October 16, 2012

Burbed’s Election 2012 Voter Guide to California Propositions and more – Part 2

Burbians,

Yesterday I said I would publish a voter’s guide to our state’s amazing propositions. I have a lot of respect for our proposition system. After all, we all know that California (especially Silicon Valley) is only full of smart people who can enable direct democracy to work.

Proposition 30 Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding

Burbed recommends: No

Why? Because this increase the personal income tax on people who make over $250,000. These are the most important people in the Bay Area – the House Price Creators. Instead, this proposition seeks to redistribute their income to schools and whatnot. As we all know, Home owners are our nation’s future. Not children. Children are a terrible tax drain. They’re so obnoxious with their demands that we even banned them from working because they were so distracting to people who were adding value to our economy, and paying mortgages.

Save Home Price Creators! Vote no!

Proposition 31 State Budget. State and Local Government

Burbed recommends: No

Why? Because this is too complicated and if it doesn’t make sense in 30 seconds, it probably is bad. Also, I can’t see how a Yes for this would directly raise house prices. Pass.

Proposition 32 Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Contributions to Candidates

Burbed recommends: Yes

Forget the union aspect of this – let’s focus on the economics. Every $1 that is deducted for political contributions is a $1 that cannot be spent on a mortgage – which is a $1 that won’t go towards helping increase housing prices. If I could, I would ban all political contributions – except from the National Association of Realtors, of course, because their voice needs to be heard.

Help your union friends pay their mortgages! Vote yes on this. And if they lose their jobs/benefits/pay because they can’t collectively bargain anymore, then that’s ok – we don’t want poor people living here in the Real Bay Area anyway. $250k or bust!

Proposition 33 Auto Insurance Companies. Prices Based on Driver’s History of Insurance Coverage

Burbed recommends: No

It’s a good idea, but this doesn’t go far enough. I like the idea of insurance companies being able to charge a 200% surcharge for having a gap in insurance coverage (as it happens in other states) that have passed something like this. Let’s face it, if we don’t make this state more expensive to live in, we’ll attract more undesirables.

But the reality is that it doesn’t address the biggest problem: that renters should be charged more for auto insurance than real citizens – aka homeowners. Everyone knows that renters have no respect for law or lives – they’re a daily threat, clogging up streets that homeowners pay (almost nothing thanks to Prop 13) for.

Send the message that this doesn’t go far enough. Vote no.

Proposition 34 Death Penalty

Burbed recommends: No

California spends $200M a year on special death row housing and other expenses apparently. This money has to go somewhere! If we get rid of the death penalty, what will happen to all the lawyers that deal with death penalty cases? How will they be able to afford their homes.

Sure it’s kinda unfair that some people get executed wrongly. But it’s also unfair to live next to a death penalty expert lawyer, and then see your house price drop because they have to do a short sale.

Sorry death row inmates – you’ve gotta take one for the team on this one. Greater good and all that.

Proposition 35 Human Trafficking. Penalties

Burbed recommends: No

Let’s face it, human trafficking is terrible. Instead of penalizing these pimps, we need to retrain them to become recruiters for Dice so that they can grow their business and buy more billboards on 101. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing those – it’s a great reminder of how awesome the hiring scene is in the Valley, and that in turn drives up housing prices.

Proposition 36 Three Strikes Law. Repeat Felony Offenders. Penalties

Burbed recommends: Yes

Personally I think we need fewer people in jails, so we can make more room for renters who don’t pay on time. But until that becomes a criminal violation (fingers crossed!) let’s get more people on the street so that we can train them to become eventual homeowners. More demand is always a good thing. And, since we don’t really do much in the way of retraining for prisoners here in California, we can assume these folks will end up back in courts and jail – gotta think of those lawyers!

Help the lawyers, help the world. Yes on Prop 36.

Proposition 37 Genetically Engineered Foods. Labeling

Burbed recommends: No

Slippery slope my friends. First, we require companies to label food that may rise up and revolt in our stomach. Next, realtors will be required to verify claims in the descriptions in MLS. This is simply too dangerous. Less disclosure is always a good thing – moral hazard and all that.

Proposition 38 Tax to Fund Education and Early Childhood Programs

Burbed recommends: No

See Prop 30. Repeat after me: “Children are not our future. Baby boomers are our future.”

Proposition 39 Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding

Burbed recommends: No

This ends tax breaks for companies. As we all know, when you give tax breaks to companies, they pass these savings on to the employees in terms of higher wages. Just like how if you are constipated, the key is to buy more toilet paper because the supply will stimulate demand.

That said, this proposition does guarantee money for green projects – which could lead to even more hype for CleanTech which would mean more multi-trillion IPOs which would mean Manhattan level housing prices even in Redwood City.

This one’s a tough one. I’m going to have to stick with no for now though.

Proposition 40 Redistricting. State Senate Districts

Burbed recommends: No

Why? Because there apparently is no opposition. That’s got to be a trap. Vote no just to be on the safe side.

And there you have it folks, a guide to voting for the propositions this year!

Make me proud!

How many of these recommendations will you take?

Comments (14) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am






October 15, 2012

Burbed’s Election 2012 Voter Guide to California Propositions and more – Part 1

Burbians,

I long contemplated whether or not I should write a voter’s guide for this election year. The fact is that I’m pretty jaded about the election process because of the rampant voter fraud.

Yes. Rampant voter fraud.

What?? You don’t know about the rampant voter fraud? Well, in that case, like my friend in this video says: “All you have to do is study it out.

The short version is this: Why do we allow renters to vote?

As we all know, renters are the collection of every worse stereotype you can imagine. Take everything we all hate about the poors, the gays, the blacks, the rich, the asians, the breeders, the hispanics, the liberals, the non-hispanic whites, the conservatives, the rednecks, the lazy youth, the elites, and the greedy boomers – put them in the blender you bought at Costco, and boom: Renters.

It is an absolute travesty that we allow these people who smell, are snobby, are flamboyant, don’t value education, drive too fast, keep popping out babies, drive too slow,  do drugs, are close minded, are too green, are too lazy, strive too hard, ruin our schools, are here illegally, pretend to be victims, oppress others, pay by check, make our schools too competitive, and are (UGH) vegan take part in our political process. First it was renters… what next? Should we let cougars (the mountain lion kind, not the aggressive kind) vote?

Fraud. That’s what it is.

Now, there are some who would argue that making home ownership a prerequisite discriminates against poor people. To that I have two points:

  1. This is exactly what our Founding Fathers wanted. They only wanted propertied people to vote. Trust me, I saw a documentary on the Declaration of Independence (Nicholas Cage did a fantastic job.)
  2. Poor people can own homes. Strawberry pickers buy a $720,000 houses all the time.

BOOM. The argument store is now closed.

But, as a journalist, it is my responsibility to educate you. And educate you I will.

So despite my reservations, I will indeed publish a voter’s guide tomorrow.

However, this guide will be limited only to the state-wide propositions.

I cannot endorse Obama or Romney. Neither of them support my plan to restore our economy by taking the Mortgage Interest Deduction, and turning it into the Mortgage Interest Tax Credit. That’s right… under my plan, you wouldn’t be able to deduct interest – instead you would get that money back directly. This would help our starving banks who, as we all know, are doing God’s work.

Before I publish this guide tomorrow some questions for the Burbians:

  1. What are the (true) stereotypes that you hate the most about renters?
  2. Should homeowners get one vote, while condo owners get .5 votes? Discuss.
  3. What should I recommend for each of the propositions?

-Your humble Burbed

Comments (22) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:51 am

July 24, 2012

TechCU conversion – Vote No [Not Snarky]

Let’s take a pause from examining the joys and wonderment of Real Bay Areal Real Estate, and look at a serious issue.

If you are a TechCU customer, you will soon be asked to vote on whether you want to convert the bank to… well… a bank. Or to keep it as is.

I’ve read through the literature, and I can’t seem to find any good reason on why this conversion should happen.

Worse yet, the phone calls, the literature, the raffle for free iPads for voting (seriously??) have all left a bad taste in my mouth.

You’re free to do whatever you want to do, but I’m planning on voting no on the conversion.

Here’s some more reasons why:

http://www.savetcu.org/

Comments (15) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:26 am

May 28, 2012

Official Burbed Ballot Guide

120527-voters-guide-stickerNext Tuesday will be Primary Election Day in California.  Not only will voters get to select partisan candidates, there will also be some ballot measures to vote on.  Here are our recommendations on how to vote if you value living in the Real Bay Area.

Primary election procedure has changed this year.  Before Proposition 14, which passed in 2010, one winning candidate per party appeared on the November ballot. Now all primary elections are a free-for-all whittled down to the top two finishers, who will duke it out in November for the contested office.  Burbed officially disapproves of this method.  Instead, primary elections should be more like buying a house.  Whoever offers the most money with the fewest contingencies should be chosen as the winner, although a plate of chocolate cookies and a family photo may also do the trick.

Federal, State & Local Candidates

120527-voters-guide-white-housePresident: Does it matter?  Is the White House in the Real Bay Area?  No, it is not.  Is Barack Obama from the Real Bay Area?  No.  Is Mitt Romney?  No, and he owns enough houses that he should be!  Neither Ron Paul nor Gary Johnson qualify either.

Senate: Does it matter?  Is the Senate Building in the Real Bay Area?  No, it is not.  But wait, you may say.  While the Senate Building is in Washington, DC, many of the Senatorial candidates actually do live in the Real Bay Area.  To which we say, and?  You want to vote for someone who lives in the RBA and is willing to move to a job somewhere else?  This disqualifies them by definition!

House of Representatives: See Senate.

State and Local Offices: As none of them requested our endorsement, we offer no recommendations.  Then again, if anyone had requested our endorsement, that would disqualify by definition.  Who would ask for a real estate website’s endorsement?  Well, who other than Gary Miller?

State Propositions

120527-voters-guide-29Proposition 28: Term limit modification. Vote NO.  This does not affect property values, although it may lead to more turnover of Sacramento property.  Since Sacramento isn’t in the RBA, this won’t affect prices here. 

Proposition 29: Tobacco tax.  Vote YES.  Burbed is in favor of taxing things that are not housing in order to avoid unnecessarily raising property taxes instead.  Also we are opposed to any industry spending $40 million on misleading advertising.  Did you really think those actors in lab coats were actual scientists?

Santa Clara County Measures

120527-voters-guide-jailMeasure A: County Jail operations.  Vote NO.  This looks like an opportunity to let any number of agencies get their fingers in the jail pie, and by “opportunity” we actually mean “payola, corruption, and graft, oh my!”  Do we really need a County Jail anymore?  There are so many foreclosed homes in East San Jose we should just use them instead.

Measure B: San Jose pensions. Burbed does not have an official position on this, but has enjoyed the complete disconnect between how the SJ Mercury News has been covering this (Chuck Reed walks on water and raises the dead) versus NBC11 (Chuck Reed is a lying scumbag who eats babies for breakfast).  The truth is probably that there is nothing in the pension fund at all because it was all invested in that downtown condo tower that didn’t work out so well.

Various school bond measures (C, E, G, H): Vote YES, except for Measure E, because who do you think you’re fooling, Milpitas?  Better funded schools ensure your property values remain high (and if you live in Milpitas, this clearly does not apply).  If you’re a rentard, vote YES anyway.  Someday you’ll own.  (Keep believing that.)  You may object that we said above to vote for taxes for other things because we don’t want higher property taxes.  To which we reply, are you some kind of rentard idiot?  These are school BONDS, not school TAXES.  Bonds mean borrow and spend, not tax and spend.  Note: School bonds must receive 55% YES votes to pass.

Plenty more County Ballot Measures inside!  Click on through!

(more…)

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am