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Old 07-22-2013, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
21,829 posts, read 25,102,289 times
Reputation: 19060

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SacramentoBound View Post
I don't mean to call anybody a welfare moocher - I was just using the words from your post. I prefer not to use that kind of broadly dismissive language.

And no, these individuals are not receiving welfare benefits. There are two problems with claiming that they are: First, low-income affordable housing is very different from Section 8, which is paid to the landlord on the tenant's behalf; Section 8 follows a tenant from apartment to apartment, because it is the tenant who receives the benefit. Although tenants in low-income affordable housing do benefit from the lower rent, they are not "receiving benefits;" the lower rent is associated with the property and the landlord, not with the tenant. Here, the tenant benefits from the arrangement just as they would benefit from renting from an extended family member at a reduced rate, or from finding a lucky below-market apartment on Craigslist.

Second, "welfare" in the US has a specific meaning that does not include all social welfare programs. When people say "welfare" they generally mean TANF, CalWORKs, etc. - any of those programs that provide supplemental discretionary income based on qualifying individuals' income, employment status, and/or number of dependents. Also referred to as "cash aid" but not including e.g. SSD payments, Pell Grants, earned income tax credit, and so on (technically the Pell Grant is not fully discretionary, but the restrictions on its use are impossible to enforce). There's certainly a lot of grey area, and Section 8 is one example, because it's effectively a monetary benefit but it's not discretionary or paid directly to the individual. But affordable housing is not one of those grey areas.

The point I'm trying to make is not that a person can't say, well, I consider such and such to be in the same category as welfare. But if you insist on using non-standard definitions, you're responsible for any mis-communication that results. Many people use language this way in order to mislead, to deceive themselves or others, to support an ideology that can't be supported except through ignorance and deception. Do you want to be associated with that?

On the subject of public policy, there's a well-known paper by Jay W. Forrester in which he makes the claim that low-income housing developments have a detrimental overall effect on the social and economic vitality of urban areas. Here's a link to the text; if you have access to a database like EBSCO or JSTOR you should be able to get a better copy, complete with figures. (If not, I can send you one.) Sounds like something you might find interesting, if you haven't come across it already.
The specific meaning of welfare includes Social Security (all of it), Pell Grant, EITC, Section 8, SNAP, TANF. Basically the laundry list.

Quote:
statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need:the protection of rights to education, housing, and welfare

chiefly North American financial support given to people in need.

2
a : aid in the form of money or necessities for those in need
b : an agency or program through which such aid is distributed

A government program which provides financial aid to individuals or groups who cannot support themselves. Welfare programs are funded by taxpayers and allow people to cope with financial stress during rough periods of their lives. In most cases, people who use welfare will receive a biweekly or monthly payment. The goals of welfare vary, as it looks to promote the pursuance of work, education or, in some instances, a better standard of living.

There's lots of definitions, but they're all very similar. The earliest example of welfare in the United States is public housing. Section 8 and low-income housing are continuations of that. It is welfare. The problem is the non-specific common parlance definition that has continually been diluted to be ever more restrictive because of the negative connotation and desire to be PC and avoid possibly insulting someone. Thus it becomes only something that is means-tested. Thus it's only means-tested. And then only means-tested and cash aid. And then only means-tested and cash aid of only a specific type (eg, Pell Grant isn't really welfare even though its both means-tested and cash aid because it's for education). It's all nonsense. It's welfare, and welfare isn't a bad thing in and of itself. It isn't really any one person's fault. I'm as guilty of being sloppy and using nonstandard definitions of welfare as the next guy.

I mean, TANF provides about half of Cal Grant funding. If TANF is welfare, it's so hopelessly mingled with Cal Grant that Cal Grant must also be welfare. And if Cal Grant is welfare, on what basis is Pell Grant NOT welfare? The eligibility requirements for both are pretty similar.

Last edited by Malloric; 07-22-2013 at 05:13 PM..
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:16 PM
 
8,673 posts, read 17,274,555 times
Reputation: 4685
And what about those welfare moochers who sponge off the taxpayer by using those taxpayer-funded socialized highways??

Malloric doesn't really have a point, other than apparently anyone who benefits in any way from a government program counts as a "moocher." Which is pretty much everyone, rich, poor or middle-class.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
21,829 posts, read 25,102,289 times
Reputation: 19060
Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
And what about those welfare moochers who sponge off the taxpayer by using those taxpayer-funded socialized highways??

Malloric doesn't really have a point, other than apparently anyone who benefits in any way from a government program counts as a "moocher." Which is pretty much everyone, rich, poor or middle-class.
Highways are irrelevant to that, but yes, since social security is in fact welfare, pretty much everyone is or will be one. I mean, you have the really weird people like my great grandmother who refused to take her social security because she didn't believe in welfare. That wasn't so much because she was principled but because she'd unfortunately become rather unstable by that time. In general, we'll all take welfare benefits when they're available. I took Pell Grant and Cal Grant. And I don't feel bad about it. Those are both welfare programs I'm very much supportive of. Basically, it's human nature. If we can get something for free or artificially cheap by having someone else pay for it, we'll do it.

Again, no real criticism of the singles making $40,000 a year taking advantage of welfare housing on my part. I disagree with welfare program that provides it as I don't think a single person making that much money in Sacramento is in need of welfare housing, especially when there are people in much more dire need of the welfare who can't get it because there's a shortage of extremely-low and very-low income housing. That money could be much, much better used providing housing to those who truly do need it than spending huge sums of what little housing assistance money there is building luxury condo apartments.

Others disagree. Even when it's targeted at, at least in my mind, the right demographic such as Hotel Berry, that doesn't mean it's a good use of funds. $240,000 per 200-some square foot single-occupancy room? Was that really about providing housing, or was the real priority to put a fresh coat of paint on an eyesore consequences be damned? After all, it's not like the poor really have any political clout anyway.

Last edited by Malloric; 07-22-2013 at 10:16 PM..
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:17 PM
 
8,673 posts, read 17,274,555 times
Reputation: 4685
Malloric, how much do you think that a building of 250 square foot efficiency apartments (each has bathroom and kitchenette) should cost per unit? Upon what information do you base your cost estimate?
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Go West young man...
409 posts, read 956,950 times
Reputation: 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectroPlumber View Post
I absolutely agree with you about Rancho and Elk Grove. The new theater complex, which will mostly be bought and paid for with Rancho tax money, will be garbarged up within 6 months. The cops across the street will have to open up a satellite center next to the popcorn machine.

I do disagree with you somewhat about Texas weather. I was born there and have lived in almost all parts. It has just gotten ridiculously hot there. The valley may be slightly cooler, but overall, I would never move back there, primarily because of the weather and it also seems the majority of the people have taken a stupid pill.
The newer areas/developments in Rancho have not been garbaged up so I am optimistic that the new entertainment complex, in which the city has a significant financial stake, will do fine. The location literally across the street from the RC PD HQ and Sac Sheriff's office is reassuring.

Sac County would do better with more incorporated areas...Rancho which would have languished had it not been for its incorporation as a city in 2003.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
21,829 posts, read 25,102,289 times
Reputation: 19060
Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Malloric, how much do you think that a building of 250 square foot efficiency apartments (each has bathroom and kitchenette) should cost per unit? Upon what information do you base your cost estimate?
Other projects.

Take another partial welfare building, The Fremont Building. Development cost was about $10 million, there's 69 units. $150,000 per unit. The units average about 750-800 square feet (eyeballing, easily calculated). Call it 750 for easy round numbers. $50,000 per unit sounds like a good round number and correlates to $200/square foot, which is on the high end of construction. Of course, Fremont also has 12,000 square feet of retail and a parking garage. Round numbers are good, however, so call those an inflation adjustment.

The Fremont Building was by no means cheap, either. I'd say it represents a good ceiling on what would be a sensible amount to pay for a welfare building given the goal of affordable housing is ostensibly to... provide affordable housing. Given the limited dollars available to do that with, spending $1000 per square foot, outlandish even in San Francisco, is simply reprehensible.
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:43 PM
 
2,220 posts, read 2,799,124 times
Reputation: 2716
Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
And what about those welfare moochers who sponge off the taxpayer by using those taxpayer-funded socialized highways??

Malloric doesn't really have a point, other than apparently anyone who benefits in any way from a government program counts as a "moocher." Which is pretty much everyone, rich, poor or middle-class.
Except for those "little" things called fuel taxes, about a third of what you pay at the pump, above and beyond the sales tax on said fuel, which have time and again been raided to pay for budget items unrelated to roads, or transit, for that matter. But don't let that little fact stop your attempt at moral equivalence.

Last edited by NickB1967; 07-24-2013 at 12:55 PM..
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:48 PM
 
2,220 posts, read 2,799,124 times
Reputation: 2716
Quote:
Originally Posted by shelato View Post
But new growth doesn't always lead to prosperity. 30 years ago if you were to ask which neighborhood would be nicer, Folsom the area with a huge Prison or Natomas a community quite close to downtown surrounded by rivers on both sides, Natomas seemed like a safer bet. If you took pictures of the clubhouse in Natomas Park it too would be quite impressive.

What helped Folsom and Roseville is that in addition to growing really fast, they attracted big employers like Intel in Folsom and HP in Roseville while Folsom had some success in Waste Management growing so quickly that they too became a publicly traded company headquartered in Folsom.
What also helped Folsom and Roseville, or *didn't hinder* Folsom and Roseville, was having municipal governments that understood what their true purposes were and are. This is in sharp contrast to the City of Sacramento proper, which has time and again staged fierce symbolic ideological stances about national or even international matters, but can't ever seem to make a local decision that sticks.
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:02 PM
 
1,321 posts, read 2,651,150 times
Reputation: 808
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickB1967 View Post
Except for those "little" things called fuel taxes, about a third of what you pay at the pump, above and beyond the sales tax on said fuel, which have time and again been raided to pay for budget items unrelated to roads, or transit, for that matter. But don't let that little fact stop your attempt at moral equivalence.
Not trying to be difficult, but my inner fact checker had to speak up. Road taxes don't come close to paying for roads. This is a place where bikers like me get a little defensive, since we're always hearing about how we don't pay for infrastructure because we don't pay fuel taxes.
Gasoline Taxes and Tolls Pay for Only a Third of State & Local Road Spending | Tax Foundation
Provocateur: Big Myth Busted: Gas Tax Doesn't Cover Road Costs
UPDATED: Drivers Cover Just 51 Percent of U.S. Road Spending | Streetsblog Capitol Hill

Also, according to this, taxes only represented about 16% of total gasoline cost, as of July 1:
Estimated 2013 Gasoline Price Breakdown & Margins Details
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:35 PM
 
2,220 posts, read 2,799,124 times
Reputation: 2716
Ahem. While newer cars with better average mileage and inflation have eaten into fixed "cents per gallon" gasoline excise tax revenues, California has just raised its excise taxes on fuel yet again.

Meanwhile, it was standard operating procedure during the era of Governor Brown 1.0 to postpone (or, in Sacramento, cancel altogether!) new road projects and postpone maintenance spending, taking the revenues and spending them elsewhere. What Governor Brown 2.0 does, we shall see.
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