Raise the Capital Gains and Marginal Income Tax Rates. Raise Them Now–The Boston Parking Edition

So this is an item that trundled across the transom (boldface mine):

It’s just a crumbling strip of asphalt barely big enough to fit two cars one behind the other — lined by weeds, hard against a brick wall, hemmed in by a utility pole. The closest thing it has to an amenity is straight white stripes.

For this, a crowd gathered for an auction in the rain Thursday, because it wasn’t just any piece of pavement, but a pair of tandem parking spaces in one of the most parking unfriendly sections of the city: the Back Bay.

Bidding began at $42,000. It shot up to six figures within seconds. When the auction ended 15 minutes later, the lucky winner agreed to pay $560,000 — nearly double the $313,000 median sales price of a single-family home in Massachusetts.

“This is just amazing,” said Ken Tutunjian of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, declaring the price a new parking space high. “God bless America.”

There is a reason people will pay this much for what is an elongated parking space–because they can (boldface mine):

Said Beth Dickerson of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty: “The demand is not about value. It’s about wanting the parking spot at whatever cost.”

Fine, you say, it’s just crazy rich people bidding up a parking space in a wealthy neighborhood. Let them piss away their money. But they are also able to bid up other inelastic goods–things you care about, like housing or a college education at a good school. And this has a trickle down effect in that the prices of other less-valued goods–homes in not such snazzy places, or second tier colleges–can then charge more. The wealthy can outbid the rest of us to such an extreme that we now have a two-tiered economy, separate and unequal.

That is how an independent middle class becomes extinct. This is how republican virtue dies.

And the congregation responds: This is yet another reason why we can’t have nice things.

Because we need some humor: This.

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3 Responses to Raise the Capital Gains and Marginal Income Tax Rates. Raise Them Now–The Boston Parking Edition

  1. Physicalist says:

    Yep. Who’s going to build a home for some middle-class family if you can make more selling a garage to a billionaire?

  2. coloncancercommunity says:

    This is also why none of the innovators out there are addressing the yawning needs of the middle and lower classes. Instead we have one useless app after another getting VC investment while the “big issues” including climate change, income inequality, crumbling infrastructure go are just ignored. There was a well written post about that issue a couple of weeks ago. In fact I might have accessed it through a link offered on your blog, but I don’t remember. Its worth the read in case people haven’t seen it.

    http://miter.mit.edu/the-unexotic-underclass/

    The issue is investment, or the lack of it, by the public sector. If you want “nice things” for the masses, you need public investment. Because stuff like that never produces a quick enouph profit for the private sector.

    Right now I am forced to run a business that caters to the upper classes. Do I want to work that way? No. Not necessarily. But I found I had no choice. The middle class customers who are being mercilessly squeezed (I know – I’m middle class) were in turn squeezing me to a point that I couldn’t make a profit unless I had massive volume, which is very expensive and requires massive VC to set up, something I don’t have access to. Unfortunately I am a business not a charity. A profit has to be seen or I can’t pay my bills.

    Multiply that by all the entrepreneurs, business owners and venture capitalists out who have the same issue and you see the problem. Capital flows where the money is unless an effort is made to turn the tide. That effort has traditionally come from the public sector. As income inequality increases, the pressure to shut down public sector projects increases. This squeezes the masses more and the vicious cycle continues.

  3. Min says:

    “But they {Los Ricos} are also able to bid up other inelastic goods–things you care about, like housing or a college education at a good school. And this has a trickle down effect in that the prices of other less-valued goods–homes in not such snazzy places, or second tier colleges–can then charge more. The wealthy can outbid the rest of us to such an extreme that we now have a two-tiered economy, separate and unequal.”

    Yes, indeed. Well said, sir.

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