OrangeSlimeSoda t1_jak3unp wrote

This happened in cities across America. Police intentionally took on the peaceful protestors because (1) they're less likely to fight back; (2) allowing the looting to continue helps spread fear and support for police; and (3) arresting peaceful protestors helps to conflate rioting and protesting.


OrangeSlimeSoda t1_ja9t9av wrote

Yes, it occurred in Homo Sapien Sapien societies but not necessarily out of a biological necessity. Generally, men hunted and women foraged, but roles could and would be shared when and if needed. The fact that modern humans could survive on scavenged food gave modern humans some wiggle room to avoid taking unnecessary hunting risks. Foraging (and pre-pubescent children having more time to learn foraging skills), typically done by women instead of men, would have therefore been an essential factor to the long-term success of Homo Sapien Sapiens over other hominids.


OrangeSlimeSoda t1_ja9h195 wrote

Yes, Neaderthals required about 30-50% more calories daily than Homo Sapien Sapiens. This meant that they were less able to survive on foraging than Homo Sapien Sapeins were, and both the men and women were involved in hunts. Since hunting poses greater physical danger, the adult mortality rate for Neaderthal women would have been higher than for Homo Sapien Sapien women. Neaderthals also hit sexual maturity a few years earlier than modern humans do, meaning that they generally had less time in adolescence to hone their skills before being expected to perform the same tasks as adults. All these factors would have limited their population growth and made life as an adult more dangerous. I can see this as being a major reason why Neaderthals were forced to breed with Homo Sapien Sapiens as their own numbers dwindled.


OrangeSlimeSoda t1_j7mk91r wrote

The Japanese also simply didn't have the manufacturing base to create tank and anti-tank weaponry that could go toe-to-toe with the Soviets. The air forces performed well and the Soviets were unnerved by the ferocity of the Japanese infantrymen (even if they were less than impressed by Japanese army tactics), but Japan's logistical and manufacturing limitations meant that they simply could not succeed in a prolonged offensive against the Soviets on land.


OrangeSlimeSoda t1_j6x6hwr wrote

I've never worked on a political campaign, but surely 32 meetings/events at the same business during a single election campaign cycle is unusual unless the politician has some sort of personal connection to the business or its owner, right?

EDIT: Did a bit of quick math. He announced his candidacy in June 2021, and between then and November 2022 was about 16 months, which is 64 weeks, which is 448 days. With 32 meetings, that comes out to a meeting/event there once every 14 days (or once every two weeks).


OrangeSlimeSoda t1_j619f7d wrote

> All of these hinge on the offices being converted into dorms, which I have never seen anyone but you suggest will happen.

Because the cost of gut-renovating office spaces into fully-function housing units is cost-prohibitive. Merely from a physical standpoint, it would entail ripping down and re-erecting walls, re-wiring things, upgrading plumbing, providing gas, re-configuring things to work around elevator banks, etc. Turning them into dorms is the most cost-effective and expedient solution for a landlord.

>I think letting your office space sit empty while you look for nonexistent tenants is also an expensive and time consuming process.

The office landlords really don't have a choice. They are bound by legal obligations to their lenders, municipal regulations, and zoning laws to only allow their spaces for offices. It would be more expensive to convert the office space into a residential unit than to try to flip it to a different kind of office use.


OrangeSlimeSoda t1_j615jpd wrote

We're currently seeing carrot-and-stick attempts by office tenants to compel their employees back into the office. Office occupancy was at about 47% at the end of 2022, and probably won't go above 60%. What we will likely see is re-negotiated leases to the benefit of commercial tenants. We might see some of that space converted to other uses - yoga studios, medical offices, classrooms, etc.

There's a bunch of reasons why office landlords won't want their offices converted to residential. First, the cost of converting them into a dorm-like situation would offset the benefits. Second, their lenders might bring a lawsuit against them depending on what their mortgage says. Third, there's a bajillion liability issues that comes with it, in particular ensuring the physical safety of tenants (I can't imagine many single women would feel safe living like that). Fourth, there's a far greater likelihood of damage being done to the building if it's used for residential purposes. Fifth, existing commercial tenants won't like sharing the building with residents living in what are effectively dorms.

As I mentioned in another comment, trying to compel office landlords to convert will be an expensive and time consuming process. I think that that energy and cost is better served in an aggressive re-zoning effort, which is one of the major impediments to building affordable housing in the City.


OrangeSlimeSoda t1_j614nrx wrote

I'm not arguing that housing is a mandatory right, but the plan simply isn't feasible because of (1) physical issues (i.e. how the building is built - and don't even get me started on the personal safety problems that this would cause) and (2) legal issues. If the private sector doesn't want to cooperate, then providing housing at all is far more difficult. The City doesn't build housing, but provides incentives for private companies to do it.

The State allowed a tax bill that provided a temporary tax abatement (not tax forgiveness, but abatement) expire without a replacement in 2022. That will further compound the crisis.


OrangeSlimeSoda t1_j6118e5 wrote

There's no easy solutions; that's why there's a crisis. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't point out the problems with converting office to residential. If you close your ears to criticism, you'll just keep blundering into problem after problem.

Obviously this is a consequence of 20 years of administrative and municipal negligence. It's like climate change - anything we do now will take years to pay dividends. Here's a panel talk by experts in the field given at Fordham's law school late last year where they go into various issues contributing to the housing crisis: They basically don't think that converting office to residential is a feasible solution because you can't get the private sector on board with it, and these projects require a concerted effort by both the private and public sectors.

If office building owners don't want their property used for residential, what will the City do? Seize the property? That will mire the City in years of costly litigation, and by the time it's settled, new housing buildings could be halfway done.


OrangeSlimeSoda t1_j60zdvu wrote

Realistically, converting office spaces into residential spaces (even if you can get past the zoning issues) would result in the office spaces becoming basically dormitories rather than actual housing. Office buildings simply aren't built to allow plumbing access to each office, for example, so communal bathrooms will be needed. Can you also imagine the mess that a communal kitchen would create? Upkeep and cleaning costs would go up. Many landlords may likely have clauses in their mortgages that their property can't be used for any purpose other than for office purposes; even if you can get around that, the potential damage that could be caused would make any refinancing institution balk.

EDIT: To expand, issues with the plan include:

  1. Structural issues: the buildings simply aren't suited for residential living. With how office buildings are structured, converting floors to dorms is a far more cost-effective and time-saving measure than to convert to a proper housing unit with a bathroom and kitchen space. It would be little better than temporary housing while new buildings are built (which is a good thing) if the City could even pull it off. But good luck getting a commercial landlord to agree to it.

  2. Legal: if a landlord doesn't want their building converted to residential use, the only thing the City could do is to seize the property which, under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, the government cannot do without providing adequate compensation. Can you imagine the cost to the City of either paying tens of billions for a temporary solution, AND having to pay for years of litigation? By the time the suits are resolved, new housing could be built.

  3. Health and safety: imagine the hygiene issues that would be associated with living in a dorm situation like this. Office buildings also aren't equipped to handle the kind of waste that residential buildings can. On top of this, can you imagine the safety issues? I wouldn't want to be woman living in a dorm-like situation like this.

  4. Contractual: many mortgage lenders will require that a property be used for a specific purpose, and it could be a default under the mortgage if a landlord converts it from office use to residential. A lender is unlikely to allow this conversion because (a) dormitory tenants are far less stable and less likely to provide regular rent revenue for the landlord to repay the loan; and (b) residential tenants cause greater wear-and-tear on the building and are more likely to cause damage (like a sewage issue or a fire).

The time, effort, and cost required to fight landlords and lenders and then convert is better served pursuing an aggressive re-zoning plan, at which point building new housing projects wouldn't take much more time than Adams' conversion plan, which is a short-sighted band-aid solution that doesn't stand up to a basic level of scrutiny.

Well, why would landlords want to just sit on empty buildings? Well, 2022 was the first year in which tenants have tried to get employees to come back into the office, and office occupancy hovers at just under 50%. As things get back to "normal", we will probably see a ceiling of office occupancy at 60%. But that doesn't mean that the space is useless. If lenders agree to it, those spaces could be converted to a variety of purposes - they could be used for classroom and education, medical uses like doctor and dentist offices, health purposes like fitness and dance studios, etc.


OrangeSlimeSoda t1_j1e6rdw wrote

Exactly this. As Dwight Eisenhower once said: "The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity." They're giving themselves a pay raise while we have chronically underpaid educators from grade school all the way up to SUNY, not to mention the healthcare workers who are threatening to strike due to unsatisfactory pay. It reeks of self-interest and a lack of integrity.

Legislators should be the last ones to get a pay raise and only when pay raises across the state have been addressed. As that old Marine adage goes (which has been monopolized by that annoying motivational speaker Simon Sinek): "Leaders eat last."