Commentary: Homeless Problem More Complex Than a Simple Market Problem

Photo by Ev on Unsplash

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Sacramento, CA – There was an interesting op-ed that appeared in CalMatters on homelessness last week from Kerry Jackson and Wayne Winegarden—both from the Pacific Research Institute.

Bear in mind that the mission of the Pacific Research Institute “is to champion freedom, opportunity, and personal responsibility for all individuals by advancing free-market policy solutions”—so they are generally going to oppose non-market solutions to homelessness.

Nevertheless, they argue that California had set aside $7.2 billion in the 2021-22 state budget, a figure that comes to $42,000 per person, an amount that they believe should be sufficient “if it were applied effectively.”

They thus conclude: “The worsening crisis indicates that something is off with how the state spends its resources.”

Bear in mind that a December report found that California would need to spend $8.1 billion every year “for the next 12 years to fully fund the housing, shelter, and supportive services needed to address homelessness.”

Jackson and Winegarden note the recent UCSF report and argue, “Many of its findings are enlightening, but too many of its suggestions call for more spending.”

They reason: “It strains credulity to believe that spending $42,000 per person is insufficient, but if bumped up to $45,000, all will be OK. California does not have the worst-in-the-nation homeless crisis because it spends too little.”

Among their concerns, “Continued calls for more government subsidies supporting the state’s ineffective housing-first approach will waste money while failing to alleviate the emergency. “

In general they argue: “Other suggestions merely throw money at the current ineffective government-run programs, a poor strategy bound to fail. Instead, California should fund well-run and fully accountable private sector groups that help homeless people gain control, address any issues and then become self-sufficient.”

They view another flaw with the approach which amounts to ““controlling the cost of housing” rather than removing disincentives driving the housing shortage.”

They argue, “As rising inflation reminds us, you don’t lower the cost of anything by throwing money at people. We need to incentivize more housing supply by lowering costs and construction time through deregulation and avoiding harmful policies like rent control that worsen housing unaffordability.”

I do think they raise an important point that California needs to do more to remove the disincentives to building new housing that drives the housing shortage.

But I think focusing on money spent here is a bit misleading.

This is a problem I noted a month or so ago as well.  One of the problems is that taking the amount of money and dividing it by the number of homeless people is not the best way to gauge level of spending.  One problem is that if you are trying to provide a housing unit to a homeless person, there is a huge upfront cost in actually building that unit.

That’s why the state has at times looked at other ways to provide housing by repurposing existing units and, during the pandemic, they would rent out hotel and motel rooms that otherwise might have been vacant.

But I think an approach that only looks at housing availability is doomed to failure.  The key part of the UCSF stuff is that while high housing costs “were a significant factor in people losing housing” it also shows how vulnerable segments of the population are to homelessness based on their lack of monthly income combined with the high cost of housing and living.

Why is California so much worse than the rest of the country despite spending significant money?  The cost of living is much higher here.

As Jennifer Ludden of NPR explained in early July, “experts tell me it’s not like programs to move people into housing don’t work.”

So why is the problem getting worse?

She explained, “The problem, they say, is that even more people keep losing housing because it is increasingly unaffordable. So nationwide, the places with the most homelessness are those where you have poverty and high housing costs.”

She referenced the UCSF study, and noted that Margot Kushel, who directed the study, explained that many described this as a “slow slide as they struggled to keep paying rent. They may have lost income, had their hours cut at work. Or some lost a job because of a health crisis, or the rent just went up.”

People didn’t go directly to the streets, instead, the first step was to move in with relatives and friends.

Kushel explained that this eventually fails.

She said “we found that those relationships, when they fell apart, fell apart quickly. People only had one day’s warning. You know, when you’re the 10th person in a one-bedroom apartment, not that surprising that there would be conflict there. Or sometimes people just felt like they could no longer impose.”

While I agree that housing supply is part of the solution, given all of this, I can’t see that this problem is simply going to be solved through market-based solutions.

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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24 Comments

  1. Ron Oertel

    So nationwide, the places with the most homelessness are those where you have poverty and high housing costs.”

    No data has been presented which shows this.

    But more importantly, how does the author explain locales which have “high housing costs”, but “low poverty”?  Places like Atherton, Tiburon, etc.?

    How does one explain the fact that San Francisco (which has lower housing costs than many places in Silicon Valley or Marin) nevertheless has vastly higher numbers of homeless?

    Did the author look at the number of organizations “serving” the homeless in areas which have “high housing costs” as a possible reason why they’re congregating there?  Along with policies in those locales which encourage living on the street?

    For most people (e.g., those who aren’t drug addicts or mentally ill), they get the heck out of Dodge and move to cheaper areas, if “high housing costs” become an issue.  Which causes one to question what’s “keeping” those at the very bottom of the economic ladder (e.g., those reportedly earning an average of $960/month) in areas with “high housing costs”.  (See “supportive services” and “policies” which encourage this.  This isn’t rocket science, folks.)

    Also, did the author consider the impact of weather regarding “where” homeless folks congregate?  Venice Beach, for example, is a lot more comfortable than Needles, CA or anywhere in North Dakota.

    And how does the author explain locales which have “moderate” housing costs (e.g., Sacramento) or perhaps even “low” housing costs, but high numbers of homeless?

    She said “we found that those relationships, when they fell apart, fell apart quickly. People only had one day’s warning. You know, when you’re the 10th person in a one-bedroom apartment, not that surprising that there would be conflict there. Or sometimes people just felt like they could no longer impose.”

    When you’re only the “second” or “third” person crashing in your parents’, sibling’s, or friend’s multi-bedroom home (but are a drug user, unable to function or contribute, or possibly even a thief to support the former “problem”), it’s “not surprising that “there would be conflict there”,  either.

    And if looking for “solutions”, why (and more importantly “how”) would anyone suggest building more “low-cost” housing in areas that already have the highest construction costs, rather than in areas where housing costs are cheaper? How does that make any sense?

    Wouldn’t it make more sense if (for example), locales with “high housing costs” funneled their funds to areas with “low housing costs” to accommodate the homeless? Why is the goal to create incentives for those who only receive $960/month “live in” the most expensive cities in the country, when those same locales also out-of-reach for those with “moderate” incomes? How does that make any sense whatsoever?

    1. Ron Oertel

      the 10th person in a one-bedroom apartment.

      Those places (assuming they exist) are called “drug dens”, unless we’re referring to housing illegal immigrants.  Landlords should kick them out for safety/access reasons alone.

      Or sometimes people just felt like they could no longer impose.”

      Right – I’m sure that’s the “reason”. Wouldn’t want to “impose” on the other 9 drug users, there. Everything was running just fine, until that 10th person showed up.

      (At least they can “pool their $960/month income. Might even be able to afford “2” bedrooms, that way – without even needing that “10th” person. ($960/month X 9 people = $8,640/month.)

  2. Richard McCann

    Ron O

    Which study are you referencing? The recent one released and widely reported on this last week has the data supporting the linkage of high housing costs and homelessness. Are you arguing that people must move away from their community and supporting social network to deserve being housed? These studies show the vast majority of those who are unhoused are the community they are in. They are not moving in from out of state.

    You also repeat a bunch of mythological stereotypes about the unhoused just to perpetuate your own belief that you don’t have to do anything to address the problem, even arguing to exacerbate the problem by restricting housing in a community neighboring to your own. (Do you do the same in Woodland?) You have no data to support your stereotypes.

    1. Ron Oertel

      Which study are you referencing?

      Did I reference a “study” in my comment, other than the one which shows that respondents stated that they were only receiving $960/month?

      (Again, limited to “respondents” and what they themselves claimed in the first place.)

      The recent one released and widely reported on this last week has the data supporting the linkage of high housing costs and homelessness.

      Again, that’s the study which showed that respondents were only receiving $960/month.  And yet, they didn’t “lead” with that?

      Are you arguing that people must move away from their community and supporting social network to deserve being housed?

      They’re “homeless” – they don’t have a “home” or a “community”.  Truth be told, none of us “belong” to any particular community. The vast majority of us don’t live in the community we were born in, nor do we stay in one particular community our entire lives.

      And yes, too bad – if they have to move themselves and their shopping cart to receive subsidized housing.  A lot of us move, and few of us live in the location we’d actually prefer if money was no object.

      Are you stating that (by “virtue” of being homeless), these people “should” get to live in the most-expensive communities in the country?  Really?

      And are you stating that such subsidized housing should be built for them in the most-expensive locales in which to build in the country, rather than someplace where money goes farther?  And where low-cost housing may already be available in the first place?

      Don’t you claim to be an “economist”?

      These studies show the vast majority of those who are unhoused are the community they are in. They are not moving in from out of state.

      Again, that’s likely limited to what respondents claim.  An by “community they are in”, are respondents claiming that they were born there?  And that by virtue of that (or any other “virtue”), they have a “right” to be there – regardless of cost (that others are required to pay, as a result of that demand)?

      What percentage of homeless people even responded to the “survey”?

      When you have answers to ANY of those questions, let me know.

      You also repeat a bunch of mythological stereotypes about the unhoused just to perpetuate your own belief that you don’t have to do anything to address the problem, even arguing to exacerbate the problem by restricting housing in a community neighboring to your own.

      Not anything I said.

      But when the author starts claiming that “adding the 10th” person to a one-bedroom apartment is the “straw that broke the camel’s back”, or that they don’t want to “impose” on the other 9 people in the one-bedroom apartment, I start becoming “skeptical”.

      1. David Greenwald

        I don’t want to get into another back and forth with Ron, but there are a lot of misleading things he posted that I will briefly address.

        The homeless study by UC SF was extremely large – they did a survey for about 3200 people and then lengthy interviews with about one-tenth (365) of those. Self-reporting can be problematic for somethings. For instance, if you ask someone if their racist, you probably won’t get a lot of affirmative responses, which is why most survey researchers know to develop proxy measures. But for things like income and such, while the responses may not be fully accurate they aren’t likely to be fabricated either. With a sample that large, it will largely average out the errors.

        “Again, that’s the study which showed that respondents were only receiving $960/month. And yet, they didn’t “lead” with that?”

        It’s a nearly 100 page report, and they have that information one page two in the executive summary.

        “They’re “homeless” – they don’t have a “home” or a “community”.”

        I have no idea what he means by this. The idea that there isn’t a homeless community is ludicrous.

        I think that’s about all I want to respond to at this point.

        1. Ron Oertel

          I don’t want to get into another back and forth with Ron, but there are a lot of misleading things he posted that I will briefly address.

          And yet, you don’t want to get into another “back-and-forth” with Ron.

          The homeless study by UC SF was extremely large – they did a survey for about 3200 people and then lengthy interviews with about one-tenth (365) of those. Self-reporting can be problematic for somethings.

          It can be problematic in regard to a LOT of things.  First off, there’s the fact that volunteers to participate in a survey are not representative of a population at large.  There’s a word for this in regard to statistics/sampling – which I could look up.

          Then, there’s the fact that they likely couldn’t FIND a certain “type” of homeless person in the first place – e.g., those who don’t want to be found, or are not even able to participate in a survey due to mental health or substance abuse issues.

          Then, there’s the fact that what people tell you isn’t necessarily accurate – especially with a group like this.

          There’s likely other potential errors regarding this, as well.  It would be more accurate to describe this as “unsupported conclusions”, than an outright error.  The “error” is made by those who don’t understand the weaknesses of surveys.  

          For instance, if you ask someone if their racist, you probably won’t get a lot of affirmative responses, which is why most survey researchers know to develop proxy measures.

          Racists (and/or those who can immediately see through “proxy measures”) aren’t going to participate in such a survey in the first place.  In fact, a significant portion (who are “different” than those willing to participate in a survey) won’t be participating.  (Again, there’s a word for this type of error, in regard to interpreting the results.)

          But for things like income and such, while the responses may not be fully accurate they aren’t likely to be fabricated either.

          Really?  Says who?  (In any case, the income “reported” in this survey was $960/month.)

          a sample that large, it will largely average out the errors.

          It absolutely will NOT “average out the errors”.  It may, in fact, “EXPAND” the errors (due to the reasons outlined above.)

          Seems like you haven’t taken any marketing or statistic courses.  It’s been awhile for me, but not so long that I don’t recall some of the type of errors that can occur regarding assumptions related to surveys.

          “Again, that’s the study which showed that respondents were only receiving $960/month. And yet, they didn’t “lead” with that?”

          It’s a nearly 100 page report, and they have that information one page two in the executive summary.

          So, that’s not “looking very good” in regard to claiming this is a “housing” crisis, vs. an “income” crisis.

          “They’re “homeless” – they don’t have a “home” or a “community”.

          I have no idea what he means by this. The idea that there isn’t a homeless community is ludicrous.

          I was referring to a “locale”.  None of us are permanently-tied to any particular locale, let alone “homeless” people.

          Except for Richard, of course – as he’s apparently not only permanently “tied” to Davis, but can speak on behalf of it. (That is, as long as he also gets to disenfranchise his neighbors, in regard to Measure J.)

          Money/subsidies would go much farther, if government didn’t try to house homeless people in the most-expensive locales in the country.

           

        2. Richard McCann

          Ron O

          First you said “no data has been presented which shows this.” Given that David’s statement came from a specific study, I assumed you were referencing the source of his statement.

          Second, your statement that no one has a community unless they have a specific home address is rather bizarre. And the point of the study is that the unhoused in the survey DID have a home address in the community, but they were evicted in some way. Are you asserting that if someone is evicted they are also banished from the community at the same time? This sounds like a social philosophy from the seventeenth century out of the “Scarlet Letter”!

          Somehow you’ve come to the conclusion that maintaining your personal comfort by maximizing your personal wealth with the minimum taxes outweighs the desire of individuals who have lived here and are part of the community to stay here and be connected with and supported by family and friends. Your heartlessness and selfishness now comes into full view.

        3. Ron Oertel

          First you said “no data has been presented which shows this.” Given that David’s statement came from a specific study, I assumed you were referencing the source of his statement.

          No idea what you’re referring to.  What “statement” from David?

          Second, your statement that no one has a community unless they have a specific home address is rather bizarre.

          They don’t even have a “city” address.

          The survey DID have a home address in the community,

          What does “community” mean?  And how long were they a resident of that “community”?  (And again, see the presumptions regarding this type of survey that were already discussed in earlier comments.)

          And does $960/month income give them an unquestioned “right” to live in a community that’s among the most-expensive in the country?

          but they were evicted in some way.

          Yeah, probably the $960/month wasn’t “cutting it”, or maybe it was the drug use or mental illness.

          What a surprise.

          Or perhaps because they were the “10th person in a one-bedroom apartment” (and didn’t want to “impose” on the other 9 residents), as the author speculated.

          Are you asserting that if someone is evicted they are also banished from the community at the same time?

          I am saying that no one has a “right” to remain in or move to any given community – homeless or not. I would guess that half of the residents of Davis came from “somewhere else” that they were essentially priced-out of.

          II was essentially “priced out” of my original home town, as well. But you don’t see me coming on here to “complain” about that.

          We have what is largely a market-based system.  That’s why no one has a “right” to remain in Tiburon, for example, if they can’t afford it.

          This sounds like a social philosophy from the seventeenth century out of the “Scarlet Letter”!

          It sounds more like capitalism.

          Which is the reason I support rent control to mitigate the impacts of capitalism.

          Somehow you’ve come to the conclusion that maintaining your personal comfort by maximizing your personal wealth with the minimum taxes outweighs the desire of individuals who have lived here and are part of the community to stay here and be connected with and supported by family and friends. Your heartlessness and selfishness now comes into full view.

          What a load of b.s. – there’s really no other way to respond to this type of comment.

           

        4. Richard McCann

          Ron O

          The irony of your presumption that someone can only be a member of a local community is if they pay the membership fee of home ownership or rent is so amazing given that you don’t even live in Davis with no other visible connection yet insist that you are a member of the Davis community! So who is the arbiter of who a member is of this community? Apparently you?

          And one side of your mouth you argue for using the morality of capitalism to eject people from the community that they can no longer afford, but then argue that you support rent control so that they can stay in the community! Which is it???

          And that you can’t see that the policies you support are the source of pricing many, including the homeless, out of there homes is yet another irony.

        5. Ron Oertel

          The irony of your presumption that someone can only be a member of a local community is if they pay the membership fee of home ownership or rent is so amazing given that you don’t even live in Davis with no other visible connection yet insist that you are a member of the Davis community!

          Perhaps my connection is “invisible”, unlike (for example) Don – who makes it “visible”.

          Matt (whom you often communicate with on here) has no connection at all, that I’m aware of.  Neither does Professor Elmendorf.

          But the scope of the article is “homelessness” in general, not limited to Davis.

          You’re putting words in my mouth, regarding the “only way” someone can be a “member” of a given community.  Personally, I like the Creekside development, for example.  Part of the reason for that is because it’s visually-attractive.

          It is true that it’s not cost-effective to subsidize those with essentially no income in the most-expensive communities in the country.  (Of which Davis isn’t even close to being one of those.)  I have no idea why you (apparently) think this is a cost-effective use of limited funds, which would inevitably lead to some being “left out” of that subsidy entirely.

          So who is the arbiter of who a member is of this community? Apparently you?

          Definitely not “you”, given that you want to disenfranchise your neighbors (by eliminating Measure J).  And definitely not regarding the “entrance requirements” to comment on the Vanguard.

          Resident or not, I only speak for myself (as do you).  But unlike you, I respect others (even if I don’t agree with them).  As an example, there’s one person (who has been “banned” from the Vanguard) whom I respect and am friendly with, but apparently doesn’t support Measure J.  Even though I believe he sometimes “votes against” various Measure J proposals.

          And one side of your mouth you argue for using the morality of capitalism to eject people from the community that they can no longer afford, but then argue that you support rent control so that they can stay in the community! Which is it???

          I didn’t argue “for” the morality of capitalism.  At the same time, I stated that no one has a “right” to live in a given community – even those born in a given community.  Again, I was “priced out” of the community I was born in, and lived a significant portion of my adult life in as well.

          I don’t know why you’d think its even possible to ensure that prices are the same in every community, and “within” every community in the country. That’s not the system we have. If it was, I might be in Tiburon right now.

          And truth be told, I don’t “want” Tiburon to “lower its prices” for my personal sake, in the first place. I don’t think that way. Tiburon itself is “more important” than I am, as an individual. As such, I don’t want them spreading out (which they could do, to some degree) or building “upward” for my sake.

          The same with the rest of Marin, Sonoma, Napa counties. If I want to move there, maybe I need to “save up” for it.

          And that you can’t see that the policies you support are the source of pricing many, including the homeless, out of there homes is yet another irony.

          I don’t “support” pricing people out of communities.  I did note that just about every community in the country has “different” prices, and that prices vary even “within” communities.

           

  3. Richard McCann

    Ron O

    Again you have no apparent connection to Davis, so my statement is true based on the facts presented to us. I’m using your definition of being connected to a community, not mine.

    I didn’t argue “for” the morality of capitalism.  At the same time, I stated that no one has a “right” to live in a given community – even those born in a given community.  Again, I was “priced out” of the community I was born in, and lived a significant portion of my adult life in as well.

    I’m not putting words in your mouth–you specifically said and repeated here that people can only be a member of this community if they can afford to buy or rent. (You then added that if they are provided an abode e.g., Creekside, they also qualify.) You defined it has having an address here. I have more broadly defined stakeholders many times and I won’t repeat it yet again for you. You don’t fit any of those criteria. However, the unhoused who live in this community do fit that criteria. And apparently, you as an outsider are trying to impose your own definition despite your lack of standing. I haven’t heard anyone else with standing in Davis dispute my definition.

    Then you state

    It is true that it’s not cost-effective to subsidize those with essentially no income…

    So now you’re arguing that the only public aid that is provided should only be given if it meets an as-yet undefined “cost-effectiveness” test. And conveniently your ambiguous test would push the unhoused out of this community that neighbors your own.

    The better question are there “limited funds” when we have so much wealth flowing around our community? Is it really more valuable and cost effective to maintain luxurious golf courses and pay for grand tours of Europe? Maybe we should instead consider the plight of the least among us.

    “Resident or not, I only speak for myself (as do you).”

    False, you have many times spoken about how the Davis voters think, despite not being a resident here nor running a polling firm.

     didn’t argue “for” the morality of capitalism.  At the same time, I stated that no one has a “right” to live in a given community – even those born in a given community.

    Two contradictory sentences right next to each other….

     

  4. Ron Oertel

    Again you have no apparent connection to Davis, so my statement is true based on the facts presented to us. I’m using your definition of being connected to a community, not mine.

    It could be that I don’t share information with those interesting in trolling.

    I didn’t argue “for” the morality of capitalism.  At the same time, I stated that no one has a “right” to live in a given community – even those born in a given community.  Again, I was “priced out” of the community I was born in, and lived a significant portion of my adult life in as well.

    I’m not putting words in your mouth–you specifically said and repeated here that people can only be a member of this community if they can afford to buy or rent. (You then added that if they are provided an abode e.g., Creekside, they also qualify.

    How is it that you repeatedly cite comments I made (directly above your own response), and then claim that my comment has anything to do with your response?

    It is in fact, true that anyone living in a particular community only has three choices that I’m aware of:

    1)  They purchase or rent using their own funds.

    2)  They receive a subsidy from others which covers rent or purchase.

    3)  They live on the street.

    What exactly are you “disagreeing” with?

    You defined it has having an address here.

    Yes – that’s right (see above), regarding residents.  Those are the only three ways I know of.

    I have more broadly defined stakeholders many times and I won’t repeat it yet again for you. You don’t fit any of those criteria.

    Again, I’m not interested in sharing information with those who engage in trolling.  And again, if you were actually interested in residency, you’d have a “problem” with several other commenters on here.  The fact that you don’t shows that you’re only interested in trolling those whom you don’t agree with.

    However, the unhoused who live in this community do fit that criteria.

    Actually, you’re right about that.  Any hobo can move under a freeway overpass, and then say that he’s a “resident” or “stakeholder” in a given community, for that matter.

    But they (just like any other resident or stakeholder) do not have a “right” to remain or move to their preferred community.  If you’re claiming that they do, show me the law or policy which states this.

    And apparently, you as an outsider are trying to impose your own definition despite your lack of standing.

    Again, I don’t share information with those interested in trolling.

    I haven’t heard anyone else with standing in Davis dispute my definition.

    Your definition of what, exactly?  And what does that have to do with any point you’re trying to make?

    I have never even discussed where I live, and the newspaper articles that you posted on here don’t either.  Nor will I ever discuss personal information that only “you” seem to demand.

    It is true that it’s not cost-effective to subsidize those with essentially no income…

    So now you’re arguing that the only public aid that is provided should only be given if it meets an as-yet undefined “cost-effectiveness” test.

    The “test” is the limitation of public funds, itself.  Do you think those funds are “unlimited”?

     And conveniently your ambiguous test would push the unhoused out of this community that neighbors your own.

    Why would that be “convenient”?

    The better question are there “limited funds” when we have so much wealth flowing around our community? Is it really more valuable and cost effective to maintain luxurious golf courses and pay for grand tours of Europe? Maybe we should instead consider the plight of the least among us.

    Did I advocate for “golf courses and grand tours of Europe”?  Why do you put forth outlandish comments which have nothing to do with anything I said?

    “Resident or not, I only speak for myself (as do you).”
    False, you have many times spoken about how the Davis voters think, despite not being a resident here nor running a polling firm.

    Again, I have not discussed where I live, or have lived.

    But yes, my observation is that your views regarding Measure J are a distinct minority.  This isn’t even in question – it’s borne out by results.  

    I didn’t argue “for” the morality of capitalism.  At the same time, I stated that no one has a “right” to live in a given community – even those born in a given community.

    Two contradictory sentences right next to each other….

    How are these contradictory?

    Richard, you’re only hurting your own credibility (what’s left of it), via your continuing assault on a commenter whom you don’t agree with.

     

     

    1. Walter Shwe

      Richard, you’re only hurting your own credibility (what’s left of it), via your continuing assault on a commenter whom you don’t agree with.

      Touchy, touchy Ron. Disagreeing with someone is miles different than assaulting someone. If you can’t stand any heat, get out of the kitchen. Easy, peasy. If anything, you are the one hurting your own credibility with your ridiculous assertions.

      For most people (e.g., those who aren’t drug addicts or mentally ill), they get the heck out of Dodge and move to cheaper areas, if “high housing costs” become an issue.

      People still have the freedom to live where they want irrespective of where you want them to Ron. Maybe we should forcibly move Ron to Texas or Florida where you would live among millions of like minded people.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Touchy, touchy Ron. Disagreeing with someone is miles different than assaulting someone. If you can’t stand any heat, get out of the kitchen. Easy, peasy. If anything, you are the one hurting your own credibility with your ridiculous assertions.

        Walter, you already know that it has nothing to do with any “disagreement”, nor does it have anything to do with political issues.

        As I recall, you were quite “touchy” when “you” became the subject in regard to an address associated with you. Now, I happen to agree with you, that this type of thing has no relationship to the topic at hand and is simply an attempt to discredit.

        But neither Richard, you, nor the ones who allow this type of comment are going to bully me off of here.

        People still have the freedom to live where they want irrespective of where you want them to Ron. Maybe we should forcibly move Ron to Texas or Florida where you would live among millions of like minded people.

        Almost as ridiculous as your first comment.

        “Freedom” is different than a “right to” live in a particular locale.  Where is this written – that someone can live wherever they want to, regardless of their available resources?

        Someone can just show up making $960/month, and “demand” to be housed in the community of their choice?  Since when?

         

        1. Walter Shwe

          Walter, you already know that it has nothing to do with any “disagreement”, nor does it have anything to do with political issues.
          As I recall, you were quite “touchy” when “you” became the subject in regard to an address associated with you. Now, I happen to agree with you, that this type of thing has no relationship to the topic at hand and is simply an attempt to discredit.

          But neither Richard, you, nor the ones who allow this type of comment are going to bully me off of here.

          Doxxing is significantly worse than personally attacking someone. In turn, merely criticizing someone is kosher. If it wasn’t many of the comments on this site wouldn’t be ethical. According to what you just said above, you discredited me on this very site.

          Also, there is a residential address which appears to be just outside of Davis city limits in a house worth almost $1.5 million. Some sources state that you currently live there, while other sources show that it is a former address.

          https://www.davisvanguard.org/2023/03/my-view-unable-to-compel-housing-at-u-mall-the-city-loses-ideal-spot-for-mixed-use/

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_movement_under_United_States_law#:~:text=The%20right%20to%20travel%20is,law%20under%20the%20Fifth%20Amendment.

          In Kent v. Dulles, 357 U.S. 116 (1958), the United States Secretary of State had refused to issue a passport to an American citizen based on the suspicion that the plaintiff was going abroad to promote communism (personal restrictions/national security). Although the court did not reach the question of constitutionality in this case, the court, in an opinion by Justice William O. Douglas, held that the federal government may not restrict the right to travel without due process:

          The right to travel is a part of the ‘liberty’ of which the citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the Fifth Amendment. If that “liberty” is to be regulated, it must be pursuant to the law-making functions of the Congress. … Freedom of movement across frontiers in either direction, and inside frontiers as well, was a part of our heritage. Travel abroad, like travel within the country, … may be as close to the heart of the individual as the choice of what he eats, or wears, or reads. Freedom of movement is basic in our scheme of values.

        2. Ron Oertel

           

          Doxxing is significantly worse than personally attacking someone. In turn, merely criticizing someone is kosher.

          I agree regarding doxing.  Take it up with Richard.

          Though truth be told, “criticizing” someone (personally) is also unnecessary, and goes against Vanguard policy. Criticizing “views” regarding subject matter is a different matter, and is to be expected.

          What I’ve found (with Richard in particular) is that he resorts to repetitive personal attacks, when he has no actual argument regarding subject matter. In other words, all the time.

          If it wasn’t many of the comments on this site wouldn’t be ethical. According to what you just said above, you discredited me on this very site.

          Well, since you participated in that, what’s “good for the goose . . .”

          But yeah, I think it should be put behind us.  Again, your argument should be with Richard, at this point.

          I generally have less problem with you, despite your outlandish comments and views. For the most part, I don’t even respond to much of what you say.

          The right to travel is a part of the ‘liberty’ of which the citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the Fifth Amendment.

          Which of course has nothing to do with the total lack of any right to “demand” that housing be provided for someone receiving $960/month. But at least you’re sort of sticking to the topic at hand, here.

           

           

           

        3. Walter Shwe

          Since Ron Oertel has refused to reveal his current ties with Davis, it must be assumed he actually has none. We all know you don’t currently reside in Davis. That’s a cold hard fact. All of your comments regarding all things Davis must be given considerably less weight than those of people that currently live in Davis. Ron is an outsider. That’s another cold hard fact. You have singled yourself out because you comment much more frequently than other non-residents. Welcome to being a non-Davis resident Ron.

        4. Ron Oertel

          Since Ron Oertel has refused to reveal his current ties with Davis, it must be assumed he actually has none.

          You and Richard are certainly free to assume whatever you want – and apparently talk about it on here as well (despite the fact that it’s off-topic, at best). But claiming something to be true (when you have no idea whether or not it is) does not make your claim accurate.

          We all know you don’t currently reside in Davis. That’s a cold hard fact.

          I’ve never discussed where I live, nor do I plan to.  Nor will I ever discuss anything else that you or Richard “demand” of me, uniquely.

          There’s more than one commenter on here who doesn’t live in Davis.  Why do you suppose that supposed “issue” never comes up for them?  For that matter, one commenter that I know of has no ties to Davis whatsoever that I’m aware of.

          All of your comments regarding all things Davis must be given considerably less weight than those of people that currently live in Davis. Ron is an outsider.

          Seems to me that you and Richard are the ones advocating for “outsiders” to live and have a “say” in Davis, and that you give more “weight” to those outsiders than Davis residents who support Measure J.

          So given that “cold hard fact”, shouldn’t you be providing more “weight” to my opinion, assuming that you’re correct regarding my residence in the first place?

          That’s another cold hard fact. You have singled yourself out because you comment much more frequently than other non-residents.

          So, if one comments “frequently enough”, they’re a legitimate target for attempted doxing?  Is that how that works?

          Welcome to being a non-Davis resident Ron.

          There’s certainly evidence that you have ties to a residence outside of Davis.  Nice place, too. You claim that you no longer live there, right? Why did you move out, and do you still have ties to that residence (e.g., via family)?

           

        5. Walter Shwe

          I agree regarding doxing. Take it up with Richard.Richard didn’t do the doxing, you did Ron. Are you now denying that you posted this comment?

          Also, there is a residential address which appears to be just outside of Davis city limits in a house worth almost $1.5 million. Some sources state that you currently live there, while other sources show that it is a former address.

          Someone else besides Richard and I said that you indeed are now in Woodland. The cat is already out of the bag Ron. Commenting that you live in Woodland does not constitute doxing despite what both Keith and you say. I have no idea which part, neighborhood or exact house you are at nor do I care. You are just one individual in a sea of 61,398 people (2021 population of Woodland). https://datacommons.org/place/geoId/0686328/?utm_medium=explore&mprop=count&popt=Person&hl=en

        6. Walter Shwe

          There’s certainly evidence that you have ties to a residence outside of Davis. Nice place, too. You claim that you no longer live there, right? Why did you move out, and do you still have ties to that residence (e.g., via family)?

          This is a clear indication that Ron has doubled-down on his doxing of me.

  5. Ron Oertel

    This Bay Area city has 47% higher rent prices than San Francisco, data shows

    Another reason Foster City is so expensive, Jabeen pointed out, is that it doesn’t have rent control policies. The city is one of several mid-Peninsula towns, including Burlingame, that have fought against renter-friendly laws like eviction protections and caps on rent increases, arguing that they unfairly target landlord.

    https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/bay-area-rent-price-18260816.php

    And yet, I suspect that Foster City doesn’t have a significant population of homeless people compared to San Francisco.  So much for the theory that “high rents” cause homelessness, given how much lower San Francisco’s rents are.

    For those who want to argue that “eviction protections and caps on rent increases” cause homelessness, have at it.

    Though it might have some impact, in regard to the guy who moved from Foster City to a freeway underpass in San Francisco – on the previous day.

    (The latter being part of the group that Richard would label as “residents”, or “stakeholders” in San Francisco.)

  6. Ron Oertel

    Just saw this – rent control (another attempt to repeal Costa Hawkins) is headed for the ballot again.

    Mike Nemeth, a spokesperson for the California Apartment Association: “In recent years, we joined a broad coalition of pro-housing groups in soundly defeating similar measures…we will prepare to fight this latest proposition.”

    Gee, I wonder “who” those “pro-housing groups” are.  Sounds like they’re not too concerned about rent increases, at least.

    No wonder this has failed so far. Something about a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    https://calmatters.org/newsletters/2023/07/rent-control-ballot/

     

    1. Walter Shwe

      Ron may have an ulterior motive when it comes to rent control. Rent control would tend to disincentivize developers from building new apartment buildings which would fall right in line with his continued zero housing zealotry/hypocrisy.

      1. Ron Oertel

        New developments are exempt from rent control for a number of years.

        But it is true that homeowners who don’t support the state’s mandates or YIMBY groups (and their underlying financial supporters) would (probably) benefit from supporting rent control.

        As would existing renters.

        None of this equates to an “ulterior motive”.

        By the way, I’m a supporter of housing – as I don’t advocate tearing down housing despite the drop in the state’s population. At least until it ends up like Detroit, the rust belt, or parts of New Orleans. 🙂

        At which point, the problem will sort of “take care of itself”.

        But seriously, I don’t oppose all new housing. The situation (sprawl), however, is out of control in the region and beyond – despite the drop in state population.

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