The Rabid Independent, Nonpartisan solutions, independent policy ideas

I seem to be condemned in perpetuity to listen to social chatter along the lines of – “Can you believe the price of condo prices in Manhattan?!” The same line starts many conversations in San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver and London. It’s sort of half amazement and half celebration as though we can take pride that our city is so desirable.

Nothing better exposes the failure of public policy than spiking real estate prices.

What is worse than not being able to afford to live where you work? The goal for every politician or economist is to see the rise of wages relative to rent (or housing). If that ratio falls then we drift toward third world conditions. Rio has high real estate prices after we factor out luxury condo’s in their favelas (slums). So does Port ‘O Prince. How exactly is it a good thing for the citizens of Vancouver when all the real estate is bought up by Chinese nationals who have bought Canadian residency permits? Parisians are all worse off if oil sheikhs jack up prices in downtown Paris. New York loses all its culture when it becomes chock full of subsidized brats and foreign oligarchs, and devoid of policemen, teachers, and artists.

Brexit will likely require that Englishmen living in Europe will have to return home after their Euro passports are revoked (1.25 mm people) unless they can get grandfathered in. Euro’s in London will have to go home too (3.1 mm). So there is a serious net outflow that will/should implode the London real estate market. The race is on: Will the decline in flat prices outpace the decline in good jobs in the city? London real estate is about the most expensive in the world so some serious deflation could be a great thing as long as employment doesn’t crash faster than rent. For the first time in years there may be a good story where people can brag about how cheap London real estate is rather than the reverse.

– unless foreigners snap up all the bargains.

 

 

Free traders will all tell you that the reason it is so powerful is because we make the stuff we are best at making and our partners make what they make best. Sounds perfect. Their proof for why this works is the 1970’s. We had severe restrictions on car imports so when they started to […]

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Both the Brexit vote and the Trump related polls show a consistent pattern. Young people are OK with globalization, immigration, economic integration. Older(er) people are not. The presumption or implied conclusion is that old people can’t adjust to the new world. Perhaps thy are racists or just nostalgic for a time that never existed. They […]

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A key principal behind the European Union is the idea that all citizens of member states are free to relocate to other countries inside the union just like in the United States. That sounds great for economic efficiency right? It did when the union consisted of a set of countries with similar labor market conditions, i.e. wages. […]

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I’m sure we can agree that there are plenty of nut jobs, sad or depressed people, teens who got no love from their parents and some who have brain deformation. Perhaps you have dated some of them. The overwhelming majority are harmless, both to themselves and others but they are logical candidates to reach out to find […]

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After a primary season ends we expect to see a “pivot” back to the center by every candidate as they pursue swing voters. In the case of Donald, one would expect to see him use teleprompters rather than go off the cuff. He did use one last week for the first time but the rhetoric didn’t really change. […]

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Yes Trump is a dark figure who apparently knows nothing about economics or international relations. He is a cartoon character defined by and for reality TV. Hillary is the perfect example of experience without achievement. Her fame stems from being someone’s wife. She has no intention of doing anything if she becomes President. The result […]

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History is replete with periods of economic weakness where workers stood against immigration because jobs were so hard to find. You may say that you know that all those unemployed people were really just racists looking for any excuse to keep out “the others”. If you do then you need a lot of evidence. It […]

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The New York Times came out recently with an essay supporting the role of government to pay people money if they get displaced by offshoring. The idea is catching on. This sounds compassionate but it’s like the guy spreading the plague offering you a band aid for your bleeding boils. The government’s trade policy has […]

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The H1-B Demand Scam

On April 8, 2016 By

The Wall Street Journal has another article describing the huge demand for skilled workers coming primarily from the technology sector. (Go Here). The shortage is so severe that the government is instituting a special lottery to help out all those poor companies that just can’t get any work done.

If the cost of an imported […]

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Irritations

Here’s my list of things that bug me. Some are big and some are petty. Feel free to offer new additions.

Irritations

Mottos, Creeds, Rules

As we search for legitimate solutions to America’s problems everyone must obey these rules or we’ll never get anything done.

Mottos, Creeds and Rules

Reading List