Back in the ring for another swing

Stockton City Limits fires the latest salvo inthe ongoing debate between local building industry spokesman John Beckman and SCL blogger David Garcia.

Garcia started the debate by arguing on his blog that thanks to sprawl it is actually cheaper to live in San Francisco than Stockton. Beckman challenged that.

“True,” Garcia concedes, “my analysis does not include other cost of living factors, but I wasn’t looking at total affordability. The point of the article is to emphasize the dramatic difference in affordability as measured by housing and transportation costs, which Mr. Beckman dismisses as trivial.

“I disagree. The average Stocktonian spends 26% of their income on transportation, which is much higher than folks in the Bay Area and has real economic implications. The extra costs of driving imposed by the city’s growth pattern constitutes a significant expense, leaving Stocktonians with less disposable income and less money for utilities, entertainment and food.

“These other cost of living factors Mr. Beckman mentions may well be more affordable in Stockton than the Bay Area, but the focus of the argument is that housing and transportation costs consume over half of our income, which is not ideal by any measure and provides a glimpse into the economic consequences imposed by needing to drive everywhere, all the time.”

Read Garcia’s entire post here.

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