Economics

Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits Aren't Helping Low-Income People

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Tax credits provided by the federal government to developers of low-income housing are poorly monitored and have suffered from mission creep. Instead of providing housing to households whose incomes are below the poverty line, many states are using these funds to socially engineer people into living in high-density housing projects along transit corridors.  read more »

Subjects:

The Coronavirus Reopened America's Wounds — and Poured Salt in Them

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Yes, the coronavirus hit the president and his White House hard, likely because of the irresponsible choices this president has made, but let’s not kid ourselves: The virus has devastated with alarming efficiency minorities and the impoverished, particularly in cities, while accelerating our return to a more hierarchical and far le  read more »

Americans Won't Live in the Pod

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“No Bourgeois, No Democracy”
Barrington Moore

Protecting and fighting for the middle class regularly dominates rhetoric on the Right and Left. Yet activists on both sides now often seek to undermine single-family home ownership, the linchpin of middle-class aspiration.  read more »

Blue Today, Bluer Tomorrow

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The long-rising blue tide that has colored American politics and values may have crested, but it could still have enough momentum to make it through the election year. Even if Trump is somehow reelected, the wielders of power and influence — academia, media, Wall Street, Hollywood, the big-tech oligarchs, the dominant nonprofits, and the governmental apparat — will remain deep blue for the foreseeable future.  read more »

Newsom Vows to Fast Track Toward Germany's Failed Climate Goals

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Governor Newsom announced on Friday September 11th that he is about to take one giant step toward following Germany’s failed climate goals which should be a wake-up all for governments everywhere. Like Germany, California’s renewables are becoming an increasing share in intermittent electricity generation, but at a HIGH COST.  read more »

2020 Election, Market Flywheel, and more

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2020 Election

The outcome of the election is likely to be closer than most observers expected only a few weeks ago. In their view at the time, President Trump’s unusual communication style, his management of the pandemic, the poor economy (notwithstanding the stock market) and the urban protests all seemed to point to a Joe Biden victory in November.

Since then, several factors have emerged however:  read more »

Subjects:

Why the 2020 Election Will be Decided in Suburbia

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American politics is increasingly about dueling geographies. Democrats have become the party of the nation’s cities, while the Republican Party finds its base in rural, small town and low-density exurban America  read more »

Lazaretto Dining

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Last week a friend asked me for help in his back garden. This is the first time he’s owned a proper home rather than a condo and he’s not sure how to manage the yard. We’re in a part of the world where it doesn’t rain for most of the year and hand watering gets old fast. I brought over samples of the irrigation tubes and drip emitters I like to use and walked him through the installation process.  read more »

The Great American Land Rush of 2020

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The Great American Land Rush of 2020 is underway in many metro areas across the country. Large numbers of American workers are untethered from a central office. As a result many are moving to less dense areas with less expensive land (and homes) and more of both. The greater New York City and Los Angeles metros are the hardest hit. Take NYC where single-family residential land per acre is 24 times as expensive in the densest quintile of zip codes as compared to the least dense quintile ($3.06 million vs. $129,000).  read more »

The Rust Belt's Strange Demographics

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Many Heartland cities continue to suffer the after effects of deindustrialization. One of them is South Bend, Indiana, the former mid-sized automobile manufacturing center home to the now defunct Studebaker.  read more »