The Domino Effect

17 thoughts on “The Domino Effect”

  1. Or opt out and move to the milwaukee, twin cities, cinncinati, Pittsburgh. Ideal conditions for a middle class person to become moderately ahead: affordability, good wages, plus walkability. Just opt out on auto mania.

  2. According to the Census Bureau, California has the highest rate of poverty in the US when adjusted for housing costs. Even higher than Mississippi, which is not known for unaffordable housing. Much of this is quite apparent in the Central Valley, but as pointed out in this article, you can spot it all over if you look. Even in outlying parts of California prices are high. To someone from the Bay Area home prices can seem low in Fresno or Redding, but they are are high if you earn Fresno or Redding wages.

  3. According to American Community Survey data for 2016, and assuming that all the housing units with 5+ bedrooms had just five, there were about 366 million bedrooms in the U.S. that year. Plus 3.5 million housing units with no bedrooms.

    And there were 323 million people.

    1. Like food, it’s a distributional issue. Wealthier and older people often have extra bedrooms, while the poor share or even go homeless. Unlike food, it’s not easily fixed with governmental subsidies. Most of the people with extra bedrooms don’t need money enough to put up with living with strangers.

  4. So they’re returning folks’ stolen rights (to use their property as they see fit) to them- for a few months?

    Given the length of the permitting process, the inundation of local contractors (many of whom I’m sure lost their own homes), and arduous regulations that made the homes that were there illegal to rebuild- what exactly is going to change in months? This will take years.

    A few months is only enough time for the media to stop paying attention, not to solve any problems (that they don’t want to solve).

  5. On paper, Sonoma County looks great. Nice weather. A nice Main Street or two. Vineyards! But the reality of living there… is that it’s mostly a third string suburban smear without any reason to exist other than being sort of close (e.g. a brutal 2 hour commute) to the Bay Area. No jobs or industry. No culture. High housing costs. Gangs and meth too if that’s your thing. These poor folks who are or have been displaced should take a look around this big country of ours.

      1. It is a little different in other places.

        Orlando at least has low-skill jobs (theme park and retail) as well as high-skill jobs (aerospace and health care), and no shortage of housing within less than a two hour commute. (In less than two hours one can commute to either coastal area, Tampa or Daytona/Cocoa/Cape Canaveral). Dallas has no real growth limits and is far less unaffordable than Northern California. ATL is limited mostly by traffic, and Jersey by taxes. None have the pleasant climate of coastal California.

        All are, of course car-dependent sprawl, but subject to fewer catastrophic “natural” disasters than California.

  6. I was listening to the radio the other day to a demographer who was discussing a new type of housesharing ad for places in our big, unaffordable cities in Australia – for people to share bedrooms, as rents for a single room are exceeding incomes. An ad might read like this: Two females seek third female to share large master bedroom.
    I don’t know if this is common elsewhere, but a cold wind just whistled by me as I heard that news. This is a level of housing crisis that hasn’t been seen for a very long time in Australia, if ever. I am eyeing off spaces in the backyard where I can build a cabin for when the kids need to move back home..

    1. I actually have Australian friends here in California who live in precisely this way in single family homes in Silicon Valley. A typical plain vanilla house costs $1M+. Even kids working for Google, Apple, PayPal, etc making $100K+ at an entry level position have a hard time finding accommodations. Immigrants or temporary workers with visa restrictions (Indians, Russians, Chinese, Brazilians, Canadians…) are particularly limited in their options. So they rent a house and each room has four bunks. It’s dormitory living. Some enjoy the camaraderie. Often all the kids are from the same country/university/employer/home city. Sometimes they don’t love it, but they’ll be done in two years and rotate out to better things.

  7. Pretty rational description of our Sonoma County situation as it stands today. I fear it will become much more desperate and despondent before it gets better. It is true that most of us just simply took in our friends and family. But then what? Santa Rosa and the County have already adopted emergency measures to allow people to park their RVs on a friend’s property and use exsisting sheds and offices as temporary rentals, etc., for the next few months. All of our newly homeless friends are moving away, even as they plan to rebuild. I don’t expect them to return.

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