Noted for Your Evening Procrastination for July 28, 2014
Tuesday Hoisted from the Non-Internet from 600 Years Ago: Tom O'Bedlam

Evening Must-Read: Emily Badger: How big cities that restrict new housing harm the economy

Emily Badger: How big cities that restrict new housing harm the economy: "For the last couple of years...

...San Francisco has been erupting with periodic protests aimed, rather imprecisely, at a nexus of grievances related to gentrification, affordable housing, transportation, the tech industry, newcomers to the city, its changing skyline and Silicon Valley to the south. The city is screaming, although at what its protestors seem a little confused. 'In my view, the whole debate here misses the point', says Enrico Moretti.... 'People are marching against Google buses when they should be marching for more housing permits.' At the root of San Francisco's tension is a mismatch of supply and demand: Affluent workers have been flocking to the area for its tech jobs, but as the number of jobs in the region has grown, the number of housing units to accommodate people taking them hasn't remotely kept pace. As a result, rents are going up. Low-income residents are pushed out. Landlords who see more lucrative opportunity in condo conversions have ramped up evictions. 'Once I started seeing what was going on in the San Francisco public debate, I got appalled by the lack of understanding of basic economics among the general public, the protesters', Moretti says. 'And it’s even more problematic among policymakers.' The culprit here isn't really the tech industry. It's much-harder-to-protest land-use policy. And from Moretti's point of view, the rest of us should care... because the economic repercussions of such local decisions stretch nationwide...

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