Does the Tax Code Favor Homeowners?

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For many years, a common complaint has been that the provisions of the Federal Internal Revenue Code, and most state income tax codes, favor homeownership in the form of major tax deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes. With the exception of those who reside in government housing of some type (subsidized apartments, public college dormitories, military housing, jails and penitentiaries), the homeless, almost all U.S. residents either live in a home they, or their family, owns or is paying off the mortgage, or they rent.  read more »

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Commuting Data for 2016

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Last week, the Census Bureau posted 2016 data from the American Community Survey, including population, income, housing, employment, and commuting data among many other categories. The survey is based on data from more than 3.5 million households. Today, the Antiplanner will look at commuting data: how people got to work in 2016 compared with previous years.  read more »

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Trouble in Trump County, USA

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By rights, Scott County, a rural Indiana community of 24,000, should be flourishing. It’s in a pro-business state. It’s part of the large, successful 1.2 million-person Louisville, Kentucky, metro area that’s been growing total jobs (75,300, or 12.9 percent) and manufacturing positions (19,600, or 31.6 percent) in the last five years. Scott County is an easy half-hour commute from downtown Louisville.  read more »

The Changing Face of Anti-Semitism

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When Donald Trump was elected president, much of American Jewish leadership reacted with something close to hysteria. To some, Trump’s presidency reflected the traditional face of the anti-Semitic right — xenophobic, nationalist and culturally conservative.  read more »

Update on Median Household Incomes: 2016

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Just released Survey of Current Population (CPS) indicates that median household income in the United States was $59,039 in 2016 (Note). This is four percent above the 2002 level, when the ethnic surveying system was adopted. This article provides data for each of the metropolitan areas (more than 1,000,000 population), including the overall median, and figures for the largest ethnicities (White Non-Hispanic, African-American, Asian, and Hispanic. The ethnicity of households is determined by "householder," (formerly called "head of household").  read more »

The Trouble With The Congress For New Urbanism

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I’ve been asked to submit a proposal for the next Congress for New Urbanism in May of 2018 by one of the organizers in Savannah, Georgia. I declined the first two times I was asked, then reluctantly agreed to offer a tentative outline the third time I was approached. I’m not convinced the committee will have much use for what I have to say.  read more »

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Integration -- We've Been Doing It All Wrong

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I recently had a revelation about the American approach to racial integration. We've been doing it all wrong, and its had disastrous impacts on African-Americans. Our cities are facing another integration challenge today, and we're in danger of repeating the same mistakes.  read more »

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Back Office Decentralization

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In my “superstar effect” series I’ve been presenting examples of where superstars (whether individuals or cities) are generating a disproportionate share of the rewards these days.

I mentioned that I had some counter-examples and wanted to share one today. Namely that backoffice decentralization, or the move of less-than-superstar functions out of superstar cities, has benefitted a certain class of places like Denver and Salt Lake City.  read more »

Neighborfest: Building a Stronger, More Connected World from the Block Up

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As we write this piece, the whole world is watching in disbelief as rain and flooding wreak devastation again along the Gulf Coast and Florida. Upwards of 50 inches of rain fell in parts of Southern Texas, thousands have been displaced from their homes in Miami and Houston, and some residents may never fully recover their livelihoods and homes. The Mayor of Houston called upon neighbors to help each other while first responders did their best to respond to the thousands of calls for help.  read more »

How To Deal With An Age of Disasters

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When Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston, followed by a strong hurricane in Florida, much of the media response indicated that the severe weather was a sign of catastrophic climate change, payback for mass suburbanization — and even a backlash by Mother Nature against the election of President Donald Trump.  read more »