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Old 05-24-2011, 12:10 PM  
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See the last sentence in my previous post.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:21 PM  
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Originally Posted by YelloJeep View Post
See the last sentence in my previous post.
I think in essence, we're both saying the same thing, but I also believe that stupid people ruin it for everyone else, more than the government does, in more ways than one. Nonetheless, in the case of the shelter, without knowing all the details, the regulations might possibly be justified as these officials know more about these things than us armchair forum dwellers.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:51 PM  
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Actually, I think that the government regulating based on the "stupid people" does "ruin" it for the rest of us. So yes, I do think it is primarily the government.
Either way, I would much prefer error on the side of small government!
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:07 AM  
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As far as housing, I like the idea of knowing that if I buy a house, then it was likely built by some sort of standard. BUT, I think that there would likely be some sort of standard in place even if the government didn't require it.
I disagree completely.

I'm a real estate agent. I serve a 50-mile radius in Northeast Ohio, comprising a range of urban, suburban, rural, Amish, and East-Bum****-Egypt. I see all sorts of buildings. In areas where buildings aren't subject to zoning and building codes, you see interesting things. Like Airstream campers with additions and vinyl siding. Like houses that look like they were supposed to be geodesic domes, but look more like a dam built by a psychotic, 300lb beaver.

How about a residential well located 10 yards away and downhill from the leech bed of a septic system? How about a septic system that consists of a pipe dumping into a ditch? How about an entire household electrical system assembled with orange extension cords and black tape? I could fill a book with all the idiotic things I've seen in my career. Building codes exist for some very good reasons. Some of those reasons are to protect the health and safety of people, like fire codes, electrical codes, occupation limits. Some are political, like handicap accessibility.

What happens when those rules are violated?
Cocoanut Grove fire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It might be tempting to say "They're homeless; they should be grateful for anything they can get, even if it's dangerous and could get them killed". But should we allow a group to violate habitability standards just because they help needy people? How about instead of this group trying to do it alone, they instead dedicate themselves to supporting another organization that is able to do it right?
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:31 AM  
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See below..

Quote:
Originally Posted by YelloJeep View Post
........... Now, would there be folks who would CHOSE a potentially less expensive house, and forego the OPTIONAL standards and inspections? Probably. So would there be crappy houses? Probably. And the folks would HOPEFULLY learn from their mistake.
(again, we are generally unwilling to watch people suffer the consequences of their actions and choices.)..................
So I do admit that there would be issues with some unsafe housing. Basically, I like the idea of people being responsible (aka personal responsibility) as oppose to the government being responsible.

Also, there is a difference in a structure built without code requirements because there are none, and a structure built outside of existing code (say due to bribing an inspector, or corruption....).

The difference is that the latter has a false security tied to it. The occupants or buyers won't be as vigilant in thinking for themselves because they assume it was built to a standard. This is more dangerous.

I will not argue that with no standards all houses would be safely built. I know that is simply not true.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:35 AM  
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Balance would be a nice thing but is unachievable. unfortunately the officials do not "know more about these things than us armchair forum dwellers." As government grows it takes more than it gives as it is hopelessly inefficient. We used to laugh at how inept the OSHA inspectors were that came to the job site, now it doesn't seem so funny. Years ago Bell Labs performed an office study on efficiency finding that when an organization reached "critical mass" it could continue with no input from outside its walls other than money. Sounds a bit like our current situation. Who said, "A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take all you have"?

The real argument is how much nanny state can we afford? Our government spends 1.667 times its revenue and is growing a debt that at present would require more than 50 years of zero deficits and over a half-trillion dollars per year in debt payment to resolve. We can't afford even the new offices, bureaus and agencies that Obamacare requires, even the CBO sees the reality of rationing. Approximately 46% of Americans pay no taxes so we can predict how they might vote. In last evening's news a city council member said, "We could do more with more money". Fortunately his was the only vote for increased taxes. Reading our constitution I see no hint that our founders had a nanny state in mind.

Eventually we may have to have handicapped access in all homes so as to afford equal opportunities to buyers. "Cap and Tax" had it passed would have require energy efficiency before a home could be sold. Where does it all stop? The friend that rebuilt his house within its shell (under the radar) said he had lived in countries with repressive governments that had more freedom than us because as long as the citizenry presented no threat to the government it cared less what they did.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:17 AM  
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Originally Posted by rivalarrival View Post
I disagree completely.

I'm a real estate agent. I serve a 50-mile radius in Northeast Ohio, comprising a range of urban, suburban, rural, Amish, and East-Bum****-Egypt. I see all sorts of buildings. In areas where buildings aren't subject to zoning and building codes, you see interesting things. Like Airstream campers with additions and vinyl siding. Like houses that look like they were supposed to be geodesic domes, but look more like a dam built by a psychotic, 300lb beaver.

How about a residential well located 10 yards away and downhill from the leech bed of a septic system? How about a septic system that consists of a pipe dumping into a ditch? How about an entire household electrical system assembled with orange extension cords and black tape? I could fill a book with all the idiotic things I've seen in my career. Building codes exist for some very good reasons. Some of those reasons are to protect the health and safety of people, like fire codes, electrical codes, occupation limits. Some are political, like handicap accessibility.

What happens when those rules are violated?
Cocoanut Grove fire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It might be tempting to say "They're homeless; they should be grateful for anything they can get, even if it's dangerous and could get them killed". But should we allow a group to violate habitability standards just because they help needy people? How about instead of this group trying to do it alone, they instead dedicate themselves to supporting another organization that is able to do it right?
I wasn't even going to go into specifics figuring that unless you've been to North Idaho and seen it first hand, you wouldn't have a clue. Obviously you've been to Idaho RR! The other thing too is that private inspectors might not have the qualifications to do the job unless there were once again, some sort of regulations in place............ For what it's worth, you still have the UBC, even if like in my county, they do not actually enforce it, it still exists.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:38 AM  
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In all fairness I need to provide a bit more info on the shelter. It was an open area with army cots. In fact better facilities than many in uniform are experiencing as we debate. Egress was not impeded in any fashion. Handicap access dealt primarily with restrooms.

Homelessness is an issue of its own. In Johnson City, TN there exists a sub-culture of homeless vets who live in the woods just outside the VA facility in tents, under tarps or whatever and cooking on a campfire. They are there because they won't adhere to the rules of the VA. Occasionally the fire marshal will arrest a couple for having a fire. They could easily live in a shelter of the type that was shut down by officials (in another city).

BTW government employees jokingly cite the 80/20 rule, that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the workforce. That was in NASA I suspect that in the realms of the enforcement minions it is worse. Has anyone ever found themselves at odds with a government official, it's a whole 'nother thing as logic will not prevail.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:51 AM  
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Well, many homeless people are also mentally disturbed, and as such, can potentially pose a risk to others. The issue of tents is certainly of concern, especially where fire is concerned. You need to have certain things in place if you are going to serve the public in a facility. It's far more complicated than just a matter of opinion. As regards the 80/20 thing, I've worked so many private sector jobs where that was the rule too. People are people and you aint gonna change that.
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:25 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicinabottle View Post
........... As regards the 80/20 thing, I've worked so many private sector jobs where that was the rule too. People are people and you aint gonna change that.
You can argue it all you want but it seems to be much easier for private sector operations to rid themselves of dead weight.....
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