U.S. Congressional representative Katie Porter (D-California) doesn’t seem to think that children need a father, and doesn’t seem to care about the density restrictions and other anti-development laws that increase the cost of housing in California

U.S. Congressional representative Katie Porter (D-California) recently talked about “Patricia,” one of her “constituents” who lives in Irvine, California.

Here’s a video of part of Porter’s statement, from the Washington Post channel at YouTube:


Since Porter said she looked up the salary of Patricia’s job at monster.com, I am guessing that “Patricia” is fictional. Nevertheless, I will go along with this, and offer my comments and analysis.

Patricia works as a bank teller at JPMorgan Chase, and earns $16.50 per hour, which works out to $35,070 per year. Patricia has a six-year old daughter, and the two of them live together in a one-bedroom apartment in Irvine, California. After taxes, Patricia takes home $29,100 per year, which is $2,425 per month.

Porter provided this image of Patricia’s monthly expenses:

These are Patricia’s monthly expenses:

$1,600 rent

$100 utilities

$250 on a 2008 car

$150 gas

$402 USDA “low cost” food for one adult and one child

$40 phone

$450 after school childcare

This leaves Patricia with a monthly budget deficit of $567.

Porter blames this budget deficit on JPMorgan Chase.

Now I’d like to offer my own commentary and opinion on this, in three different categories.

First of all, Porter makes no mention whatsoever of Patricia’s child’s father.

If Patricia was actually married, then her husband could work from home and take care of their child after school, and there would be no need to spend $450 per month on after school child care. Also, her husband’s income from working at home would make it easier to pay for their other expenses.

This refusal by Porter to even so much as mention Patricia’s child’s father is typical of liberals when they talk about single mothers who are struggling to raise their children. I have previously written about liberals’ refusal to mention the fathers of these children here, here, here, here, and here.

Secondly, Porter never mentions how density restrictions and other anti-development laws cause the price of housing in California to be substantially higher than it would otherwise be.

But I will mention it.

Here is a link to an article that was published by the Atlantic in 2007.

When a developer builds housing, there are three separate and distinct costs: the cost of land, the cost of construction, and the cost of getting a building permit (which the article refers to as the “right to build”).

Irvine is in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. According to the Atlantic article, using data from 1999, getting permission for the “right to build” added $303,000 to the cost of a house in Los Angeles in 1999.

Here’s part of the relevant text from the article:

In a 2003 article, Glaeser and Gyourko calculated the two different land values for 26 cities (using data from 1999). They found wide disparities. In Los Angeles, an extra quarter acre cost about $28,000 – the pure price of land. But the cost of empty land isn’t the whole story, or even most of it. A quarter- acre lot minus the cost of the house came out to about $331,000—nearly 12 times as much as the extra quarter acre. The difference between the first and second prices, around $303,000, was what L.A. home buyers paid for local land-use controls in bureaucratic delays, density restrictions, fees, political contributions. That’s the cost of the right to build.

And that right costs much less in Dallas. There, adding an extra quarter acre ran about $2,300—raw land really is much cheaper—and a quarter acre minus the cost of construction was about $59,000. The right to build was nearly a quarter million dollars less than in L.A. Hence the huge difference in housing prices. Land is indeed more expensive in superstar cities. But getting permission to build is way, way more expensive. These cities, says Gyourko, “just control the heck out of land use.”

The same article also includes this chart:

And please remember, this cost for the “right to build” is completely separate from the cost of the land, and the cost of construction.

The cost for the “right to build” is determined entirely, 100% by zoning laws, density restrictions, and other local government policies.

Here’s another example of how hard it is to get a building permit in California:


January 23, 2015

… there were more permits for single-family homes issued last year through November in just one Texas city – Houston (34,566) – than in the entire state of California (34,035) over the same period.

Let’s put this into perspective.

Houston is 628 square miles.

California is 163,696 square miles.

So even though California is 260 times as big as Houston, Houston actually issued more new building permits for single family homes in 2014 than did the entire state of California.

Just think about that for a minute.

Those numbers show just how incredibly, ridiculously hard California makes it to build new housing.

Anyone who has ever bought or sold anything at eBay understands that, all else being equal, the bigger the supply of something, the lower price, and the lower the supply, the higher the price.

By making it so difficult to get a building permit in California, the government is causing housing to be far, far more expensive than it would otherwise be.

Here is a great article by Thomas Sowell about how the politicians in California have waged war against the construction of new housing.

This video also explains California’s war against the construction of new housing. And please note that it is progressives, social justice warriors, and other left wing activists who are the ones that are most opposed to building this new housing:


California is waging a very strong, major war against the constriction of new housing.

But Porter never mentions any of this.

Third, being a bank teller is an entry level job. It doesn’t require any education beyond high school.

If Patricia wanted to earn more money, she could have gone to college or trade school before having a child.

But Porter never mentions this, either.

April 15, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Economics. 2 comments.

San Francisco developer builds 160 unit apartment building on 9,000 square foot lot

I just came across this wonderful success story in San Francisco.

At 16:00 in the video below, the developer says:

“This is only a 9,000 square foot lot and yet we have 160 apartments in it. It comes to about 800 units an acre.”

I have no idea how he got permission to build such dense housing. (See here for an explanation of how San Francisco politicians deliberately prevent affordable housing from being built.)

The video also explains how these “micro-apartments” cater specifically to people who do not own cars.

The amenities in the building are quite amazing.

This type of high density apartment building is exactly what the city needs. And they need a huge number of them.

I wasn’t deterred by the video’s 20 minute length. I watched the entire thing, and I found it to be quite enjoyable.


October 1, 2017. Tags: , , , , , , , . Economics. 2 comments.