Pearl Clutching near Section 8 homes.

JumboBuc

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2013
Messages
2,539
Reaction score
1,120
You probably do have Section 8 neighbors and you just don't know it.
Right, the way Section 8 works is that it provides subsidies to house low-income tenants in market housing. So “Section 8” tenants live in private “market-rate units,” they don’t live in developments like BHA housing.
 

Rhino

New member
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
36
Reaction score
112
DZH22, I really appreciate your contributions to this site so I'm extremely disappointed to hear you rattle off the same old, tired falsehoods when it comes to affordable housing. You assume that Person A has lower values/morals than Person B just because Person A makes $50K and Person B makes $150K? Smh, that's pretty sad. Have you ever actually visited an affordable housing property and spoken to residents? I bet the answer is no, so I'd encourage you to do more research to better familiarize yourself on the topic and the benefits of the LIHTC industry. You reference one second hand story and form an opinion of everyone living in affordable housing based on that one story. I can tell you hundreds more stories that paint the exact opposite picture since I actually work in the industry. The VAST majority of residents that are able to work DO work, and often work more than 1 job to get by.

In regards to subsidizing, all of our tax dollars are already used to subsidize affordable housing - that's how the LIHTC program works. So it's not as if someone who lives there is subsidizing one of the affordable housing units more so than you or I, necessarily. That's how we've designed our society - pool a portion of our resources for the greater good of everyone, and part of that involves helping the citizens most in need to give them clean, safe housing so they can better improve their lives. The old projects your friend referenced to you are an example of extremely poor policy planning that was rampant back when this subject site was built and no doubt have an impact on people's ability to succeed. The residents also had no ability to actually improve the site - so you saying they "trash" the place is rooted in ignorance and mainly references deferred maintenance that is the responsibility of the property manager/owner. That's another purpose of the LIHTC industry - form a public/private partnership so the private owner is incentivized to keep the property well maintained, rather than having it run by city agencies who more often than not neglected it. It's also an enormous economic driver - when the entire real estate industry basically shut down during COVID with office/retail/hotel developments all halted, the one area where investment continued unimpeded was affordable housing development. It creates north of 100,000 jobs annually and has billions of dollars in economic impact.

You show your continued ignorance on the subject by suggesting that people are just getting things for free and not working for it. They still pay for the housing! It's just at a reduced rent that lines up more equitably with their income. A standard guideline is you shouldn't pay more than 30% of your income to rent - if Person A and Person B are both are paying roughly 30% of their income towards rent that's pretty equitable and they're not getting something for "free". 60% Area Median Income in Boston is roughly $51K for a 1 person household, and the max rent would be roughly $1,200/mo on a 1 bedroom. A lot of working class citizens have salaries in that range, and I bet you wouldn't consider them to be morally bankrupt or lazy.

With all that said, I do completely agree with you that there is not a good system in place for developing middle-income housing. We typically only build luxury or affordable housing - that's an on-going issue, but this proposal tries to address that gap in the market by providing 200 middle income units in addition to the affordable/market rate units.
 

Rhino

New member
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
36
Reaction score
112
Right, the way Section 8 works is that it provides subsidies to house low-income tenants in market housing. So “Section 8” tenants live in private “market-rate units,” they don’t live in developments like BHA housing.
Yes and no. There's Section 8 vouchers and project-based section 8 - two different things. If you have a Section 8 voucher it travels with you - you can use it anywhere. Project-based section 8 is tied to the property and stays with the property. If you income qualify and move-in to a property that's received a HAP contract (Section 8) you will receive the benefits of that in the form of lower rent, but if you move out the Section 8 subsidy doesn't travel with you.
 

393b40

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
1,953
Reaction score
823
Right, what I meant is I don't want to live in a dense area of Section 8 folks (projects). There might be a Section 8 or two nearby me but whatever, they blend into the background.
 

DZH22

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
8,552
Reaction score
13,910
DZH22, I really appreciate your contributions to this site so I'm extremely disappointed to hear you rattle off the same old, tired falsehoods when it comes to affordable housing......
A few things...
My best friend has a LOT of stories. I have also witnessed plenty of bad behavior with my own eyes. My kids moved out of their original apartment complex due to the bad behavior by certain tenants, from a complex that accepted these subsidized individuals to one that did not. There were late night parties, late night usage of facilities well beyond the times posted, and even a drug dealer getting shot. It wasn't a good environment for my kids. I also witnessed the crazy people across the street from my gf and once again, it fell between unpleasant to borderline threatening.

Let me tell you a little more about me, and how I feel like I am already getting screwed and continue to as a member of what is essentially the lower middle class. I make a pretty decent salary, well over $50k but also well under $100k. Of that, over 30%+ of my GROSS salary is sent away as child support. This is the equivalent of basically paying for my kids' entire apartment (I have twins) and has left me relying on my parents' help for the past 5-6 years.

Now I have done the right thing and paid my child support dutifully for that time. Note that I receive zero tax breaks, and am forced to pay taxes on my full salary before having a life-altering amount removed from what is left. My apartment is currently subsidized slightly, by my PARENTS, so that I don't have to live at home with the meager salary I am left with.

In October of this year Massachusetts changed the way they calculate child support. My kids just went to kindergarten, so their mom's child care costs went way down while she also got a raise. I said let's recalculate based on the new numbers, thinking I should save a few bucks to help go towards my own apartment. Instead, even with those changes, I am going to owe at least $50-60 MORE per week than I was paying before. If the kids hadn't gone to school and the status quo remained, I would be on the hook for another ~$700 of AFTER TAX money PER MONTH. That's $8400 extra a year that I'm supposed to somehow have lying around. This is completely prohibitive towards being able to maintain any sort of reasonable middle class lifestyle without resorting to my family for help. Since that $8400 is after tax money, and my payments go up as my salary goes up, I would need approximately a $20k raise to maintain the exact same lifestyle I had from one month to the next. That's how government has gotten itself involved in my life. It has SCREWED ME and continues to do so.

So while I am a senior finance analyst who should be living acceptably, I instead get no help, taxed in full on a lifestyle I am not earning, and then get to watch people get free/subsidized stuff at what I feel like is at my own expense. My kids are doing great mind you. They have enough toys to turn their place into a toy store. They did not need the extra money from me, but the government decided that it was only "fair" to take more from the single fathers who are already paying prohibitive amounts.

In the coming months pay attention as these dads without custody, who are otherwise doing the right thing for their kids both in terms of their time and money involvement, are forced out of their homes due to these progressive policies related to "fairness." Watch as more and more fall into despair. I myself have a great relationship with both my kids and their mother, but each time the government involves itself out of "fairness" it's never fairness to me, the person who had these kids essentially dropped on my head and has done everything I can to be the best father and responsible parent that I can be. The government wants to wring blood out of a stone and it's always at my expense.

So forgive me for thinking that other people need to be responsible for their own problems. If I didn't have a family that was willing to help me, there's a good chance these wonderful policies that on one hand give cheap housing for random "poor" people on the other hand would leave me flat-out homeless. I have a relatively good job. I make more than their mom. I dutifully pay over $25k a year of after tax money and don't receive any help at all, and now the government is telling me it isn't enough. I don't think other people who don't know me (ie the taxpayer) should have to bail me out for my own dumb decisions, but I don't want to bail them out for whatever happened to them either. My salary doesn't qualify for any of this help, even though what I ACTUALLY END UP WITH is probably about the same net pay of someone making $40k (which means way less than that amount, and even that is now being squeezed again with these new calculations).

As Thomas Sowell likes to say, there are no solutions, only trade-offs. Every government trade-off meant to help one group seems to be at my personal expense. The middle class taxpayer is no longer afforded any dignity in 2021 America. The rich find loopholes, the poor get stuff discounted, and I'm the one paying for the discounts in the form of higher taxes, higher market prices, higher inflation, higher everything. So if you want to completely ruin my life and any ability I have to get ahead, in order to prop up those who chose not to go to college, not to go into that debt, and not to get better skills to better their own positions, well that's just something that doesn't sit well with me.
 

king_vibe

New member
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
36
Reaction score
70
A few things...
My best friend has a LOT of stories. I have also witnessed plenty of bad behavior with my own eyes. My kids moved out of their original apartment complex due to the bad behavior by certain tenants, from a complex that accepted these subsidized individuals to one that did not. There were late night parties, late night usage of facilities well beyond the times posted, and even a drug dealer getting shot. It wasn't a good environment for my kids. I also witnessed the crazy people across the street from my gf and once again, it fell between unpleasant to borderline threatening.

Let me tell you a little more about me, and how I feel like I am already getting screwed and continue to as a member of what is essentially the lower middle class. I make a pretty decent salary, well over $50k but also well under $100k. Of that, over 30%+ of my GROSS salary is sent away as child support. This is the equivalent of basically paying for my kids' entire apartment (I have twins) and has left me relying on my parents' help for the past 5-6 years.

Now I have done the right thing and paid my child support dutifully for that time. Note that I receive zero tax breaks, and am forced to pay taxes on my full salary before having a life-altering amount removed from what is left. My apartment is currently subsidized slightly, by my PARENTS, so that I don't have to live at home with the meager salary I am left with.

In October of this year Massachusetts changed the way they calculate child support. My kids just went to kindergarten, so their mom's child care costs went way down while she also got a raise. I said let's recalculate based on the new numbers, thinking I should save a few bucks to help go towards my own apartment. Instead, even with those changes, I am going to owe at least $50-60 MORE per week than I was paying before. If the kids hadn't gone to school and the status quo remained, I would be on the hook for another ~$700 of AFTER TAX money PER MONTH. That's $8400 extra a year that I'm supposed to somehow have lying around. This is completely prohibitive towards being able to maintain any sort of reasonable middle class lifestyle without resorting to my family for help. Since that $8400 is after tax money, and my payments go up as my salary goes up, I would need approximately a $20k raise to maintain the exact same lifestyle I had from one month to the next. That's how government has gotten itself involved in my life. It has SCREWED ME and continues to do so.

So while I am a senior finance analyst who should be living acceptably, I instead get no help, taxed in full on a lifestyle I am not earning, and then get to watch people get free/subsidized stuff at what I feel like is at my own expense. My kids are doing great mind you. They have enough toys to turn their place into a toy store. They did not need the extra money from me, but the government decided that it was only "fair" to take more from the single fathers who are already paying prohibitive amounts.

In the coming months pay attention as these dads without custody, who are otherwise doing the right thing for their kids both in terms of their time and money involvement, are forced out of their homes due to these progressive policies related to "fairness." Watch as more and more fall into despair. I myself have a great relationship with both my kids and their mother, but each time the government involves itself out of "fairness" it's never fairness to me, the person who had these kids essentially dropped on my head and has done everything I can to be the best father and responsible parent that I can be. The government wants to wring blood out of a stone and it's always at my expense.

So forgive me for thinking that other people need to be responsible for their own problems. If I didn't have a family that was willing to help me, there's a good chance these wonderful policies that on one hand give cheap housing for random "poor" people on the other hand would leave me flat-out homeless. I have a relatively good job. I make more than their mom. I dutifully pay over $25k a year of after tax money and don't receive any help at all, and now the government is telling me it isn't enough. I don't think other people who don't know me (ie the taxpayer) should have to bail me out for my own dumb decisions, but I don't want to bail them out for whatever happened to them either. My salary doesn't qualify for any of this help, even though what I ACTUALLY END UP WITH is probably about the same net pay of someone making $40k (which means way less than that amount, and even that is now being squeezed again with these new calculations).

As Thomas Sowell likes to say, there are no solutions, only trade-offs. Every government trade-off meant to help one group seems to be at my personal expense. The middle class taxpayer is no longer afforded any dignity in 2021 America. The rich find loopholes, the poor get stuff discounted, and I'm the one paying for the discounts in the form of higher taxes, higher market prices, higher inflation, higher everything. So if you want to completely ruin my life and any ability I have to get ahead, in order to prop up those who chose not to go to college, not to go into that debt, and not to get better skills to better their own positions, well that's just something that doesn't sit well with me.
This man is so mad at being divorced that he wants poor people humiliated and homeless.
 

DZH22

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
8,552
Reaction score
13,910
This man is so mad at being divorced that he wants poor people humiliated and homeless.
I'm not divorced. It was a fling and she showed up after the babies had already been born. Now, even though I get zero say in any of it (my body my choice they say) I am going to be on the hook for well over half a million dollars. If I wanted the kids and she didn't, she could abort them and my bid at fatherhood would be flushed down the drain. Since it was the opposite, I got no say but instead get to go bleeping broke and the state keeps asking for more and more and more.

By the way, as I said I have a good relationship with all of them, especially my kids. The state, by asking me to give way more than I could reasonably afford, is creating a resentment that shouldn't have to be there.

So, in other words, you have a unique story that makes it impossible for anyone to accurately make sweeping judgements about you based on limited categorical evidence. Hmmm.
If I was asking you for money to help my situation, then you can make all the sweeping judgments about me that you want. I take responsibility like an adult is supposed to. Why do I have to help bail out other ADULTS when nobody is going to help me? If you can't afford to live in a great location, tough cookies. If it's that important, find a way to better your own situation without asking the taxpayers for help.

The purpose of the example is to show that being "fair" doesn't mean you're being fair to everyone. When it's the government deciding who to help and who pays for it, not everybody wins, and I have been on the losing end for a while. I just wish more people could be empowered to help themselves. America is supposed to be the "land of opportunity" not the land of giveaways. You're supposed to get back what you put into it, not just benefit based on the hard work of others.
 

Rhino

New member
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
36
Reaction score
112
Looks like the mod deleted my response to your post. What I essentially said was thank you for being open and honest about the help you currently receive - a lot of people don't admit or acknowledge help they receive, especially if it's in the form of connections or other non-monetary ways. But I hope you see the irony in all of this - you gladly accept a helping hand to lift you up, but you don't want to see people further down the economic ladder (who don't have family assistance) receive a helping hand. I truly empathize with your situation and I agree that the middle income citizen is too often neglected, but the solution to that isn't to remove benefits from lower income people. The solution is to create better incentives to build middle-income housing and advocate for more housing in general. This a great example of a topic where the top 1% pushes false narratives (people getting free housing and not working - not true) as a way to fire up people in the middle to get angry and resentful at those at the bottom. It's the classic approach that has been used for centuries....deflect attention away from the top 1% by pitting the lower and middle income people (or different races/religions) against each other so they're focused on tearing each other down while the rich get richer. Let's not fall into that trap.

And saying people should just live elsewhere isn't a viable solution - the suburbs aren't cheap, especially around here since they build even less housing than Boston does. If we don't create housing for all income levels the entire city suffers.
 

DZH22

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
8,552
Reaction score
13,910
Looks like the mod deleted my response to your post. What I essentially said was thank you for being open and honest about the help you currently receive - a lot of people don't admit or acknowledge help they receive, especially if it's in the form of connections or other non-monetary ways. But I hope you see the irony in all of this - you gladly accept a helping hand to lift you up, but you don't want to see people further down the economic ladder (who don't have family assistance) receive a helping hand. I truly empathize with your situation and I agree that the middle income citizen is too often neglected, but the solution to that isn't to remove benefits from lower income people.
4 pieces of response...
1. The help I receive is from my own family, not from strangers. It's also in response to the government being directly heavy handed with me. They screw me enough that I don't need them to screw me any more (in the form of higher taxes) to help strangers who aren't helping me in return.
2. In my particular situation, those who do not have the family connections are going to suffer greatly. It wouldn't surprise me to see an abject rise in homelessness and suicides of non-custodial parents who have been squeezed out of their homes and their dignity by an arbitrary GIGANTIC raise on child support payments. Personally, the government's treatment of me these last few years has left me more depressed and hopeless. I love my kids and could never abandon them (including via suicide, which I romanticize every time the government steps in to "help" and "be fair" which is constantly at my own expense), and I am very lucky to have parents who feel the same way (about all of us). None of us are rich. We are middle class, and yet the middle class seems to suffer the most in this country. Let me repeat, if I didn't have help, I would absolutely despair, and it's the government who keeps upping the ante on the insanity. My kids live in a nice place. I have the right to some dignity, so when they visit they don't have to say "Daddy why do you live in that cardbox box?"
3. The government unintentionally makes things worse for a lot of people. This is especially true when they draw lines, so if you make $50k you get all these great deals but if you make $51k you don't. The government incentives people to cap their value production lest they price themselves out of all the free stuff. I don't want "the poor" to think that they always have to be that way, that they are always victims, that they should always accept the free stuff. We need to empower people to try to better themselves and their own situations. Arbitrarily giving cheap housing to some while not others (ie the lottery system to land many of these units) just further hurts everybody who somehow misses out on the benefits.
4. "The poor" is often a misnomer, as people tend to shift among income brackets and make more as they age. Every one of us would have qualified as a "bottom 20%" salary when we got our first jobs in high school or part time during college. Were we all living poor during that time? On the flipside, most people's salaries peak around 50 years old. For those who are in their 50's now, was your salary always this high? Of course not. As you gain skills you produce more value and get more in return. If you choose not to gain those skills, that's on you. Also, one time gains from things like the sale of a house count as income for that given year. Many people in the "top 20%" are only there for a single year, due to an unrepeatable large sale of an asset.

Giving stuff away kind of makes me feel like this...
Imagine Rhino, bigpicture7, king_vibe, and DZH22 were all going to have a big race in 6 months. Let's say the winner of that race would be entitled to 5% of the other 3's yearly salaries, whatever those came to be.
So Rhino prepares for the race by running 5-6 miles a day, hitting the gym hard for legs, and eating right. Rhino shows up on race day 15 pounds lighter than 6 months earlier, ready to rock.
Bigpicture7 spends most of their time hiking, building up stamina and leg muscles. Bigpicture7 shows up 10 pounds lighter, ready to rock.
King_vibe also runs a few miles a day, while reading a book and watching training videos about things like the perfect stride, getting off the block faster, and breathing techniques to win at the given distance. King_vibe shows up in shape and ready to rock.

Then you have DZH22. While the other 3 are training their butts off, DZH22's only training is sitting in front of the couch and eating a large pizza everyday. After 6 months, DZH22 is 25 pounds heavier, and his muscles have deteriorated a bit, and he gets out of breath just by climbing the steps. DZH22 shows up to the race in this sad-sack shape.

"Hey!" DZH22 exclaims. "It's not fair that these 3 people are in shape and I'm not!" Since the judges of the race are progressives, they agree completely. It's not fair that some people are better equipped for a race than others, and all the work that they put in (or in DZH22's case, didn't put in at all) shouldn't be taken into account as that would be "weight-ist" or whatever ridiculous term they come up with next. So to make things "fair" they allow DZH22 to start the race 3/4 of the way through it. In a photo-finish, DZH22 rolls himself across the finish line right before the other 3 racers get there. Now the other 3 racers owe DZH22 5% of their income, because that's the only fair outcome.


I don't think workers should have to prop up the takers, and that starts from a young age with those who took school seriously vs those who didn't. If you studied 3 hours a night, and somebody else studied 0 hours, then you're probably going to end up with the better job making more money. When you sacrificed your own time to get where you are, why should you have to share it with those who did not? You reap what you sow. It may sound callous but if everybody just wanted free stuff, there would be nobody to actually PRODUCE that stuff. I don't like the thought of penalizing the people who put the work in, who made those sacrifices, in order to prop up those who did not. In my case I put the work in (returning to grad school) and am far from a rich person, especially for Eastern Massachusetts, yet the government still sees fit to take me to the cleaners and say that the money I earned deserves to go to somebody who didn't. (and I mean the additional punitive amount in particular, as of course child support should exist)

Now let's return to that development we were talking about. What happens to all the people, LIKE ME, who don't qualify for the subsidies but then can't afford the inflated market rates either? It seems like the people who didn't put the work in often get propped up to the point where they can live better than the people who did. That's the true definition of unfair, and the government is the number 1 perpetrator in this inequity.

Keep going in this extreme direction, and here's where we end up.
 

Blackbird

Active Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
650
Reaction score
770
I guess I don't get the mentality behind being in a crudy financial situation and focusing your energy on resenting the benefits that people worse off than you get. Shouldn't you advocate for more gov aid for people in your bracket rather than less for people in lower brackets?
 

kmp1284

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2006
Messages
2,012
Reaction score
257
4 pieces of response…
Meanwhile you’re spending a big chunk of the work day posting on an internet forum(presumably leaving others to pick up your slack at work) complaining about building heights(which seems like an utterly absurd way to spend even a second of your time in light of what you’ve disclosed here) and bitching about housing for poor people(which represents an abysmally small percentage of the federal budget) while you could be busting your ass at your current job in hopes of advancing or applying elsewhere.
 

DZH22

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
8,552
Reaction score
13,910
I guess I don't get the mentality behind being in a crudy financial situation and focusing your energy on resenting the benefits that people worse off than you get. Shouldn't you advocate for more gov aid for people in your bracket rather than less for people in lower brackets?
Absolutely not. I advocate for the government to let people keep a larger amount of their paychecks and spend it on what they feel is most important to them. We are propping up people who don't work to live better than many of us who do. If you are poor, why should you get to live in a nicer place than most of the (lower) middle class, who likely worked/works harder than you to be in the position they're in? With all the tax avoidance strategies available to the rich, these benefits are always paid for on the backs of the middle class.

As in my prior example, I'm going to make myself the chump here.
Blackbird and DZH22 both work in "Government Factory" making product X. At the end of the month, Blackbird has produced 900X and DZH22 has produced 100X. In total that's 1000X product! So then Government splits that pool and pays each of us profits on 500X, since that was the average between the 2 of us. Now Blackbird thinks, why am I producing 9 times what that (lazy, unskilled, uneducated, unmotivated) chump DZH22 is producing, and yet the Government (Factory) is arbitrarily evening us out! Why should I work hard if he's getting the benefit and I'm being penalized?
So next month, Blackbird and DZH22 each produce 100X, making 200X total and getting paid for 100X each.

That's what the proliferation of these policies lead to. If you incentivize failure, that's what you will end up with across the board. When you take away from the workers to give to those who don't, next month you'll find you have less workers and more takers than the month before.

Value has to be created. It doesn't just materialize, and it isn't a zero-sum game. If Person A creates more value, it isn't automatically at the expense of Person B. When we worry so much about the way the total pie is split, we ignore the (often more important) size of the pie itself. You can get a smaller percentage of a larger pie and end up better off, even substantially better off, than a larger percentage of a smaller pie. The American populace needs to be encouraged to add as much to this total pie as possible. Policies that say "stop earning more money by creating value" in order to receive the carrot of cheaper housing or any other benefit are detrimental to the overall health of our society. Every freeloader is one more person being carried on the backs of the value-creating working class. Every additional policy like this encourages more freeloaders and less workers to shoulder the load.

America is supposed to be the land of opportunity, meaning you can find success if you put the work in. We are not meant to be socialist, communist, or anything leaning in that direction. As long as systemic barriers are removed, the opportunity is based on meritocracy (ie providing skills and creating value). The opportunity is what allowed somebody like Oprah to be a billionaire, Obama to be president, or even Jeremy Lin to have a career in the NBA.

The American dream says if you want to be a doctor, and you study like crazy, put in the schooling, do your time, pass the exams, then you can be a doctor. It doesn't matter what color you are, religion you are, gender you are (or claim to be), your height, weight, etc etc etc. What matters is that if you put in the work you can accomplish this and the system doesn't say otherwise. 50-60+ years ago you could say that the system held certain people back, but for today's generation the only thing that holds them back is themselves, their own lack of motivation, and their own defeatist attitudes (read victimization).

On the other hand, if you just want free stuff, there are communist countries you can move to and try your luck there. I just don't want us becoming one of those countries.

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...." The freedom is the opportunity to make something of yourself without the government treading on your rights or ability to do so. The freedom is that you can show up tired and poor from somewhere else, but improve your lot in America. You don't have to stay poor. But it's not up to me to save you from yourself. So of course I'm against these policies. In my case, the government directly interferes with my pursuit of my own happiness, but it doesn't stop me from getting another promotion, another raise, and even overcoming this to become rich if I put in what it takes to get there. I still have that opportunity, but at some point I need to be allowed to keep some of my income that I have worked for!
 
Last edited:

DZH22

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
8,552
Reaction score
13,910
Meanwhile you’re spending a big chunk of the work day posting on an internet forum(presumably leaving others to pick up your slack at work) complaining about building heights(which seems like an utterly absurd way to spend even a second of your time in light of what you’ve disclosed here) and bitching about housing for poor people(which represents an abysmally small percentage of the federal budget) while you could be busting your ass at your current job in hopes of advancing or applying elsewhere.
My job allows extreme flexibility as long as I charge 40 hours per week to the projects I am working on. I got a masters degree and searched hard for the job that would provide that type of flexibility. I also worked hard at the job itself, shared best practices, focused on being a team player, and have a good reputation there because of it.

I have had other experiences in the past that have helped shape my views. For instance, I wasn't as good of a worker and didn't continue to develop my skills at a prior job, and didn't do as well because of it. My improved lot in life is directly related to the work I put in to accomplish that goal, including sacrificing a year of earning potential, and my life savings, to go into debt for my masters degree (a 10 year debt which I paid back in 2.5). It was hard enough to prop myself up, without having to prop up anybody else (especially those unrelated to me).

If I didn't put the work in, I'd currently be on a rudderless ship of my own making. The situation was my own fault, and if I wanted a better life it was up to me to get myself there.
 
Last edited:

Arlington

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
5,148
Reaction score
1,527
I don't like when poor people get breaks that I don't qualify for, when I myself couldn't afford the market rate of an area. It basically says only rich or poor are taken care of in one way or another, at the expense of the middle class which just misses the cut for "free" stuff.
You might be surprised at what you qualify for. In Belmont the definition of 80% of Median Household income means households making up to $92,500 qualify for affordable 40B housing with and rent set at $2,380/month. Is that too rich? In other towns, with not-Belmontaine incomes, households making in the $70s qualify for rent set at more like $1,850/mo.
 

393b40

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
1,953
Reaction score
823
Wow this thread went places… Im also learning a lot about some of our members
 

DZH22

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
8,552
Reaction score
13,910
You might be surprised at what you qualify for. In Belmont the definition of 80% of Median Household income means households making up to $92,500 qualify for affordable 40B housing with and rent set at $2,380/month. Is that too rich? In other towns, with not-Belmontaine incomes, households making in the $70s qualify for rent set at more like $1,850/mo.
The next question becomes, does everybody who qualifies for affordable housing automatically get to live in this housing if they choose?

If the answer is no, then what happens?

Typically when looking at a policy, if you can answer "then what happens?" 6 times without it turning into a trainwreck, then you have a viable policy. If on the other hand, we can only house 5% of the people who would otherwise qualify, then what happens (to the other 95%)?
 

DZH22

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
8,552
Reaction score
13,910
By the way, most of you will be surprised to find out that I am a hardcore Independent. I voted Obama twice (regret the 2nd time), Kerry once, and even voted for Warren on her most recent senate run (regret that too). I tend to run more moderate so if either party leans towards an extreme, I end up leaning the other way until things balance out. Unfortunately, both parties are getting so extreme that it swings like a wild pendulum and I just don't think it's healthy to live on the fringes like that. Most of the (viable) solutions are somewhere in the center.

I read this 630 page book over the Spring and feel like I understand so much more than I used to. Too many topics in America today are just skin deep. We look at a policy, ask what will happen, and take the first effect at face value, especially if it's a "feel good" effect. We don't say "then what will happen" to really root out the consequences down the road, both intended and unintended. This author taught me how to peel away the layers and think much more critically than I ever have in the past. The book is also extremely easy for a "layman" (ie somebody not already schooled in the topic at hand) to understand, and is much more engaging than any textbook I have read through. I recommend this to anybody who has concerns about an economic direction being taken, but lacks the knowledge to vocalize a coherent opinion. I have read another book by this author too, with a couple more on the docket. He is very accessible, and an absolute joy to read.
1636063739383.png
 
Last edited:

Brattle Loop

Active Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2020
Messages
389
Reaction score
568
50-60+ years ago you could say that the system held certain people back, but for today's generation the only thing that holds them back is themselves, their own lack of motivation, and their own defeatist attitudes (read victimization).
I'd argue that this sentence is not only the critical one in your argument, it is also, flagrantly untrue, or at the very least stretched beyond all reasonable bounds of what can be deemed true or false.

If I'm mistaking your argument, that's my error, but my read of this is that you're essentially arguing that there is either, in effect, a level playing field for all people, or that there is at least some kind of equality of potential in all people from birth/youth onward, and that it's simply effort or lack thereof that determines outcomes. That's what I'm referring to as the point that I'd argue is either untrue or beyond any reasonable falsification.

It is empirically, factually untrue that there are no systemic issues that hold certain people back. That is true in something as basic as the school system, where the quality of education (and facilities) varies from school to school even just in one city. Someone born and raised in a home situation which has stable parenting, stable and sufficient income, and the ability to access better education and opportunities has advantages over someone who doesn't.

People who are, through no fault of their own, born into bad circumstances would have to work enormously harder simply to reach the same level of opportunities as others, and that's assuming that things like race, and income, and anything else that might be brought up don't work against them.

It becomes very hard for a great many people to say to people whose situations are terrible that "too bad you were born poor, you should just work way harder than everyone else, and maybe then you'll get ahead of the people with tons more advantage", because that is fundamentally unfair. Does it lead to a lot of fairly-well-intentioned, sometimes-misguided, frequently-poorly-designed-and-implemented policies? Yes. Does it result in some people deciding they shouldn't need to do much of any work on their own at all? Presumably yes.

But simply saying that it's all the individual's fault, and implying that there is no systemic issues at play, is at best mistaken and at worst outright denialism in the service of a governmental philosophy often weaponized in favor of the powerful against the weak. (By the way, I do not mean to imply any ill will or malevolence in your argument, just that similar arguments are used dishonestly by some people for political ends.)
 

Arlington

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
5,148
Reaction score
1,527
50-60+ years ago you could say that the system held certain people back, but for today's generation the only thing that holds them back is themselves, their own lack of motivation, and their own defeatist attitudes (read victimization).
50 years ago, you could pay for a year's tuition at a state school for the cost of 300 hours work at minimum wage (a part-time, summer). Now it requires 1,500 hours work. 5x human time is a monstrously-larger burden, not merely an attitude thing. (Math on the same point from Money magazine)

Similar multiples have happened in housing, as double-income households bid up the cost of conveniently located real estate and NIMBYs were permitted to limit the market's ability to supply additional housing units in close-to-work neighborhoods. Zoning, and the ability of owners of one parcel to limit the uses on neighboring parcels, is the root of this, not "lack of motivation" of the current generation that's forming households.
 
Last edited:

Top