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Did I just read this here, rather than some permissive screed about how the Stanford "swimming star" rapist will now turn his life around? Bravo, East Bay Express! The guy did the same crime that could have been perpetrated by a monster of any other education, race or financial status - so his time behind bars should be not one day less of a "severe impact" than others because of how a judge sees him. The ruling is truly an insult to the victim - and every citizen, besides.
So Berkeley City Council members, concerned about the cost of residential rental rates in their city, just endorsed a ballot measure that will result in every residential renter paying MORE rent, as the tax is passed on in their future rental rates. Who but the Berkeley City Council could come up with a more perfect torture device for renters and a way to discourage the building of more rental housing in that city? Perhaps those who endorse this scheme will next propose taxing and taking every red cent of residential rental income so they can then decide if it is "fair" in their opinion of giving any portion of it back to the owners of those rental units. After all, in their minds, they are the supreme arbiters of what is "fair."
Maybe Valero should simply find a location where it can do business without people who throw up barriers. Valero could tear the entire refinery down, bulldoze the land and sell if off for another one of Benicia's residential projects that drain the city's treasury to support schools, fire protection, sewage, water, and policing. All the refinery taxes paid to that city would be gone. College student Jaime Gonzalez could then graduate and get a job at McDonald's.
Of course, few want to see others trapped in homelessness. But, even those who are not homeless seeking non-subsidized housing rentals face the possible adverse results of a credit check. A person's past behavior follows them with good or bad consequences, even if some might excuse the bad ones. The frustrating situation Anthony Dunbar faced is not isolated to the homeless or low-income populations. Property owners are justified in screening those who want to occupy their properties, because large investments are at stake. In Mr. Dunbar's case, it appears the credit check had no errors about his history, only situations that had excuses - like almost all such adverse reports usually do. To his credit, Mr. Dunbar forged onward, realizing and accepting he needed to clear up the negative factors and apply for housing again. His taking responsibility to pay off old bills now has him on a waiting list for his apartment - a welcomed outcome. It does seem some "flexibility" advocated by the article would be appropriate - but that is up to the property owners, not to be enforced by society at large. Without the ability to determine the character and stability of any property renter, low-income or otherwise, there would probably be even fewer rental properties available at even higher rates - making it even worse for all.
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." It's the statement that characterizes socialism. Although Marx is popularly thought of as the originator of the phrase, the slogan was common to the socialist movement and was first used by Louis Blanc in 1851. The major problem with socialism is that it doesn't mix with capitalism. Every "market rate affordable" residence is paid for by those who do not have that entitlement, so they are paying for someone else to live in their neighborhood who otherwise could not afford to do so. Scott M. who posted earlier, is exactly right. Developers pass on the costs they endure to those with Non-Market-Rate properties. It's a devious shell game, where everyone loses. The end result is an ever-increasing upward spiral of occupancy costs that decimate the logics of supply and demand property values. Like over-fertilization of a field, the land eventually becomes barren - non sustainable.
A well-written article packed with in-depth research and information on a matter that certainly seems to merit attention. In Demian Johnson's case, it appears the parole system is not functioning to the benefit of taxpayers who must fund the continued incarceration of a man who appears to have been reformed. The matter of limiting state payments to $400 for the prisoner's parole attorney seems especially troubling, and the very low recidivism rate of such past parolees is highly encouraging. Normally a hard-nosed law-and-order advocate, this article has given me pause for thought. The overall balance of justice should not allow any government to tip the scales with arbitrary and petty weights, otherwise the government itself becomes an offender worthy of public disdain. Citizens are correct in having given the power to determine the future of offenders' lives to their government, but along with that granting comes the solemn expectation that their government will not stack the cards against any person who could become a free, lawful and productive citizen again.
Hopefully we can all look forward to days when the "Black Lives Matter" protests will live only in yellowed newspaper clippings, along with articles about the Black Panthers, Weather Underground, Symbionese Liberation Army, KKK and The Unabomber. Surely there will be a day in our future when all races assimilate to become a nation of citizens who work in harmony rather than striving for divisiveness.
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