Blogs

Honolulu Rail: It Just Keeps Getting Worse

There seems to be no end to the difficulties facing Honolulu’s urban rail project. In an editorial, Honolulu’s Civil Beat noted that federal officials fear the project cost may reach $8.1 billion, which is more than 50 percent above the “original estimate” of $5.2 billion. The cost blowout of nearly $3 billion would be far more than state consultants suggested in a 2010 report.  read more »

Feds Forced to Set Priorities for Washington Subway

The Washington Metro passenger safety fiasco (see: America’s Subway: America’s Embarrassment?) has only gotten worse. On May 10 the Washington Post  reported the federal government has twice threatened to close the system if the Washington Area Metropolitan Transportation Authority (WMATA) failed to “take actions to keep passengers safe.” U.S. Secretary Anthony Foxx.  read more »

More Californian’s Continue to Drive Despite Policies to Discourage

“California Commuters Continue to Choose Single Occupant Vehicles,” according to a report by the California Center for Jobs and the Economy. The Center indicated:  read more »

Heart Attack Death Risk Greater on Higher Floors

A study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) indicates that the survival rates of cardiac arrest (heart attack) is considerably worse at higher floors. Survival rates were compared by residential floor in Toronto. The article implied that the longer time necessary to reach patients after having arrived on the scene was likely a factor.  read more »

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LSE/Netherlands Research Documents Price Effects of Tight Housing Regulation

New research by London school of economics Professor Christian Hilber and Wouter Vermeulen of the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis provides strength and evidence of the connection between high housing prices and strong regulatory constraints. The paper advances the science by estimating the share of house price increases attributable to regulatory constraints.  read more »

"Rising Rail Chaos" in Honolulu

That's what the Honolulu Star Advertiser calls it in an April 8 editorial entitled "Rising Rail Chaos Bodes Ill for Us All." Honolulu’s urban rail project has experienced a host of problems, which were described by University of Hawaii professor Panos Prevedoros in January, who called the project “the nation’s largest infrastructure fiasco by far” on a per capita basis.  read more »

California Companies Head for Greatness – Outside of California

Why would companies located in one of the most beautiful states in the country – California – undertake the costly proposition of relocating to places with less scenic appeal and less-than-ideal weather?

There are three answers and they relate to California’s business environment: Regulations, taxes and anxiety.  read more »

Working Age Population Around the World 1960-2050

A fast growing economy usually requires a growing working-age population.  It is informative in this regard to look at the size of the working-age population (wap) for different regions and countries of the world.  read more »

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How To Develop Detroit

Detroit's downtown is gentrifying— or, to be more accurate, a very small portion of the 139 square miles that make up the city is doing so, as it becomes populated by a new generation of workers. But the city's vast, remaining area is mostly blighted. A massive effort has been made to remove substandard and neglected homes, creating large sections ripe for redevelopment.  read more »

Australian Treasurer Given Primer on Housing Economics

Wodonga (Victoria) mother of two Mel Wilson has made headlines across Australia with an open letter to Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey on housing affordability. In commenting on Australia's housing affordability crisis, the Treasurer has told a press conference "The starting point for a first home buyer is to get a good job that pays good money."  read more »