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danps's picture

NYT: Rent Too High? Move to Singapore

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Submitted by hipparchia on

from the article:

But the size of a subsidy that actually covered the demand would be immense. The Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington figured out that giving all low-income families vouchers large enough to make their rents affordable would require federal rent supports, now at $62 billion a year, to more than double.

for a government that spends $3 or $4 trillion dollars a year and can print its own money, that's a trivial issue.

Submitted by lambert on

... without being caned. Not that I want to throw gum on the street, you understand.

* * *

I thought housing was a bridge too far on the 12 Point Platform; why not just adjust the BIG regionally. Perhaps I'm wrong?

nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

I don't know what the housing problem is, and therefore I don't know how to solve it. The article talks about some of the issues, seeming to say that the problem is that everybody can't live where they want to. I'm sympathetic to people facing high-priced houses if they are job-constrained to expensive areas. Otherwise, why subsidize people to move them up on positional goods? In housing, what I've seen that mean is heavy government subsidies to owners of waterfront housing (legislation to keep the cost of federal flood insurance below actuarial rates is this year's only Congressional increase in housing support). And if you don't provide subsidies because people can't afford what they want, then how do you decide how and to whom to provide the subsidies? "Here's a safe, decent, and sanitary house for you in a much less desirable area"?

The basic income guarantee leaves decisions about housing in the hands of the beneficiary. It also makes it necessary for employers in high-rent districts to pay enough to make it worthwhile for employees either to pay the high rents or to undergo the commuting hassles. It's not like people have to go to unaffordable areas for the only job there is.

mellon's picture
Submitted by mellon on

because automation will make it unnecessary for millions of people to live in urban areas

( due to shrinking employment. )

Also, traffic on many roads into and out of cities will decline substantially. Telepresence will make it possible for a worker in one part of the globe to do a job in any other part of the globe using the network.

Many cities will become more like theme parks than they are today.

The Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) hopes to lower wages by eliminating legal barriers to contractors taking service jobs in other countries, eliminating local citizenship requirements for many skilled jobs.

nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

Retail workers. Health care assistants. Police. Teachers (I don't see primary schools going on-line, even if middle and high schools do). Plumbers, HVAC technicians, and other building/residential maintenance workers.

So far, the gains from automation have not been translated into more prosperity for most people. Detroit's loss of population did not turn it into a park. Cheap housing is still unaffordable for those without an income. Poor homeowners are likely to live in houses that have become very badly substandard because of lack of expensive maintenance.

I can't see that further shifts in joblessness and concentration of wealth will solve the housing problem. I think insuring that people have an adequate income could do so.

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

...3 months; but a cigarette butt will cost you ฿2,000. In BKK...