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« Sandbox - 31aug17 | Main | The Socialists’ Conundrum »

01 September 2017

Comments

ScenesFromTheApocalypse

Houses are a funny case since years of artificially low interest rates, overpopulation, increasingly onerous building code, longer lifespans/fear of the future, overspecialization in skills (ie. fewer people can build or repair their own home) have caused homes to be treated more like children and less like consumable goods.

These are complex systems, and you twiddle the knobs on them at your peril, but it made me think of the whole idea of shared risk and whether it should exist.

Expanding on a pure free market approach to natural disasters to risk generally, you could add in things like...

.the cessation of subsidizing Medicare (65+ would probably see something like a $600 increase per person per month), pre-existing conditions always being allowed in medical insurance issuance (including genetic testing). Closing of emergency rooms to non-insured.

.Social Security only paying out what you personally put in with a bond rate of return.

.Dropping of all welfare plans, including child-oriented ones.

.Energy must be produced locally so that pollution/risk is not spread to other areas. No nuke plants in Phoenix for California, no shipping in of electricity generally.

.Pollution causing manufacture should be done locally. Battery factories and PCB shops. Mining. Refineries. Chemicals. etc.

.Trash must be disposed of locally. No shipping off of garbage to Nevada or Utah or wherever it goes. The same applies to nuclear waste.

California gets something of a free ride due to the money concentrated here, treating flyover as a resource-extraction colony and location for refuse dumping. Perhaps it should share in the environmental risk inherent in the modern world.

rl crabb

While I can agree with you that there needs to be more personal accountability in lifestyle choices, your "screw everybody who can't cover their own ass" philosophy seems a tad unrealistic, unless you want to live a nation with millions of homeless, starving and desperate people. Then the government will be obligated to increase oppressive police control.
You can see some of this manifesting locally with the backlash against the homeless. It's obviously more than the local churches and charities can handle.

Scott Obermuller

I might be wrong - but I don't think that George is advocating pulling the rug out from under folks that are trying to dry their homes out in Texas right now.
It is certainly the bias that lefties have against conservatives that we are always trying to 'screw' innocent people in any financial way we can.
As Scenes pointed out in the previous post, there is a larger question of how much the govt (society) should cover in matters of a sudden need for services. Be it medical, rebuilding our homes or long term care as we age and become enfeebled.
Do we begrudge rescuing a rock climber stuck on the side of a cliff in a remote area?
Do we worry about the cost of a massive search and rescue for a family that went off in a desert area totally unprepared? Do we pay millions for medical care for a person that never bothered to produce much of anything of value in their younger years, but instead abused themselves with a poor diet and drug abuse?
There are all sorts of things that people do that carry an inherently higher risk than the normal activities of others. Way back in my younger days, my insurance agent informed me that my life insurance was no good if I died due to engaging in any professional motor sports competition.
Not long ago, we were informed in no uncertain way by more than one insurance company that whoever bought our family's land would not be able to obtain fire insurance for the house and structures. Too remote and too far from a water hydrant.
Why indeed should society shoulder the risk for a wealthy person to build a home near a bluff over the ocean? What if the person is not wealthy but builds in an area known to have a high risk of coastal flooding from periodic storms?
Why should an overweight person not have to pay a much higher medical premium?
It is certain that society has to cover all sorts of costs incurred by individual citizens for a range of sudden calamities that might befall any of us. But George is pointing out that we, as a nation have come to accept all sorts of behaviors, both personally and corporately that run a much higher risk of failure that is certainly foreseen without expecting those persons or parties to suffer any extra costs.
Obviously, the dividing line between acceptable and unacceptable risks is a crooked and blurry one, but it is clear that as it stands now, quite a large segment of the population are dancing around at the edge of the cliff expecting the rest of society to be constantly ready at the bottom with a net. At some point is it any wonder that some of the ones holding the net get a little disgusted and walk away?

ScenesFromTheApocalypse

"You can see some of this manifesting locally with the backlash against the homeless."

My own personal experience is that there's a backlash by the homeless against everyone else. It's the kind of thing that there's no answer to (more help = more homeless, less help = more desperate homeless) but makes these towns more unlivable over time.

To stick to the topic at hand, on the margin, should housing be provided by the government? charity? nobody?

Todd Juvinall

It appears to me the "homeless" issues are actually pretty simple. California has this in every jurisdiction. Many of them like that lifestyle. The life of people in the "mainstream", home owners, 8-5 jobs, families, have too many constraints placed on them by the system. And these people in tents and sleeping bags like to be free from all that. Sure there is mental health issues but look inside any home and you will find the same things. Americans spend billions of tax dollars to help, churches and others as well. But the bottom line in my view, many want to live that lifestyle. Help those that want to help themselves. But to those that don't. Stop feeling guilty.

ScenesFromTheApocalypse

Homeless issues don't strike me as simple at all, but the smaller question is whether funds-for-the-homeless should come from (and be controlled by) individuals? private organizations? local government? da feds? Especially considering that some places have more of them than others.

George Rebane

RLCrabb 724am – Bob, your black/white and somewhat draconian summary of what you understood me to say misses the mark a bit. (See also ScottO's 822am) The situation involving a government mangled perception of risk is what it is across our country. We cannot change it overnight by lopping off the safety net which no doubt figured in the people’s decision to build in high risk areas. But we can begin the process encouraging “more personal accountability in lifestyle choices” by starting to reconfigure the current safety net along with a public conversation on different forms of becoming your brother’s keeper. The purpose of my above commentary is to start such a conversation here, and therefore I appreciate your response. And nowhere do I propose that the repair of a region’s infrastructure be funded by ad hoc private charities; that will still remain the government’s job to be paid for from the collected collective tax base.

Now, with your use of full quotes that ascribe to me a direct statement of sentiment which I neither made nor condone – the proper punctuation my English teachers and professors taught is to use the semi-quote. A quote is a sort of holy of holies in written communications, used only to delineate what someone actually said or wrote. A semi-quote gathers into a whole the special words and/or phrases which the author wishes to highlight, emphasize, or indicate as an approximation of the sentiment someone expressed. That is why ‘quoting someone’ used to mean something in rhetoric and journalism – apparently no more. Among other omissions, modern dumbing down of the language has also removed the comma before the ‘and’ which alerts the reader to the last entry in a list of peer items which may contain sub-groups. As a result, today’s new punctuations and grammatical atrocities make communications more ambiguous. Clear sentences like ‘The box contained nails, nuts and bolts, washers, and a few wrenches’ are no longer possible. And then there’s today’s endemic use of the nominative pronouns, such as ‘I’ and ‘he’, in a sentence’s predicate – ‘The line was too long for he and I to wait in.’ And we could go on and on … .

ScenesFromTheApocalypse

I admit that there appears to be a modification in the contract between the US federal government and it's citizens over time. 'Rights' have moved from freedoms and protections from government, and towards a guarantee of well being. This may well have been an incremental change all along, although my temptation is to point at a combination of urbanization and the closing of the frontier as root causes. Cities tend to imply welfare systems (even in Rome) and shared capital goods due to efficiencies plus the need to keep order.

One reason I can see for a continuing push for government-run charity, disaster relief, etc. is the loss of a sense of community over time. It's been ground down as a topic here, but with the slow death of churches, lodges (which, after all, were really all about helping the members, not blind children), ad hoc community organizations, and bowling leagues (h/t to Robert Putnam), there's really less reason to help out people you don't know personally. Without a philosophy of group membership, altruism is hard to come by and must be forced.

On the other hand, there seems to be a new interest in group membership coming from some quarters of society (the LGBTLMNOP fury, ethnic rights issues, the new improved Euro-American Right) but I don't detect much in the way of charity between group members. So, in the ways that they actually help each other, why are gay rights organizations, the Congressional Black Caucus, or real-deal White Nationalists less likely to look after their own people than a 19th century Mason? These organic modern organizations seem to be more interested in carving up a carcass than they are in self-help.

rl crabb

Well, George, you can dress it up any way you please, but your message is clear. If there is no way to insure your home unless you live in a desert and nowhere near any arroyo that might generate a flash flood, or else be independently wealthy, where are people going to live? This is especially relevant given the lack of jobs when our manufacturing is being taken over by filthy robot labor. Without some degree of government assistance, either in subsidized education or subsidized housing, where will people go?

George Rebane

Scenes 1038am - Well said Mr Scenes. "Carving up the carcass" is truly the name of the game today. Government aid has become a commons, and Garrett Hardin's teaching applies a fortiori - the wider the commons, the less responsibility individuals feel toward it, and the more quickly it will be destroyed. Albeit, its destruction is taking many forms, not all obvious.
http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2008/10/no-representation-without-taxation.html

A nit: Altruism is indeed "hard to come by", but it can never be "forced". Desired social behaviors that altruism does not support must then be coerced by culture or government.

rl crabb

This new Texas law should help with the carving part... https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/08/30/en-garde-texas-open-carry-sword-law-takes-effect-friday/619064001/

George Rebane

rlcrabb 1040am - Thank you again Bob. Is my message "clear" to you because you are among those who know what I really think, and have unsuccessfully "dressed it up" in the attempt to fool the likes of you?

I believe the long record of these pages shows that on RR we have little luck in dressing things up, since all counter opinions that promptly expose what's under the dress are welcome.

Scott Obermuller

from Mr Crabb - "This is especially relevant given the lack of jobs when our manufacturing is being taken over by filthy robot labor. Without some degree of government assistance, either in subsidized education or subsidized housing, where will people go?"
'filthy' robot labor? Oh dear! Maybe robot cleaning will be the new job market explosion.
As far as wondering where people will go to live, there are many localities such as the one my wife and I chose to live in. The threat of forest fire, flood or earthquake are pretty remote here. And the land is quite inexpensive compared to places like California. It's not a matter of the total elimination of risk, it's a simple matter of purposefully adjusting the dial downward.
Of course if the Yellowstone Caldera goes pop, we're toast.
It's a risk I'll take.

Todd Juvinall

It is not the "right" trying to tell everyone where and how to live. I recall back in the 90's when those planners" of land use were trying to shove everyone into high rises with small footprints in California. Many of s said wait a minute. People want their own piece of the earth to live on. We were attacked relentlessly. The "Wise Use Movement" especially. Anyway, a series of polls were taken of Californians and guess what? They totally rejected the stackem and packem those central planners were pushing and a huge majority wanted a single family home on some property.

But has that stopped those central planners? Nope, and now we see the folly. They have put so much fee and tax on a new home they have to "subsidize" their oen people's permits! You cannot make this kinfd of lunacy up. I pointed out many years ago that the government, local state and the rest, chatrge you to live in your own community now. If your kids want to live where they grew p they have to "buy in" to do so.

Paul Emery

So George it is well established that occasionally there is something called the ARk storm in California and the Northwest. The last one happened in 1862. When that happens the entire Sacramento Valley turns into a lake for months. Is this one of those predictable patterns you describe where people living in those areas (the entire Sacramento Valley) do so at their own risk because of the prior knowledge of predictable disaster based on history?

Here's a link to the ARk storm of 1862

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/02/17/californias-past-megafloods-and-the-coming-arkstorm/

fish

Oh Punch.....I love it when you place one right on the tee for me to hit out!


So George it is well established that occasionally there is something called the ARk storm in California and the Northwest. The last one happened in 1862. When that happens the entire Sacramento Valley turns into a lake for months. Is this one of those predictable patterns you describe where people living in those areas (the entire Sacramento Valley) do so at their own risk because of the prior knowledge of predictable disaster based on history.

Must have been all that human caused global warning eh.....eh....?!


PUNCH-E!

Todd Juvinall

1862? WOW! Must have been caused by those SUV's!

Scott Obermuller

Paul, Paul, Paul. We need to talk.
You might notice that since 1862 just a few more dams and levees have been constructed. The foods back in the 1800s were a big part of the reason that the entire California water system was set up.
Although that does open up a discussion area to talk about the politics of land use power the govt has and the building of subdivisions in flood prone areas due to tax payer backed flood insurance.

George Rebane

PaulE 1151am - And your point ...?

Paul Emery

Didn't say a word about Global Warming Fish. Please show me where I did.

Scott 1:41 I agree with you on this one. I do wonder if our Dam system could suppress the effects of the '62 storm. Very good question. And yes, the enabling of sub-divisions in flood prone areas (the whole Sacramento Valley) is a big question that's never discussed. Read this link on the history and extent of the storm. Very interesting and worth a read. Starts with this

"The Great Flood of 1862 was the largest flood in the recorded history of Oregon, Nevada, and California, occurring from December 1861 to January 1862. It was preceded by weeks of continuous rains and snows in the very high elevations that began in Oregon in November 1861 and continued into January 1862. This was followed by a record amount of rain from January 9–12, and contributed to a flood that extended from the Columbia River southward in western Oregon, and through California to San Diego, and extended as far inland as Idaho in the Washington Territory, Nevada and Utah in the Utah Territory, and Arizona in the western New Mexico Territory. Immense snowfalls in the mountains of the far western United States caused more flooding in Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, and Sonora, Mexico the following spring and summer as the snow melted.

The event was capped by a warm intense storm that melted the high snow load. The resulting snow-melt flooded valleys, inundated or swept away towns, mills, dams, flumes, houses, fences, and domestic animals, and ruined fields."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Flood_of_1862

Bill Tozer

The flood in the 1862? Oh yes, we discussed that at length during El Niño. Forgot about those older topics we discussed....last year. Just how old is Putin?

Paul Emery

My point is tht it could happen here and the government support for vulnerable housing and infrastructure will be on full display

George Rebane

PaulE 440pm - And what would you suggest that a government do that owes more than $20T (more than its annual GDP)? Where does that additional money come from to pay people who chose to live/work in areas of known risk? As I said above, my comments do not address infrastructure restoration which I believe to be the duty of government and the collective tax base. But in this case we should consider how large that responsible collective should be - should it stop at the state level or involve the federal government?

BTW, it's easy enough for governments to draw a line in the sand and tell everyone that state aid is available up to this line and federal aid is available up to here. That can take care of the rare catastrophes in which it benefits people beyond the afflicted area to help pay for recovery and restoration (up to a certain level). Expecting blanket checks is not the solution for governments already beyond their ability to handle their debts.

That government can always get your tit out of the wringer is a false progressive shibboleth - it can't.

Scott Obermuller

Paul - George didn't mean to talk about 1000 year floods that may or may not happen. With the dams maybe or maybe not preventing disaster.
He's referring to people building homes in areas that are known to flood on a regular basis.

Todd Juvinall

The building in Sacratomatoe were all raised 12 feet as they learned from experience. Maybe that would be Paul's answer for all the building in the Sac valley?

ScenesFromTheApocalypse

I could begin to form an opinion if it were clear just where government money goes in a recurrent natural disaster, flood plains are an obvious example. The clear target for the original post might be something like government subsidized insurance.

Given the tendency for fire insurance to disappear over time in this area, we might find out soon enough about issues of this type.

In terms of general risk problems, one of my favorite examples is gender-based pricing. Car insurance is allowed to be priced lower for women (true? I think so), but health insurance isn't more expensive. By the same reasoning, men should receive higher Social Security payments. It isn't like this observation is new with me of course.

Maybe one answer is to take on the Japanese model for homes. They aren't expected to last very long and in fact the buildings depreciate fairly quickly. One thing this allows you to do is to modernize design quickly compared to the US idea of house longevity. If nearly all the value of a place to live is in the land itself, the building is expected to only last something like 30 years, worrying about insurance on the dwelling makes less sense. I wonder what the property insurance market is like there.

Some words:

http://japanpropertycentral.com/2014/02/understanding-the-lifespan-of-a-japanese-home-or-apartment/

Russ

The 1861=62 flood was historic for the European centric population in the Central Valley, but not to the Native population, who according to newspaper reports at the time left the central valley two weeks before the flood started. For those interested in the history of flooding and droughts in California I highly recommend The West without Water: What Past Floods, Droughts, and Other Climatic Clues Tell Us about Tomorrow by Ingram, B. Lynn; Malamud-Roam, Frances. From page 40:

A critical element of living in a place like California is an awareness of these natural disasters, and this requires a deep understanding of the natural patterns and frequencies of these events. We have building codes today for earthquake safety as well as city emergency plans. But are the millions of new westerners really aware of the region’s calamitous climate history? Most have never even heard of the 1861– 62 floods, and, as we will explore in the coming chapters, the 1861– 62 floods may not have been the worst that nature can regularly dish out to the region. We will explore the evidence for similar, if not larger, floods that have occurred every one to two centuries over the past two millennia in California.

Our climate history tells us that our Harvey level flooding in still on the horizon. The mud core samples taken from the Sacramento river delta tell us there were worse floods than the 1861-62 event over thousands of years.

Page 47:

We are now learning that the floods and droughts of this period are an incomplete sampling of the extreme events that have been a “normal” part of the West’s hydrology for thousands of years. The clues from past climates depict extremely dry periods — in some cases lasting decades or even centuries — often punctuated by torrential rains and floods. We now realize that vastly larger floods and more severe and protracted droughts, though rare, are as inevitable as the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that Pacific Coast residents know will occur.

Keep your flood insurance paid up to date. When we bought our house in Lincoln one of the criteria was to be well above the 1,000-year flood plane.

ScenesFromTheApocalypse

One argument you can definitely make for government intervention is in the regulation of insurance companies. At the very least, guaranteeing their ability to pay up when needed is almost a given.

The alternative is a kind of public cost, private gain that you saw in the banking and S&L crises. They'll happily sell policies until a really large event occurs. Then you go bankrupt followed by a nice vacation to the Cayman Islands to set up the next scam. No doubt you could silo off separate regions into separate corporations.

My great fear, perhaps because I just don't grok the system, is of cascading failures due to secondary/tertiary/etc. pieces of paper laying off risk to people who never pay up. Boom goes London, Boom Paree. Nothing to be done on this one. An entire generation of people is depending on bits of paper to live 30 years after retirement

Walt

OK,, since disasters happen, and the question is who pays,, I doubt there is insurance
for this.
http://www.newsweek.com/yellowstone-supervolcano-earthquake-swarm-largest-recorded-658318

George Rebane

The insurance business is not a mystery, and should not be one to a well-read citizen. Insurance is a for-profit business that claims to understand the time-space probability distributions of the calamities against which it writes policies. To the extent that these distributions are correct, the insurance companies charge premiums to make a profit, and to build up and maintain a reserve of cash to pay off claims that hopefully arrive at or below the maximum rate computed from the presumed probability distributions. The size of the reserve is subjectively set at some acceptable level of risk (i.e. probability of not being able to pay all claimants); government may step in and mandate such levels. However, when a black swan event occurs (e.g. thousand-year flood, Richter 10 along the San Andreas, or Yellowstone going cataclysmic) then ALL insurance companies go broke and people don’t get paid. That is all there is or ever was to it; there ain’t no more to understand.

ScenesFromTheApocalypse

"maintain a reserve of cash to pay off claims that hopefully arrive at or below the maximum rate computed from the presumed probability distributions."

Ah, see, there's the rub. I can't say that there are just two outcomes...a normal distribution vs. the end of the world.

It's one thing to compute the future value of some event, quite another when you can game a legal system, or just a client base for that matter.

I can easily see an insurance design where the customers are way way underwater (so to speak) on the bet. Impossibly complex contracts, cash reserves that fail at an optimal size of payoff, Ponzi schemes (ie. an ever increasing client base needed for payoffs), firewalls between types of bets.

Heck, I'll happily sell you homeowner's insurance myself. I'll set up a company with one client, receive premiums, slink into the night on the first payout of any size.

Another problem I can think of as an insurance layman is the huge amount of reinsurance and hundred varieties of paper passed around to ameliorate risk or make money...not to mention the more straightforward investments those companies make in volatile instruments. My gut tells me that all of this risk management is not really understood by anybody and is filled with potential points of failure.

I sure wish it was as simple as putting a pile of money (or gold) in a box and selling bets on a set of outcomes with scarcely any chance of miscalculation.

George Rebane

Scenes 1204pm - Are you contending my 1121am? If so, what assertions?

ScenesFromTheApocalypse

GR@12:08PM

Perhaps I'm after a more full model of systemic risk in insurance. The modern insurance world is more opaque than I would like and (more importantly) the bets really aren't as symmetrical as they might seem. The opportunity for failure (for the company) is more present than people might like.

This makes me think about a bigger philosophical point. Is it really moral to disconnect the principals in a business from bad outcomes via the veil of a corporation? There's a real purity to the Lloyd's of London model.

George Rebane

scenes 1220pm - It looks like you're about to educate me (and all of us) on how a "full model of systemic risk in insurance" is not subsumed into an appropriate collection of (joint) probability distributions that summarize the occurrences of the covered calamities. Sally forth!

Disconnecting the principals in a business from bad outcomes via the corporate veil is not a moral question as long as the business is correctly represented to its customers. And the introduction of the 'veiled corporation' has been one of the wonders of capitalism which has spread the means to generate wealth to the masses (of which I stand proudly and gratefully as one; I challenge any of the homeless hereabouts to compare theirs to what I had starting out).

Just for giggles, you probably already know that even the purity of Lloyd's is a bit muddied in how pro forma cleverly its principals represent themselves as financial entities - i.e. they do not put all their eggs into the Lloyd's basket. Would you consider such limiting of liability immoral?

ScenesFromTheApocalypse

'It looks like you're about to educate me (and all of us) on how a "full model of systemic risk in insurance" is not subsumed into an appropriate collection of (joint) probability distributions that summarize the occurrences of the covered calamities. Sally forth!'

Only in that there are upper limits to risk that either the government provides a backstop to (as in banking) or no one does. I honestly think that that is not fully realized by the public. Also, that without government limitations on their behavior (again, like banks), they have no reason to act responsibly in the more exotic outcomes that you might see. The insurance company is only risking the money they have on the table, not the full cost of an outcome, the real distribution is not in use.

In terms of the principals, one example pops to mind, the idea of the aggressive trader (or CEO). They are capable of making large, even company killing, bets with very asymmetrical outcomes. Bet black, and you get x hundred million dollars, bet red, and you get fired. This is a bet that any sane person would happily make since they are not personally at risk.

George Rebane

Scenes 322pm - I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing. I maintain that all the information to make reasoned decisions on the amount of risk one wants undertake is contained in the joint pdf of calamities covered. That necessary and sufficient information is orthogonal to what policy and premium decisions are made subsequently. And that which "is not fully realized by the public" is yet another topic of possible interest - caveat emptor must still rule, unless you're under some form conservatorship ;-)

For the technically minded, the distribution of an insurance company's financial gains/losses is not only based on the risk thresholds selected, but also augmented by the probabilistics of third party (e.g. government) cash that may come into play during certain contingencies. These distributions can, of course, be folded into each other through the dynamics of Bayes and/or simulated with binary trees to yield the final profit/loss distributions at any operating policy point that the insurance company wants to place its bets.

Bun Bun

When 25-30% of your county is in the 100 year flood plain, you don't deserve help if you are building slab on grade homes. Regulations? Regulations? We don't need no stinking regulations because we are Texans! Those badass tough guys can just stew in their own juices.

Texans are going on welfare now, imagine that!

TOPOGRAPHY: Houston lies largely in the northern portion of the Gulf coastal plain, a 40- to 50-mile-wide swath along the Texas Gulf Coast. Typically, elevation rises approximately one foot per mile inland.

Northern and eastern portions of the area are largely forested; southern and western portions are predominantly prairie grassland; coastal areas are prairie and sand.

Surface water in the Houston region consists of lakes, rivers, and an extensive system of bayous and manmade canals that are part of the rainwater runoff management system. Some 25%-30% of Harris County lies within the 100-year flood plain. Elevation ranges (a.s.l.): Brazoria 0'-146', Chambers 0'-85', Fort Bend 12'-158', Galveston 0'-43', Harris 0'-310', Liberty 0'-269', Montgomery 43'-435', Waller 80'-357'.

George Rebane

Bun 655am - The ever hopeful fool that I am, I detect a smidgen of agreement here. Yes, we can enlarge government to extend building regulations and enforcement to mandate where and how development can occur in regions prone to natural disasters, but are there not less draconian alternatives? How would just providing folks with a complete information set about the known hazards, have them sign wavers for future government help in rebuilding, and let them make their own decisions regarding risk? Then when calamity strikes, all government is responsible for is to search and rescue their sorry butts (i.e. preserve life and limb). What are the alternatives - buildings that float and/or built on ten foot pilings?

Paul Emery

George

That wpild pretty much eliminate much of the Sacramento Valley if there was ARk flood such as in 1862. Does that include housing built below Dams?

George Rebane

PaulE 910am - Don't understand your use of "eliminate". And I detect that you're trying to get me to prescribe a detailed set of regulations and laws (i.e. get into the weeds) which you and others can then enjoy sharpshooting, because no such laws or regs exist save their having to make compromises and impose certain (subjective) utilities in how they are fashioned. I have made my beliefs abundantly clear about the overarching principles that should guide such public policies. Your question is most certainly already answered in my above remarks.

Walt

Paul. You REALLY need to quit your job. Your VARY hypocritical. No more health care for you either. And don't forget to tear up your SSI checks.

Walt

Now back to the subject at hand. "who pays"?
Some of us here were/are subject to a special fire tax. ( force upon us illegally..
"The State of California has begun mailing bills to rural property owners for fire prevention. We believe this fee imposed by politicians is really an illegal tax under Proposition 13. The State of California has begun mailing bills to rural property owners for fire prevention.Jul 25, 2017")
And add insult to that injury, more than a few insurance companies have stopped issuing policies in the state.(unless you live in a city) Or jack up the price to where no normal homeowner can afford it. If you pay a mortgage you are required to have fire insurance.

The tax may be gone, but the need for insurance sure hasn't gone away. I have to abide by Allstate's demands, or loose my coverage. Yet none of the parcels around seem to care about fire danger.
I have done all I can do. So when (not if) the next wildfire rips through here, we will see who will be better off. Those who have no coverage, or those who followed the demands of others, and paid their due.

Look at the bright side. The selective fire tax is gone. (not that it went to fire prevention in the first place.) Now, we all get boned equally (sorta) with the carbon scam.

Scott Obermuller

Bun Bun at 6:35 castigates Tejas but seems to have conveniently forgotten certain parts of Northern California. I wonder if BB wants to apply the same vitriol to the bay area? Nah - too many of his friends live there.
The left always forgets that if you point a finger, 4 fingers point right back at you.
Still wondering at the outpouring of love and compassion from the left towards the calamities in Texas. So much for the stated attributes of the left. Turns out it's all BS.
Most all of this topic has gone off the rails into the woods.
Look folks - you want to build a new home or buy a home somewhere. This is from scratch.
Starts tomorrow. George is asking why you shouldn't have to pay a premium for any kind of insurance based upon reasonable historic records of loss in the area of your home. You live in a flood plain, it's gonna cost big time. You wanna live in the woods that burn? Maybe no insurance at all. For the bed wetters and whiners that wonder where folks will live, there are actually all sorts of places you can live with cheap insurance. The nearby little burg of Middleton kept getting flooded so they up and moved the town uphill a bit. They didn't just keep re-building in the flood zone and pay more insurance, they eliminated the risk. Not far from there upstream a bit is a place called Garden City. It used to be called China Gardens. After the Chinese that helped build the Union Pacific wanted to settle near Boise, they found ultra-cheap land in or very near the flood plain just outside the city. The flood plain became their crop-land (gardens) and they sold their produce to the city dwellers. They took the risk of having their land flooded in exchange for super cheap land.
That is not acceptable these days for the govt, the realtors, or anyone in the whole land sale business. Ultra-cheap is not a word they like to hear. You either get govt (tax payer) backed bailout insurance for risky land that sells for high prices or you simply don't get to build there at all. Since the govt is expected to be bailing you out, you have allowed the govt to dictate what risk it will take, not the risk you are willing to take. Politics intervene and we have a merry little time of the local govt allowing folks to set up houses in areas of known high risk because the developers paid off the county and the county needs the tax base. The county counts on the state and feds to bail out the residents when the expected floods or fires or earthquakes come, so they don't care about risk. They just want the tax base in the meantime.
The problem is the same as it seems to be more and more. The ones taking the risk have less and less need to worry about the cost since it doesn't come out of their pocket. We are disconnecting the folks making the actual decision to take the risk from the ones that will have to pay for the risk. If you want to live where it is risky you should be able to, but don't expect anyone else to pay the premium.
Hard to understand what is debatable about this.

Walt

Yet Scott didn't need earthquake insurance. And who just got hit by a quake?
Is there Volcano insurance? Yellowstone has an upset tummy. YUP,, Things are "just fine".. Nothing to worry about. Besides. NASA has a plan.. Feel better?

Anything can happen anywhere.

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