Ideological Politics and Urban Housing

By John Stang

Matt Yglesias writes in his new book The Rent is Too Damn High about how to make urban housing cheaper and its impact on the economy.  He notes how right and left politics get in the way of this and how both can offer solutions in different ways:

That’s why housing is so expensive in the major coastal metropolises and also in the core downtown areas of lower-cost midwestern cities. The appropriate policy response is to stop disparaging apartment buildings as tenements and stop preventing developers from building them. People should by no means be “forced” to stop owning and driving cars, but there’s no reason for regulations to incentivize these activities. Progressives and urbanists need to move beyond their romance with central planning and get over their distaste for business and developers. Conservatives need to take their own ideas about economics more seriously and stop seeing all proposals for change through a lens of paranoia and resentment. Lastly, politicians of both parties who like to complain about “regulation” and “red tape” ought to spend some time looking at the specific area of the economy where red tape and regulation are most prevalent.

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Filed under economic policy, housing

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