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Quick Updates

6/9/24: I funally found the time and a time cirtical issue to discuss. It's coming out Monday morning.

Working on all the other issues too....

Another small r right

Again, the Economic Left parrots Leftist idiocy, without any consideration or cognitive effort. California Mayor Fights For A “Right To Housing” Ordinance To House Every Single Resident. The story that he references (but has broken links to) is here, This Northern California mayor wants to give everyone a right to housing.

This is a wonderful example of the difference between Rights and rights. A Right (big R) exists without the presence of government. A right (small R) requires government to enact it, usually by compelling a third party to provide the service the government is paying for. And it's rather magnanimous of him to "give everyone a right to housing," isn't it?

As someone who has worked with (and been) homeless, I have a little personal authority to speak on this subject. First of all, people lose their stable place to sleep for a thousand specific reasons. The general categories that they fall into are these:

  • Economic no fault of their own (job loss, catastrophic injury, etc.)
  • Economic by their own fault (substance abuse)
  • Mental health issues (debilitated to the point they cannot take care of themselves and have no family support)

Living on the streets is very hard. You have to learn skills that will keep you alive that don't translate well in "normal" society. You have to constantly hustle to get what you need for the day, be it cash, in line at the soup kitchen, or to the shelter for a bed to sleep in.

I used to work for a wonderful woman who's job and personal mission was to house the homeless. She worked to get funding to build apartment complexes, ranging from a 10 studio apartment building to a 25 family unit complex. She worked with HUD to get the funding, local contractors to build them, HUD some more to get them set up as "Section 8" housing, where you paid 25% of your income as rent. She also got them furnished. She then worked with the local mental health agencies to screen clients to become residents. The complex office was also a therapists' office, where these people could get the emotional support and resources they needed.

And what did these people do with these apartments? Mostly, they kept off the streets. Some would relapse into substance abuse and would have to vacate, some stayed there a while before moving on to bigger and better things, Most would stay there until something forced a change. One guy I knew, it took over six months for him to sleep in the bed in his apartment. Those first few months, until the "you are safe now" light came in in his head, he slept on the floor, curled up in the corner of the room, with all of his possessions stuffed into the corner behind him, because that's how you slept on the street to protect yourself and to keep your stuff from getting stolen.

And what government giveth, government can taketh away. Programs like this are never more than one spending cut away from disappearing. You know, that "running out of other peoples' money" thing. So you depend on the largesse of government, being subtly (and not so subtly) reminded of, "you're here because we want you here, and you couldn't have gotten here or stay here without our help."

Government builds apartments to be sturdy and low maintenance. Esthetics are not a significant consideration during design. One of my best friends ended up in one of these complexes. It was dank, dark and crowded. His apartment was a 200 square-foot studio. The elevators were not functional a good portion of the time, and his apartment was not comfortable to live in due to a lack of air conditioning during the summer when it's 90+ outside. The heat was on full blast all the time during the colder months and no thermostat to even slow it down. His neighbors were barely functional drug users, and/or had serious mental issues. Roaches and bedbugs were also prevalent. Given a choice between living in an apartment like his or the street, that would be a really hard decision to make.

The last point, people by and large do not appreciate what is given to them, especially if they don't have to worry about maintenance or repairs. Invariably, the more you give, the more they want. It never ends well.

Something we agree on

I’m not here to incessantly roast Economic Left, just on the crap they get massively wrong. And like a blind pig, sometimes the get something right. Hey, it happens. Man Explains To Boss How No Raise For 2 Years = Low Effort On His Part.

First of all, there is a pay range for any job. That pay range is determined by how much revenue a person can generate at that job. That revenue caps how much that person can be paid. If a worker generates $8/hour in revenue, it makes no sense to pay him $10/hour, does it?

Next, this is not the Pre-80s, where a worker can expect to spend 25+ years of their life working for a single company. The bad news about today is, if you want a pay raise, the most efficient way to go about it is to improve your skillset and jump to another company that pays more.

Another thing is to consider is the Pareto Principle (also known as the “80/20” rule), which says “80% of your businesses’ output comes from 20% of your workforce." This means out of ten employees in a shop, two of them are producing 80% of the output.

The Great Resignation has been brought on by employers who fail to recognize and properly compensate that 20%. If the guy in the article really was the top performer, then the boss made a terrible mistake in not bumping up his pay. That can manifest itself by just him getting a raise, or maybe the boss letting the bottom guy go and the top performer gets the pay the boss was paying the other worker.

So, yeah, if employers want to keep the workers responsible for the most output, they should do what is needed or be prepared to lose that revenue. Employers in this "NOW HIRING!" signs everywhere environment no longer have the leverage in employee negotiations.

Oh, the horror!

The inability for second-order thinking cannot be any clearer in this rant from the Economic Left: Landlords Are Using Secret Algorithms To Screen You As A Tenant — Find Out What They’re Saying!

First of all, put yourself in the shoes of this landlord. Let’s say you have an 8-unit apartment building. Empty or full, you have expenses like taxes, insurance, maintenance, and maybe some extra money left over you can live off of.

Here’s some criteria a landlord (any reasonable person, really) would want in a tenant:

  • No loud parties overnight, every night (occasional Fri/Sat okay)
  • No leaving trash everywhere
  • No tearing up the common area equipment (pool, laundry, etc.)
  • No conducting illegal operations out of the apartment (cooking meth, etc.)
  • No changing their motorcycle oil in the living room
  • No tearing up of the apartment appliances/walls/etc.

Why, you may ask?

Well, items #1-4 would discourage other people from renting your apartments, which means less income for you. Items 2 through 6 also means less money for you, as you have to clean up after them or replace the stuff they broke.

So, why would it not make sense for a landlord to check out your history to see if you’re going to be able to pay the rent (paying it on-time would also be a big plus) and you’re not going to abuse the building, the apartment and scare off other tenants?

You get a good credit score by not taking on too much debt and paying it on-time or early.

You get a good tenant score by paying the rent on time, not abusing the building, parties all night every night, taking good care of the unit, fixing small stuff yourself (and letting the landlord know that you did so), promptly informing the landlord of stuff that needs fixing that you can’t do and things like that. This is pretty basic courtesy and proper adulating. Nothing very hard about it people.

It also entails you as the prospective tenant to run a “background check” on the landlord as well. Is he prompt with repairs? Does he enter your apartment unannounced/when you’re not there? Is he an asshole? The answers to those questions would help you decide to rent there or perhaps the next complex down the road.

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