All the little policies start to add up. A bunch of little ones creates a regulatory nightmare and crushes efficiency. It has been going on for decades and movement towards digital solutions has created a data desire that is unquenchable. I was trying to think of a good analogy to all the regulations that have been implemented in my lifetime and the single best one is your local HOA (Homeowners Association). Once upon a time, whole neighborhoods were planned, built and sold without an HOA. Whole generations, sometimes many generations, lived and thrived without them. Now, HOA’s are the norm. Who would ensure everyone paid their dues? Who would enforce the long list of rules. Garbage cans, flag poles, house colors, landscape plans (there is a good story here), vendor approvals, parking and the list is endless.

Who, I say!

Once upon a time, people took pride in where they lived and did not need to be threatened with a fine (or worse!) to ensure the neighborhood look presentable. In some places, working on an old beater in the driveway was an eyesore and it made people want to move. If they could afford to move, they did, if not, they got a beater too, or simply complained about it. Who decided it would be a good idea to pay a management company (boy, is that a euphemism!) to make sure Billybob doesn’t start working on his Camaro out in the yard. Who decided these folks should stay around? We just went through a recession almost fifteen years ago. People lost their homes, but not a single HOA went under.

Wonder why?

It is an extension of the other AI (Apathy and Ignorance) often discussed in this blog. People do not want confrontation (well, some do, but most don’t), so they pay a large fee (in some places it is many hundreds of dollars/month) to have a whole bunch of rules that keep the place in order. People like it. In some places it is disguised with other useful functions such as trash removal or less effective activities like common area maintenance and security. They can complain to this management company and snitch on their neighbor when they park in their driveway overnight or forget to take in their trash cans. It is like a secret society of Karens.

But worse.

This is similar to what has occurred with our society and government. As Congress, State Legislatures, and City Councils continue to attempt to legislate morality, more and more oversight is removed to the HOA. Got a compliant, call them and they will either route your complaint to the appropriate HOA subcommittee or suggest a new subcommittee be established to manage this and any future complaints. As long as there is a process, it is defensible. Solutions or reconciliations be damned.

It is getting worse.

People have no interest in fixing things. They don’t want responsibility. The don’t want to have to tell someone they are out of line. Screaming kid, parents cursing in public, lack of respect for old folks, yelling at police, disrespecting teachers and a host of other social irregularities are not addressed. As bail becomes racist and shoplifting is forgiven under racial or socio-economic guises, society will continue to create more HOA subcommittees. As these useless Bodies create more rules, please remember, the only people that will follow these rules are the law-abiding people. In other words, the ones who already do. People must be empowered to stop the inconsiderate folks of the world. Let local sections be formed to review any issues. Six week terms. Five member boards. Ten hours per week, paid $50/hour. Everybody serves. No closed door meetings, all out in the open. Let the community member schedule a hearing whenever they want, easily. Stop creating committees and boards, stop avoiding issues. Stop allowing lawlessness. Stop enabling bureaucracy.

Get rid of the HOAs.

Categorized as Policy

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