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Comment Re:Well, I _wanted_ to like her. (Score 1) 175

You're comparing apples to oranges.

It's very easy and cheap to purchase homeowner's liability insurance anywhere in America. Liability insurance pays for harm to others caused by the home, for example someone falling down the stairs. What is difficult to buy in some places is insurance against natural disaster. For instance in California, one can buy affordable earthquake insurance only because of state legal mandates.

The reason nuclear station operators cannot buy liability insurance on the commercial market, is because of the incalculably large potential for harm to others from the maximal failure mode of a nuclear power plant.

Comment Re:Not even close to Speeding (Score 1) 259

There's roughly zero undeveloped land in SF. But there is fucking tons of very nice land covered with tiny, craptastic 2- and 3-story wooden houses. For example, almost all of Potrero Hill.

So yes, you would need to take down old structures to build new.

Imho, a few of those shitbox houses should be preserved for the sake of history. But it would be no loss to the city if the vast majority were torn down and replaced with larger, higher quality buildings.

Comment Re:Not even close to Speeding (Score 1) 259

Protip: Before shooting your mouth off with Libertarian talking points

Not a Libertarian. But please continue...

Santa Monica is developed to the maximum.

Have you actually been to Santa Monica? The areas directly adjacent the beach are somewhat developed, with smallish high-rises. Most of the rest of the city is shitty wooden buildings under 4 stories.

Comment Re:Isn't this standard way to do business? (Score 2) 259

The landlord rents out unfurnished space on a long term lease. It's a passive business, a way to make money from ownership of capital.

The Airbnb host hires out a fully furnished, immediately habitable living space on a very short term. It's an active business, a way to make money from the application of labor to relatively little capital.

Comment Re:Can't let the money fall into the wrong hands! (Score 2) 259

So if you can't afford to buy a house in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world, then there is just no point in investing at all?

Your words, not mine.

I have relatives nearing retirement with $0 in IRA/401k, living in a trailer park, who think exactly the same way. But they can always find the money to go to Starbucks and buy the latest iPhone.

Good to know you're much far more clever and deserving than those feckless trailer-dwelling proles.

Comment Re:Not even close to Speeding (Score 4, Insightful) 259

Get real, dude. Rents in Santa Monica were sky high before Airbnb. Rents there will continue to be outrageous until the city government allows enough housing to be built to meet demand. Restrictive zoning - and the macroeconomic relation between the money value of land versus labor - is the cause of high rents, not short term rentals.

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"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance." -- Cal Keegan