Trump promises a lot of deregulation, a lot of infrastructure building, jobs, economic growth, and, he's an experienced developer... so how do you think his presidency will impact our profession? Will we see more projects coming in? Less red tape? Or... are you worried?
I'm a residential LA. I'm hoping for more diversity of demographic in clientele. It has become about 80% people who work for financial firms in the last 6 years. It used to be all kinds of people. Oddly enough, Wall Street has done way better than Main Street in recent years. That and the lack of home equity has limited real estate changes in ownership mostly to high end waterfront raze and replace properties being purchased for summer homes for those with a ton of money in my area - not complaining about the work, just that it is limited to the lucky few who are referred in such a market.
I expect that there may be more opportunities for the middle class creating a wider potential market for us to work in.
Also hoping for reduction in red tape that will make it easier for businesses to have full time employees. Right now a lot are limiting their employees to part time to avoid benefits to control costs. That will empower the middle class as well.
These are all hopes. I have no idea that they will happen, but they clearly were not happening under status quo. Something needed to be shook up.
Our own LANewsDigest had an article in the last issue giving as close to a "state of things" as we can get from surveying our own profession, and it is described as "tepid."
Of course, that is not a prediction. And it's hard to get a pulse anyway, when there are wide variations in focus and size of firms in so many different locations. But I think it helps explain all the "where do I go from here" questions by new grads, and the disquieting feeling that things have only come up from a bottom, never having regained an (overall) comfortable plateau yet.
We live & die by oil down here in Texas. Simple as that. To be fair, there are other industries that shore things up, but when the oil guys are down & out, everyone feels it. I'm in favor of meaningful regulations, but want fewer of the ones that aren't accomplishing anything. And $3.00/gal gas (currently $2.00/gal around here). $3.00 seems to be the tipping point between a stable economy and a booming one here in the lone star state.
I think President Trump knows he HAS to get going on the WALL along the Mexican Border....it was one of his biggest campaign promises to the American People.
There are MANY creative ways to fund that wall....regardless of the costs involved.
The U.S. spends $85 Billion annually in "Foreign Aid". Looking at the list of Nations (that includes Mexico) is ridiculous! Even Russia & Gaza get Foreign Aid from the U.S....really? I'm sure there are some "good" reasons for some of this aid, but, I think Congress should go back to ZERO with every Nation and determine a "reasonable" amount. Also, WHY is the U.S. giving the U.N. the most $$$??? If the other NATO Countries don't pay their share...I'd say, cut em off. Thanks to Obama...we have a National debt of almost $20 Trillion! And giving Iran that Billions of dollars (as part of the Iran Nuke deal) was very suspicious...paid in foreign currency too. We build a $14 million gasoline station in Afghanistan...really?! Hillary Clinton couldn't account for something like $50 million when she was Secretary of State....waste, waste and more waste. Gov't employees are paid MORE than their counterparts in the private sector...WHY? Plus, they get bonuses, nice pay raises, great benefits and they can NOT be fired (as they all belong to a Union). Gov't gone wild.
Cutting back on Gov't employees in the Post Office, EPA, Education & Energy Departments alone would be a HUGE help. Personally, I'd be fine getting "snail mail" twice a week....more wasted taxpayer money!
Trump wants to build a 30 Ft. High wall.....I vote for placing "electrified razor wire" on top of the entire wall.....OR the Illegals will manage to find a way to get over it. Also, maybe, every U.S. military personnel should be req'd to serve 6 months of their enlistment patrolling the WALL. But, the wall also needs "surveillance" (cameras, drones and under ground sensors).
Sticking Mexico with a 35% import tax; charging Mexicans who cross over into the U.S. a FEE (because, many of them work here, but live in Mexico). And, IF we're to allow the more than 11 million Illegals to STAY in the U.S. (and I think that figure is way too low)....the U.S. Gov't should charge those Illegals an "Annual Fee" to be here. Because, you and I KNOW many do NOT pay the IRS Income Taxes each year....they send a lot of their money they earn here (tax free) home to Mexico or some other Country...to their families. Hundreds of trucks transporting goods across the Southern border cross daily....hit them with a FEE. The U.S. sends Mexico Billions of $$ annually for Foreign Aid....that amt. could be cut way back...and apply it towards the WALL. In addition, American Citizens are being asked to donate to the building of the wall....and it's happening, big time.
Yes, the WALL will be expensive...but, think of the BILLIONS of $$$ that those Illegals coming to the U.S. are costing our U.S. Gov't every year.....you have to factor that into the costs. Plus, hopefully, the wall will slow down drug & human trafficking & help keep terrorists from strolling across the Southern Border with a Nuke or other method to terrorize our Country.
Don't underestimate President Trump.......Hillary did and look where it got her! Trump is about "action" not "talk"......like Obama was. Obama "talked" about creating jobs and improving our economy....but, our economy was no higher than 1% to 2% GDP for 8 straight years....and over 85 Million Americans are unemployed (the REAL unemployment rate according to a 67 yr. old Dartmouth University Professor is currently @ 24%.
My LA practice was pretty slow those first 7 yrs. of Obama's Presidency....but, it has picked up over the past 10 months.....and even more so recently. I'm semi-retired, but, still wish to continue designing. But, for 7 yrs. everyone was sitting on their wallets...not much spending to hire LAs......Americans were more concerned with paying their mortgages and putting food on the table.
I do totally agree with your statement about ASLA.....for all of my LA career, I've been waiting for ASLA to do "something....anything", to really help our design profession.
Anyone who thinks that a wall can be built along the Mexican Border is as deluded as Trump. Its costs will be stratospheric. If it is real a wall, and not a fence, the drainage implications are enormous and expensive. We are talking pumps to move water over the wall here at the base of a major drainage basin. A wall like this will require a parallel road system on both sides just for US security. Drugs are coming through the existing vehicular pass-through so that problem will not be addressed. Most of the land is privately owned by US landowners who do not want to sell. Eminent domain will be required and will be challenged in court for decades driving up all road and wall construction costs and compel eventual non-completion. This 2000 mile construction will defiantly cost upwards of 1 trillion if all goes smoothly. This cruel and ineffective idea was tossed out to the Trump Base to appeal to their racist and uniformed anger. It worked. Shame on America.
I see it as a boom for private sector building and a bust for middle class and public sector. Deregulation tends to support the elites, not the middle class. But deregulation may also open up funding opportunities for people to access and leverage - you know, kinda like what led to the great recession. So IMO, grab your ankles and hold tight.
He has stated that he plans to put forth a Trilion dollars on our infrastructure. And, go after ALL forms of energy, including renewable energy.
How will he pay for that? And how will he convince Congressional and GOP rank-and-file deficit hawks to agree to it? Promises are cheap. Infrastructure requires cash.
He's a successful developer, understands business & jobs. I also thought it was interesting to note that while he is President of the U.S., he will NOT be accepting a "salary". Nor, will he be controlled by "special interest groups"...he doesn't need their money.
Actually that is questionable. He is certainly a sly businessman. But most of his accomplishments depended on cheating, strong-arming and stiffing governments and contractors. But now we are those contractors!
Really Bob?! Who put us in this situation to begin with - uh, Bush anyone? And with those free-market republican ideals American's over reached to buy homes that lenders gladly supported and developers (every tom dick and harry) cashed-in on it all. I mean, have you ever worked with (not for) developers? They are, above all, business people only willing to do the minimum it takes to get past laws so they can separate people from their money. They tend to only care about THEIR bottom line. Environment - don't care; community - not my problem; beauty - only if it sells; so on and so on. Those reasons are why a lot of us went into LA to begin with. So be careful when you say developers are good; and, btw Trump's not even a successful one! How many times has he been bankrupt now??? 3-4x's? Geez man.
All that said, with the dergulation that's inevitably coming, I think we'll have another big boom/bust cycle. So ride the wave as long as you can, but don't forget to be making a bomb shelter in your basement when it finally goes belly-up (again).
I think it wasn't free market ideals alone as much as a blend with a social engineering agenda (let's get everybody into a home whether traditionally qualified or not) that the market responded to, then followed up with some pretty creative ways of passing on the inevitable risk. Mortgage backers would have been far more careful lending if they weren't prodded into the everybody-in-a-house craziness but then regulators looked the other way at the bundling of strange packages that got passed on to "investors."
I am retelling this from the insights of someone behind the scenes in banking who passed it on. Bush actually warned that the system was in big trouble that had been accumulating (and I wasn't a Bush fan). In fact, it was Congress that flatly rejected his call for years to reform the mess. His repeated attempts for more supervision were thwarted by the legislative maneuvering of those who emphatically denied there were problems. At any rate, the government as well as banks were up to their eyeballs in it, and it's ludicrous to see any side or party try to ride around now like a knight on a white horse. Kinda like how the A.C.A. appealed to insurance companies and they are now bailing out as we begin to see the inevitable results of attempting to ignore the logical operation of insurance rates....that is, the avoidance by young people who are resisting their assigned role to pay what they don't need (yet) themselves, in order to fund older sicker people who can't cover what they didn't prepare for. People don't like to save for the future, wait for their goodies, or accept basic consequences ....who could imagine that?
A little p.s. Could maybe all the reckless building era be partly a way to "keep a lot of people busy" as the least vulnerable part of the economy to foreign competition that we were letting into everything like textiles, steel etc.? Think about it...surveyors, lawyers, designers, contractors, tradesmen, land sales people, all the distributors or carpets and wallpaper and lighting and appliances (even if products were imported), the ladies who "show" houses...the decorators, magazine photographers, landscapers...
Actually, it makes sense why a) people wanted to give mortgages to people b) why people wanted to have them. It stems from the American dream (right?), not 'social engineering', unless you call the propagation of picturesque 1950s american values as social engineering (which you could). Yes, people thought they should own a roof over their heads, just like their parents and their parents before them. And congress was okay helping give them that dream because it means disenfranchised groups of people bought into communities, invested, and then they simultaneously stimulated the economy. Sure, those actions by congress helped people into mortgages they couldn't afford, and real estate professionals were all too ready to finance it, and developers build it. I don't dare think that there wasn't a group involved that doesn't have dirty hands.
I'll have to take your word on Bush's role but irregardless the republican's free market society ideology is flat-out dangerous and leads to hard boom/busts. It's good while it's good and then man is it bad.