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The income-verification police: Part 1, claim

5 April, 2011 (11:55) | Affordability, Apartments, Cities, Co-ops, Income verification, Litigation, New York City, Rental, Theory |

By: David A. Smith   To live in any particular urban housing, you need a minimum income, because you have to afford the payments.  (Even the most wretched urban slums have an occupancy cost, and public housing has operating costs and means-adjusted resident copayments.)  To live in any particular affordable housing, you need a maximum […]

“You have the right to remain stupid”

4 April, 2011 (12:21) | California, Green, Housing, Innovations, Regulation, US News, Utilities |

By: David A. Smith   “You have the right to remain stupid.”   “Anything you say can and will be used …” <Prompting> “… as a flotation device.”   Via loyal reader Matthew Healy comes a Mercury News testimonial to the blinkered, philistine pig-ignorance allowed as a sovereign and inalienable American right:   PUC orders […]

Nimlby ethical development

1 April, 2011 (18:28) | Cities, Development, Infrastructure, Local issues, Neighborhood, New York, NIMBY, Theory, Urban life |

By: David A. Smith       “It’s good enough for the poor.”   Right outside our front yard run power and telephone lines.    Bus rapid transit – in Bogota, Colombia   My office silence is occasionally disturbed by demolition hammers rumbling the street six floors below my window.  I accept these intrusions on my […]

To firmly curb what no one has curbed before: Part 2, by market forces

31 March, 2011 (19:24) | Bubbles, China, Global news, Homeownership, Housing, Markets, Policy, Regulation, Speculation |

[Continued from yesterday's Part. 1] By: David A. Smith Yesterday we interpreted a Xinhua new story, about China’s package of new measures announced ‘to firmly curb’ high prices, as signaling two things: I am changing policy 1. There is a huge bubble in Chinese housing prices, and it continues to expand. 2. Within the Chinese […]

To firmly curb what no one has curbed before: Part 1, by orders

30 March, 2011 (17:05) | Bubbles, China, Global news, Homeownership, Housing, Markets, Policy, Regulation, Speculation |

By: David A. Smith    Though markets can be neither tamed nor capped, that doesn’t stop politicians from bravely announcing they will refute the Laws of Economic Gravity and Market Clearance, as revealed in this curiously incurious article from Xinhua:   China to firmly curb excessive rise of housing prices in cities   They’re splitting […]