Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Let Them Eat Cake! ( in Fort Lauderdale)

We all remember the French Revolution and the story of Marie Antionette. Her famous, or infamous, quote has been the benchmark used to depict a disconnected elitist class out of touch from the society it governed.

Another famous saying is that history repeats itself. Fast forward to 2006 South Florida. The dubious honor of bestowing the first Bigdaddy Putz Award goes to our very own Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle.

When asked recently about the housing affordabilty crisis in South Florida, his heiness Jim bellowed, " I'm supposed to subsidize some schlock sitting on the sofa and drinking a beer, who won't work more than 40 hours a week?" Naugle told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel last week, voicing opposition to a city plan that would force developers to build some affordable units or pay extra fees. "I deny that there is a problem."

"That's easy for him to say. King James, whose Rio Vista neighbors include captains of industry and trust fund beneficiaries, bought his home on the New River for $362,500 in 1996. Today, that kind of cabbage won't even get you a teardown shack in parts of his city."

Doing his best Joe McCarthy impersionation, King James further orated, "It's the developer and the person who buys a higher-priced unit that will be subsidizing them, and I think that's wrong," Naugle said. "It's government interfering with the marketplace and that's Karl Marx."

"The person who's working 60 hours to get ahead and making $90,000 a year is going to subsidize the person who's working only 40 hours a week and making $60,000," Naugle said."

"So now I'm a `schlock' because I only work 40 hours a week?" Michele Stadler, a full-time working mother, wrote city commissioners and Naugle by e-mail. "To insinuate that by not working more we are lazy is really a disgrace. He needs to take that silver spoon ... and look at the reality of life here in Fort Lauderdale and how it has changed in the last five years from the [perspective] of the middle class."

"Naugle said plenty of affordable housing options are around, just maybe not the single-family homes of people's dreams. He also said they should find jobs they love, not be "stuck on working 40 hours a week," and hold off on having children until they are in a better financial position."It's good to be a gatherer and build a nest before having a family," Naugle said. "That's what I did. I waited. Let's get people thinking about that."

Thanks to my wonderful wife for finding this article. Have a nice piece of cake honey.


At 7:16 PM, Blogger amydemiceli said...

wow this guy, takes the cake, indeed.

its amazing how ignorant people can be. "thats what he did.. " good for you jim.

this guy is the mayor! he should be ousted for having such a low opinion of the people he represents.

really, WOW!

At 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually I think that plan is communistic. When government starts "making it affordable", then the nice stuff just goes higher.

Case in point: student loans. The feds attempted to make higher education affordable for everybody. So what happened? The colleges and universities have eaten up every ounce of federal student aid available. Education costs have skyrocketed. And students are now holding the bag with gigantic debt loads.

The same thing would happen in Florida. You don't want the government feeding an insane bubble more than they already have.

The market will bring it's own correction. It WILL happen. Get rid of ALL the cheap "low risk to lender" money, and it'll happen even faster. (We're renting and waiting for a seller to come to his/her senses. Not in Florida, but still. Been waiting awhile.)

Admittedly, the mayor is low on social skills and empathy.

Interesting blog by the way.

At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Lori said...

Wow, that guy's crazy.

At 10:23 PM, Blogger Keith said...

When can he be voted out of office and into the real world?

At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

*ahhhhhh* Ft. Lauderdale, a thinking man's Biloxi.

At 2:37 AM, Anonymous seeing red in seattle said...

This guy needs to take a MASSIVE pay cut.

Or get a job working 60 hours a week at a McDonalds. 40 just won't cut it.

Really, throw the bum out and let him fend for himself.

At 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Affordability crisis". Oh my god, I thought this month's crisis was transfats. I'm so upset about lobster tanks in restaurants you know!!!

Of course you're right. The government should regulate everything to make everything perfectly equal for everybody. Only then can everybody be equally happy just like in wonderful places like Cuba.....

As in France, no one should be allowed to work more than 35 hours/week and single mothers that decide to breed like rabbits should be given a minimum wage of $40/hour so they can have the same house as everyone else. It's only fair you know and plus it's for the kids!!!!!

In fact, I even agree with the "progressive" judges on the supreme court that decided it was a good idea for the government to take your property away through emminent domain so it can be sold to a developer who can generate more tax reveune. See, with more tax money, the government can spend even more money to make more regulations that make things even more equal. Once everyone on the collective is equal all the worker's will be happy, happy, happy!!!! It worked great in the Soviet Union!!!!

BTW, How is this guy like Joe McCarthy? Why isn't he more like Karl Rover or Ann Coulter? Or, was this just the obligatory but meaningless left wing generic insult?

If you want more affordable housing the solution is simple. Just wait, prices will come down through normal free market mechanisms. Seems like someone who thinks there is a RE bubble might be able to deduce that.

But, then again if you are dumb as a box of rocks its a problem. (And I'm not talking about a regular box of rocks, I mean the super stupid kind....)

My recommendation, Do the world a favor and get a vasectomy!

At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I agree with him, though he loses points for phrasing the truth to bluntly for most people.

I don't like government interferring with the market and finding another way to tax me to subsidize someone else. Prices in Ft Lauderdale are determined by a free market, and no one has the "right" to live there, not even the teachers and police always mentioned. If they can't afford to live there or else where and commute, the price of their labor will rise....

People can make their own economic choices between working 40 or 60 hours a week, spending time with family, when having kids, or training to increase their pay per hour of labor. Keep real estate welfare out of the picture.

At 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you freaking kidding me. I am a broker and attorney in South Broward and I know Naugle, and...ok, I'm dumbfounded how someone could be so stupid to say something well..quite so stupid...

Now that being the case, I think the reality is that first of all, there are homes around that aren't a ton of money, maybe townhouses are going to have replace the dream of the white picket fence if you live in South Florida but just because the news reports it, I think we all know, doesn't make it so. If you want to buy a house, and you may $60,000 or $90,000 you can do it...if you don't believe me, drop me a line or call your favorite realtor or whatever, it might take a little more hunting, but everyone should own a home and they're out there....


At 7:40 PM, Blogger Nole said...

You are on the money and I agree with you. What is your eMail address? See my blog which has a number of links to your blog. Its URL is:

I would appreciate your posying a link to my "Hurriphobia" article on your blog. Thanks.



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