rent control

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pages: 518 words: 170,126

City for Sale: The Transformation of San Francisco by Chester W. Hartman, Sarah Carnochan


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Bay Area Rapid Transit, big-box store, business climate, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Loma Prieta earthquake, manufacturing employment, new economy, New Urbanism, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, strikebreaker, union organizing, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, young professional

Quite simply, they attempted to manipulate and deceive the voters beyond what reasonable people thought fair. Calling themselves Californians for Fair Rents, the group circulated “Rent Control” petitions, a title the state’s attorney general even assigned to the initiative. (According to the breezily frank wording of the newsletter of the California Association of Realtors, one of the proposition’s sponsors, “This title may appear misleading to Realtors as the measure would in no way establish rent controls. However, the title is more likely to make getting signatures easier since the majority of state voters appear to favor some form of rent controls.”)77 But what the proposed constitutional amendment actually called for was the repeal of all existing local rent control ordinances (an estimated 800,000 California households were at that time protected by such ordinances in nineteen localities, including San Jose, Los Angeles County, Berkeley, and Santa Monica, in addition to San Francisco), and replacing them only if new construction was permanently exempt; if annual rent increases equal to the full Consumer Price Index were allowed (over and above increases to recover improvement and repair costs); if the voters themselves passed the ordinance via the initiative process (rather than passage by the local legislature); if the ordinance provided for vacancy decontrol; and if the ordinance expired after four years.

David Brigode, “A Broad Overview—the San Francisco Housing Crisis: Data, Analysis, Evaluations, and Recommendations” (Masters thesis, San Francisco State University, 1983), 30. 71. “The Case for Vacancy Decontrol,” 16. 72. Ibid., 4. 73. Corrie Anders, “Showdown on Rent Control,” San Francisco Examiner, 8 January 1984. 74. Evelyn Hsu, “Board Votes Today on Rent Control,” San Francisco Chronicle, 9 January 1984; see also Tim Redmond, “Cliffhanger Finish Expected in Tenants’ Attempt to Strengthen S.F. Rent Control,” San Francisco Bay Guardian, 4 January 1984. 75. “Feinstein Veto Upheld on Rent Control Law,” San Francisco Chronicle, 27 June 1986. 76. A review of housing activism at the state level in California may be found in Allan David Heskin, Tenants and the American Dream (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1983), 39 –65. 77. Quoted in Jerry Roberts, “Behind the Fierce Battle over Proposition 10,” San Francisco Chronicle, 23 May 1980. 78.

Real estate interests raised ten times that amount, to portray the “Renters Rebate Initiative” as a thinly disguised form of the dreaded rent control. (The proposed ordinance limited rent increases so as to prevent landlords from circumventing the law’s intent via the obvious ploy of raising rents to offset the required rebate to tenants.) Using sophisticated polling and publicity techniques that were to blossom in later elections, the real estate group was able to defeat the Renters Rebate Initiative, 53 to 47 percent. A landlord leaflet quoted Supervisor Dan White to the effect that rent control “will clog the courts, put more criminals on the streets, and lead to less respect for the law.” Winning Rent Control Although failing to pass an ordinance clearly beneficial to tenants in a dominantly tenant city was discouraging, the organizers drew valuable lessons: start earlier, organize better and more widely, aim higher.

Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government by Robert Higgs, Arthur A. Ekirch, Jr.


Alistair Cooke, clean water, collective bargaining, credit crunch, declining real wages, endowment effect, fiat currency, full employment, hiring and firing, income per capita, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, manufacturing employment, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-industrial society, price discrimination, profit motive, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration

Supreme Court on appeal. 52 The main issue was whether emergency conditions justified the exercise of otherwise unconstitutional powers by a state government. The most compelling precedents for an affirmative answer were Wilson v. New, wherein the Court had upheld the Adamson Act, and the rent-control cases of 1921, wherein the Court had sustained the postwar rent-control laws of New York and the District of Columbia because of conditions represented as constituting or growing out of emergency. The force of the rent-control decisions was uncertain, however, as Justice Holmes himself had previously said that "they went to the very verge of the law." Counsel for the state of Minnesota conceded that "in normal times and under normal conditions" the state's moratorium law would be unconstitutional. "But these," he urged, "are not normal times nor normal conditions.

Not until 1923 did the Supreme Court decide that the emergency had passed and refuse to validate a 1921 extension of the 1919 rent-control act in the District of Columbia. Chastleton Corp. v. Sinclair, 264 U.S. 543 (1924). Commenting on this decision, Edward S. Corwin wrote: "The power of the Court to take notice of an emergency is, it appears, a two-edged sword, but its anti-government edge descends only after the emergency is over." Total If'ar and the Constitution (New York: Knopf, 1947), p. 83. Fifty years. after the court ruled on Block and Marcus Brown, these decisions were employed to establish the constitutionality of a Rent Control Enabling Act when the government of Cambridge, Massachusetts, declared a "housing emergency" and imposed local rent controls. Peter Navarro, The Policy Game: How Special Interests and Ideologues Are Stealing America (New 'York: Wiley, 1984), pp. 14, 302. 83.

"[T]he complete and undivided character of the war power of the United States," said the Chief Justice in the railroad decision, "is not disputable."81 Whatever the wisdom of placing the government's emergency powers beyond effective legal challenge during the war, the selfsame powers in several instances lingered on, long after the guns had ceased firing in France. As late as the spring of 1921 the Court ruled that a rent-control ordinance that Congress had imposed in late 1919 in the District of Columbia-"its provisions were made necessary by emergencies growing out of the war""was not, in the prevailing circumstances, an unconstitutional restriction of the owner's dominion and right of contract or a taking of his property for a use not public." The ruling, which placed great emphasis on the temporariness of the disputed rent controls, seemed to the dissenters to open the door HistOTY 150 to all kinds of governmental restrictions of the private right of contract. "As a power in government," wrote Justice McKenna, "if it exist at all, it is perennial and universal. . . .

pages: 25 words: 7,179

Why Government Is the Problem by Milton Friedman


affirmative action, Bretton Woods, floating exchange rates, invisible hand, rent control, urban renewal

Charles Murray's study of these phenomena in his book Losing Ground provides persuasive evidence that these social problems owe a great deal to mistaken and misdirected governmental policies.2 Personally, I would add another misdirected governmental policy, which he does not consider, that I believe played a key role in the breakdown of social and cultural values—though by a rather indirect route—namely, military conscription. But that is an argument for a different day. Housing Another social problem is the high cost of housing and the destruction of housing. The North Bronx looks like the pictures recently coming from Yugoslavia of areas that have been shelled. There is no doubt what the cause is: rent control in the city of New York, both directly and via the government taking over many dwelling units because rent control prevented owners from keeping them up. The same results have been experienced wherever rent control has been adopted and enforced, though New York is by all odds the worst case. In addition, the proliferation all over the country of building regulations, zoning laws, and other governmental actions has raised the cost of housing drastically. A friend in California has been a building contractor since before World War II.

It has caused vastly more harm to innocent victims, including the public at large and especially the residents of the inner cities, than any good it has done for those who would choose to use the prohibited narcotics if they were legal. There would be some innocent victims (e.g., crack babies) even if drugs were legalized. But they would be far fewer, and much more could be done to reduce their number and help the remainder. Homelessness What produced the current wave of homelessness around the country, which is a disgrace and a scandal? Much of it was produced by government action. Rent control has contributed, though it has been even more damaging in other ways, as has the governmental decision to empty mental facilities and turn people out on the streets and urban renewal and public housing programs, which together have destroyed far more housing units than they have built and let many public housing units become breeding grounds for crime and viciousness. Family Values Government alone has not been responsible for the extraordinary collapse that has occurred in family values and the resulting explosion in the number of teenage pregnancies, illegitimate births, and one-parent families.

pages: 242 words: 60,595

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher, Bruce Patton


cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, rent control, sealed-bid auction, transaction costs

It helps to have stock phrases like "It's not a question of trust" to turn aside ploys like Mrs. Jones's plea for trust. "Could I ask you a few questions to see whether my facts are right?" TURNBULL: Could I ask you a few questions to see whether the facts I've been given are right? Is the apartment really under rent control? Is the legal maximum rent really $233? Paul asked me whether this makes us parties to a violation of law. Did someone inform Paul at the time he signed the lease that the apartment was under rent control, and that the legal maximum was $67 lower than the rent he agreed to? Analysis. Statements of fact can be threatening. Whenever you can, ask a question instead. Turnbull might have declared, "The legal rent is $233. You broke the law. What's worse, you involved us in breaking the law without telling us so."

This flattering assumption leads the other side to search for reasons even if there are none, thus keeping the negotiation on the basis of principle. "Let me see if I understand what you're saying" TURNBULL: Let me see if I understand what you're saying, Mrs. Jones. If I've understood you correctly, you think the rent we paid is fair because you made a lot of repairs and improve-ments to the apartment since the last rent control evaluation. It wasn't worth your while to ask the Rent Control Board for an increase for the few months you rented the place to us. In fact, you rented it only as a favor to Paul. And now you're concerned that we may take unfair advantage of you and try to get money from you as the price for moving out. Is there something I've missed or misunderstood? Analysis. Principled negotiation requires good communication. Before responding to Mrs.

Getting them to play: The case of Jones Realty and Frank Turnbullyou a feel for how you might deal with a party who is reluctant to engage in principled The following real-life example of a negotiation between a landlord and tenant should give negotiation. It illustrates what it means to change the game by starting to play a new one. The case in brief. Frank Turnbull rented an apartment in March from Jones Realty for $300 a month. In July, when he and his roommate, Paul, wanted to move out, Turnbull learned that the apartment was under rent control. The maximum legal rent was $233 a month — $67 less than he had been paying. Disturbed that he had been overcharged, Turnbull called on Mrs. Jones of Jones Realty to discuss the problem. At first, Mrs. Jones was unreceptive and hostile. She claimed to be right and accused Turnbull of ingratitude and blackmail. After several long negotiating sessions, however, Mrs. Jones agreed to reimburse Turnbull and his roommate.

pages: 298 words: 95,668

Milton Friedman: A Biography by Lanny Ebenstein


affirmative action, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, Deng Xiaoping, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, labour market flexibility, Lao Tzu, liquidity trap, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, Ponzi scheme, price stability, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, stem cell, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen

It contains much statistical data, with many charts of information. It is a predecessor in style, though on a lesser scale, of Friedman’s later great work affiliated with the National Bureau, A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960. During the year at Minnesota, Friedman and Stigler coauthored a pamphlet on rent control for the New York–based libertarian Foundation for Economic Education, titled “Roofs or Ceilings?” The pamphlet was a polemic against rent control, which had emerged as a wartime measure. Friedman and Stigler argued that rent control leads to fewer rental units, lower-quality rental units, greater nonprice discrimination, and inefficient use of rental units. If controls were eliminated, the shortage of housing that developed during the war as resources were directed to other purposes would quickly end. The pamphlet was attacked by academics and commentators who found its arguments inconsistent with the pro-government and pro-intervention tenor of the times.

According to the economic historian William Frazer, “Recalling Friedman’s Chicago year 1934–35 with Henry Schultz, Martin Bronfenbrenner [another Chicago student of the era] remembered Friedman mainly as a statistician rather than an economist, and Abba Lerner . . . recalled Friedman as being non-political in 1937.”12 According to Leonard Silk, who has also written on Friedman, early in his career Friedman seemed “more eager to be known as a first-class technician and objective social scientist than as a political crusader.”13 Paul Samuelson remembers Friedman as a grad student as “not primarily a macroeconomist. Just a really smart guy ready to be into anything,” noting that Friedman’s Chicago teachers were “macroeconomists.”14 Friedman expressed these views as late as a 1946 pamphlet with George Stigler opposing rent control: “For those, like us, who would like even more equality than there is at present . . . , it is surely better to attack directly existing inequalities in income and wealth at their source than to ration each of the hundreds of commodities and services that compose our standard of living.”15 In a 1948 article, Friedman wrote that among his long-run objectives was “substantial equality of economic power....

The pamphlet was attacked by academics and commentators who found its arguments inconsistent with the pro-government and pro-intervention tenor of the times. “Roofs or Ceilings?” “outraged the profession,” according to Paul Samuelson. “That shows you where we were in our mentality in the immediate postwar period.”5 Robert Bangs wrote in the American Economic Review: “Removal of rent controls would not solve the housing problem, but it could easily contribute to a worsening inequality.”6 Half a million copies of the pamphlet were circulated by the National Association of Real Estate Boards, and it has been republished many times since. Through 1945, Friedman was closer, geographically and in spirit, to the New York area than to Chicago. Rose remarks that they had “many friends in New York and led an active social life” there.

Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right by Jennifer Burns


anti-communist, bank run, barriers to entry, centralized clearinghouse, collective bargaining, desegregation, feminist movement, financial independence, George Gilder, invisible hand, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, lone genius, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent control, road to serfdom, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, side project, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, The Wisdom of Crowds, union organizing, urban renewal, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog

was written as Friedman, then a new faculty member at Minnesota, was moving away from a position he characterized as “thoroughly Keynesian” to his later libertarianism. Friedman had long opposed rent control for its inefficiencies. He and Stigler argued that by interfering with the free working of the market, rent control removed incentives to create more housing stock, improve existing units, or share housing. Therefore it created, rather than alleviated, the housing shortage. They did not question the underlying motivation for rent control, even identifying themselves as people “who would like even more equality than there is at present.”44 The problem with rent control was simply that it did not achieve its stated policy objectives. This dispassionate tone infuriated Rand, who saw Roofs or Ceilings? through the lenses of her experience in Communist Russia.

Otherwise, if the very motive of capitalism was “declared to be immoral, the whole system becomes immoral, and the motor of the system stops dead.”42 It was the same criticism she had made of Hayek: a partial case for the free market was worse than no argument at all. Read was naturally more cautious. Like Rand he believed that government functions such as rent control, public education, the Interstate Commerce Commission, military training, and the Post Office should all be done by “voluntary action.” But he told her, “I had luncheon last week with the chief executive of the country’s largest utility holding Corp. and a financial editor of the Journal American. They are regarded as reactionaries, yet each of these gents, while being [against] price controls generally, suffered rent control. This is typical.” With an eye to public perception, Read had chosen the FEE’s rather bland name rather than use the inflammatory word “individualism,” as Rand had urged.43 Although Rand was generally pleased with Read’s efforts, she could see nothing but apostasy where others saw necessary compromises with political and economic realities.

“Do you really think that calling the free pricing system a ‘rationing’ system is merely confusing and innocuous?” she asked in an angry letter to Mullendore, a FEE trustee. She believed the authors were trying to make the word “respectable” and thus convince Americans to accept permanent and total rationing. Focusing entirely on the hidden implications of the pamphlet, Rand saw the authors’ overt argument against rent control as “mere window dressing, weak, ineffectual, inconclusive and unconvincing.” Rand believed that Friedman and Stigler were insincere in their argument against rent control because they failed to invoke any moral principles to support their case. And when they did mention morality, it was to speak favorably of equality and humanitarianism. She fumed to Mullendore, “Not one word about the inalienable right of landlords and property owners . . . not one word about any kind of principles.

pages: 289 words: 99,936

Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age by Virginia Eubanks


affirmative action, Berlin Wall, call centre, cognitive dissonance, desegregation, Fall of the Berlin Wall, future of work, game design, global village, index card, informal economy, invisible hand, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, low-wage service sector, microcredit, new economy, post-industrial society, race to the bottom, rent control, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, telemarketer, Thomas L Friedman, trickle-down economics, union organizing, urban planning, web application, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor

Only the District of Columbia and a few cities in four states—California, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey—have rent control or stabilization laws. These laws limit how much and when rent can be raised and create a rent control board that, among other things, decides the maximum Conclusion 167 amount a landlord can charge for rental units and conditions under which a tenant can be evicted. Rent control and rent stabilization protect individuals and communities in times of rapid economic change, guarding long-time and low-income residents against displacement during speculative real estate booms. Most small cities, like Troy, lack rent control, and are thus especially vulnerable to rapid gentrification. Like rent control, community benefits agreements (CBAs) protect existing residents in times of volatile economic change.

In our interview in 2003, she told me that her favorite part of WYMSM was the feeling that “There was no limit to what we could do as a group, if we put in the work. In my life, I’ve always felt restricted and limited in the things I thought I could do. But I learned by being in WYMSM that I can do anything.” Zianaveva was the first to point out that YW residents were increasingly unable to find independent housing in Troy because the economic changes of the early 2000s were forcing poor and working-class people out of the area. She argued, “Rent control is a big thing. These private owners are hiking up their rents. The working class and the poor are going to suffer because they can’t afford it. We need to give landlords an incentive to not jump on the bandwagon and hike up their rents.” Ironically, after WYMSM disbanded, Zianaveva was one of the working-class people who could no longer afford to live in Troy. So when she left the YWCA, she left the area, moving further downstate.

See also Social service system Public housing, 167 Puckett, Jim, 169 Race earnings, 70 and education, 57–58 and employment, 69–70 and inequality, 67, 71 and poverty status, 63 Raitano, Zianaveva, 127, 134, 136, 140–142, 156 Real-world technology, 31 Reardon, Kenneth M., 106 “Rebuilding a Good Jobs Economy,” 162 Reconstructed stories, 120, 123 Redistribution, 8 Reform Organization of Welfare (ROWEL), 11 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 83 Rental housing, 52 Rent control, 166–167 Reproductive justice, 29 Research, 164–165 Reynolds, Cathy, 72–73, 91 Rose, Jenn, 42, 45, 108, 139, 143–144 Ross, Loretta J., 79 Sacrificial girls, 19, 169–170 Sally Catlin Resource Center, 5 Sanctioned ignorance, 2 Sanctuary for Independent Media, 145 Scandinavia, 106 Scanlon, Karen, 120 Schneider, Anne L., 96 Schram, Sanford, 140 Schuler, Douglas, 106 Science shops, 164–165 Service Employees International Union (SEIU), 158 Index Service industries, 65, 75–77, 160–162 Settlement House movement, 105 Silicon Valley, 3–4, 51, 61, 168 Sims, The, 119 Single parents, 162 “Sink-or-Swim Economy, The,” 53 Skill sharers, 115 Social contract, 132 Social groups, 26 Social justice, 25–26, 29 cognitive justice, 147–148, 151–152, 163 and distributive paradigm, 36, 45, 81 and high-tech pollution, 168–169 and information economy, 71, 154 and IT, 37, 84–85, 147–148 and popular technology, 126–127 Social location, 23–25, 27–29, 57, 148, 150 Social privilege, 42 Social reproduction, 75 Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), 85–86 Social service system double binds, 125 and information abuse, 92–93 and IT, 89–90 and knowledge fragmentation, 93–94 and limiting options, 90–91 and narrative context, 94–95 and participation, 97 and political learning, 85–86, 97 and surveillance technologies, 82–83 target populations, 96–97 and tracking behavior, 90 and transparency, 91–92 use and disclosure statement, 92–93 and women, 30, 96–98, 120–123, 133 Soss, Joe, 85–86, 97 Standing, Guy, 71 Standpoint, 148, 150–151 Index 265 State of Poverty simulation exercise, 11–16, 217 Stephenson, John B., 169 Tubman, Harriet, 50, 145 2-1-1, 119 Stoeker, Randy, 33 Strauss, Anselm L., 178 Strong objectivity, 146 SUNY, Albany, 83 Surrogate pregnancy, 29 Surveillance technologies, 82 Survival, 140 Systemic inequality, 42 Underground Railroad Conference, 145 Unemployment, 55, 58–61 inequality, 69–70 women, 58, 61, 69–70 Unions, 157–158 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 160 United Way, 119 University of California-Santa Cruz, 83 Urban planning, 107 Use and disclosure statement, 92–93 Technological artifacts, 83–85 Technological Opportunities Program, 166 Technological pessimism, 37 Technology.

pages: 444 words: 138,781

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond


affirmative action, Cass Sunstein, crack epidemic, Credit Default Swap, deindustrialization, desegregation, dumpster diving, ending welfare as we know it, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, late fees, New Urbanism, payday loans, price discrimination, profit motive, rent control, statistical model, superstar cities, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, working poor, young professional

Matthew Desmond and Kristin Perkins, “Are Landlords Overcharging Voucher Holders?,” working paper, Harvard University, June 2015; Cutts and Olsen, “Are Section 8 Housing Subsidies Too High?”; Olsen, “Housing Programs for Low-Income Households.” On housing cost regulation, see Tommy Andersson and Lars-Gunnar Svensson, “Non-Manipulable House Allocation with Rent Control,” Econometrica 82 (2014): 507–39; Richard Arnott, “Time for Revisionism on Rent Control?,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 9 (1995): 99–120. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development recently released a plan to provide voucher holders “with subsidies that better reflect the localized rental market” by proposing “Small Area Fair Market Rents” that “vary by ZIP code and support a greater range of payment standards than can be achieved under existing regulations.”

We know much more about public housing, which serves less than 2 percent of the population, than about inner-city landlords and their properties, which constitute the bulk of housing for the ghetto poor. We know much more about housing vouchers, enjoyed by the lucky minority of low-income families, than about how the majority of low-income families make ends meet unassisted in the private rental market. In 1995, Richard Arnott observed that economists’ “focus on rent control has diverted attention from more important housing policy issues….Not a single paper has been published in a leading journal during the last decade dealing with low-income housing problems.” Richard Arnott, “Time for Revisionism on Rent Control?,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 9 (1995): 99–120, 117. 10. Matthew Desmond and Tracey Shollenberger, “Forced Displacement from Rental Housing: Prevalence and Neighborhood Consequences,” Demography, forthcoming. 11. Matthew Desmond, “Eviction and the Reproduction of Urban Poverty,” American Journal of Sociology 118 (2012): 88–133. 12.

Strikers joined together to withhold rent and form picket lines, risking eviction, arrest, and beatings by hired thugs. They were not an especially radical bunch, these strikers. Most were ordinary mothers and fathers who believed landlords were entitled to modest rent increases and fair profits, but not “price gouging.” In New York City, the great rent wars of the Roaring Twenties forced a state legislature to impose rent controls that remain the country’s strongest to this day.3 Petitions, picket lines, civil disobedience—this kind of political mobilization required a certain shift in vision. “For a protest movement to arise out of [the] traumas of daily life,” the sociologists Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward have observed, “the social arrangements that are ordinarily perceived as just and immutable must come to seem both unjust and mutable.”4 This usually happened during extraordinary times, when large-scale social transformations or economic disturbances—the postwar housing shortage, say—profoundly upset the status quo.

pages: 345 words: 92,849

Equal Is Unfair: America's Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality by Don Watkins, Yaron Brook


3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple II, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, blue-collar work, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Brooks, deskilling, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk,, financial deregulation, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Naomi Klein, new economy, obamacare, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, profit motive, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Uber for X, urban renewal, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor

Thus this price effect may harm the very people whom a minimum wage is supposed to help.”30 And taxes, of course, drive up costs. But there is much more. Take the cost of housing, which is often the greatest financial burden people face. Land-use laws, zoning restrictions, height restrictions, and minimum-lot-size requirements all constrain the supply of housing and help to raise prices in many areas.31 Rent-control laws, among other evils, lead to poor quality of rent-controlled units and higher prices for non-rent-controlled units. So-called urban renewal projects have demolished much of the affordable housing once available to low-income Americans, largely in order to appease outsiders who had enough money to live elsewhere.32 And the government’s “affordable housing” crusade helped spur the housing bubble that drove up the cost of many houses, to the detriment of everyone who didn’t yet own homes.

No society has yet had complete liberty, however. Even in America, there were important restrictions on freedom, including economic freedom, from the start. Slavery was the most glaring and vicious example, but hardly the only one. Today, meanwhile, although we have far more liberty than our feudal ancestors, there are countless ways in which the government restricts our freedom to produce and trade, including minimum wage laws, rent control, occupational licensing laws, tariffs, union shop laws, antitrust laws, government monopolies such as those granted to the post office and the education system, subsidies for industries such as agriculture or wind and solar power, eminent domain laws, wealth redistribution via the welfare state, and the progressive income tax. Unfortunately, these burdens and controls are increasing—and that, not rising economic inequality, is what explains the sense that opportunity is under attack today.

., 39 Petersen, Susan, 66 Pickett, Kate, 7, 79, 118, 121, 123, 211–12 Piketty, Thomas, 9, 20–1, 23, 38, 42, 45–6, 121, 153, 156, 217, 220 Capital in the Twenty-First Century, 4–5, 7, 165–7, 186 on CEO pay, 158, 160–3 on inequality and growth, 110 on inequality of conditions, 192 on inequality of income, 205 on taxation, 212 Piscione, Deborah Perry, 130 Political Action Committees (PACs), 151, 173 political equality, 16, 80, 100, 114, 203, 250n54 and America’s founding, 12–14, 55 and communism, 52 defined, 12 and economic equality, 178–9, 223–4 and freedom, 103–4 and mobility, 118 poverty, 8, 217, 223, 239n43 absolute and relative poverty, 139 antipoverty programs, 45, 138–44 and Cuba, 52–3 and opportunity, 62–3, 73–5, 81, 129, 223 and progress, 98–9 Powell, Benjamin, 64–5 power, 177–85 private property rights, 6, 12–16, 103, 112 privilege, 145–53, 178–81, 223 progress, 89, 144, 212, 223 conditions of, 83–7 and egalitarianism, 216, 218 and entrepreneurship, 90–1 and finance, 93–4, 154 and freedom, 66, 144, 185 and the Gilded Age, 24–5 and harmony of interests, 95–8 human, 5, 80, 90, 98–101, 110, 130, 132, 174, 199, 205, 225 and inequality, 5–7, 107–14 and innovation, 101–7 and intellectual ability, 87–90 and labor, 94–5 and management, 91–3 medical, 136 and stagnation, 41, 43, 47–8 and taxation, 30 Putnam, Robert, 75 Rand, Ayn on American individualism, 55–6 Atlas Shrugged, 96, 227 on collectivism, 54–6, 200 on equality, 206 Fountainhead, The, 197–8 on genius, 199 “Money-Making Personality, The,” 149 on property rights, 202–3 Pyramid of Ability, 95–6 on rationalization, 215 on social systems, 187 on traders, 60 Rauh, Joshua, 160 Rawls, John, 78–80, 186–93, 198, 202, 204, 211, 217 Reagan, Ronald, 20, 32–3 Reich, Robert, 19, 164 Reisman, George, 62 rent-control laws, 129 responsibility, 67–71, 75–8 Reynolds, Alan, 45 Riley, Jason, 140 risk mitigation, 154–5 Roberts, Russ, 110, 157 Robinson, James A., 166–7 Robinson Crusoe (Defoe), 9, 146, 198 Rockefeller, John D., 106, 228 Roebling, John, 105 Romer, Christina, 128–9 Roosevelt, Franklin D., 68 Rose, Stephen J., 42 Rosenberg, Nathan, 99–100, 103–4 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 187, 207, 216 Rowe, Mike, 72 Rowling, J.

Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court by Ralph E. Warner


estate planning, medical malpractice, rent control

They agree between themselves to each pay half of the rent. After three months, James moves out without notifying Helen or the owner, Laura. As one of the two co-tenants, Helen is still legally obligated to pay all the rent and may be able to recover James’s share by suing him in small claims court. In the same way, Laura, the owner, may sue Helen, the tenant, for the full amount of the rent in small claims court. 5. Rent Control Cases In the few areas with rent control laws, a landlord who charges illegally high rent can be sued by the tenant not only for the excess rent charged, but for a punitive amount as well (often three times the overcharge). C. Drug Dealing and Other Crimes Your landlord has some degree of legal responsibility to provide secure housing. This means he must take reasonable steps to: • protect tenants from would-be assailants, thieves, and other criminals • protect tenants from the criminal acts of fellow tenants • warn tenants about dangerous situations they are aware of but cannot eliminate, and • protect the neighborhood from their tenants’ illegal activities, such as drug dealing.

Unpaid Rent, Rent Withholding, and Other Money Damage Cases ................................................ 289 1. If the Tenant Has No Defense.......................................... 289 2. When a Tenant Breaks a Lease......................................... 290 3. When the Rent-Withholding Tenant Claims the Unit Is Uninhabitable................................................ 290 4. Tenants Suing Co-Tenants for Unpaid Rent...................... 294 5. Rent Control Cases.......................................................... 294 C. Drug Dealing and Other Crimes ........................................... 294 1. Tenants Band Together..................................................... 295 2. Drug-Dealing Tenants...................................................... 296 D. The Obnoxious Landlord....................................................... 298 278 everybody’s guide to small claims court E.

Evictions ............................................................................... 301 chapter 20: landlord-tenant cases 279 B y using small claims court, tenants in most states can sue for money damages over a whole host of landlord violations—failure to return a cleaning or damage deposit, invasion of the tenant’s privacy, violation of the duty to provide safe and habitable premises, and rent control violations, to name but a few. In addition, a group of tenants or neighbors can individually (but simultaneously) sue a landlord who allows drug dealing on the rental property. For example, if ten tenants sue a landlord who tolerates drug dealing for $7,500 each, the landlord would face a $75,000 suit. Although the majority of cases are initiated by tenants, landlords can and do also use small claims court—for example, to sue a current or former tenant for unpaid rent or for damages done to the rental property.

The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good by Robert H. Frank


carbon footprint, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, clean water, congestion charging, corporate governance, deliberate practice, full employment, income inequality, invisible hand, Plutocrats, plutocrats, positional goods, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rent control, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sealed-bid auction, smart grid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, winner-take-all economy

Perhaps it’s reasonable to hope for efficient solutions in only those cases that lend themselves to simple compensation arrangements—such as the volunteer auction solution for oversold flights or the monthly rebate palliative for the directory assistance charge. But many issues clearly do not lend themselves to such arrangements. Yet efficient solutions are often elusive even in cases for which transfer remedies could be easily administered. If rent controls are inefficient, for example, why don’t cities use vouchers to buy people out of their rent control leases? Tenants could relocate to smaller apartments at the market rate and be compensated by receiving the equivalent of a cash transfer in the form of a voucher. By the same token, why don’t we use auctions to determine the siting of prisons and other unattractive public facilities? Each community could submit a sealed bid indicating the minimum amount it would be willing to EFFICIENCY RULES 117 accept in return for agreeing to host the facility.

The poor can’t afford a decent place to EFFICIENCY RULES 113 live? The most efficient remedy would be to increase the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), one of the few income-transfer programs that Ronald Reagan endorsed. But conservatives in Congress have grown increasingly hostile to the EITC in recent years. If we can’t transfer income directly, the alternative is usually a more costly one, such as rent controls. Struggling farmers can’t make ends meet? The most efficient solution would be to transfer income to them directly. But with that option closed, we turn to other, far more costly measures, such as price supports for agricultural products. Poor people can’t afford telephone service or pay their gas and electric bills? Again, the most efficient response would be income transfers, but instead we require “lifeline” utility rates that encourage inefficient use patterns and lead to higher rates for other customers.

See government regulations relative consumption, importance of, 24–25 relative income, 23, 44 relative performance: CEO pay by, in winner-take-all markets, 150; dependence of reward on, 9, 211–12; in natural selection, 8–9, 21, 23–24 relative position: in human brain, 25–26; importance of, 23–26, 29, 212–13; libertarian rejection of role of, 29, 212–13; in natural selection, 8–9, 21, 23–24; neurophysiological responses to, 26–27. See also rank rent controls, 113, 116 reproductive fitness, 7–8, 20–21, 24, 25 Republican Party, on cap-and-trade system, 181 research grants, 133–35 retirement savings: in economic models versus real life, 54; mandatory, 205–6; reasons for libertarian compromise on, 208, 210 revealed preference doctrine, 44 reward: dependence on rank, 11; dependence on relative performance, 9, 211–12 Reynolds, Glenn, 142–43 Ricardo, David, 16 rights, 207–11; constitutional limitations on, 208; cost-benefit analysis of, 93–99, 209; versus government regulations, 208–11; majority versus minority, 207–11 right-wing think tanks, on government as problem, 5 roads.

pages: 399 words: 155,913

The Right to Earn a Living: Economic Freedom and the Law by Timothy Sandefur


barriers to entry, big-box store, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Edward Glaeser, housing crisis, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labour mobility, minimum wage unemployment, positional goods, price stability, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal

Thus, while the law allows the American people to do everything, there are things which religion prevents them from imagining and forbids them to dare.”35 Society’s mores thus restrained the tyranny of the majority that might otherwise override the Constitution’s protections for individual freedom. With the coming of the 20th century, however, the police powers were increasingly stretched by Populist and Progressive activists.36 The Modern Contracts Clause At the end of World War I, several East Coast cities faced serious housing shortages. Rents were rising, and many residents faced foreclosure and eviction. New York, Washington, and other cities responded by passing rent-control measures prohibiting landlords from evicting tenants who paid a “reasonable” rent. The landlords challenged these laws as violations of the contracts clause because they impaired their lease contracts. But the Supreme Court upheld the laws, explaining that “contracts are made subject to [the] exercise of the power of the state”37 and that the emergency justified the government’s actions. A decade later, an even greater emergency struck: the Great Depression.

The state’s socialist governor, Floyd Olson, warned that “if the legislature—the Senate in particular—does not make ample provision for the sufferers in this state,” he would “declare martial law” and “[a] lot of people who are now fighting the [proposed debtor-relief] measures because they happen to possess considerable wealth will be brought in by provost guards.”39 The legislature caved in to these threats on April 18, 1933, unanimously approving a law modeled on the New York rent-control law. The Minnesota act extended the period during which a resident could reclaim mortgaged property after the bank had foreclosed and sold it. That period had been one year, but the new law allowed judges to extend it to two years. The law also sought to avoid constitutional conflict by declaring that no such extension would be granted if it would “substantially diminish or impair the value of the contract . . . without reasonable allowance to justify the exercise of the police power.”40 The law also allowed courts to reject a foreclosure sale and to require a new sale if the sale price was judged to be “inadequate.”41 The problem with this law is that the Constitution’s ban on laws impairing contractual obligations contains no “emergency” exception.

Olken, “Charles Evans Hughes and the Blaisdell Decision: A Historical Study of Contract Clause Jurisprudence,” Oregon Law Review 72 (1993): 542. 35. Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, trans. George Lawrence and ed. J. P. Mayer (New York: Harper Perennial, 1969), p. 292. 36. Olken, “Charles Evans Hughes,” 548. 37. Marcus Brown Holding Co. v. Feldman, 256 U.S. 170, 198 (1921). See also Block v. Hirsh, 256 U.S. 135 (1921) (upholding a Washington, D.C., rent-control ordinance). 38. William L. Prosser, “The Minnesota Mortgage Moratorium,” Southern California Law Review 7 (1934): 353–55. 39. Ibid., p. 355. 40. Olken, “Charles Evans Hughes,” 574. 41. Prosser, “Minnesota Mortgage Moratorium,” 362. 42. Ibid., 357. 43. Home Bldg. & Loan Ass’n v. Blaisdell, 290 U.S. 398, 444 (1934). 44. See G. Edward White, The Constitution and the New Deal (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000), pp. 212–13. 45.

pages: 232

Planet of Slums by Mike Davis


barriers to entry, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, centre right, clean water, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, edge city, European colonialism, failed state, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, jitney, Kibera, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, low-wage service sector, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, megacity, microcredit, New Urbanism, Ponzi scheme, RAND corporation, rent control, structural adjustment programs, surplus humans, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, working poor

Accordingly, in the first golden years of the revolution, there was a huge national effort to rehouse the poor, even if many of the projects, in retrospect, were drab adaptations of modernism.35 Although revolutionary Cuba's commitment to a "new urbanism" , was avant-garde, the ideal of a popular entitiement tojiousing wasjiot i unique in the contemporary Third World in the late 1950s and early ' 1960s: Nasser, Nehru, and Sukarno also promised to rebuild slums and create immense quanitities of new housing. In addition to subsidized housing and rent control, Nasser's "contract with Egypt" guaranteed public-sector jobs to every secondary-school graduate. Revolutionary Algeria legislated free universal healthcare and education, together with I rent subsidies for poor city-dwellers. "Socialist" African states, beginj ning with Tanzania in the early 1960s, all started off with ambitious programs to relocate urban slum-dwellers into new low-cost housing.

The challenge was to reconcile a continuing supply of cheap labor with soaring land values, and the preferred solution was not high rents — which would have forced up wages — but peripheralization and overcrowding By 1971, writes Smart, one million squatters had been resettled "on land equivalent to only 34 percent of the land previously occupied, and on peripheral land of much lower value." Likewise hundreds of thousands of poor tenants had been relocated from their former rent-controlled housing in the central area. Space allocation in public housing in the early 1960s was a minuscule 24 square feet per adult, with toilets and kitchens shared by an entire floor. Although conditions improved in projects built later, Hong Kong maintained the highest formal residential densities in the world: the price for freeing up the maximum surface area for highrise offices and expensive market-price apartments.39 38 Berner, "Learning from Informal Markets," p. 244. 39 Smart, Making Room, pp. 1, 33, 36, 52, 55.

However, this first military attempt to roll back informal settlement was only partly successful, and with the restoration of civilian rule in the early 1970s, the slums again became hotbeds of radical Peronist and socialist agitation. When the generals came back into power in March 1976, they were determined to destroy the villas miserias once and for all; during the terrible years of el Proceso, rent control was repealed, 94 percent of the "illegal" settlements in Gran Buenos Aires were razed, and 270,000 poor people were rendered homeless. Rankand-file organizers, including lay Catholics as well as leftists, were systematically "disappeared." As in Chile, the liquidation of slum-based 47 Alfredo Rodriguez and Ana Maria Icaza, " Chile," in Azuela, Duhau, and Ortiz, Evictions and the Right to Housing p. 51. 48 Harms, "To live in the City Centre," p. 198. 49 Cathy Schneider, Shantytoivn Protest in Pinochet's Chile, Philadelphia 1995, p. 101.

pages: 590 words: 153,208

Wealth and Poverty: A New Edition for the Twenty-First Century by George Gilder


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, capital controls, cleantech, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, equal pay for equal work, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, Home mortgage interest deduction, Howard Zinn, income inequality, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, medical malpractice, minimum wage unemployment, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, non-fiction novel, North Sea oil, paradox of thrift, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, price stability, Ralph Nader, rent control, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, skunkworks, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, volatility arbitrage, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, yield curve

Black government officials can live wherever they like, and indeed the movement of wealthy blacks into supposedly exclusive suburbs has been proceeding without much notice for the last decades. But the movement of welfare blacks into the communities of middle or lower middle-class whites or blacks is an act of social disruption, particularly if done by the subterfuge of rent or mortgage subsidies. These policies are self-fulfilling prophecies of racism. In a housing market distorted by rent controls, affirmative action, and other devices, the middle class, in defense of its chief financial and social assets, takes the safest course—hostility to all government projects threatening the neighborhood. In the process, many apparent opportunities arise for journalists and reporters to “prove” the false liberal hypothesis that racism still prevails in American society. What prevails in the United States and in every other country—and notably prevails within the liberal and bureaucratic intelligentsia from the moment they have children—is the desire for economically homogeneous communities, where there is no fear of being robbed, mugged, or balefully resented.

Subsidies and tax benefits for the purchase of pollution-control equipment broadly distribute the costs of combating environmental damage inflicted and often suffered by the few. Much of the activity of the Department of Energy comprises an attempt to disperse through the entire country effects of energy scarcity that would otherwise fall most heavily on a small number of vulnerable constituencies. Rent controls attempt to diffuse the effects of urban housing scarcity and rising costs. The result of all this activity by both the public and private sectors—shifting, diffusing, equalizing, concealing, shuffling, smoothing, evading, relegating, and collectivizing the real risks and costs of economic change—is to desensitize the economy. It no longer responds so well to the bad news of scarcity and disequilibrium—the high prices that signal new opportunities—and no longer provides so dependably the good news of creativity, invention, and entrepreneurship.

A government preoccupied with the statistics of crisis will often find itself subsidizing problems, shoring up essentially morbid forms of economic and social activity, creating incentives for unemployment, inflation, family disorder, housing decay, and municipal deficits, making problems worse by making them profitable. As government grows, there all too quickly comes a time when solutions are less profitable than problems. Throughout the Washington of the seventies, behind the inevitable rhetoric of innovation and progress, the facades of futurity, the forces of obstruction gathered: an energy department imposing counterproductive new taxes and price controls; a department of housing promoting rent controls; even a National Center for Productivity forced to celebrate the least productive of all unions per man hour—the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. Despite his best intentions, the government planner will tend to live in the past, for only the past is sure and calculable. In response to the inevitable crises of scarcity, he will prescribe, as progress, a series of faintly disguised anachronisms: a revival of bicycles, a renaissance of consumer cooperatives, a new federal scheme of price controls, a massive return to coal, or a recrudescence of small-lot farming and windmills.

pages: 525 words: 153,356

The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class, 1910-2010 by Selina Todd


call centre, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, credit crunch, deindustrialization, deskilling, Downton Abbey, financial independence, full employment, income inequality, manufacturing employment, New Urbanism, Red Clydeside, rent control, rising living standards, strikebreaker, The Spirit Level, unemployed young men, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, young professional

In the summer of 1958 race riots erupted in the inner-city district of St Ann’s, Nottingham, and in London’s Notting Hill. One catalyst was the lack of housing. In 1957 the government had passed a Rent Act that removed all rent controls from unfurnished properties with a rateable value in excess of £40. Landlords could also have rent controls removed from empty properties worth less than £40. Ministers argued that this would give more impetus to the private housing market and encourage landlords to reinvigorate those inner-city areas where people still wanted to live. In reality, profiteering landlords flourished, among them, London’s infamous Peter Rachman, who bought up dilapidated houses, evicted white tenants, kept the accommodation empty in order to have rent controls removed, and then took on recent immigrants as new tenants. At a time when black migrants found it hard to get housing, Rachman was able to charge them exorbitant rents for overcrowded and insanitary conditions.44 In the summer of 1958 the shortage of affordable housing was one reason behind the frustration of those white youths who launched violent attacks on local black residents.45 Both St Ann’s and Notting Hill housed a large number of young white men who were either unemployed or employed in low-paid casual work; not only were they missing out on housing, but on any sign of post-war affluence.

When the Leeds Education Authority began consultation on Crosland’s plan, ‘we formed the Chapeltown Parents’ Association to fight … schools were changing to comprehensive to give the children a better chance.’11 During the 1970s the proportion and number of working-class university students increased for the first time since the 1930s.12 Other changes directly affected adult workers. Between 1964 and 1970 the Labour government built more council houses than the Conservatives had managed in the previous ten years, and reintroduced rent controls into the private sector.13 People could afford to fill their homes with new domestic appliances. In 1960 less than one-third of British households had possessed a fridge or a washing machine; by 1970 more than half did.14 Many working-class people experienced something approaching affluence for the first time. The change was particularly noticeable in the industrial heartlands of northern England, Clydeside and South Wales which had missed out on the prosperity of the 1950s.

pages: 162 words: 51,473

The Accidental Theorist: And Other Dispatches From the Dismal Science by Paul Krugman


Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, clean water, collective bargaining, declining real wages, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, knowledge economy, life extension, lump of labour, new economy, Nick Leeson, paradox of thrift, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, trade route, very high income, working poor

New York’s pro-tenant policies have produced very good deals for some people, but they have also made it very hard for newcomers to find a place to live. France’s policies have produced nice work if you can get it. But many people, especially the young, can’t get it. And, given the generosity of unemployment benefits, many don’t even try. True, some problems are easy to diagnose but hard to deal with. If George Pataki can’t end rent control, why should we expect Jacques Chirac to cure Eurosclerosis? But what is mysterious about France is that as far as one can tell, absolutely nobody of consequence accepts the obvious diagnosis. On the contrary, there seems to be an emerging consensus that what France needs is—guess what?—more regulation. Socialist leader (and now prime minister) Lionel Jospin’s idea of a pro-employment policy is to require employers to pay workers the same money for fewer hours.

But to acknowledge the potential virtues of European economic integration risks missing the essential fatuousness of the whole project. France’s problem is unemployment (currently almost 13 percent). Nothing else is even remotely as important. And whatever a unified market and a common currency may or may not achieve, they will do almost nothing to create jobs. Think of it this way: Imagine that several cities, all suffering housing shortages because of rent control, agree to make it easier for landlords in one city to own buildings in another. This is not a bad idea. It might even slightly increase the supply of apartments. But it is not going to get at the heart of the problem. Yet all the grand schemes for European integration amount to no more than that. Indeed, in practice, the dream of European unity has actually made things worse. If you are going to have a common currency, everything we know suggests you should follow what Berkeley’s Barry Eichengreen calls the Nike strategy.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling


Berlin Wall, Burning Man, Donner party, East Village, illegal immigration, index card, medical residency, pre–internet, rent control, Saturday Night Live, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory

It was a staircase for killing someone and making it seem like an accident. Our downstairs neighbor was a toothless man, somewhere in his eighties or nineties. He lived with what seemed like two younger male relatives, with “younger” meaning in their sixties. In the dead of summer or winter they would wear those ribbed white tank tops grossly named wife beaters, which is how we knew they were rent-control tenants (if anyone wears year-round wife beaters, it is the same as saying they are enjoying the benefits of a rent-controlled apartment). They also spoke a language with one another that seemed like a hybridized version of an Eastern European language and the incomprehensible mumble of Dick Tracy henchmen. They would’ve been frightening, except they were incredibly timid and scared of us for some reason. Like when that monster in the Bugs Bunny cartoon gets scared of a mouse and runs screaming all the way back to his castle.

pages: 275 words: 77,955

Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman


affirmative action, Berlin Wall, central bank independence, Corn Laws, Deng Xiaoping, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, liquidity trap, market friction, minimum wage unemployment, price discrimination, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing

., that cannot, so far as I can see, validly be justified in terms of the principles outlined above: 1. Parity price support programs for agriculture. 2. Tariffs on imports or restrictions on exports, such as current oil import quotas, sugar quotas, etc. 3. Governmental control of output, such as through the farm program, or through prorationing of oil as is done by the Texas Railroad Commission. 4. Rent control, such as is still practiced in New York, or more general price and wage controls such as were imposed during and just after World War II. 5. Legal minimum wage rates, or legal maximum prices, such as the legal maximum of zero on the rate of interest that can be paid on demand deposits by commercial banks, or the legally fixed maximum rates that can be paid on savings and time deposits. 6. Detailed regulation of industries, such as the regulation of transportation by the Interstate Commerce Commission.

See vocational schooling proletariat, 197 property rights, 26–27, 34, 127, 162 proportional representation, 15, 23; regarding spending for education, 94–95; vs. indivisible issues, 23 public housing programs, 36, 177, 178–80, 181; special interests dominating, 179–80; unintended consequences of, 179–80, 198 public monopoly, 28, 29 public school system, 91, 92, 93, 97, 118. See also schooling Puritans, 108 Quakers, 108 quotas, import, 9, 35, 65, 66–67, 74, 139, 182, 198 racial integration, 100 n. railroads, 29, 35, 123, 126, 156, 197 recession, 76, 78 registration, 144, 145–46, 149 regulation, industry, 35, 38 rent control, 35 “right-to-work” laws, 115–17 riparian rights, 27 Road to Serfdom, The (Hayek), 11 roadways, 30–31, 36, 125, 199 Rome, 10 Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 59 royalties, 27 Russia, 7–8, 20, 59, 164, 169, 196, 197, 101–2 salaries, teacher, 93–94, 95–96 Schacht, Hjalmar, 57 schooling, 85–98; and citizenship, 86, 88, 90, 96, 98, 199; conformity as result of, 94, 95, 97; denationalization of, 91; effect of competition on, 93; effect of teacher salaries on, 93–94; for-profit institutions of, 89; governmental administration of, 85, 87, 89, 90, 94, 95, 97, 98, 117; government funding of, 85, 86–88, 90, 93–94, 95; nonprofit funding of, 85, 89; and segregation, 117–18; subsidies for, 87 88–89, voucher system of, 89, 90, 91–98 Schumpeter, Joseph, 5 n.

pages: 283 words: 81,163

How Capitalism Saved America: The Untold History of Our Country, From the Pilgrims to the Present by Thomas J. Dilorenzo


banking crisis, British Empire, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, means of production, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rent control, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, working poor, Works Progress Administration

It is not surprising, then, that progress against poverty in America stopped and reversed itself at precisely the moment when the federal government declared “war” on it.5 Government-directed social engineering fails mainly because human beings cannot be manipulated like so many mathematical symbols. Human beings are rational, thinking actors who react to changes in government policy. Thus the government’s social engineering often follows the Law of Unintended Consequences. Rent-control laws, for example, are designed to help the poor by holding down the price of housing, but these laws artificially stimulate the demand for rental housing while reducing its supply, which causes housing shortages. And usually the poor suffer most from such shortages. Likewise, minimum-wage laws designed to help low-income workers force wages up above the levels set by supply and demand, which makes it uneconomical for employers to keep those low-income workers.

That is, the American founders wanted to protect capitalism (though the word was not even coined at that time). Several key parts of the Constitution, adopted in 1789, provided important safeguards. The Contract Clause, for example, prohibited any laws abridging freedom of contract (“No state shall . . . pass any . . . law impairing the Obligation of Contracts”). Though it is no longer very well enforced—minimum-wage laws, rent control laws, virtually all of employment law, antitrust regulation, and the American regulatory state in general all violate the clause—this perversion of the law took many decades to accomplish. For the founders, this freedom was essential, for they understood that property rights would not be secure without some mechanism to enforce the sanctity of contracts. John Adams’s views were typical of the founding generation’s: “The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.”13 In addition, the Commerce Clause outlawed protectionist tariffs in interstate commerce, thereby making the country a free-trade zone, and the Constitution also prohibited export taxes to encourage international commerce.

pages: 935 words: 267,358

Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty


accounting loophole / creative accounting, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, banks create money, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, conceptual framework, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, distributed generation, diversification, diversified portfolio, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial intermediation, full employment, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, high net worth, Honoré de Balzac, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, index card, inflation targeting, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, market bubble, means of production, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, open economy, pension reform, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, refrigerator car, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, very high income, We are the 99%

Given the high level of German saving, this low level of German wealth compared to other European countries is to some extent a paradox, which may be transitory and can be explained as follows.4 The first factor to consider is the low price of real estate in Germany compared to other European countries, which can be explained in part by the fact that the sharp price increases seen everywhere else after 1990 were checked in Germany by the effects of German reunification, which brought a large number of low-cost houses onto the market. To explain the discrepancy over the long term, however, we would need more durable factors, such as stricter rent control. FIGURE 4.4. Private and public capital in Europe, 1870–2010 The fluctuations of national capital in Europe in the long run are mostly due to the fluctuations of private capital. Sources and series: see In any case, most of the gap between Germany on the one hand and France and Britain on the other stems not from the difference in the value of the housing stock but rather from the difference in the value of other domestic capital, and primarily the capital of firms (see Figure 4.1).

Remember that all forms of wealth are evaluated in terms of market prices at a given point in time. This introduces an element of arbitrariness (markets are often capricious), but it is the only method we have for calculating the national capital stock: how else could one possibly add up hectares of farmland, square meters of real estate, and blast furnaces? In the postwar period, housing prices stood at historic lows, owing primarily to rent control policies that were adopted nearly everywhere in periods of high inflation such as the early 1920s and especially the 1940s. Rents rose less sharply than other prices. Housing became less expensive for tenants, while landlords earned less on their properties, so real estate prices fell. Similarly, the value of firms, that is, the value of the stock of listed firms and shares of partnerships, fell to relatively low levels in the 1950s and 1960s.

Public debt rose sharply in the United States due to the cost of waging war, especially during World War II, and this affected national saving in a period of economic instability: the euphoria of the 1920s gave way to the Depression of the 1930s. (Cameron tells us that the odious Hockley commits suicide in October 1929.). Under Franklin D. Roosevelt, moreover, the United States adopted policies designed to reduce the influence of private capital, such as rent control, just as in Europe. After World War II, real estate and stock prices stood at historic lows. When it came to progressive taxation, the United States went much farther than Europe, possibly demonstrating that the goal there was more to reduce inequality than to eradicate private property. No sweeping policy of nationalization was attempted, although major public investments were initiated in the 1930s and 1940s, especially in infrastructures.

pages: 376 words: 118,542

Free to Choose: A Personal Statement by Milton Friedman, Rose D. Friedman


affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, bank run, banking crisis, Corn Laws, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, invisible hand, labour mobility, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, price stability, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, road to serfdom, school vouchers, Simon Kuznets, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration

New Yorkers naturally sought to blame outside forces for their problem, but as Ken Auletta wrote in a recent book, New York "was not compelled to create a vast municipal hospital or City University system, to continue free tuition, institute open enrollment, ignore budget limitations, impose the steepest taxes in the nation, borrow beyond its means, subsidize middle-income housing, continue rigid rent controls, reward municipal workers with lush pension, pay and fringe benefits." He quips, "Goaded by liberalism's compassion and ideological commitment to the redistribution of wealth, New York officials helped redistribute much of the tax base and thousands of jobs out of New York." 8 One fortunate circumstance was that New York City has no power to issue money. It could not use inflation as a means of taxation and thus postpone the evil day.

He deplored also the effect of the public housing developments on juvenile delinquency and on the neighborhood schools, which were disproportionately filled with children from broken families. Recently we heard a similar evaluation of public housing from a leader of a "sweat-equity" housing project in the South Bronx, New York. The area looks like a bombed-out city, with many buildings abandoned as a result of rent control and others destroyed by riots. The "sweat-equity" group has undertaken to rehabilitate an area of these abandoned buildings by their own efforts into housing that they can subsequently occupy. Initially they received outside help only in the form of a few private grants. More recently they have also been receiving some assistance from government. When we asked our respondent why his group adopted their arduous approach rather than simply moving into public housing, he gave an answer like the one we had heard in Los Angeles, with the added twist that building and owning their own homes would give the participants in the project a sense of pride in their homes that would lead them to maintain them properly.

An FTC staff policy briefing book finds that the main thrust seems to come from people who make money building housing—contractors, bankers, labor unions, materials suppliers, etc. After the housing is built, the government and these various "constituencies" take less interest in it. So the FTC has been getting complaints about the quality of housing built under federal programs, about leaky roofs, inadequate plumbing, bad foundations, etc.19 In the meantime, even where it was not deliberately destroyed, low-priced rental housing deteriorated because of rent control and similar measures. Medical Care Medicine is the latest welfare field in which the role of government has been exploding. State and local governments, and to a lesser extent the federal government, have long had a role in public health (sanitation, contagious diseases, etc.) and in provision of hospital facilities. In addition, the federal government has provided medical care for the military and veterans.

pages: 444 words: 151,136

Endless Money: The Moral Hazards of Socialism by William Baker, Addison Wiggin


Andy Kessler, asset allocation, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, capital asset pricing model, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, debt deflation, Elliott wave,, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, fiat currency, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, housing crisis, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, McMansion, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, naked short selling, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent control, reserve currency, riskless arbitrage, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, seigniorage, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, the scientific method, time value of money, too big to fail, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra, young professional

Further aiding Finland and the entire Nordic region was secular growth for paper and timber necessary to fuel a revival in housing that swept through Britain beginning in the 1930s.26 According to Arthur Lewis: “There is a housing boom in Britain about once every 20 or 30 years, and it seems to occur whether prices and interest rates are rising or falling, or whatever is happening to the terms of trade. A boom was due some time in the 1920’s, and was delayed, mainly through the affects of rent control in keeping rents below costs. After the fall in prices, this factor ceased to operate, and the boom probably would have come about even if interest rates had not fallen.”27 The next big impetus for Nordic outperformance of the world economies was the quick return of Germany to health and its rearmament. It had been shut out of world markets since before World War I, seeing its share of global exports tumble from 13.1 percent to 9.7 percent from 1913 to 1929.

This implies an injection of $144 billion compared to a total of $1,556 billion in their portfolios as of July 2008. But more might follow, and the December 2009 deadline for cleaning up the companies might need to be extended if the real estate market remains in oversupply. The real estate market had dropped about 25 percent through yearend 2008, and the thesis popular in mid-2009 that the economy had bottomed out is highly dependent upon no further decrease in value. The New Rent Control What is missed by most observers is that interest rates outside the government-subsidized market have risen sharply and may continue to remain high for two reasons. The mortgage rate seen earlier in this decade was at a generational low, in part because of Fed policy. Additionally, this cycle is the first in the postwar era that has exhibited falling prices, and as a result credit quality has become an issue.

Additionally, this cycle is the first in the postwar era that has exhibited falling prices, and as a result credit quality has become an issue. Rates on jumbo loans, which are not guaranteed by the GSEs, climbed to nearly 8 percent by year-end 2008, thus standing some 3 to 4 percent above the subsidized rate. The socialization of credit has caused a tremendous bifurcation in the market unseen before. It is reminiscent of other dysfunctional markets, such as the New York City housing market, where rent controls created artificial shortages, discouraged investment, repair, and rehabilitation, and led to oddities such as millionaires over the age of 50 living for decades in subsidized one-bedroom apartments while 20-somethings and young families were priced out of the market or paid well over 50 percent of their income for rent. By linking mortgage rates implicitly 220 ENDLESS MONEY to income brackets, the GSEs now supplement the progressive tax rate mechanism of the IRS.

pages: 388 words: 125,472

The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It by Owen Jones


anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, citizen journalism, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Etonian, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, housing crisis, inflation targeting, investor state dispute settlement, James Dyson, laissez-faire capitalism, market fundamentalism, Monroe Doctrine, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, stakhanovite, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transfer pricing, union organizing, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent

‘You can really feel like you’ve spent all your life trying to get to this place where power is, only to find it isn’t there,’ says Philip Collins, recalling the painfully slow process of implementing policies. But, because of Thatcher’s overwhelming success at eliminating opposition, today’s civil service shares the dominant Establishment mentalities. When, after the Labour landslide of 1997, Labour MP Angela Eagle became a junior minister in the Blair government, she suggested imposing rent controls as a solution to the ever-growing amount of taxpayers’ money being spent on housing benefit, increasingly lining the pockets of landlords. Eagle described the response from civil servants, a nebulous ‘sort of official line’. She was, she remembers, told ‘loftily’ that her proposal ‘would be against the Human Rights Act’ – much to her bewilderment. Eagle didn’t understand how this could possibly infringe the Act – and said so.

Throughout 2013, polls consistently gave Labour a solid lead in the opinion polls, with the Conservatives generally languishing at between 28 per cent and 33 per cent. And yet most mainstream newspapers remained supportive of the Conservative-led government, which gave the lie to any idea that they were simply the mouthpieces of British public opinion. While polls consistently demonstrated that a large majority of the British public wanted, say, renationalization of the railways, energy and the utilities; rent controls; the introduction of a living wage; and increased taxes on the rich – no mainstream newspaper endorsed such calls. Quite the reverse. The media is almost entirely committed to Establishment policies and ideas, which they attempt to popularize for a mass audience. The tax-avoiding Barclay Brothers – Britain’s richest media figures – gain their formidable power through the Daily Telegraph. When I visit the London Victoria headquarters of this traditionalist conservative newspaper, I half-expect to walk through a time portal into the 1950s.

Its voters are – for the most part – certainly not über-Thatcherite Tories in exile; indeed, according to polls, they are considerably less likely to support austerity and cuts to the welfare state than Tory voters. But astonishingly, on many issues, UKIP voters are more radical than the British public as a whole. One YouGov poll found that 78 per cent of UKIP voters supported public ownership of energy companies (compared to 68 per cent of all voters); 73 per cent wanted the railways renationalized (as against 66 per cent); 50 per cent advocated rent controls (the wider figure was 45 per cent); and an astounding 40 per cent believed in price controls on food and groceries, compared to 35 per cent of all Britons.3 What does this tell us? On the one hand, the Establishment has such little public support that even voters for a fiercely right-wing party find themselves, on economic issues, dramatically to its left. Equally, it can be seen as a damning indictment of the Labour Party, as well as radical opponents of the Establishment.

pages: 868 words: 147,152

How Asia Works by Joe Studwell


affirmative action, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, failed state, financial deregulation, financial repression, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, land tenure, large denomination, market fragmentation, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, passive investing, purchasing power parity, rent control, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, working-age population

Japan operated a more repressive regime in Korea in the face of greater political opposition to her rule than she faced in Taiwan. By the end of the colonial era in 1945, Japanese interests owned about one-fifth of all Korean land and the majority of farmers were pure tenants. The American Military Government (AMG) that became the occupying force in South Korea from September 1945 instituted rent controls and requirements for written leases on previously Japanese-controlled land. However the US military governor, General Archer L. Lerch, was not disposed to land reform, regarding it as a socialist policy; his concern was to keep the Soviets north of the 38th parallel and to suppress communism in the south. The attentions of pro-land reform US liberals in Washington, meanwhile, were focused on Japan.

The promotion of fertiliser use and the introduction of new seed varieties also led to impressive increases in yields, and real per capita income in agriculture probably doubled under the Japanese occupation.46 However, as in Japan, tenancy tended to increase in the run-up to the Second World War; rents, if anything, were higher than in Japan – reaching 70 per cent of output for high-quality land, with frequent demands for payment in advance and for high minimum rents irrespective of the size of the year’s crop. Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang government, which could see the end of the civil war coming well before its formal defeat, introduced legislation on Taiwan to limit rents to 37.5 per cent of crops at the beginning of 1949. The Kuomintang had just started working with the American-sponsored JCRR on the mainland, and Taiwan rent control represented an act of ingratiation towards the rural population of an island that was not universally thrilled by the idea that the Nationalist military and political machine might be coming to stay. Landlords were also required to sign written tenancy agreements of a minimum of six years, under which the requirements for repossession of land were onerous. Beginning in 1951, the Nationalists offered a second prize to Taiwan’s rural constituency by starting the sell-off of lands confiscated from former Japanese owners.

.), Development’s Displacements: Ecologies, Economies, and Cultures at Risk (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2007). The Act set up an Agricultural Land Reform Office (ALRO), which ever since has concentrated on distribution of publicly owned lands, most of which are already occupied by squatters. This is consistent with the focus on public lands in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia instead of actual redistribution of existing private agricultural land. Similarly, a 1974 Land Rent Control Act in Thailand was generally not enforced because of opposition from landlords and local government officials. 108. Pasuk and Baker, Thailand, p. 45. 109. Note that the delta and central plain areas are not themselves particularly fertile by south-east Asian standards. Their heavy clay soils are much less agriculture-friendly than other parts of the region. 110. Thailand’s Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives (BAAC) was set up in 1966.

pages: 777 words: 186,993

Imagining India by Nandan Nilekani


affirmative action, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, clean water, colonial rule, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, farmers can use mobile phones to check market prices, full employment, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, joint-stock company, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, land reform, LNG terminal, load shedding, Mahatma Gandhi, market fragmentation, Mikhail Gorbachev, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, open economy, pension reform, Potemkin village, price mechanism, race to the bottom, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, smart grid, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

And city development has become both opaque and ad hoc—as when governments in Delhi, Bombay and Bangalore up and conduct demolition drives on encroachments every few years but fail to enforce building regulations the rest of the time. Our “unintended cities” By the 1970s a pork-barrel politico could not have had it better in the city. A series of well-meaning but horribly counterproductive laws passed during this decade, which gave an immense leg up to interest groups in the city. The rent-control legislation and the Urban Land Ceiling Act had effects that, in the best of socialist tradition, were just the opposite of what they had intended. The rent act, by stating minimal leasing periods and strict eviction limits, basically gave renters carte blanche to squat and quickly took unoccupied housing off the market, and the land ceiling act shifted large amounts of land into the illegal market.

The national mission on urban change eventually took shape with the JNNURM, and our experience with the BATF helped us a great deal while helping shape reforms toward improving disclosure laws for urban bodies, strengthening citizen participation, introducing more effective financial accounting and aligning city organizations better. The urban renewal mission has a provision of Rs 500 billion, and adding in the contribution of states and municipalities, the amount goes up to Rs 1250 billion over a seven-year period. The JNNURM has also adopted an effective carrot approach, man-dating various reform preconditions for states, including changing rent control and land ceiling acts, overhauling urban property-tax systems and rationalizing stamp duties, in order to access its development funds. Our urban consciousness “You can sense it in the air,” Swati tells me, “there is a new concern, both in the government and the private sector around city growth. The local bodies are flush with JNNURM money, and there is a new interest in our urban issues.”

Vinayak heads the consultancy Feedback Ventures Ltd and has years of experience working with the government and private sector on infrastructure issues. Land has been an especially charged concern in our politics. The 1950s and 1960s land reforms had failed across most of the country with the exception of Kerala and West Bengal. The landowning zamindars were politically powerful, and in most states the loopholes in the legislation had made the reforms largely impotent. At the same time, rent control policies imposed massive restrictions on urban land, taking it off the market. The 1950s controls around land markets only grew worse when Indira introduced land ceilings and limits on the height of buildings in the mid-1970s. These laws, as Vinayak notes, single-handedly exacerbated overcrowding and lack of urban space in India several times over. By the mid-1980s, India had the highest percentage of population in the world unable to afford housing, and a growing number of landless poor were improvising their own houses out of bits of cardboard, tin and plastic on illegal land.

pages: 375 words: 88,306

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism by Arun Sundararajan


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, distributed ledger, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, job-hopping, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Lyft, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, Zipcar

State and city government resistance to Airbnb in the United States, both in New York and beyond, persists as I am writing this book. In mid-2015, San Francisco’s city authorities released a study suggesting that Airbnb was reducing affordable rental housing significantly. Airbnb responded with its own study by Anita Roth suggesting the impact was negligible. (My own view, which I discussed in a New York Times op-ed, is that, as of 2015, factors like rent control and population growth are the primary contributors to the shortage of affordable rental housing in San Francisco.) The level of acrimony toward Airbnb from the hotel industry is captured well by the statements made by Vanessa Sinders, Senior Vice President and Head of Government Affairs of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), at a 2015 Federal Trade Commission meeting to discuss the sharing economy, where she noted: “Right now, there is an unlevel [sic] playing field that is compromising consumer safety, endangering the character and security of residential neighborhoods across the country, and changing the housing market in some negative ways.”

In San Francisco, city officials contend the impact is high, while Airbnb’s own economic analysis suggests otherwise. See and Regardless, the magnitude of any impact is dwarfed by other larger effects like those of population growth or rent control. See 4. Share Better, “About the Campaign,” 2014. 5. New York State Office of the Attorney General, “Airbnb in the City,” October 2014. 6. “The ‘Sharing’ Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators,” Federal Trade Commission workshop transcript, June 9, 2015. 7.

pages: 840 words: 202,245

Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present by Jeff Madrick


accounting loophole / creative accounting, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Bretton Woods, capital controls, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Akerlof, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, inventory management, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shock, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, technology bubble, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, union organizing, V2 rocket, value at risk, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

With his degree at last in hand, Friedman sought a teaching position at a good university. Aside from the aborted Wisconsin offer a few years earlier, few invitations came his way until he was at last offered a position at the University of Minnesota. There, he joined his fellow Chicago graduate George Stigler, already a professor, and together in 1946 they co-authored a stinging, ideological article criticizing rent control. The central thesis was that rent control restricted the supply of new housing and artificially kept the price (the rent) down. The article, like his graduate thesis, focused on the dangers that arise when government sets prices. The piece was based on skimpy data regarding rents in a single month in San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake (forty years earlier). Moreover, it was published by an advocacy organization called the Foundation for Economic Education, which was dedicated to “the explanation of the meaning of free private competitive enterprise.

They named the group after the small Swiss town in which they convened, Mont Pelerin, near Vevey, Switzerland. The formation of the Mont Pelerin Society was financed by Europeans and a highly conservative tax-exempt American foundation, the William Volker Charitable Fund of Kansas City, founded by prosperous right-wing local businessmen. The fund also helped finance the Foundation for Economic Education, which published the Friedman-Sigler paper on rent control. After the remarkable success of The Road to Serfdom, the Volker Fund attempted to bring Hayek from London to an American university. The fund’s president, Harold Luhnow, was determined to underwrite an Americanized version of the Hayek book—though there was already a condensed version of it published by Reader’s Digest. But finding a suitable university position for Hayek turned out to be difficult, and he was not interested in rewriting his book for an American audience.

pages: 471 words: 124,585

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson


Admiral Zheng, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, Atahualpa, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, Corn Laws, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deglobalization, diversification, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, German hyperinflation, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, hindsight bias, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, iterative process, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour mobility, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market fundamentalism, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, pension reform, price anchoring, price stability, principal–agent problem, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, seigniorage, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, spice trade, structural adjustment programs, technology bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War

The ugly and socially dysfunctional tower blocks and housing ‘estates’ that today blight most of Britain’s cities can be blamed on both parties. The only real difference between Right and Left was the readiness of the Conservatives to deregulate the private rental market, in the hope of encouraging private landlords, and the equal and opposite resolve of Labour to reimpose rent controls and stamp out ‘Rachmanism’ (exploitative behaviour by landlords), exemplified by Peter Rachman, who used intimidation to evict the sitting tenants of rent-controlled properties, replacing them with West Indian immigrants who had to pay market rents.31 As late as 1971, fewer than half of British homes were owner-occupied. In the United States, where public housing was never so important, mortgage interest payments were always tax deductible, from the inception of the federal income tax in 1913.32 As Ronald Reagan said when the rationality of this tax break was challenged, mortgage interest relief was ‘part of the American dream’.ao It played a much smaller role in Britain until 1983, when a more radically Conservative government led by Margaret Thatcher introduced Mortgage Interest Relief At Source (MIRAS) for the first £30,000 of a qualifying mortgage.

pages: 482 words: 122,497

The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule by Thomas Frank


affirmative action, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, edge city, financial deregulation, full employment, George Gilder, guest worker program, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, P = NP, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, rent control, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Telecommunications Act of 1996, the scientific method, too big to fail, union organizing, War on Poverty

And we’re going to go after 20 PIRG fights this year . . . and you have an interest in this, or you ought to.’”25 Thus did the young entrepreneurs of the USAF get out there and sell themselves as political hit men. According to one 1986 study, the group managed to collect tribute from canning and bottling companies, two oil companies, an electric company (PIRGs were then working to set up utility watchdog groups), Amway, Coors, an assortment of San Francisco landlords worried about the possibility of rent control, and the Campbell’s Soup Company, which reportedly paid USAF to attack a campus support group for a migrant farmworkers union.26 It was pugnacity for pay. Grover Norquist explained the strategy to an interviewer as a simple matter of cost-effectiveness. “PIRGs have cost the bottlers and the auto industry millions of dollars, hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said. “And to the extent that we’ve been able to get people ginned up and kill PIRGs off, . . . we’ve cost the left a couple hundred thousand dollars a year in funding.”

See also government career employees Putnam, Robert racism radio talk showsn railroads Rand, Ayn Reader’s Digest Reagan, Ronald deficits and government incompetence and Iran-Contra and South Africa and Reagan youth real-estate boom Reason Rebel-in-Chief (Barnes) red-baiting redlining reductions in force (RIFs) Reed, Ralph reform tradition Regent University Law School regulation attacks on Ciskei and CNMI and control of, by industries defunding left and eminent domain clause and follow-the-dime story and free market vs. libertarianism and lobbying and Regulation magazine regulatory agencies Reich, Robert Reinventing Government (Osborne and Gaebler) religion RENAMO rebels rent control “rent extraction” Republican Party early 20th century Freshman Class of 1994 lobbying and massive debt produced by National Committee National Convention of 1984 nomination fight of 1964 Requiem in the Tropics (Cox) “revolving door” Reyes, Pete P. Rhodesian Sellout, The (Skimin) Rice, Condoleezza Rich, Frank Ridenour, Amy Moritz Robertson, Pat Rock the House (Norquist) Roe v.

pages: 386 words: 122,595

Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science (Fully Revised and Updated) by Charles Wheelan


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, congestion charging, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, demographic transition, diversified portfolio, Doha Development Round, Exxon Valdez, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, index fund, interest rate swap, invisible hand, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Malacca Straits, market bubble, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, new economy, open economy, presumed consent, price discrimination, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, Yogi Berra, young professional

It’s often said that if you ask ten economists the same question you will get ten different answers. But I’ll wager that if you asked ten economists why there is a shortage of cabs and apartments in New York City, all ten would tell you that limitations on the number of taxi medallions and rent control are what restrict the supply of these goods and services. There are certainly many areas where economists are in virtual unanimous agreement. Economists overwhelmingly agree that free international trade can improve the standard of living of the trading countries and that tariffs and import quotas reduce general welfare. Economists generally agree that rent controls reduce the volume and quality of housing. Economists were virtually unanimous in their forecast that the horrific tragedy of September 11, 2001, would lead to a contraction of economic activity. My own experience in government suggests that there is far less difference in the views of economists (be they conservative Republicans or liberal Democrats) than there is between economists and those who come from different disciplines.

pages: 473 words: 132,344

The Downfall of Money: Germany's Hyperinflation and the Destruction of the Middle Class by Frederick Taylor


Albert Einstein, anti-communist, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, central bank independence, centre right, collective bargaining, falling living standards, fiat currency, full employment, German hyperinflation, housing crisis, Internet Archive, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, mittelstand, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, quantitative easing, rent control, risk/return, strikebreaker, trade route

As the exchange rate tumbled, German goods became progressively cheaper in foreign markets. The pricing strategies of German manufacturers were further aided by the fact that, although workers, especially union members, were constantly demanding inflation-adjusted wage increases, those same wages were starting from a low real base. The need for inflation-adjusted increases was also mitigated by continuing government support for food prices and by the continuance of wartime rent controls (what that meant for the government’s control of the deficit – or lack of it – was another matter). The patriotic British, French or American (or Danish, or Dutch) businessman might prefer to buy from his own countrymen, but German quality was high and German prices, at that time, were hard to resist. In any case, it was common for large German companies and conglomerates to trade through wholly or partly owned foreign subsidiaries, especially those based in Holland.

For those who, unlike the pensioners and the impoverished middle class, and the hand-to-mouth working class, had spare money over and above what was needed for subsistence, acquiring ‘things’, material assets, was the key to surviving and even prospering in these uncertain times. More important than anything was to get rid of your cash, which might tomorrow be worthless. The relaxation of the rent control laws was a signal for a new wave of investment, as the Manchester Guardian reported: The boom that has just set in in the building trade is responsible for the reduction in the figures of the unemployed, sunk this week to 50,000. This sudden activity is due to two reasons. The older one is that the fortunate or unfortunate possessor of too many paper marks is desirous of exchanging them for something tangible in bricks and mortar even at the incredible cost of construction.

pages: 519 words: 136,708

Vertical: The City From Satellites to Bunkers by Stephen Graham


1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, Commodity Super-Cycle, deindustrialization, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, energy security, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, Google Earth, high net worth, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Indoor air pollution, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, means of production, megacity, megastructure, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-industrial society, Project Plowshare, rent control, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Skype, South China Sea, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trickle-down economics, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, WikiLeaks

Importantly, ideas of vertical growth have also resonated with city leaders and development agencies keen to engineer glitzy, futuristic skylines as a means of building urban ‘brands’ that compete with other so-called world or global cities for investment, tourism, media exposure and the ‘creative class’ (mobile and well-educated high-tech elites).3 The problem with Glaeser’s arguments, however, is that they invoke densification and verticalisation for cities as a simple economic imperative while completely ignoring the structural social and political forces shaping the production and consumption of urban housing in contemporary cities.4 In economic terms, Glaeser focuses exclusively on alleged links between inelastic housing supply (caused by constrained building and low building heights) and housing afford-ability. At the same time, in line with the wider neoliberal rhetoric within which his arguments fit,5 he argues that state regulation is merely a barrier to the building of housing in cities. The implication is that housing and planning regulations and subsidies – rent controls, social and collective housing provisions, height restrictions – need to be cut away in the interests of an entirely privatised housing regime unleashing the vertical growth processes that they supposedly constrain. In many cities, the result of this confluence of ideas concerning densification, ‘smart’ growth, neoliberal vertical housing and ‘global’ city planning – despite Glaeser’s rhetoric – has been profoundly regressive socially.

The construction of these towers represents the latest phenomenon in a thirty-year process of hyper-gentrification whereby the global super-rich – Malaysian financiers, Indian building moguls, Mexican power brokers, Russian ministers (some of dubious provenance) and the like – have used untraceable shell companies to aggressively assert increasing control in Manhattan.56 In 2016 the US state is so concerned about the role that Manhattan’s elite real estate is playing in the laundering of ‘dirty’ money from around the world that it started requiring real estate agents to track the identities of purchasers.57 Indeed, the towers are only the most visible sign of a much broader shift. This has involved the loosening of social obligations or regulations in housing and planning; the withdrawal of long-standing rent controls; the eviction of lower-income tenants; the privatisation of public space; aggressively race-based ‘zero tolerance’ policing and other social controls; and the deepening power of finance and real estate capital over urban planning. These forces have combined powerfully in the explicit repackaging of Manhattan as a luxury brand for the world’s super-rich, a process that has led directly to the rapid growth of New York’s increasingly dispersed homeless population (from 23,000 in 1993 to more than 60,000 in 2014).

pages: 527 words: 147,690

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman


23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, game design, global village, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, license plate recognition, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, pre–internet, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social graph, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Slumlords and other unscrupulous operators are encouraged to subdivide properties into smaller rentals from which they extract hefty fees. Rent-controlled apartments can be leveraged to extract illegal rents from unsuspecting subletters. That has become an acute problem in San Francisco, Airbnb’s home city, where housing prices have risen exorbitantly due to the influx of moneyed young start-up employees. In the process, otherwise suitable long-term rental units become unavailable, turned over to tourists and short-term corporate rentals, which in turn drives up prices for locals. In the summer of 2013, evictions in San Francisco were at their highest in eleven years, due in part to the latitude the city gives landlords in evicting residents of rent-controlled apartments and the tempting payday of short-term, under-the-table rentals. Among the most pernicious aspects of the sharing economy is the way it presents itself as a populist operation, a loose community coming together to engage in mutually beneficial, informal economic exchanges.

pages: 624 words: 127,987

The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume by Josh Kaufman


Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, business process, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Hofstadter,, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, hindsight bias, index card, inventory management, iterative process, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, loose coupling, loss aversion, market bubble, Network effects, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, place-making, premature optimization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, side project, statistical model, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, telemarketer, the scientific method, time value of money, Toyota Production System, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, Yogi Berra

Think of a line of dominoes—a single push causes a chain of events to occur. Once the chain starts, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to stop or reverse the cascade of cause and effect. Rent control in New York City after World War II is another sobering example of unintended consequences. Originally intended to provide returning veterans with affordable housing, the policy capped rent prices (and the ability of landlords to raise them) in certain areas of the city. Affordable housing for veterans is a noble idea, right? Here’s what the city planners didn’t expect: every year, the cost to maintain properties in New York City continued to rise, but landlords couldn’t raise rent prices to compensate for their increased costs. By law, rent control couldn’t be removed unless the original leaseholder moved or the building was condemned, so landlords refused to maintain their property—it was a waste of money.

pages: 515 words: 132,295

Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business by Rana Foroohar


3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, bank run, Basel III, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour mobility, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vanguard fund

Structurally, this setup allows private equity firms to act as holding companies for portfolio firms, which enables them to reduce legal liabilities. Consider the bungled 2006 deal involving investors Tishman Speyer and BlackRock, which raised a private equity fund to purchase the famous Manhattan rent-controlled apartment buildings of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. The $5.4 billion deal was done with 20 percent equity and 80 percent debt (maximizing its tax advantages, since our tax code favors debt over equity, as we’ll learn in the next chapter). The partners wanted to kick out tenants and turn the rent-controlled apartments into condos, but when that plan was foiled by numerous protests and a court ruling, they defaulted on the mortgage. Their investors—including the Church of England, the government of Singapore, CalPERS, and two other public pension funds based in California and Florida—lost a of total of $850 million as a result.

pages: 226 words: 59,080

Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science by Dani Rodrik


airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, bank run, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, butterfly effect, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, distributed generation, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, fudge factor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, loss aversion, low skilled workers, market design, market fundamentalism, minimum wage unemployment, oil shock, open economy, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school vouchers, South Sea Bubble, spectrum auction, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, ultimatum game, University of East Anglia, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, white flight

The United States should eliminate agricultural subsidies. (85%) 7. A large federal budget deficit has an adverse effect on the economy. (83%) 8. A minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled workers. (79%) Unless you skipped the previous chapters, the degree of consensus on these propositions should surprise you. For at least four of the eight, we have already seen models that contradict them. Rent controls (ceilings on what landlords can charge) do not necessarily restrict the supply of housing if landlords behave monopolistically, trade restrictions do not necessarily reduce efficiency, fiscal stimulus does not necessarily work, and minimum wages do not necessarily raise unemployment. In all of these cases, there are models with imperfect competition, imperfect markets, or imperfect information where the reverse outcome prevails.

pages: 131 words: 45,778

My Misspent Youth: Essays by Meghan Daum


haute couture, rent control, Yogi Berra

It was a standard prewar with moldings around the ceilings and, most likely, porcelain hexagonal bathroom tiles that were coming loose. Although I’m not sure if there were faded Persian rugs on the floors and NPR humming from the speakers, it was just the sort of place for that. The music copyist and his wife had lived there for almost twenty years and although rent was the furthest thing from my mind at the time, I can now surmise, based on what they probably earned, that the apartment was rent controlled, perhaps $300 per month. It’s now difficult to imagine a time when I didn’t walk into someone’s apartment and immediately start the income-to-rent ratio calculations. But on that summer night, standing in the living room of this apartment, looking down on the streets whose voluptuous, stony buildings formed the shore to the river that so famously keeps here safely away from there, my life was changed forever.

pages: 278 words: 82,069

Meltdown: How Greed and Corruption Shattered Our Financial System and How We Can Recover by Katrina Vanden Heuvel, William Greider


Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, capital controls, carried interest, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Exxon Valdez, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, kremlinology, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, McMansion, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, payday loans,, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, pushing on a string, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, sovereign wealth fund, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, union organizing, wage slave, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working poor, Y2K

They have few rights even though the homeowner is the one who defaulted on a payment, not the renters themselves. Their situation is typical of the crisis’ impact on communities of color where, according to an ACORN study, African-American and Latino homeowners are more than three times as likely as whites to have a high-cost loan. Once evicted, former tenants find they have few rights. Unless they live in a city with rent control and are covered by eviction regulations, they are at the mercy of state laws, which give evicted tenants limited recourse. And the laws don’t look like they’ll change anytime soon. Bills and Remedies In late January, the California State Senate defeated a bill sponsored by Senator Don Perata (D) of Oakland that would have required banks to give 60 days notice to tenants in foreclosed properties.

pages: 212 words: 70,224

How to Retire the Cheapskate Way by Jeff Yeager


asset allocation, car-free, employer provided health coverage, estate planning, financial independence, fixed income, pez dispenser, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Zipcar

He also generates some additional income from a host of little side businesses he “plays around with,” including professional photography, PR consulting, and selling customized cards and invitations, an enterprise that he started at the age of fourteen and has maintained ever since. He estimates that he spends roughly $1,500 per month on all of his living expenses, including what he pays for his quasi-rent-controlled apartment. Official poverty-level gauges aside, it’s clear that Jerry is among that half of all Americans who rely primarily on Social Security for their retirement income. Without it, he would be “poor” by any and every definition of the term. But what’s indisputable is the second half of Jerry Dyson’s statement: “I’ve learned how to be poor and very happy.” “Sure, I could have more stuff and could afford to spend at least a little more than I do.

pages: 330 words: 77,729

Big Three in Economics: Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes by Mark Skousen


Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business climate, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, delayed gratification, experimental economics, financial independence, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, means of production, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, open economy, paradox of thrift, price stability, pushing on a string, rent control, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, unorthodox policies

And land prices, like wages and capital goods, are determined by their marginal productivity—"at the margin"—allocated according to its most "productive" use (346-48). According to Clark, taxing away the value of land, even if unimproved, will drive capital out of land into housing, and misallocate capital in favor of housing. Rent and land prices help investors to allocate a scarce resource (land) to its most valued use in society. Rent controls and confiscatory land taxes can only create distortions in land use.2 Finally, Clark applied his marginal productivity theory to capital and interest. He differed strenuously with the Austrians on the structure of the capital markets, arguing that investment capital was a "permanent fund," like a big reservoir, where "the water that at this moment flows into one end of the pond causes an overflow from the other end" (Clark 1965 [ 1899], 313).

Dark Summit: The True Story of Everest's Most Controversial Season by Nick Heil


airport security, British Empire, invisible hand, rent control, trade route

In both situations, all that really counted was the achievement—in the first case because of its cathartic potency; in the latter because of its undiminished power to impress. What did that imply when it came to the welfare of others? In March 2007 I traveled to Brice’s home in Argentière, France, a quaint mountain hamlet a couple of miles upvalley from Chamonix. Brice put me up in his sister-in-law’s vacation condo; he and Caroline lived across town, in a modest but tasteful rent-controlled two-bedroom apartment. I spent a week visiting with them and others, including Brice’s old friend Harry Taylor, several members of the documentary film crew (who were in town to prep for Discovery Channel’s follow-up show on Himex), and Brice’s staff at Chamonix Experience, a.k.a. Chamex, the guiding business that he ran in tandem with Himalayan Experience. Chamex occupied a one-room office behind a ski shop on Argentière’s main drag, where Brice also operated a small coffee bar.

pages: 168 words: 9,044

You're Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing by John Scalzi


non-fiction novel, Occam's razor, place-making, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, telemarketer

Money is not the only thing involved in a book deal. Be that as it may, here and now, $3K is a shitty amount of money. It's shitty in exchange for the amount of labor involved in writing a book, and it's shitty in the real world of paying rent, buying groceries and keeping the lights on. $3K is a nickel a word (or less, if you write more than 60,000 words). If you live in New York City or San Francisco and don't have rent control, $3K is a writer's monthly "nut"—i.e., your cost of living (note to writers: Get the hell out of NYC and SF). Lassen's exhortations of paltry book economics aside, no author wants to make $3,000 or less from their work. It's "I won't bring up what I was paid to the parents who wanted me to be an accountant" money. It's "I'll never be able to give up my day job" money. It's "I'm glad I've got a tolerant partner" money.

Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge by Cass R. Sunstein


affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, availability heuristic, Build a better mousetrap,, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Edward Glaeser,, feminist movement, framing effect, hindsight bias, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, market bubble, market design, minimum wage unemployment, prediction markets, profit motive, rent control, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, slashdot, stem cell, The Wisdom of Crowds, winner-take-all economy

In all of these cases, there is reason to trust the people who are being asked, and hence the average answer is peculiarly likely to be right. But it would make no sense to make policy by asking everyone in the world whether the United States should sign the Kyoto Protocol, or whether genetic engineering poses serious risks, or whether a significant increase in the minimum wage would increase unemployment, or whether the death penalty has a deterrent effect on crime, or whether rent control policies help or hurt poor tenants. In these cases, there is a great risk that error and confusion at the individual level will be replicated at the level of group averages. The implications for group behavior and democracy are mixed. To the extent that the goal is to arrive at the correct judgments on facts, the Condorcet Jury Theorem affords no guarantees. In numerous domains, too many people are likely to blunder in systematic ways.

pages: 265 words: 69,310

What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy by Tom Slee


4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, David Brooks, don't be evil, gig economy, Hacker Ethic, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, ultimatum game, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Zipcar

The company makes it easy to add a property to its site, but when you sign up for Airbnb as a host or a guest you agree to four separate terms of service that total 30,000 words: almost half the length of this book. The company knows rules when it suits them. Our housing and residences are surrounded by rules because we are part of a community and need to get along. Not all these rules are good ones, but co-operative housing organizations place limits on what ­members can do, landlord–tenant agreements place limits on what ­tenants can do, city rules put limits on what landlords can do, and rent-­controlled apartments are made available with a set of conditions about how they are used. Airbnb has no interest in these rules. Instead, despite its talk of community, the only logic it seems to understand is that of the free market: the right of property owners to do what they want with their property. Tenants in shared buildings don’t like it when their neighbors all start renting out and a new wave of strangers appears in the building every weekend, but this is not Airbnb’s responsibility.

pages: 651 words: 180,162

Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb


Air France Flight 447, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discrete time, double entry bookkeeping, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, financial independence, Flash crash, Gary Taubes, Gini coefficient, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, informal economy, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral hazard, mouse model, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, stochastic volatility, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Yogi Berra, Zipf's Law

So I can call around: if I can do better than the Kensington party, with, say, a dinner with any of my real friends, I would do that. Otherwise I would take a black taxi to Kensington. I have an option, not an obligation. It came at no cost since I did not even solicit it. So I have a small, nay, nonexistent, downside, a big upside. This is a free option because there is no real cost to the privilege. Your Rent Second example: assume you are the official tenant of a rent-controlled apartment in New York City, with, of course, wall-to-wall bookshelves. You have the option of staying in it as long as you wish, but no obligation to do so. Should you decide to move to Ulan Bator, Mongolia, and start a new life there, you can simply notify the landlord a certain number of days in advance, and thank you goodbye. Otherwise, the landlord is obligated to let you live there somewhat permanently, at a predictable rent.

Alas, contemporary architecture is smooth, even when it tries to look whimsical. What is top-down is generally unwrinkled (that is, unfractal) and feels dead. Sometimes modernism can take a naturalistic turn, then stop in its tracks. Gaudi’s buildings in Barcelona, from around the turn of the twentieth century, are inspired by nature and rich architecture (Baroque and Moorish). I managed to visit a rent-controlled apartment there: it felt like an improved cavern with rich, jagged details. I was convinced that I had been there in a previous life. Wealth of details, ironically, leads to inner peace. Yet Gaudi’s idea went nowhere, except in promoting modernism in its unnatural and naive versions: later modernistic structures are smooth and completely stripped of fractal jaggedness. I also enjoy writing facing trees, and, if possible, wild untamed gardens with ferns.

pages: 372 words: 96,474

Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States (P.S.) by Pete Jordan


big-box store, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, Haight Ashbury, index card, Mason jar, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, wage slave

Though my knowledge of real estate was minimal, those numbers didn’t sound right. What little I did know was that in my hometown, housing prices were so high—and rising so rapidly—that it wasn’t just an impossibility for a dishman to buy a house there, but even renting was out of the question. In fact, not long before, as a result of the explosion in San Francisco’s housing prices, my parents had been evicted from their own rent-controlled apartment of twenty-three years. Yet each time I counted the zeros of the listed housing prices in Colby, unbelievably, the figures came out the same. It got me thinking. Between Kansan prices and Alaskan wages, maybe I could get a place of my own. Sitting smack in the middle of America, a house in Kansas could be used as a base of operations. It could be a hideaway to retreat to after dishwashing sprees up to Alaska or around the country.

pages: 342 words: 99,390

The greatest trade ever: the behind-the-scenes story of how John Paulson defied Wall Street and made financial history by Gregory Zuckerman


1960s counterculture, banking crisis, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, financial innovation, fixed income, index fund, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, merger arbitrage, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Ponzi scheme, Renaissance Technologies, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, short selling, Silicon Valley, statistical arbitrage, Steve Ballmer, Steve Wozniak, technology bubble

Others argued that Paulson’'s actions indirectly led to more dangerous CDO investments, resulting in billions of dollars of additional losses for those who owned the CDO slices when the market finally cratered. In truth, Paulson and Pellegrini still were unsure if their growing trade would ever pan out. They thought the CDOs and other risky mortgage debt would become worthless, Paulson says. “"But we still didn’'t know.”" 10. ANDREW LAHDE WAS OUT OF WORK IN THE SUMMER OF 2006, HE had little left in his savings account, and he was stuck in a cramped one-bedroom, rent-controlled apartment. But Lahde was convinced he had at least one thing of value: a trade that was sure to make him a fortune. He just couldn’'t get anyone to believe him. The thirty-five-year-old had been let go by Los Angeles investment firm Dalton Capital, after a series of clashes with his boss and an abrupt shuttering of the hedge fund that Lahde was working on. He wasn’'t very concerned, at least initially.

pages: 307 words: 96,974

Rats by Robert Sullivan


Louis Pasteur, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, trade route, urban renewal

Dave Davis applauds Milwaukee's rodent control in an article in the Milwaukee Journal entitled "Rat Program of City Praised," which appeared on March 30, 1968. In 1971, Milwaukee's rat control program was rated among the best of eleven cities surveyed by the federal department of Health, Education, and Welfare, according to the Journal of September 11, 1971 (the early edition of the paper accidentally referred to the program praised as a rent control program). The quote on the monument at the Wisconsin Workers Memorial was originally taken from a book called The Rise of Labor and Wisconsin's Little New Deal. That Milwaukee lost some sixty thousand jobs in the recession between 1979 and 1982 came from the Encyclopaedia Britannica. When I met with Don Schaewe, he demonstrated an experimental rat-hole-activity monitoring technique—crumpling a ball of paper and stuffing it into a rat hole and returning the next day to see if the paper has been expelled.

pages: 384 words: 89,250

Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America by Giles Slade


Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Buckminster Fuller, Cass Sunstein, Douglas Engelbart, global village, housing crisis, indoor plumbing, invention of radio, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Ralph Nader, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the market place, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, women in the workforce

Their major innovation, however, was the introduction of long-term self-amortizing mortgages with uniform payments spread over the life of the debt. This development was to have a remarkable effect on American real estate after 1944, when section 505 of The Serviceman’s Readjustment Act (the GI Bill) guaranteed every veteran a fully finan ed mortgage for any home meeting FHA standards. Then in 1947, the Housing and Rent Act introduced rent controls to keep rental housing affordable. One consequence of this act was to make rental properties much less lucrative for investors, who turned their capital and energies to the construction and sale of privately owned homes. On the outer rings of cities where land was cheaper, suburban developments sprang up almost overnight, aimed at a new bluecollar mass market.26 Houses in this new suburbia were pared down to their most essential features, as developers found ways to economize on construction.

pages: 328 words: 92,317

Machinery of Freedom: A Guide to Radical Capitalism by David Friedman


back-to-the-land, Fractional reserve banking, hiring and firing, jitney, laissez-faire capitalism, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, means of production, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Stewart Brand, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, urban renewal, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog

Before discussing how a 'free-market university' would work, we must analyze what is essentially wrong with the present system. The lack of student power which the New Left deplores is a direct result of the success of one of the pet schemes of the old left, heavily subsidized schooling. Students in public universities and, to a lesser extent, in private ones do not pay the whole cost of their schooling. As a result the university does not need its students; it can always get more. Like a landlord under rent control, the university can afford to ignore the wishes and convenience of its customers. If the subsidies were abolished or converted into scholarships awarded to students, so that the university got its money from tuition, it would be in the position of a merchant selling his goods at their market price and thus constrained to sell what his customers most want to buy. That is the situation of market schools, such as Berlitz and the various correspondence schools, and that is how they act.

pages: 309 words: 91,581

The Great Divergence: America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It by Timothy Noah


autonomous vehicles, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, Branko Milanovic, call centre, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, Erik Brynjolfsson, feminist movement, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Gini coefficient, income inequality, industrial robot, invisible hand, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, low skilled workers, lump of labour, manufacturing employment, moral hazard, oil shock, pattern recognition, performance metric, positional goods, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, refrigerator car, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, upwardly mobile, very high income, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Yom Kippur War

The same families didn’t necessarily occupy, say, the top 5 percent in incomes over multiple generations. Old fortunes were dissipated, and new fortunes sprang up to take their place. Another countervailing circumstance was that various government actions had worked to limit the concentration of wealth, either indirectly by permitting higher levels of inflation (which eroded the value of existing wealth) or directly through such policies as rent control and ceilings on long-term interest rates (which slowed wealth’s accumulation). Even when such government actions were not intended to redistribute income, Kuznets wrote, they nonetheless reflected “the view of society on the long-term utility of wide income inequalities. This view is a vital force that would operate in democratic societies even if there were no counteracting factors [italics mine].”

pages: 309 words: 87,414

Paris Revealed by Stephen Clarke


clean water, haute couture, Honoré de Balzac, rent control, trade route

, usage of 26 Pré Saint-Gervais: métro line 7bis 93 pre-Haussmann Paris, photographs 113 Prêcheurs, rue des 35 prehistoric settlement, Bercy 101–2 Prêtres, rue des 31 Prévôt, rue du 31, 34 Prison de la Santé 41 pronunciation, fashion terms 214–15 property buying 259, 262–78 ads, vocabulary 268n De Particulier à Particulier 266–7, 287 owners, buying from 267–78 prostitutes business records 168 Napoleon’s first amour 135 Palais-Royal gardens 135–6 part-time 162–3 squeezed out 7 Prouté, Paul, gallery 251–2, 287 Prussian siege 1870–1 55, 56, 70, 174, 177–9 public toilets, idiosyncratic usage 2, 40–2 publishing houses, intellectual 10 puns 64, 262, see also hairdressers’ names PSG, see Paris Saint-Germain Quai de la Rapée métro station 85 Quai de Loire MK2 131, 132, 284 Quai de Seine MK2 131, 284 Quartier de l’Horloge 8, 121 Queneau, Raymond (writer), Zazie dans le Métro 94, 290 queues general rules for conduct 20–1 supermarket checkouts 2 racaille 7 railways, urban 70–1 Ramponeau, rue 236 Ramuz, Charles Ferdinand (writer), Paris, Notes d’un Vaudois 18 RATP (Paris transport agency), flood preparations 62 rats, as part of Parisian cuisine 174, 177 Réaumur-Sébastopol métro station 83 redevelopment/remodelling 99–100, 101, 103–4 Fournel on 115–16 Haussmann 54, 58, 65, 101, 111–14 recent 121–3 redevelopment zones 234 regional cuisines 190 Renaissance Paris 107 Rennes, rue de 31 Renoir, Auguste (artist) 232, 240, 247 rent controls, loi de 1948, abolition 260–2 rented apartments, rules for conduct 24–5 République métro station 83 République square 150 RER (réseau express régional) 7, 69-70, 89 Resistance fighters, commemorative street plaques 35 restaurants and baguettes 185, 188 authentic 127 French cuisine, selecting 190–7 romantic 148–52 rules for conduct 19–20 Revolution, French 108–9, 110 and street-name signs 33 sex after 157–8 ‘revolutionary’ time 108 revolutions, French, various 111, 112, 114–15 rich people dressed down 9 Montmartre 15 old ladies 11 ostentatious 9–10 Richard, Pierre (actor) 225 Rimbaud, Arthur (poet) 89, 236 ring road, see boulevard périphérique 3 Ritz bar 147–8, 284 Rivoli, rue de 35, 133 road signs, see street signs Robert Esnault-Pelterie, rue 35–6 Rochefort, Jean (actor) 226 Roi de Sicile, rue du 32 Roman Paris 102–6 romance 125–53 or sex?

pages: 484 words: 104,873

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, debt deflation, deskilling, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

Beyond the political challenges and risks associated with a general disincentive to work, there is also the question of the impact a basic income might have on housing costs in high-rent areas. Imagine giving every resident of a city like New York, San Francisco, or London an extra thousand dollars per month. There are probably good reasons to expect that a very large fraction of that increase—perhaps nearly all of it—would eventually end up in the pockets of landlords as residents compete for scarce housing. There are no easy solutions to this problem. Rent control is one possibility, but it comes with lots of documented downsides. Many economists have called for relaxing zoning restrictions so that denser housing can be built, but this is sure to be opposed by existing residents. There is a counteracting force, however. A guaranteed income, unlike a job, would be mobile. Some people would be very likely to take their income and move away from expensive areas in search of a lower cost of living.

pages: 353 words: 110,919

The Road to Character by David Brooks


Cass Sunstein, David Brooks, desegregation, Donald Trump, follow your passion, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, New Journalism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile

Susanna chose a flamboyant green dress and wore her hair piled wildly atop her head, with garish flowers adorning her hair and neck. “I have given way to morbid superstition that I am the cause of others’ nervous collapse, my husband, my daughter,” Perkins confessed. “[It] frightens and oppresses me.”37 Susanna was never really able to work and was supported by Frances. Even at age seventy-seven, Frances turned over her rent-controlled apartment in New York so that Susanna would have a place to live. She had to take a job to pay her daughter’s bills. Every virtue can come with its own accompanying vice. The virtue of reticence can yield the vice of aloofness. Perkins was not emotionally vulnerable to those close to her. Her public vocation never completely compensated for her private solitude. Duty New York’s Governor Al Smith was Perkins’s first and greatest political love.

pages: 416 words: 106,582

This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking by John Brockman


23andMe, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, biofilm, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, data acquisition, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, hive mind, impulse control, information retrieval, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, mandelbrot fractal, market design, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, open economy, place-making, placebo effect, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, randomized controlled trial, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Schrödinger's Cat, security theater, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Catalog

There hasn’t been a phase transition in the mathematical sense, but as dimension is scaled up, the system shifts in a way we don’t intuitively expect. I call these types of changes “scale transitions,” unexpected outcomes resulting from increases in scale. For example, increases in the number of people interacting in a system can produce unforeseen outcomes: The operation of markets at large scales is often counterintuitive. Think of the restrictive effect that rent-control laws can have on the supply of affordable rental housing, or how minimum-wage laws can reduce the availability of low-wage jobs. (James Flynn gives “markets” as an example of a “shorthand abstraction”; here I am interested in the often counterintuitive operation of a market system at large scale.) Think of the serendipitous effects of enhanced communication—for example, collaboration and interpersonal connection generating unexpected new ideas and innovation; or the counterintuitive effect of massive computation in science reducing experimental reproducibility as data and code have proved harder to share than their descriptions.

pages: 273 words: 34,920

Free Market Missionaries: The Corporate Manipulation of Community Values by Sharon Beder


anti-communist, battle of ideas, business climate, corporate governance,, full employment, income inequality, invisible hand, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, price mechanism, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rent control, risk/return, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, shareholder value, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Torches of Freedom, trade liberalization, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, young professional

Monetarism and the natural rate of unemployment were therefore policies that aimed to serve the top end of town. Monetarism appealed to free market ideologues because it reduced the role of government in the economy. Similarly, it aided the argument against government spending and social programmes, which free market advocates railed against. Friedman was against all government interventions in the market including tariffs, rent controls, minimum wages, regulation, social security, public housing, national parks, and government provision of infrastructure and services such as post offices and roads. Monetarism was also attractive to free market advocates because it explained the Great Depression in terms of government failure rather than market failure – that is, the failure of the Federal Reserve to manage money supply properly, rather than declining demand, overproduction and income inequality in the market.22 The pursuit of monetarism also had a marked political agenda.

Future Files: A Brief History of the Next 50 Years by Richard Watson


Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Black Swan, call centre, carbon footprint, cashless society, citizen journalism, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, deglobalization, digital Maoism, disintermediation, epigenetics, failed state, financial innovation, Firefox, food miles, future of work, global supply chain, global village, hive mind, industrial robot, invention of the telegraph, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, linked data, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Northern Rock, peak oil, pensions crisis, precision agriculture, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, RFID, Richard Florida, self-driving car, speech recognition, telepresence, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Turing test, Victor Gruen, white flight, women in the workforce, Zipcar

Some nations may even abolish the option of retirement altogether or refuse to use state funds to support asset-rich, income-poor citizens. Personally, I think that technology will eventually come to the rescue and productivity rates will soar as a result, thereby funding retirement requirements. I also think that people will simply adjust and learn to live on less with less. Real estate, for example, is not a god-given right and many more people may decide to live in government- or company-owned, rent-controlled apartments. We may lease or borrow more products too. Rather than lending to buy real estate outright, lenders may “give” people property free of charge or at a low monthly cost, then take some or all of the future capital gains. Indeed, perhaps we will see a return to a feudal model whereby property or land is owned by your employer and must be returned once your employment ceases. Of course, this could be a recipe for social unrest — as it was the last time it was tried — although maybe certain safeguards could be built in or tied to the length of your employment.

pages: 332 words: 89,668

Two Nations, Indivisible: A History of Inequality in America: A History of Inequality in America by Jamie Bronstein


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, blue-collar work, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, obamacare, occupational segregation, Occupy movement, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price discrimination, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, strikebreaker, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, wage slave, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

As editor of the NAACP’s magazine, The Crisis, he advised black Americans to create and patronize businesses catering almost exclusively to the black community.104 Similarly, Marcus Garvey, founder of the popular United Negro Improvement Association, advocated black separatism, entrepreneurialism, and ultimately, migration to Africa.105 PROGRESSIVISM, “AMERICANISM,” AND THE FIRST WORLD WAR World War I produced the first impressive contraction of inequality in the twentieth century. As men joined the war effort and left the domestic labor market, the wages for unskilled labor rose. Higher-skilled and white-collar workers with longer contracts that were less responsive to inflation found that their pay did not keep up. At the same time, the government experimented with price controls, rent control, and excess-profits taxes.106 Ironically, however, even as actual inequality temporarily decreased, Americans backed away from the discussions about the importance of fostering equality. During World War I, the government reached out to the AFL while at the same time cracking down on the IWW, which was branded as subversive. The National War Labor Board recognized the legality of collective bargaining and encouraged mediation in order to avoid strikes during wartime.

The Ghosts of Berlin: Confronting German History in the Urban Landscape by Brian Ladd


Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, full employment, New Urbanism, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, urban planning, urban renewal

Many Turkish workers moved in during the 1960s and 1970s, as did German students, artists, anarchists, and punks. The new residents recognized what official policy long denied: that the buildings were solid, adaptable, and represented the irreplaceable handiwork of craftsmen. By the 1980s, they were more sought-after than the postwar highrises nearby. Rents in these buildings were kept particularly low by rent controls enacted during the severe housing shortage after the war. West Berlin leftists suspected that the government was colluding with developers who wished to let the old buildings fall into disrepair until they could be demolished and replaced with more profitable structures. In 1980 squatters began to move into abandoned buildings, which then became centers of protest against everything from housing policies to exploitation of the Third World.

pages: 340 words: 92,904

Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars by Samuel I. Schwartz


2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, car-free, City Beautiful movement, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Enrique Peñalosa, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, if you build it, they will come, intermodal, invention of the wheel, lake wobegon effect, Loma Prieta earthquake, Lyft, Masdar, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nate Silver, oil shock, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, skinny streets, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, the built environment, the map is not the territory, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, Wall-E, white flight, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Zipcar

The velocity-time graphs used by physics students to study acceleration might look a little like the supply and demand curves that economics students use to study prices. They’re not. Demand curves can be manipulated. If we—and by “we” I mean all of us, acting through our local, state, and federal governments—decide to do so, we can alter the supply of most things, and thereby change their prices. If a rent-control law keeps prices below what people are willing to pay for housing, the housing supply contracts; if a new zoning law favors construction in a previously vacant area, the supply expands. Which is exactly what happened with the GI Bill’s requirement that government-guaranteed home loans go only to new construction, or the Eisenhower administration’s decision to build forty thousand miles of heavily subsidized highways.

pages: 341 words: 116,854

The Devil's Playground: A Century of Pleasure and Profit in Times Square by James Traub


Anton Chekhov, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, fear of failure, Jane Jacobs, jitney, megastructure, New Urbanism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, rent control, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal

Seymour was a character, a gaunt and gray-haired figure who walked everywhere, cut his own hair, wore his clothes until they were threadbare, and generally lived like an anchorite. He was a kind of homespun philosopher who kept his pockets stuffed with folded-up papers upon which he had scribbled his thoughts on the great issues of the day, and which he would withdraw with a flourish as the conversation turned to the relevant topic. He sent an endless stream of letters to The New York Times, often on the subject of rent control, which he considered the root of all housing evils. Seymour often purchased tiny advertisements at the bottom of the front page—“bottom lines,” the family called them—in order to ensure that his views got the airing they deserved. Seymour could be extraordinarily creative in finding venues in which to ride his various hobbyhorses: in 1989 he mounted what he called the Debt Clock, on a building he owned just east of Times Square, in order to tick off the growing federal debt.

pages: 598 words: 140,612

Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier by Edward L. Glaeser


affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, clean water, congestion charging, declining real wages, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, endowment effect, European colonialism, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, global village, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute cuisine, Home mortgage interest deduction, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, job-hopping, John Snow's cholera map, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, megacity, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, place-making, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, RFID, Richard Florida, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Houston’s freewheeling growth machine has actually done a better job of providing affordable housing than all of the progressive reformers on America’s East and West coasts. In the early 1920s, New York was also a builders’ paradise, and as a result, housing stayed affordable. In the postwar years, New York increasingly restricted development and tried to make up for the lack of private supply with rent control and public housing. This strategy failed miserably, as it has throughout Europe. The only way to provide cheap housing on a mass scale is to unleash the developers. Levittown, The Woodlands, and hundreds of other large developments can be built so cheaply because they are built on a large scale. Mass production has made clothing and cars affordable for everyone; it has the same effect in the housing market.

pages: 366 words: 117,875

Arrival City by Doug Saunders


agricultural Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, call centre, credit crunch, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, guest worker program, Hernando de Soto, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Kibera, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, megacity, microcredit, new economy, pensions crisis, place-making, price mechanism, rent control, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, white flight, working poor, working-age population

Subhashini was the child of a veteran arrival-city family, a gregarious woman of singular self-confidence, and she made it a well-organized project, from her marriage at 18, to get her family out of the slum. His annual salary of $6,600 was not going to be enough to do it. The Parabs encountered two problems that are endemic across the world of arrival cities: an illiberal property market rigidly reined in by zoning and rent-control regulations and ownership restrictions, and an underdeveloped credit market that makes proper mortgage loans available only to the very highest-income groups. One set of restrictions discouraged anyone from building or selling homes affordable to the lower middle class (or to almost anyone, as millions of Mumbai home buyers have discovered); the other made it impossible for the Parabs to get a home loan of any sort, even with a sizable down payment.

pages: 474 words: 136,787

The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature by Matt Ridley


affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, Atahualpa, Bonfire of the Vanities, demographic transition, double helix, Drosophila, feminist movement, invention of agriculture, Menlo Park, phenotype, rent control, theory of mind, University of East Anglia, women in the workforce

In a good year for mice, a male can catch so many mice that he can simultaneously give two females the impression that he is a fine male; he can provide each with more mice than he could catch for one in a normal year.36 Nordic forests seem to be full of deceitful adulterers, for a similar habit by a deceptively innocent-looking little bird led to a long-running dispute in the scientific literature of the 1980s. Some male pied flycatchers, in the forests of Scandinavia, manage to be polygamous by holding two territories, each with a female in it, like the owls or like Sherman McCoy in Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities, who keeps an expensive wife on Park Avenue and a beautiful mistress in a rent-controlled apartment across town. Two teams of researchers have studied the birds and come to different conclusions about what is going on. The Finns and Swedes say that the mistress is deceived into believing that the male is unmarried. The Norwegians say that, since the wife sometimes visits the mistress’s nest and may try to drive her away, the mistress can be under no illusions. She accepts the fact that her mate may desert her for his wife, but hopes that if things go wrong at the wife’s nest – they often do – he will come back to help her raise her young.

pages: 363 words: 123,076

The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight: Wolfe, Thompson, Didion, Capote, and the New Journalism Revolution by Marc Weingarten


1960s counterculture, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, Donner party, East Village, Haight Ashbury, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Menlo Park, New Journalism, non-fiction novel, pre–internet, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Stewart Brand, upwardly mobile, working poor

Manhattan’s inhabitants were obstinately proud to call themselves New Yorkers, but they were also urban survivalists; their self-preservation skills were a crucial test of their commitment to enduring the best city on the planet. New York would be a how-to guide for this white, upwardly mobile demographic segment. A subscription solicitation that ran in the magazine in early 1969 trumpeted New York’s attributes. “We’ll show you how to get a rent-controlled, semi-professional apartment, even though you’re not a semi-professional person,” the copy read. “We’ll tell you how to go about getting your kid into private school with confidence, even though you graduated from P.S. 165.” Previous issues had addressed status (the December 9, 1968, cover featured a white-collar beggar in a Burberry coat holding a tin cup and a sign that read I MAKE $80,000 A YEAR AND I’M BROKE), but now Felker would push it harder.

pages: 432 words: 124,635

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery


2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, City Beautiful movement, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, East Village, edge city, energy security, Enrique Peñalosa, experimental subject, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, happiness index / gross national happiness, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, license plate recognition, McMansion, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, wage slave, white flight, World Values Survey, Zipcar

The Woodward’s block’s street edges may be disappointingly bare, but inside that block is a grand public atrium through which the entire spectrum of neighbors pass and occasionally mingle, while students take shots at the basketball hoop at its heart. Woodward’s has proved so convivial that it has accelerated gentrification in the area, but it has done so while locking two hundred affordable homes in place. It’s not enough to nudge the market toward equity. Governments must step in with subsidized social housing, rent controls, initiatives for housing cooperatives, or other policy measures. I don’t want to stray beyond the scope of this book—which is about design rather than social policy—but I must acknowledge that such mixing rarely happens if governments don’t step in to smooth the way. What’s clear is that fairness demands that cities stop concentrating subsidized housing in poor zones so all residents and their children can enjoy equal access to decent schools and services.

pages: 545 words: 137,789

How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities by John Cassidy


Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, asset allocation, asset-backed security, availability heuristic, bank run, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, centralized clearinghouse, collateralized debt obligation, Columbine, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, correlation coefficient, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, diversification, Elliott wave, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, full employment, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Haight Ashbury, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income per capita, incomplete markets, index fund, invisible hand, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, mental accounting, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, Network effects, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, paradox of thrift, Ponzi scheme, price discrimination, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, rent control, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, unorthodox policies, value at risk, Vanguard fund

When the war finished, he taught for a year at the University of Minnesota. In 1946, he finally got a full-time academic job, at Chicago. There he stayed for thirty years, enthusiastically combining the roles of academic researcher and policy advocate. As early as 1946, Friedman and George Stigler, another noted critic of government interventionism who for many years taught at Chicago, published a pamphlet in which they argued that rent controls, rather than shortage of building space or greedy landlords, were responsible for the lack of affordable apartments in New York. The article shared two attributes with many of Friedman’s subsequent publications. It took a simple economic concept—the law of supply and demand—and applied it to a practical problem; and it proved popular with business interests. The National Association of Real Estate Boards circulated half a million copies.

pages: 478 words: 126,416

Other People's Money: Masters of the Universe or Servants of the People? by John Kay


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital asset pricing model, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, dematerialisation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, Irish property bubble, Isaac Newton, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, loose coupling, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, market design, millennium bug, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Piper Alpha, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, Renaissance Technologies, rent control, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, Yom Kippur War

Every major bank suffered substantial losses, and some, such as Washington Mutual, which had specialised in housing finance, failed altogether. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two parastatal agencies that dominated US housing finance, collapsed. The share of owner-occupation in the housing stock declined for the first time in a century. At the beginning of the twentieth century, most households – not just low-income households – rented their homes. But landlords have always been unpopular. A history of rent control, and legislation that limited the rights and extended the obligations of landlords, reduced the economic and political attractions of investment in housing, while tax advantages made owner-occupation an attractive means of saving. And owners tend to be better occupiers. By the end of the twentieth century owner-occupation had become the norm. So today most houses are owned by the people who live in them.

pages: 494 words: 142,285

The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World by Lawrence Lessig


AltaVista, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, business process, Cass Sunstein, computer age, dark matter, disintermediation, Erik Brynjolfsson, George Gilder, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, invention of hypertext, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, linked data, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, smart grid, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, transaction costs

See also Merges and Nelson, 839 (propounding a race-to-invent theory; lethargy in patent development will lead to a problem of “under-fishing”; thus, where innovation is cumulative, narrow patents are better). See also Mark F. Grady and Jay I. Alexander, “Patent Law and Rent Dissipation,” Virginia Law Review 78 (1992): 305 (arguing that patents reduce rent dissipation from races to initial invention, races to improvements, and wasteful efforts to keep secrets). For a critique of Grady and Alexander, see Robert P. Merges, “Rent Control in the Patent District: Observations on the Grady-Alexander Thesis,” Virginia Law Review 78 (1992): 359. 92 As Professor Julie Cohen describes it: Kitch based his “prospect” theory on an analogy to nineteenth-century mining claims, which reserved for first-comers all rights to explore the described terrain. Under the prospect theory of patent scope, issued patents would operate as broad reservations of rights in the technical landscape.

pages: 400 words: 129,320

The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter by Peter Singer, Jim Mason


agricultural Revolution, air freight, clean water, collective bargaining, dumpster diving, food miles, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Isaac Newton, means of production, rent control, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review

he is said to have asked, then answering himself: "Get a live hose and stick it in his mouth."' So when, in the early 1990s, a New York animal activist named Henry Spira decided to try to pressure McDonald's into developing less inhumane ways of raising the animals, he knew it wasn't going to be easy. Spira was essentially a oneman-band, running an organization called Animal Rights International that had no paid staff and no office except the modest, rent-controlled New York apartment in which Spira lived. But Spira knew what it was like to take on the big boys. He had been involved in the civil rights movements in the South in the 1950s and 1960s. As a sailor in the merchant marines, he had been part of a reform group battling a corrupt union boss who was not averse to hiring thugs to beat up his opponents. He took up the cause of animals in his late forties and applied the lessons he had learned in his earlier struggles.

pages: 589 words: 147,053

The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life When Robots Rule the Earth by Robin Hanson


8-hour work day, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, business process, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, demographic transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, experimental subject, fault tolerance, financial intermediation, Flynn Effect, hindsight bias, job automation, job satisfaction, Just-in-time delivery, lone genius, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, market design, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nash equilibrium, new economy, prediction markets, rent control, rent-seeking, reversible computing, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, statistical model, stem cell, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

Scholars in economics, finance, business, and law have long identified many simple changes to business and social practices that seem to improve efficiency, but that are rarely adopted, and that tend to generate little interest when explained to potential adoptees. For example, economists tend to consistently recommend charging non-zero prices for scarce resources like parking and road use, and recommend weakening import tariffs, immigration restrictions, rent control, mortgage subsidies, taxes on products where both supply and demand are elastic, and penalties for victimless crimes such as drug use or prostitution. While clever scholars can often invent auxiliary hypotheses to explain why these polices are useful, contrary to appearance, it is far from obvious that such hypotheses are the real reasons for disinterest in these policies. We have six reasons to expect ems to adopt such improvements more often than they are adopted today.

pages: 1,590 words: 353,834

God's Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican by Gerald Posner


Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, central bank independence, centralized clearinghouse, credit crunch, dividend-yielding stocks, European colonialism, forensic accounting, Index librorum prohibitorum, medical malpractice, Murano, Venice glass, offshore financial centre, oil shock, operation paperclip, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

Other proposals that got serious consideration included selling some of the IOR gold Nogara had accumulated or streamlining the Curia’s lay employees (when the Vatican did sell some of its gold four years later, its timing was bad since bullion prices had dropped almost 40 percent).133 There was also a debate about renting some of the nearly 2,000 church-owned apartments in prime Roman neighborhoods at market rates instead of subsidizing rents of lay workers and clerics. Italy’s rent control law—widely ignored by ordinary Italians—prohibited such a move by the church. So that idea was shelved.134 Beyond the question of how to best cut the deficit, Philadelphia’s Cardinal Krol was the first to suggest it was time to retain an internationally recognized accounting firm to perform an annual audit of all the church’s finances.135,VIII Not everyone was impressed by the Pope’s reforms.

See Tully and Dorion, “The Vatican’s Finances.” Desmond O’Grady, “Vatican Plan for Tax on Catholics,” Sydney Morning Herald, August 28, 1987, 10. One cardinal, Joseph Höffner, sent chills through most Catholics when he suggested a worldwide tax on the faithful. 132 Tully and Dorion, “The Vatican’s Finances.” 133 Lai, Finanze vaticane, 84–85. 134 “We’re probably the only organization in Italy that takes rent control seriously,” one unnamed prelate moaned to Fortune. Tully and Dorion, “The Vatican’s Finances.” 135 Besides Krol, the commission included New York Cardinal John O’Connor. “The Pope Creates Vatican Bank Panel,” Lexis Nexis, Herald, Business Section, June 29, 1988, 21. See also Tully and Dorion, “The Vatican’s Finances.” 136 Shawn Tully and Marta F. Dorion, “The Vatican’s Finances,” Fortune, December 21, 1987. 137 Benny Lai interview with de Caprio, July 28, 1987, in Lai, Finanze vaticane, 140. 138 APSA, the Vatican’s other chief financial department besides the IOR, was firmly under lay control by this time.

pages: 508 words: 192,524

The autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X; Alex Haley


desegregation, index card, Mahatma Gandhi, rent control, Rosa Parks, transatlantic slave trade

I went to one of these-thirty or forty Negroes sweating, eating, drinking, dancing, and gamblingin a jammed, beat-up apartment, the record player going full blast, the fried chicken or chitlins with potato salad and collard greens for a dollar a plate, and cans of beer or shots of liquor for fifty cents. Negro and white canvassers sidled up alongside you, talking fast as they tried to get you to buy a copy of the _Daily Worker_: “This paper's trying to keep your rent controlled . . . Make that greedy landlord kill them rats in your apartment . . . This paper represents the only political party that ever ran a black man for the Vice Presidency of the United States . . . Just want you to read, won't take but a little of your time . . . Who do you think fought the hardest to help free those Scottsboro boys?” Things I overheard among Negroes when the salesmen were around let me know that the paper somehow was tied in with the Russians, but to my sterile mind in those early days, it didn't mean much; the radio broadcasts and the newspapers were then full of our-ally-Russia, a strong, muscular people, peasants, with their backs to the wall helping America to fight Hitler and Mussolini.

pages: 741 words: 179,454

Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk by Satyajit Das


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andy Kessler, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discrete time, diversification, diversified portfolio, Doomsday Clock, Emanuel Derman,, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, global reserve currency, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, index fund, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, load shedding, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home,, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, savings glut, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the market place, the medium is the message, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond

In a series of popular books, including Capitalism and Freedom and Free to Choose (based on a TV series of the same name), he argued that governments could only provide a framework of enforceable contracts, secure property rights, fair competition, stable money, and limited protection for the “irresponsible.” In Capitalism and Freedom, Friedman listed activities that the American government should not undertake, including farming subsidies, tariffs and trade quotas, minimum wages, rent control, national parks, postal services, and the regulation of various industries, especially banking. The intellectual struggle between Keynes and Friedman shaped the age of extreme money. Economic Politics After the Great Depression, Keynesian demand management required economists to adjust taxation and government spending to engineer desired growth levels. There was an accepted trade-off between inflation and unemployment, known as the Phillips curve, named after a New Zealand economist.

Frommer's Egypt by Matthew Carrington


airport security, centre right, colonial rule, Internet Archive, land tenure, Maui Hawaii, open economy, rent control, rolodex, sustainable-tourism, trade route, urban planning, urban sprawl, walkable city, Yom Kippur War

Downtown Literally wust al balad, or “middle of the town,” in Arabic (also the name of one of the most popular local bands), this area loosely reflects the European expansion of Islamic Cairo westward to the banks of the Nile. It may be a little hopeful to call it “Paris on the Nile,” but it’s stuffed with grand old buildings, many of them built by turn-of-the-century Italian stonemasons who came to Egypt masquerading as architects. Very few of the buildings have seen any maintenance since Gamal Abdel Nasser’s time (partly because of some ill-advised rent-control measures that keep rents today at 1960s levels), and many are now being deliberately destroyed to make way for the kind of shoddy buildings that have blighted much of the rest of the city. Islamic Cairo Misleadingly named (it doesn’t seem to be any more Islamic than any other part of the city), this is the oldest part of the city, built originally in A.D. 969 as a walled, secure environment for the leaders of the Fatimid dynasty.

pages: 780 words: 168,782

Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century by Christian Caryl


anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, colonial rule, Deng Xiaoping, financial deregulation, financial independence, friendly fire, full employment, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet Archive, land reform, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, single-payer health, special economic zone, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, Yom Kippur War

Attlee himself had worked in the slums of East London as a young man, and the experience had left him with a profound sense of the need for wide-ranging social protections. It took the Labour government just a few short years to implement a raft of social welfare policies that transformed British society. The Labourites established child subsidies, expanded a range of social insurance programs, built vast new tracts of public housing, imposed far-reaching rent controls, and launched a comprehensive program of state-run, single-payer health care (the National Health Service). It all proved enormously popular. Labour’s economic policies were even more far-reaching. “It is doubtful whether we have ever, except in war, used the whole of our productive capacity,” the Labour election manifesto proclaimed. “This must be corrected.” Attlee and his cabinet set out to do this through a series of measures that transformed British capitalism.

pages: 618 words: 180,430

The Making of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr


anti-communist, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, business climate, Corn Laws, Etonian, garden city movement, illegal immigration, imperial preference, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Red Clydeside, rent control, strikebreaker, trade liberalization, V2 rocket, wage slave, women in the workforce

His problem was not lack of knowledge but conceit. A comparatively old man of sixty-eight by the time he finally became prime minister, he had spent the second half of his life in national politics, working hideously long hours and feeling himself the real worker who underpinned the lazy habits of prime ministers. He was not, properly, a Tory but an old-style Liberal whose reform measures on rent control, housing and unemployment assistance partly mitigated his iron-hard economic views. He knew he was right. So when he reached Number Ten, as neither his father nor his half-brother Austen had managed, he preened: ‘It has come to me without my raising a finger . . . because there is no-one else.’ Only his wisdom had kept Britain out of the Spanish Civil War, only he had been able to soothe Mussolini.

pages: 756 words: 228,797

Ayn Rand and the World She Made by Anne C. Heller


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Bolshevik threat, conceptual framework, greed is good, laissez-faire capitalism, Milgram experiment, Mont Pelerin Society, New Journalism, open borders, price stability, profit motive, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, wage slave, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration, young professional

One evening, Rand visited and announced that when Ventura’s statue was finished she would like to buy a copy; two other visitors chimed in that they wanted to buy copies, too. This was a momentous endorsement, and word of it spread quickly. “From then on,” Ventura recalled, “I began to receive telephone calls and letters from people who wanted to see my work. Overnight, I became ‘the Objectivist sculptor.’” He decided to look for a studio of his own. He found a rent-controlled unit in a nearby building, but lacking the required proof of income from his art, he solicited official orders from a few friends. Then he flew too close to the sun. He wrote to Rand, explaining his predicament and asking for a small deposit on Icarus Fallen, whose price he set at three hundred dollars. Rand reportedly flew into a rage. She raved that the sculptor had stolen the title of Frank’s painting and was a plagiarist and had revealed his immorality by trying to exact a price she hadn’t agreed to in advance.

pages: 2,045 words: 566,714

J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax by J K Lasser Institute


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, asset allocation, collective bargaining, distributed generation, employer provided health coverage, estate planning, Home mortgage interest deduction, medical malpractice, medical residency, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, passive income, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, rent control, telemarketer, transaction costs, urban renewal, zero-coupon bond

This includes your pro rata share of the permanent financing expenses (points) of the cooperative on its mortgage covering the housing project. Real estate taxes paid by the cooperative (16.6). However, if the cooperative does not own the land and building but merely leases them and is required to pay real estate taxes under the terms of the lease, you may not deduct your share of the tax payment. In some localities, such as New York City, rent control rules allow tenants of a building converted to a cooperative to remain in their apartments even if they do not buy into the co-op. A holdover tenant may prevent some co-op purchasers from occupying an apartment. The IRS ruled that the fact that a holdover tenant stays in the apartment will not bar the owner from deducting his or her share of the co-op’s interest and taxes. Condominiums.

In California, tenants who have their names placed on the tax rolls and who pay the taxes directly to the taxing authority may claim a deduction. In New York, liability for tax is placed directly on the tenant and the landlord is a collecting agent for paying over the tax to the taxing authorities; the landlord also remains liable for the tax. The IRS ruled that it will not permit tenants to deduct a portion of rent as a payment of taxes. EXAMPLE A municipal rent control ordinance allowed landlords to charge real property tax increases to the tenants as a monthly “tax surcharge.” The ordinance stated that the surcharge was not to be considered rent for purposes of computing cost-of-living rental increases. The IRS ruled that the tenant may not deduct the “tax surcharge” as a property tax. The tax is imposed on the landlord, not on the tenant. The city ordinance, which permitted the landlord to pass on the tax increases to a tenant, did not shift liability for the property taxes from the landlord to the tenant.

Rainbow Six by Tom Clancy


air freight, airport security, clean water, computer age, Exxon Valdez, Plutocrats, plutocrats, RAND corporation, rent control, rolodex, urban sprawl

The three drinks she'd already consumed to show that she was a burgeoning Big Apple sophisticate had her pretty mellow. "Been here before?" he asked. "No, first time, what about you?" "Last few months, nice place to meet people." Another lie, but they came easily in a place like this. "Music's a little loud," she said. "Well, other places it's a lot worse. You live close?" "Three blocks north. Got a little studio apartment, subleasing it. Rent control in the building. My stuff gets here in another week." "So, you're not really moved in yet?" "Right." "Well, welcome to New York ?" "Anne Pretloe." "Kirk Maclean." They shook hands, and he held hers a little longer than necessary so that she'd get a feel for his skin, a necessary precondition to casual affection, which he needed to generate. In another few minutes, they were dancing, which mainly meant bumping into people in the dark.

pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon


3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser,, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yield management

Despite the prohibition of production of most durable goods, real consumption per capita (2009 dollars) remained roughly the same in 1944 as in 1941.26 Robert Higgs has argued that the official data on real personal consumption expenditures are overstated, because the growth of true consumer prices in the wartime regime of price controls is substantially understated.27 If the data on current-dollar consumption are correct, then any unmeasured increase in true consumer prices becomes an unmeasured decrease of the same percentage magnitude in real consumption spending. Sources of unmeasured price increases include bribes, black markets, and unmeasured declines in the quality of goods and services, including the need to wait in lines and distort consumption choices due to rationing, crowding due to migration, and a shortage of housing exacerbated by declines in rental housing maintenance due to rent controls. Three responses to this critique range from narrow to broad. At the narrow level, the shift of 12 million people, or 9 percent of the 1940 population, into the armed forces implies that there were 9 percent fewer civilians to share the available personal consumption expenditures. Because measured real consumption was roughly the same in 1944 as in 1941, this implies that real consumption per civilian increased by 9 percent.

pages: 1,169 words: 342,959

New York by Edward Rutherfurd


Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, illegal immigration, margin call, millennium bug, out of africa, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, rent control, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, the market place, urban renewal, Y2K, young professional

But when Juan tackled him about the dangerous broken stair, or the blocked drain, or any of the other things that made daily life a trial, Bonati always gave him some excuse, and did nothing. Finally, seeing the young man’s exasperation, Bonati had taken Juan by the arm. “Listen, I can see you’re a smart kid. You’re polite, you’re going to college. Think about it—do you know any other kids on this block going to college? Most of them never finished high school. So listen to what I’m telling you. Your mother pays me a low rent. You know why? Because this building is rent-controlled. That’s why I can’t make any money out of it either. It’s why I can’t afford to do many repairs. But this is a good building, by comparison. Some of the buildings around here are falling apart. You know that.” Mr. Bonati waved his hand toward the north-west. “Do you remember that building a few blocks away which burned down eighteen months ago?” That had been a huge fire, and Juan remembered it well.

pages: 1,797 words: 390,698

Power at Ground Zero: Politics, Money, and the Remaking of Lower Manhattan by Lynne B. Sagalyn


affirmative action, airport security, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, conceptual framework, corporate governance, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, estate planning, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, informal economy, intermodal, iterative process, Jane Jacobs, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, place-making, rent control, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the built environment, the High Line, time value of money, too big to fail, Torches of Freedom, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, young professional

Wax, “Starting at Ground Zero: Architectural Firm Known for Historic Renovations Faces Its Greatest Challenge—Planning Lower Manhattan’s Future,” Newsday, June 2, 2002; Alexander Garvin, “Reflections and Choice,” 9 Edward Wyatt, “Six Plans for Ground Zero, All Seen as a Starting Point,” NYT, July 17, 2002; Edward Wyatt, “Bloomberg Pushes More Housing at Site,” NYT, July 20, 2002. 10 Editorial, “The Downtown We Don’t Want,” NYT, July 17, 2002; editorial, “Talk to the Man in Charge,” NYT, July 20, 2002. 11 Editorials, DN: “Rent Controls Ground,” July 17, 2002; “Port Authority: Flawed by Design,” July 20, 2002; “PA Backs Off, but Not Far Enough,” July 23, 2002; “Just Say ‘No’ to Port Authority,” July 31, 2002. 12 Editorial, “None of the WTC Proposals Is Good Enough,” Newsday, July 21, 2002; editorial, “A Fair First Draft,” NYP, July 17, 2002. 13 Ada Louise Huxtable, “Another World Trade Center Horror,” WSJ, July 25, 2002. 14 Though these other schemes were not public, they were known to an “inner sanctum” of professionals.