Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October, 2018

Power to the Parasites: SF Bay Area Ballot Measures Will Penalize Property Owners for Undeveloped Land

The residents of Oakland, California, and other nearby Bay Area cities, are considering a ballot proposal which centers around the assignment of a $6,000 penalty per parcel to property owners whose property fails to satisfy the City’s arbitrary use standards for a period of no less than 50 days each year: the proposal applies to both developed and undeveloped properties, which equates to penalizing people for failing to build, when it is precisely the existing regulations, compliance costs and zoning laws which make it so prohibitively expensive and challenging to build in the first place. 

I know this firsthand, as I have worked closely with property owners on such developments in the housing space; the permitting and engineering fees are exorbitant for even basic projects, let alone something as considerable as homebuilding or the development of multi-unit complexes. 

As it turns out, the terms of the proposal may also prove too ambiguous to secure the desired ends or to be actionable…

Stimulus Spending and the Keynesian Multiplier: The Thirteenth Stroke of the Clock

A new television commercial proposes a new way to add time to our day. 

In the commercial, the woman presents a generic clock which shows the addition of a thirteenth hour between the twelve and the one. 

Humorously, the space between the twelve and the thirteen, and likewise between the thirteen and the one, is precisely half of the distance between every other hour interval, and unless the gearing has been modified to accommodate this change, this implies exclusively that the twelfth and thirteenth hours will merely split that same hour, allotting only 30 minutes to each before the one o’clock hour. 

What’s more, this achieves nothing in the way of actually extending the day, serving only to unimaginatively obfuscate the reliable measuring apparatus which humbly reflects the average amount of time for the earth to complete a single rotation around its axis. 

While we could surely re-engineer the clock to accommodate a thirteenth hour, this change will only alter the significance of time…