Urban myth busting: Why building more high income housing helps affordability | City Observatory

the key context missing here is that in the United States, we have almost never built new market-rate housing for low-income households. … As new housing ages, it depreciates, and prices and rents decline, relative to newer houses.

What really matters is not whether new housing is created at a price point that low- and moderate-income households can afford, but rather, whether the overall housing supply increases enough that the existing housing stock can “filter down” to low and moderate income households. As we’ve written, that process depends on wealthier people moving into newer, more desirable homes. Where the construction of those homes is highly constrained, those wealthier households end up bidding up the price of older housing—preventing it from filtering down to lower income households and providing for more affordability.

Exactly the same thing could be said of new car purchases: Most new cars aren’t affordable to the typical household either … So most households deal with car affordability pretty much like they deal with housing affordability: by buying used.

there’s no outcry about America’s “affordable car crisis.” The reason: high-income households buy newer cars; most of the rest of us buy used cars—which are more affordable after they’ve depreciated for a while.

Source: Urban myth busting: Why building more high income housing helps affordability | City Observatory

No, Robots Aren’t Killing the American Dream – The New York Times

In good times, robots are seen as heroes. In bad times, they’re the villains. They’re neither. Robots are as good or bad as our public policies allow.

the data indicate that today’s fear of robots is outpacing the actual advance of robots. If automation were rapidly accelerating, labor productivity and capital investment would also be surging as fewer workers and more technology did the work. But labor productivity and capital investment have actually decelerated in the 2000s.

the problem with automation isn’t robots; it’s politicians, who have failed for decades to support policies that let workers share the wealth from technology-led growth.

The response in previous eras was quite different.

Productivity and pay rose in tandem for decades after World War II, until labor and wage protections began to be eroded. Public education has been given short shrift, unions have been weakened, tax overhauls have benefited the rich and basic labor standards have not been updated.

As a result, gains from improving technology have been concentrated at the top, damaging the middle class, while politicians blame immigrants and robots for the misery that is due to their own failures. Eroded policies need to be revived, and new ones enacted.

Source: No, Robots Aren’t Killing the American Dream – The New York Times

The Basic Income Is the Worst Response to Automation | RealClearFuture

The future doesn’t come that fast, and we will get a chance to see it coming. The best response is to encourage people to respond to technological progress and to seek out the new jobs that will become available as the old ones fade away.

no matter how sophisticated the system, no matter how advanced our machines seem to be, relative to what we’re used to, somebody still needs to do the work of keeping them running. We need someone to monitor them, maintain them, and regulate them, someone who understands how they work and how they connect to other systems

the basic income, as an economic program, is a plan to lure a large group of people into withdrawing from the economy and living in a state of economic helplessness and stagnation, separate from a technological elite who enjoy wealth and influence

Source: The Basic Income Is the Worst Response to Automation | RealClearFuture

Donald Trump and the US economy: 10 charts for tracking his progress — Quartz

10 charts to track his progress putting plans into action, updated continuously.

As president, his pledge to “Make America Great Again” will be judged largely along economic lines, whether it’s bringing back factory jobs, boosting wages, or renegotiating trade deals. … we don’t have to rely on guesswork or partisan punditry to evaluate his progress; we’ve got reliable data to gauge Trump’s success

  • Real GDP growth
  • Unemployment
  • Labor force participation
  • Poverty
  • Trade balance
  • S&P 500
  • Wage growth
  • Budget balance
  • Public debt
  • Coal mining jobs

Source: Donald Trump and the US economy: 10 charts for tracking his progress — Quartz