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Thanks for a good summary and list of references.
But, what are the tools available to make Seattle affordable? (1) encourage public and/or private capital to build sufficient housing for our population, (2) encourage public and/or private capital to build sufficient housing in the city and suburbs; (3) encourage public and/or private capital to build sufficient housing in the suburbs ; or (4) exclude new people from the city while encouraging people to move from the city.
These are the only options for solving the problem. A choice completely unanswered by this analysis.
by Steven Conn
Given that we just had a national election where urban areas voted one way and everybody else voted the other, it is useful to find that our national contempt for cities has a very long history. As the Goodreads description tells us:
"It is a paradox of American life that we are a highly urbanized nation filled with people deeply ambivalent about urban life. An aversion to urban density and all that it contributes to urban life, and a perception that the city was the place where "big government" first took root in America fostered what historian Steven Conn terms the "anti-urban impulse." In response, anti-urbanists called for the decentralization of the city, and rejected the role of government in American life in favor of a return to the pioneer virtues of independence and self-sufficiency.
In this provocative and sweeping book, Conn explores the anti-urban impulse across the 20th century, examining how the ideas born of it have shaped both the places in which Americans live and work, and the anti-government politics so strong today. Beginning in the booming industrial cities of the Progressive era at the turn of the 20th century, where debate surrounding these questions first arose, Conn examines the progression of anti-urban movements.: He describes the decentralist movement of the 1930s, the attempt to revive the American small town in the mid-century, the anti-urban basis of urban renewal in the 1950s and '60s, and the Nixon administration's program of building new towns as a response to the urban crisis, illustrating how, by the middle of the 20th century, anti-urbanism was at the center of the politics of the New Right. Concluding with an exploration of the New Urbanist experiments at the turn of the 21st century, Conn demonstrates the full breadth of the anti-urban impulse, from its inception to the present day. Engagingly written, thoroughly researched, and forcefully argued, Americans Against the City is important reading for anyone who cares not just about the history of our cities, but about their future as well."
What bullshit. Most 'NIMBYS' I know want peace and quiet, a yard to grow something in, neighbors that won't kill them, architecture that doesn't look like Seattle's version of soviet era cheap crap next to them, and a guarantee that if the sun is shinning in their window today, a giant building won't block it tomorrow.
You want all single family housing to be torn down? Then the Trumps and the 1% own all of Seattle.
How can you dumbshits at the Stranger not see this? Fuck high density.
Our problem is not complicated. Seattle's economy is white hot, and lots of people are moving here. At the same time, because capital dried up after the financial crisis, we had a few years where we weren't building anything, so we are behind in construction.
We don't need to tear down capitalism or come up with a new economic theory. WE. JUST. NEED. TO. BUILD. MORE. HOUSING.
If trends continue of course, population growth will forever be above housing construction, but trends never continue forever. Eventually the economy will cool down, the baby boomers who own most of the housing stock will start to disappear, and the supply of people moving out of middle america to the coasts will be exhausted. Microsoft and Boeing will have yet more layoffs.
Remember, Boeing is still the largest employers in the Seattle area, and they aren't doing so hot.
As soon as ANY of that happens, housing prices will start to come down. In the meantime we just need to keep building.
THANK you. I'm getting very tired of journalists trying to pose as informed intellectuals because of the mere fact that they can question some form of ideology; economic or otherwise. There was no attempt in this article to offer tangible, realistic solutions to homelessness. Are we really starting to solve the homeless problem by calling out neoclassical economists? How about starting with the heroin epidemic and more funding for untreated mental illnesses?
Yes, devaluation can lead to profits once the economic engines start to roll again, but the idea that the poor mostly foot the bill is false. It ignores the investors and countless homeowners that lost money or lost their homes during the recession or any other difficult economic time in history. It effects everyone, just as it did during the Great Depression when white collars jumped out of windows. This article illustrates textbook confirmation bias.
Devaluation happens naturally in market fluctuations, but if the goal is to help the poor and fix homelessness, then how is devaluing commoditized assets helping either of them? Investors will rebound as they always have, and that is the beauty of Capitalism: it isn't perfect because it reflects imperfect humans, i.e. Greed. Denying the laws of supply and demand is like denying the laws of selection that shaped our brains in humanity's infancy. Kin selection and reciprocal altruism is roughly a few million years old. The need for energy and resources to compete and survive has been around ever since RNA started replicating roughly 3.8 billion years ago. Good luck with a new economic theory which subverts that. My banana simply isn't yours to have.
It is indeed true that legislation has negatively influenced the blacks in the past and into today. I fail to see the relevance; it's a related but separate issue that needs correction. Empathetic filler?