Housing

The End of Aspiration

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Since the end of the Second World War, middle- and working-class people across the Western world have sought out—and, more often than not, achieved—their aspirations. These usually included a stable income, a home, a family, and the prospect of a comfortable retirement.  read more »

The Opium Of California

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The current frenzy of new IPOs — Uber, Lyft, Slack, Postmates, Pinterest and Airbnb — seems destined to reinforce progressive notions that California represents the future not just for the state, but the nation. It will certainly reinforce California’s fiscal dependency on tech-dominated elites — half of the state’s income taxes come from people making over $500,000 a year — and provide a huge potential multi-billion dollar windfall for the state treasury.  read more »

Killing the California Dream

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Californians need to give up on their dream of a “ranch-house lifestyle” and an “ample backyard” and the state should become “more like New York City,” writes LA Times columnist George Skelton (reprinted in the Mercury-News and East Bay Times in case you run into the LA Times paywall). After reading his article, the Antiplanner has just one question: Why?  read more »

California Using Band-Aids for Homeless Wounds

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The problem with the California economy is not greenness. It’s homelessness. Get these people off our streets first. Make living like a human being affordable again. If there is no incentive to work, why work.

Every year there are over 2,500+ new bills expected to fill the annual calendar of the 80 Assemblymen and 40 Senators of the California State legislature. Fortunately, most never make it to the Governor for signature.  read more »

Impact of California's Housing Prices on Construction Workers

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This report takes a close look at the impact of California’s very high residential prices on the ability of construction workers — the very people who build our homes — to afford to live within the markets where they are work.

It does so by reviewing the number of workers and pay scales in 50 different construction occupations. It distinguishes between pay levels for all construction workers and those who are in unions. The research separately studies Southern California and the San Francisco (SF) Bay Area since real estate markets are subject to very different forces depending upon their geographic location.  read more »

Escaping the Strait Jacket of "Place"

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We like to think of "place" as something positive, something that sets our patterns of living in a good way, but sometimes those patterns and forms become a strait jacket that keep our communities from evolving and growing. Sometimes you have to throw off that strait jacket, and Seattle, where 150,000 people have moved in the last 20 years, seems to be doing just that.  read more »

The City Of Dallas Needs A Homebuilding Boom To Ensure Economic Success

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While the North Texas economy is booming, the core city of Dallas faces challenges bedeviling other cities: a dwindling middle class, bifurcation into neighborhoods of haves and have-nots, and an emerging home affordability problem.  read more »

California's Message: You Built That, Now Get Out!

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The people who build our homes increasingly can no longer afford them. As the state elite and their academic cheering crew celebrate our progressive boom, even the most skilled, unionized construction workers, notes an upcoming study, cannot afford to live anywhere close to the state’s major job centers.  read more »

The State of Jefferson

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Last year a neighbor began flying a State of Jefferson flag on the side of his house that faces mine. I had no idea what it represented, so I looked it up. Short version: the 23 rural northern counties of California want to break away from the rest of the state so they can do their own thing.  read more »

Millennial Preferences: Not So Different

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Economists at the Federal Reserve Board have published exhaustive research on Millennial spending patterns and generally find that they are similar to those of other generations (See: “Are Millennials Different?,” by Christopher Kurz, Geng Li, and Daniel J. Vine). The research examines Consumer Expenditure (CE) Survey data and the conclusion is summarized by the authors:  read more »