Thursday, January 19, 2006

That's right...

It's Round Up time.

I'm looking at about 15 news stories from today that merit some kind of comment. As much as I'd like to get through them all, I'm not that prolific (who am I kidding, I'm not even partly prolific). Well, I probably could if I gave each story as little attention as I do in the Round Ups. However, since many of the stories are related and all deal with important issues, that wouldn't be very fair. The following stories, meanwhile, absolutely deserve a short shrift.

A proposal to change the county's affordable housing program has drawn the ire of local affordable housing advocates, who claim that the plan--which would make reduced cost housing available via a tiered system to a wider range of households--amounts to taking from the poor to give to the less poor. In an abstract sense, they're right. But the housing market ain't abstract. The problem with the county's proposal is not it's lack of fairness; the problem is that it won't work, just like the current system doesn't work. While the affordable housing advocates focus on the trees, the forest is being clear cut around them. Creating a housing stock to match families of all incomes cannot be accomplished alone by the county's existing or proposed program, which is just a rip-off of the same type of ineffectual program used by cities and counties around the country. As I've said before, we need more information and we need to look at affordable housing in a broader context--in much the same way James Rouse did.

Here's a possible solution to affordable housing: take money from candidates and give it to lower-income families to use as downpayments on houses. If we take just the money raised by our county executive candidates, we could give 40 families $20,000 each. That would probably have more of an impact than the county's current proposal. Seriously, the county executive race (as well as the other local ones) are going to cost A LOT of money, which, in case you couldn't tell, is something I don't particularly care for.

CA, meet your competition.

Finally, the crime wave continues. Only this time, it's the, uh, non-violent kind (unless, naturally, you're willing to pay more).

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