Posts Tagged ‘land use and zoning’

Environment roundup

Who’s to blame for San Francisco’s housing cost spiral?

Bay Area progressives are fond of blaming new-arriving rich techies for the dizzying rise in San Francisco housing costs. Yet the trail just as plausibly leads back to the door of some of the same people doing the demonizing, who have resisted the building of serious new housing capacity in the city. [Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic]

Like me, Friedersdorf was also struck by the story (told on public radio’s This American Life) of a San Francisco after-school program’s school musical, an anti-“gentrification” propaganda effort, which trained kids as young as six to go on stage in a production portraying their parents’ class as moral monsters. Shouldn’t that wait for college?

Environment roundup

  • Cato podcast with William Fischel on his new book Zoning Rules! The Economics of Land Use Regulation;
  • If traveling with your pet skunk, avoid Tennessee [Mental Floss, “15 Surprising Animal Laws That Are Still on the Books”]
  • “How Land-Use Regulation Undermines Affordable Housing” [Sanford Ikeda and Emily Washington, Mercatus via Market Urbanism] Head of Obama administration Council of Economic Advisers gives speech pinning high housing costs on land use regulation, but don’t get hopes up about policy changes quite yet [Randal O’Toole, Cato]
  • Panel on role of Congress in environmental law at Federalist Society National Lawyers’ Convention with David Schoenbrod, Eric Claeys, Matt Leggett, and Nicholas Robinson, moderated by the Hon. Steven Colloton [YouTube]
  • “Market urbanist” position criticized (Steve Randy Waldman) and defended (Jeff Fong);
  • Mysteries of Los Angeles: drive to limit large residential developments is being led in part by… AIDS Healthcare Foundation? [L.A. Times]
  • “On the misuse of environmental history to defend the EPA’s WOTUS rule” [Jonathan Adler, earlier on Waters of the United States rule]

The next Sheldon Silver, and the next

Following up on Tuesday’s post, I’ve got some further thoughts at Cato at Liberty. Excerpt:

So does this mean better days ahead for New York, a terribly misgoverned state? As one who has been writing about New York politics since way back, I can’t bring myself to be too optimistic.

I got interested in Silver originally because of his distinctive role as protector of New York’s trial lawyers… But legal policy was only one of the many pots in which Silver kept his fingers, as Steven Malanga and Seth Barron detail in separate articles at City Journal. New York sluices huge amounts of money in its gigantic social services apparatus through non-profits, and friends of Sheldon were there to profit. Real estate development in New York is subject to famously convoluted restrictions, and huge sums are at stake in its rent control and rent stabilization system. Again and again, Silver was there to broker deals for his friends behind the scenes….

So long as New York pursues failed policies like rent control, it will open huge leeway for hidden favoritism. And then, sure as day, in will move the Sheldon Silver types.

Environment roundup

Supreme Court roundup

October 21 roundup

  • “Rightscorp’s Copyright Trolling Phone Script Tells Innocent People They Need To Give Their Computers To Police” [Mike Masnick, TechDirt]
  • “‘Affordable housing’ policies have made housing less affordable” [Matt Welch, L.A. Times]
  • South Mountain Creamery case: “Lawmakers Call for Return of Cash Seized From Dairy Farmers” [Tony Corvo/Heartland, quotes me, earlier on this structuring forfeiture case]
  • Be prepared to explain your social media trail, like by like: “Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 2035” [Orin Kerr]
  • From Eugene Volokh, what looks very much like a case against assisted suicide, embedded in a query about whether state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs) might cut a legal path to it [Volokh Conspiracy]
  • “The complaint also indicated that the injuries could affect Reid’s ability to secure employment” after Senate exit [Roll Call on Majority Leader’s suit against exercise equipment firm over eye injury]
  • Amazon responds to NYT’s “everyone cries at their desk” hatchet job on its workplace culture [Jay Carney, Medium]

September 30 roundup

  • “In reality, government officials often have strong incentives to mandate warnings that are misleading or flat-out wrong” [Ilya Somin] George Akerlof and Robert Shiller’s analysis of consumers as fools leaves something to be desired [Alex Tabarrok, New Rambler Review]
  • “The suppression of competition [is] a core driver of skyrocketing inequality.” New Steven Teles article sure to be much discussed touches on occupational entry restriction, land values inflated by municipal regulation, many other topics of interest [National Affairs]
  • “Patterico Prevails: Vexatious Legal Attack on Speech Fails” [Popehat]
  • On the topic of legal remedies against looks-ism, which I wrote about in The Excuse Factory, C-SPAN airs my comments as a counterpoint to Prof. Rhode [video, begins 1:30, more including transcript]
  • “How copyright is killing your favorite memes” [Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post “Intersect”]
  • University of Nebraska/Kearney agrees to pay $140,000 to two former students for not allowing psychological support dogs in dorms [Department of Justice press release]
  • Regulation of child care provision drives up costs, has unintended consequences [Diana Thomas and Devon Gorry, Mercatus]

Environment roundup

  • I own a Volkswagen clean diesel myself, and can recommend its terrific fuel economy and peppy performance. It’s almost too good to be true [Clive Crook on policy background] Class action lawyers expect huge payday from scandal, but their emissions might not be very reliable either [Daniel Fisher] More from Fisher: will VW owners actually take their vehicles in for the recall? and more on litigation prospects [More: Car and Driver];
  • Housing advocates looking for plaintiffs to sue Bay Area town that refuses to make its housing supply denser [CityLab]
  • Behind court’s strikedown of NYC Styrofoam ban [Erik Engquist, Crain’s New York; Entrepreneur]
  • “Did Flint, Michigan Just Lead Poison Its Children? Doctors Think So.” [Russell Saunders, The Daily Beast]
  • “Global regulatory norms” favored by pontiff “would globalize Argentina’s downward mobility.” [George Will]
  • After long silence, Hillary Clinton declares opposition to Keystone XL pipeline [Politico, more]
  • Houston: “For the most part, we don’t look all that different from other big cities that do have zoning.” [The Urban Edge; Kinder Institute, Rice U.]