Could Occupiers and Tea Partiers join to fight growth controls?

Occupy hand signals - wikipediaJan. 3, 2013

By Wayne Lusvardi

Mixing metaphors, David Farber once said,  “Necessity is the mother of strange bedfellows.” That may be the case with flirting discussions between the Tea Party and the Occupy social movements in California.  There is a plausible emerging consensus between the two groups when it comes to the issue of growth management and the state’s foreclosure crisis.

No two groups could be further apart socially and politically. The the young occupiers mainly are based on California university campuses with no real property yet; the older tea partiers mainly are retired or about to be retired and are trying to protect their real estate and investment nest eggs.  The men in each group cannot seem to cross the communication gap; women Tea Partiers seem more willing to open up communications.  The dividing ground is private property: Occupiers don’t much like private property and Tea Partiers do.

Yet there may be common ground for collaboration in 2013.  In fact, there already have been unacknowledged occasions where both organizations were on the same side of the fence in 2012:

* For the most part, both Tea Partiers and Occupiers opposed Proposition 31 on the ballot in the past November election.  It would have usurped the republican form of democracy in California concerning tax-revenue sharing.  Universities, local public schools and even the California Coastal Commission saw in Prop. 31 the likelihood of funds being diverted away from them and environmental laws being relaxed.  Tea Partiers saw in Prop. 31 the state diluting “home rule” and diverting tax revenues from wealthy suburbs to broke cities and school districts. Arguably, without both organizations opposing Prop. 31 voters, might otherwise have approved it.

* In June 2012, Occupiers and Tea Partiers explored joining forces to oppose “Plan Bay Area,”  a regional plan for dense urban communities in mostly politically Blue coastal cities and counties.  Occupiers feared the creation of “priority development areas,” which sounds like re-starting redevelopment under a different name.  Some Tea Partiers were irrationally fearful about Plan Bay Area complying with United Nations Agenda 21 to establish global government.

Opening Discussions

A major concern of the Occupiers, who built a “Mr. Monopoly” float to follow the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day 2013 in Pasadena, is the ongoing California foreclosure crisis.  A subgroup of Occupy L.A., the Occupy Fights Foreclosures Subcommittee, wants to focus national attention on “illegal bank practices” that made homeowners victims of foreclosure.

Occupiers tend to misplace blame on big banks that mostly complied with the liberalized re-regulation — not deregulation — of mortgage finance laws from 2003 to 2010.  However, California Attorney General Kamela Harris already has been successful in shaking down big banks for an $18 billion “settlement” to combat California’s foreclosure crisis.  What the “Occupy Fights Foreclosures Subcommittee” can additionally accomplish beyond diverting attention away from the real cause is dubious.

On the other hand, in the South San Francisco Bay area there have been exploratory discussions between the two associations about opposing “smart growth,” such as Plan Bay Area.  Back in June 2012, Debbie Baccigalupi, the daughter of a Klamath Valley rancher, proposed joining forces with Occupiers to fight Plan Bay Area.  Even Danville realtor Heather Gass stepped up to oppose “coercive” regional planning.

It is unlikely that Occupiers can get Tea Partiers to join them in shaking down banks that hold the Tea Partiers’ savings and investments, but also hold mortgage portfolios.  And it is just as unlikely that the Tea Party could get Occupiers to oppose the proposed use of eminent domain in San Bernardino County to bring about mortgage forgiveness for homeowners who have “upside down” mortgages.

Fighting Growth Controls as Common Ground

But where interests could converge is over how slow growth and smart growth plans bring about California’s “roller coaster” real estate economy, resulting in ruinous foreclosures and upside down mortgages.

It is the toxic combination of slow-growth and smart-growth plans with low down payment mortgages that helped bring about abnormal booms and busts in California’s real estate market.

Growth management drives the politically unconnected out to the urban fringe, “edge cities,” and transitional farmland for new housing subdivisions. Thus, growth management results in stable property values in San Francisco, but boom and bust cycles in Fresno, Stockton and the Inland Empire.  San Francisco property values have recovered from the bursting of the Mortgage Bubble in 2007.  Stockton and San Bernardino experienced about 45 to 48 percent declines in homes values, something that has not been reversed.

Low interest rates and low down payments add fuel to this fire and cause home prices to rise beyond what incomes can support.  This creates a vicious cycle where homeowners need continual booms to offset their over-mortgaged housing that incomes cannot support.

California homeowners become addicted to voting for policies that promote housing booms to be able to sell their homes for an appreciated value.  And booms push property tax revenues under Proposition 13 up faster than money inflation.  Prop. 13 reformers never protest the windfalls from the bubble inflation of housing.

Housing bubbles are manufactured in California, not on Wall Street. One in every 173 homes in California was in foreclosure in 2009; only 1 in 1,000 in Texas.

Income inequality

Income equality — a major concern of Occupiers — is affected by growth controls. As the table below clearly shows, the Bay Area lost low and moderate-income households since 1989, but Houston gained in all income categories.  Unaffordable housing has pushed middle-income people out to the Central Valley cities with long work commutes.

Change in Number of Households by Income Class from 1989 to 2009

Quintile (5ths)
in 1989
Quintile (5ths)in 2009 Houston(Private zoning) San Francisco(growth controls)
>$60,000 >$100,000 219,970 156,477
$32,500 to $60,000 $60,000 to $100,000 45,986 245,948
$22,500 to $32,500 $40,000 to $60,000 122,329 12,425
$12,500 to $22,500 $20,000 to $40,000 184,840 30,474
<$12,500 <$22,500 90,680 7,828
Included low & moderate income households Pushed out low & middle income households to Central Valley
1 in 1,000 homes foreclosed in 2009 1 in 173 homes foreclosed in 2009
Randal O’Toole, “American Nightmare: How Government Undermines the Dream of Homeownership,” p. 170.

Blaming big banks for foreclosures and Prop. 13 for state and school district budget deficits is just treating the symptoms and not the cause. Blaming banks also diverts attention away from the beneficiaries of growth control laws — wealthy property owners in Silicon Valley, Petaluma, and elsewhere who form a constituency for the Democratic Party.

If both groups were to find common ground in opposing growth management laws, they would have to give up demonizing for political gain and division.  And a crucial issue is whether the Occupy funding sources, including Democratic Party-backed ACORN, would allow such coordinated parallel efforts.  But stranger things have happened in California politics.

31 comments

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  1. us citizen
    us citizen 3 January, 2013, 12:51

    How can you even compare these two groups together! The TeaParty group believes in the constitution and if you work hard, you will achieve, and a smaller government. The Occupy people want freebies and bail outs and non responsibilities.

    Any grown-up thinks college students are a waste of time until they get out there into the real world and start working. Liberalism/Progressivism is at its finest in college. And once you graduate the real world will smack you in the face in hopes that you will grow up. And if you continue to believe those ideologies, you usually end up one crayon short in the box.

    Reply this comment
  2. Hondo
    Hondo 3 January, 2013, 14:33

    The Occupy group is basically a terrorist group. It is one of the most violent groups on earth, not just in the usa. One of their people shot up the white house, They have the highest levels of rape of any group on earth that I can think of. Dozons of sexual assaults from all over the country. One of their leaders in NY just got could with a weapons stash including some explosives. More than 10 of their group, from all over the country, have been charged with explosives. More that 300 felonies have been associated with the group. In colorado an arson of a huge building. A murder in Oakland along with a hate crime robbery. In Boston one of their people got arrested for pimping out an underaged girl. There was rampant drug and alcohol use at their sites. Thefts were out of control. Fighting and threats were common. Drug dealing was out in the open. Taking shits on police cars. Masturbating in public.
    As for the tea party, someone find one crime associated with them. Just one.
    To compare the Tea party to the Occupy is to compare Jesus to Stalin.
    Hondo…..

    Reply this comment
  3. Ted Steele, Navigator
    Ted Steele, Navigator 3 January, 2013, 15:42

    LOL— Poor Hondo- Hondo– it’s ok to admit that the tea baggers are a hate group, well some of them, and the occupy folks are whacked out, well some of them. You know it aint all or nothing, right little buddy? Does it give you any pause for concern when the republican party, a once proud and distinquished group, is now associated with an extremist crew like the tea baggers? That’s the tea baggers who are mentioned in THIS very article in context with another extremist group the occupy crew, who according to you are criminals…lol—- your little world is very tense.

    I liked your use of crime stats. Anecdotal to be sure but do you know how many professed libertarians were convicted of murder last year in the US? How many Democrats? Republicans?

    Please turn off Faux news et al your mind is getting even softer….

    Reply this comment
  4. Wayne Lusvardi
    Wayne Lusvardi 3 January, 2013, 15:55

    Somehow the table above dropped off the minus (-) sign in front of the numbers.

    All the income categories for Houston gained in numbers.

    For San Francisco:

    $60,000 to $100,000 gained 156,477
    $32,500 to $60,000 lost 245,948
    $22,500 to $32,500 lost 12,474
    $12,500 to $22,500 gained 30,474
    less than $12,500 lost 7,828

    In sum: San Francisco gained rich people and lost low and middle income residents from 1989 to 2009

    To be precise: San Francisco gained 156,948 people in the top income category
    San Francisco lost 266,201 people in the middle and low income categories
    San Francisco gained 30.474 people in the moderate income category

    Reply this comment
  5. us citizen
    us citizen 3 January, 2013, 16:50

    The Occupiers are far more violent than any Tea Party Group. They left giant messes, ruined public property, had open drugs, damaged cars, drinking, caused massive bills for the tax payer to pick up, started fires etc.
    The daily kos story………he was not at a rally or convention. This story twists the truth. The other story…….no proof yet. You can keep coming up with stories but none of them will compare with the occupy fiasco on the news. Also the Tea Party is not universal as the occupy groups are. They are violent.

    Reply this comment
  6. Wayne Lusvardi
    Wayne Lusvardi 3 January, 2013, 19:04

    The title of the article does not mean that the two organizations need to join in fighting growth controls.

    They can just agree to fight growth controls — and thus income inequality and unaffordable housing — each in a separate but parallel effort.

    This is also a way to challenge Occupiers to see if they are serious about income and housing inequality. The article pointed out they may only be interested in diverting attention away from the causes of income and housing inequality at the local level. But apparently some readers may have a reading comprehension problem.

    Reply this comment
  7. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 3 January, 2013, 19:57

    US Cit— I agree the Occupy tools are more wild and unruly — I don’t like them either. My posts were just in response to the silly challenge from Hondo that no one could produce ANY evidence of tea bagger crimes—–and….of course I did. It was easy.

    Reply this comment
  8. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 3 January, 2013, 23:17

    US Cit— I agree the Occupy tools are more wild and unruly — I don’t like them either.
    ==
    Teddy only loves tree huggers

    Reply this comment
  9. Hondo
    Hondo 4 January, 2013, 09:28

    Teddy Steele.
    Of course I knew about the rape, where the charges were dropped in a day or two. It wasn’t at any tea event or against any other tea party person. So it had nothing to do with the tea party.
    Every crime I have listed of the Occupy movement was at an Occupy event or by a group of occupy people acting in concert.
    You continue to hate the tea party for no reason whatsoever other than the fact that they are different than you, that they support a smaller govt.
    If anybody has shown themselves to be an irrational hater it is you. You have still shown me no proof of any hateful thing or word they have said. You have ZERO proof of your hate claim, while I have over 300 felonies proving that the Occupy movement is one of the most violent groups that have every been in america. Their only rival was the KKK which was a part of the democratic party for a 100 years and it was the republicans who drove them into the ground.
    MLK was a republican because john kennnedy voted against the civil rights bill of 1957. Every legal civil right the blacks have in this country was because of the republican party and was opposed by the bull connor democrats. 16 times in the 1900 hundreds the republicans tried to get civil rights bill passed for blacks and 16 times your bull connor democrats denied blacks civil rights.
    When you start talking about hate in america, it all comes from the democratic party.
    Hondo…

    Reply this comment
  10. Ted Steele, Navigator
    Ted Steele, Navigator 4 January, 2013, 12:40

    LOL– Hondo– you asked for any allegations against the tea baggers and I gave you some– want more? Saying hate starts with Dems is just goofy.

    The occupy movement has all kinds of issues– I agree—I have NO connection with those clowns– you however are an avowed tea party guy– I just have to laugh when you teas baggers have a critique for EVERYone else—-blah blah blah…

    Reply this comment
  11. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 4 January, 2013, 13:17

    Teddy, you are a tree hugging wingnut 😉

    Or is that a NUT hugging treewing???

    Reply this comment
  12. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 4 January, 2013, 17:57

    Hondo says:

    The Occupy group is basically a terrorist group.

    Hondo- I disagree with you. Here is a video of a guy that makes a lot of sense and I agree with him on 90%;

    Reply this comment
  13. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 4 January, 2013, 19:36

    Poodle– You liked this loon?

    Reply this comment
  14. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 4 January, 2013, 21:58

    LOL..tree hugger Teddy calls a guy who saome pretty good argumnets a “loon”, this is why I love you tree hugger 😉

    Reply this comment
  15. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 5 January, 2013, 01:30

    The occupiers are not based on college campuses!! Most occupiers are unemployed and many are homeless. They were acting out because they were miserable and nobody was paying attention to their plight. They need help, but they sabotagued their own cause because they destroyed property and caused security problems. They made ridiculous demands. They destroyed the grounds at LA City Hall and caused four million dollars in damages. College campuses are places where young adults are trying to get an education–college students are not occupiers!

    Reply this comment
  16. Steve S
    Steve S 5 January, 2013, 03:45

    In this file, on PDF page 10, you will find LA’s effort to solve the housing crisis in the coming years:
    http://mayor.lacity.org/stellent/groups/electofficials/@myr_ch_contributor/documents/conributor_web_content/lacityp_005875.pdf

    The city will partner with the private sector to spend $5 billion in affordable housing.

    This is part of that redistribution of wealth Obama was talking about and the Agenda 21 the United Nations is pushing.

    Here are a few paragraphs:

    A central challenge in the Los Angeles affordable housing market entails bridging the gap between the housing we produce and the housing we need. Housing That Works tackles this challenge by directing public resources toward the production and preservation of 20,000 homes across the income spectrum.

    Adding Housing for Families at Every Income Level

    The Mayor’s plan focuses on the disparity between what is built and what our community needs, and set specific goals for housing across the income spectrum.

    Creating Sustainable Transit Communities

    The Mayor’s plan focuses new development in the areas where it makes the most sense – along public transit corridors and close to job centers. Under his leadership, this plan creates 20 transit district plans in 5 years, launches a sustainable community initiative, protects the environment, connects homes and places of work, and improves the quality of life for every Angeleno.

    Promoting Mixed Income Housing

    Under the Mayor’s leadership the City will adopt a mixed-income housing ordinance, ensuring that every community and every new development includes housing for families of all income levels and expands the housing options for LA’s workforce.

    Reply this comment
  17. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 5 January, 2013, 07:44

    LOl You are a clown little buddy— you admire a bomb throwing occupy movement moron. That should eliminate the .0000000000000001% credibility you have left on CWD.

    and of course—- your predictions are currently 0 for 14 ™! Soon to be 15!

    It’s that easy!

    Reply this comment
  18. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 5 January, 2013, 10:53

    SeeSaw says:

    The occupiers are not based on college campuses!! Most occupiers are unemployed and many are homeless.
    ===
    Realllyyyyyyy seesaw, care to provide FACTUAL SUPPORT for that wild specious comment????? Didn’t think so.

    Reply this comment
  19. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 5 January, 2013, 10:54

    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies ™ says:

    LOl You are a clown little buddy— you admire a bomb throwing occupy movement moron

    ==
    Nut hugging treewing Teddy, care to provide FACTUAL SUPPORT to the claim the man is a “bomb throw[er])”????Didn’t think so.

    Reply this comment
  20. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 5 January, 2013, 10:57

    Steve S says:
    In this file, on PDF page 10, you will find LA’s effort to solve the housing crisis in the coming years: http://mayor.lacity.org/stellent/groups/electofficials/@myr_ch_contributor/documents/conributor_web_content/lacityp_005875.pdf
    The city will partner with the private sector to spend $5 billion in affordable housing.
    This is part of that redistribution of wealth Obama was talking about and the Agenda 21 the United Nations is pushing.
    Here are a few paragraphs:
    A central challenge in the Los Angeles affordable housing market entails bridging the gap between the housing we produce and the housing we need. Housing That Works tackles this challenge by directing public resources toward the production and preservation of 20,000 homes across the income spectrum.
    Adding Housing for Families at Every Income Level
    The Mayor’s plan focuses on the disparity between what is built and what our community needs, and set specific goals for housing across the income spectrum.
    Creating Sustainable Transit Communities
    The Mayor’s plan focuses new development in the areas where it makes the most sense – along public transit corridors and close to job centers. Under his leadership, this plan creates 20 transit district plans in 5 years, launches a sustainable community initiative, protects the environment, connects homes and places of work, and improves the quality of life for every Angeleno.
    Promoting Mixed Income Housing
    Under the Mayor’s leadership the City will adopt a mixed-income housing ordinance, ensuring that every community and every new development includes housing for families of all income levels and expands the housing options for LA’s workforce.

    ==
    BIGGEST SPAM piece of garbage ever posted here.

    Where did you copy and paste that BS from?? The Mayor’s office of BullS**T?????
    I bet you have along diatribe about the Slow Speed Fail with the same rosy predictions.

    Reply this comment
  21. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 5 January, 2013, 12:05

    What other facts are necessary when you are deluged with the facts all day long, Rex. I know the difference between peaceful protests that occur on college campuses, on the part of the students, and occupiers. The occupiers do not set up pup tents and stay for days and weeks and litter on college campuses!

    Reply this comment
  22. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 5 January, 2013, 13:15

    seesaw, this is an A-B convesation, so you can C your way out of it 😉

    Reply this comment
  23. Mr. Lusvardi is onto something big under the surface of this country
    Mr. Lusvardi is onto something big under the surface of this country 5 January, 2013, 13:55

    Yes, there are numerous arenas where people sympathetic to Tea Party interests and people sympathetic to Occupy interests can work together. Both groups are appropriately wary of big banks, big corporations, and the police activities of the government. They dislike how “fat cats” get involved in distorting public policy for their own selfish benefit.

    Essentially, these two factions are populist. They are disillusioned with the fraying operations of the increasingly “corrupt” government and are subconsciously seeking a hero to lead their movement for national salvation.

    If there is a successful independent-party movement in the United States, it will be populist, led by a charismatic demagogue, and both of these groups will share an uneasy alliance within it.

    Reply this comment
  24. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 5 January, 2013, 15:12

    That’s what you do when you have no argument, Rex.

    Reply this comment
  25. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 5 January, 2013, 15:14

    Factual support that the occupy guy is a bomb thrower? LOL

    You kidding?

    The ENTIRE occupy thing is a complete anarchy show little buddy! You been living in a cave??????

    You never cease to impress us all out here with , well, ah…gee…..how stupid you are?

    Reply this comment
  26. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 5 January, 2013, 15:52

    I was responding to the author’s claim that the occupiers were based on the college campuses, Rex. And, I will repeat–the occupiers are not based on college campuses! Who is it that injected himself into my conversation? There is the door!

    Reply this comment
  27. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 5 January, 2013, 22:07

    Seesaw, you and Teddy need to go get married and nag each other to death 😉

    Reply this comment
  28. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 6 January, 2013, 14:16

    The Poodle NEVER has a sound cogent answer— LOVE it—-

    0 for 14 ™!

    Reply this comment
  29. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 6 January, 2013, 22:59

    🙂 !

    Reply this comment

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