The Causey Consulting Podcast

Monday Night Special: Rezoning America?

November 27, 2023
The Causey Consulting Podcast
Monday Night Special: Rezoning America?
Show Notes Transcript

"While we are dreaming / This little island disappears / While you are looking the other way / They'll take your right to own your own ideas..."
"Inside Job" by Don Henley

And take away your right to own anything. Go live in an abandoned strip mall and be happy! 😖 During the throes of the Cold War, what westerner would have imagined хрущёвка style living coming to America? 

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Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at And now, here's your host, Sara Causey.

Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. This was an evening where I was not planning to hop on and record a broadcast, but I watched a video over my lunch break today and I thought, here we go. I felt yet again like Heath Ledger's Joker, and here we go. I wish that the sour and dour predictions were not coming true. I would like to be wrong about some of them. But man, here we go. Here we go again. Back on April 3 of this year, I published a blog post titled I mean, the real estate's already there and everything. I'll read from that for you now. And by the way, in this blog post, I quote, other posts that I had written some podcast episodes and some articles that I dropped links to I will drop the links to all those again, please check all of this out for yourself. The odds of this post reaching you are low. I already know that but I'm publishing this anyway. And I go on to quote from another blog post I wrote titled big statements for hype slips on tinfoil hat. If you want to make the argument that empty offices will not be bulldozed or repurposed for something charitable but will instead be used for at UVA on nursing. style. 15 minute housing. Okay, I will listen to me that is a possible argument. But imagining that corporate America will give up on our to wholesale. Sorry, I don't buy it. I go on to quote from an article in Gothamist why can't we do a real examination of the rules that state every bedroom must have a window? New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, you know when you sleep it should be dark. Instead of doing that have studio apartments with shared living and working spaces. Listen, peon, do you really need a window in your bedroom? Only go in there when it's dark. Anyway, I recently read the novel The Devil Wears Prada. And I recall Andy's character looking at an apartment owned by a cat order that had no windows or closets. But hey, do you really need a window? I quote again from the Gothamist most New Yorkers now pay at least 30% of their income on rent a situation that makes them rent burdened according to federal housing officials, and home ownership remains a little more than a pipe dream for the vast majority of city residents. So instead of looking at the cricket system, let's repurpose other forms of real estate into dystopian little hovels without a window and then proclaim there we fixed it. I quote now from Bloomberg, Eric Adams is sick and tired of people not returning to their offices. Exasperated, New York's mayor wants JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and other major employers to come together and agree on ways to force more to return to the office as the city city's economy struggles to recover from the pandemic and new challenges. Hmm, I quote now from one of my podcast episodes, titled corporate America doesn't surprise the state, the state doesn't surprise corporate America, please wake up to this. In today's episode, I want to yet again revisit the idea of cronyism and how things that happen in politics, in the economy, in corporate America, on Wall Street, etc. Those things are not coming as a surprise to the power brokers and the fat cats and the bankers. If you're still not tuned into that reality yet, and you still think that the market just has whims. It's capricious, it's fickle, and we just don't know how it works. If you're still in that reality, I'm really not sure that you're gonna make it. Oh, the collusion and words like force. Wow, he's ally ship is getting real out there, folks. From another Bloomberg article, we have to reinvent our office space. New York Mayor Eric Adams said in an interview with Bloomberg Thursday, adding that empty spaces should be converted to housing, we have a housing crisis, we already have structures that are built. And I go on to say, I mean, like the space is already there. If we can't get enough clips to RTO we can always convert that office space into a 15 minute city. Oops, I mean, dystopian hovel housing without a window because they don't need to look outdoors anyway. They can put on their VR goggles and go into another reality as they munch on a cricket burger. And wouldn't it be amazing if we push this whole narrative of resume commercial construction to the peons as well? Perhaps your overlords would like that idea your housing and office all in one building, live upstairs and then ride the elevator down in the morning and work until it's time to ride back up in the evening. That even Trump's a 15 minute city, more like a 15 second prison Well, I hate to do it but I'm going to fire up the music. I did predict this, I did warn you, even before today, I had another post that I published on July 18 of this year titled Hey, remember when I predicted this because I do. And I made mention of what I just read that even trumps a 15 minute city more like a 15 second prison. So we had the story on LinkedIn titled Boston tests office conversion plan. Boston landlords will soon be able to trade empty office buildings for tax breaks as the median monthly rent for a one bedroom in Beantown hits $2,800. The city is tackling its escalating housing affordability crisis with a program aimed at converting commercial space into residential Mayor Michelle Wu is offering discounts upwards of 75% on the already much lower residential tax rate for developers willing to turn offices into housing units. The city's share of vacant downtown office space rose to 14.2% in the second quarter, and woo says the initiative will ensure that Boston's growth meets the needs of current and future residents. Hey, you just get to live downtown and shop downtown and RTO all in one easy maneuver. You may or may not get a window. But why do you need a window anyway? I mean, really, you're only supposed to go in there. According to Eric Adams only go in your bedroom when it's dark. You're only going in there to sleep so you don't need a window anyway. The power brokers and the fat cats really seem to have a burning desire for the peons and the plebs and the serfs to get into this Советский Союз style of communal living. Let's just all get into some resum mercial building where we can live and work in the same place. We're not going to have a lot of privacy, but that's okay. You don't really need a lot of privacy the same way that you don't really need a window in your bedroom. If you need to go somewhere else, it's going to all be within easy walking distance or bicycle distance because you're not going to need a car anymore. Just get in there and do it. Now we're going to live on compounds. We're gonna have guards and we're gonna have boom sticks and we're gonna have big fences. We're gonna live spaced out. We don't want other people up our key stirs. But we want all of you peons and plebs to be packed into these resimercial buildings where you can do everything in one space, and you can all just sort of crawl on top of one another, like the hot, sweaty, overpopulated city and Soylent Green. I understand that some people still yet they will hear this information and they will think agenda 2030 build back better,  you vill own nozing und you vill be happy,  all of that is just a conspiracy theory, no one's going to hand you a VR headset and a cricket burger. Even though years ago Harari told you this was coming. Even though the fat cats and the people on the web and the power brokers they're not shy in putting information out there about 15 minute cities about we need to reduce pollution and contribution to climate change. If everybody just got in a 15 minute city and they can either walk everywhere or ride a bicycle everywhere. World would just be a utopia. They're not shy about putting this information out. But yet when you try to warn people ahead of time, they don't want to hear it. I was thinking about this the other day because one of the local news stations had a reporter on as a guest it was on the 60th anniversary of the pop pop the JFK pop pop. And they had on a special guest who was a reporter that was in Dallas covering the Pop Pop. Well, first he was going to cover the the motorcade going through Dallas. But then of course, things turned tragic. And so he was covering the pop pop. And I thought gosh, that's so interesting. I can't wait to hear what he has to say. And the the lady who I think was probably based on what she said about her childhood and things. I think she was probably born in the 60s. The other two people that were on her are on on there with her that morning. One of them is probably about 3435 Not any older than that. And the other ones probably about 28 Maybe 30 Maybe. And they were just like no Wow, how interesting. saying, oh yeah, oh, can't wait for that there was like, No, you could tell from their body language and their facial expressions and the tone of voice that even though they were saying, Wow, how interesting, they couldn't care less. Now those same two individuals, if they're talking about who Taylor Swift is dating, they're talking about what's trending on TikTok. They're talking about what's the most popular movie or TV show on Netflix this week? Oh, they're bursting at the seams. They can't wait to talk about that in a nonsense, but somebody that is going to talk about what they saw during the pop pop and what it was like to be in Dallas during this monumental event they don't give a damn about that's people for you. When you're trying to explain as Oliver Stone does in his films, as Jim Garrison did that, that day was, you know, to some of us who are inclined to believe this way, in our in our opinion that really represented a c*up d'etat on American soil. They don't want to hear that. No, they, they would rather focus on Netflix and TikTok and who Taylor Swift is dating, you can't help people like that. Those are the very same people that are gonna wind up in a 15 minute city. And maybe they regret it, maybe they don't, I really think a lot of people will not, I think you hand them their VR headset and their cell phone and their social media. And they will go live in a 15 minute city and eat their crickets and they're just not going to care. As long as they have that convenience. As long as they have that bread and circus and that entertainment, they're just not going to give a shit. I think that's where we're heading. So I watched this video over my lunch break by this is John Williams, and it is titled America to be fully rezoned what you must know. And this piqued my interest, because, as I've said, on the air, before the county where I live, it seems to me that the eye towards conservation towards preservations, or towards keeping some amount of arable land, both for domesticated animals to graze on for wild animals to be able to live and do you know, like normal, wild animal things. There's just no, no eye for that anymore. Like none. Any developer that goes to the county and wants to shut out a subdivision, they're all about it. It doesn't matter if it's a drain on the grid. It doesn't matter if the natural resources don't exist. They just say yes, because they want the money. I've also talked on the air before about down the road from from where I am, there's this like weird railroad easement area where there's a triangular shape between a ditch a road ditch and a railroad track, and they've even crapped out a subdivision there. Who I'm like, Who would even want to live there, it feels so incredibly unsafe and random to me. But they did it. They did it nevertheless. So I'm I'm interested in this whole idea about the rezoning of America anyway. And you can say, well, you're just the non in my backyard type. You're damn right. I am. I don't want a 15 minute city in my backyard. I don't want people living up against a ditch and a railroad track in an unsafe area just because some developer some freakin shady ass developer wants to turn it quick buck. No, no. Call me crazy. But no, I really don't want those things. I you know, the hyperlinks they want to be spread out. They want to have their compounds and their gates and not have people up their behinds every five minutes, but that's not what they want for us plebs and peons and serfs, you can be assured of that. So John is talking about this resume mercial blending the same thing that I was warning you about earlier this year, is what he's talking about in this video. And one of the stories that he talks about dated from October 27 of this year Biden administration encouraging conversion of empty offices to affordable housing. The byline reads, the Biden administration is launching a multi agency effort to encourage states and cities to convert more empty office buildings into housing units with billions of federal dollars available to help spur such transitions. Tolka. Long before you were hearing this in the mainstream media, I told you this was coming. And then it can even be worse than a 15 minute city, you could just be in a 15 second prison. I mean, how difficult would that be to maybe the top two or three storeys of the building are dedicated to some workplaces. And then the bottom floors are dedicated to the residential space so that people could live and work in the same building. Maybe if you decided to change jobs from that job, you would just walk down the street a few blocks and then you'd be at some other crappy job where you rode the elevator up. The it's not difficult to imagine. But this is being spun to us. as some great beacon of hope this is going to help people that are unhoused it's going to help with the housing crisis. Meanwhile, the same people who have caused these problems are now the same people who are offering to solve them for you. There's no justifiable reason for housing to be as expensive as it is. Let's think about this. Realtors were declared essential workers during a pandemic. That's effed up. firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, yes. First responders. Yes, those would be essential workers realtors. It makes no sense why the heat in the streets the FOMO and the YOLO. We saw it in the housing market. With people being told this is the last chance Express you either buy a house now or you're going to go without. And then the artificially low interest rates on the mortgages to help fan those flames along. Well, even though the interest rates were kept artificially low, the prices were artificially high. overpaying by two or three hundred thousand dollars, especially on a doodoo poop lemon house, that's going to cause tons of repair bills for you. That's a terrible idea. It doesn't matter if you only had a 2% interest rate, you can still wind up being upside down and over a barrel with that house because of how much you overpaid, as well as the condition of the property. Then a lot of horror stories on the news about people that bought new construction and it was just slap-dash, slap-bang, thrown together, and there's problems already. And then trying to get anybody to make good on their construction becomes a nightmare. This whole thing was, in my opinion, an overheated artificially manipulated bullcrap bubble, it just was when they're talking about housing or whether you're talking about the job market. Why in the hell would I trust the same people who created this mess and who fanned the flames of discontent on purpose, I believe, to then come in and solve it and to say, Well, don't worry, we're going to help the homeless, we're going to help people who are not able to afford a real house by putting them in an abandoned strip mall. Just long pause there. So you can think about that for yourself. And if you're wondering, Well, where are you getting this idea from? Another story that John covers in his video is this fact sheet that was put out by enterprise And the title is repurposing underutilized strip malls to create multifamily housing. You can read it for yourself. It's dated November 2 2023. can download it as a white paper I will drop a link so you can do so. The write up tells us well office to housing conversions have been widely discussed as more companies shift to remote work. They often face significant physical and financial challenges as enterprises previously explored. On the other hand, vacant or underutilized strip malls can offer developers a unique opportunity to repurpose these properties into the types of housing in great demand, multifamily housing or mixed use developments with a housing component. Sounds a lot like what I predicted right? According to our estimates, repurposing the best suited 10% of the nation's 947 point 5 million square feet of strip mall space for redevelopment could create over 700,000 New multifamily homes across the US in this white paper enterprise senior research analyst examines the opportunities and challenges of converting strip malls to affordable housing and highlights to successful examples from New York and California and quote, and then you can download the resource if you so choose. We also see from the White House October 27 2023 factsheet Biden Harris administration takes action to create more affordable housing by converting commercial properties to residential use. The byline reads new resources will encourage zero emissions conversions and transit oriented development that increased housing supply and cut climate pollution. But the thing of it is, if you say 15 minute city, then you're just a conspiracy theorist. You're just some tinfoil hat wearing nut ball. But if you say new resources will encourage zero emissions conversions and transit oriented development that increase housing supply and cut climate pollution. That's good. You can seal clap for yourself. You're doing something good for the environment. 15 minute city conspiracy theory, but this long winded way of saying exactly the same thing, that's good, and it's not a conspiracy theory. It's also on Today, the Biden Harris administration is announcing new actions to support the conversion of high vacancy commercial build Thanks to residential use, including through new financing, technical assistance and sale of federal properties. These announcements will create much needed housing that is affordable energy efficient near transit and good jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, nearly 30% of which comes from the building sector, office and commercial vacancies across the country are affecting urban downtown's and rural main streets. A new blog released today by the Council of Economic Advisers finds that office vacancies have reached a 30 year high from coast to coast, placing a strain on commercial real estate and local economies. At the same time, the country has struggled for decades with a shortage of affordable housing units, which is driving up rental costs and communities are seeking new ways to cut emissions, especially from existing buildings and transportation. The actions announced today build upon the initiatives and the White House housing supply Action Plan, which is lowering housing costs boosting housing supply and promoting fair housing and the administration's actions to lower energy costs and tackle the climate crisis. lowering costs increasing access to good jobs and building the clean energy economy are key tenants of Bidenomics. The President's agenda to grow the economy from the middle out and the bottom up. Right. Okay. doesn't ever seem like any of these things that the government gets involved in seem to get better? Let's think back to who okay let's let's don't be partisan because I don't believe in that crap. It doesn't matter to me red versus blue donkey versus elephant. Same poop different day. Let's think back to W.  Over on the job market journal. On September 18 of this year, I published a post titled, this is the agenda folks. In this I write remember who and his ownership society agenda. He said homeownership was good for America, and ought to be a priority. Then we had oh seven and oh eight and well, we all remember how that turned out. What could possibly go wrong with zero down loans and government involvement in the housing sector. Just like what's gonna go wrong with the government deciding that abandoned strip malls and abandoned corporate real estate needs to be turned into some multifamily dwelling or some mixed use space situation, they're going to sell it to you, like it's utopia, it's going to lead to a cleaner, better environment, it's going to make life more convenient to you. They're not going to sell it to you as this dystopian Soviet era type. Bleak existence, it reminds me of what's called brutalist architecture. You know, that post war style that was exposed brick exposed concrete, exposed metal, what you see is what you get, there's no painting, there's no beautification, there's no effort being made to pretty it up. It's just here's a building, we just put this building up. And here it is, and we don't care if it's pretty or not pretty for you to look at. It's all about the function. And I was reading that in recent years, there's been this movement to try to get away from the term the nomenclature of brutalist architecture, and instead rename it to heroic architecture. And I'm like, That can't be a coincidence. That cannot be a coincidence gang, it cannot. I'll be talking soon about Ravi Somaiya, his book, The golden thread, and the murder of or the accidental death, you you decide for yourself, the the death of Dag Hammarskjöld. And how people just, you know, they they don't, they don't want to absorb this information. They don't think that something that happened in the 1960s is still relevant to them now, and for me past is prologue. It's like what Shakespeare says in The Tempest about past being prologue. It's just setting you up. It's opening the curtain for what's going on in the world right now. And this feels very cyclical to me, because on the one hand, it makes me think of that postwar brutalist style of architecture where here's the exposed brick, here's the exposed concrete, just get in your hovel, and eat your cricket burger. It also when we're talking about Советский Союз, it also makes me think about the хрущёвка, or what we in английский язык  would call khrushchevka, these little squat apartment buildings, like when you think of when an American or western mind thinks about these very plain, no frills, Soviet era apartment buildings, where everything really looks the same. And it's, it's not fancy, it's not beautiful to look at. You're typically thinking of those khrushchevkas, or maybe some of the Брежневкаs that were a little bit larger that were built during the leadership of Brezhnev. That's what the Western mind typically conjures up. And it's just my God is just my I'm going to me to think about the Cold War, especially reading about what happened to Dag Hammarskjöld and what was going on, in between Russia or the USSR and America at that point, and then the Kennedy pop pop and people trying to blame that on Castro and on Khrushchev, because well, communism, and then here we are, decades later, and people are trying to sell you on the idea of give up on the American dream. Homeownership is just way too expensive, you don't really need a window. So you definitely don't need a backyard. If you don't even need a window. You don't need a backyard for the kids to play in, screw that. Just get into a Brezhnevka, a Khrushchevka, just get in there, and you can work on one floor and you can live on another floor and everything will be fine, fine, just fine. The Hyper elites are not going to do that, but they expect you to do it. Ignore this information at your own risk. If in your mind, you've already decided that you've not seen and you'd be happy. It's just a conspiracy theory, agenda 2030 and build back better. Those are just conspiracy theories. You're entitled to believe that I'm not stopping you from believing that. I just think that 10 years from now, perhaps we're all going to be living in a really different world. Stay safe, stay sane, and I will see you in the next episode.


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