Headline sums it up well.

There’s a school of “leftist” thought that would rather make homes and construction jobs scarce than admit that overregulation can be a problem.
The anti-anti-NIMBY view involves the assumption that there is limitless market demand for empty condo units. Image
But on this assumption, the tower has:

— Expanded the city’s tax base by attracting 30 new wealthy residents
— Improved affordability by diverting 20 wealthy incumbent residents from other housing stock
— Created some jobs building & maintaining the 50 empties

I say build it!
But yes: If your response to the claim “it’s bad that it is generally illegal to build infill apartment buildings” is to immediately launch a conversation about skyscrapers in midtown Manhattan you are not engaging with the reality of the land use situation in the USA.

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More from @mattyglesias

7 Jan
It's true that America's governing class sincerely believes in American exceptionalism but as far as I can tell from surveys so do the vast majority of the American people.
I will not vouch for the political typology here ("progressive activists" etc) but the basic demographic data seems sound and there are very high levels of "proud to be American" across racial groups, with skepticism concentrated among the very young.

This is another interesting one
Read 5 tweets
6 Jan
This week’s free post — policymaking for a low trust world:

Rather than getting tied down in an endless cycle of process, targeting, and compliance checks you need simple, crude ideas that clearly do what they say they do.

The $2,000 checks are a great model. The policy says there will be checks, and then there are checks.

Vaccine prioritization by age is similar — it’s not optimal but it does exactly what it says on the tin and you can show people that.

The Bad Place is programs like PPP that work through complicated and indirect mechanisms, or “trust before streets” concepts that try to address trust deficits with new layers of process that only degrade performance.

Read 5 tweets
5 Jan
Chait on charter schools.

I have some points of disagreement but agree with the parts of this that will make people mad.

Because I'm obsessed with housing policy, I've increasingly seen this through a housing lens.

People who live one block west of me are zoned into Ross Elementary rather than Garrison Elementary. And Ross feeds to School Without Walls for middle school rather than Cardozo.
Ross and especially SWW are seen as "better" than Garrison or Cardozo.

And in DC elementary schools that feed into Wilson High School and especially the sub-set of them that feed into Deal Middle School are seen as particularly desirable.
Read 6 tweets
5 Jan
Republicans have become a dangerously unhinged group with a rising Q Anon caucus and an ongoing effort to steal the election, but they’ve also surrendered on the major issue disputes of the recent past.

Democrats were disappointed by the election result because they want to govern; Republicans have dropped their ambitions and are happy to settle for gridlock.

This is a good example — a rising star in the GOP caucus is defined not by any noteworthy policy ideas, but by her embrace or conspiracy theories and trolling about her handgun.
Read 4 tweets
4 Jan
Basically the only kind of books I want in print these days are historical atlases — but I can’t get enough!
Diversity Maine-style: Both English-speaking and French-speaking Canadian immigrants.
Boom and bust of the Maine streetcar industry
Read 4 tweets
4 Jan
The case against fooling yourself into believing that anti-immigration policies fix the labor market

Relative vs absolute wages

Trump-era tight labor market is not hard to explain and we should learn the right lesson from it — stimulate, stimulate, stimulate!

Read 4 tweets

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