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The high-rise’s mahout

20 April, 2011 (17:35) | Apartments, Cities, Condominiums, Elephants, High-rise, Mahouts, Maintenance, Management, New York City, Superintendent |

By: David A. Smith   Elephants, particularly Indian elephants, are long-lived, apparently indestructible, highly intelligent, faithful, and often affectionate.    Let’s pressure-wash your exterior   Yet they are not nimble, fast, or well suited to precise activities, so they benefit from mahouts, human handlers who provide them what they need, and who in turn benefit […]

That’s not inflation, you only *think* it’s inflation

19 April, 2011 (13:24) | Apartments, Housing, Inflation, Rental, Tenure, US News | 1 comment

By: David A. Smith    What is inflation?, asked jesting Descartes, and would not stay for answers.   What makes you think this is a blot?   In politics, perception is reality, so what happens is less important than what the vast bulk of people perceive to be reality.  For most of us, inflation is […]

Month in Review February 2011

15 April, 2011 (10:52) | Admin, India, Month in review, Rental, Subprime, Syria, Theory, US News |

By: David A. Smith   [Previous Months in Review available here: Jan 11.]   How quickly things can change: midway through February, I posted in two parts on Syria, praising the historic restoration efforts in old Aleppo, in Bypassing the twentieth century: Part 1, the past is ever with us, and Part 2, the future […]

Evicted upward

14 April, 2011 (11:47) | China, Cities, Density, Eminent domain, Eviction, Housing, Land use, Law, Urbanization, Zoning | 1 comment

By: David A. Smith   Having by now written extensively on China, I’ve become convinced that three mutually reinforcing phenomena underlie its real estate and affordable housing challenges:   1. Rapid economic development driving rapid urbanization. 2. A dysfunctional land-and-local-government system that is a money factory. 3. Weak eminent-domain rights and a coercive government.   […]

The wrong way to be a global-south non-profit: Part 3, untruth will never set you free

13 April, 2011 (11:45) | Ecosystem, Education, Global news, Grants, Madonna, Malawi, Nonprofits, Philanthropy | 3 comments

By: David A. Smith   [Continued from yesterday's Part 2 and the preceding Part 1.]   [I’ve constructed this multi-part post from three principal sources: the Guardian (21 Jan 11, Calibri), Newsweek (3 Apr 11, Georgia), and the New York Times (24 Mar 11, Arial).  I sought and failed to obtain a copy of the Global […]