Letter: Overregulation, not capitalism, to blame

Posted 3/6/19
The PT Leader editorial page of Feb. 27, in accusing capitalism for the Jefferson County housing problem, is totally out of touch with reality.    It is also disgustingly denigrating to all in …

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Letter: Overregulation, not capitalism, to blame

Posted
The PT Leader editorial page of Feb. 27, in accusing capitalism for the Jefferson County housing problem, is totally out of touch with reality.    It is also disgustingly denigrating to all in our area who have savings accounts, IRAs, mutual funds, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, Keogh plans, stocks, bonds, trust funds and pensions.  All these investments provide the capital to fuel our capitalistic economy. It is the lifeblood of our economy. Are these people evil capitalists? The real reason we have an affordability problem in Jefferson County is overregulation.  Land use designations severely restrict businesses and entrepreneurs who would provide higher wages. Other land use regulations prevent the development of smaller lower-cost living units. In other words, regulations are killing our economy, not capitalism.   It is the elites who promote more government control and micromanagement of our economy who are causing the problem. We need a more friendly development and permitting process. Ours is currently too restrictive and cumbersome for builders. There is very limited affordable housing in our area because building is severely limited. There should be more zoning for smaller and multiple units. Wake up.   Capitalism is not the problem — it is restrictive government. Karen Farr Port Townsend

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Tom Camfield
A funny thing happened on the way to Jefferson County. The profit earned through use of the capital invested in those savings accounts, IRAs, mutual funds, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, Keogh plans, stocks, bonds, trust funds and pensions seems to have been diverted somehow via Wall Street bankers before getting back to grass roots. There is, of course, a certain interest income for those locals who can afford to invest in (or perhaps have inherited) such seed monies. But that’s not what feeds the bulldog. The various slips ‘twixt cup and lips of over-zealous capitalism is one of the reasons we have many of our out-of-necessity fees and taxes—which the wealthy class always tries to paint as unnecessary in seeking a having-cake-and-eating-it-too society. This observation in no way is aimed at denigrating all individuals among us who have been blessed (through circumstances or dedicated labor) with the discretionary funds to provide a comfortable existence for themselves and their families). Those struggling through life on the short end of the stick despite their best efforts remain all around us—income insufficient to match the costs of an ever-increasing and gentrifying society. The first example that comes to my mind would be a young single mother with a couple of young kids, with no decent health insurance—who also must find a way to pay for child care as she scrabbles for low-paid work to provide food, shelter, clothing, dental care, dependable means of transportation . . . You know: all those "little things." There are a lot of two-hitch war veterans out there also clinging to life—with toothaches, empty bellies, tortured bodies and souls. But I don’t see many property developers on their uppers. So my heart doesn’t bleed for those with stocks, bonds, a nice pension, etc., the older ones topping it all off with Social Security and Medicare (and some of them hypocritically screaming of “socialism” at any liberal move toward social welfare). Me? I have just Social Security, but my wife has a union pension—and our mortgage was paid off years ago. Medicare’s also handy. Building restrictions, meanwhile, involve not only the safety and other demands of zoning regulations but also the construction regulations providing safety of those who will be inhabiting or just frequenting whatever’s being built.
Wednesday, March 6