OT - I don't _hate_ McMansions

Jonathan Ellis jonathan at utahpython.org
Sun Jun 22 08:12:27 MDT 2008


On Sun, Jun 22, 2008 at 7:40 AM, Stuart Jansen <sjansen at buscaluz.org> wrote:
> On
> the topic of housing, however, there was a strong counter argument: "The
> market has swung too far, even those who don't want them are being
> forced to buy too large homes on too small land."

Except that's not really true at all.  Even in cities where there is
no minimum lot size -- and Bryan pointed out several of those -- it's
easy to buy a lot and have a builder build whatever size home you like
on it.

> And when the market fails, the
> role of government is step in for the good of society. Obviously some
> people feel the system is currently malfunctioning and aren't happy
> about waiting for a market correction.

The market doesn't "fail" nearly as often as most people think,
though.  Here, people are complaining that other people aren't making
the choices they'd prefer, and "there oughtta be a law" to force
others to make the "right" choice. Of course, a state-wide minimum lot
size law would drive up prices for everyone, but they don't care about
that (or maybe they just think that all the government needs to do is
wave a magic wand basic economic laws will no longer apply.  Often,
the level of economic savvy displayed by the average voter or
politician approaches the physics ability of the legislature that
voted to make pi 3.  which is a false urban legend but a great story
:)

Homework assignment: next person to complain about greedy developers
has to contact an actual developer and find out their profit margin.
I would bet they are between 8 and 15%, I.e., completely normal in a
competitive market.

If "greedy developers" were the source of the problem, exploiting
consumers for abnormally huge profits, you'd see slightly less greedy
developers start companies and take market share away until profits
came down to normal levels.

-Jonathan



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