Nolte: Democrat-run Portland Collapses to Bottom of Desirable Cities

PORTLAND, OREGON - JULY 28: People gather in protest in front of the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse in downtown Portland as the city experiences another night of unrest on July 28, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. For over 57 straight nights, protesters in downtown Portland have faced off in often …
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Thanks to unbridled leftism, the city of Portland has gone from being one of the most desirable cities to one of the least.

The beauty of leftism is that, in practice, it always fails. High taxes, green regulations, public unions, coddling criminals, appeasing domestic terrorists, powerful teachers unions… From Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union to California to New York and now to Portland, socialism/leftism, whatever you want to call it, always fails.

In 2017, according to an Urban Land Institute report that surveys some 1,300 “lenders, investors, developers and other national real estate experts” about where the most desirable real estate markets are, out of 80 U.S. cities on the list, and in just a few years, Portland went from the third most desirable to 66th.

There are all kinds of reasons for this collapse, and all of them fall under the same heading: leftism.

As we all know, the left-wing terrorists in Black Lives Matter and Antifa have been allowed to terrorize Portland for almost a year now. Why? Leftism. The county district attorney refuses to prosecute the terrorists. In and out a revolving door these monsters go, which not only allows them to terrorize again but encourages others to join the terror campaign.

All this terrorism has boosted property insurance costs by 30 to 50 percent. Why? See the previous paragraph.

Antifa vandalizes the Portland Democratic Party offices on the day of President Joe Biden's inauguration. (Twitter Video Screenshot/Julio Rosas, Townhall.com)

Antifa vandalizes the Portland Democratic Party offices on the day of President Joe Biden’s inauguration. (Twitter Video Screenshot/Julio Rosas, Townhall.com)

Then there are all of Oregon’s wildfires, more than 2,000 last year at a cost of 1.22 million acres. Some 40,000 people were evacuated, 11 died. Why are there wildfires? Leftism. America’s left-wing eco-freaks refuse to properly manage their forests, which means you must clear out debris, cut down aging and dead trees, cut down healthy trees to thin things out, and clear paths through the thick forests for the necessary roads to deliver firemen and their equipment.

It would also help to strategically develop some of this government-owned land. You know, allow people to build homes, resorts, and farms. This would not only help to alleviate Portland’s chronic housing problem (see below), but when people have a stake in their property, they maintain it. The government has no stake in anything it owns. Government doesn’t care because there is no moral hazard if disaster strikes. The taxpayers always bail you out.

Believe me,  those 2,000-plus wildfires destroyed more forest and created more pollution in one year than strategic development would over a thousand years.

Homelessness is a massive problem in Portland. Why? Leftism. As economist Bill Conerly points out:

The quality of life has also suffered due to increased homelessness. A decade ago, one might see someone wrapped in blankets sleeping in a downtown doorway. Now the homeless have discovered inexpensive tents, some as cheap as $25 new. Tents provide a modicum of privacy and, in a group setting, a little bit of security. The police seldom try to move homeless campers. When the Portland Timbers entered Major League Soccer back in 2011, fans could walk the quarter-mile from downtown to the stadium without seeing any homeless people. Now the fans—if games had spectators—would pass several encampments on that short stretch.

[…]

Efforts to cope with homelessness primarily consist of spending millions on “affordable housing,” which paradoxically costs more to build than regular housing. That’s because union wages must be paid at affordable housing projects, but otherwise developers use much cheaper non-union workers. Some of the money earmarked for affordable housing buys existing apartment houses, making no net addition to the supply of residences. Few people here imagine that a spate of new construction in outlying farmland would make existing housing affordable through plain old supply and demand.

Why won’t Portland build more housing in “outlying farmland?” Leftists want everyone packed into the cities and want the outlying areas returned to Mother Earth.

The problems this fascist mentality causes are obvious. Real estate prices in high-density urban areas are sky high, as are taxes and insurance. One of the reasons the real estate prices are sky high is because no housing is being approved in outlying areas, where land and taxes and insurance is cheaper. If new housing was going up these outlying areas, not only would you have additional housing, the law of supply and demand would decrease housing prices in urban areas.

Finally, people don’t feel safe. The left-wing terrorists are starting to move into the Portland suburbs, 911 calls are being ignored, and shootings are up.

Portland Police / Twitter

Bottom line: Portland’s biggest problems are its own voters. Except for 14 months starting in September 1979, Portland has been run exclusively by Democrat mayors since 1957 — 64 years. The state of Oregon has not had a Republican governor  in 33 years.

Nevertheless, despite all this serial failure, the people of Portland continue to vote for failure, continue to vote for failed policies that have failed since the beginning of time — this mad desire to control and centralize and organize human behavior and to ignore the law of gravity known as supply and demand.

The good news is that most of us don’t live in Portland, so this is not our problem, and that eventually something will have to give. Either Portland will go the way of Detroit — a city full of voters who chose decimation over changing political course, or the voters will wake up and vote differently, or elected Democrats will have to stop defunding the police, committing suicide by way of social justice, and start to govern more conservatively.

You get what you vote for.

 Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.

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