1 - 10 Next
In response to:

The Black Family in 1965 and Today

Phil from NZ Wrote: Feb 26, 2015 2:17 PM
There are some interesting related observations in Glaeser and Vigdor: "The End of the Segregated Century" http://www.manhattan-institute.org/pdf/cr_66.pdf Note this bit, in the Executive Summary: ".....The freedom to choose one’s location has helped reduce segregation. Segregation has declined in part because African-Americans left older, more segregated, cities and moved to less segregated Sun Belt cities and suburbs. This process occurred despite some public attempts to keep people in these older areas...." And this: "......Gentrification and immigration have made a dent in segregation. While these phenomena are clearly important in some areas, the rise of black suburbanization explains much more of the decline in segregation......." As Thomas Sowell points out in "Green Disparate Impact", and Randall Pozdena in "The New Segregation", anti-growth policies that drive up the price of all housing, increase segregation (or slow down the beneficial de-segregation referred to by Glaeser and Vigdor) as an unintended consequence. Martin Luther King was right when he spoke of "the free market as colour-blind". Nothing has decreased segregation as much as automobile based suburban development and the systemic increase of home ownership. HUD data on home ownership by race also confirm that it is the liberal coastal smart-growth-mad cities with the lowest rates of home ownership among minorities. One of the best academic quotes on the subject in my opinion: "....there is something slightly unseemly about dramatically curtailing suburban growth at a time when racial minorities are responsible for most new suburban population gains. It is difficult to avoid concluding that changing the rules of the development game at this time is tantamount to pulling the suburban ladder out from under those who previously were excluded from suburban life by economic circumstance, exclusionary zoning, and intentional discrimination....." From "Land Use Regulation, Innovation, and Growth" Nicole Garnett, Law Professor, Notre Dame
Very good comment, I wanted to say something like that but you have said it already. Is Islam based on a Divinity in Manhood who said "My kingdom is not of this world, if it were of this world, then my servants had fought"? And who reproached His people for "paying tithes" and so on while, observing the "law" in selective detail while "ignoring the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and truth"? Is it really so surprising, given the human condition, that the seed of Christianity took centuries to reach full flower in peace and prosperity and social harmony? It is not a foregone conclusion that all and every religion has the potential to achieve the same. A certain imitation of elements of Christianity is necessary for secular government to achieve what it has in non-Christian countries. And of course, apostasy from Christianity on a large scale in a nation, leads to Bolshevism, Naziism and God knows what in the future.
The mere existence of the category "hypocrite" is a feature of a valuable system of moral standards. Those who would dispense with that system of moral standards altogether are nothing more than satanic nihilists, and using the existence of hypocrites as an excuse does not justify it. Isn't it full-scale systematisation of hypocrisy to condemn conservatives who fail, while at the same time insisting that we change all our standards so that what they did isn't failure at all?
In response to:

Two Views of Capitalism

Phil from NZ Wrote: Jan 10, 2015 3:13 PM
Full marks for noting the housing cost association. This is like the defining issue of our time, of the nexus between CRONY, rentier capitalism (mortgage lenders profit from this too) and excessive, utopian libbewwal interference in markets and people's choices.
In response to:

Have Liberals Lost the Middle Class?

Phil from NZ Wrote: Jan 07, 2015 8:32 PM
"If an undocumented immigrant has seven children, it is not declared to be unwise family planning with the same disdain shown a Mormon blue-collar roofer with a comparably large family." Libbewwal hypocrisy is even worse than this. Welfare solo mums must not be judged at all on the number of children THEY have, it is the taxpayer's responsibility to then "provide adequate housing" and make up the fatherhood deficit with financial assistance. But we must not build any more suburbs with large homes for traditional families who pay their own way in life, because that would be "raping the planet". Responsible people who pay their own way in life must be forced by absence of affordable space in which to raise a family, to practice birth control. Urban planning in the UK has had this effect decades ahead of the smart-gwowth libbewwal fetish got going in the US. God bless the parts of the US like Texas, and the south and the rural heartland, that are not having a bar of this nonsense.
Consumer surplus is THE reason for growth in the positive feedback loop of production and "aggregate demand". Keynesians and monetarists alike are missing the crucial point. Schumpeter famously said "the genius of capitalism is not that it provides more and more stockings for princesses, but that it provides more and more stockings at prices that factory girls can afford". Your point is exactly right. There are SO many jobs that did not exist at one time, in the production and supply of SO much more "stuff" that did not exist at one time. Henry Ford understood this well. It is so sad that so few of us today do - taking our prosperity for granted and often supporting all the wrong politics. Sure a lot of this stuff might be made in other countries, but in turn, the workers in those countries are added consumers in the global economy. What goes around comes around.
But at least falling energy prices have such a beneficial effect on everything else in the economy, that lost jobs in that sector will probably be made up elsewhere. One of the important things to understand in all this, is that money all gets spent on something anyway, and the only thing that really matters is whether it is going to rentiers or to providers of consumer surplus. In local economies with rigged property markets (growth boundaries, median multiples of 5+) no-one wins in the long term except the rentiers in urban land - the land vendors, landlords, and mortgage lenders. If incomes rise, land rent rises. If the cost of necessities falls, land rent rises. If there are tax breaks and subsidies for home ownership, land rent rises. The classical era economists understood this (Karl Marx was not even regarded as controversial on this point, it was his "solutions" that were controversial). However, it is possible for cities housing markets to NOT be rigged, a median multiple below 4 is evidence of this. In this case the urban land market is genuinely competitive and land prices are anchored; and economic stimuli do NOT feed into increases in land rents. Discretionary spending has a genuinely beneficial feedback loop effect. This is the secret to the now-standout group of US systemically affordable cities, of which Houston is the top exemplar. Consider yourself lucky you live there. People all over the decadent first world with Al Gore inspired "save the planet" urban planning policies, are mostly trapped on an economic sinking ship and don't know it. Mostly they continue to vote for useless socialists. The poor in Houston disproportionately vote against the introduction of centrally imposed zoning every time it comes up for referendum, which suggests to me that they are the world's smartest poor people. Houston needs to not lose its mojo on this.
It is perfectly logical why the Old Testament bans "usury". Prior to the era of modern monetary inflation, prices would generally have gone down, and therefore saving money was logical - it did not require the incentive of interest at all. You have got this back to front. Now that we have monetary inflation, and interest, and tax on interest, often the incentive to save is completely eliminated as the saver is going backwards. Then the government tries to invent ways to "incentivise saving" and add another layer of complexity to the economy.
In response to:

Does Income Inequality Even Matter?

Phil from NZ Wrote: Jan 05, 2015 6:12 PM
We should absolutely focus on minimising the share of "incomes" that are zero-sum economic rent, and maximising the share of incomes that are earned in genuinely free markets in which there is consumer surplus. Between the 1970's and now, the share of corporate profits in the USA taken by the finance sector has increased from around 15% to around 50% I am a strong believer in free market capitalism, and I am not going to defend zero-sum gouging from rigging the system to this magnitude no matter how many Republican establishmentistas think they are standing the ground against OWS Commies by doing so. It was Ayn Rand, who was no typical OWS slope-brow, who said crony capitalists should be hung. Lenin had said that capitalists would sell you the rope you use to hang them; Ayn Rand said it would be better to hang the cronies before they sell the rope to the Communists. Stiglitz, to his credit, has noted that rising inequality is NOT because of what the shallow commentariat always assume - that is, they assume it is due to the owners of productive capital reaping more of the gains from investment in productive capital, than "labour" does. This is completely wrong and always has been. Stiglitz' observation is valuable: the gains are falling to the owners of assets that are NOT productive per se and have NOT been invested in with the purpose of increasing productivity, but with the purpose of making zero-sum gains. Then there is this: http://www.voxeu.org/article/housing-capital-and-piketty-s-analysis Capital is not back: A comment on Thomas Piketty’s ‘Capital in the 21st Century’ Odran Bonnet, Pierre-Henri Bono, Guillaume Camille Chapelle, Étienne Wasmer 30 June 2014 "Thomas Piketty’s claim that the ratio of capital to national income is approaching 19th-century levels has fuelled the debate over inequality. This column argues that Piketty’s claim rests on the recent increase in the price of housing. Other forms of capital are, relative to income, at much lower levels than they were a century ago. Moreover, it is rents – not house prices – that should matter for the dynamics of wealth inequality, and rents have been stable as a proportion of national income in many countries". It is interesting how good sense like this gets almost nil publicity, isn’t it? Of course it is utopian save the planet urban planning that is forcing up urban land rents and adding to the profits of the sector that lends against property.
Bear in mind that utopian urban planning to save the planet, forces up urban land prices and delivers fat capital gains to property investors. This is probably a major reason why Soros, the Rockefellers, etc are such generous donors to movements and politicians who push such policies. Along with all rich libbewwals who are property-flickers in their own cities.
1 - 10 Next