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Old 06-25-2020, 11:02 PM
 
10,684 posts, read 6,264,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muinteoir View Post
Some interesting takes on progressive politics here. Starting with the tax abatement, how is it fair for developers to continue to avoid paying their fair share toward public schools? The tax abatement began in the 90s when the city was in a much different place re: capital flight. Before COVID, development was slowly chugging along and property taxes are already quite low in the city, anyway. Is there any evidence that ending the program will tarnish property development? If you are concerned about poverty rates in Philadelphia, properly funding schools is a great start to defeating the problem without simply displacing people.

The last few election cycles have shown us that yes, people are fed up with the contradictions of unfettered capitalism. The emergence of progressives in Philadelphia is just a glimpse of this. It is happening in cities across the country. If you don't come from a family steeped in cyclical poverty, be it in Philadelphia or Appalachia, the last few election cycles may not make sense to you. To me, they make perfect sense, and are a reflection of the ever growing wealth gap and contradictions of late stage capitalism.
Are you considering that the early tax abatements are over and have been for a while?
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Old 06-25-2020, 11:29 PM
 
10,684 posts, read 6,264,014 times
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Originally Posted by DXBtoFL View Post
And there will be a counter-response to the leftward lurch as well.

That's why I think we're in for a messy decade, much like how the 1970s was a messy decade. These responses will emerge and play against each other over time. The moderate supporters are always temporary and will flitter back and forth depending on how extreme the issues become.

It will be urban areas that will primarily be the battlegrounds of the new culture wars. The statue topplings are primarily occurring in urban areas (or places with high concentrations of angry lefties like college towns). The riots didn't happen in King of Prussia or Wayne for a reason. And because they are the battlegrounds, they have the most to lose when things (as they inevitably seem to do) go south.
So it sounds like keeping up Confederate traitor "Lost Cause" statues ( which should have never been erected in the first place) is something you support.

There were at least two attempts at breaking into the KoP mall. I assume the idea was to take the looting/rioting to the 'burbs.

I've had to remind several conservatives over the last couple of weeks that our first war with Great Britain was eventually described as a "revolutionary" war. And the Boston Tea Party was a protest. They got really upset when I told them that if that war had been won by the Brits, most, if not all, of our Founders would have been tried for treason and executed. Apparently some revolutions are better than others for some people.
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Old 06-26-2020, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
7,108 posts, read 3,400,947 times
Reputation: 4522
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Are you considering that the early tax abatements are over and have been for a while?
To back kyb01 up here, the abatements are working exactly as they were designed to work. Once the abatements expire, the homeowners are paying taxes to the city, and I see no evidence that there's churn in the market, i.e., people selling their no-longer-abated houses to buy new ones with abatements.

The critics mischaracterize them as tax breaks for the well-to-do. They're actually subsidies to the builders in disguise.

Our construction costs are too high for builders to build new market-rate housing and make a decent profit selling it at the price they'd have to charge with the regular property taxes included.

So they can sell the house for more with the abatement than without.

Since we have no appetite for driving down construction costs, we still need the abatements, even in their half-strength version, to keep the production of new market-rate housing in this city going. And with the COVID pandemic tilting the playing field towards the 'burbs for the near term, they will matter even more.
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Old 06-26-2020, 07:39 AM
 
1,603 posts, read 830,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennsport View Post
There will always be industries and functions that demand in-person arrangements, but the upside of WFH is just too big for us ever to go back to "normal." For millions of us in marketing, finance, legal, compliance, procurement, project management etc... it will probably be some sort of office/WFH hybrid until we develop technology to advance Zoom and WebEx to some crazy real-time hologram situation (literally mimicking in-person meetings). We were headed in this direction anyway. COVID just expedited it.

The savings companies could realize, the extra family/free time people will have, the reduction of childcare expense, the reduction of pollution and traffic accidents, the ability to dress casually and comfortably everyday, the opportunities to take mid-day breaks and exercise, etc, etc, etc... simply can't be ignored.

We're talking about billions and billions of dollars in savings, massive pollution reductions and potential emotional/physical wellness that Americans haven't experienced for decades. Of course this will come at the cost of commercial construction contraction, car industry collapse, child care and clothing company industries cut in half, to name a few. Ironically, the good news is we no longer actually make anything in this country, so we'll probably experience a lot less pain than the rest of the world who depend on exporting goods. It is what it is, but crazy commutes to sit in an office five days a week for many is officially over.

BILLIONS of savings you say in one breath then point to the COLLAPSE of industries in the next, so really, how much is the net positive change? WFH has its downsides too in terms of socializing/isolation, maybe even boredom with family members who you now see much more.
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Old 06-26-2020, 07:41 AM
 
1,603 posts, read 830,968 times
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Originally Posted by TownDweller View Post
I have a different take.

We are social animals, but there is plenty of social contact in towns like Media, West Chester, Conshohocken, Ambler, Newtown and several others. It's just more subdued and an overall older crowd.
Inner ring suburbs like those you mention are essentially part of the big city. Remember, most east coast cities are pretty densely populated with smaller footprints than sunbelt cities. Houston covers 640 square miles. Overlay that on top of Philly and many of the latter's suburbs would actually be in Houston's city limits.
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Old 06-26-2020, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
7,108 posts, read 3,400,947 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walker1962 View Post
Inner ring suburbs like those you mention are essentially part of the big city. Remember, most east coast cities are pretty densely populated with smaller footprints than sunbelt cities. Houston covers 640 square miles. Overlay that on top of Philly and many of the latter's suburbs would actually be in Houston's city limits.
Check your geography.

Ambler, Media, Newtown and West Chester are far from "inner ring" - you pass through anywhere from 10 to 20 miles of other suburban communities to reach them, and the areas around Newtown and West Chester are not that densely built either. In fact, you wouldn't confuse the towns surrounding any of those places for Upper Darby, which is an inner-ring suburb.

Your point about overall density of development in Philly vs. Houston holds — but it's worth noting that, as is the case in several other large East Coast metros, the density of development in the Philly suburbs varies a lot more than it does in most Sunbelt metros. Most of Bucks County above US 1 has a semi-rural character still, especially Central and Upper Bucks, and the Main Line railroad tracks separate densely-built areas to its south from thousands of acres of large estates to its north. The estates pop up again around Newtown Square, and the Brandywine River country in southwest Delaware/southeast Chester counties is also not that densely built either.

California metros are overall the most densely populated in the country. That's because their suburbs have been developed at nearly uniform densities that are not much less than those of the core cities, especially Los Angeles and San Diego but also San Jose. Very dense San Francisco becomes the statistical outlier here.
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Old 06-26-2020, 08:09 AM
 
125 posts, read 32,878 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
So it sounds like keeping up Confederate traitor "Lost Cause" statues ( which should have never been erected in the first place) is something you support.

There were at least two attempts at breaking into the KoP mall. I assume the idea was to take the looting/rioting to the 'burbs.

I've had to remind several conservatives over the last couple of weeks that our first war with Great Britain was eventually described as a "revolutionary" war. And the Boston Tea Party was a protest. They got really upset when I told them that if that war had been won by the Brits, most, if not all, of our Founders would have been tried for treason and executed. Apparently some revolutions are better than others for some people.
Are you putting words in my mouth?

Remind me of the statues being toppled recently. Was Columbus a confederate? Grant? Pike? Key?

Even Lincoln himself hasn't escaped attention with the calls to remove statues to him in Boston and DC. Was Lincoln a closet confederate? Matthias Baldwin here in Philadelphia was even defaced. Was this abolitionist also a closet confederate? What about the announced removal of Theodore Roosevelt's statue in NYC? Or random figures utterly unrelated to the Confederacy, like these statues in Wisconsin: https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/24/us/ma...rnd/index.html

I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say here. That the angry protests of the past month are somehow comparable to the American Revolution?

Funnily enough, Abraham Lincoln touched on the comparison theme when he noted firebrand secessionists and angry mobs often resorted to the Revolution as a justification for their own violence.
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Old 06-26-2020, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
968 posts, read 384,257 times
Reputation: 1220
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Are you considering that the early tax abatements are over and have been for a while?
Yes. I am aware the program has been scaled back. There are still abatements happening. I was responding to cpomp's article on Kendra Brooks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
To back kyb01 up here, the abatements are working exactly as they were designed to work. Once the abatements expire, the homeowners are paying taxes to the city, and I see no evidence that there's churn in the market, i.e., people selling their no-longer-abated houses to buy new ones with abatements.

The critics mischaracterize them as tax breaks for the well-to-do. They're actually subsidies to the builders in disguise.

Our construction costs are too high for builders to build new market-rate housing and make a decent profit selling it at the price they'd have to charge with the regular property taxes included.

So they can sell the house for more with the abatement than without.

Since we have no appetite for driving down construction costs, we still need the abatements, even in their half-strength version, to keep the production of new market-rate housing in this city going. And with the COVID pandemic tilting the playing field towards the 'burbs for the near term, they will matter even more.
Who said anything about churning the market? I was talking about lost revenue for school funding. In FY 2017, Philadelphia Pubic Schools ranked number #2 in the nation for lost revenue to tax abatements at $61.9M. See page 9: https://www.goodjobsfirst.org/sites/...s/newmath3.pdf

Scaling back and gradually ending the program will bring in revenue for Philadelphia's pupils.
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Old 06-26-2020, 08:37 AM
 
125 posts, read 32,878 times
Reputation: 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muinteoir View Post
Yes. I am aware the program has been scaled back. There are still abatements happening. I was responding to cpomp's article on Kendra Brooks.


Who said anything about churning the market? I was talking about lost revenue for school funding. In FY 2017, Philadelphia Pubic Schools ranked number #2 in the nation for lost revenue to tax abatements at $61.9M. See page 9: https://www.goodjobsfirst.org/sites/...s/newmath3.pdf

Scaling back and gradually ending the program will bring in revenue for Philadelphia's pupils.
That's assuming people continue with the developments and buying houses without the abatement.
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Old 06-26-2020, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
968 posts, read 384,257 times
Reputation: 1220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
Very well stated. I think the characteristics of the current political environment absolutely have to be judged in that context. Ironically, it's that exact same trends that have given rise to the current "populist," right-wing President and the ever-leftward drift of big cities like Philadelphia. It's two sides of the same coin; just different responses to the same conditions.

I don't doubt that everyone posting here has legitimate concerns for the future of our cities and want them to meet their highest potential. But until those in control of the power and wealth in this country understand and have the courage to rectify an economic system that is fundamentally broken is continuing to foster greater economic and racial inequity, we'll continue to see social backlash.

And make no mistake, this backlash will certainly not stop at the borders of large cities. It will engulf every community.
Yes, exactly. Right-wing and left-wing populism are both responses to our society becoming ever more oligarchic in its wealth and power distribution. They both express a desire to get power back to the people, but through different means (and, sadly, they define "the people" very differently). I grew up in Appalachia and now live in Philadelphia. It is sad for to me the misunderstanding between the rural and urban poor. Together, they could make a power voting block to demand economic and democratic justice in this country.
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