User talk:Avatar317

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Housing shortage[edit]

I saw your posting on my Talk page a few months ago. I wanted to respond right away, but had not the time. My schedule has been hectic most of this year. Sorry I could not respond to your welcome request sooner. Good that your writing has been posted.

Today I looked at it, your "California housing shortage" article. It is a very important topic, and an interesting one. Many people are severely affected. Everyone on the coastal metropolitan areas are. I have been on both side of the supply and demand equation, personally and professionally.

I will try to read your article this month. In the meantime, one issue suggests itself to me. The 'Great Recession' quickly stopped new construction. Many construction companies made drastic cut-backs on skilled employees, or went completely out of business. Now that California needs a building boom, the housing supply factor is relatively anemic. It should be robust.

A dramatic increase in housing supply is clearly the long term solution. Ironically, short term fixes like rent control work to reduce future housing supply. Yet in the meantime rent control can alleviate some of the pain of the housing shortage, especially needed for low income renters. It's a difficult zero-sum calculus, at best. Studies have shown that rent control does not effectively lower rents over time for a region, but instead benefits certain tenants (who stay put in rentals in favored locations) and increases the rent for new tenants and those in adjacent locations that are not controlled. It also favors some more prosperous tenants, who would not qualify as low income.

It's difficult for government to intervene in the economy in the interests of a sense of political justice, to challenge the supply and demand reality, without serious unintended consequences. Rent control can alleviate today's housing pain, in exchange for prolonging the shortage. Yet sometimes the short-term realities are so abnormal that such intervention is warranted. Rent control is often a blunt instrument, but part of the political-economic tool kit.

Another major factor driving up the price of real estate in California is foreign investors. Obviously, through the influx of funds. But also, many buy homes as investments (for appreciation of their value) and then let them sit unoccupied. In not a few Los Angeles suburbs 10% of the homes are said to be idle due to absentee investors.

I salute your interest, and your contribution to Wikipedia. Elfelix (talk) 22:21, 1 May 2018 (UTC)

Today I read some of your California housing shortage article, the first half of the text and sections of the rest. Generally it is clear, well-organized, and well-sourced. Thank you. Otherwise, at the this time I have nothing to add to the May 1st paragraphs above. Hopefully I can revisit it next week. One thing: you might want to add a "redirect" page entitled "Housing shortage in California". Elfelix (talk) 22:59, 31 May 2018 (UTC)
@Elfelix Sorry it took me so long to respond to this.
You are right, CA does have a shortage of both companies doing construction, and skilled workers to do that work, resulting in high market rate prices for construction labor...AFAIK, both these factors are actually true around the nation.
You are right about the problems that arise when governments distort markets. In my opinion, a smarter way to help low-income renters is to use government money to subsidize their market rate rents. Rent-control forces landlords (rather than government) to subsidize rental payments for poor, middle, and rich tenants. Subsidizing food for everyone (rather than just the poor as we do in the US) is what got Venezuela into their current food-supply predicament. Having LOCAL governments pay these subsidies would be a HUGE incentive for them to fix the factors that drove rents so high in the first place.
On your other comment, blaming "absentee investors," primarily Chinese (in the news, not what you said), is just a "blame the outsiders" mentality rather than face reality. (Why is there so much crime in America? Well it must be the illegal aliens committing it all, if we just get rid of them we'll have no crime....yeah, right.) Would this be any different if they were all "local" investors? Also, I've seen no DATA in any of the articles I've read supporting this...only conjecture from interviews with individual real estate agents....anecdotes do not make data.
In a normal functioning free market, more demand just yields more supply. EVERY investment is a bet: if people are buying homes in CA because they think it will be a good investment, they're betting that CA won't solve this housing shortage anytime soon, and that CA's economy will remain strong/improve to keep the demand side up.
Thank you for the re-direct suggestion.....done!
Thanks for your comments and suggestions!!! ---- Avatar317 (talk) 01:16, 1 June 2018 (UTC)Avatar317


One more thought on investors buying homes and leaving them empty. *IF* they are doing this, one has to ask "Why are they forgoing the large amount of money they could be making by renting out those properties?" Here are a couple of my theories:
1) If they are buying new or newly renovated homes, maybe the depreciation of a slightly used (and damaged) home reduces the resale value so much that it is not worth the risk of a renter? and they intend to resell the property in a short time frame.
combined with 2) A rental agency (if the investor were to have an agency rent the property for them) is required by CA anti-discrimination law to rent to the first person(s) who can demonstrate financial sufficiency...they are not allowed to look at 20 potential renters and choose the one they think would be the least risk of damaging their property. A landlord can disallow pets in the rental contract, but not children, and children often damage homes more than pets....These factors (essentially risk of degradation of investment) may be why homes sit vacant rather than rented. ---- Avatar317 (talk) 04:48, 1 June 2018 (UTC)Avatar317

Thank you for the housing shortage article![edit]

I stumbled upon California housing shortage, and wow, thank you for putting that together! I've requested a peer review in hopes of getting a Good Article (or even Featured Article) stamp. Is there anything I can do to help out? I'm pretty good with maps, graphs and research. grendel|khan 01:40, 13 June 2018 (UTC)

@Grendelkhan Hello, and thanks for the good words about the CA housing shortage article! I'd love any suggestions you have about any ways to improve the article, (or just do them yourself, of course) and I'm writing a reply to your talk page comments now.
Clearly, you have infinitely more familiarity with charts/graphs/data on Wikipedia than I (I have none, so far); thank you for contributing, and for nominating it for GA review!!!! ---- Avatar317 (talk) 04:59, 13 June 2018 (UTC)Avatar317

August 2018[edit]

Ambox warning pn.svg You currently appear to be engaged in an edit war according to the reverts you have made on Rent control in the United States. Users are expected to collaborate with others, to avoid editing disruptively, and to try to reach a consensus, rather than repeatedly undoing other users' edits once it is known that there is a disagreement.

Points to note:

  1. Edit warring is disruptive regardless of how many reverts you have made;
  2. Do not edit war even if you believe you are right.

If you find yourself in an editing dispute, use the article's talk page to discuss controversial changes and work towards a version that represents consensus among editors. You can post a request for help at an appropriate noticeboard or seek dispute resolution. In some cases, it may be appropriate to request temporary page protection. If you engage in an edit war, you may be blocked from editing. Binksternet (talk) 23:44, 20 August 2018 (UTC)

Stop icon

Your recent editing history at Rent control in the United States shows that you are currently engaged in an edit war. To resolve the content dispute, please do not revert or change the edits of others when you are reverted. Instead of reverting, please use the talk page to work toward making a version that represents consensus among editors. The best practice at this stage is to discuss, not edit-war. See BRD for how this is done. If discussions reach an impasse, you can then post a request for help at a relevant noticeboard or seek dispute resolution. In some cases, you may wish to request temporary page protection.

Being involved in an edit war can result in your being blocked from editing—especially if you violate the three-revert rule, which states that an editor must not perform more than three reverts on a single page within a 24-hour period. Undoing another editor's work—whether in whole or in part, whether involving the same or different material each time—counts as a revert. Also keep in mind that while violating the three-revert rule often leads to a block, you can still be blocked for edit warring—even if you don't violate the three-revert rule—should your behavior indicate that you intend to continue reverting repeatedly.
This is your second warning; don't revert if people have challenged your additions (and opposed your deletions) Lourdes 10:38, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

Blockquotes[edit]

You asked me whether there were guidelines regarding the use of blockquotes, and this is what I found.

First, the blockquote HTML element is for quotes that are so large they contain more than one block (paragraph) of text. If the blockquote element is used to set a small quote apart from normal text, then it is being misused. That misuse has been deprecated in the web industry since before Wikipedia came along. See HTML_element#blockquote and Blockquote element.

Second, as you can see down in the reference section of your preferred version, any text inside blockquotes is smaller than normal reference text. The style guide MOS:SMALLFONT says we should "avoid" using smaller text inside infoboxes or reference sections.

Third, the style guide at Wikipedia:Quotations#Formatting says that we should work quotes smoothly into the article text to avoid clunky reading flow.

Finally, a foundational pillar of Wikipedia is the Wikipedia:Neutral point of view policy, which includes the relevant section WP:STRUCTURE. My reading of STRUCTURE with regard to your question is that the purposeful segregation of text based solely on the point of view expressed in that text – style formatting intended to favor one side in a debate – introduces non-neutral bias and must be removed.

Because of all of the above I hope you will stop using blockquotes. Binksternet (talk) 04:07, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

August 2018[edit]

Ambox warning pn.svg You currently appear to be engaged in an edit war according to the reverts you have made on California housing shortage. Users are expected to collaborate with others, to avoid editing disruptively, and to try to reach a consensus, rather than repeatedly undoing other users' edits once it is known that there is a disagreement.

Points to note:

  1. Edit warring is disruptive regardless of how many reverts you have made;
  2. Do not edit war even if you believe you are right.

If you find yourself in an editing dispute, use the article's talk page to discuss controversial changes and work towards a version that represents consensus among editors. You can post a request for help at an appropriate noticeboard or seek dispute resolution. In some cases, it may be appropriate to request temporary page protection. If you engage in an edit war, you may be blocked from editing. Binksternet (talk) 00:41, 29 August 2018 (UTC)