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Showing posts from November, 2023

House Prices, NIMBYism, and Income Inequality

The difficulty of building new housing, once really a problem only in high-demand urban areas, has now spread even to many low-density areas. NIMBYism, as represented by overly-restrictive zoning laws, combined with a mismatch between demand for housing and the supply of house builders, has created a situation in which housing prices have doubled over only three years in many areas that I would describe as in the middle of fucking nowhere. Constrained markets in necessities is the one area where people who decry income inequality have a legitimate point obviously supported by facts on the ground. We are now in a situation in which those on the right side of the fat part of the income spectrum are in a position to set prices for the entire market. That is: tech workers and those making similar incomes are putting a floor on house prices because there isn't enough housing to go around, so they bid up prices for what is available. While in theory the solution to high prices is high pr


"Sequel." A word almost synonymous with "apprehension". In the case of beloved movies, a sequel is often highly-anticipated but also feared because the history of sequels is so mixed. Let's look at a few case studies. The Godfather (1972) → The Godfather Part II (1974) This is the most basic kind of good sequel: another great story, filmed solidly, to follow up a great original. It's actually a bookend to the original, with the scenes divided between Vito Corleone's back story and those chronicling Michael's downfall, but it qualifies as a sequel in the most basic sense that it continues the story begun in the original film. While the first movie satisfyingly ended with Michael symbolically becoming his father despite his protestations to Kate in the first act, from the perspective of the combined saga (let's just do the right thing at the beginning and pretend Part III had never been made) it merely foreshadows his irreversible destruction of