Economics

Bringing Down Housing Prices in the Bay Area

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On Sunday the New York Times ran a story on the difficulties of building new housing in California, focusing on the city of Berkeley. There’s a lot of good in the piece, including the insane difficulties of getting approvals to build even when you propose something in keeping with the existing zoning.  read more »

Mind the Gap

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I spent the last several years on an extended tangent exploring land use policy, the dynamics of a shifting economic and political landscape, and popular interpretations of how things should be. I’ve come to a peculiar set of conclusions and it’s not what I expected.  read more »

The Cities Where A Paycheck Stretches The Furthest 2017

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We often conflate high salaries with prosperity, but that can be deceptive. Someone who lives in New York or San Francisco might make more money than a counterpart in the same profession in Houston or Dallas-Fort Worth, but when the cost of living is factored in, their Southern colleagues may actually come out ahead.  read more »

St. Louis and the Consequences of Consolidation

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Brian Feldman’s piece about how consolidation killed St. Louis got a lot of attention when it came out last year. He argues that a rollback of anti-trust regulations that allowed industrial consolidation was the silent killer of what were once key regional business capitals like St. Louis.  read more »

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#MeToo Solidarity

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Sexual harassment is both a labor and gender justice issue. After all, the workplace is the epicenter of women’s recent outrage about sexual harassment and assault. Hollywood titans, respected reporters, and celebrity chefs all used their power over women’s paychecks in order to gain power over their bodies. Women (and some men) have responded by speaking out individually, yet their inspiration is decidedly collective; strength in numbers is what’s fueling the revelatory headlines.  read more »

COU Standard of Living Index 2017 – 2nd Annual Edition

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In this policy brief, The COU Standard of Living Index, COU provides cost of living estimates for new entrants to metropolitan markets, including prospective home buyers as well as renters. See the report to understand the detailed criteria used to create the standard of living index.  read more »

To Revitalize Rust Belt Cities, First Stabilize Their Budgets

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We seem to be in the process of rediscovering the Rust Belt, as a result of Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the 2016 presidential election. Anyone who has recently visited Detroit, Youngstown or Erie can understand what Trump meant when he spoke in his inaugural address of “American carnage.”  read more »

The Price of Texas Growth: Housing Affordability

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The strong recovery from the Great Recession, fueled by the shale oil boom, propelled the demand for single-family homes in Texas. Homebuilders have been unable to keep pace with increasing demand. Supply is limited by the availability of land and labor constraints, pushing up home prices.  read more »

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One In Five L.A. Community College Students Have Experienced Homelessness

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One would not usually associate homelessness with college students but in the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) about one in every five students has experienced homelessness, according to the LACCD Report on Survey of Student Basic Needs.  read more »

Nobody Knows Nothing in Corporate America

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If you want to understand why a lot of America’s youth embrace socialism today, just look at this small but revealing story about General Electric. Former CEO Jeff Immelt apparently didn’t just fly around the world in a corporate jet, a fairly standard practice, he had an empty spare corporate jet follow him around just in case anything happened to the jet he was actually using.  read more »

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