Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bigger, dumber government ahead

"I'm from the government, 
and I'm here to help."
Help who?
  • Do progressives really think that regulating behavior will make the world a better place?  
  • Do politicians and Central Planners think that it's OK to inconvenience or devestate people with regulations and costs if it's for the common good?  (And they define what the common good is for the masses.)
When big-government bureaucrats sit around chatting, and one of them says, "That's a good idea!", it becomes a compulsion to make a new regulation to direct and control the ignorant masses.  And who are the "advocates" that keep popping up to support every environmental, Smart Growth and social justice issue?   A dozen NGOs can be formed tomorrow, each claiming to be representative of an anonymous victimized population.  Do any of these groups represent any more than their few, loud, visible numbers?

After you read the article in the Portland Tribune, ask yourself: If home buyers want to know how much it costs to heat a home, can't they ask to see the utility bills and have an inspection that includes how energy use can be improved?   Whatever happened to caveat emptor* - let the buyer beware?  Do we need the paternalistic hand of government to protect us from our own idiocy?  No, but it won't give Central Planners and politicians the feeling they accomplished anything.  Everyone else is a complainer and denier.

Making individual Portlanders responsible for global Climate Change is harmful to residents and Portland's reputation of being a nice place to live.  This is a hostile action, designed to discourage home ownership - if not intentional, then tragically predictable.

A neo-Latin phrase meaning "let the buyer beware." It is a principle of contract law in many jurisdictions that places the onus on the buyer to perform due diligence before making a purchase. The term is commonly used in real property transactions, but applies to other goods, as well as some services.  (Investopedia)

Portland Tribune, November 29, 2016. By Steve Law
Mandate to require Home Energy Score for houses on market goes to City Council
Supporters say it will lower energy and housing costs, and shave carbon emissions

Hales’ proposal would require the sellers of homes in Portland to hire a home energy assessor for about $200, and provide the assessor’s report on their home’s energy usage — and ways to cut that usage — to prospective buyers. The results also would be posted on Portland Maps, a city database available on the internet. 

Advocates say the policy will help Portlanders cut home energy use, saving money and reducing carbon emissions that are disrupting the Earth’s climate.

Local action on climate is more important than ever,” Hales said. “We’re not sure what the federal government is going to do at that level.” 
The city/county Climate Action Plan has called on the city to adopt a policy such as the Home Energy Score since 2009. That plan, which charts how Portland can do its part to avert dramatic climate change, calls for reducing carbon emissions from buildings 25 percent by 2030. Most of that would have to come from cutting energy use.

 “We still have about 90,000 homes in Portland that have little to no insulation,” said Michael Armstrong, deputy director of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. 

Energy-efficiency improvements can cut the cost of owning a home by $1,000 a year, he said. As a result, the “low-hanging” fruit for addressing climate change also may be one of the best ways the city can put a dent in its housing affordability crisis, advocates said.
Leo argues that having a Home Energy Report, which many liken to the miles-per-gallon sticker on new cars or comparable energy-usage tags on home appliances, won’t benefit home buyers. Energy audits result in relative few energy-saving projects, Leo and other Realtors asserted.
As the population in a city swings toward a majority of renters, policies that negatively impact homeowners will be easier to make and enforce.  We, as a city, state and country must decide if home ownership is important and should be supported.  Up to now, this concept has been unquestioned.  All studies about home ownership show that the public at large benefits from a majority of home ownership in an area.  The benefits are: community stability, individual wealth creation, retirement security, stability and security for children and families, less crime, and a commitment to community organizations and civic affairs.  Those who do not have a healthy respect for individual home ownership need to examine their biases and reasoning.  


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