?

Log in

No account? Create an account
   Journal    Friends    Archive    Profile    Memories
 

Political... - morfizm

Jun. 1st, 2016 01:07 am Political...

Received an e-mail from Major Barry Chang, "RE: Solutions for Traffic Congestion in Assembly District 24" (perhaps he was sending it to every registered voter in that area?). He wants to build more roads, more BART lines and also require companies to raise taxes and pay extra $1K/year per employee to fund these "wonderful" projects.

I wrote him a reply:

====================

Dear Major,

I am a regular citizen, living in Melno Park, who have received this proposal in e-mail. I work as software engineer.
I think your proposed “solution” is 100% backwards of what should truly be done.

The congestion problem roots from the fact that people live too far from work.
Why is it happening?
It is very clear to me that this is happening due to wrong incentives and regulations:
1. Homeowners are heavily incentivized vs renters. Therefore everyone wants a house even if they don’t need to. The only affordable housing for someone working in, say, Mountain View, is really far away (East Bay at minimum.)
2. There are stupid zoning regulations that actually prohibit colocation of residential areas and office areas.
3. There are other stupid regulations, such as limitations on number of levels in buildings, that cause people’s housing to spread over too large area.
4. Businesses not incentivized enough to open up offices close to where people live.

My solution (pretty simple, doesn’t require to build new roads and otherwise increase state spending):
1. Cancel all homeowner incentives at federal level (California and district 24 will benefit too, but everyone else would also benefit):
-- a. No more tax deductible mortgage interest.
-- b. No more tax deductible property tax.
-- c. No more bankruptcy protection for primary residence.
-- d. No more capital gain deductible for profit on equity increase when primary residence is sold.
-- e. Equal treatment for primary residence equity and other savings and investments for any purposes, including financial aid, college aid for children, etc.
-- f. Any other incentive that I didn’t mention, should be eliminated as well.
2. Remove restrictions on zoning.
3. Remove all restrictions on height of the buildings.
4. Consider adding incentives (from the huge money that state has saved on p.1) to businesses, such as tax breaks, if they open offices in less “sexy” areas, such as East Bay, Oakland, Daly City, etc.

Sign it in law, sit back and watch the results. No need to construct new roads. Free market forces and natural desire of people to live closer to work will settle things out automatically, and we’ll be all set for another 20 years.

Thanks,
Dmitry.

30 comments - Leave a commentPrevious Entry Share Next Entry

Comments:

From:rezkiy
Date:June 1st, 2016 08:38 am (UTC)
(Link)
you forgot Prop 13
From:morfizm
Date:June 1st, 2016 08:42 am (UTC)
(Link)
I didn't know about it, yes, they should also cancel prop 13.
From:archaicos
Date:June 1st, 2016 09:16 am (UTC)
(Link)
People don't live forever, so, won't prop 13 have smaller effect eventually, when every house's owner is changed?
From:morfizm
Date:June 1st, 2016 10:11 am (UTC)
(Link)
Any complexity in taxes have cumulative negative effect. Therefore, prop 13 should go away.
From:archaicos
Date:June 1st, 2016 10:16 am (UTC)
(Link)
I can't agree more on complexity. But am I wrong w.r.t. changed owners?
From:morfizm
Date:June 1st, 2016 10:23 am (UTC)
(Link)
Eventually, yes. Maybe in 40 years from now?
But we have congestion and other problems today.

Also: if you allow such stupidities and complexities, chances are a few more will come up over next 40 years with at least the same effect or worse.
From:rezkiy
Date:June 1st, 2016 05:46 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Prop 13 discount is inheritable.
From:morfizm
Date:June 1st, 2016 05:55 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Oh, god.
What about rebuilding a house after an earthquake? Would prop 13 discount stay?
From:rezkiy
Date:June 1st, 2016 07:27 pm (UTC)
(Link)
it should, as long as you refrain from additions.
From:juan_gandhi
Date:June 1st, 2016 02:34 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Just wait a year or two, then buy your own house, enjoy it, and forget these immigrant dreams.
From:birdwatcher
Date:June 1st, 2016 09:14 am (UTC)
(Link)
Какие-то у вас необычные free market forces, которые начинаются с того, что надо повысить налоги, а потом -- может быть -- раздать часть собранного на строительство офисов в East Bay, Oakland и Daley City. Сразу видно, в каких городах вы скупили все пустыри.
From:archaicos
Date:June 1st, 2016 09:22 am (UTC)
(Link)
Santa Clara, похоже, хочет стать передовицей по офисам. Тут за последние три года столько настроили... И ещё продолжают (сносят старые офисы малой этажности (до трёх этажей), строят многоэтажки (10+)). И Whole Foods вот-вот должны рядышком с этими (по)стройками достроить для новоприбывших хипстеров из Индии, ну или откуда там они вдруг возьмутся.
From:morfizm
Date:June 1st, 2016 10:09 am (UTC)
(Link)
У Майора тоже предложение - сначала создать, небось, какую тысячу рабочих мест, причём явно таких, работников, которые будут ездить издалека, а потом, когда-нибудь, когда они уже разъедутся, все будут счастливы благодаря новым дорогам.

Я не спорю с идеей потерпеть временные неудобства ради долгосрочной выгоды. Я не согласен с заявлением, будто бы тут есть хоть какая-то долгосрочная выгода. Если не решать проблему в корне, то проблема останется.

Моё предложение постепенное. Я считаю, что налоги надо понизить, но это менее важно, чем убрать (особенно, ненужные) incentives. Мои предложенные incentives - временные, чтобы быстрее компенсировать негативный эффект имеющихся. В идеале, когда никаких incentives не будет, будет flat tax. Flat tax уже можно понижать. И большинство людей это поддержит, т.к. не будет никаких привилегированных групп (вроде homeowners), которым выгодны более высокие налоги, потому что они получат competitive advantage - себе спишут, а сосеД, арендующий жильё - не спишет.
From:birdwatcher
Date:June 1st, 2016 11:22 am (UTC)
(Link)
Очевидно, в компетенцию мэра Чанга не входит федеральная налоговая реформа. Если у него в бюджете откуда-то появились лишние деньги в гигантских количествах, он может либо построить дороги и метро (дурацкая идея), либо не взимать какое-то время налоги (правильная идея). Если бы я ему писал, я бы исходил из этих двух реально стоящих перед ним возможностей.
From:morfizm
Date:June 1st, 2016 04:58 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Наверное, вы правы. Но я, честно говоря, не вникал. Насчёт компетенции... ну, знаете, в мою компетенцию это тем более не входит, а у него примерно в миллион раз больше leverage, чем у меня, по любым политическим вопросам. Если он не может сделать что-то своими руками, он может помочь этому косвенно - raise awareness, лоббировать, призвать голосовать за правильных кандидатов куда бы то ни было, и т.п., ну, конечно, планировать свою программу исходя из того, что было бы идеально in grand plan of things. (В данном случае это означает "не делать ничего", или, действительно, налоговые льготы, чтобы "работы" перестали концентрироваться в одном месте, а немного размазались по региону).

Почему я пишу об этом ему, а не кому-то другому, кто более "в компетенции"? Потому что именно он насрал в мой почтовый ящик. Этих других я даже не знаю, как зовут. А его (уже) знаю. Вот и познакомились.
From:birdwatcher
Date:June 1st, 2016 05:03 pm (UTC)
(Link)
и то повод
From:alusmeistars
Date:June 2nd, 2016 12:57 pm (UTC)
(Link)
С уважением, дата, подпись, отвечайте нам а то, если вы не отзоветесь, мы напишем в спорт лото?
From:archaicos
Date:June 1st, 2016 09:30 am (UTC)
(Link)
Жильё - это мафия.
From:juan_gandhi
Date:June 1st, 2016 02:30 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Won't fly; but interesting idea about lifting some zoning limitations.
From:morfizm
Date:June 1st, 2016 05:04 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I think lifting height restriction would make more difference.

RE zoning, btw... I know some people (small business owners) who secretly just... live in their office. That's pretty large area, workshop style. Think of auto-mechanic workshop. That cost them $500/mo, vs many thousands per mo they'd pay for equal size apartment (or $1500-2000 for just ANY studio apartment). They only asked to keep it in secret, because if landlord learn the truth, they'd get evicted.


Edited at 2016-06-01 05:04 pm (UTC)
From:archaicos
Date:June 1st, 2016 07:57 pm (UTC)
(Link)
"Better Call Saul"-style. :)
I think I might actually know one place, where mechanics live at work. I can sometimes hear music play after midnight when I pass by.
From:morfizm
Date:June 1st, 2016 08:00 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Get jealous: they probably pay multiple times less than you do for rent, they also write off 100% of that as business expense, and they have 0 commute to work! :)
From:archaicos
Date:June 1st, 2016 08:11 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I don't think they can "write it off" because then they have to admit to living at work.
From:morfizm
Date:June 1st, 2016 08:15 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I don't understand your reasoning. They don't have to admit anything. The place is registered as business office, so they write off 100% as business expense. From IRS point of view, they are homeless.
From:archaicos
Date:June 1st, 2016 08:30 pm (UTC)
(Link)
In a number of places there are local laws prohibiting sleeping in cars. If IRS or anyone else leaks the fact to local authorities, it may be costly.
From:morfizm
Date:June 1st, 2016 09:54 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I didn't say sleeping in cars. I said homeless, like doesn't have any residence.

Do you know any laws that prohibit you from being homeless?

> If IRS or anyone else leaks the fact to local authorities, it may be costly.

If IRS learns that he lives at work, in the same space that he writes off as business expense, then yes, I agree.

However, I don't think he'll be in any trouble just for the fact he's homeless but has an office for small business (assuming he sleeps on the streets, with friends, or doesn't sleep at all).
From:archaicos
Date:June 2nd, 2016 04:40 am (UTC)
(Link)
There are people, who do live on the wheels and have no residence. Homeless with a car.
From:morfizm
Date:June 2nd, 2016 04:49 am (UTC)
(Link)
So if he doesn't sleep in car the regulation that you've mentioned would not apply. Not sure why you mentioned it in relation to small business owners. Prohibition to sleep in a car is kinda reasonable. It's easy to screw it up and die, or get into all sorts of accidents/incidents.
From:Igor Demura
Date:June 1st, 2016 06:31 pm (UTC)
(Link)
А я считаю, что zoning - это самое лучшее что здесь есть, а не stupid.
From:morfizm
Date:June 1st, 2016 07:14 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Типа тебе нравится долго ехать на работу? или ты не считаешь, что это связано?

Edited at 2016-06-01 07:18 pm (UTC)