Tag: Housing

Immigrants and Poor Kids Aren’t to Blame for Poor PISA Performance »

Recently I wrote about the latest PISA results for American 15-year-olds in reading, math, and science. (See PISA Results Show We’re No. 1...in Spending, Not Performance.) One commenter stated that she saw “very little control for demographics” with international assessments such as PISA. In particular, the commenter objected that while other countries may surpass...
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Victory! The Independent Institute’s Longtime Opposition to Inclusionary Housing Policies Lays Groundwork for Governor’s Veto »

On Sunday, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed Assembly Bill 1229, a measure that would have authorized California cities and counties to establish inclusionary housing requirements as a condition of development, allowing them to force housing developers to set aside units for low-income residents. The Independent Institute, and especially its Senior Fellow Benjamin W. Powell, provided...
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The Ugly Beginning of Dodger Stadium Provides Important Property Rights Lesson »

Game three of the National League Championship Series will be played tonight at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. TBS play-by-play announcer Ernie Johnson and others often interchangeably refer to Dodger Stadium as Chavez Ravine. But they don’t explain the stadium’s ugly beginnings. Two miles from downtown Los Angeles, Chavez Ravine had been used in...
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Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Feddie Sue: What Should We Do with Them? »

Mortgage Intermediation Mortgage intermediation is an important and legitimate business, much like grocery intermediation: In theory, urban consumers could drive to the country to buy groceries directly from farmers, or farmers could go door to door selling produce, but in practice it’s usually more convenient if farmers sell their products wholesale to intermediaries who...
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The Hubris of Policymakers Often Harms the Poor »

Most people in public policy do not understand complex systems. They really don’t understand social science models either. As a result, the idea that a policy based on good intentions could actually make things worse is beyond their comprehension. Take health policies designed for low-income patients. Through our insistence on pushing low-income families into...
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Fascinating Questions from The Independent Review »

The Spring 2013 issue of The Independent Review—the Independent Institute’s flagship scholarly journal, edited by Robert Higgs—is hot off the press. Below you’ll find links to articles and book reviews that address a host of intriguing questions: Why have domestic police agencies across the United States resorted increasingly to “no-knock” raids and other military-type...
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Unprecedented Household Deleveraging since 2007 »

For decades, American families espoused the not-quite-Cartesian ontology: I go into debt; therefore I am. Household debt climbed ever higher through good times and bad. Since the onset of the current recession, however, household debt has contracted substantially for the first time in more than half a century. After reaching a peak at $13.82...
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The Property Tax Panacea »

One of the biggest targets of liberal acrimony in California is Proposition 13, the 1978 ballot initiative that capped property taxes at 1% and requires 2/3 of legislative approval to increase most tax rates. It also caps the reassessment of real estate value by 2% per year, barring new construction or a change in...
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The Fed Hates Renters Too »

Following up Bob’s excellent post: The Fed’s below-market interest-rate policy is also non-neutral in another important way, namely distorting people’s housing choices toward ownership (typically, a 30-year debt obligation) over renting. Aside from its efficiency effects, this of course has huge distributional consequences. I wrote about this in 2009 in the context of the...
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How Much Does the Safety Net Help the “Very Poor”? »

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in attempting to highlight an emphasis on the middle class in his platform, said a politically foolish thing. “I’m not concerned about the very poor,” he said. “We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair, I’ll fix it.” In an apparent effort to soften the harshness of...
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