Tag: Housing

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…
Read More »

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…
Read More »

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…
Read More »

Good News for Californians: Redevelopment Agencies Shut Down »

In the face of substantial budgetary problems, California’s legislature voted to shut down its more than 400 redevelopment agencies that used tax dollars to partner with developers to redevelop blighted areas. Governor Jerry Brown proposed shutting down those agencies, saying the $5 billion they spent annually could be better spent elsewhere. One reason this…
Read More »

The Welfare State Neutralizes Potential Opponents by Making Them Dependent on Government Benefits »

From time immemorial—from Etienne de la Boitie to David Hume to Ludwig von Mises—political analysts have noted that because the number of those in the ruling elite amounts to only a small fraction of the number in the ruled masses, every regime lives or dies in accordance with “public opinion.” Unless the mass of the people,…
Read More »

U.S. Economic Recovery Remains Anemic, at Best »

How goes the recovery? Not well, it seems. Indeed, according to the most recent official estimates, it is anemic, at best. As the chart shows, real GDP has recovered its losses during the recent contraction and is now running at about the same rate as it was at its pre-recession peak in late 2007. So, the rate at which the…
Read More »

Government Stimulus: Polishing the Rotten Apples »

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there was a country famous for its apples. In fact, it produced nothing but apples and so was called Appleonia. The people ate many apples in many different ways: raw apples, baked apples, apple pies, apple fritters, and candied apples, to name just a…
Read More »

It’s Housing, Stupid! Parallels Between the 1920s and the 2000s »

In response to my recent essay “Obama and Hoover: Two ‘Smart’ (Stupid) Presidents”, one commenter did me the service of rehashing the old myths about the 1920s and the causes of the depression and how Herbert Hoover did little, FDR did a lot and Hoover has nothing in common with “Wonder Boy” Obama. (Coolidge…
Read More »

Land Use Planning Takes a Step Back in Florida »

Florida’s new Governor Rick Scott promised to cut government and make Florida more business-friendly when he campaigned. In addition to overseeing a reduction in state spending, which I wrote about here, he also dialed back the state’s land use planning by cutting state oversight, and abolishing the agency that was the overseer. The bill…
Read More »

250 Legal Scholars Condemn Obama’s Treatment of Bradley Manning »

The Obama administration has detained the alleged Wikileaks whistleblower under torturous conditions—for almost a year, he has been subjected to solitary confinement in a windowless 6×12 cell for 23 hours a day, under constant surveillance, prevented from exercising, lacking a pillow or sheets. For the remaining hour every day, he is allowed to walk…
Read More »

  • MyGovCost.org
  • FDAReview.org
  • OnPower.org
  • elindependent.org