Archive for May, 2022

Unspoken, And Unaccounted For

May 24, 2022

            Lots of continuous daily news dominates. In addition to the ever evolving Covid pandemic, there is the war in Ukraine, the politics of elections – current, past as well as upcoming – and the economy. Can’t forget the economy with its inflation, for which the preceding are given as reasons for its being. And here in Licking County Ohio the anticipated Intel workshop stains the daily news no matter what the reason (Analysis would say “sweatshop” but that’s no longer possible with the clean suits and clean rooms anticipated). Accompanying the near daily Intel stories are headlines like “280-acre commercial, industrial development coming to Harrison Township” (The Newark Advocate, 5-23-22) and other economic “growth” news. It is easy to overlook the weekly “Public Records” news published by The Advocate as this feature, easily obtained by the paper because it is a matter of public record (like the police blotter), has also been around for as long as, well, public newspapers. The 5-21-22 headline read “Public Records: Jersey Township property sells for over $4 million.” Both the headline, as well as the sale price, is not unusual. The history of area sales has been trending in this region for quite a long time. Market sale prices are not a “cause” of inflation, but certainly contribute. Scarcity is a primary “cause” of market pricing. Inflation’s poster child is the plethora of over priced flat screen TV’s available for immediate delivery. But Analysis digresses. It is hard to find “affordable” property transfers in the public records anymore. Million dollar plus sales are multiple each week. Most transfers are for residences in the 300K to 600K range. Below 100K is the exception. One thing unspoken with the market and inflation is that those earning a commission are experiencing a windfall despite doing no more actual work (labor) than if there were no inflation. Such is also the case with Licking County Ohio. For each $1,000 in sale price, the county receives a conveyance fee of $2. Considering, with Intel and all, that million dollar properties are now the norm, unexceptional, the County is taking in a premium of tax revenue without any additional labor. When it comes to County infrastructure spending (the “labor”), the County primarily draws on ARP, Federal Infrastructure Bill funding as well as State Intel assistance. Isn’t it time for Rick Black, Tim Bubb, and Duane Flowers to give back, and pay forward by investing public revenue in affordable public housing? The relationship between those without a house (the homeless), the scarcity of available affordable housing, and the million dollar real estate market couldn’t be any clearer.

In The Presence Of Myths

May 8, 2022

            In America, today is celebrated as Mothers Day. It is no coincidence that America’s First Lady met up with Ukraine’s First Lady on this unofficial state holiday. Although the news of Ukraine has been “The News” for quite a while now, it was displaced this week by the auspicious SCOTUS leak re: Roe V Wade, declared as “settled law,” being overturned. Analysis finds it no coincidence that the leak was made the week prior to the celebration of Mothers Day. Ostensibly, the draft of Justice Alito’s opinion has been around for the last 2 or more months. In terms of “the culture wars,” what would be a better time to give a peek to this writing on the wall? All the Sunday yak shows, editorials and comedy commentaries are centered on this dominant news. Analysis finds the timing to be perfect. It is no coincidence, no getting away from it, that “the conversation” is framed and couched  in terms of motherhood (much as “conversations” re: marijuana or firearms are framed in terms of “gateway drugs” or 2nd Amendment Rights). Tradition, found in the use and meaning of words and concepts, sets the stage and frames “the conversation” no matter how much factual evidence may indicate a completely other scenario. Analysis finds it to be no coincidence that the convenience of the appeal to tradition is the foundation of the appeal of Conservatism. Fact based science or argument requires much more work. “The good life” shouldn’t involve work. As Graeber and Wengrow end their book, The Dawn of Everything, “We know, now, that we are in the presence of myths.” (p. 526)