Wednesday, October 25, 2006

 

When in doubt, stick it to the developers

Gaithersburg Maryland is considering new development requirements that “would require developers to set aside 7.5 percent of owner-occupied units for moderate-income households -- those earning 60 to 80 percent of the area median income of $90,300. Another 7.5 percent would be so-called "workforce housing" -- for those making 80 to 120 percent of the median income. For rental units, developers would have to make 15 percent of the units moderately priced.” Affording Gaithersburg

As you can imagine the rhetoric is strident;

"These are working-class people," activist Patty Kaczmarski said at the hearing. "They're working, a lot of them, for below minimum wage. They are holding down two jobs. They are not lazy, they are not stupid and they are not trying to get a handout from anybody."
Who, living legally in Montgomery County, is working for below minimum wage? If they are - then obviously our first priority should be to get those businesses’s paying sub-minimum wages to comply with the law. Sticking it to developers for other businesses flouting of the law hardly seems fair. Of course, if the workers are not inclined to complain because  -ahem – they may have some documentation problems…tell me again why that should be some developers problem?

Opponents to such governmental social engineering are not claiming those eligible are lazy or stupid but it is pure hyperbole to avoid calling these proposals a handout. They are in fact a transfer of wealth from developers and other non-favored citizens to a select group based purely on economic deficiency. That’s a classic definition of a handout, Ms. Kaczmarski.

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