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My Yale Law Journal Pocket Part Essay on Regulatory Takings and the Poor:

The editors of the Yale Law Journal Pocket Part asked me to write a short reply to Hannah Jacobs Wiseman's article arguing that laws requiring the government to compensate property owners for regulatory takings will hurt the poor. In my contribution to the debate, I argue that regulatory takings reform is unlikely to hurt poor communities, and might actually benefit them by impeding the enactment of regulations that harm the poor for the benefit of more affluent interest groups. Here's a brief excerpt:

Does requiring government to pay compensation for regulatory takings harm poor communities? My answer to this underanalyzed question is "probably not." Because of the relative political weakness of the poor, unfettered government regulatory authority is likely to be used to their detriment more often than to benefit them. History shows that unconstrained government power to abrogate property rights has caused great harm to the poor.

The issue of regulatory takings reform is distinct from, but related to, post-Kelo eminent domain reform. The former seeks to force government to compensate property owners in certain cases where their property rights have been restricted by regulation - treating such regulations as takings, but allowing them to go forward so long as compensation is paid. The latter seeks to prevent certain types of takings entirely. In this Northwestern University Law Review article, I criticized claims that post-Kelo reform is bad for the poor.

occidental tourist (mail):
While the contemplative tone of Wiseman's article seems to concede a degree of risk to property rights from regulatory action, it appears to be her presumption that regulation favored by the majority of citizens upon whom it is visited has a legitimacy that transcends the institution.

Great, just what we need, a bunch of soviet style block committees, half gestapo, half 4th branch. Obviously a far superior setup to constitutional property rights.

True enough, the courts have butchered the concept instead of letting an honest development of nuisance law remain the guidestone of proper regulation -- as well as providing a forum for private reguatlion. Instead any 'rational' government pretext (meaning to say any relativistic explanation of government motives prompted by those who have the power to guide government policy in these arenas) eclipses a constitutional right. Simultaneously the courts are vastly and hastily expanding the concept of nuisance without requiste passage of time and custom to inform these agitated expansions (see Palazzolo especially the state decision on remand from the Supreme Court - and from the same state the Lead Paint case.)

Meaning no disservice to the honest question of whether compensation for regulatory takings has a cognizable economic impact on the poor -- which is not an argument for or against following the constitution last I looked -- this type of logic seems to be the progressive come anti-progressive anecdote to the growing discontent with the regulatory state.

The property rights measure in Oregon she categorizes was passed before Kelo was decided. Virtually the entire property rights movement in America was built before Kelo. It is possible to imagine a degree of crossover -- that those concerned about regulatory takings would capitalize on the discussion of property rights and statutory actions in the wake of the decision to advance their interests.

IJ went out of its way to divorce the two issues during the proceedings, and even in the aftermath of the case, but when it comes to the use of these mechanisms to effectively displace less wealthy segments of the population at the pleasure of the wealthier segments they operate in unison.

It is virtually impossible to place a mobile home in my community that was dotted with them when I moved here as a result of zoning. You literally cannot build a multi-family home. In many areas you must have 5 acres or more to build a home. How is any of this helping the poor? Oh yeah, its keeping them in the slums where they belong and insuring that the children of farmers and woodcutters move to the city where they belong and leave the country for the swells.

And, in the city, industrial and commercial uses are being zoned out of existence. With them go jobs. The poor who lived in these communities are helped though, right, because they don't have to live near these horrible businesses anymore. Actually, this is all precursory to gentrification and the poor are hustled out through overt Kelo style takings, or letting the market respond to the regulatory impositions and price out the poor.

Whether Wiseman subscribes to these outcomes or not, carrying water for the idea that the poor are harmed by less land regulation is essentially a closet environmental justice movement in which the poor are overtly robbed of jobs on the premise of the environmental impact of locating industrial facilites. Convent, Louisiana -- and ANWR for that matter -- come quickly to mind.

Sorry for the lengthy quip,

Brian
9.27.2007 7:57am
Eli Rabett (www):
A poster child for this is SW DC, where an entire area was taken and leveled.
9.27.2007 8:27am
Temp Guest (mail):
Occidental Tourist's description of the havoc wrought upon the poor by regulatory takings (in his last four paragraphs) is concrete, powerful, and convincing. The entire Bay area of the People's Republic of Cal. is exhibit one in support of his assertions.
9.27.2007 9:21am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
oc, a long, rambling blowhard diatribe. But, really, the problem with "helping the poor" is more accurately chalked up to the chicken-little attitude of numerous big law firms who, though knowing lots of attys fees can be made off Title II Americans With Disabilities Act claims, fail to "help the poor" by marrying Title II, ADA obligations of these state and local govenment public entities to provide affordable housing for those disabled among the poor (which are most of the poor) with post-Kelo takings of teh land upon which government can build these affordable housing units.

In sum, a powerful lawsuit could be formulated bringing in lots of rainmaking money for a big law firm by suing the rich developers to provide this affordable housing -- raze the rich developments under Kelo taking and build housing for the poor. Put the homeless into homes so they can clean up, sleep, and work, which should righfully be part of the cost of these developers doing business every bit as much as big business should be paying for their carbon emissions that are causing global warming.

I can certainly see how just such a lawsuit against the City of Clearwater, Florida, for one small example, would do much social good, given the big monstrosity they are building on the beach ($4 billion condo-hotel-shops promenade looking almost as tall as the Empire State builing, just as the sea levels are all but certain to rise. All to line the greedy pockets of the rich, in an existing real estate market with about 95% of the developed units in all new Clearwater Beach developments just sitting there empty and vacant, many vacant for over 1 1/2 years now, while the poor rot and die on the streets.

Something is wrong with this America. It is just too bad we don't turn out lawyers from our law school these days that have any social conscience to do something about this travesty.

And just wait until the sea levels do rise, and these developers buildings leach toxics and are declared maritime Superfund cleanup sites.

Lined pockets of the greedy rich devlopers, empty vacant useless condo projects, disabled poor homeless families with children decaying on the streets and in jails for being vagrant, and the legacy of Superfund cleanup sites all up and down the beached of Florida -- this is what the failure to properly invoke post-Kelo reform leaves us.

Maybe people should stop picking on Justice Souter's nice farmhouse and start thinking about problems of more gravity and the real implications of Kelo.
9.27.2007 10:48am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Moreover, it wan't long ago when a normal poor family could spend an affordable day at Clearwater Beach taking their kids out for hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, and ice cream, just drive there, find a place to park, and go to the beach.

Nowadays, with the greedy developer capitalism run amonk (in the smoldering subprime mortgage ruins of the collapse of the condo market), there is nowhere to park, beach acces is gone, and it would cost so much for simple day at the beach that most middle class families could not afford even one night in some of these $900 a night rooms with $75 per person breaksfasts in addition to being looted for their last penny by the parking vendors.

And, this is not even addressing the fact (and I know this from personal experience) that the sea level tides on the beach have run about 8-12" above previous sea levels for over a month now, since the last Northern melting events, and for a month now, there has been a perpetual high tide, with almost no low tides whatsoever.

The opportunity to restucture our America's infrustructure in a more intelligent way for more social good to benefit all Americans is the lasting legacy that will come from Kelo -- especially when the great Northward migration exodus begins out of Florida, and people who migrate inland to higher ground need housing.

Something to think about they don't test on a standardized A, B, C, D multiple choice test.
9.27.2007 10:59am
Hello in Thar:
This has been your daily troll.

Now, back to the regularly scheduled programming.
9.27.2007 11:47am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"This has been your daily troll."

AHH, a new bigotry slur of autism. Translation: 'Everyone knowls trolls are ugly, like people who have autism. So we can censor the viewpoints of those who are ugly whose viewpoints are unpopular and we don't like.' So much for the First Amendment.

Of course, while you might silence me, I can assure you the majority of Americans agree with what I have said and are thinking along the same lines.

Republic election pollsters take note.
9.27.2007 11:54am
Gordo:
Property rights absolutists always go back to "let's rely on nuisance law" as an argument to mitigate impacts upon surrounding property owners of one property owner's greed (er - I mean "rational self interest").

Before governmental land use regulation nuisance was the only legal mechanism of protecting one's property rights from the depredations of neighbors. It failed spectacularly, which is why zoning and other forms of governmental regulations on the use of private property began proliferating in the early 20th century.

The reasons for its failure? 1) Common law concepts were stacked in favor of the offender (the "common enemy" theory of drainage impacts being a great example) -- 2) the Courts can be an inefficient means of resolving such disputes that makes governmental regulatory ineffiicencies pale in comparison -- leading to 3) the difficulty of getting redress in the Courts meant that those property owners with more resources could simply outlast their neighbors.
9.27.2007 12:26pm
SenatorX (mail):
One problem with your logic Mary is that the current housing bust was caused not by capitalism run amok but by government sponsored "affordable housing". Your statement would be more accurate to use "socialism run amok" but I know that might not fit with your ideology.

I don't understand your autism reference either. My son has autism and he is extremely handsome. Nor do people treat him as "ugly" because of his behaviors. Once they realize he has autism the general response is tolerance and curiosity. I just wonder where you are getting this autism prejudice from? The only experience I have had like that is from the medical community.
9.27.2007 12:50pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Nuisance law doesn't work very well to address global warming destruction. But then, traditions notions of property rights are based on thousands of years of the same static sea levels, that are now rapidly changing with the abrupt climate change brought upon us.

Another observation is it is, indeed, ironic that the argument can be posited that "2) the Courts can be an inefficient means of resolving such disputes that makes governmental regulatory ineffiicencies pale in comparison -- leading to 3) the difficulty of getting redress in the Courts meant that those property owners with more resources could simply outlast their neighbors."

In the changed global warming world in which ourselves and our children and grandchildren will be forced to live, taking Florida as one obvious example, the old vested property owners will not have the resources to "simply outlast their neighbors" since (1) old traditional property owners will lose their coastal properties to sea level rise, (2) private insurers are already pulling back from insuring properties within 2 miles of the coast and won't pay the sea level rise losses, and (3) FEMA sure won't pay for the folly of owning properties people know are going underwater by sea level rise.

As far as "the Courts" being "an inefficient means of resolving such disputes that makes governmental regulatory ineffiicencies pale in comparison -- leading to 3) the difficulty of getting redress in the Courts," again taking Florida as an example, I can only observe that this redress difficulty with be exacerbated in the coastal areas of Florida -- e.g. Pinellas County, Tampa, Miami courts, when the Courthouses themselves fall to the sea level rise and their outdated hard paper copy-based court filings/records systems flood.

A sad new era for which we all must prepare.
9.27.2007 12:53pm
SenatorX (mail):
/thread hijack but kudos to the Israelis

Families With Autistic Children Get A Break At Israeli Vacation Spot

Upon first glance, Aluteva looks like another homey and quaint country family resort in northern Israel, one of the country's most popular vacation destinations. The campus is surrounded by forest trees at the edge of Carmiel, families are lounging on plastic lounge chairs, and the green lawns and playground are dotted with colorful picket fences. Only upon closer look does it become apparent that Aluteva is highly different than any other country resorts in the area.

Aluteva is the only vacation spot in Israel, and possibly in the world, designed to cater to families with autistic children. The clues quickly become obvious; the campus is enclosed by fences and a security gate, the pool is raised instead of at ground level, and a young boy paces in a repeated pattern along the cement paths, clapping his hands.

Aluteva doesn't have the funds or intention to offer five star amenities, but it provides one amenity that makes some families feel like it's a five star resort: sensitivity to the needs of children with autism.

The concept was devised in 2003 by Alut, the Israeli Society for Autistic Children, to provide an innovative, permanent year-round solution for families for whom vacation is an essential need, but one that is often out of reach.

"We understand the complexity for families with autistic children to go out on vacation," explained Aluteva's director Nechama Amidan. "Often they don't take a vacation because it's difficult to go out on a vacation with an autistic child given the behavior of the child and safety concerns. The children are sometimes not aware of the dangers, and they can jump in a pool, cross a red light. They require the parents' constant surveillance."

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/83399.php
9.27.2007 12:55pm
David Sucher (mail) (www):
I jokingly surmised (to myself) that the Wiseman's article would include paeans to "the community." But I didn't think she go so far as to say that more community meetings would be the answer to the genuinely knotty problem of balancing an individual's rights versus those of a broad public.

But after first acknowledging frankly that "Regulations do place disproportionate burdens on landowners," she bizarrely suggests that:
"...stunting the ability of governments to regulate is not the solution to this problem. What is needed is a regulatory process bolstered by better participatory venues whereby all affected residents can voice their complaints addressing the impacts of regulation as well as government's failure to regulate."

I don't want to violate the rules of this blog too far but that is a total crock and irrelevant; it's an insult to law to suggest that having more neighbors tell you to regulate someone's property will solve the very real philosophical and practical issue of regulation. All she is suggesting is further elevating a tyranny of the majority.
9.27.2007 1:15pm
Clay (mail):
I think you can make an argument that regulatory takings impact the poor disproportionately if anything. Who would be more likely to operate a home based business if it weren't prevented by zoning and a myriad of other insane regulations that have to be complied with before the doors can open? Who is more deterred by licensing and other costly legal barriers to entry? Who is more vulnerable to the creative legal interpretations of corrupt or incompetent officials?
9.27.2007 1:20pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Senator X, you are very fortunate your son with autism is handsome. Hopefully he does not suffer the equally damging prejudice of ignorant people who discirminate against him be telling him the version "You don't look disabled ..." As you must know, being an autism expert, sicentists have recently proven there are differences between the sexes in terms of autism. I do not have to good fortune of being beautiful; predictably, about 50% of the time, people react to my "retarded" appearance by hate attacks and prejudice. Again, caused by the ignorant. Perhaps, someone like you could volunteer to bring more autism awareness to American society. It is much needed.

"One problem with your logic Mary is that the current housing bust was caused not by capitalism run amok but by government sponsored "affordable housing". Your statement would be more accurate to use "socialism run amok" but I know that might not fit with your ideology."

You embed in your argument the failed government-sponsored housing projects of the past -- e.g. rat infested drug havens run by gang lords built in conceentrated highrise style. I was not referring to those, but more to the afforable housing units mroe recently being built in some cities in Northern California that sprinkle a handful of regular housing units (typically 3-5 townhouse style units) among middle class and wealthy neighbors that are week taken care of, asthetically pleasing, not crime ridden, and a safe place to live.

To posit that the housing bust was caused by requiring the developers who build the 10,000 sq. ft. million dollar McMansions and multiple-condo unit arbitrage speculator-flipper investors who have commodity-fied American's housing to pay for the disclocation costs of ousting millions of middle class and poor Americans (our teachers, fire fighters, police officers, grounds persons, housekeepers, etc) from the ability to afford basic necessity housing stock and into homelessness, is no different than asking the corporate factories thaty polluted Love Canal to pay their EPA Superfund cleanup costs. Both are a cost of the capitalist who does business, and both should be paid by them rather than shifted off to taxpaying Americans ar added to increase government spending programs.

Capitalism run amok sometimes causes a serious luxury misallocation of resources, for example, take that $4 billion condo-hotel room-shops monstrosity currently being built on Clearwater Beach, knowing abrupt climate change is underway and sea levels are assigned a certain probability of rising not a mere few cms but several meters (about 21 feet) -- it is not "socialism" for taxpaying Americans to say that is a misallocation of resources that should better be spent building infrustrusture inland on higher ground, and this could readily be accomplished without "socialism" in the good old fashioned American way of creating tax policies to favor certain "redevelopment" zones and credits to make it more profitable to accomplish necessary global warming preparation (being proactive) rather than waiting around until billions of dollars of resources are flushed down a big black hole of sea level rise -- the $4 billion complex -- if no one is moving into the thousands of other already built condos on the beach, who will want the new units? And how long a time frame is do the $4 billion developer resources last? Two or three years? for all we know, the Greenland ice sheet will become so lubricated under the ice it will drop into the sea in an Earthy moment.

The argument you posit is based on a logical fallacy. It IS unbridled developers greed and capitalism run amok that is still misallocating resources by (I recently read) many trillions of dollars of condo highrise housing on FLorida's beaches and coatal barrier islands, all of which will certainly go underwater and be lost when the sea levels rise. Affordable housing does not by definition carry with it the assumption that such housing needed by ordinary working taxpaying Americans will similarly be so recklessly built on a known floodplain.

Thus, it is a fallacy to say affordable housing caused the housing bust. No, the housing bust was caused by people who could not afford their mortgage payments buying housing, much of it prone to Natural Disaster, and in Florida subject to uninsurability or vulnerable to rising sea levels. That is why the housing was unafforable; hence the housing bust caused by the people who could not afford their housing.

Nor is it "socialism run amok" for each and every coastal dwelling American to take personal responsibility and choose not to buy housing built by reckless capitalistic developers on land that will go underwater as teh sea levels rise -- to pposit such an argument would be to say President Bush's agenda for people to take personal responsibility of having private Social Security or health insurance investment accounts is, by the fact millions would individually make that personal responsibility choice, somehow become in the aggregate of each individual personal choice, become by the sheer numbers "socialism run amok."

The bottom line is, the housing bust, at least in Florida, has been caused in no small measure, by the fact greedy developers and investor-flippers recklessly built millions of housing units on Florida's coastal land that is going underwater by global warming sea level rise and will become worthless. If you disagree, well, do I ever have a Florida beach condo I woudl like to sell you!

The buyers and the public know this and BELIEVES it, and THAT is the cause of the housing bust in Florida. As for elsewhere, I can only observe that the depression that resulted from the roaring twenties started in Florida and the disease spread to teh rest of the Nation from there.
9.27.2007 1:26pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"week taken care"=well taken care
9.27.2007 1:29pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"/thread hijack but kudos to the Israelis ... Aluteva is the only vacation spot in Israel, and possibly in the world, designed to cater to families with autistic children."

Oh, Geez, Senator X is a SEGREGATIONSIST! And weren't we just celebrating the historical day the first African American woman was escorted by federal Marshals to attend school? This is almost as bad as being lampooned for being arrested for playing footsie to initiate homosexual favors.

How do we let people with these attitudes into government? Senator X, at least have the integrity and guts to identify yourself so voters will know what you stand for next time they vote!
9.27.2007 1:37pm
Temp Guest (mail):
I quickly learned not to bother reading Mary Kay's posts but it's annoying to have to screen past her endless flatulence. Responding only encourages her. It's best just to ignore her.
9.27.2007 2:09pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"I quickly learned not to bother reading Mary Kay's posts but it's annoying to have to screen past her endless flatulence. Responding only encourages her. It's best just to ignore her."

TG is no doubt, a subprime property owner worried about how he is going to find another sucker to buy his property with the rising sea levels resulting from global warming. He just doesn't like people telling it like it is.
9.27.2007 2:12pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Did anyone see the magazines in the Supermarket check out this week? Magazine dedicated to Global Warming with picture of massive Greenland glacier with view of water for miles pouring off into the sea juxtaposed with another picture of a polar bear holding on for dear life to an ice cube-sized piece of ice. I rest my case.
9.27.2007 2:23pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Ironically, the Time/Life Global Warming magazine was located directly aside Architectural Digest. Which magazine would you pick up?
9.27.2007 2:25pm
SenatorX (mail):
Well Mary for one thing I don't view the base human condition as a negative. I don't believe in wealth redistribution and I don't accuse anyone of being selfish. If I want to give someone my capital then I will but I wouldn't presume to tell someone else what to do with theirs.

So for the housing bust, no I would not really "blame" the developers or the flippers though I do not think a taxpayer bailout of will a)work or b)is justified.

No what I was referring to was inflation and the credit policies of the federal reserve and the GSEs such as Fannie and Freddie who sponsor the moral hazard which leads to the mal-investments you describe.

I'll give you an example to be clear. If you are a saver the government has destroyed your wealth systematically for a century. Recently the dollar index broke below 80 and with our deficit spending it will likely continue down. The negative return on investment for savings because of monetary inflation FORCES anyone that isn't a fool into riskier investments like stocks (or HOUSING).

These "greedy capitalist" developers and home buyers followed the incentives laid out by the government. If you have any argument it would be the collusion between wall street repackaging the MBS with regulators allowing it to happen. But that would be an argument against a sort of fascism. The problem of course is that fascism and socialism are just two flavors of collectivism and that doesn't work to well in your leftist ideology. Instead you stick to hating those "greedy capitalists" and therefore miss the mark completely.
9.27.2007 2:33pm
SenatorX (mail):
Mary I am not a senator. My moniker if it means anything is just an indication that I am western, believe in talking, prefer the pseudo-protection of being anonymous since it's available, and that who I am shouldn't matter but only the logic of what I say. I certainly don't lead anyone and I am a private citizen working for a private business.

I am not sure I understand what you mean by segregation because that autistic place in Israel is a vacation spot. If I really had to make a call on segregation in schools though I will admit I don't believe any government money should go to schools (or if it does it should be in the form of a voucher you can take anywhere). And then a private school should be able to make its own choices. I think competition for education would create a much better learning system. The fact that there would be "all black schools, all white schools, or all autistic schools" wouldn't bother me at all as long as there were alternatives. In my opinion it's only when the government is involved that equality is mandated.
9.27.2007 3:01pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Senator X, I am a Republican and do not have a so-called "leftist ideology." But that does not mean I am happy with the direction my Republican party has taken. Enough with the Guiliani-Romney-Thompson same old same old Bush POTUS 43 domestic agenda.

I am, however, happy to hear you don't agree with bailing out the developers-speculators. They made foolish investments and they took that gamble. They should pay the price. I am not sure I agree that victims of their gambit (e.g. minority homeowners fleeced by the unfair subprime lending tactics) should pay the price.

Further, your contention that anyone that isn't a fool was FORCED into riskier investments like stocks (or HOUSING) by government policies is a little short-sighted. Maybe the instant gratification crowd, but where I earned my MBA we were educated to look to the long term. I am not opining on Freddie or Fannie, nor of the similar subprime meltdown of the student loan-backed equities.

But I can give you an example of the type of long term investing sorely lacking today. I had an old friend, died of ALS. In his lifetime, he worked 4 jobs (post master, school bus driver, grocery store clerk, etc) to buy land, in the California coastal foothills, on which he built by hand on the highest point the sturdiest house. No short cuts, and he did not settle for a floodplain. He knew his real estate had worth and would not be vulnerable to any weather disasters. He built his house for generations, not for a mere few years.

This is not the America of today. Today, we loan billions of dollars to people, single parents, the disabled, minorities to get professional degrees, but we do not require any follow through to ensure the licensing agencies do not arbitrarily block and destroy these resource investments -- a huge governmental waste, and, yes, a restraint on how some Americans are allowed to spend their capital.

Sometimes our Republican government regards other people as unwise in their expenditure of their capital -- e.g. welfare beneficiaries, HUD beneficiaries, Social Security beneficiaries. Unfortunately, folly is not a trait only of the poor, but can be harbored by the wealthy or those who think they are. I do know this from personal knowledge.

We approve of guardianships on wealthy people who gamble their inheritances on options trading. We leave inheritances in spendtrift trusts. These are all restraints on how a person can spend their capital. Further, an individual American cannot single-handedly veto spending the President choose on Iraq -- why? The Nation's Security and interests come first.

And likewise, sometimes the National Security requires that as a Nation, we similarly place certain checks and balances on the open-checkbook with which developers and investor-flippers have recently become reduced to a drunken spending frenzy, such as building trillions of dollars in condos on Florida's coastal barriers islands.

So, while neither you nor I would like any restraints whatsoever on how we spend our capital, sometimes we have to cooperate as a Nation for the good of all. It is not fair, equitable, nor in the Nation's best interests, however, to restrain only the resources of those who seek professional licensure, while giving carte blanche to reckless developers and investor-flippers. Nor is this intelligent.

Particularly, when our National Security depends on it -- like being wiser with our finite resources to leave a legacy worth living for to our children and grandchildren.

And that is not "socialism" or "facsism" but rather our basic American Freedoms at work to ensure all can achieve the American dream.
9.27.2007 3:11pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Senator X, so you are not a Senator, but a private person working for a private business -- perhaps you would significant lobbying power or have the ear of the Presidential Administration.

But your philosophy is unworkable and incomplete. And you perfectly spout the same old same old Republican line with which I disagree. I am more of a Reaganite. I believe in the opportunities of people, not like the Isreali Auschwitz-esq surveilled locked down panacea for those with autism, but more like the belief Reagan held as Governor that the disabled should be released from institutions to enjoy the opportunities for which make America famous. Reagan's only mistake in that regard is an underestimation of the abilty of the disabled to achieve those opportunities without correcting the structures that restrained them for a hundred years.
And, that was addressed by another great President, Herbert W. Bush, POTUS 41 when he signed the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Maybe you think it is not segregation to lock autistic people up in some concentration camp and call it a "vacation," but I can assure you that every autistic person I know, including myself, would regard that environment as one incapable of Freedom. Maybe you would feel differently if all the private citizens working for private businesses who are western were similarly rounded up and sent on permanent "vacation." Oh, I forgot, that was the Japanese internment during WWII, pardon me, it already happened once. But I am sure you get my point.

I don't have a problem with vouchers for schools, in fact I think they are good. But I do have a problem with the Nazi-esq 1930s standardized tracking testing of the No Child Left Behind based on outdated 1930s models of skill, education, and intelligence. It is like the extinctions of certain species -- we do not know which ones, once extinct, will prove in the future to have carried the DNA essential to our survival, dooming us all.

You say private schools should be free to choose their students -- would you agree that if that were so and all the schools in our Nation chose to accept and educate only illegal Mexican children, but no American citizens, this should be acceptable without some check and balance or restraint? Your formula, while advancing Freedom, carries with it the danger of piracy and the invasion and take over of our Country. Substitute the word "terrorist" in the foregoing hypo for illegal Mexican, and what then? As I recall, this Nation likewise already went through such a policy when it was prohibited as against the law to teach an African American slave to read to further the goal of illiteracy.

You advocate "competition for education would create a much better learning system," but that brings to mind a certain gradiator competition - Ben Hur.
9.27.2007 4:02pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"gradiator competition"=gladiator competition

Since I wasn't quite done, I suppose Ben Hur-esq school competition would give a new meaning to American education. No more need for guard towers and armed guards at our high schools, and we could write the anti-molestation and school zone drug free laws off the books. Free for alls are the best and purest form of competition, no dount, and the strongest will survive. Yes, I am sure, in light of the ultimate conclusion to where Socratic reasoning takes your argument, the fact that there would be "all black schools, [and] you would not be opposed to "'all white schools, or all autistic schools' wouldn't bother [you] at all as long as there were alternatives."

And the "alternatives" would be ??? Perhaps the Israeli internment lockdown? Oops, I mean "vacation?" (A Freudian slip, pardon me. Ooops, doubly sorry, so 1930s-esq).

Like you, I also don't view the base human condition as a negative. And I likewise I don't believe in wealth redistribution, but I do accuse some people of being selfish -- those who have a double standard of wealth redistribution and restraints on the use of a person's capital according to who the person is. You say you would not want wealth distribution of your capital, but how about the capital of those who you would send on the *long vacation* in the Isreali autism internment camp? Maybe they don't count? Perhaps they are, in the Dredd Scott sense, subhuman, and their different treatment can be rationalized on that basis.

In England at the time of our Constitution, disabled people owned property and were free. It was only the advent of the very late 1700s in Virginia and early 1800s to mid-1900s when those without disabilities embarked on a nasty wealth redistribution plan by locking up all the disabled people in institutions and taking away all their property and legal rights. The First Amendment protects public knowledge of this part of our Constitutional history, and somewhere along the way, some of us autistics learned to read it.

I can give you another form of this same wealth redistribution at work through the standardized testing fad. Being a staunch western advocate of private interests, I am sure you know these 1930s tests based on outdated 1930s knowledge of mental abilities, are made to track and select out those people with mental memory defects who need mnemoics and symbolized multiple choices and months of "teaching to the test" to trigger what they could not otherwise remember through recall in order to "pass" into the land of wealth building opportunities -- instead of testing by a blank sheet without any memory-recall crutches to truly determine on merit those who do not have similar memory defects.

Moreover, this standardized testing format selects cookie cutter people all having the same traits by screening out other people who often have higher intelligence, better critical thinking skills, more developed problem solving skills, and very capable hands-on performance abilities that are necessary in, for example, just exactly the sort of circumstance at issue -- solving the problems you complain of regarding "inflation and the credit policies of the federal reserve and the GSEs such as Fannie and Freddie who sponsor the moral hazard which leads to the mal-investments" (in your words), which you describe.

Sometimes cookie cutter people give the same answer to the same problems which are problems because they are not being solved by the cookie cutter people due to the fact all they can give is the same answers because they lack the ability to innovate and change things that are not working according to the A, B, C, D model answer.

This is all too true, in particular, when faced with our current conundrum -- global warming, causing sea levels to rise, resulting in the housing bust in Florida, spreading like the roaring twenties across the Nation, when the dollar is falling against other foreign currencies (to which you allude), certain trade balances are increasing -- in sum, while cookie cutter people are misdirecting their focus on preventing wealth redistribution to, for example, autistics and other unpopular non-standardized test takers, the real wealth redistribution that has gone on for many years and continues that will destroy our Nation is transferring America's wealth and competative edge to foreigners like India and China.

And THAT is a matter of National Security, since in addition to the issue of chaos caused by abrupt climate change, the last thing our Nation should want is to be reduced to such poverty -- all of us -- that we cannot afford our National Defense, why? Because we redistributed our wealth to our competators in the competative global warming world of the future and foolishly wasted finite resources supporting Florida condo developments of developers who decided to build where the sea levels rise.

It is a conundrum, to be sure. I disagree that your Guiliani-Romney-Thompson-POTUS 43 Republican line has all the right answers. Do they have any answer to the falling dollar? I think that is abundently evident as we are witnessing in the Florida global warming housing bust.

Perhaps it is time to get rid of the A, B, C, D answers, and look for some better solutions. As I said, the future and prosperity of our children and grandchildren and the legacy we leave them will depend on it.
9.27.2007 5:01pm
SenatorX (mail):
Mary I believe in the Rule of Law so we can dispense with the strawman of no government. The question for me instead is which laws, why, and what effects?

As for the fleeced minority homeowners you should look closer at what happened. The GSE debt which holds an implicit government bailout was allowed to be packaged with other debt (subprime, alt-a, jumbo). Financial alchemy was involved and new MBS securities were created as a mix of it all with MUCH higher ratings. These high ratings allowed the selling (passing on of risk) and fueled a DEMAND for loans. The crappier the loan the higher the return if you bought that MBS and so the demand was high in a low return environment. Risk was ignored because of the govn backed bonds allowed the figleaf of safety (ie moral hazard).

Otherwise nobody would have bought the MBS junk. If you have to keep the loan, or reveal the risk before selling it, there wouldn't have been a boom in loans to people who had a high risk of default.

On the autistic hotel don't you find it a stretch to equate an Israeli vacation hotel you have to pay to enter with a nazi deathcamp?

"Children with autism generally require healthy doses of physical movement and sensory-visual stimuli due to impairments of the sensory system, and Aluteva is equipped with an indoor Gymboree and a unique room called "Snoozyland", which features furniture and items that titillate the senses: strobe lights, puffy cushions, and background music. The staff organizes special activities and tours in northern Israel catered to the learning needs of autistic children."

Yeah that's a death camp alright.

Last you may want to be careful about praising George H.W. Bush otherwise you may experience some heavy irony one day. In his private life he is involved with Eli Lily and the jury is still out on thimerosal and autism.
9.27.2007 5:24pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
In his private life he is involved with Eli Lily and the jury is still out on thimerosal and autism.

The "jury is still out" on that in about the same way that the "jury is still out" on the connection between crop failures and witchcraft or Roswell and aliens. Thimerosal doesn't have any relationship to autism. There's no epidemiological or causal evidence to suggest otherwise. All you have is a bunch of nuts and trial lawyers.
9.27.2007 5:58pm
SenatorX (mail):
Well, not that far out David. I don't have a lawyer and I can live with my insurance classifying autism as a behavioral disorder but I don't see why I should accept that there is no possible link between thimerosal and autism. There is quite a lot of circumstantial evidence that suggests there is a link with the vaccinations and regressive autism. Until a cure is found there will continue to be many theories on the cause. What is strange to me are people like you who seem so adamant that there isn't a link. How do you know? Why do you care?

I don't care about Eli Lily, GWB, or thimerosal so if the cause turns out to be something else that's fine. Have any ideas?
9.27.2007 6:54pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Senator X, "On the autistic hotel don't you find it a stretch to equate an Israeli vacation hotel you have to pay to enter with a nazi deathcamp?"

Ah, but that is the extremism capitalistic Republican way -- when money can be made on entering a death or internment camp, why not ring up the cash register and get those tills humming? The only person who would find your suggestion a "stretch" is one who has not read the Nazi history about Polish steel mills and the banks.

But I have more concern about the Freedoms lost to autistic people.

"Aluteva is equipped with an indoor Gymboree and a unique room called "Snoozyland", which features furniture and items that titillate the senses: strobe lights, puffy cushions, and background music." No, that would not turn me on, and the strobe lights would likely be harmful to the majority of autistics who suffer epileptic seizures, although for me they hurt my eyes due to vision impairment and extreme sensitivity to bright lights.

Moreover, in the United States, disability advocates have made great strides accomplishing the autistic "healthy doses of physical movement and sensory-visual stimuli due to impairments of the sensory system" problems with lots of horseback riding and jumping, which is much more successful and protects American concepts of Freedom.

You express concerns about H.W. Bush, primarily predicated on his involvement with Eli Lilly, thimersol, and autism. But you fail to accede to several important points. First, you are assuming someone with autism should object to H.W.'s investments in Eli Lilly because a person with autism should feel that Eli Lilly's thimersol vaccinces caused them mercury poisoning resulting in their autism, which implies H.W. signed the Americans With Disabilities Act out of some sort of guilt complex.

I do not have sufficient evidence to accept the argument you posit. While I have read much research and the contentions being made, particularly with respect to post-1960s babies who received the MMR vaccines, that the thimersol-mercury exceeds the allowable EPA mercury ppm levels, causation is difficult to establish. I was born before the MMR vaccines and never received them.

Moreover, a good researcher would know that there have been huge mercury releases from coal-fired plants and paper and pulp mills use of coal to make paper. Thus, how do we prove Eli Lilly's thimersol vaccines caused mercury poisoning resulting in autism? There is a terribly difficult causation problem.

Moreover, I was born and grew up in Michigan, home to many automobile makers and tool and die plants, another source of mercury in the Environment, so they say, causing fish to become above EPA levels ppm for mercury. My mother, while pregnant, ate a lot of fish caught in Michigan waters. Again, a very difficult causation problem.

So this assumption removed from your argument that H.W. is somehow bad because he invested in Eli Lilly, by process of elimination is reduced to the implication that H.W. might put all the autistics in internment camps and drug them so Eli Lilly profits. I don't think this holds up under common sense and a capitalistic profit motive. Probably the most used drug on autistics is risperdal, but that is made by Janssen, not Eli Lilly so H.W. would not reap huge profits from druggin autistics. Second, autism might very likely be an evolutionary genetic advancement in brain wiring, and drugging autistics with certain drugs that affect their metabolism might simultaneously cause changes and alterations to their DNA.

I have been an avid reader of G.W.'s decision to pursue space travel and potential colonization to the Moon and Mars, while cutting funding for climate change instrumentation. I have to logically query whether our planet and our Country are in so much irreversible trouble from global warming that we have triggered the ultimate doom and extinction of most humans, the slow bake like Turkeys in the oven and maximum rise of sea levels under an abrupt climate change scenario of Greenland and the East and West Antartica ice sheets melting. Of course, we have made ourselves a grand experiment.

Significantly, all plant DNA and many animals DNA is being collected into DNA banks, at a time when by 2050 about 50% of all animals are likely to become extinct. Even if the majority of humans could not escape a global warming Earth due to our state of space technology, perhaps some humans could escape to other nearby planetary bodies or planets until an Earth-alike planet could be found. It is conceivable that the DNA banks could travel with the few humans to make it off Earth with the hope of preserving humanity (and Earths plant and animal species). It is also conceivable the xenon ion-driven thrusters technology onboard the recent Dawn probe might be capable of further space travel.

Assuming such future possibilities, H.W. would not likely want to destroy the DNA of autistics that might prove essential to the future survival prospects of humanity -- or at least those few who have access to survive our global warming world.

But even if your argument assumes H.W.'s involvement in Eli Lilly would want to drug autistic people because they are a real pain to deal with, that does not necessarily promote the capitalistic profit maximization objective, since there are just certain things only someone with autism does best that are valuable to profit maximization or governmental power (e.g., the best profiler the FBI could hire would likely be an autistic), and why would anyone want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg?

But enough about H.W., except to recognize many of his positive points, e.g., as mentioned he enacted the Americans With Disabilties Act, and he was a great director of the CIA.

You call "no government" a "strawman?" How so? I have read a lot of philosophers on governments, but your proposal is one I have never heard of. But I do believe in the Rule of Law and I cannot imagine anyone who would not abhor chaos and anarchy who ever studied the type of such that occurred during Medieval History following the fall of the Roman Empire when government collapsed. I also agree the question is "which laws, why, and what effects?" but then we get into a political discussion.

I am not disputing your subprime mortgage "financial alchemy" description and complaints; however, this is the same exact financing mechanism pilot previously tested on the federal student loan programs. The student loan version is similar: colleges and banks sell students on the idea of taking out mountains of federal student loan debt on the belief the loans are very good interest rates, subsidized, and if the student gets into financial trouble, they can be discharged under "undue hardship" in bankruptcy. But in reality, as soon as the student signs the promisory notes, the student loans are repackaged on the secondary market, most frequently through Sallie Mae, where they are resold as secured -- in what, one might ask? Unlike subprime mortgages, where there is collateral, the real property, of what consists the collateral for federal student loans? yes, like your version, implicit in these junk securities is a government bailout -- but in reality, the government almost never has to bailout these securities, since the collateral is the indentured servitude of human beings, the students who signed the promissory notes (and the "undue hardship" discharged rates in bankruptcy across this Country compared to the numbers of students bear this out this characterization). So, whatever your complaints about GSE debt and MBS securities apply the same to federal student loans and securities. Billions of dollars. And risky? No doubt. But as you say, they bear a fig leaf of safety.

"Otherwise nobody would have bought the MBS junk. If you have to keep the loan, or reveal the risk before selling it, there wouldn't have been a boom in loans to people who had a high risk of default."

So true, but imagine the staggering damage recoveries of the class action trial lawyers should they bring suits against these former property sellers, realtors, and banks for, in the case of Florida, failure to make required disclosure of the global warming risks rendering the property less valluable or worthless.

But that is not my call. I am just a lowly, humble autistic who would fin no Freedom in Snoozyland.
9.27.2007 6:59pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"The 'jury is still out' on that in about the same way that the 'jury is still out" on the connection between crop failures and witchcraft or Roswell and aliens. Thimerosal doesn't have any relationship to autism. There's no epidemiological or causal evidence to suggest otherwise.'"

Yeah, and well we do recognize the feds came out with a thimersol study the other day finding no neurological problems were caused by the vaccines, but the pattern and practice is the same for Roswell, too. And I never heard the one about crop failures caused witchcraft, but I did read about the theory toxic mold on bread caused people who ingested the spores to act in a bizarre fashion from inducing some sort of psychotic hallucinations, which those unaffected during the 16th and 17th centuries attributed to witchcraft and burned the victims at the stake.

But I am not sure I have any beef with the vaccines, since even if they did cause autism, I would rather have autism than polio or whooping cough or the likes. I am shocked at the numbers of people who are not vaccinating their babies, particularly in light of global warming and potentially unvaccinated illegals coming across our borders. An autistic baby is surely better than a dead baby, and besides, there are certain advantages of autism.
9.27.2007 7:06pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"fin"=find

Senator X, thank you for advising David on the thimersol-autism debate. I also would personally sue any insurance company that classified my autism as a "behavior disorder," since it is more accurately a sensory difference and a different brain wiring that really affects the format an autistic requries for effective communication and enhances certain types of thinking and memory abilities and performance skills.

But I do agree it is not as important what is causing the autism as it is what to do about bringing autistics into the productive economic mainstream of American society. It is folly for anyone to want to waste an autistic's hyper-developed, enhanced areas of special abilities. no different that wasting $4 billion building a condo-hotel rooms-shop promeenade on a beach that will go underwater when the sea levels rise.
9.27.2007 7:13pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"Yeah, and well we do recognize the feds came out with a thimersol study the other day finding no neurological problems were caused by the vaccines, but the pattern and practice is the same for Roswell, too."

I am not really a Roswell buff. It was interesting on the level of ET, and I have no problem with the feds doing their expert studies just like the other side in a debate does their expert studies as well. People can just draw their own conclusions from what is offered up. And so science advances on and on.

As I said, I am more interested in how autistics are addressed with respect to other issues -- such as electronic format Internet communications. Stuff like that.
9.27.2007 7:23pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
You have a nice day, Senator X. I enjoyed the debate. I am going offline now to ride horses.
9.27.2007 7:25pm
SenatorX (mail):
Mary I have enjoyed the thread hijack as well.

On another sidetrack : "And I never heard the one about crop failures caused witchcraft, but I did read about the theory toxic mold on bread caused people who ingested the spores to act in a bizarre fashion from inducing some sort of psychotic hallucinations, which those unaffected during the 16th and 17th centuries attributed to witchcraft and burned the victims at the stake."

I actually did a presentation on this very thing in college to a somewhat interested class. I had to do something relating to my plant pathology\botany majors that would be interesting to a general audience...

Sort of getting back on topic the autism/vaccination debate could have some similarities to Ilya's topic. Government regulation that affects citizens in ways that are not in their benefit and what responsibility for compensation, if any, does that same government have.

Also the divergence between regulation that is designed to help citizens and regulation that is designed by lobbying interests to benefit a select politically powerful group(and the inability of the politically disenfranchised to compete in this realm).
9.27.2007 8:59pm
Smokey:
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano:
"I am a Republican and do not have a so-called 'leftist ideology.'"
Ahmadinejad:
"I am not interested in destroying Israel and there are no homosexuals in Iran."
It's interesting that Mary K has such an intense interest in other folks' financial success, going so far as to itemize specific dollar amounts - as if the bigger the amount, the more evil the shareholders the money comes from.

And wouldn't you know it? Mary K is a climate scientist, too!
9.29.2007 4:27pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"It's interesting that Mary K has such an intense interest in other folks' financial success, going so far as to itemize specific dollar amounts - as if the bigger the amount, the more evil the shareholders the money comes from."

You have got that quite wrong. Mary K. is interested in why there are so many fools who drank the gravy from the subprime mortgage feeding trough, buying real estate where Rand Corp. predicts sea levels will rise and render such property worthless. No evil attributed at all. Of far more significance is Mary K.'s desire not to be caught in an abrupt climate change coastal sea level flood, particularly given the 8-12" almost perpetually above high tide levels the water have been for most of the past 30 days on the W. Central coast of Florida.

Of course, there were many of those, many of the biggest ad hominem attackers, like the above poster who similarly did not see catastrophe coming.

"And wouldn't you know it? Mary K is a climate scientist, too!"

No, Mary K. is an autistic.
9.29.2007 7:27pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"Of course, there were many of those, many of the biggest ad hominem attackers, like the above poster who similarly did not see catastrophe coming." I meant in Watership Down.
9.29.2007 7:29pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
At least Smokey showed his true identity as one of those realtor-flipper fools who is losing gobs of money by the boatloan due to the subprime housing crash bottomed out on irrevesrible abrupt climate change and a fool's gold.

Who else would express such hostility toward an opposing viewpoint?
9.29.2007 7:31pm
Smokey:
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano:
At least Smokey showed his true identity as one of those realtor-flipper fools who is losing gobs of money by the boatloan due to the subprime housing crash bottomed out on irrevesrible abrupt climate change and a fool's gold.
Nah. Wrong guess, I'm a retired metrology/environmental engineer. But nice try.
...the 8-12" almost perpetually above high tide levels the water have been for most of the past 30 days on the W. Central coast of Florida.
Run, Mary Katherine, run!! Rising sea levels are comin' to getcha!

OTOH, Mary Katherine could check the latest noaa.gov sea-level information to see if the water is rising like she and the Gorebot claim it is. [Hint: it's not, so relax. If the sea level around Florida had risen eight to 12 inches over the past 30 days, we might have seen it on Drudge. Or somewhere. Don'tcha think?]
9.29.2007 8:43pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"I'm a retired metrology/environmental engineer."

That is not mutually exclusive with being a very desperate subprime property owner trying to dump your property in a falling market at a huge loss.

Your true colors show thru.

I believe the Department of Defense has a lot of available material on abrupt cliimate change. You might wish to read it. Additionally, some climate scientists express significantly more concern that yourself at the melting permafrost in West Siberia and the Artic, which could release huge amounts of Methane, and set off catastrophic rapid global warming and torrid chaos as bad, if not worse than that which existed at the end of the Permian era or during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum which resulted in the greatest mass extinction since life emerged from the sea -- 95 percent of all species in existence died. (Probably just a sea of biological dead matter giving rise to all that oil we are digging out of the ground).

An ice free Artic Ocean has not existed for over a million years, and there is evidence West Antartica once was ice free, suggesting that merely looking to the Holocene or Eemian periods will likely grossly underestimate the tipping point triggering runaway climate change and its ghastly consequences, including the potential for temperatures some 10-30 degrees Celsius above now.

Instead of coming across as so desperate to censor, ridicule, and condemn this viewpoint, you should hope hindsight does not have in store for you a big "I told you so," and scream out: How is it possible that we can now contemplate with scientific seriousness whether our children's children will themselves have children?

It's a lot easier, as you have so predicatably, typically demonstrated to bury your head in the sand watching Good Morning Americans and the happy show. And one has to wonder about your scenario telling coastal dwellers such as myself to "run," which assumes there will still be dry land on which to gain traction. It is much more likely I will have to swim or sail aboard a vessel, but I sure do know if that comes to pass, I will be watching as I migrate all those desperate million dollar beach condo owners' nesteggs as they wash away.

Oh, and have you even bothered to ask why Freddie and Fannie don't do jumbo loans over $417 k ???? Maybe the feds don't want the financial risk exposure of having to bailout all those fools who had at their fingertips all those Rand reports dating back to about 1975 predicting exactly this catastrophic global warming scenario and built and bought million dollar beach condos and McMansions.

But of course you know all this and just want to to discredit the unpopular viewpoint and the messenger -- maybe the reason why is because of the failure to disclose, breach of fiduciary duties, and/or fraud liability you likely will personally face in the future in your capacity as environmental engineer.

When you hear a global warming denialist, be sure to ask -- what is his motive?
9.30.2007 1:16am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Additionally, Mr. Smokey Polar Bear, why don't you explain why the Scientologists have practically abandoned the construction of their extremely beautiful massive headquarters building in downtown Clearwater, florida since 2004?

Bet they know it is hopeless and a complete waste of capital to finish it, because it will all go underwater as the sea levels rise.

How much? About 21 feet if Greenland ice sheet melts, but if West and East Antartica ice sheets go, the potential is about 350 feet. That scenario would put virtually all of Florida underwater and the coast would start in Southern Georgia.

Query -- why has the public not been shown Antartica melt satellite pics since 2005 when last release by the feds ??
9.30.2007 1:28am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Incidently, Smokey, those folks at Rand Corp. public their real names and stake their reputations on their reports. Why are you so afraid of posting your misinformation and Republi-spin-speak under your real name ? I doubt you're even a Bushie, since G.W. has already admitted climate change is real -- it doesn't take a Gorebot to know the score.
9.30.2007 1:32am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"those folks at Rand Corp. public their real names"=those folks at Rand Corp. publish their real names
9.30.2007 1:34am
Smokey:
Rx: Take a Midol for those hot flashes, put a cool, damp washcloth on your forehead, lie down and think happy thoughts.
9.30.2007 7:43pm