AFFORDABLE AND ACCESSIBLE HOUSING, AGAIN — DIGGING THE HOLE DEEPER

The Affordable and Accessible Housing Crisis that directly and indirectly impacts all citizens continues to get worse. Ignorance about the root causes is making the potential for recovery less likely with each passing day.

The lack of Affordable and Accessible Housing to meet the needs of most of the Households in the economic and social Ziggurat – the three dimensional manifestation of contemporary, Urban society – is a critical and growing problem.

The latest indicator of shelter dysfunction? The 14 February WaPo front page headline: “Refinancing Unavailable for Many Borrowers. Millions Shut Out of Best Rates, Depressed Home Values, Poor Credit, High Debt Hurt Chances.”

The authors get the problem right but not the cause or the cure.

As readers of The Shape of the Future, EMR’s columns and posts and now TRILO-G know, there are three interconnected, overarching Crises preventing humans from achieving a sustainable trajectory for Urban civilization:

• The Mobility and Access Crisis,
• The Affordable and Accessible Housing Crisis, and
• The Helter Skelter Crisis.

None of these overlapping Crises can be solve without solving all three. More important, none can be solved without:

• Fundamental Transformation of human settlement patterns,
• Fundamental Transformation of governance structure, and
• Fundamental Transformation of the economic system.

Articulation of the third Transformation evolved between the time The Shape of the Future was completed in 2000 and completion of TRILO-G in 2010. The Dot Com Bust, the mid-2000’s consumption / housing Boom and The Great Recession document the need for this Fundamental Transformation. The other two Crises are explored in The Shape of the Future.

Readers of EMR’s work also know that the effort to expand home ownership since 1920 without regard to location of dwellings is to blame for creating and recently exacerbating the Affordable and Accessible Housing Crisis. Over the last decade the Crisis has been characterized as: Wrong Size House in the Wrong Location.

Over-washing the many prior contributing causes of The Affordable and Accessible Housing Crisis is the fact that Fannie and Freddie completely divorced the ability to get a loan from the intrinsic Value of the dwelling.

Early FHA and VA programs – and many state and municipal shelter programs – had spacial / locational and quality standards at the Unit, Dooryard and Cluster scales. There also evolved between 1925 and 1975 a professional consensus on how Clusters could best be agglomerated into functional Neighborhoods, Villages and Communities.

Driven by the greed-inspired securitization that leveraged money ‘invested’ in housing, Fannie and Freddie abandoned any shred of a nexus between size, location and Value.

In this context the cost (with a small ‘c’) is what a buyer pays as distinct from the full, true Cost (with a Capital ‘C’) that reflects a full allocation of the location-variable expenses at all six scales of human economic, social and physical activity below the New Urban Region (or Urban Support Region) scale.

‘Value’ in this context is based on the location of the dwelling and the relationship of that location to the other activities that are necessary to support a quality life in contemporary Urban society. When cost is lowered by intentional and unintentional subsidy, the Value is masked by the housing consumption bubbles.

Because residential land uses (and directly supporting Services – activities of Agencies, Enterprises and Institutions) make up 70 to 80 percent of the built environment, the flood of location-blind money transformed not just housing location but human settlement patterns at the Regional and MegaRegional scales over the past four decades.

The build environment takes up about 1.5 percent of the land area in the US of A. This hard core of buildings and pavement has been scattered across 30 percent of the total landscape and most of the accessible landscape. See PART FOUR – THE USE AND MANAGEMENT OF LAND in TRILO-G.

This scatteration has blurred the identity and crippled the functions of both Urbansides and Countrysides. Thirty percent of the land area WAS six times the area that would be required for Urban land uses at MINIMUM functional settlement patterns – even with cheap energy.

Now that the sources of cheap energy have been exhausted, Urban settlement may be scattered across ten times the area required for sustainable habitation. See David Owen’s Green Metropolis and EMR’s review of that book “Read It Now” in Chapter 50 of TRILO-G. (An earlier version of this review can be found at www.baconsrebellion.blogspot.com of 20 November 2009.)

To keep the BIG picture in mind, this irrational, subsidized and unsustainable scatteration of the daily human activities carried out by 95 percent of the population:

1) Cannot be served by Large, Private vehicles (the Mobility and Access Crisis)

2) Is the root cause of the Affordable and Accessible Housing Crisis

3) Results in vast Mass OverConsumption of resources – especially energy – that cannot be supported by any known economic system, and

4) Is the primary catalyst for in the disintegration of the social fabric in contemporary Urban society.

The total of these four realities IS The Helter Skelter Crisis.

Few disagree that the housing bubble – created by decades of misguided attempts to expand home ownership without regard to the commutative impact or the total cost – triggered a credit / financial Collapse termed The Great Recession. To grasp the profound level of ‘leadership’ ignorance , recall that in 2006 the recently reappointed chair of the Fed asked “What bubble?”

The rolling impact of The Great Recession and the reality that a growing population of humans – with rising expectations and a widening wealth gap – inhabit a finite planet with finite resources is not a pleasant prospect. In an era of instantaneous communications and weapons of mass destruction these factors cloud the future of civilization as it has been experienced in recent decades by those at the top of the Ziggurat.

Society is running of fumes. Political clans are doing their best to deny the role they played and are stonewalling any meaningful change, much less Fundamental Transformations.

The 14 February WaPo story makes it very clear that there is a huge problem in the area of shelter but fails to make it clear that the root cause of the Affordable and Accessible Housing Crisis was divorcing the cost of housing from the Value of housing.

As pointed out in THE ESTATES MATRIX – PART TWO of TRILO-G, MainStream Media consistently fails to explore the impact of settlement patterns because to do so would undermine the short-term profitability of the Enterprise that owns the media outlet.

Even those who should know – appraisers, lenders, buyers and the entire ‘real estate’ industry – are adrift. They do not have an overarching Conceptual Framework with which to comprehend human settlement patterns AND they refuse to even consider adopting a more robust Vocabulary with which to articulate a comprehensive Conceptual Framework

The general perceptions about the location of foreclosures is a perfect example. For most, the geography of foreclosures is similar to the ethereal, Myth besotted fog that clouded medieval minds concerning the cause of human diseases such at the Black Death. This same fog clouds minds concerning the importance of spacial distribution of human activities and human interactions.

Buying a smart phone or an iPad will not solve the problem. Neither will making dwellings easier to buy without regard to their size, location and relationship of the dwelling to all the activities necessary to create a quality life for the Urban humans who occupy the dwelling.

AND NOW THIS:

Again on WaPo page one for 16 February:

“U.S. Hopes Foreign Money Can Boost Housing Market [Wrong Size House in Wrong Location], [Foreign] Governments Took A Hit When the Boom Went Bust. Will They Return?; U.S. Looks Abroad to Fill a Housing-Finance Void”.)

Hoping other nation-states will make a bad situation worse must be one of the last sign posts on the way to the cliff.

EMR


Share this article



ADVERTISEMENT

(comments below)



ADVERTISEMENT

(comments below)


Comments

158 responses to “AFFORDABLE AND ACCESSIBLE HOUSING, AGAIN — DIGGING THE HOLE DEEPER”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    It does not matter what the pattern is. If the money is not available or only available at higher costs then (owned) housing will be less affordable and ultimately so will rented housing.

    RH

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    "….divorcing the cost of housing from the Value of housing."

    ——————————–

    Cost and value are ALWAYS divorced and the market depends on that feature. Cost is a business function and value is a psychological one. Value can be a business fuction as well, but only historically. From that perspective value is the time adjusted difference in cost between two purchase prices.

    The cost is what you pay at a point in time, but value varies over time.

    Whenever you buy something the question you ask yourself is "What will someone be willing to pay me for this in the future, and what do I get out of it in the meantime.

    If you seriously think you are buying something that people will pay more for in the future, then you need to ask "What makes me think I'm so much smarter than them: what do I know that they don't."

    EMR apparently believes that energy and the cost and time and space associated with trvel trumps everything else, but that is only true up to a point.

    Walking is the most expensive form of travel ever invented, and that is why we spend so much energy and space avoiding it.

    RH

  3. Hey EMR …

    Temporarily out of stock?

    2,600 pages?

    So, even if I could buy it (which I can't) it would take me several years to read it!

    Even so, I'd be willing to try.

    How do I get some of this TRILO-G hootch?

    http://www.amazon.com/TRILO-G-Foundations-Bridges-Action-Risse/dp/0967810817/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266359206&sr=8-1

  4. E M Risse Avatar

    Groveton:

    The initial shipment sold out. I have sent them more.

    I would be happy to sell you a copy directly but my business partner does not want to get involved with sales tax. I do not blame her, it was a bother.

    We plan outlets in the SubRegion but that will be a while.

    We are also trying to get the files ready for Amazon so they can sell it for Kindle download.

    Only so many hours in a day.

    EMR

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    Jeez, even I do sales tax.

    RH

  6. Anonymous Avatar

    I wonder If EMR noticed that, once again, in disater mode large private vehicles were just about the only things moving for the past two weeks.

    Including large private vehicles that were hired by Metro to clean out the parking lots for large private vehicles.

    RH

  7. Bless Chesterfield County…

    The first shot of the anti-Richmond war has been fired from nearby Chesterfield. I predict a full volley from around the state before this year is out.

    Maybe Bob Marshall ought to rethink his outspoken angst over the excessive centralization of power in the federal government. Maybe he ought to ask whether Dillon Rule loving Virginia might have excessive political power centralized in Richmond. Of course, complaining about the federal government is great sport while self-reform is hard work. So, I'll expect more hot air from Richmond before I expect to see any real progress within the state. But the first shot of the war fro independence from Richmond has been fired. It will not be the last shot. Who was it that said, "Never waste a crisis".

    Death to Dillon.

    http://virginiatomorrow.com/2010/02/16/the-locals-v-the-capitals/#comments

  8. Anonymous Avatar

    Groveton – I understand and respect your position on the Dillon Rule, even though I think differently. And I agree with your commonly expressed view that Fairfax County gets hosed by the Commonwealth on a very regular basis, even though we disagree as to who are the villains.

    However, I don't understand why anyone in Fairfax County would support an attempt to get the Commonwealth to pay more local government expenses. The various distribution formulae are not going to change, so that means Fairfax County residents will pay even more — once to the State to fund local expenses elsewhere and once again to pay the local costs in Fairfax County, most of which are not funded by the State.

    Moreover, even if the State simply took over 100% funding of various local operations, Fairfax County would wind up paying more of the bill because our share of the total state income is greater than our share of the population.

    Fairfax County residents are better off with a small state government that leaves most functions to counties and cities.

    So, in some sense, we are better served by the rural legislators who want to keep state government small than we are by our own representatives who want state government to grow.

    TMT

  9. "Fairfax County residents are better off with a small state government that leaves most functions to counties and cities.".

    I agree with that. Even if Fairfax County becomes a relatively larger governmental organization with relatively high taxes on its citizens.

    I want the choice to make local decisions locally.

    As for the rural legislators who want to keep the state government small … I am much less sure of that. I think they want to keep their contribution to the state government small. However, they are only too happy to have the state governemnt get as big as it needs to get in order to hand out the goodies.

    I took a random stab. Put oysters in the search field for General Assembly legislation. Plenty of bills concerning oysters.

    Here's one:

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?101+ful+SB345

    Note the inclusion of oyster bed reclamation in the bill. Some will say that oysters are important for keeping the Bay clean. Probably so. Given that, I assume that the GA would want to make the taking of oysters from Virginia waters illegal. Do you think that bill is pending?

    So, we have a bill to fund the reclamation of oyster beds which will be harvested by local watermen (presumably requiring that the state continue to reclaim oyster beds).

    Will the rural legislators vote against this bill because it gives more power to the state government? Will they insist that oyster harvesting be made illegal since oysters are so important as anti-pollution "helpers"? Or, will they happily take money from the state which will be used to reclaim oysters which (to some extent) will be harvested and sold by a small number of Virginia oystermen?

    I intentionally picked an area where I have little to no background in order to prove a point. I'll bet that 90% of the members in the General Assembly don't know their asses from page 8 about oyster farming. But they are happily pushing forward bills in search of funds for oyster bed reclamation. In reading through the related materials I saw a number of blog articles about whether the Virginia Senate should support a resolution to introduce Asian oysters into the Bay rather than native species. Oh swell … now all the full time lawyers and part time politicians in the General Assembly have become Marine Biologists.

    Maybe we let the few localities abutting areas of Virginia water where oysters are found in abundance make these decisions. The only thing NoVa's legislators know about oysters is that they taste good with horseradish. And the only thing that the legislators from Western Virginia know about mountain oysters is …

    Oh wait, that's a different matter altogether (although certainly one that needs to be debated in the GA).

    The governance structure is fundamentally flawed.

  10. I'm not sure I really understand Groveton's bottom-line position on Governance.

    He seems to like the idea that big government is capable of putting GPS satellites up but then this thing about oysters.. I dunno.

    and he keeps going back and forth to whether the state should be collecting taxes and then giving them back or not.

    In any state tax scenario, as TMT points out – Fairfax/NoVa loses – the only question being by how much.

    RoVA legislators…give them credit – they are pretty much hard core against increasing state taxes….

    but if NoVa and NoVa wannabes persist then NoVa will make sure they get a good share…

    We now have the prospect of the state "cutting" funding for schools and law enforcement.

    I love that phrase "the state will cut" like there is ample money but the state "will cut" it.

    Nope.. the economy "will cut" State funding.

    Now – in that scenario, does it mean that the localities – like Fairfax have "no choice" but to make it up?

    Well.. I say.. you have an opportunity here.

    Do you REALLY want smaller government CLOSER and more accountable to the people who pay taxes?

    Everyone says this … until the state "fails to fund" ..then they all get a little crazy …….about even simple things – like recognizing what is really going on….

    I find it funny. Every locality wants State money… and when there is a funding shortfall.. then it's the State's fault for not increasing taxes and instead making the locality raise taxes.

    so I ask.. what do we really want?

    or to put this another way – do you think our elected know what we want?

  11. re: making loans on homes.

    let's stipulate that EMR is correct and that location is a problem.

    how do we fix it at the loan level?

    does the government tell mortgage companies what they can make loans for or not?

    Do we have some govt bean-counter reviewing every loan a bank is about to make for "compliance" with location criteria?

    how do we MAKE our public and private institutions do functional settlement patterns "right"?

  12. Anonymous Avatar

    "The goal was to balance single-family home development with shopping and offices nearby to serve them.

    But ideas that sounded good in theory have proved to be controversial in practice.

    Osprey residents bitterly fought the developer of a new hotel, condo and retail project who took advantage of land use changes in the 1999 "Osprey Revitalization Plan" to propose a dense cluster of buildings.

    Proposed land-use changes in Venice that called for taller buildings led to community backlash."

    http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20100217/ARTICLE/2171043/-1/NEWSSITEMAP?p=2&tc=pg

    ———————————

    Seems like a lot of places have a problem with who is in control of what.

    It all comes down to property rights.

    If someone owned the oyster beds, there would not be a problem.

    RH

  13. I believe that the governmnet which governs closest to the people governs best. Right now, the Fairfax County government is the government operating closest to me. I really don't think they would proffer oyster bed reclamation legislation. Rebuilding oyster beds may (or may not) be a good idea. It's just not an idea that people from Fairfax should be deciding (or paying for, in my opinion). There is probably a region of Virginia where oyster beds are very important. The people in that region should make the decisions on oyster beds and should pay for those decisions.

    Every government service (and the means of paying for those services) should be de-centralized as much as possible. There is no reasonable way to decentralize the common defense so I am happy for the US Navy to be part of the federal government. Ditto for the US Mint, etc. However, the federal government should not hide behind the Commerce Clause in an effort to usurp state's rights. The legal age for drinking shoulld be a state (or lower level) decision. It should not be dictated to the state through the threat of witholding highway funds. So, I find fault with the level of power centralized in the federal government.

    The state should de-centralize as much as possible to the localities. This would require the state to give up rights through a constitutional amendment process (Virginia Constitution). Local and regional roads, education, local police, jails and many other government provided services should be managed by and funded by the localities. Localities should be able to make their own decisions as to the taxing vehicle(s) to use in order to fund these local initiatives. I find fault in the amount of power centralized in Richmond.

    The challenge for the General Assembly is that, if you follow this logic, there isn't very much that is a logical function of state government. The boundaries of the Commonwealth of Virginia were a complete accident of history – not a logical grouping of regions based on needs and intentions. If you could redraw state lines today you would never draw them the way they are drawn. Northern Virginia would almost certainly be grouped with the DC suburbs of Maryland and DC. Western Virginia would certainly be grouped with West Virginia (or visa – versa).

    Why would anybody think that governace by archaic and irrelevent boundary is a good idea? Why doesn't Marriott buy Google? Why is the state police a separate organization from the US Department of Agriculture? Because governance is best practiced when there is some commonality over what is being governed. The commonality of the regions in the state of Virginia is long gone, if it ever really existed. The wholsale exit of the state that is now West Virginia one day in 1861 should have been a hint.

    There are a lot of legitimate national needs and a lot of legitimate local needs but there are very few legitimate state-wide needs. This is the biggest reason why the General Assembly is ineffective and will remain ineffective – there is little to no commonality of need among the various regions in the state. Therefore, they sit mired in deadlock as the roads crumble in NoVa and unemployment soars is Martinsville.

    I want a smaller national government, a much smaller state government and a much larger local government.

  14. Anonymous Avatar

    However, the federal government should not hide behind the Commerce Clause in an effort to usurp state's rights.

    ================================

    You think health insurors should be allowed to sell across state lines?

    RH

  15. "You think health insurors should be allowed to sell across state lines?".

    No.

    The state based mandates which preclude this today represent regulation of commerce within a state. Properly interpreted, the Commerce Clause gives the federal government the right to regulate commerce among the states.

    Starting in the late 1800s, Congress (along with their lap dogs in the US Supreme Court) began to over expand the Commerce Clause. I believe it was the Gibbons ruling which improperly expanded the interpretation of the Commerce Clause to apply to steamship regulation within the state of New York. The prevailing logic was that the waterways in question were interstate waterways even if the steamships in question operated soley within New York's section of the waterways.

    I find it very hard to understand how regulation of an industry within a state (especially where no interstate transportation venue is involved) constitutes regulation among the several states. Therefore, I see no constitutional power for the federal government to enact such legislation.

    Of course, nothing beyond simple incompetence prevents the state governments from dropping mandates for hair pieces, fertility treatments, etc from their required insurance coverage.

    If you want to see this play out in real time you should follow the debate currently occuring in the General Assembly regarding the mandates for treating autism in Virginia. While autism is clearly often a very real and sometimes treatable malady, it covers a wide spectrum of disorders. There is considerable debate as to whether some forms of autism are treatable. More importantly, there is vigorous debate as to whether or not many of the maladies covered by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are really maladies at all. Once again, a part time General Assembly with inadequate funding for staff expertise is trying to make crucial decisions about a very important, complex and costly matter.

  16. what's the difference between selling health insurance across the state lines from automobiles or kumquats?

  17. Anonymous Avatar

    Groveton – a very thoughtful and coherent theory of government. You are probably one of a handful of people who have and can explain such a theory.

    I think your point on interstate commerce is well taken. I remember a law school professor saying that if a person spit on the floor of a closet, he/she has probably: 1) created a body of navigable water; and 2) affected interstate commerce.

    On the other hand, bigger businesses tend to support federal regulation because of its simplicity versus dealing with 50 states. Bucks trump principles in many cases.

    TMT

  18. Anonymous Avatar

    I suppose you could argue that there is nthing to prevent selling insurance across state lines – you just have to obey diferent rules in every state.

    I think the basic rule is that government whould work to enhance freedom, not restrict it.

    The less money government takws fom you the more freeedom you have to do what YOU want.

    On the other hand, with its size, and purchasing power, and borrowing capacity government can do many things we could never do for ourselves.

    Therefore you will ALSO have more freedom to do what you want if government acts in a cost effective manner: it can buy things with your money that you could never buy on your own. Despite government taking some moey from you, you should still have more usable money to work with when it is done.

    You give up some freedom to decide how the (government) money is spent, but as long as you are still better off over all, you wind up with more freedom, not less.

    RH

  19. I doubt seriously that Groveton subscribes to a Libertarian Philosophy though.

    I can rattle off dozens of Federal Level agencies that hard-cord Libertarians say are unnecessary and should be handled by the private sector that I strongly suspect would not be agreed with.

    FAA, NTSB, Nuclear Regulatory, CDC, FDA, FHWA, USPS, FDIC,

    … If you asked 100 people if the govt is too big and too intrusive – you'll get a high number of agreement.

    Then the hard part – trying to find out how many of the 100 actually agree on what things should be done away with.

    so .. the debate degrades into one or two cherry-picked examples.. that "prove" the premise while conveniently taking for granted and ignoring all those other things that folks would be screamingly bloody murder about if they were done away with.

    When you put a pill in your mouth or buck up in your car or have radiation pointed at your gonads – you are depending on the Feds to protect you – no?

  20. Anonymous Avatar

    Structure of government:

    "Last week's High Court decision in the Arnold case reveals major problems with Australia's structure of government when it comes to the Murray-Darling basin. The case also suggests Peter Spencer has reached the end of the road in his attempt to be compensated for land-use restrictions on his property.

    The Arnold case arose when farmers in the Lower Murray region sought compensation for forced reductions in their use of water. This was brought about by a NSW law that replaced their groundwater bore licences with aquifer access licences with up to 70 per cent less entitlement to groundwater.
    Australia's constitution says a person must receive ''just terms'' when their property is acquired under federal law. No such guarantee exists under state law. NSW can pass a law to compulsorily acquire a person's property without having to pay a cent in return. Given this, it was not surprising the farmers in Arnold lost their case.

    States often pass such laws. While it is rare for them to provide no compensation, the payments can be inadequate. This can lead to disbelief and anger. Australians assume if a government takes their property, they will be fully compensated. When this does not occur, people question whether there is something wrong with our democracy. They are right to do so.
    Arnold has been resolved without giving hope to Spencer's legal argument.

    The effect is that his repeated cries that he has been subjected to unconstitutional action have been shown to be wrong.
    Spencer may not have a case, but he still has a point. It may be constitutionally valid for NSW to acquire property without compensation, but it should not be. It is offensive in a modern democracy like Australia that the states can acquire property without redress. This should be fixed."

    Sydney Morning Herald

    ===============================

    Looks like Australia has a similar problem to here. We have a constitution which requires one thing, and the states ignore it.

    We have ample history of despotic local governments as well as state governments.

    What should be the larger government role in requiring equal treatment and protection for all citizens?

    RH

  21. "what's the difference between selling health insurance across the state lines from automobiles or kumquats?".

    Arguably, kumquats and automobiles are grown or manufactured in one place and sold in many places. Therefore, they constitute trade among the states. Also arguably, insurance is an intangible product (a contract) that is (or can be) produced in the same state where it is consumed. Therefore, it does not constitute trade among the several states.

    "Groveton – a very thoughtful and coherent theory of government. You are probably one of a handful of people who have and can explain such a theory.".

    Thank you.

    "I suppose you could argue that there is nthing to prevent selling insurance across state lines – you just have to obey diferent rules in every state.".

    Yes, the phrase "selling across state lines" is, perhaps a poor choice of words.

    The question is whether a resident of Virginia can buy a policy that complies with the regulations in Kentucky but not Virginia. Some stated have mandated a lot of required coverage. Insurance in those states is expensive. For example, New Jersey. Other states have mandated very little required coverage. Insurance in those states is less expensive. Example, Kentucky.

    Some ask why the federal govenment dosen't invoke the Commerce Clause and demand that any policy sold in one state be available for purchase in another. This would effectively invalidate the state by state mandates.

    For a good discussion of one such mandate in Virginia:

    http://oxroadsouth.com/2010/02/16/autism-bill-passes.aspx

  22. so anyone who wants to buy land is entitled to as much water as they can take even if it results in no water for anyone eventually?

    so who would pay to compensate them?

  23. Anonymous Avatar

    "Once again the city leaders have proven that they cannot be trusted. Just as they have made promises regarding the City Center and the upcoming annexation of North Highline there is a hidden agenda of power and greed.

    Specifically the City plan calls for setbacks that in some cases are deeper than the affected properties. It creates a formula that would make it impossible to replace damaged properties and it totally abrogates the privacy and use rights of property owners of both Puget Sound properties and Lake Burien.

    All of these are designed to make the properties unusable and worthless to their current owners.
    In some cases these properties have been in families for generations and many others are long time residents whose occupancy predates the City of Burien."

    High Line Times, Oregon

    RH

  24. E M Risse Avatar

    This WAS a post about shelter and the Affordable and Accessible Housing Crisis …

    But Groveton makes a VERY GOOD observation on one of the essential Fundamental Transformations, change in the governance structure:

    “I want a smaller national government, a much smaller state government and a much larger local government.”

    Groveton is RIGHT but there are two Vocabulary problems with his statement. We will get to that in a new post coming up…

    But first a note on shelter:

    Larry said:

    “let's stipulate that EMR is correct and that location is a problem.”

    A REALLY good place to start!

    “how do we fix it at the loan level?”

    “does the government tell mortgage companies what they can make loans for or not?”

    NO

    “Do we have some govt bean-counter reviewing every loan a bank is about to make for "compliance" with location criteria?”

    NO

    “how do we MAKE our public and private institutions do functional settlement patterns "right"?

    In this question, Larry means ‘Enterprises and Agencies’ – “public and private institutions” is a Core Confusing Phrase.

    It is an Enterprise role to “make loans,” not an Agency role. Institutions (that is Organizations created beyond the Household that are NOT created to make money) have a role but set that aside for a moment.

    It is an Agency role to guide the evolution of functional settlement patterns.

    As articulated in SYNERGY’s discussion of Affordable and Accessible Housing and the evolution of dysfunctional human settlement patterns EMR has documented that:

    Over the past 90 years Agency actions have subsidized the evolution of dysfunctional settlement patterns, AND

    In the past few decades Agency actions have removed the ability of Neighborhood, Village and especially Community scale Enterprises to accumulate the capital that they would need if they are loan to home buyers. Holding interest rate low and making gambling chits out of mortgages has encouraged financial Enterprises to get “too big to fail.” Too big to fail except to fail the citizens who need shelter.

    Now see, this is related to Groveton’s point about governance structure.

    Details in materials cited in the original post.

    EMR

  25. Anonymous Avatar

    so anyone who wants to buy land is entitled to as much water as they can take even if it results in no water for anyone eventually?

    so who would pay to compensate them?

    =================================

    They bought land under one set of rules. The state changed the rules which affected the value of their land. The state owes compensation, because the state got something it wanted (more watershed protection).

    I believe that this case had little to do with the water rights themselves, but rather had to do with the owners right to harvest timber and other vegetation on the property. Something like 85% of the property was set aside for "natural vegetation", or some such thing.

    However, WHAT the state got is of little importance. The fact remains that they got it at the expense of some citizens for the benefit of all citizens, which means that some citizens got something for nothing, otherwise known as stealing.

    The state did this in violation of the national onstitution.

    Even if the cost of compensation are distributed equally, the property owners will still have to pay their share (which winds up going to thmeselves).

    RH

  26. Anonymous Avatar

    "Frankly, I think it’s deplorable that property owners are forced to go before a de facto Taste Committee and beg permission to use their land how they wish. None of the people making these decisions has any money invested in this property, yet they exercise ultimate control over how it is used.
    So, what were these outlandish requests that the council turned down? Was it someone wanting to open a strip show? Or someone trying to dump hazardous chemicals?
    No, nothing like that.
    One business, Fisherman’s Feast on Marion Street, wants to be able to lease out its extra space to other businesses. The other, Oakie’s Tire on Warren Street, wants to be able to park trucks on the property at night — the same trucks parked there during the daytime.
    The Shelby City Council unanimously voted no.

    With regards to Fisherman’s Feast, there were two main arguments presented against the request. The first was traffic near the intersection of Cherryville Road and Marion Street. The second was that opening another business in the cavernous building would hurt residential property values.We don’t want to open up space to potential new businesses because it might cause somebody to catch an extra traffic light? We don’t want to give folks new employment or entrepreneurial opportunities because somebody thinks their property values might drop if already existing space is utilized rather than remain dormant?
    The Oakie’s case also fails on practical grounds. The business owner simply wanted to park trucks on his property at night that he already parks in the daytime. What could possibly be the significant added harm of this? Aren’t trucks harder to see at night than in daytime?
    Here’s another question: Where are the trucks being parked now, and assuming it’s within eyeshot of other humans, why is their neighborhood less important?"

    Cleveland County Star, NC
    ———————————————————————————————–
    Notice that the last argument is asking the practical question "What is the NET public benefit of forcing these trucks to move at night?"

    And this is LOCAL goverment at work.

    RH

  27. Anonymous Avatar

    "The three Troyer brothers – Don, David and Vern – have farmed these 1,800 acres for 20 years. But they're unsure of the future and whether their farm will exist as it does today.
    Lee County is in the process of adopting a land plan that would protect 83,000 acres for environmental purposes, including the Troyers' farm.
    The state-approved plan is an effort to protect 80 percent of the county's drinking water and wetlands vibrant with wildlife. It's heralded as a triumphant move by environmental activists throughout the state.
    The brothers' story is an example of what happens when rural life collides with growth and change.
    The Troyers feel left out of the process and they're worried the county will force them to create wetlands on their property. This could diminish the land's value and make it difficult for them to obtain financing for farm equipment or sell it in the future.
    "I think everybody is concerned about clean air and water," said Aaron Troyer, the son of David Troyer who now operates the farm. "But you have to be careful about how you regulate and the policies you come up with."
    The plan's critics -including the farmers and mining companies who own half the land – say it impacts their rights as property owners. Some intend to challenge the plan, which the county commission could adopt the first week of March.
    The county says it doesn't know where the frustration comes from. County planner Paul O'Connor said the county has tried to get property owners to weigh in on the process.
    O'Connor said the county never would force farmers to create wetlands on their land. But if they're open to it, they would be paid to do so, he said.
    "If anything, we're trying to help support farming," he said.
    Don Troyer and his two brothers were lured to Florida from Pennsylvania by the warm temperatures that wouldn't freeze their red, white and yellow potatoes. The Troyers plant their 40 million- to 50 million-pound crop in October and harvest in February, unlike most farmers who dig up potatoes in the fall.
    The brothers searched and searched before finding their ideal spot: a stretch of uncleared land between State Road 82 and Corkscrew Road used for cattle grazing.
    They bought the land for $2.1 million and moved onto it in 1990, eager to plant the seed potatoes they brought from their Pennsylvania farm.
    That same year, Lee County reduced the amount of building that could occur on the Troyers' land and the more than 80,000 acres that surround it. This was in response to recommendations from the state's Department of Community Affairs, O'Connor said.
    The county became interested in protecting the land because of a water resource study, O'Connor said. Its results showed how precious the land – 77 percent of which contains homes, mines or farms – was for groundwater.
    Reducing the land's density lowered the value of the Troyers farm. It's now worth $1.4 million, according to the Lee County Property Appraiser.
    "You buy it with a certain value and then it's gone," said Don Troyer, 67, shaking his head."

    News Press. com, For Myers Florida

    ================================

    How do you help farmers by cutting their equity in half, and permanently reducing their ability to borrow for expansion or new equipment??

    RH

  28. Anonymous Avatar

    EMR has avoided the question.

    No matter where or how well planned a community is, it will cost more if mortgages cost more and interest rates are higher.

    There is no connection between planning on interests costs.

    RH

  29. Anonymous Avatar

    EMR has postulated that we need a transformation in governance to get a transformation in land use. he thinks we need eleven or more levels of government in order to ensure that nothing can ever be accomplished (he thinks this is conservation).

    So the question here is what kind and size of government and what makes us think local government is any better or more fair than national government?

    RH

  30. Anonymous Avatar

    RH:

    As long as you look at the world through the bottom of a warped beer mug you will be confused.

    Suggestion: Post this stuff on a 'property rights' blog where you can reinforce the misconceptions of others who also do not understand the real world as it has evolved.

    jcm

  31. Anonymous Avatar

    I don't drink beer. usually.

    EMR has stated that the golden rule is a fundamental tenet of his beliefs.

    What can be more fundamental to the golden rule than property rights, because that is how we decide that you rrights end where mine begin, and it is how we decide who is being treateted unfairly and who is not (according to the golden rule).

    So here we have a couple of examples from around he world where local government is usurping property rights rather than protecting them.

    We have examples of courts and editors and private citizens, arguing against the present governance structure, and its abuse of property rights.

    What could possibly be more germaine to EMR's arguments?

    Just because you think it is OK to take people's property and steal what you want without compensation, doesn't mean that conversation is finished.

    That farmer is Australia thinks it is important enough to live in a tree and go on a hunger strike to get his story told.

    At least it is his own tree. I'm all in favor of action to protect the environment, but we need to act ethically and responsibly in doing so or we will lose crediblity and support as fast as the global warming scientists have.

    RH

    RH

  32. Anonymous Avatar

    "AMSTERDAM — The sharp-tongued U.N. official who shepherded troubled climate talks for nearly four years announced his resignation Thursday, leaving an uncertain path to a new treaty on global warming.

    Exhausted and frustrated by unrelenting bickering between rich and poor countries, Yvo de Boer said he will step down July 1 to work in business and academia."

    ————————

    What do you suppose these rich and poor countriesa re bickering over?

    Property rights and their right to pollute. It is Golden Rule negotiation on an international scale.

    Make no mistake about it, here is an international body negotiating what you will pay to keep warm a few years from now.

    How does that fit Grovetons idea of local government?

    RH

  33. Anonymous Avatar

    "Property rights are fundamental to capitalism and the efficient allocation of capital," explains Neil Gelfand, a portfolio manager at hedge-fund River Crescent Capital, Suffolk, Va.

    The reason is simple. If investors don't know what they own, or can't be sure of defending their property rights, then they either won't invest or alternatively they will demand higher rates of return when they do.

    It goes for both tangible and intellectual rights.

    The net impact tends to be dual — lower levels of investment and higher interest rates, neither of which is conducive to faster economic growth. "

    ———————————

    That is why property rights are CENTRAL to interest rates, and in turn, affordable housing.

    RH

  34. re: " In the past few decades Agency actions have removed the ability of Neighborhood, Village and especially Community scale Enterprises to accumulate the capital that they would need if they are loan to home buyers. Holding interest rate low and making gambling chits out of mortgages has encouraged financial Enterprises to get “too big to fail.” Too big to fail except to fail the citizens who need shelter."

    tell me more… so far so good.

    how do we fix this?

    Do we expect the Agency to fix this or do we expect the Enterprise to fix this?

  35. re: " They bought land under one set of rules. The state changed the rules which affected the value of their land. The state owes compensation, because the state got something it wanted (more watershed protection)."

    didn't the state say that if everyone took as much water as they wanted that they'd exhaust the supplies of water and no one would have any then?

    So you have 1000 landowners all trying to use as much water as they can to grow as much stuff as they can – and then they kill the water goose and all go broke.

    So someone says – "we have to not use more water collectively and individually than the recharge rate or else we all lose".

    That's called government guy.

    who would supposed to be paying them compensation to agree to usage restrictions?

    you're worse than Glen Beck Biarro World at times – you know.

  36. Anonymous Avatar

    didn't the state say that if everyone took as much water as they wanted that they'd exhaust the supplies of water and no one would have any then?

    ==============================

    You are introducing new variables not known as fact, in a faulty attempt to bolster your position. From what we know, no such claim can be made and a false claim weakens your argument.

    No, apparently this was not about water supply at all, merely about vegetaton in the watershed.

    Anyway you are making the ASSUMPTION tha t previus water rights were "as much as they wanted" when their original property rights (whatever they were) may have been already limited to some amount the aquifer could provide.

    The only point that makes any difference is that they paid for property with a value under one set of rules (Australia, Florida, or Oregon). Part of the value depended on the rules of use for the land, in this case harvesting vegetation.

    Suddenly the rules are changed, which shifts bot property rights and property value from the individual to the state.

    In all three cases the Federal government has a rule specifying that repayment in such cases is required, and the states are ignoring both the letter and the spirit of the federal law.

    This is unethical. It is stealing.
    And that is what the editors of three different publications are complaining about.

    "Compliance with the law is only the beginning of ethical behavior. Of course, if a rule or law exists, you need to follow it. However, the best companies recognize that rules alone won't prevent corporate misconduct.

    These companies strive to increase their employees' ethical awareness by providing them with tools for making good decisions when the law doesn't say how to behave. They encourage employees to follow the letter and the spirit of the law. "

    It isn't even true as you claim that if everyone took as much water as they want that no one would have any. Some people would still get some water, and the ones tht got the most ater would be the ones with the most paid claim on it.

    But my position doesn't even argue with this. I will readily agree that the stae may decide it is better off with some other water allocation. If it is better off then this decision has a net public benefit, and only PART of that benefit need be used to pay those who lost water (or vegetation) rights.

    By your own argument there ought to be plenty of benefit to pay off the loser with.

    ——————————-

    What you have neer explained is why in gods name the government would WANT to cheat its own citizens this way, unless they have an interest in advancing (protecting) some people more than others, whichis a clear violation of the MAIN REASON we have government to begin with.

    There simply is no reason whatsoever to even want to hold your position, that isn't ugly, and thieving.

    RH

  37. Anonymous Avatar

    Too big to fail except to fail the citizens who need shelter."

    —————————–

    Does not follow. All the shelter that got built is still out there and it is now available at much lower cost. When this is over, more citizens will have affordable shelter than ever before. They will not be the losers in this.

    RH

  38. who says when you buy a piece of land that you are entitled to whatever you believe you should be with respect to use of an aquifer in the first place?

    The govt has the right and the duty to restrict actions on the part of property owners that would harm the environment and they can do that even if the latest information is different from the original information that may have part of earlier rules.

    It's the same with anything that can potentially harm the environment.

    You are permitted to do the activity as long as it is determined to be not harmful.

    You are not entitled to it and you won't be compensated if it is subsequently determined that what you are doing is harmful.

  39. Anonymous Avatar

    discrimination suit
    "Jasmin Melvin
    WASHINGTON
    Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:16pm ESTWASHINGTON (Reuters) – Black farmers who were discriminated against by the U.S. Agriculture Department will receive $1.25 billion in a settlement, the USDA and the Justice Department said on Thursday."

    ———————————-

    And why are they getting this money? Because previously the government did not do its job in protecting their interestss equally with everyone else.

    Likewise, if the government takes property from some people and makes the benefits from it available to everyone else in the state, then it is not protecting people equally, and eventually, the government will face judgement.

    It will be too late for many of the people damaged, and that is one reason this kind of nonsense needs to stop immediately. Like the claim that setback changes affect everyone equally, such a claim makes no allowance for time, which is the most precious of any mortals possessions. It goes to the heart of being able tolive and being required to let live.

    As environmentalists, if we don;t figure this out, then someday we will be writin gchecks for billions of dollars and losing many of the gains we fought so hard (and unfairly) for.

    RH

  40. you're once again confusing discrimination with rules that apply to all.

    If the govt had said that they were going to restrict the amount of water than farmers could use but white farmers had different allotments than black farmers then that is discrimination and that's what the black farmers were suing over – discriminatory treatment.

    It is not discrimination when a new restriction applies equally to everyone and such restrictions are allowed if it is determined that some activity previously thought not harmful is now found to be harmful.

    No compensation is paid to anyone because the restriction applies to everyone.

    That's what the Equal Protection part of the Constitution guarantees – only that when laws/restrictions are passed – they apply to all.

  41. Anonymous Avatar

    who says when you buy a piece of land that you are entitled to whatever you believe you should be with respect to use of an aquifer in the first place?

    ——————————-

    Well, that is exactly the problem isn't it? The Property rights were (possoibly) never fully defined to begin with. And now somone is trying to change things that have been accepted fact for years, decades or generations. But just because they were not properly defined and recorded to begin with does not mean that changing the rules now isn't still stealing.

    We made a deal on a gentleman's handshake. Those gentlemen are long since dead and the respective properties inherited. Now a new band of hucksters comes along and demands to see the deed.

    But, even when property are defined, some properties may come with a set allocation of the aquifer, either in gallons or a percentage of production, or many other means by which waer rights are defined. No mater how they are defined, or not, the propblem remains that someone had something before which he does not have now, and someone else got something without paying for it.

    That is all you need to know to identify when a theft has occurred.
    All your sttement above implies s hat we do not know hwo much was stolen, not that a theft did not take place.

    It isn't a question of what "you believe", not on either side. You are not entitled to "believe" that his prior rights somehow damage your new and magined ones and use that as a defense against paying for his loss. None of the people making these decisions has any money invested in this property, yet they exercise ultimate control over how it is used.

    Those potato farmers paid a known price for their land and it is now worth a known amount less. it is a real, tangible, measurable loss.

    "No. The expensive, elitist, economy-unfriendly, property rights-savaging plans should be what we set aside, not requests by property owners to legitimately use their land.

    Philosophically, this exercise reveals the canard that is land-use planning. Small groups of people band together and inflict their view of what a neighborhood should look like on the actual property owners. It’s nothing more than a Taste Committee. Zoning request opponents claim disingenuously that it’s their property rights they are concerned with, but the truth is, it’s mainly just their vision of what the neighborhood should look like. Then they use the government to force others into compliance.

    Zoning proponents come up with all sorts of scary scenarios about peep shows ending up being built next to schools and churches, but they are grounded in fear, not reality. What we end up with is all sorts of inane rules dictating how wide new driveways must be and how many trees a new business must plant, and on and on and on.

    This is not democracy in action, as some claim. Basic human rights should not be subject to the whims of democracy. Should the city council be able to vote to suppress your speech or to deny you due process? Of course not. Then why is denying one of the ultimate natural rights — the right of a man to own and control his own property — subject to a majority vote?"

    "It is offensive in a modern democracy like Australia that the states can acquire property without redress. This should be fixed."

    "The sad thing is, these rules are usually used by affluent elites against poorer, weaker citizens. For example, wealthy landowners will establish "minimum lot sizes" so that smaller homes or (gasp!) mobile homes won’t be built anywhere that might spoil their pristine living arrangement."

    RH

  42. Anonymous Avatar

    You are permitted to do the activity as long as it is determined to be not harmful.

    ==============================

    Harmful to who? What property rights do THEY have that are being harmed? Where are THEY written down?

    What you are saying is that anyone can claim harm and then take someone else's property in preemptive compensation.

    We have nuisance law for that.

    Who says when you claim some damage is being prevented that you are entitled to whatever you believe you should be yours from someone who has it now?

    RH

  43. Anonymous Avatar

    No, I am not confused over discrimination, but you are.

    Non-discrimination means everyone gets treated equally. It is your idea of a law that affects everyone the same that is warped.
    Those people with coasal proery in Oregon are not being treated equally.

    RH

  44. I don't think you have rights that are not articulated and codified in law.

    and you certainly don't have a right – such as a right to pollute – if it results in harm to others.

    you used to have the right to smoke in a Restaurant because it was thought to not be harmful to others.

    once it was determined to be harmful to others -you lost that right – and no you won't get compensated by others because you have "no choice" but to pollute.

    We do many laws like we handle the cigarette smoking.

    You don't have a guaranteed right – if it is determined to be harmful to others.

    and no.. they're not going to pay you not to smoke either.

    and no… not one guy in a million thinks that is "strealing".

  45. Anonymous Avatar

    No, I am not confused over discrimintation but I am using that case a a cautionary tale as to where your beliefs are likely to take the environmental movement.

    I think your beliefsfs on this matter are ugly, unethical, misguided, counterproductive, based on twisted reasoning, irrational, expensives, stupid, and mostly just plain wrong.

    Not to put too fine a point on it.

    RH

  46. Anonymous Avatar

    "and you certainly don't have a right – such as a right to pollute – if it results in harm to others."

    ===============================

    This is simply wrong.

    Of course you have that right because you cannot live withoout creating some pollution and doing some harm. You have the right to live so you must have the right to pollute.

    You can invent or claim that right away, and make any law you like but it is uneneforceable.

    We already went around on this, and you finally conceded that, well, it isn;t pollution if the level is so small it isn't doing harm.

    so now we are talking about how much right and what constitutes harm, not whether the right exists.

    And if we are talking about what constitutes harm, we ae assuming harm to what? Someone's property. but your own argument is that you don't have any rights that are not codified into law.

    Show me where it is codified into law that we all own the environment equally? Would not that abrogate every water right and every mining right, and every air right?

    The entire idea that there is no right to pollute is fundamentally wrong. Hard to accept, I know, but it cannot be any other way.

    RH

  47. " because you cannot live withoout creating some pollution"

    that's true – but you don't get to decide. The people who are harmed get to decide.

    you don't have the right to pollute and you don't have the right to decide what you have "no choice" but to pollute either.

    Your rights are defined by others according to the impacts.

  48. Anonymous Avatar

    that's true – but you don't get to decide. The people who are harmed get to decide.

    —————————–

    Meaning their property rights are superior to other property rights.

    It cannot work that way if everyones's property rights are protected equally.

    RH

  49. so.. it's "superior" property rights when I tell you that you cannot put kepone in the water than I drink?

    how did you determine who had the "superior" rights?

    seems to me that if you can pollute at will according to your own ideas and no one else can stop you that you'd have "superior" rights but you say that if I stop you from harming me that I've got "superior" rights?

    by what bizarro reasoning?

    your rights end at my nose.

    that's not superior. that's EQUAL.

  50. Anonymous Avatar

    U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has announced the formation of a new Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property as part of a Department-wide initiative to confront the growing number of domestic and international intellectual property (IP) crimes.

    “Theft of intellectual property does significant harm to our economy and endangers the health and safety of our citizens,” said Vice President Biden. “This administration is committed to stronger and stricter enforcement of intellectual property rights, and this new task force is a step in the right direction.”

    http://www.filmmusicmag.com/?p=5005

    —————————–

    Now, Just read that again and take out the word "Intellectual".

    Everything in that statement is still true. So, Why is the justice department moving to protect some kinds of proerty more than other kinds?

    RH

  51. the usual foolishness guy

    Intellectual property is something you created on your own without harming anyone else.

    It didn't require any "natural resources" other than your own.

    and yes.. it's wrong for others to steal it…

    but your "intellect" does not cause harm to others….

    try another path.. this one is stupid

  52. Anonymous Avatar

    how did you determine who had the "superior" rights?

    —————————-

    The person who "gets to decide" obviously has superior rights, or when the dust settles, he has new additional rights.

    That's like letting the owner of the visiting team hire the referees.

    RH

  53. Anonymous Avatar

    Intellectual property is something you created on your own without harming anyone else.

    ——————————–

    How do you know?

    Doesn't make any difference anyway, you created something at your expense under a set of rules that create certain expectations.

    So, I have proeprty where I grow trees. That is both an intellectual and a physical exercise that I invest money and time in.

    Suddenly the rules change. Someone claims that I am doing damage to "their" property, somehow, somewhere. The new rule is that I may only use 20% of my property to grow trees that I can cut down. (I think this is what happened in Australia).

    The property that they are claiming protection for is a new creation, out of thin air. It is not as you say codified or recorded anywhere.

    But, since they claim the damage, and they "get to decide", I'm out of luck.

    What is going on in the IP world is tht real criminals are stealing real property, other people are using their stuff without paying for it, and the rightful property owners want more protection.

    As I see it, the same thing is happening with real estate proerty rights, other sticks in the bunle of real estate rigts, and many other kinds of proerty as well.

    The only diffference is that the perpetrators have been able to present themselves as some kind of altruistic (sometimes environmental, but not necessarily so) Robin Hood.

    By proactively claiming the moral high ground they think they are immune ffrom the requirement to pay fairly for what they get.

    Now, the Supreme court has ssaid that there is such a thing as a regulatory taking, and they have said that a taking exists if substantailly all the value is removed from a property.

    What they have NOT said is whether a smaller taking also occurs if substantiall all of the value of one of yur "bundle of sticks" is taken.

    State and local government and environmental activists have taken advantage of this void – a place where the rights are not codified or recorded – and they have managed to do it in a venue that virtually precludes due process.

    In doing so they are ignoring both the letter and the spirit of the econstitution which says proerty taken for public use must be paid for.

    If you "obey the law" while knowingly disregarding the spirit of the law, then you are unethical. If you profit by it at someone else's expense, then you are a thief as well.

    But the real point in the IP post is that when property rights are not defended it makes EVERYONE worse off. It depresses commerce becasue people don't think they will be protected. They then want (and need) MORE short term profits to defend against the risk.

    And that is true no matter what kind of roprerty or property rights we are talking about.

    RH

  54. Anonymous Avatar

    Kepone ETc.

    Say I manufacture "Natural Sea Salt" and I advertise it as healthy because it contains less sodium than regular salt.

    Never mind that it has less sodium because it has more calcium, magnesium, and selenium than regular salt. And the sodium content is also diluted by all the other contaminants in the sea, which is pretty much everything you can think of.

    Next we put in a total ban on release of Mercury to the environment. There is NO RIGHT to pollute with Mercury, at all no matter how samll the amount.

    Bang, I'm out of business.

    What we are saying here is that the price of the damage is SO high that we cannot afford to have ANY of this substance in the world for any purpose. No use of this stuff is valuable enough to justify its existence.

    But, we also agree that there must be SOME lower limit where there is no damage discernable. And we know there is already a naturally occuring background level of this stuff. Nothing we can do will reduce the risk beyond a certain point.

    These two position are mutually contradictory, and so the only thing left is to decide, as fairly as possible, how to protect various property rights equally.

    No one is claiming this is an easy thing to do, but you cannot eve start the process from a place where superior or ultimate rights are claimed, as in "there is no right to pollute."

    Bottom line, a dollars worth of my property is worth the same protection as a dolars worth of your property rights, even if you don't think so, or you think my rights are somehow "wrong" or "damaging".

    RH

  55. Anonymous Avatar

    Take the smoking ban in restaurants example.

    If the restaurant does not lose money on account of the ban, then nothing is lost and no compensaton is required. The net social benefits of the smoking ban truly are "free, no cost".

    Before the ban an owner could choose to ban smoking in his restaurant, or not. It was assumed and generally acknolweged that if he owned the building then he controlled the air in the building.

    If I invented some kind of reverse microwave, it would be against the law for me to use it to suck the heat out of "your air" in "your building" for my own use.

    In your own house your air rights are even stronger, because it is not public. You can smoke there and poison your pet with second hand smoke, if you please, and still prevent visitors from smoking there.

    At first we tried separate smoking areas, then we demanded separate rooms, and then they had to have separte air handling systems, and finally we instituted a total ban, same as Kepone. I imagine that even if you had a total open air restaurant, smoking would still be banned. You probably cannot even open a restaurant for smokers only.

    Obviously, this has progressed far beyond the concept of allowing damage that is to small to measure, otherwise we would look for and find SOME kind of accomodation for smokers that does not harm us.

    And the end resut is that nons-smokers and anti-smokers who have no investment in the building or business now own and control the air inside of it.

    They have invented and codified a brand new property right that never existed before. You might even think of this as some kind of intellectual property right, since it is intangible.

    I see absolutely nothing wrong with that, so far as it goes. But, next, we will demand temperature and humidity standards to protect asthma sufferors, and before lon the rules will expand to include the air inside your own home.

    But the real question is whther the original controller of those rights lost money on account of the change.

    RH

  56. Anonymous Avatar

    seems to me that if you can pollute at will according to your own ideas and no one else can stop you

    —————————–

    I have never ever said that no one can stop you.

    Only that if they damage your property and your income in the process, then you deserve compensation.

    Same as in the other direction.

    THEN you have an equal situaton ond not one where one side is superior.

    It's like letting one kid cut the pie and the other kid having first choice of the slices. That way you can be pretty sure the slices will be cut fairly.

    RH

  57. this is the reason you have govt.

    this is the reason you have a judiciary, a legislative and an executive.

    If one guy says the other guy has harmed him – they go to court and a judge decides.

    that's not superior rights.

    that's adjudication to determine who has superior rights. That's how the govt works.

    if a series of people go to court claiming they have been harmed by the same guy or guys doing the same thing then the complaint becomes recognized as something that might require a law.

    You might start out with the right to dump kepone but as soon as the harm it does is found out – you won't be allowed to continue and no, you won't be compensated either.

    and the reason why is that you don't start off with the right to do harm to others to start with.

    You only have the right as long as people believe you are not causing harm.

    It's a provisional right that can be revoked by government if it is found to harm others.

    this is why releasing effluents from your property requires a permit and is not a vested right.

  58. Anonymous Avatar

    this is the reason you have a judiciary…….

    ===============================

    What good is that, if you cannot get due process? YOU BASICALLY CANNOT GET TO COURT ON A ZONING ISSUE.

    What good is that when lower levels ignore the spirit of the law as ALREADY written and interpreted?

    In EACH of the stories referenced above there is a common complaint that some people have hijacked the system for their own ends. Some of these people MEAN well, but they have bcome so wrapped up in the kind of group think that you subscribe to that they no longer are even aware that waht they are doing is nothing but thuggery and gang turf warfare.

    I KNOW that is the way things are, and I understand, only too well what is actually going on.

    These people are STEALING from their fellow citizens and they are so divorced from the simplest things in life that they haven't got the ethical sensibility to even know that what they are doing is WRONG.

    Worse than that they have dressed this up in a green smock and they are using it as their personal environmental tooth fairy.

    "Hey, I'm going to steal from you and invalidate hundreds of years of customary rights and expectations, but it is OK because it is for your own good."

    Untold Billons in the futureworld will no doubt reach backwards in time to thank us for our selfless sacrifice to our grandchildren.

    We learned from Prohibition that there is no point in having a law that causes more damage than it prevents. We learned from Slavery that a thing can be legal and still be WRONG. We learned from Jim Crow that government has to be FORCED to protect basic civil rights, or else it will run roughshod over anyone that it pays to exploit.

    I once watched two cops beat the holy crap out of a bum for no apparent reasonn, and there was nothing I could do about it in those days. Today, I'd have it all on videocam.

    Vigilance, is what it takes to make it right.

    RH

  59. Anonymous Avatar

    "and the reason why is that you don't start off with the right to do harm to others to start with.

    You only have the right as long as people believe you are not causing harm."

    ——————————–

    Are you even listening to yourself?
    My rights do NOT depend on what someone else BELIEVES.

    You think I have no right to harm them and I think they EQUALLY do not have the right to harm me, even if they THINK or BELIEVE it is is in self defense. It does not matter what they believe, they still have no right to harm me unilaterally. They don't get any special right to decide.

    What we really have is a mutual sranglehold in which ANYTHING we do absolutely will hurt the other guy. It is therefore in our mutual best interest to hurt the other guy as little as possible, such that he will be disposed to hurt us as little as possible, and we both get along with the minimum mutual pain inflicted.

    We've been around on this compensation business before, and we have shown that people DO GET COMPENSATED in various ways, and the reason this happens is purely practical: it is the cheapest fastest way to get things done.

    You believe that if they were doing something we now know is harmful, then they are somehow in the wrong and deserve no compensation – EVEN IF THEY WERE PREVIOUSLY WORKING WITH OUR CONSENT, SUPPORT, AND to the best knowledge available, ON OUR BEHALF.

    To then turn around and say, well, "the new rule applies to everyone", is first of all false, and it is besides that cynical, mean spirited, selfish, unhelpful, and expensive.

    It is a stupid, childish way to go about getting ahead of or around a problem: "Hey, not MY fault."

    Lets stand here and argue about what happened for 30 or 40 years, like Redstone Arsenal – maybe it will get worse all by itself. Or maybe we argue for 40 yearsa bout what might happen like at Yucca Flats.

    You keep picking on the Kepone problem, but the Kepone situation is NOT the same as the situation where they guy is suddenly not able to use 80% of the farm he bought and paid for. That guy did nothing wrong.

    MOST of these situations are not the KEPONE analogy. But this is the kind of fear factor that is used. A Porno shop and a pig farm on every corner. But what we wind up with is NOT laws that prevent pig farmns and porn shops, but laws that tell us how many screening shrubs to plant (on OUR side of the property line), for our neighbors protection.

    If I was the judge, I'd say the neighbor can demand all the screening he wants, as long as it goes on his side of the fence. Pretty soon you would see people trying to reach an reasonable accomodation instead of just trying to stick it to the other guy.

    As long as we ALLOW, STAND FOR, or even in your case ADVOCATE such behavior, people will continue to try to stick it to each other, and sonner or later, you will be the one to get stuck.

    RH

  60. Anonymous Avatar

    and the reason why is that you don't start off with the right to do harm to others to start with.

    ================================

    Sure, lets just define away a stuaton that cannot be avoided. EVERYTHING we do is going to affect someone else, and most likely we won't hear about it, as long as they think it is to their benefit.

    Lock two people (or two rats) in a room together for long enough and one of them will kill and eat the other one. Under the circumstances, each one has the same right to harm the other one.

    At the most basic level you DO have the right to harm others. It would be nice if it were not so, but there it is. The difference between us and animals is that it does not bother them.

    We like out chicken wrapped in plastic.

    RH

  61. " My rights do NOT depend on what someone else BELIEVES. "

    yes it does if believe your activities have harmed them and they can prove it and laws get passed to restrict you.

    The other guy cannot dump kepone and neither can you.

    even though BOTH of you ..USED to have that right.

    and BOTH of you lost that right.

    and NEITHER of you received any compensation for the loss of that right.

    because..the law applies to BOTH of you.

    it's a simple concept.

    the Constitution says EQUAL PROTECTION

    …from each other..

  62. " EVERYTHING we do is going to affect someone else"

    you got that part right…

    it's the next part you cannot keep from screwing up….

    who decides what is "harm" and/or what is "too much"?

    quick answer – not you.

    longer answer – society through govt and laws that apply to everyone equally – the Equal Protection provision.

    In the end.. if you do something that causes the other guys eyeballs to rot.. they're gonna come get you.

    and all those other Ray wannabes will be told " no more doing stuff that rots eyeballs" or else we're gonna come down like a ton of bricks on you – and don't give us none of that crap about you have no choice but to pollute".

  63. Anonymous Avatar

    If the quick answer is not me, then how the hell do Ihave anything that remotely resemble equal protection?

    It simply cannot work that way, with one side having the right to "beleive" in any damage they can newly invent.

    You claim that there are no rights that are not codified and recorded.

    I think that is obviously, patently, and historically nonsense. We can invent and protect all kinds of new properties until we re blue in the face, and I hope we do.

    You just cannot take someone else's proerty away from them in order to create your new one. In fact we do just that all the time, but it is no more "right" than slavery was right, prohibition was smart, or Jim Crow was just.

    RH

  64. Anonymous Avatar

    even though BOTH of you ..USED to have that right.

    and BOTH of you lost that right.

    =================================

    This is the stupidest thing I ever heard. Period. BAR none.

    It does not cost me anything to lose that right. But I also do not have the right to gain a new one, for nothing.

    That kepone plant was an abandoned gas station, and rented at that. But bad as kepone was it has nothing to do with the fact that we took that mans sorry ass business away from him and we paid him nothing for it. We got something for nothing.

    Maybe (probably) his business was worth nothing, certainly it was when we got through with him. But his situation is ENTIRELY different from the Austrailian and Oregon, and Florida farmers.

    If you just compensate anyone who can show a justifiable loss, then you wiell see a lot more fair results, and a lot fewer unfair demands, right out of the gate.

    There is no reason NOT to do it, except greed and avarice, and even that is misplaced because compensation is a lot cheaper than either legislation or ajudication.

    RH

  65. you don't compensate when everyone is bound by the same restrictions.

    who would you get to pay?

    the Equal Protection is fundamental.

    It basically says that if you pass a law affecting one person, it has to apply to everyone else in that same circumstance.

    I use the Kepone example because it hits close to home but if you wish I can cite dozens, hundreds of pollution issues where we used to have the right to pollute and we lost it when it was determined to be too harmful in spite of the fact that originally it was not considered so.

    Government has to work this way.

    We cannot allow harmful practices to continue when we know those practices are building a future deficit that will have to be paid to fix.

    We don't get them all. For instance, there is no easy fix right now for Mercury from power plants – but some day – we'll restrict it and when we do – you'll no doubt claim that all those folks who could have built power plants would then be owed compensation for having that right taken away.

    and that by not compensating them the rest of us (who also have been prevented from building power plants) are supposed to compensate them.

    If EVERYONE has the right to build a coal powerplant taken away – tell me again who is supposed to be paying them compensation?

    How do you reconcile this?

    you keep saying that someone took your right away so someone owes you compensation but everyone else also had their right taken away also and are they not also owed compensation?

    so .. we do what.. we tax everyone and then turn around and send them a compensation check in the same amount of the tax?

    it's a biazarro concept guy.

    the real world works this way.

    you can lose some rights you used to have but it's okay if we all lose them together.

    happens ALL THE TIME…

    it's called EQUAL PROTECTION

  66. Anonymous Avatar

    You really are unbelievable.

    It does not matter if everyone has the same restrictions. It matters whom the restrictions affect. You have your house built, then they change the setbacks. You now have the same restrictions your neighbor who has not built yet, but your house is grandfathered for the next hundred years.

    SOMEDAY, you will have the same financial problem he has today, and if that happens then you she compensated. But right now, today, you face no financial loss and he does. He is entitled to compensation.

    In fact, due to the newly preserved open space near your home, we know that your house has increased in value due to his loss. Where do you think the compensation should come from? Government needs to consider that before they let others steal property.

    The governments first reason for being in existence is to protect people and their property. Therefore the opening gambit is that compensation is always due when government acts damage private property.

    Consider the Kepone case, and lets assume that they were, in fact making Kepone legally. (We know they were violating other rules already in existence. Had they beenn enforced…)

    One day we discover that automobiles are killing thousands of people every year. Do we shut them down and put them out of business without compensation? No. We force them to install seat belts and we pay them to do it.

    So here is Joe Kepone, going to work every day and producing his pestcide, obeying all the rules so far as he knows. Suddenly someone on the far side of the planet discovers there is a problem with Kepone. (Remember the Japanese that were using PCB to fry their fish in?)

    Next day, there is a new law that says you may not manufacture Kepone. The law is designed to protect all of us – even Joe Kepone; especiallyhim, because he is the guy most likely to be afflicted with nervous tremors.

    Sure enough, the new law prevents ALL of us from going into the Kepone business.

    So what? There is no loss to us because we have not made any investment, and we now have no reason to make an investment, because we cannot sell the product.

    Joe Kepone on the other hand has lost everything. And what has he done that is his fault?

    Nothing.

    Despite what we now know, it is STILL governments job to see that he is protected same as anyone else. But we don't do that. Instead we invoke CERCLA, the worst piece of environmental legislation ever invented and we attempt to make HIM liable.

    But Joe Kepone is a corporation with no assets so he simply folds and we get stuck with paying for the cleanup anyway. We would have been better off if we had approached Joe like we would anyone under government contract, and negotiated a reasonable termination liability.

    It is entirely different if someone is doing something known to be wrong and we stop him, but this isn't that case. And neither is it the case with the Florida or Australian or Oregon Farmer.

    And the difference is that in all four cases all of the rest of us get something new. We get new protections for our property. That is a public use, and under the Constitution compensation is required to anyone that is damaged or loses property due to our new public use.

    If you simply start with the idea that government’s first job is to protect everyone equally, then compensation is the default position.

    In the actual case of Kepone, by the time he paid all the other fines the compensation would have been moot, but that isn't the case for the farmers, or for people who are affected by setback rules, etc.

    They have made an investment under reasonable expectation. We have subsequently changed that expectation for our benefit, which amounts to a public use, and we are responsible for compensating them for the actual losses they incur.

    It is enticing to think vindictively, selfishly, and cynically about this in order to spare ourselves costs, but it is unethical, unconstitutional, it violates the single most fundamental spirit of the law, and it is simply WRONG.

    RH

  67. Anonymous Avatar

    "If EVERYONE has the right to build a coal powerplant taken away – tell me again who is supposed to be paying them compensation?"

    ===============================

    You only compensate those who made an investment and incurred a loss.
    You have not lost any money because you lost the right to build a kepone plant without any other action.

    We already recognize this principle when we allow already platted developments to go forward, in spite of subsequent zoning changes, but this is insufficient.

    It is shown to be insufficient by the florida case which landowners won, but to no avail.

    It is insufficient because it ignores the fact that substantial investment may have already been made, under reasonable expectation.

    It is insufficient because it ignores substantial losses that occur, depite the fact that a final plat has not been recorded.

    it is insufficient because it ignores the fact that everyone else got new property rights in the form of new and additional protections, which amount to a public use of the property which is degraded as a result. That degradation needs to be compensated for.

    Your only valid complaint at this point boils down to whare is the money going to come from. And what this boils down to is whether OUR new protections and OUr new distributed property rights are worth what they will cost our neighbors and friends in actual dollars and cents out of their pockets.

    It makes me literally sick to my stomach to think that you believe the most elemental concept of fairness is a bizarro idea.

    Your idea of no compensation just because we invented a new "wrong" is the idea that is bizarre. That is like gong back and prosecuting everyone who did not pay their income tax – before we had an income tax law.

    RH

  68. re: " but your house is grandfathered for the next hundred years"

    not if it burns down or you want to expand it…

  69. Anonymous Avatar

    you can lose some rights you used to have but it's okay if we all lose them together.

    ==============================

    The Constitution does not talk about rights, it talks a about property. When you change everyone's rights, some people lose proerty and some do not.

    When you change everyones rights, everyone gets new protections, which makes their property more valuable. But they have no right to get that new property value, and those new protections, and those new rights for free.

    Governments primary job is to protect people and proerty equally, but under yur rules that cost or burden is not shared equally.

    RH

  70. re: " we know that your house has increased in value due to his loss. Where do you think the compensation should come from? "

    not according to you … you say that the house increases in value in he is allowed to build denser even if it causes more impacts.

    Haven't you argued that ?

  71. re: " when government acts damage private property."

    you're not talking about existing property – you're talking about POTENTIAL property improvements and they are not compensated unless you have a vested plat.

    The problem with your reasoning is that virtually every single new law restricts property in some way or another for everyone.

    For instance, the "right" to use a cellphone…

    how would you go about compensating EVERYONE who might have used a cellphone and how do you determine the value of the loss of that right?

    it's not feasible on any level.

  72. re: " Do we shut them down and put them out of business without compensation? No. We force them to install seat belts and we pay them to do it."

    think about what you just said.

    you took away the right to not buy a car without a seat belt and instead of compensating them for that loss – you charge them for the seat belt.

    isn't this even worse?

    they take away your right to not buy a car without a seat belt and then they charge you for it.

    right?

  73. Anonymous Avatar

    re: " but your house is grandfathered for the next hundred years"

    not if it burns down or you want to expand it…

    ——————————–

    Does not change the argument. You don't incur any loss: you already have your investment and you get to use it. You get compensated when the loss incurs: you are not allowed to reuild. By then the law may change again or you get a special exception.

    Suppose you sell and move. probably you will get less than comparable houses elsewhere, because you have a nonconforming structure. You are entitled to compensation.

    Expansion raises an interesting issue. Inability to expand also lowers the value, and you would be eligible for compensation, but where is your investment in this possibility?

    It is in the land that you bought thinking of a larger house, same as your neighbor, who has no house.

    It's not so hard Larry, just think about what is fair, and what you would want to happen to yourself.

    RH

  74. re: " So what? There is no loss to us because we have not made any investment, and we now have no reason to make an investment, because we cannot sell the product.

    Joe Kepone on the other hand has lost everything. And what has he done that is his fault? "

    I thought you were arguing that anyone who could have potentially produced kepone lost that right and was due compensation for losing that right.

    Joe Kepone …if he was legal..had a permit with an expiration date on it and likely was allowed to manufacture until that date when he could no longer get a permit the same as the first one.

    By the way, we don't really have such a terrible problem with toxics in water discharges anymore…

    virtually all of them cannot discharge toxics anymore – and miracle of miracle..we have not gone broke from not being able to pollute….

  75. re: " It is entirely different if someone is doing something known to be wrong "

    as time goes by – we find out that what we originally thought was safe is not…

    what do you do about it?

    are you supposed to compensate everyone who used to have that right but never exercised it and it was only a potential ?

  76. re: " first job is to protect everyone equally, then compensation is the default position."

    we can disagree on the merits of the folks who can legally pollute to a point but I thought you were making the argument that EVERYONE who originally had that right and lost it without ever exercising it was also due compensation for losing that right?

    no?

  77. Anonymous Avatar

    you're not talking about existing property – you're talking about POTENTIAL property improvements and they are not compensated unless you have a vested plat.

    =============================

    Wrong. You are talking about existing proerty that is now worth less than before.

    At one time the farm had the POTENTIAL for one hose every three acres. Now it does not have that potential and the value of the actual land existing investment is Less THAN BEFORE, regardless.

    A lot less.

    The rule protecting platted lots proves the point that investment in property needs to be protected. It just does not go far enough.

    RH

  78. " It is shown to be insufficient by the florida case which landowners won, but to no avail."

    are you talking about the beachfront?

    the state pays money to restore the beach ?

    that's a court call.. I can see both sides of it.

  79. re: " Your idea of no compensation just because we invented a new "wrong" is the idea that is bizarre. That is like gong back and prosecuting everyone who did not pay their income tax – before we had an income tax law."

    going forward – how do you restrict things previously thought safe and now know to not be safe – in terms of all those folks who used to have that right but never exercised it?

    I say those folks are not due compensation.

    Only the ones who did exercise the right – may be – depending on the conditions in their permit.

    If they knew they could only get a permit for 3 or 5 years and the govt told them that they may well not be able to renew it because the law was going to change.. then I consider that a direct warning of risk to the people contemplating that investment.

    Most folks who invest and know that the permit they are seeking has an expiration date on it are going to want to do fairly substantial due dilgence on the likelihood of them being able to renew it.

    The fact that permits are not forever is a pretty clear warning up front to anyone contemplating a business that requires a permit.

    no?

  80. re: " you have a nonconforming structure. You are entitled to compensation"

    not the ones I've seen…

    when your house and/or land is assessed… and the value changes.. what does that mean?

    Are you owed compensation if the value falls?

    I think you have to prove that a particular action had a direct nexus to your loss.

    right?

    that's a tough nut in a lot of cases…

    people lose to VDOT all the time over those kinds of issues.

  81. re: " The rule protecting platted lots proves the point that investment in property needs to be protected. It just does not go far enough."

    not the potential…

    the law and the court rulings have not supported your view.

    and we're talking about a lot of law and a lot of court cases all ostensibly not done by thieves and liars but principled folks of differing opinions from yours.

  82. Anonymous Avatar

    I thought you were making the argument that EVERYONE who originally had that right and lost it without ever exercising it was also due compensation for losing that right?

    no?

    =============================

    I never made that particular argument.

    What investment would they be compensated for?

    Dont confuse that with opportunity costs, which can be real costs.

    I could not, for example, claim some huge potential costs for the loss of the ability to put a truck stop on the farm, because it was never zoned for that.

    That is the argument that the "highest and best use" people would claim. At the time the initial zoning laws were put in place, they would have been correct. Someday they may win that claim, same as the aborigines and Native Americans have one huge claims.

    But if I bought a property with known rules in place, I cannot very well complain just becsuse I am not now allowed a zoning variance.

    However, I can imagine some rule change that might mean everyone would deserve compensation. I jsut cannot imagine it ever being passed.

    The only reason we pas rules that are just as egregious (but only to some people) is because we can get away with it.

    So far.

    We do it because it makes us beter off at their expense, and t amounts to stealing.

    RH

  83. I don't think you are totally and completely wrong about every last one of these issues especially the ones that are not "potential".

    but I don't agree that the rules have been made up by hundreds/thousands of elected and judges … ALL of them…Liars and thieves.

    if you had examples of other countries that did what you say – then you'd have a much stronger argument in my view.

    the fact that virtually all countries have similar systems does not enhance your argument.

  84. Anonymous Avatar

    the law and the court rulings have not supported your view.

    ==============================

    How not? The law clearly has supported those who can demonstrate a high enough level of investment.

    That bar is just too high. And there is basically no due process to get around it. That is why Supreme court cases are so rare.

    Property is property. If I lose $100 in value because of a new rule, that rule is put in place because it improves everyone, it is for a public benefit.

    So if public benefit is worth $200, why shouldn't I get paid for my loss in providing it?

    The ony time it is a problem of course, is if the public benefit is really only worth $50, and it has been grossly oversold.

    But, as long as you don't have to compeensate, who cares?

    No, the law DOES support my position, just not well enough.

    RH

  85. best & highest use –

    can a property be appraised on this basis?

    I'm asking.. I don't know.

    I do know that people that are good at land development know the best & highest used of raw land – in the right location – with the appropriate supporting land-use regs…

    I guess a bank might agree to loan money to a developer on some basis along those lines.

    I know also, I've seen signs on properties on major roads that say "Commercial Potential" meaning that in their opinion, that land might be rezonable to a higher use than currently zoned.

  86. re: " So if public benefit is worth $200, why shouldn't I get paid for my loss in providing it?"

    who decides this and how do they know what you are saying is true?

    what happens if you own a piece of property and new stormwater rules require twice as large a pond as before and that reduces your developable acreage?

    How would you go about compensating EVERYONE who would be POTENTIALLY affected when the new rule went into effect?

    how would you go about determining which properties were affected across the entire state?

  87. Anonymous Avatar

    but I don't agree that the rules have been made up by hundreds/thousands of elected and judges … ALL of them…Liars and thieves.

    if you had examples of other countries that did what you say – then you'd have a much stronger argument in my view.

    the fact that virtually all countries have similar systems does not enhance your argument.

    ===============================

    If they are better off at someone elses expense then they are thieves.

    As long as we can demonstrate ONE person who has been made worse off becaause af a law ostensibley passed for "the public benefit" we are all thieves, anyone who stands for it and does not object.

    Whether they are liars or not, as well, is a different matter. If you look at he stories I presented, in every case someone is complaining about the hidden agenda. And these are people not directly involved in the dispute.

    Some people actually believe that they are working for the public good: they mean well, but they have not thought things through.

    But I know people, personally, some of them public officials, who will tell you flat out that they don't care. They want what they want and they will use whatever means are available, even if they are shady, inequitable, unethical and unfair.

    At least I cannot call them liars.

    The county is required by law to consider only the county budget. so hee we have a situation in which the county is required to ignore equal protection for its citizens. or at least hey have an excuse. As a result we see government practitioners slavishly acting in governments best interests as if it was the same as the citizens best interests. There are some famous court cases in which the county has been severely castigated for this kind of activity, and the beach case in Florida is one of them.

    But those owners are still out the better part of their investment.

    The real liars are those that KNOW they are screwing other people, and they use false arguments, hidden agendas, high moral ground, and anything else that might work to get what they want.

    A favorite tactic is incrementalism. "This historical designation comes with NO RESTRICTIONS." Right now.

    Another tactic is change of basis. Originally zoning was justified because it allowed for planning ahead. Now the argument is that counties can change zoning at will.

    In fact, there are several other countries that are much more advanced than we are at balancing property rights, the economy, and the environment.

    At the ame time America is one of th eoldest Democracies and many newer ones are modeled after us, so they have developed the same kinds of errors.

    It really isn't that hard, just ask if everyone is being protected equally. The best way to find out is to make them pay a price for what they want, which is what the constitution requires.

    Just because a lot of judges are wrong, doesn't make me wrong. Besides, as you point out, they are elected. And in the same county they rule in favor of.

    RH

  88. Anonymous Avatar

    who decides this and how do they know what you are saying is true?

    Well who the hell proposed the new law, which is supposedly for the public benefit?

    It is THEIR job to justify the rule. The simple way to justify the rule is to pay off all the losers and still have money left over.

    Why is that so hard?

    What we do instead is this "Look, we can skirt around the morality of this becasue the Supreme court has not ruled this narrowly yet. Since we don't have to compensate anayone then ANYTHING WE WANT, pases the public benefit test: the benefits are always higher than the costs."

    RH

  89. there are thousands of elected people making laws and thousands of judges.

    It's very hard to believe that ALL of them are wrong.

    Remember. most everyone of them is also a land owner.. a property owner… who personally understand the impacts of their actions.

  90. Anonymous Avatar

    "I know also, I've seen signs on properties on major roads that say "Commercial Potential" meaning that in their opinion, that land might be rezonable to a higher use than currently zoned."

    What happens here is that a potential buyer buys a contract for an option to buy. Then he applies for rezoning, and if he fails he is out the value of the option only. If he wins, he gets the property at a lower price than if the owner had taken the risk of rezoning.

    Either way the investment is under known conditions.

    Suppose the guy buys and ption, gets the zoning change, buys the proerty and then there is a new law to preserve the aquifer in that area.

    He did nothing wrong,but he is out everything, unless he actuall filed the final plat, and even that might not work, as in Florida.

    That is another case of incrementalism at work. At one time, you would have gotten compensation on a zoning change. then the rule was changed so you could not get it without a plat filed. Now even a plat won't protect you.

    Do you see where this is going?

    RH

  91. re: " Suppose the guy buys and ption, gets the zoning change, buys the proerty and then there is a new law to preserve the aquifer in that area"

    suppose the guy gets the rezone and he gains $100,000 on the deal.

    who does he owe for the rezone?

  92. Anonymous Avatar

    what happens if you own a piece of property and new stormwater rules require twice as large a pond as before and that reduces your developable acreage?

    How would you go about compensating EVERYONE who would be POTENTIALLY affected when the new rule went into effect?

    how would you go about determining which properties were affected across the entire state?

    ===============================

    I don't see the problem. It is a big job, but not impossible. It took a county guy all of ten seconds to run a planimeter around a map of part of my proerty and tell me I could not have the pond I wanted.

    (Turns out he was wrong, but besides the point.)

    Presumably the new stormwater rules are designed to prevent an even bigger problem.

    If, in fact, it turns out that it isn't a bigger problem, with even bigger potential benefits once solved, then it was not worth doing, was it?

    I think high speed trains will fall in that category. The benfits will be oversold, the expenses underestimated, the losers not compensated fairly, and the whole thing will turn out to be a net public loss.

    Unless they do it exactly right and in just a few places.

    If the people who discover the new "stormwater problem" don't consider all the costs, then they have not properly considered the problem, have they?

    RH

  93. re: " I don't see the problem."

    Every single piece of property than could potentially be developed with impervious surfaces would have to be found and then determined how much impervious surface it would be capable of having and then calculating the size of the pond before and after the regs?

    How long would this take? Who would you pay to do this? how much would it cost to do this?

    Once you knew the total cost which would probably exceed the entire budget of the locality – where would you get the money for compensation?

    Would you charge EVERY SINGLE property owner – developed or not to compensate everyone affected including themselves?

    you say this is not a big problem?

  94. Anonymous Avatar

    Once you knew the total cost which would probably exceed the entire budget of the locality – where would you get the money for compensation?

    ================================
    If that was the ase there would be no net public benefit and no reason to pursue the project. It costs would exceed its benefits.

    RH

  95. re: " If that was the ase there would be no net public benefit "

    except the runoff from the property is not a right to start with.

    it was only allowed originally because it was not thought to be harmful.

    You really don't have any right to send dirty runoff from your property into public streams to start with.

    Just because you were allowed to do it before does not entitle you to compensation once the law is adjusted to restrict the pollution.

    this all goes back to whether you ever had the inherent right to pollute to start with.

    If you DID have that RIGHT, then you WOULD be ENTITLED to compensation.

    This goes back to who decides what constitutes pollution that comes from your property and onto properties that do not belong to you including public waterways.

    You don't get to decide, for instance, that you can put an impervious surface on your property if it results in polluted runoff onto other properties.

    even if you think you have "no choice" but to do so.

    and that's not true.

    you are entitled to the use and enjoyment of your property as long as that use and enjoyment does not adversely affect others.

    That's the whole basis of air and water discharge permits.

    Right now, they are in a decision process to determine if stormwater runoff requires a discharge permit with specified limits on pollutants.

    They could do that – and then it would be up to you to meet the permit restrictions any way that you could – instead of only having the one option of a certain sized storm pond.

    So the storm pond size basically is a middle ground that provides a cheaper alternative to you in meeting the standard than if they required you to meet the conditions on a discharge permit.

    but at any point in time – they can decide that the pond size alone is not sufficient to sequester the pollutants and that you will have to also treat the discharge.

    but from the get go – you never had the unfettered right to any level of polluted runoff from your property.

    You were allowed – as long as what you were doing was deemed not too harmful – and that assessment can be changed as more info becomes available.

    This is what the TMDLs is all about in fact. To meet them.. will require major changes in the way that storm water is handled.

  96. Anonymous Avatar

    except the runoff from the property is not a right to start with.

    ——————————-

    We just went through that, of course it is a right. You cannot legislate away pollution. That pollution is going to exist, and all you can do is transfer ownership and responsibility. The best way to do that is make pollution a form of property that can be bought and sold.

    What is not a right is to demand a new property right (total flood protection for YOUR property) at someone elses expense.

    The only way this makes sense to do is if it benefits EVERYONE equally. That means that first of all the beneifts must outweigh the costs. If they don't thenn you would be LOSING money and property and CREATING more damage than you prevent.

    Then, if the benefits do outweigh the costs, there will be enough money to make sure the losers are compensated by the winners such that the winners still come out ahead.

    It is EASY to make a deal like that because THERE ARE NO LOSERS. As soon as environmentalists figure that out they will be able to cut a lot more deals and get a lot more environmental protection for a lot less money.

    The mere fact that there are ANY losers,suggests that the plann has not been thought out or costed properly.

    I have a piece of property and a certain amount of water runs off of it. Generally that is considered a benefit, bcause I provide clean water to eveeryone below me.

    Suddenly, one day it is not a benefit because someone below me complains. They want more protection for their property. I have done nothing wrong, and I deserve the same protection for my property as he gets: if his property loss from flooding is limited, then my property loss for providing flood provention should be EQUALLY limited.

    If it turns out that there is no economic way to do that, then the whole idea is dumb to begin with, and it should never have been proposed. We would be better off to accept the flood losses than pay the price for preventing them.

    RH

  97. " of course it is a right. You cannot legislate away pollution"

    you cannot?

    wrong Ray.

    You can and they do.

    They decide what level of pollution is acceptable and that can and does change.

    You, as a landowner, do not get to decide.

    We did that long ago and each landowner decided that no matter how nasty the pollution that it was "inevitable".

    that's why we have laws now because you cannot let the landowner decide because he will always decide in his own favor no matter how nasty the pollution.

  98. Anonymous Avatar

    it was only allowed originally because it was not thought to be harmful.

    ================================

    It does not matter what people thought at that time. What mattersis that by mposing a new requirement they are getting more proection for thier property and damaging someone elses.

    The full costs of harm have not been considered.

    The fact is taht it was allowed, and that was a normal and ususal standard, which people bought and sold proeprty under. They knew the risks.

    Now, having bought a low value proeprty they wish to increse the value at someone elses expense.

    It is stealing.

    You impose a new rule, it is your responsibility to see to it that the rule is actually for the public benefit. That means no losers. You want something new, you have an OBLIGATION to pay compensation.

    Period.

    RH

  99. " I have a piece of property and a certain amount of water runs off of it. Generally that is considered a benefit, bcause I provide clean water to eveeryone below me."

    Ray – it totally depends on what that water runs through on your property doesn't it?

    If it runs through the woods.. it WILL be clean.

    But what if it runs through a truck stop that regularly spills fluids.. oil and fuel, etc?

    Are you saying that this is a "right" of the owner?

    his only right is to let CLEAN water flow from his property.

    At the point nasty stuff from his property gets into the water, then he has no right to do that.

  100. " You impose a new rule, it is your responsibility to see to it that the rule is actually for the public benefit. That means no losers. "

    when you as a property owner allow pollution to get into the water runoff – you are creating losers are you not?

    what gives you the right to pollute clean water that then flows onto others properties?

    When you do that – you are creating losers on those other properties…

    how do they get compensated?

  101. remember – ORIGINALLY there WAS CLEAN WATER and it was taken away from property owners by other property owners.

    Who compensated the property owners who lost their clean water?

  102. Anonymous Avatar

    You really don't have any right to send dirty runoff from your property into public streams to start with.

    ——————————–

    It DOES NOT MATTER what the rights are or where you start. The fact is that previouslymost people did so and it was an accepted condition, that was factored into the economics of land ownership.

    If you CHANGE the rules you CHANGE the economics, and EVERYONE is entitle to have thier property protected equally.

    THEREFORE it is up to those that want to CHANGE the rules to make sure the cards are redealt fairly before the next round of betting begins.

    What you are doing is setting up a condition in which one party has superior property rights over another: infinite expectation that his property will be protected with zero protection for whoever he can pin FAULT on.

    But the new rules are the supposed product of a democratic process and whatever the changes are due to the new rules, they are EVERYONES responsibility.

    By creating a new rule, even if it is necessary, you are creatng new rights and new property values for some at the expense of others, when we already agree that everyone's rights are equally protected. That means you get protected from dirty loddwater, and I get protected form the costs of preventng it.

    RH

  103. the rules changed when some property owners pollute the previously unpolluted waters of other property owners.

    It does matter how it started.

    You want to jump on in the middle of this.

    We had clean water once and the people that polluted it owe the others compensation and never paid it.

    So we put rules in effect that said – "no more pollution" and we get to decide what it is and what it is not – not the property owner who has already demonstrated that they are more than willing to pollute other people's water if it results in benefits to themselves.

    In the beginning every had clean water.

    There were no "superior" rights"

    "Superior" rights were created by those who decide to pollute to gain advantage.

  104. Anonymous Avatar

    "The basic idea of the Coase Theorem is that no matter who is assigned property rights, as long as transaction costs are not too high, the efficient outcome will be achieved. In his original article nearly fifty years ago, Coase motivated this idea by writing about the problem of sparks from railroad trains setting wheat fields on fire. We will assume that these fires are very costly, and as such it is best to take action to prevent them from occurring.

    Let’s say there are two ways to avoid the risk of fire: adding some attachment to the train that catches the sparks, or having the farmers not plant wheat close to the railroad tracks. The naive view of the problem would be this: if the law dictates that railroads are responsible for the losses to farmers from the fires they start, then the railroad will invest in the spark-catching attachment, since it is a cheaper alternative to paying the farmers if a fire occurs. By this logic, if the law says that the farmers are responsible for the losses, then they will not plant wheat next to the tracks.

    The Coase Theorem states that this logic is wrong. Regardless of who is liable, the two parties should bargain to the efficient solution. Let’s say it is cheaper to stop the fires with the attachment. Then even if the railroads don’t have to pay for fire damage, the farmer should offer to pay for the railroad attachment, plus give the railroad a little extra money. The railroad is now better off (it doesn’t mind having the attachment, and it has more money) and the farmer is better off (the attachment was a cheaper alternative than not planting next to the tracks). Everyone is better off, so we expect that this will be the outcome."

    IT DOES NOT MATTER WHO IS RESPONSIBLE OR THAT ANYTHING BAD HAPPENS. WHAT MATTERS IS THAT WE FIND THE BEST SOLUTION.

    rh

  105. well.. you just bailed.. didn't you?

    all this time you've been yammering on and on about superior rights and compensation and when we get right down to the nub of it.. you start switching to the "theorems".

    tell me again – who is supposed to compensate the people who got their water polluted?

    don't go off hand-waving and yammering about theorems..

    tell me who had superior rights when folks with clean water had it polluted?

  106. Anonymous Avatar

    In the beginning every had clean water.

    There were no "superior" rights"

    ——————————-

    Horse manure.

    What you are saying here is that there is no pollution as long as we are below the carrying capacity of the environment.

    There is no pollution as long as no damage occurs.

    Everyone pees in the stream and eeryone is happy and ignorant as long as no one gets sick.

    Suddenly one day we have one guy too many peeing in the stream and EVERYONE gets dysentery. Lets blame the new guy and sew his bladder shut. None of this was ever our problem.

    Nonsense. Insead we put up a treatment plant and we ALL pay for it. If we later find we need higher standards we ALL pay for them. One way we can meet the higher standards is to just kick someone out, and the way we do that is buy him out, compensate him. If we are smart, we will do it whichever way is cheapest.

    But if we are crooks, we'll do it Larry's way.

    RH

  107. " What you are saying here is that there is no pollution as long as we are below the carrying capacity of the environment."

    no. What I am saying, and have been is that we started with clean water and "we" decide what kinds of pollution are acceptable and which or not – NOT the individual property owner.

    You NEVER had the right to pollute from the get go despite your assertion that you "had no choice".

    You had a choice and each person who pollute had their own concept of what was "enough" and what was "too much" but unfortunately in that kind of a system – the worst polluters claim it is their "right".

    and it never was to start with.

    People polluted not as a right but by their own initiative until it became obvious to everyone that no one agreed as to exactly what the "right" was and without agreement people would pollute the heck and claim that it was "ok".

    That's why we have laws.

    That's why the landowner does not get to decide.

    They never had the right to start with.

    The folks who had rights were the ones who had clean water and then had it polluted by others.

  108. Anonymous Avatar

    " of course it is a right. You cannot legislate away pollution"

    you cannot?

    wrong Ray.

    You can and they do.

    ================================

    If you believe that, then you really are an idiot.

    Given that you have X amount of production, you will have Y amount of pollution at a minimum. You MIGHT have Y+b if you have inefficient systems, but you will alwys have Y. You cannot legislate that cost away.

    You can reduce Y by reducing production, but that increases the cost of X.

    You can ban X and it will go someplace else where it isn't banned.

    Like the farmers and the train the right answer is to get the lowest total cost of X and Y, so we are all better off and stop being stupid about who has what right.

    Obviously, if you are talking about the universal solvent or th euniversal acid that will eat anything, then the best amount of that stuff to have is zero, but in the real world…….

    RH

  109. Anonymous Avatar

    " What you are saying here is that there is no pollution as long as we are below the carrying capacity of the environment."

    ============================

    Yes it is, exactly, in fact you made that argument before. No going in circles here.

    We NEVER had clean water and someone was always peeing in it, whether us or the fish.

    But any demand for change from wherever you start is a demand for more rights for yourself, unless you start with the idea that everyone gets protected equally.

    That means you get protected from pee and I get protected fromn the costs of not being allowed to pee.

    EQUALLY.

    If you don't think that is the way you wouldlie top be treated, too, then I'll be happy to sew your bladder shut.

    RH

  110. " " of course it is a right. You cannot legislate away pollution"

    "If you believe that, then you really are an idiot.
    You cannot legislate that cost away."

    You CAN legislate away POLLUTION.

    We do it all the time.

    the cost trade-offs are part of the consideration of outlawing some kinds of pollution and restricting others.

    BUT – You NEVER had the right to pollute from the get go.

    The govt has ALWAYS had the right to decide who can, who cannot and when – including restricting previously-allowed pollution.

  111. Anonymous Avatar

    You NEVER had the right to pollute from the get go despite your assertion that you "had no choice".

    ============================

    Of course you do. You have the right to live, the same right as the next guy.

    Lock two people or two rats in a room long enough and one of them will eat the other one.

    Under the circumstances each has an equal right to try.

    When you start the room will be clean and pristine, but before long it will be a mess and there is no law you can write to change that.

    You can pay to have food sent in and manure sent out, but we both expect to pay the same prices, otherwise one making a claim of superior property right.

    RH

  112. Anonymous Avatar

    BUT – You NEVER had the right to pollute from the get go.

    ===============================

    Whtever the rights were, I had the same right you had. Now you are making a claim of superior property right: the right to claim someone else had nor right.

    Therefore the rights are unequal, and governments has the OBLIGATION to protect me same aas you.

    It is a circular argument, Larry.

    It does not matter whether thre are no rights to begin with, the same rights to begin with, or someone owns all the rights to begin with.

    You start somewhere, at some time, with some economic condition. Government makes a rule change that changes the condition. Government has an obligation to protect everyone equally, and so it must compenate anyone who is worse off as a result of the change.

    Period.

    The starting condition is of no importance,, what we learn new is of no importance, everyone is still entitled to the same protection.

    Your idea that you can hold someone else liable for a new condition is simply immoral. it is wrong and it is stealing.

    RH

  113. the "protection" we are entitled to is the clean water we started with.

    you do not have to pee in the water.

    you can build a septic tank.

    according to you – I should pay for it instead of you because you "have no choice" and it is your "right".

    Nope.

    You never had the right to start with.

    You exceed your rights when you polluted the water that used to be clean for others.

    That's where you start.

    Not years later after a bunch of yahoos have polluted the heck out of the water and now claim it was always their right.

    The starting condition IS IMPORTANT.

    Your argument is that after someone steals from you that they now own what they stole and you cannot get it back because it's now theirs – and that's your starting point.

    ha ha ha ha

    I'm entitled to clean air and clean water.

    That's my right.

    You are not entitled to pollute it unless I and others agree through government what is acceptable or not for ALL of us, including you.

    that's the way it works guy.

    you don't get to decide and you don't get to claim you always were allowed to do it before…

    well you can claim it but it won't do you any good…

  114. Anonymous Avatar

    We both have the right to live.

    We have government to protect that right.

    Therefore we are both entitled to equal protection.

    How you get from those two rules to your position without violatingone or the other is beyond me.

    ——————————–

    "…. all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,…."

    "We the people of the United States, in order to …… promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty …. do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

    It is that simple. Two rules. Everything else flows from that.

    " whenever …..Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it….."

    "when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism,……, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

    Right now we have a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the Object of "environmental protection". This is evinced by repeated and incremental decreases in the right to pursue liberty and happiness and repaeted refusal to follow the spirit of the constituiton that requires compensation whenever private property is taken to secure "the general welfare and the blessings of liberty", whichis the only justification for government to begin with.

    It is our duty to combat despotism and unequal protection under the law. Part of the property which we enjoy which enables us to pursue life is our shared ownership of the enviroment we live in.

    Each of us is entitled to equal protection of our share of that property, which includes its usable carrying capacity. And as such each of us is obligated to pay our equal share of its maintenance. (Back to rule one and two).

    It is my opinion that anyone who will not stand up to despotism is a coward and a thief.

    Even if such despotism is carried out in the name of the environment we all share.

    Nothing you have eer said gets you past the circularity and preconditions of your position which violate the most basic rules of equality,the foundation of the constitution, and the rules designed to operate it.

    Sorry, you cannot and will not ever convince me otherwise.

    You want more protection for your property (and equally mine),that's fine. Just show me how this a)promotes the general welfare, and b) does not expend more of my property than yours in the process.

    As long as you do those two things, I will agree with you.

    But if you ry to argue that those things are not necessary, this isn't the way it is done, or there is some other previous and higher rule, then you are a despot and an enemy of free men everywhere.

    RH

  115. Anonymous Avatar

    I'm entitled to clean air and clean water.

    ================================

    No, you ae not. You can never be "entitled" to something which is impossible.

    As soon as you breathe your first breath you begin fouling the environment that you think you are entitled to.

    This is a matter of degree, not fact.

    You are not entitled to perfectly clean air, and you are not entitled to prevent me from using it.

    We both have an interest in keeping the air as clean as possible, and we both have an equal obligation to pay for its upkeep.

    You do not have the right to send me a bill for your clean air, unless you send yourself a bill for the same amount.

    RH

  116. Anonymous Avatar

    the "protection" we are entitled to is the clean water we started with.

    You are setting a precondition to the two rules. The only proection we are entitled to is equal protection.

    You cannot require me to build a septic tank unless you build one yourself. In that case they cost the same and it matters not who pays for which.

    Furthermote, it must be to promote the general welfare. As long as the damage from peeing in the water is less than the coss of our septic system, you and government have no reason to reduce our general welfare.

    Only if the septic tanks provide more benefit than costs are they worth doing. this is your own argument that there is no polltuion if ther eis no harm.

    RH

  117. we all are subject to the same rules – that IS equal protection.

    but the rules can change as long as they apply to both of us.

    They can originally not require tanks at all….

    .. then they require tanks…

    … then they require a reserve drainfield

    …then they require pump-outs

    ….etc….

    none of us gets compensated for losing our "rights"

    in fact, we have to pay more.

  118. Anonymous Avatar

    that IS equal protection.

    Not if it costs me more of my property than it costs you.

    What is equal about that?

    You can try to call it whatever you want but equal restriction is NOT the same as equal protection.

    RH

  119. Anonymous Avatar

    but the rules can change as long as they apply to both of us.

    I never said the rules cannot change. Once chnaged the rules will apply to both of us equally.

    That is insufficient, because the efffect of the rules may affect one of us disproportioanately —-WHICH IS AGAINST THE WRITTEN LAW.

    The new rule may offer us both $100 worth of new protections but if it costs me $1000 and you nothing then I am bearing an undue burden which is not only against the law, it is immoral.

    Two rules. Right out of the very front of our most basic legal documents. The right to life and the right to protection under the law.

    I'm sorry you don't seem to be able to get it.

    As long as we have equal protection and equal burdens it does not matter who pays. Only if you insist on trying to steal by inventing a new and arbitrary guilt trip does who pays mattter.

    And by the way, your plan is always more expensive and wasteful than my plan, which means you get LESS protection overall.

    RH

  120. Anonymous Avatar

    It is shown to be insufficient by the florida case which landowners won, but to no avail."

    are you talking about the beachfront?

    ===============================

    No this is a separate case. Florida landowners bought fully plattted lots as long ago as 1954. Subsequently the county has downgraded the zoning several times to conservation and recreation areas and finally public access areas.

    The court overthrew all the recent zoning because the lots were already fully plattted.

    But the owners are still prohibited from building by other technicalities and regulations, and they have no due process to get relief.

    The won in court and they are still being screwed by their own government out of sheer obstinacy.

    Same situation with the Dorothy English case in Oregon. She won fair and square in court – several times, but she finally died and now the county is denying that the rulings apply to her heirs.

    40 years she fought that battle, just to build her retirement home. On land that she bought in good faith, and scrimped and saved for for decades.

    It is not right.

    RH

  121. Anonymous Avatar

    Ray – it totally depends on what that water runs through on your property doesn't it?

    ——————————–

    No. It could simply be the AMOUNT of water, which is your example.

    And no,it does not matter anyway.

    I have a truck stop and it was built with permission and expectations.

    Suddenly someone outside the truck stop gets new expectations. They demand cleaner water when it was never demanded before. The are getting a new property value at someone elses expense.

    But clean water is for everyones benefit and everyone should bear the expense equally, just as in the example with the wheat field and the trains.

    It does not matter who had what right, in the end the best answer is the best answer and that answer is always equally in everyones interest to support. It is a very simple mathematical fact that you seem unsable to get.

    Now, you argue that the truck stop NEVER had the right to pollute, but that contradicts your earlier statement: if there is no harm there is no pollution.

    So here is a situation where someone claims there is now a harm where there was none before. Whether tht is true or not does not matter,and neither does when it happened matter.

    The new end result must be that everyone gets equal protection and everyone pays equal costs to get it. It is written in the law.

    Claimng that the truck stop NVER had the right to pollute puts that rule ahead of the first two: the right to life and the right to equal protection,and thherefore this claim amounts to a claim of superior or prior property rights.

    Rights that you think supercede even the right to life and the right to equal protection.

    It is a lousy argument, and immoral besides.

    Trust me, I came from where you are ondce. I believed as you do but I learned that I was wrong.

    When it finally sank into my thick skull, it was a revelation to me how wrong I had been before, and how obvious the correct and moral and legal answer is.

    RH

  122. Anonymous Avatar

    You are not entitled to pollute it unless I and others agree through government what is acceptable or not for ALL of us, including you.

    ===================================

    I have never disagreed with that. but if you CHANGE what is acceptable you change the financial situation for those that were previously acting acceptably and without any stigma of guilt.

    In doing so we get new valuable proprerty at the expense of others who have done nothing wrong up to that point.

    What right have we got to hold them financially responsible because WE changed the rules as to what is acceptable?

    What is now acceptable STILL has some level of pollution. WHO will say that tomorrow THAT level willnot be acceptable, and then the next and the next?

    If that final level of protection is for the good of all of us then all of us should expect to py EQUALLY for the protection we get, even if that means paying off the guy who we used to allow to manufacture Kepone.

    It is not just equl protection from pollution that counts, although that is a typical Larry twist on reality. It is equal protection from financial despotism, equal protection from undue burden.

    RH

  123. Anonymous Avatar

    "the "protection" we are entitled to is the clean water we started with."

    Wrong, the protecton we started with was equal protection at equal costs. The waqter was never clean, that is an illusion. It was only clean enough that there were no costs, and therefore the costs were equal. You are inventing a new "prior right and attempting to put it BEFORE the right to leife and the right to equla protection

    ———————————-

    "You exceed your rights when you polluted the water that used to be clean for others.

    That's where you start."

    But that starts on day one, didn't it? As soon as the first guy takes his first pee the wate is no longer as clean as it was. So the second guy says "You have to build a septic tank". But an hour later That guy needs to pee, and I have the same right to demand that he build a septic tank as he does of me. At that point we agree to build one septic tank and both pee in it. We share the costs and the benefits equally.

    There is never a new point in time whne we suddenly discover that the other guy is harming us and we can stop him without sharing the costs and sharing the protection. We have no right to demand protection without sharing the costs of protection.

    Even if we had that right, it could never possibly work. You can Never GET SOMETHING FOR NOTHING That is what we are seeing when dirty jobs go someplace else.

    All we are talking about is matters of degree from day one, when we had equal right to life, and equal protection from each other.

    "Only the ones who did exercise the right – may be – depending on the conditions in their permit."

    This is a fallacy based on time. Same as the day one problem.

    I'm entitled to equl protection, no matter when.

    Besides, now you are arguing MY point. We don't write everythng down, and therfore proerty rights are imprecisely described. That dow not give you the right to create a new property right just by writing it down.

    "Reasonable and Customary" is enforceable contract language. It does not matter whether someone ever exercised a right. It is immaterial.

    For the most part you are correct: if someone never invested in a right, never used it, and never had any intention of using it, then he has suffered no economic harm and there is nothing to compensate him for.

    That is an insufficient argument to apply universally. If YOU come up with a new requiremnt it is YOUR responsibility to see that no one is actually harmed by it. You have no right to demand that first septic tank if you don't share the costs AND the benefits.

    The second one either. It is reasonable and customary to invest in land now knowing that you cannot afford to use it until later. But just because you never exercised that right does not mean that you have not suffered a loss if that right is taken away.

  124. Anonymous Avatar

    Time is not an issue in fairness.

    We plan a development for a hundred homes. After half of them are built we decide that some new "harm" has developed that will be caused if more than fifty homes exist.

    The same "harm" will exist if the fifty first homne is built tomorrow or ten years from now, but it did not exist before the new harm regulation.

    Suppose that sixty homes are built before the "harm" is discovered. Then, ten homes are going to have to go.

    By your reasoning we would just tear down the last ten and they would be out of luck along with the other forty that never exercised their right yet.

    The first fifty would get enhanced property rights and 50% more open space that they never paid for.

    How is that equal protection?

    The guy who never built his house and the guy who built one and lost it are equal only in the sense that neither has a house. But the guy who built his and lost it clearly lost MORE. The guy who bought and paid for his lot lost more than the guy who borrowed the money, and he lost more than the guy who signed a purchase agreement and made a deposit.

    It does not matter WHEN any of this happens: the issues of fairness are still the same.

    And, the guy who already exercised his right and built and lives in his nice snug home has NO RIGHT to skate on this cost free, no matter when it happens. He has an OBLIGATION to accept an equal burden on this,same as the guy demanding a septic tank way back on day one.

    RH

  125. we don't tear down houses after they are built do we?

    In fact, if your plat is vested your ability to build is assured.

    we need to clear up a couple of things.

    the mere fact that someone exists will cause some level of pollution but having an outhouse on your property where the "pollution" never leaves your property – as was done for hundreds/thousands of years is not the same as engaging in activities where pollution leaves your property.

    So you can pollute but if it does not leave your property then there is no problem.

    When it leaves your property – no matter what you claim with respect to you having "no choice", you do.

    You could build an outhouse like everyone else and not be like the others where none of you affect the others.

    When you step over the line and what you do affects others – you are subject to restrictions based on the level of harm you would be doing to others.

    If you are dumping a deadly substance, it can be banned – even though it was not previously banned.

    If you dump something that is less than deadly but exceptionally harmful in concentration and volume then you could be restricted by requiring a permit.

    If, as time goes by, it is determined that the concentration and/or volume is more harmful than originally thought, then the permit can be further restricted or withdrawn.

    All of this is based on the pollution that leaves your property and has nothing to do at all with your idea that in order to live you must pollute and everything to do with what you do with your own pollution which you are not entitled to dump on other people's properties.

    In your bizarro world everyone would have the right to pollute and everyone's property would suffer to whatever level their neighbor decided he needed to pollute AND if you tried to keep him from polluting, then you'd owe him compensation for taking away his right to pollute.

    You NEVER had the right to pollute other people's properties to start with.

    The folks who did it – did not get permission, they did not offer part of the profits – they just dumped the pollution and it degraded the air and water of their neighbors – who are entitled to water and air that does not threaten their health if not pristine.

    Who decides what is a threat to health?

    Big HINT: NOT THE GUY WHO IS POLLUTING but the folks whose health is affected by the pollution.

    The ONLY right that you REALLY ever had is the right to use and enjoy your property as long as what you do does not result in adverse impact to your neighbors.

    That's the Golden Rule you keep yammering about…

    And you do not get to decide how much pollution you must create in order to live.

    when your pollution leaves your property others decide how much is acceptable or not – not you.

  126. In general with the truckstop example and, in fact, many, but not all regulations – new, more restrictive ones usually do not apply to existing properties.

    For instance, the rules for storm ponds for new construction is much tighter than for ones already built – which are not required to go back and retrofit usually.

    Storm Ponds, so far, do not require NPDES permits unless the substances that in them and get released are regulated.

    So.. if unpolluted water is the runoff from a storm pond then it does not require a NPDES discharge permit.

    If there IS pollution in the runoff – then two things are true:

    1. – for each pollutant, it is listed on the permit and there is a threshold limit beyond which you are not permitted to release.

    2. – the permit has an expiration date – at which point a new permit has to be obtained – and a new permit may have tighter restrictions for some pollutants.

    If the truckstop is expanding, then other rules that apply to new construction – may also kick in.

    This goes back to the concept that you simply don't have an unfettered right to start with.

    Some localities are now creating Storm Water Authorities where everyone in the zone pays an additional tax that goes into a fund that is then used to pay for retrofits of priority problem areas.

    You'll also find that with water&sewer hook-up fees, those fees can and do increase if a new plant is to be built and it will have restrictions.

    If an existing plant has to get a new permit and the new permit is more restrictive and requires retrofits – those costs are passed on to the folks who already have hookups.

    what this points out is this.

    You as a homeowner may not be putting anything more or different into the sewer but at the other end – the amount of nitrogen that is allowed to be released is reduced, in effect, each house has also been restricted and everyone has to pay increased rates to pay for the higher levels of treatment.

    When you signed up for the water/sewer service, in the fine print – it more than likely says that they can raise fees and that you are not entitled to the original fee if they do change.

    I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't already know – but I'm just bringing them up as illustrations of how it is perfectly legal for the govt to implement increased restrictions AND charge you increased fees to pay for them.

    No one comes to pay you when the restrictions are increased.

    It's the other way around.

  127. Anonymous Avatar

    Case in point.

    Your opinion: does this guy deserve compensation or not?

    —————————–

    "Las Olas had planned to build a 60-foot-tall condo at 1316 First St. N. before voters approved the building height limit in 2004.

    Now, the developer will be filing a lawsuit against Jacksonville Beach under a state private property rights law that compensates landowners when a government regulation harms their property's value by limiting its use. The law is known as the Bert J. Harris Jr. Private Property Rights Protection Act.

    The $1.45 million is the difference between the land's value with the 60-foot-tall condo and with a 35-foot-tall structure, said Las Olas attorney Tim Franklin of Neptune Beach. The figure is based on a July 2009 appraisal on the land's market value, he said.

    Las Olas is one of several developers that sued the city over the citizens' building height initiative, which voters approved to rein in the trend of tall oceanfront condos. Despite dozens of lawsuits, the city has yet to pay a dime in court damages to those developers.

    This case differs from the others because Las Olas had a building permit to construct the condo before the height cap's adoption."

    ——————————

    He has a plat, investment in the property, and even an approved building permit, then they yank the rug out.

    What say you?

    RH

  128. Anonymous Avatar

    new, more restrictive ones usually do not apply to existing properties.

    For instance, the rules for storm ponds for new construction is much tighter than for ones already built – which are not required to go back and retrofit usually.

    ——————————

    Right. So everyone gets a benefit which protects their property and their water quality, but only the new construction has to pay the costs.

    So guy A builds a $100 million dolalr development and his stormwater control costs him $1 million. Six weeks later Guy B builds a $100 million development but his stormatere costs are suddenly $2 million.

    Which means he has a million dollars less of salable assets to make his profit from. How are his property rights protected?

    Even if guy A is not required to retrofit, he ought to be required to contribute eqaully to the new level of protection which is required. One way to do this would be to provide for a special asessment against those with nonconforming stormwater systems and use that money to partially offset the costs for those building the new systems which help meet community sromwater goals.

    Later, if A decides to upgrade, he could apply for the same assistance.

    RH

  129. if there is a strong nexus between an action taken and a subsequent lowering of the property values.. it's probably going to take a judge to sort it out but if a whole area was re-designated and this guy was not selected out individually then I wonder how that differs from a downzone.

  130. some places are designating storm water authorities where everyone contributes to retrofitting but stricter environmental laws are done all the time.

    Last year, a new rule was passed that required me to perform a pump-out and I had to pay for it.

    The law is not so much to IMPROVE the water quality but to to PREVENT FURTHER DEGRADATION.

    in much the same way you might have 5 people who could pee in a creek but at some point.. when you start getting to 500… you can't keep going and changes have to be made – and as long as they apply to everyone.. then it's fair because it benefits all of them.

  131. Anonymous Avatar

    some places are designating storm water authorities where everyone contributes to retrofitting but stricter environmental laws are done all the time.

    ===============================

    That is as it shold be. Nothing says that you cannot have stricter rules, But it is unfair if the costs of thoase rule fall only on some. People who were bound by previous rules ALSO need to contribute, somehow, to meeting the new ones.

    It is more than unfair to new construction if the new rules actually have little or nothing to do with actual environmental problems, but are merely a front for newly voiced desires, or an outright grab for property rights: as in a bid to make existing properties more rare and more valuable.

    I believe this happens more than we care to admit.

    The other situation is that there is an actual benefit to the new rules, but it is hugely oversold, as if the entire world would come down without it.

    RH

  132. Anonymous Avatar

    it's probably going to take a judge to sort it out but if a whole area was re-designated and this guy was not selected out individually then I wonder how that differs from a downzone.

    ———————————-

    Why does it matter if the county or city screws one person of if they just initiate an orgy?.

    Apparently, in this case the area became popular enough that big buildings on the water front were financially feasible. The existing height restriction was 65 ft.

    Only AFTER evelopers started the process of building to the rule did locals suddenly discover a "new wrong", and so the height restriction was lowered to 35 feet.

    It is hard to make a real environmentl case for such a restriction, especially when the old restriction was good enough for decades. Now, "Oh my God, they ar taking advantage of the law, quick, let's change it."

    Without any other knowledge I would guess that this is primarily an issue of aesthetics that has little to do with safety, the environment, or public services.

    A bunch of influential people just decided they did not want what they were about to get, so they changed the rules, and at the last minute.

    They got what they wanted at no cost to thmenselves. Dozens of landowners sued over this and none of them got a cent, not surprisingly since they are suing in the district that imposed the rules.

    To me, it stinks to high heaven, it is wrong, and all of the owners that can show that they had any realistic intention to build should be compensated.

    And it would be best if they were compensated by the same influential citizens that wanted the rules changed.

    Fair is fair.

    RH

  133. Anonymous Avatar

    many, but not all regulations – new, more restrictive ones usually do not apply to existing properties.

    —————————-

    What planet do you live on? I've been downzoned six times,and each time a more restrictive regulaton applied to an existing property.

    In the Oregon case, the deliberately made setbacks larger than the existing lots. Obvously they cannot force that requirement on existing structures, but now, every structure is nonconforming and can never be sold, as a result.

    It is an out and out land grab.

    I believe that Maryland intends to go back and make thier new drainage rules retroactive, wherever possible.

    RH

  134. it goes to impacts. Is there adequate water and sewer for higher buildings with more people?

    How about the roads can they handle the increased traffic?

    If they allowed the denser development then ran out of water/sewer capacity, you'd be on them right?

  135. Anonymous Avatar

    Last year, a new rule was passed that required me to perform a pump-out and I had to pay for it.

    A pump out of what, your septic system or your storm water system?

    Pumping out a septic system is nomal maintenance and they should be pumped out periodically.

    Private water and sewer systems SHOULD be examined and certified by the auhorities periodically. Many problems have beeen caused in the past because this was not done by the authorities.

    As a result of those problems, private systems are often prohibited now, and this is a mistake. We should allow more private systems, and do a better job of inspecting them.

  136. Anonymous Avatar

    it goes to impacts. Is there adequate water and sewer for higher buildings with more people?

    ———————————

    Didn't they figure that out under the previous regulations?

    I don't believe it has anything to do with impacts, even if that argument is made. This is pure selfishness or what we want and don't want.

    I'd bet there was never an impact study, and if there was one it was paid for by the devloprs nad then rejected out of hand by the county.

    RH

  137. Anonymous Avatar

    Anyway, it does mnot matter what the evidence is or WHY there might be a change. These landowners are taking a real and a serious hit, for some kind of benefit to wveryone else.

    They are losing rights that they werre actively pursuing and investing in. I believe they are entitled to compensation and that compensaton should be the default position.

    If the "prominent citizens" understood that up front, they would be more realistic in their demands.

    Besides, there is plenty of room to argue about the amount of compensation, and even special circumstances where it might not be appropriate. But I believe that compensation should be the default position and the burden of proof should be on those creating the new regulations as to why compensation is not appropriate.

    The reason I believe it is that I hae seen too many good, honest, hardworking people who have done nothing wrong, lose much of their lifes effort because of a few jackasses with no real skin in the game.

    I have seen the frustration, the the tears, the outrage, and the hardship this kind of crap causes.

    And it is all unnecessary, and wasteful. We can find a better an more equitable way ahead, if we are willing to look for it.

    RH

  138. re: " Didn't they figure that out under the previous regulations?"

    no… this happens all the time. The regs are done within the confines of thinking at that time and quite often ..the don't realize the downstream impacts.

    we do this all the time for regular development where we approve rezones and there is no road capacity to support it.

    Loudoun was going to do that before VDOT got involved and showed everyone what would happen to the roads if the development was approved without any plans to update the roads.

    this is typical rather than unusual.

  139. Anonymous Avatar

    In fact, if your plat is vested your ability to build is assured.

    No it isn't. That is the case in two cases in florida.

    In one case vested plats have been refused constrcution permits, and in another canstruction permits wer revoked retroactively.

    And I have heard of two cases in Virginia where recorded plats were denied.

    RH

  140. Anonymous Avatar

    You as a homeowner may not be putting anything more or different into the sewer but at the other end – the amount of nitrogen that is allowed to be released is reduced, in effect, each house has also been restricted and everyone has to pay increased rates to pay for the higher levels of treatment.

    I dont have any problem with that or with the required pump out in your case as long as everyone is treated the same, and bears the same or proportional expense.

    ——————————-

    But to me that is different from a new stormwater rule, which like the pumpuot rule is to prevent further degradataion. It is different because a new person faces an entirely different financial effect, which bebfits those who do not contribute.

    If everyone pays an inreased rate then the changes are affecting everyone equally. You cannot say the same thing about a new setback rule, or a rule that, say, triples the required size of the leaching field.

    Suppose my leaching field has been there for a hundred years, yet if I had to replace it today it would need to be three times as large.

    Is there any real justification for that, or is it just an incremental overkill designed to discourage construction?

    This is the third house to be built on this foundation, yet when this house finally falls down that foundation won't be "good enough" to meet new codes. Two hundred years is not "good enough"?

    This house was built out of sawn timber, but I could not do that today because the wood has to be graded and inspected.

    RH

  141. what happens.. is that govt underestimates the damage from pollution.. and the demand that arises from land-use… and then they have to backtrack..

    They're not out to screw anyone.. they're just not very good at predicting the consequences of their decisions.

    but then the idea that any property owner should be able to develop their property to the highest and best use – totally depends on the availability of publically provided infrastructure not provided by the guy who wants to rezone…

    Govt and other taxpayers cannot provide unlimited water/sewer/roads everywhere there is vacant land.. there's not enough money on earth to do that.

    they have to pick where they want to invest in infrastructure for growth.

    When they do that.. it's like winning the lottery for the existing property owners (and the buyers smart enough to know where new infrastructure will be provided).

    When localities downzone – they're looking at what happens if all the land in the downzoned area is developed to it's maximum available density in terms of the infrastructure that will have to be provided …much like they'd look at a stream and know that it cannot take anymore pollution.. so they restrict.

    If they don't restrict then they get thrown out of office because other taxpayers know they are going to get the bill and all parties know this.

    You say they have no spine. I say it wouldn't matter because they'd get thrown out and the tax set back to where it was before any money resulted anyhow.

    You should read this:

    page 12

    http://goo.gl/FArY

    it explains how Virginia does business on these issues compared to other states.

  142. Anonymous Avatar

    ..the don't realize the downstream impacts.

    including the financial ones, and that is part of the problem.

    Much of the time the impacts are not even there. it is just a bunch of busybodies and activists who continually raise the bar to get more of what they want at someone elses. expense.

    I don't have any problem with changing the rules, as long as the costs are fairly distributed and the benefits are real. You would have a hard time convincing me, for example, that requiring a leaching field that will last three hundred years rather than just a hundred is a real benefit.

    It is certainly not ever going to be a benefit to the guy who originally had to pay for it.

    RH

  143. been there – done that.. when I put in a drainfield way back in a brand new rule popped out requiring me to have a viable reserve site – because they'd had too many issues with people drainfields failing then they'd lose their occupancy permits and the property became virtually worthless.

    So my building permit was held up until a reserve field was surveyed and found viable.

    None of the existing houses in the neighborhood around me had the reserve fields.

  144. no one.. including govt officials and professional staff look far enough downstream to see the issues that will soon enough cause them problems.

    Just like right now with the nitrogen and phosphorous.

    All these sewage treatment plants were permitted with ..what turns out to be – way higher levels of nitrogen in the effluent than is healthy for the Bay.

    Back when they originally built these plants – they never saw the problems that would occur.

    You can blame them I guess but only recently have they also "discovered" that prescription drugs, hormones and antibiotics in the wastewater is not good.

    Now.. you think " well this is so obvious that even a moron could have seen this".

    well. actually no… people are just not that smart sometimes.

  145. Anonymous Avatar

    As the United States Supreme Court recognized in Lingle v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc.,[ 17 ] "government regulation of private property may, in some instances, be so onerous that its effect is tantamount to a direct appropriation or ouster — and that such regulatory takings may be compensable under the Fifth Amendment. Regulations that fall short of eliminating property's beneficial economic use may still effect a taking, depending upon the regulation's economic impact on the landowner, the extent to which it interferes with reasonable investment-backed expectations, and the interests promoted by the government action.

    Any government that reduces the economic interest in property based on reasonable investment backed expectations is on notice by the Supreme court that they may be liable for compensation.

    And yet most local governments have chosen to interpret this to mean that as long as it is not a comnplete taking, that they are off the hook.

    One of these days, someone may win a lawsuit, as native Americans have and open the floodgates to decades of claims.

    And the stupid part is that there is no reason for these claims to exist. For the most part it is perfectly reasonable fair, and achieveable to simply make the compensaton payments and have EVERYONE come out ahead on the deal.

    ===============================

    Now if you ant to see acase of busybodies making claims about damage to themselves becasuse of some alleged diminution in environmental quality just see

    HITCH v. VASARHELYI

    Vasarhelyi obtained a permit to build a dock, through all the appropriate legal channels ahd hitch opposed him every step of the way.

    Hitch made most of the arguments usually made by Larry and in the end the appeals judge dismissed his arguments as silly.

    "The Hitches' takings claims turn on their allegation that their property has been diminished in value by DNR's issuance to their neighbor of a revocable license to build a private dock. However, even assuming a legally cognizable economic impact, the Hitches' complaint has failed to show how the mere issuance of a license to construct a private dock on State land resulted in a taking of their property by the State for public use."

    RH

  146. Anonymous Avatar

    "because they'd had too many issues with people drainfields failing then they'd lose their occupancy permits and the property became virtually worthless.

    So my building permit was held up until a reserve field was surveyed and found viable.

    None of the existing houses in the neighborhood around me had the reserve fields.

    "

    So the queston is what is reasonable reserve and why did they fail. possibly because they were never pumped.

    But any drainfield already has considerable reserve capacity designed into it, on top of being designed for a considerable lifespan to begin with.

    But, as we know, incompetent and corrupt builders, and shoddy homeowners do lead to septic field failures, and that is how we get to this point.

    There is no reason for a septic field failure to lead to a loss of permit, Septic fields can be replaced, dirt and all, and there are plenty of other options. But in our zeal to prevent building most of these options are outlawed.

    In your case you did not have to build the reserve field, merely identify a location for it. This requires a "soils engineer" who basically feels your dirt and tells you whether it will drain.

    This costs anywhere from $500 to $2500 additional to what you will hae to do anyway for the main drainfield: you have to dig a test spot, hire the engineer, and put it on the plat.

    You are essentially buying insurance against the possibility that your main field might eventually fail and cause a nuisance for your neighbors and possible temporary environmental harm.

    That is pretty freaking expensive insurance, considering the risk involved. It costs you money that could have been invested in something worthwhile, and it provides almost nothing to the community.

    $2500 bucks for essentially NOTHING is a pretty big annoyance in my book but it is chicken feed compared to the costs my brother incurred, for essentially NOTHING.

    NO PUBLIC BENEFIT. And that is one reason I believe that compensation should be the default position, because it makes those who dream up these hare-brained "protections" think about what they might actually cost.

    I suggest think there should be a small annual fee on septic systems, and the fee is lower if you have a reserve field. The money would be used to pay for septic tank inspections, and education, and you could buy real insurance with the septic tank funds to pay the cost of septic field replacements. I imagine that the fee would be smaller than the interest on $2500.

    With such a fee everyone pays a similar amount for environmental protection, and everyone gets some protection against septic tank failures.

    With a two tier fee you would have a choice of paying the higher fee or having a reserve drainfield. You would get better data on how many drainfields are failing and you could zero in the fees to reflect the real costs of environmental protection. You would be able to osee in the data whether higher fees actually bought you better water quality or not.

    ———————————

    My favorite story is the time I inquired about enlarging my drainfield to accommodate an addition to the house, and inquired about the process for restoring an old silted in pond.

    I was told tht my soil does not drain well enough for a septic field (although my septic field works fine where it is), and it drained too fast to support a pond (although there is clear evidence of a former pond and generally standing water on the pond site site anyway.

    Some people simply get a perverse kick out of saying "no", and such people are inordinately drawn to "public service".

  147. Anonymous Avatar

    "no one.. including govt officials and professional staff look far enough downstream to see the issues that will soon enough cause them problems."

    —————————-

    Right, and even worse there is no feedback loop and no accountability to make them do a better job.

    But it does not MATTER what kind of new problem is discovered there is never any reason to do economic harm to someone who was otherwise operating legally: to interfere with "resonable investment backed EXPECTATIONS" as the Supreme court put it.

    It is way too easy to act childishly and assert some kind of "BLAME" here when none actually exists.

    We have to find a way to make everyone equally financailly responsible for maintenance of the environment which we all claim as our own.

    When that happens, we will become a lot more "picky" about which environmental initiatives we want to fund, and that will mean we will get the best, most profitable projects first. And at every point along the curve we will wind up with better environmental protection at less cost.

    What environmentalists who oppose strong proerty rights do not understand is that it will SAVE THEM MONEY and BUY MORE ENVIRONMENTAL protection.

    RH

  148. Anonymous Avatar

    You can blame them I guess but only recently have they also "discovered" that prescription drugs, hormones and antibiotics in the wastewater is not good.

    ——————————-

    I hate to tell you this, but those things are not ever going to be cleaned up in sewage treatment plants, not even if we resort to total distillation.

    It would be cheaper to ban prescription drugs and just let people die, than try to clean up every metabolite of these things.

    RH

  149. I'm amused when they open a new plant or tout a big upgrade by getting a glass of the finished product to toast and drink.

    you won't convince the environmentalists about property rights.

    There's too much already horribly polluted water around.

    They're not opposed to property rights.. they're opposed to pollution. It's the same approach that police use to stop speeding.. same human nature…

    If something is perceived to be harmful – you try to stop it the best way you can.

    For every guy whining about his property rights, 10 more were just fine with dumping dioxin on other folks property.

    I believe they WILL find a way to deal with the hormones, antibiotics and prescription drugs… if they don't all the other efforts to deal with nitrogen and phosphorous won't return the waters to a condition healthy for critters.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080128120622.htm

  150. Anonymous Avatar

    "They're not opposed to property rights.. they're opposed to pollution."

    ———————————
    I don't agree with you. It is widley conceded that diminution of property rights has been one of the environmental movements most useful and productive tools.

    If that is the case, then why do they refuse to pay for property rights that are extinguished or diminished?

    They are idiots if they do not understand taht the right to pollute IS a property right. The will get less pollution with stronger property rights.

    We all claim that the environment belongs to us. Part of that is the ability of the environmet to accept and absorb pollution: its carrying capacity. If we own the environement then we all have a right to some of that carrying capacity, and the proper and most efficient method to do that is to amange property rights with markets.

    RH

  151. Anonymous Avatar

    You claim that there is no right to pollute, which puts that condition ahead of even the right to live – which requires some level of pollution.

    You also claim the right to proscriptive prevention: making others pay to prevent any kind of new damages you can invent. This amounts to making a claim of new property rights in contravention of the reasonable and customary portion of the law, and it ignores the fact that the same property was previously controlled by others. It is a taking.

    You also claim that people and officials are now concerned about newly identified "impacts". That's fine, but they still have an obligation to see that the costs of controlling those impacts universally applied so that no one takes an unfair burden.

    Here is what really happens. There is a case in Hawaii in which a man has been denied a water meter for forty years, and as a result he cannot build his retirement home. There is water avaialable but the water board has historically provided it to big agriculture which is now becoming big developers, leaving individual landowners on a perpetual waiting list.

    During discovery the plaintiff found this statemen in the minutes of a water board meeting: " only the water department has had 'the balls' to 'create smart growth' by perpetuating the unavailability of water."

    This whole story is basically forty years of the water board screwing over its own citizens. They have already been beaten n court and they are likely to take a pounding again on this case.

    Just today, in Virginia, the legislature officially recognized the Potowmack indians. This means that they can now move to change their birth and death certificates and other records from "colored" to "Indian". It is part of a long list of changes designed to correct inequalities and injustices dating back to a 1924 law against miscegenation.

    That is the problem with injustices: they do not go away, and there is no statute of limitations. I beleive that eventually we will see a bunch of corrections to environmental law, because of the same kind of injustices suffered by the Potowmacks with their civil rights, and the samll landowners in Hawaii with their water rights.

    All of these, in the final analysis ore property rights.

    So, my argument is based on our most basic legal documents, the preamble to the Constitution, the constitution, the Declarateion , and Supreme court rulings. My arguments depends on nothing more than simple fairness and truly equal treatment, keeping maximum opportunity and liberty for everyone while sharing the costs as equally as the benefits..

    Your argument is based on "Well, this is the way it works in practice, guy, tough noogie." Your argument is based on getting special treatment for some actiites, no matter what you have to do or what injustices the remedies cause.

    You still think that holding the high moral ground on the environment means you can ignore the spirit and the letter of the law.

    I think that the environmental movement will continue to act in the manner you descrbe and support. Their success in incrementalism will lead them to greedilly take a little more and a little more and a little more until they finally pull a stunt so egregious that it inspires a sweeping court case that will stick.

    To me it is simply astonishing that NO ONE in the environmental movement is standing up and demanding a more ethical and less wasteful approach to improving environmental quality while also preserving individual liberty and individual property.

    I cannot fix the way we currently do things, but I think it is just as wrong a salvery or what we did to the Potowmacks, or to Lucas in South Carolina.

    All I can do is expose injustice, crooked dealing, dishonest agendas, and stealing as I see it. I will never change Larry's mind: he is OK with despotism. But maybe, there is one reader out there that will take away something in favor of the environment, liberty, and fiscal equality.

    RH

  152. Anonymous Avatar

    If something is perceived to be harmful – you try to stop it the best way you can.

    My argument is that we are NOT trying to do it the best way we can.

    For every guy whining about his property rights, 10 more were just fine with dumping dioxin on other folks property.

    Oh give me a break. This is sheer usnupported hyperbole

    RH

  153. Anonymous Avatar

    No one is more confident than I am of our ability to make technological advances. I am co-author of several patents, myself.

    But there are physical and thermodynamic limits that can never be broken, and they are directly connected to financial considerations with real and practcal consequences.

    Even if a thing is possible, does not make it feasible.

    See today's story on BPA. it is like discoverint that free radicals are bad for you. Wat are you gonna do about it, outlaw electricity?

    RH

  154. Anonymous Avatar

    John Carlson in Minnestoat get it. He is running o n a platform that includes an effort to limit regualtory takings.

    RH

  155. Anonymous Avatar

    No I get to eat crow, for a few more years.

    "Supreme Court Denies 3 High-Profile Environmental Cases "

    One of which was a regualtory takings case, which the planitiff won, was overturned on appeal,and the Supreme court refused to hear.

    This will make regulatory takings cases much harder to hear for decades, until one comes along that is even more egregious than this one.

    RH

  156. Anonymous Avatar

    On the other hand….

    "An Allegan County Circuit Court judge denied a City of Douglas motion to reconsider his nine-month-old lawsuit ruling against it Feb. 12, four days prior to hearing builder-plaintiff Chad Kalkman and the city argue damages that should or should not be awarded in the case.

    Judge Kevin Cronin ruled on May 19 last year that Kalkman had permits, correctly issued, to build at 93 and 127 Water St. and the city’s stop-work order on the project constituted a regulatory taking, for which the plaintiff is entitled damages.

    The frame of the dwelling, which Kalkman hoped to sell for $449,000 when the city stopped work on it in July 2007, has rotted in weather since then."

    RH

Leave a Reply