“Mailbag” offers some insight into comments I get from readers — good, bad or in-between — and my thoughts about their feedback.
My inbox filled up last week with reactions to two columns, one listing 35 obvious and not-so-obvious reasons why Orange County is a pricey place to live and another asking who might pay for truly “affordable” housing.
Responses ran from “you’re an idiot” to “refreshingly honest” to calling me everything from a Marxist to “pro-slavery, anti-union, anti-minimum wage.” And I’ll note some of the racist rants I read are perfect examples of the equality challenges we continue to face.
There also were plenty of suggestions about what I missed. So, I’ll let my readers add 11 more reasons to the list of factors behind Orange County’s high cost of living — not that I agree with all of them …
Scarcity: “The inability to live where one wants is not unique to California. I’d love to have an apartment in New York City or Monte Carlo, but I can’t afford it.”
America: “Capitalism is free-market economy and homeowners have/will dig in and are fighting back any progressive socialistic move.”
Profits: “No incentive or intention to build housing for people who cannot pay the retail prices, whether they be new single-family homes, condos or apartment complexes.”
State politics: “People say we live behind the orange curtain but O.C. is not immune from Sacramento policies” or more succinctly — “wacko liberal Democrat regulations.”
Development fees: “Out of control. City and county fees are collected with little return to the homeowner.”
Coworkers: “The broad range of skills, talents and capabilities of the people I get to work with. I have lived and worked in many states and have enjoyed being in all of them, but California is the best. I can establish the most effective teams and collaborative arrangements here.”
Los Angeles: “Isn’t much cheaper than Orange County. Yet for the same money, you are dealing with homeless, crime and neighbors running an adult foster home/car wash/commercial gym out of their home.”
Landlords: “Everybody cheers rent growth while complaining that they can’t build enough to achieve affordable housing, which seems to me to be a bit contradictory.”
Proposition 13: “Straight-up generational warfare. Starves municipalities of extremely stable and predictable property taxes. Leaves municipalities dependent on hugely cyclical sales taxes for the majority of their revenues.”
The arts: How could you leave out the Segerstrom Center for the Arts (which put Orange County on the international performing arts map,) Bowers Museum, Pageant of the Masters, and all of the other cultural opportunities that are so abundant in Orange County?
Food: “I enjoyed your article except I can’t believe you missed the In-n-Out hamburger chain” … and … “One of those incredible Polly’s good old American Apple pies.”
Jonathan Lansner is the business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be reached at email@example.com
Source: Orange County Register