Urban Issues

The Housing Racket Goes On

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Once again, I feel compelled to write about house prices. Why? Because it is the most important cause of social distress in New Zealand today, and that by a large margin. There would still be social problems if house prices were half their present level, but they would be vastly more manageable – child poverty would be much reduced, mental health would be better, there would be less homelessness, there would be fewer suicides, and educational progress would be better if kids didn’t have to move between one over-crowded home and another at too frequent intervals.  read more »

California is a Bastion of Innovation Marred by Deep Inequality. Is That America's Future?

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Everyone seems to be California dreaming these days. Much of America, particularly its red parts, see California as a hopeless dystopia best understood as everything the nation should avoid. Meanwhile, for the progressive Left and many around Joe Biden, California is the Mecca, a great role model being attacked by jealous reactionaries.  read more »

The Next American Cities, a New Report from Urban Reform Insitute

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The urban form has shifted throughout history. This has been critical to its success. Today we are on the cusp of another transition, ushered in by new technologies and changing demographics, and accelerated by a devastating pandemic. Although these forces affect all geographies, the best chance of success and growth lies in what we define as The Next American City.  read more »

Ultimate Agglomeration Diseconomy: The Standard of Living

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Important new ground was broken by Judge Clark, Senior Director of and Research at the Cicero Institute in his Breakthrough Institute Journal essay. In “Sprawl is Good: The Environmental Case for Suburbia,“ he topples foundational assumptions underlying the planning battle against urban expansion (the ideological term is “urban sprawl”).  read more »

Why There Is an Acceleration of Highland Park Homes Being Torn Down

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For decades, Highland Park, a wealthy older suburb two miles from downtown Dallas, homes have been torn down, however, this year this activity has accelerated. Perhaps new residents --- the great influx of home buyers from California to Dallas has exacerbated some problems, with the most troubling being the escalation of Highland Park homes in Dallas being torn down. It is not just the raw numbers of people moving to Dallas. Usually, corporate relocations move hundreds of middle level employees and a few executives.  read more »

Trouble in Paradise: The Crumbling California Model

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Some horrified conservatives dismiss California as the progressive dystopia, bound for bankruptcy and, let’s hope, growing irrelevance.  read more »

U.S. Road Conditions and Performance in 2020

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While Americans drove their cars only 84 percent as many miles in 2020 as in 2019, according to data recently published by the Federal Highway Administration, they drove semi-trucks 101 percent as many miles.  read more »

The Carpetbagger's Guide to Homeownership

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In March I bought a modest house in Madison, Wisconsin as a rental property. I worked with good local professionals to bring that house up to a better standard and in July I found excellent high quality tenants. We have cordial relations and I’m confident they feel they’re getting excellent value for their money and are happy in their new home. That property is now contributing to my long term diversified retirement plan.  read more »

Vehicle Miles Traveled vs. Pay-at-the-Pump Gas Tax

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For some years now, policy wonks have proposed replacing the pay-at-the-pump gas tax with a “vehicle miles traveled” system. The reasons take a few different paths but are mostly centered around the issue of the fairness of “user fees” compared to purchase taxation, an idea made more relevant by the proliferation of non-gas using electric cars.  read more »

The Left Doesn't Own Minority Voters

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Demographic transitions present political opportunities, but do not protect politicians from their own folly. The shift in most Western countries to a more racially and ethnically diverse demographic has been widely seen by left-wingers as an opportunity to cement their ascendancy.  read more »