of whack, IMHO.

        2. Matt Williams

          Tia:
          “1) Lessening the word’s population thus lessening demand for resources. We now have the means to do this through improved living conditions for men, women and children, and statistically effective contraception.”

          In his book Guns, Germs and Steel Jared Diamond talked about how human society promoted the spread and persistence of “crowd diseases” when it transitioned from a nomadic hunter-gather life model to a much more settled agriculturally-based life model. Combating the deadly effects of those “crowd diseases” came in two forms. A) Increased birth rates to combat the effects of increased death rates, and B) Immigration to add to the labor force.

          Modern medicine has substantially reduced (in many cases eliminated) the need for both A) and B) as methods for maintaining a sufficient workforce. Modern technology has even created C) a reduction in workforce needs. There was a superb episode of 60 Minutes not long ago that discussed how the convergence of these three factors has made the emergence from this Recession much different than the emergence from past recessions.

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          Why do you think you are entitled to tell other people to have less children? There isn’t a finite amount of resources. I think some people here need to go back and read The Club of Rome, and how horribly they failed at selling gloom and doom.

          And why is the Left so anti life? If you want to have zero children, fine, but if the new immigrant from Chile or Ethiopia wants to have 5 children, why is it any of your business?

          1. South of Davis

            TBD wrote:

            > Why do you think you are entitled to tell other
            > people to have less children?

            Are you surprised that the people that want to tell you what kind of bag you can get at the store, what kind of soda your kids can drink at school and if you can have a fire in the winter or back yard Bar-B-Q in the summer want to tell you how many kids to have?

          2. TrueBlueDevil

            SoD, let mne guess … these same pople want us to accept 100 Million or more illegal immigrants… but they want no growth in Davis, and no Section 8 housing in North or West Davis?

          3. TrueBlueDevil

            SoD. but then when they hear to consequences of these kinds of policies in China – i.e. the abortion of millions of baby girls – that bothers them.

            Why can’t they let fellow citizens have their freedom?

            BTW, I have no problem with the TV family that has 22 or 23 children … they pay for them, feed them, love them, and I doubt that a single one will end up in a gang.

      3. TrueBlueDevil

        Frankly, how about the great economic engine fostered by Ronald Reagan & Paul Volker? At one point with Reagan’s economic policies, we had 700,000 new jobs created per month!

        That kind of economy solves a lot of problems.

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            Clinton also helped by reducing the deficit (along with Gingrich, a conservative Congress, and pressure from Perot) and reforming welfare.

            And don’t forget Al Gore’s contribution of inventing the Internet.

  12. Jim Frame

    the primary reason that the US blasted forward in economic greatness post WWII is that most of the rest of the industrialized world as knocked further back from their war damage and expense.

    Picketty takes a more macro view of this, noting that the two world wars didn’t just do a lot of physical damage, but actually upended the distribution of capital through the action of both war damage, post-war appropriation, and inflation, a combination that eliminated a lot of inherited wealth and reduced the rentier class to a modest fraction of what it had been for hundreds of years prior to WWI. The 2 or 3 post-WWII decades brought us a more egalitarian world — at least in the west — in which income from labor relegated income from inherited wealth to a less dominant position. That’s what made the middle class in this country, the one that Boomers (I are one) think of as “normal.” However, since 1970 that condition has reversed, and we’re nearly at the point we were pre-WWI again. Interesting times are ahead.

    1. South of Davis

      Jim wrote:

      > Picketty takes a more macro view of this, noting that the two world wars didn’t
      > just do a lot of physical damage, but actually upended the distribution of capital
      > through the action of both war damage, post-war appropriation, and inflation,
      > a combination that eliminated a lot of inherited wealth and reduced the rentier
      > class to a modest fraction of what it had been for hundreds of years prior to WWI.

      The World Wars also broke down a lot of historic “class” barriers that early Americans brought over from Europe as white people from different classes got to know each other in fox holes, on battleships and on military bases.

      One of the best books I read in recent years is Charles Murray’s Coming apart that talks about how the big white middle class that has a lot in common (not counting income) after WWII is a LOT different today…

    2. Frankly

      The majority of wealth today is controlled by wage-earning people working in professional services. And these people make enough to have disposable income they can invest. And so they grow their wealth on their balance sheet from real estate and stock market investments.

      There is not that much concentrated old money in the US and the west. That certainly is a big change from before the war. And it has not returned.

      And this then gets to the key point of my article… this capital is flowing to investments other than business starts that would create jobs, improve income mobility for people in the lower rungs of prosperity.

      I will give you an example. I am working on a new business start. All of the raw materials come from China. They come from China because there are no alternatives. That is right, I cannot even pay a premium for raw materials produced in the US, because they are no longer produced here. They used to be produced here, but they moved overseas. And the price I am paying for these raw materials including shipping costs is high enough that a US business should be able to compete… except for the high business taxation, the high cost of regulatory compliance and the high cost of mandated employee wages and benefits.

      The coming economic class crisis in this country is artificial and manufactured. It is not rich people hording their wealth as is the common liberal theme… it is a lack of government policy to help move capital to be invested in business creations and expansion so that more people can share in the rewards of production.

      I had some people come ask me to invest in a real estate project. It is a good project. My capital is already currently allocated to this other business venture… one that will provide jobs.

      But that business may not pencil out… especially in CA. I might have to open it in another state. And it might not work at all because of the taxes, fees, regulations and mandates. And if that is the case, then I will likely just invest in real estate instead.

      We need to be producing products that lead to wealth, not just producing wealth. Why is our government continuing to favor the production of wealth over products?

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        Foggy thinking.

        I sat with a relative who had worked his whole career in aerospace in southern California. Not a fancy job, but it helped him raise a family with a modest education.

        I asked about a certain aircraft: “It is now made in Arizona.”

        I asked about another industry: “It’s now in Mexico, we drove the business away with too many regulations.”

        I asked about another: “We now buy those electrical components from Korea.”

        On and on the list went, jobs that were pushed out of state, or out of the country.

        And all I read and hear from the liberals is how they’d like to shuit down fracking … which is leading a clean energy boon in America! Fracking – clean, Natural Gas – could help us to re-establish manufacturing in America.

      2. Jim Frame

        There is not that much concentrated old money in the US and the west. That certainly is a big change from before the war. And it has not returned.

        It’s returning, and has been since the 1970s. The trend line is up, and during the slow beginnings of the upward trajectory the speed bumps (tax rates, primarily) were lowered or removed, aiding the trend. If it continues unabated, inherited wealth will begin to dominate once again, shrinking the middle class and fundamentally changing the U.S. as we know it. (The phenomenon isn’t limited to the U.S.; things are very similar in all the major western economies, though the Scandinavians have kept tighter rein on it.)

        1. Frankly

          I’m going to have to read that book. Until I do, and unless there is compelling information and facts, I don’t see how the case can be made about old money dominating. You mean like Bill Gate, Warren Buffet and Carlos Slim? What is the statute of limitations on “old”?

          Your reference to the Scandinavian countries is a clear indication that the tilt is to more taxation and redistribution. The problem you have there is that the Scandinavian countries have lower business tax rates and more investment in business and industry and great piles of natural resources and low population and high cultural homogeneity.

          Why not look to Argentina for what that remedy looks like? We are much more like Argentina from a demographic perspective than we are any Scandinavian country.

          Let’s say I read the book and we agree that the income gap is growing. The haves are gaining economic ground at a greater relative clip than are the have-nots. What do you think we should do about it?

          And while you are thinking about it, how are things going in China?

          1. Tia Will

            “and low population ”

            Now we are talking. With lower population comes lower need for everything. Lower need for resources of all kinds. Lower energy needs, lower food needs, lower housing needs …..

            Humans are choosing to overpopulate our world, which whether we want to accept it or not, has finite resources.

            Frankly you frequently state we need to address the root cause. I see the root cause as over population on the global scale, which in turn has downstream effects every where ( immigration , dependency on government )

            My solution is simple, but not easy. Use the vast wealth that is present in the US to improve the lives of women and children everywhere, Provide free long acting reversible contraception to all women of reproductive age and once they are assured that their children will survive, watch the number of births drop dramatically and voluntarily. Do the same here in the US and we would more effectively cut the number of people needing public assistance than with all of the rhetoric about lazy people not pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps combined. With a 50% unintended pregnancy rate this number is not trivial.

            To me, this is the same solution as the best way to prevent abortion. If you prevent the pregnancy, you prevent the abortion. If you prevent excess population you prevent excess need for scarce resources. Root causes matter.

          2. TrueBlueDevil

            Here we go again, trying to control other people’s birth rates through our own ethnocentric and political desires.

            Why don’t we just let Sweden take in ten percent of it’s total population in under-educated and illegal workers, and see how they assimilate them. See how Swedes react to the added social costs and M13?

          3. Matt Williams

            TBD, what does Sweden’s assimilation of a 10% population jump have to do with “trying to control other people’s birth rates”? Your argument took a leap there that I’m not able to follow. Can you clarify?

          4. TrueBlueDevil

            Matt, Sweden’s views might change if they had 10% of their population from a middle tier or 3rd world country, who came to their country and used tons of social services.

            Said new inhabitants might also have a much higher birth rate, which would cause a second set of problems / issues.

          5. Matt Williams

            … and that hypothetical situation in Sweden is meaningful to the point that Frankly made because?

        2. Frankly

          And I would say that the shrinking of the middle class has a lot to do with the flood of poor and uneducated immigrants over the last 25 years.

          How might that income gap look if we rounded up all the illegal immigrants and their children and sent them back to their countries of origin?

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            Frankly, plenty of blue collar folks in my family. This has been going on for at least 35 years; Reagan gave Amnesty to 1 Million, which ended up being 3.5 Million. And the border was never secured.

            All the social polices in the country get thrown out the window when you decimate the Supply curve like that. Also when you dangle the promise to the Democrats of running the political system for the next 100 years.

            On top of this, Obama has directly contributed to this rising income disparity with his free money for Wall Street and his buddies there, which give him millions of dollars! Dick Cheney and Halliburton were burned into our collective brains by the media, but they don’t do the same with Obama’s big money donors.

  13. Mr. Toad

    The Vanguard publishes a racist article about housing then the comments go on for the entire day displaying racist attitudes. Too bad. Happy anniversary Davis Vanguard. You have become the voice of the community.

    As for all this reparations talk with claims and counter claims I would refer you to Lincoln”s Second Inaugural Address where he spells out for the country the costs of slavery:

    “The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

  14. Tia Will

    I would like to share a story about job equality which spans three decades.

    When I entered medical school in 1979, my entering class was 50 % male/ 50 % female. However this was at UCD which was well
    known for seeking diversity in admissions. The classes ahead of mine and the majority of medical schools in the country were still predominantly male. 6 years later when I was applying for residency positions, I was uniformly discouraged from applying for positions in Ob/Gyn. I was told flat out that I would not make it for a number of reasons ( grades, too “soft” an attitude, time spent out of training working as a General Medial Officer) but consistently also because I was a woman. I applied anyway and was accepted. At the time of my acceptance we had two female attendings in a group of about 30. There were at least five of the male attendings who made no secret that they did not believe that woman had any business in medicine and treated us accordingly ( less surgical training time, ignoring us completely when we were in the room, providing negative feedback regardless of our performance). It worked out all right because others witnessing this ( both men and women) took us under their wings and mentored us. We got our training, and we also got the message that in order to succeed, we had to be better than our male colleagues. We thrived and moved up in our profession.

    Move forward 25 years in time. Women were now fully half of the senior staff and many woman unfairly demand to see a woman gynecologist inaccurately believing that we are somehow “better” at gynecology because we are women. I was then on an administrative team that was composed of 5 women and 2 men. The issue arose of whether, to satisfy our customers, all women, and relieve the heavier work load of the women members of our department who were in higher demand we should attempt to recruit more women. I was adamantly opposed to this strategy for a number of reasons and at that time and now insisted that we continue a policy of hiring the best candidate regardless of gender. I am at a loss as to how anyone would think that I am biased against men. What I am is in favor of recognition of ability and character regardless of the “wrapping”.

    1. La pace sia con voi.

      I see a woman GYN because I feel more comfortable when in the stirrups. I also have a bias that women doctors took my contraceptive needs more personally, because women have had to deal with contraception their entire lives. I do admit this is my bias and not proven.

      I had a truly wonderful male OB and a truly bad woman pediatrician (encouraged me to feed my newborn by “topping her off” with formula. I quit seeing her. She couldn’t answer any of my complicated lactation needs. My south African male pediatrician understood lactation much better.)

      Maybe recruit more gay men, for women who are uncomfortable with straight men doing an OB & breast exam?

      1. Barack Palin

        “Maybe recruit more gay men, for women who are uncomfortable with straight men doing an OB & breast exam?”

        Really, recruit based on sexual preference? Aren’t there laws against policies like that?

        1. Matt Williams

          BP, if sexual preference is truly one of the skills/characteristics that determines the ability to perform the job at the highest possible level of performance … then yes. For example, would a rich woman hire a gay man to be her gigolo? No. In that case sexual preference is a key component of doing the job at an acceptable level.

          1. Barack Palin

            You make a point Matt, if I was into it I wouldn’t want a gay prostitute. But you’re comparing apples to oranges, can you imagine a hospital only hiring men if they were gay for their OB/GYN dept. or likewise only hiring men if they were straight for the pediatric dept? Can you imagine the uproar?

          2. TrueBlueDevil

            Oh there have to be a dozen good jokes here, but it being Davis, I’ll take a pass.

        1. Barack Palin

          My son is an OB/GYN. I’ve got to forward him this conversation so he can laugh like Hell. One problem my son runs into is female friends of he and his wife usually want to go to a different doctor, which is understandable. Another problem was it was a little harder for him to find a position after he finished his tour with the Army because a lot of hospitals preferred women OB/GYN’s, even though they wouldn’t state that publicly.

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            I’m just wondering, is it true that they consider the size of the doctor’s .. oh well, better not.

    2. South of Davis

      Tia wrote:

      > I am at a loss as to how anyone would think that I am biased against men.

      You tend to point out bias against women (and minorities) often, but I have never read you pointing out bias against men (or whites).

      UC Davis medical school has 10% more women than men (55% vs. 45%). UC Davis and Cal Berkeley have almost the exact split.

      In recent years about 10% more woman than men are graduating from college in America and women in America under 30 make more money than men under 30 for the first time in 200 years.

      Would you be OK with “affirmative action” to help more men get in to college and close the “income gap” for young men today?

      I have always wanted public colleges to request gender (and race) blind applications (no name just SS#) and if the smartest people were ALL Asian women I would have no problem with that…

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        Well, we have many more men in jail than womes, so according to the logic of the left, this is clearly stereotyping and discriminatory.

        What is also unspoken is that blue collar men have been crippled the past 30 years, as huge part of that caused by 30-40 million illegal immigrants. This ready Supply of labor reduces everyone’s wages, benefits, and job security. But the General Contractor’s and house flippers make out!

        1. South of Davis

          TBD wrote:

          > But the General Contractor’s and house flippers make out!

          Other than the highly skilled and guys that own their own business it is very hard for a white guy who does not speak Spanish to get a job in construction today with the legal and illegal Latinos doing the $$20-30/hour jobs that “Americans won’t do” (as I’ve heard so many times from my super well educated left leaning friends)…

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            Expereinced carpenter’s where I live get $35 per hour, plus benefits, plus overtime.

            A Latino carpenter with 5-15 years experience will take $15-20 per hour, but I’m not sure how many corners will be cut.

          2. Tia Will

            South of Davis

            “For a white guy who does not speak Spanish”

            You make a good argument for choosing Spanish to fulfill your language requirement. These comments are inaccurate. All of the crews that we have used on our recent remodel have been mixed crews of primary English and Spanish speakers. This was also true twenty some years ago as the North Star build out was happening. I know because there were houses being built all around me and both languages were heard continuously, often in the same conversation.

          3. TrueBlueDevil

            Tia, how many black tradesmen were on the site? Asian American? Or were the crews predominantly Latino?

            Sure, the patron (boss) typically speaks English, and the English skills can vary, but the crews I have seen are predominantly or exclusively Latino. I’ve occasionally seen a white electrician or plumber. No African Americans (except for the article where I read about new housing going up in San Francisco, and the tradesmen were in their 50s).

            I admire how the Latinos will recommend their brother, cousin (primo), or guy from their same town. But this is driving our American workers.

            And I’m sorry, but most of the men I have known who are in the trades are smart, but many aren’t taking college courses, and weren’t thinking that far ahead in high school.

          4. Matt Williams

            And I’m sorry, but most of the men I have known who are in the trades are smart, but many aren’t taking college courses, and weren’t thinking that far ahead in high school.

            Let me see if I heard you right. You are saying that spanish-speaking workers are getting more work 1) because they are more effective at networking, and 2) because the english-speaking workers weren’t focused on their future and their career when they went to high school. Is there any difference in the quality of the work they do, or the skills they have? Is there any difference in how hard they work?

          5. TrueBlueDevil

            Matt, these are factors. Agreeing to work for a cheaper wages, sometimes far cheaper, is probably one of the top factors that come into play. They will also do work without insurance or being bonded, which many American shy away from. Yes, Americans are used to weekends off or Super Bowl Sunday off, whereas a newer immigrant, legal or illegal, might not care about these things. American workers do generally have higher expectations, know some labor and safety laws, and such. Its a mixed bag. Cost is a primary concern for many.

          6. Matt Williams

            Agreeing to work for a cheaper wages, sometimes far cheaper, is probably one of the top factors that come into play.

            TBD, isn’t that the “free market” at work? Labor (skilled or unskilled) is available in a marketplace, and the supply/demand curves apply to that marketplace just the same as they do in any other marketplace. In a prior comment you indicated that you don’t think that spanish-speaking labor is by definition “illegal.” So what is it that you object to about the operations of the labor marketplace which produces a $15-$20 per hour supply/demand equilibrium wage?

  15. Tia Will

    La pace….

    “Maybe recruit more gay men, for women who are uncomfortable with straight men doing an OB & breast exam?”

    Oh my gosh. I can just see Jeff’s fingers perched over the key board now. Please…please…..please reassure him that you are writing tongue in cheek !!!!

    1. Frankly

      I don’t know about Jeff, but frankly, I am still speechless with the reverse sexism.

      So if a man is uncomfortable having a professional woman do his tax return, or represent him in court, or handle his vasectomy… then we are okay with that?

      Or is the point that we should have all lesbians and gays doing this work so that we can bypass the gender discrimination problem?

        1. Tia Will

          TBD

          “Liberals get to pick …..”

          It so pains me to see you feeling so victimized by your perceived inability to pick and choose your contradictions that I just had to update you. Each side has and freely utilizes their ability to “pick and choose” whether it is contradictions, inconsistency, hypocrisy, you name it. In our system this is truly an area of equal opportunity.

  16. Tia Will

    For the flip side of the controversy regarding preference for gender of physician, a quick anecdote.

    I was working as an intern in the ER overflow at Fresno County Hospital when a man came into the ER on a particularly busy night when all hands were on deck with some very serious trauma from a multiple injury MVA. This man came in ( yes to the ER) with a bad case of “jock itch”. As the least experienced member of our crew, I was the only provider available to see him. He initially refused my care because I was a woman. When I relayed this to my resident, he snarled just tell him its you or nothing.
    I saw the patient.

    1. Frankly

      Even my shy son when responding to his mother’s question if he was uncomfortable about the female doctor he was assigned says “they see those parts all the time… it is their job.”

      The only trouble I have ever had was my vasectomy procedure with a very tall male urologist and a very short female assistant that had an uncanny resemblance to my mother in-law. I did not like that procedure for at least two reasons, and maybe three.

  17. Tia Will

    TBD

    Are you implying that being Latino would make one more likely to cut corners than being of a different racial background? Because it sure sounded that way. Or do you simply believe that a Caucasian, or Asian, or black would not make $15-20 per hour ?

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      No, I wasn’t, but it’s interesting that that’s how your mind works.

      I should note that this is fairly typical today in Northern California, assuming racism as a first guess, not based on fact or as a last option.

  18. South of Davis

    Tia wrote:

    > I am at a loss as to how anyone would think that I am biased against men.

    Then had time to call TBD a victim and hint that he is a racist (both common debate tactics on the to avoid answering simple questions like the one I asked below):

    Tia tends to point out bias against women (and minorities) often, but I have never read her pointing out bias against men (or whites).

    I’m still wondering if Tia be OK with “affirmative action” to help more men get in to college and close the “income gap” for young men today? I’m also wondering if she would like the cops to crack down on female criminals (like the ones that lie and say their partner abused the kids) since we have far more men than women in prison.

    P.S. Not long ago a Bakersfield couple that were ripping off banks together plead guilty the husband got 17 years the wife got to stay out of jail (to take care of the kids). Can anyone name even one time when the guy got to stay out of jail and take care of the kids?
    http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/breaking-news/x2027872331/David-Crisp-sentenced-to-17-1-2-years-wife-to-probation

    1. Tia Will

      South of Davis

      “Then had time to call TBD a victim”
      Oh my gosh. If you two could not tell that my tongue was firmly planted in my tongue and a reference to the constant harping of conservatives regarding liberals playing the “victim card” then I don’t know what to say about that.

      “I have never read her pointing out bias against men (or whites).”
      Please read my comments about discrimination against male gynecologists.

      “the husband got 17 years the wife got to stay out of jail (to take care of the kids). Can anyone name even one time when the guy got to stay out of jail and take care of the kids?”

      Was gender the only consideration or is it possible that the court took into account such factors as who had already been doing the majority of the child care and what was in the best interests of the children. ? In my opinion, these factors, not the gender of the parent should have been the determining factor. Do you know that it wasn’t ?

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        I think the Italian couple from one of those “Housewives” shows … they may spilt time in the Big House so that there is always a parent home to lavish the kids with unneeded gifts and praise.

    2. Matt Williams

      Not long ago a Bakersfield couple that were ripping off banks together plead guilty the husband got 17 years the wife got to stay out of jail (to take care of the kids). Can anyone name even one time when the guy got to stay out of jail and take care of the kids?

      No, I can not name even one such situation. That appears to be an example of gender bias. If you asked him, do you think the husband would prefer to be in jail or prefer to be wearing an ankle bracelet tied to the home where he takes care of the kids?

      1. Tia Will

        Matt

        Since I never favor incarceration for non violent crime, I think that this is valid question. However, I am not so sure that this is a case of “gender discrimination”. What if what really happened is that the couple were told “one of you will be incarcerated and one will stay home for the benefit of the kids” and the couple agreed that the wife should stay home. Still gender bias ?

        Or what if what really happened was that the man had a job in which he was away from home for long hours or for months at a time and the wife had always cared for the kids ? Still gender discrimination, or just what was best for the kids ?

        I don’t think that we have enough information to know whether or not this was gender bias.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Do you consider dealing drugs to be non-violent?

          So then, under your thinking, Michael Milken and the like who steal people’s retirement monies get a free ride?

          1. Tia Will

            TBD

            “…..a free ride”

            I never said anything at all about “a free ride”. However, I do not believe that anything at all is served by incarceration for these individuals. The penalty that I would impose if it were up to me would be house arrest with ankle bracelet, repayment of as much of the money as sales of their assets apart from a single residence would allow, and community service in the form of the use of their financial know how to build wealth not for themselves, but for those in need be that through the building and supporting of non-proftis or other organizations shown to be effective in helping those in need or perhaps by teaching courses in how our financial system works to those who would understand the benefits of using this knowledge honestly as well as the personal cost of using it dishonestly.
            And who better to teach such courses ?

          2. TrueBlueDevil

            Tia, could you please answer my post from 9AM below a few posts, as to whether this supposedly “non-violent” criminals should serve jail time?

            (Child pornographers, heroin dealers, dealers who sell heroin to children, and Bernie Madoff.)

            Thanks.

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          Really? Never?

          So a person who traffics in child porn shouldn’t go to jail? (See, if there were no market for child porn, fewer children would be victimized.)

          Heroin dealers shouldn’t get jail time?

          Heroin dealers to children shouldn’t get jail time?

          How about this: what if a drug dealer sells drugs to a child that will damage 2 or 3 parts of their brain, for life?

          Bernie Madoff shouldn’t do jail time for defrauding hundreds of individuals?

          1. Tia Will

            TBD

            Yes, really never. In my mind the best way to manage someone who is breaking the law is to put them in a position where they have a positive or at least neutral role in society enforced if they will not accept it willingly.

            So for your case of the child pornographer: my suggestion would be
            house arrest with strict monitoring. Again financial payback except for primary residence and provision of legitimate photography services if that was his or her role in the enterprise, or some other legitimate business endeavor depending on their role.

            As for the heroin dealer, my preference would be house arrest and potentially a position having to clear up the detritus left by those who are attempting to detox. Housekeeping at a detox center with enough left to live on and the rest of what would be saved from their lack of incarceration used for the salary of whomever was supervising their activities ( kind of like a probation officer now only with stricter guarding of their charges).

            Bernie Madoff, absolutely no jail time. House arrest and forced financial counseling or teaching. If he is incapable of such a role he could do janitorial work or the like for stock companies or other businesses.

            Prison is an extremely costly and wasteful way to treat individuals who do not pose a physical threat ( or can be neutralized in a less costly way)
            and who have skills that can be better employed than on the wrong side of the law.

          2. Tia Will

            TBD

            I have had time to respond to each of your criminal scenarios with my preferred way of management. Now I would like to ask you your opinion about my suggestions bearing in mind the following information from the LAO and CDCR

            In 2007-2008 the relative cost for supervision of an individual
            Inmate – $46,000 per year
            Parolee – $ 6,000 per year
            So let’s suppose that the cost of house arrest with an ankle bracelet and very close supervision of in house activity would be significantly higher than for your average parolee. Let’s speculate maybe 2-3 times as much
            you would still be looking at a savings of approximately $30,000 per year per non violent inmate.

            So how significant is this cost savings by moving to a non incarceration based system for non violent offenders ? if you consider the current California State Prison in state population of 135,000 as of the end of July of this year, consider that 30% of them are still incarcerated even after AB109 for non violent crime, then using the underestimated cost of incarceration due to the last numbers I could find being from 2008, then you are looking at a savings of 1.2 million per year by choosing not to incarcerate but to manage in a restrictive mode in the community.

          3. Tia Will

            TBD

            Another point that is frequently missed is that incarceration frequently doesn’t have the intended effect. There is a joke that circulates
            amongst those who are frequent visitors to our prisons which is not very funny but certainly illustrate the point.

            What do you do if you need to make a call and your cell phone has not been allowed inside a prison ?
            Answer : Ask an inmate to borrow his.

            The point is that prisons are not an effective means to keep inmates away from their criminal activities. Many gang activities are effectively run from behind prison walls where cell phones, drugs, weapons are actually quite readily available to inmates.

            So this brings me to a more nuanced view of the part of your question about how best to manage heroin dealers. It depends on what you mean by dealer. Are we talking about the person who is only selling as much as necessary to provide for their own habit ? Are we talking about the very low level mule who has been recruited to transport drugs and sees it as the only alternative to say prostitution or some other illegal activity ? Or are we talking about the individual who is running a major drug cartel and has multiple murders and other violent crimes to his or her credit ? Different circumstances would obviously warrant different management strategies.

          4. TrueBlueDevil

            Wow. OK, I guess we have pretty big differences in what crimes are important, and how to prevent them.

            I once heard a professional who had decades of experience in the penal / rehabilitation systems, and this was his take. Once a young person has appeared before a judge 3 or 4 times, and been in 2 or 3 rehab programs, and gotten a slap on the wrist here or a slap on the wrist there, the fear, the worry, the ability to have some breakthrough often is gone. Judges or cops no longer worry them, and this can become a lifestyle. His recommendation was this to come down on first offenders “like a ton of bricks”, to stop the individual from partaking in this “lifestyle”.

            Child pornography: I think it is such a vile act, which such life-long harm to children, I’d attack this on multiple levels. Which would include jail time and possibly hard labor / chain gang work. The one case I knew a little about was when Bay Area talk show host Bernie Ward (KGO radio) was convicted of possessing and distributing child pornography. Ward continued to assert his innocence, stated that George Bush was out to get him, and completely downplayed what he had done. When the Smoking Gun released what he had in his possession, it was appalling. He sill downplays his crimes. If 5-6-7 years in jail hasn’t gotten Ward’s attention, how much good would an ankle bracelet do?

            Heroin: my understanding is that it is a serious drug, and highly addictive. Even if a person is a “low level” dealer, if that person recruits 5 or 10 people into a serious drug lifestyle, it’s devastating. I wouldn’t go soft on that. We can agree to disagree. Part of the reason many of these people quit drugs is because the consequences finally catch up with them. Going soft delays judgement day, and there are also often children harmed by this use.

            You wrote: “Bernie Madoff, absolutely no jail time.” Financial counseling? He can clean streets on a chain gang. Part of this is to also sending a warning shot to prevent other scoundrels from looting the savings of other seniors and investors. Ego maniacs rarely respond to a slap on the wrist.

            I’m not sure I can trust a child pornographer or a Bernie Madoff, but I’d be open to considering options given that they work on a chain gang / tough work detail 5 or 6 days a week. Then, no Internet, no cushy life, and maybe a sparse “Club Fed” in canvas tents and cots on a defunct military base.

            I find it interesting that you’re worried about cost when we have had exploding disability, welfare, and food stamp claims, and health care websites that have cost us over $5 Billion.

  19. Tia Will

    TBD

    In the crews I was referencing, both distant and recent, there were a nearly equal mix of white and hispanic guys. We had a Caucasian lead contractor, a fence specialist who was Caucasian, landscapers who were Latino brothers and employed both Latino and Caucasian workers ( very mixed language skills), Caucasian painters and an Asian flooring guy. I would say quite a diverse crew although no blacks except on the city crew for the city part of the plumbing. I am talking about projects extending over a multiyear period. So, I really cannot confirm your portrayal of Hispanics somehow unfairly depriving Caucasians and blacks of jobs.

    As for nanny’s, when my kids were little, it was truly equal opportunity. I had Hispanic, black, Caucasian, and Asian nannies and the one I considered the best was from Afghanistan. So again, I really haven’t seen the stereotype that you are portraying in my own experience. But then, I am only one person and do not pretend that my personal experience ( or my anecdotes based on my preferred news sources) accurately portray reality.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Tia, I hope my comments come off as fair. Yes, I was actually surprised to see African American workers on a job site (in the article) in San Francisco. Maybe illegal immigration hasn’t hit Davis / Sacramento hard yet. Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego are hammered.

      Many trades in the Bay Area are also dominated by Latinos. I was driven through a new housing development outside Austin, Texas, and multiple crews were 100-percent Latino. The person who drove me through was in the trades before retirement; I asked him if the crews were completely Latino, and he said yes. We never discussed the topic before or after as that is not his interest, though he went into great detail about some of the construction techniques.

      Mexican Americans know that the new illegal immigrants drive down their wages, and so do the illegal immigrants who have been here a longer period. Several guys in a local taqueria told me that they moved here from LA as they can make 3x – 4x as much money doing tile work here, versus LA.

      1. Matt Williams

        TBD, what I hear you saying is that just because a person speaks Spanish fluently, they are by definition “illegal.” Am I hearing you correctly?

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Did I just right this? No, I didn’t. This seems to again be your inference of racism with no substantiation, which is quite typical in Northern California.

          Modern liberalism. I hear high school kids already indoctrinated into this way of thinking, or lack of thinking.

          1. Matt Williams

            “Yes, I was actually surprised to see African American workers on a job site (in the article) in San Francisco. Maybe illegal immigration hasn’t hit Davis / Sacramento hard yet.”

            Care to interpret your second sentence for us?

          2. TrueBlueDevil

            Does that really need interpretation?

            You can go to areas or Marin, Oakland, San Jose, Concord, LA, and elsewhere… and there are streets where hundreds stand on street corner after street corner, looking for work. Maybe that doesn’t exist in Sac yet.

          3. Tia Will

            TBD

            I think that you are in error if you think that any of Matt’s comments are based on liberal thought. Matt is not, by any standard that I think we use in common parlance, a liberal.

            I on the other hand have identified myself as liberal, however, that is only because it is the closest I can come. I have a strong libertarian streak
            ( I believe that every adult individual should have absolute say over their own body in terms of medical procedures, use of drug of choice, elective ending of their own life if desired and not medically depressed or in other ways impaired so as to not understand the implications of their actions. These are not necessarily traditional liberal positions.)

            What I strongly believe is that each issue and question should be addressed on its own merits. No slippery slope arguments. No “party line.” No “this idea must be good because a Democrat or Republican has advocated for it.” And no, I have not been “brain washed” by liberal professors. By the time I was in college I was far to the “left” of any of my political science instructors who were for the most part staunchly conservative. My position changed from the default position of my family’s conservative Republican stance soon after reading and comparing Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking Bird with the four best Known of Ayn Rand’s books before I turned 16 and moved to Long Beach, California, which was a shock coming from a town of 2000 exclusively white folks in Washington state.

      2. wdf1

        I’m impressed that there is a Republican state that’s willing to answer the immigration/refugee issue from the perspective of “What would Jesus do?” It’s Utah. TBD, you can even get an extra rise out of learning that Utah’s law is stalled because Obama hasn’t followed through on his end.

          1. wdf1

            TBD: He’s playing golf, or at Martha’s Vineyard.

            You’re a little too much about rooting for your team (or rather tearing down the other team) than about discussing and examining the issues.

          2. TrueBlueDevil

            wdf1, look, I am no brain surgeon.

            But if Israel and Hamas are at war; the Middle East is falling apart; our southern border is porous; the VA is a mess; the IRS is being run like Lerner’s Garage Boutique; and more … I don’t go golfing, or fundraising, or go to Martha’s Vineyard. I promise you.

            Yes, I may have a cold beer or glass of wine in the privacy of my residence, but I don’t send the message to the whole world that I am “out to lunch”. This has been picked up, as well, in Europe.

            This is why some also believe that Obama doesn’t care if he backhands the Constitution and gives 5 million people Amnesty… he doesn’t seem to care.

          3. Matt Williams

            TBD, to put your concerns into context, you may want to go to http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2013/aug/13/who-vacationed-more-bush-or-obama/ the content of which I paste below:

            Who vacationed more, Bush or Obama?
            By Louis Jacobson Published on Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 at 11:16 a.m.

            It’s an old tradition in American politics — taking potshots at the president for his vacation choices. As the Obamas took off for Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, critics attacked their vacation as too lavish. But one of the Obamas’ defenders was the Rev. Al Sharpton, who hosts a show on MSNBC. Sharpton said ObamaSays President Barack Obama “has taken 92 days of vacation since he was sworn in,” compared to 367 for President George W. Bush at the same point in his presidency.

            Was Sharpton right? Our fact-check looked at data compiled by CBS News reporter Mark Knoller, the acknowledged authority on how presidents spend their days in office. We also noted different patterns in how Bush and Obama vactioned. We rated Sharpton’s statement Mostly True. Read our fact-check for complete details.”

          4. wdf1

            BP: wdf1….pot?…kettle?

            You’re making my point. I, too, could come back with all the same clever retorts, but it’s a waste of time.

            What issue would you like to engage discussion?

          5. wdf1

            TBD: This is why some also believe that Obama doesn’t care if he bacjkhands the Constitution and gives 5 million people Amnesty… he doesn’t seem to care.

            The problem I have with discussing how much vacation time Obama spends is that the exact same discussion has been credibly made at different times for GW Bush, Clinton, HW Bush, and Reagan. And in each case I think it’s pointless. Historians don’t focus on how much vacation time each president took or didn’t take.

        1. Tia Will

          wdf1

          I also was very impressed with the report on Utah’s attempt to enact a law that manages immigration in a humane and responsible fashion, and am disturbed that the Obama administration has allowed it to languish. It could have been, or maybe still could be a kind of “pilot project” to provide actual data on why actually happens instead of what people fear will happen when immigration is handled in a calm and deliberate manner.

  20. Tia Will

    South of Davis and TBD

    In light of recent comments implying that only liberals get to “choose their contradiction” I would like to point out that South of Davis has repeatedly stated that he has never seen me comment on discrimination against men ( and TBD is busy congratulating him) despite that fact that I have pointed out my posts to the contrary. Seems like there is a little “cherry picking of posts” going on here from the right. And I thought that only liberals engaged in that kind of selective “choosing” !

  21. Tia Will

    As for the serious questions that you are asking :

    I have very mixed feelings about the benefits of affirmative action for anyone. ( Oh, the shock that must instill since it doesn’t conform to you idea of what a liberal “must believe”.)

    ” I’m also wondering if she would like the cops to crack down on female criminals”

    I absolutely believe that arrest, legal proceedings and remedy whether some form of social or financial reparation or incarceration should be completely gender neutral just as I believe it should be blind to race, religion, nationality….. ( although not age due to demonstrated differences in brain maturation.)

    Now is either of you going to acknowledge my response, or would that not allow you credible deniability the next time that you want to say that I am biased in favor of women or minorities…..or what ever group you think that “liberals” will always coddle.

    Let me repeat in case you missed it. People should be treated equally based on their actions, not by which arbitrary “tribe” we have assigned them to.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      I’m figuring we could have you head up affirmative action campaigns for library science, and our nursing and vert programs, which I believe are still overwhelmingly female.

      I’ve read decades of programs for diversifying engineering and math, but not these three.

      1. Tia Will

        TBD

        “I’ve read decades of programs for diversifying engineering and math, but not these three.”

        Perhaps you haven’t cast your reading net far enough. A Google search immediately called up a large body of literature on attracting, employing and retaining men in the field of nursing.

        Anecdotally, I have worked directly with men at all levels and all fields of nursing including labor and delivery,
        intensive care ( both adult and pediatric), ER, surgery, and administration. While they remain fewer in number, I can detect no difference in quality of performance or overall job satisfaction.

          1. Tia Will

            TBD

            I spent about 1/2 hour looking for some reliable stats and wasn’t able to find any for over all number of nurses. I suspect that part of the problem is that it varies by specialty in medicine.

            ER nurses tend to have a more equal ratio of men to women as is also true in intensive care settings, surgery and management.
            Labor and Delivery and postpartum care as well as pediatric and regular floor nursing tends to be dominated by women as best I can tell.

            If I come across any real numbers, I will post them. I don’t know why this is proving so difficult. I must be going about it wrong some how.

          2. wdf1

            Nurses are traditionally and predominantly female; in 2008, of the 3,063,163 licensed registered nurses in the United States only 6.6% of were men.[1] Men also make up only 13% of all new nursing students.[2]

            source

          3. TrueBlueDevil

            Tia, part of the problem is probably that there is no lobby for men to get into nursing, into library science, or into vet school. I wonder if UCD has active affirmative action programs for these majors?

    2. South of Davis

      Tia wrote:

      > I have very mixed feelings about the benefits of affirmative action for anyone

      By “mixed feelings” I read that is you are OK with most white men getting screwed but wonder if affirmative action might make it harder for your son to get in to a top 25 grad school. Today might be a good time to take a stand and break with the Democratic party talking parts and really support EQUAL rights for ALL.

      Discrimination is ALWAYS wrong, it was wrong when blacks could not own property, it was wrong when women could not go to med school and it is wrong when white guys that work hard and get good grades can’t get in to US med schools that let in “people of color” with lower grades and test scores in the name of “diversity”.

      P.S. I was just talking to a friend who told me that his son (and engineering major at UCLA) is part of a school funded program to go out to LA county high schools and try and get girls to come to UCLA and major in engineering. While I think it would be great to see more women in America getting STEM degrees I don’t see why we need to pay to target women and people of color in the outreach programs. Would it be so horrible if we also invited ALL kids (including some poor white guys) to meet the UCLA engineering students and talk about college?

  22. Tia Will

    South of Davis

    “By “mixed feelings” I read that is you are OK with most white men getting screwed but wonder if affirmative action might make it harder for your son to get in to a top 25 grad school.”

    Today might be a good day for you to actually consider what I have written rather than deciding that I am wedded to Democratic party talking points.

    I believe just as firmly as you seem to that everyone should be treated equally. My mixed feelings have nothing at all to do with party politics. My feelings actually precede the event that caused me, and much of the nation to take a long hard look at “affirmative action”. Bakke was in the class immediately ahead of me in medical school. If you do not remember the case, a quick Google search will do. I have several times on previous threads written that I believe that school and job applications should be done in a blinded manner the same as some orchestras have adopted for their members. When candidates play behind a screen and without names presented in advance, diversification of orchestras occurred because of attention to the actual quality of the playing, not the presuppositions of how a man, woman, or member of any specific group must play. This might sound familiar to you since you just displayed the same in your last post. “Tia must think this way because she is a liberal ” Recognize that thought process ?

    Perhaps you have not read my posts in which I have written repeatedly exactly what you are saying, that every one should be treated equally ? Maybe you missed my post where I stated that I had argued in favor of considering male candidates when it had been suggested that we only consider women.

    Now, what did I mean by mixed feelings? Certainly very far from your assumption.I cannot discount that certain members of our society have, through no fault of their own , been dealt a weaker hand. The child who is not read to by her mother either because her mother was not taught that this is important, or because her mother doesn’t know how to read, or because her mother has to work 12 hours a day and then come home and do all the work necessary to care for her child is at a disadvantage that in the case of some ( not all) is a societal responsibility. If your great, great grandmother was a slave in the fields who never learned to read of write or course she would not have been able to pass these skills or this tradition on to her daughters. Now, my personal solution would not be affirmative action. It would be based on early childhood education including infancy. I read to both my children from the day I took them home. I never missed a day that they or I was not too ill to read. That is how important it was to me. But I do not blame the mother who herself was never read to to not understand the importance of this ritual and the impact on her daughter’s life. It is not impossible, but it is extremely difficult to do what you do not know is important or even possible . I met my first woman doctor when I was actually applying to medical school . I had been told repeatedly that I could not do it. It was only my own stubbornness and anger at the men ( not all men) and women who had told me this that kept me going during the rough times.

    Another disadvantage faced by those of lower socioeconomic status is inadequate food, housing and medical care. It very hard to pay attention when you are hungry, or falling asleep because you couldn’t find a spot in a shelter, or because your parent is having a hard time keeping up with your preventive health care. As a society, we are tending to block women from easy access to effective family planning, then provide insufficient help to them in raising these children ( who so far are blameless with regard to their circumstances) and then point the finger of blame at them when they are less successful in competing for desirable slots in school and work. Frankly, I don’t think race or gender or religion of any other arbitrary divider of human beings is the issue.
    I do think that socioeconomic status and the sub culture in which the child was raised are the primary issues.

    Once we have solved the issues of discrepancy of opportunity from birth, we will have gone a long, long way towards establishing equality of opportunity for adults. This, not affirmative action would by my preferred approach.

  23. Topcat

    Jeff wrote: “So by increasing the minimum wage we lose jobs to machines, to outsourcing and to a lack of business growth. And we end up with fewer people working, and fewer opportunities for people to earn a good American life.”

    So I presume you oppose the effort to raise the local minimum wage above the California State minimum.

  24. TrueBlueDevil

    Have you missed prior discussions?

    When you import 30-40 Million illegal immigrants, you blow out the normal (rational) Supply curve. This is blatantly unfair when an American is paying higher taxes, higher fees, has been self sufficient, and someone else can stand on a street corner, make money off the books, go to an ER for health care, etc. You are not comparing apples to apples.

    Of coarse, educated Liberals get to dodge this bullet as they get the benefits of cheap gardeners, nannies, and manual labor, but their jobs as professors, lawyers, and doctors aren’t threatened.

    Let in 20 million illegal but qualified doctors, and 20 million illegal but qualified lawyers, and scholars, and see how these people bellow.

    1. Tia Will

      TBD

      “Let in 20 million illegal but qualified doctors, and 20 million illegal but qualified lawyers, and scholars, and see how these people bellow.”

      Completely ignoring as usual the point that I have made again and again that I ( a liberal doctor) favor many more doctors to improve the supply which has been artificially held down for at least as long as I have been in medicine to maintain compensation a high levels. Because this does not fit your idea of how a Liberal must think, you have continued to post something that is demonstrably not true.

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            The Federal gov’t estimated 1 Million illegal immigrants when RR was President and signed Amnesty; 3.5 Million signed up, which shows you how poorly we are at estimating how big of a problem we have.

            An alternate answer is that Liberals don’t want us to know the real number as maybe Americans would want something done to stop the flow; and maybe the Democrats want 40 million new voters, who will vote 80% Democrat for the next 100 years.

          2. wdf1

            BP: Wiki isn’t always reliable. Anyone can contribute its information.

            In this case, the stats are appropriately sourced in the article

            here, here, here (a more politically conservative source), and here (also from a similar conservative source)

          3. Matt Williams

            That is absolutely true BP; however when TBD stated that there were 30-40 million illegal immigrants skewing the supply demand relationships in the construction labor marketplace, and the total number of illegal immigrants of all shapes and sizes and genders and professions is one third of 30-4 million, the “reliability” of Wiki as an “orders of magnitude” data source is more than sufficient.

            You also know BP that I don’t throw around suspect data.

          4. Barack Palin

            “An alternate answer is that Liberals don’t want us to know the real number as maybe Americans would want something done to stop the flow; and maybe the Democrats want 40 million new voters, who will vote 80% Democrat for the next 100 years.”

            You’re exactly right TBD, the left and the mainstream press hide the true numbers. Here’s another take:

            “..an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General found INS statistics suspect and cited deliberate deception by senior INS officials tampering with immigration statistics… U.S. Border Patrol agents confided that they were told to cap apprehensions and deportations to conform to the desires of various Administrations to create at least a public perception of border control.”

            “http://www.cairco.org/issues/how-many-illegal-aliens-reside-united-states

          5. Matt Williams

            BP and TBD, let’s do a reasonability check on TBD’s 30-40 million illigal immigrants number.

            The total population of the United States as of 2012 according to the US Census is 313.9 million. TBD is saying that one out of every 10 people living in the US is an illegal immigrant. Do you really believe that?

          6. TrueBlueDevil

            Apparently, Matt, you don’t even read your own sources. Paragraph 2 of Wikipedia said that other sources put the estimate at 7 to 30 Million. Did you get as far as the second paragraph?

            I’d take the 7 million as the biggest lie told the past decade (after the ACA lies), when in 1976 we had 3.5 million illegal immigrants sign up for Amnesty. In 1976, I don’t recall hundreds of illegal immigrants (according to police sources) standing on the street corners of Cesar Chavez / Army Blvd, Marin’s Canal District, or any other hundreds of streets. Let alone any local HomeDepot, paint store, etc.

            In 2005, Bear Stearns analyst Robert Justice and Betty Ng put the upper estimate at 20 Million. Most estimates are based off of the “residual method” which is tied to census bureau statistics and questionnaires. Yet illegal immigrants themselves note that the avoid such questioners. These snippets came from the article “Fuzzy Math on Illegal Immigration”, an April5, 2006 piece in the Wall Street Journal.

            In 2006, another group estimated 28 Million based on border apprehensions.

            Even if you assume that there 12 Million figure was accurate in 2005, you then have to assume that there was not net increase in 9 years, and Latinos en masse stopped following the edics of their Catholic faith per reproduction. Both are ridiculous assumptions.

          7. Matt Williams

            TBD, let’s start with your statement that there were 30-40 million illegal immigrants in the construction labor pool.

            Next, are you really going to tell me that you believe one in every 10 people living in the US is an illegal immigrant?

            Feel free to believe what you want. FDR was talking to you.

          8. TrueBlueDevil

            Matt, look at it another way: in 1976 when the government estimated 1 Million illegal immigrants, they were off by a factor of 3.5.

            Therefore:

            12 Million x 3.5 = 42 Million

            I’d bet you a burger and beer that my estimate is close than what Uncle Sam comes up with, and I will round down to 35 Million.

            I read the original Bear Stearns report years ago, and it was quite interesting. They looked at the numbers of new illegal immigrants in multiple ways: education numbers; health care numbers; and other ways I forget. Their methods seemed far more rigorous than our government “Fuzzy math” approach.

          9. TrueBlueDevil

            Matt, you’re misquoting me.

            30 to 40 Million illegal immigrants. There are a number of industries where they are employed in large numbers: construction; painting; landscaping and yard maintenance; housecleaning; fast food; meat processing; restaurants (kitchen, back of the house); child care; programming; and agriculture. There are whole industries who are now heavily dependent on illegal labor.

            Unemployed is another category, as large numbers of legal visitors purposefully overstay their visa as they prolong their stay, try to manipulate our system, find a job, or go on the dole.

            The programming reference has to do with illegal immigrants from Russia and China. I’m not sure anyone has covered this, and am unsure of the numbers.

          10. Matt Williams

            Actually TBD, I wasn’t misquoting you. The discussion was about the supply/demand curve of the construction labor market, and you said … “When you import 30-40 Million illegal immigrants, you blow out the normal (rational) Supply curve.”

          11. TrueBlueDevil

            Matt, yes you did. Illegal immigrant labor impacts multiple job fields.

            Matt wrote: “35 million illegal immigrant construction laborers? You are smoking whacky weed.”

            TBD wrote: “When you import 30-40 Million illegal immigrants, you blow out the normal (rational) Supply curve.”

            TBD wrote: “There are a number of industries where they are employed in large numbers: construction; painting; landscaping and yard maintenance; housecleaning; fast food; meat processing; restaurants (kitchen, back of the house); child care; programming; and agriculture. There are whole industries who are now heavily dependent on illegal labor.”

          12. Matt Williams

            TBD, you are practicing revisionist history. Injecting supplemental information into the thread two days after you made the original point does not change that original point … especially when you were given an explicit opportunity to clarify your point and failed to do so. The original point was so clearly wrong that I threw you a life line, but you were so busy flailing that you didn’t even see the life line being thrown to you.

            TBD wrote on August 1, 2014 at 12:09 pm — “When you import 30-40 Million illegal immigrants, you blow out the normal (rational) Supply curve.”

            Matt wrote on August 1, 2014 at 2:50 pm — “TBD, let’s start with your statement that there were 30-40 million illegal immigrants in the construction labor pool.”

            Then a series of TBD responses, none of which addressed the question. Then …

            TBD wrote on August 3, 2014 at 8:09 am — “Matt, you’re misquoting me.”

            Matt replied on August 3, 2014 at 10:03 am — “Actually TBD, I wasn’t misquoting you. The discussion was about the supply/demand curve of the construction labor market, and you said … “When you import 30-40 Million illegal immigrants, you blow out the normal (rational) Supply curve.”

            Then TBD wrote on August 3, 2014 at 10:46 am — “There are a number of industries where they are employed in large numbers: construction; painting; landscaping and yard maintenance; housecleaning; fast food; meat processing; restaurants (kitchen, back of the house); child care; programming; and agriculture. There are whole industries who are now heavily dependent on illegal labor.”

  25. Tia Will

    “But hundreds of millions are given the same access to more or less the same resources in our democracy, and some have less motivation, less know-how, less talent, or less ability.”

    Hundreds of millions do not have the same access to “more or less the same resources”. How many poor children do you know that live in mini mansions and have one parent who can be at home with them 24/7. How many can have nannies in their own home ? How many have very high quality public schools or have the resources to attend private schools ? How many get the top notch private care that money can buy from concierge doctors or even just your standard fee for service doc as opposed to at the overwhelmed free or minimum cost public clinic ?

    The “more or less the same” that you are pretending exists, does not. There is vast disparity of resources between those ( including children) at the top and those at the bottom of our economic distribution. Disparity of resources breeds disparity of outcome for the majority. True a few will be super driven, super hard working, and super lucky and will go far economically and or socially.
    Most who are not advantaged will not make it far out of the social strata into which they were born. Birth as best we know is not a matter of personal choice but a role of the genetic dice. This can in no way be determined to be the fault of the individual.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Is someone racked with guilt?

      Yes, hundreds of millions do have the same access to more or less the same resources. I am not talking about the top 1%, top 5%, not the bottom 5% or 10%. I am talking about the great middle ground. Sacramento, Concord, Walnut Creek, Livermore, Modesto, Fresno, Long Beach, Orange County.

      You seem to conflate the great middle ground with nannies and mini mansions. Why is that?

      I am talking about Concord or Elk Grove or Citrus Heights or Dixon, be it a 1200 square foot home, a condo, or apartment. Dublin or Albany; Hercules or El Cerrito.

      Sorry, I’ve never known anyone to go to a “concierge doctor”, and this is only the 2nd time I have read the term.

      You seem to have lost the grasp on what the middle class is. Seventy percent of Americans own their own home! Seventy percent! I understand this may be hard for you to grasp, as your need to redefine and lecture America losses it steam with such a stark revelation.

      My brothers and I were not “advantaged”, and did OK. Numerous college degrees, one advanced, one JC degree.

      But if what you say is true, then we should blow up the school systems. And who should we model ourselves after. Cuba, Argentina, Venezuela?

          1. Jim Frame

            And only 30% of Germans own their own homes.

            This number would also be dramatically higher if black men married black women.

            Well then, I certainly hope more black men will marry black women, because I’d like to see more Germans own their own homes.

        1. Tia Will

          Hi DavisVoter

          I read the article and am unclear about what point you are emphasizing.
          I have mixed feelings about the risks and benefits of home ownership and so am wondering how you see it.

          1. DavisVoter

            Tia Will — On the number, I was just providing updated information. 65 v. 70 is actually a big swing in terms of historical variation US homeownership rates, although I’d agree that TBD is generally right in saying we have a high homeownership rate.

            On the race gap, I was just pointing out that we need to be careful about interpreting the 65 (or 70) as an indicator of shared prosperity.

            There are many, many layers to this discussion and I certainly am not going to try to tease them all out. Yes, family structure is part of it as TBD points out. So is gov’t tax and mortgage policy. There are questions about whether homeownership is “good,” especially when the owner is highly leveraged.

          2. Matt Williams

            You are very right that there are many layers DavisVoter. One of those layers is whether there is enough accumulated capital available to the potential home buyer to put down the down-payment needed to make the home purchase. Often that accumulated capital for the down-payment comes from family … and some families have more accumulated capital than others.

          3. TrueBlueDevil

            Matt, is your reference to “accumulate capital” a reference to slavery?

            Chinese-, Vietnamese-, and Korean-Americans have all found ways to work as a family together to overcome this hurdle. Still others move to more affordable places like Sacramento, Texas, or Florida.

      1. Tia Will

        TBD

        “Is someone racked with guilt?”

        I could not answer that since I certainly am not. I used those examples to point out the disparities that exist, not to imply that this is the lifestyle of the majority. I would like to point point out that disparity of wealth is what I see as a major problem for the US economically today. And if you want me to address issues using only referents to the middle class, perhaps it would be a good idea to make that clear.

        Yes there are many in the economic middle who have access to roughly the same resources and some do relatively better than others. I have no problem with this at all and so am unsure what point you were attempting to make since you were limiting your comments to that group. If you would like, please clarify your point and then ask me any relevant question.

  26. Tia Will

    Jim Frame

    “Well then, I certainly hope more black men will marry black women, because I’d like to see more Germans own their own homes.”

    Thanks for the morning mood lifter. I’m still chuckling to myself after a good laugh.

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