English: La Jolla Photo: G Larson Category:Images of San Diego (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We now have environmental impact statements that are required in some states, like California, that add to the cost of business and add a delay in starting new construction. I am sure that Mitt can talk at length about how hard it was to gain approval from the California Coastal commission to rebuild his La Jolla mansion. He can certainly afford the cost, but the delay probably was an irritant. As a former California resident, I can assure you that protection of the coastline from a 800 mile long wall of mansions was what the people wanted.
In addition to an environmental impact statement, I favor an economic impact statement for any layoffs or plant closings above a certain level. A company has a responsibility to the people it employs and to the society in which it lives. Without a healthy economic environment, no company can thrive. An employer needs a functioning infrastructure, educated employees and a safe and healthful working environment. Without these benefits normally provided by government from tax revenues, many companies will move to locations that do provide those benefits. Every American is entitled to those benefits. Companies that force states to compete for plant sites by offering concessions should be ostracized.
P. S. With further thought, I think that the best way to force companies to be more socially and economically responsible would be to amend their corporate charters. Now, earning a profit is their sole goal; earning a profit and caring for their human resources should be twin goals in the future.
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My advice to Mitt Romney is that some candidate will lose to Barack Obama in 2012, but it does not have to be you. You could move into your La Jolla home after it is remodeled and then campaign for the GOP nomination for governor of Californiain 2014. You have proven experience as governor of a liberal state in Massachusetts. You could follow in Ronald Reagan’s footsteps or you could just wait for presidential lightning to strike while you are governing the state with the most electoral votes. You could demonstrate that a Republican can govern a diverse state with many problems that your experience could help solve. In 2016 you will be 69 and in 2020 you will be 73. I believe that your chances will be better then than in 2012, and you will have served the people of California for 2 or 6 years. They and the nation will be grateful and may show their gratitude by drafting you for the GOP nomination or you could consider a run as a Democrat.
Please see Mitt Romney, compassionate conservative | Mitt Romney or not | Surf’s up | Why?
Romney house in La Jolla
This is the house that Mitt Romney plans to bulldoze and replace.
The September 23, 2011, issue of The Week magazine has a two page spread on 7 homes in the San Diego/Coronado area. Coronado is an almost island to the near south of San Diego while La Jolla where Mitt Romney bought a beach property is in the near north. Both are among the most desirable addresses in California.
Mitt paid $12 million for his property three years ago and plans to spend millions more replacing it; I estimated the total value after construction at around $20 million. By coincidence, the total asking prices of the 7 properties in The Week is slightly more than $20 million. Here’s my suggestion for Mitt and a chance to show how compassionate a conservative he really is: sell the La Jolla property and buy all seven properties in the magazine article. He can live in one and lease the remaining six to homeless families at rates that they can afford, no matter how much those rates are below market rates.
Please see Surf’s up | Creative destruction | Let Romney run
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Before we bought our first home in 1992, my wife and I with an infant child rented one home after another in Santa Barbara, not an easy thing to do since many landlords discriminate against children even as they demand exorbitant security deposits. During 1984 to 1986, we were fortunate to rent an ordinary, 1200 square foot tract home on a bluff one block from the Pacific. During a period of rapidly rising real estate prices, it probably would have sold for about $30,000, and during the peak of the real estate bubble exceeded $1 million. I expect that now it would sell in the neighborhood of $750,000. I walked past the house recently and it looked almost the same as when we rented it, perhaps a little larger with an addition to one side. You can actually see the area where we rented in the above picture. The green strip at the lower right is the park I mention below.
Homes in the same tract, facing the ocean directly across the street from a park along the bluff have mostly been remodeled upward in size to match their multi-million dollar price tags. Mitt Romney plans to upgrade his La Jolla property from 3000 square feet to 11,062 square feet. La Jolla is one of the most desirable addresses in California and his property includes ocean frontage. Reportedly the property cost $12 million three years ago. After the upsizing, let us assume the property will be valued at $20 million in round numbers. Since the annual property tax rate in California is 1.25%, Romney will be paying around $250,000 per year. That amount would buy a comfortable home in most of the US.
All coastal property in California is scarce and very valuable due to the demand and because of the restrictions imposed by the California Coastal Commission, a body brought into being by the will and an initiative of the California voters in 1972 to preserve the coastline from excessive development. Romney claims that he needs the enlarged house because of the size of his family, and he chose La Jolla because he enjoys the sound of the surf. From the two years we spent renting near the coast, I can share his enthusiasm for the sounds of the waves. With the windows open at night, our rental was in an area quiet enough to hear the wave action. I know of no other sound on earth that is so relaxing.
Regarding his need for so large a home to house his extended family, I have some doubts. His children are all adults and they have children of their own. Romney’s adult children do not need to live with him because they are unemployed or because they have unpaid student loans, at least to my knowledge. Unemployment and unpaid student loans are the two principal reasons today that adult children are moving in with their parents. Romney jokingly once told an audience that he shared their unemployment. The truly unemployed are not living in $12 million homes that are too small.
Please see Mitt Romney | California | Fantasy baseball