Linky Friday: The Beginning of the Middle of the End of the Beginning

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonderandhome.com

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23 Responses

  1. Avatar Aaron David says:

    LF2 – That is some purple prose. Someone should nominate that for the Bulwer-Lyton award.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Okay. At this point, what I am looking for are prominent voices coming out and saying something to the effect of “Democrats handled this poorly” or “Democrats botched the Impeachment”.

    It might be a hair early for “Impeachment was a mistake”, but I think I should start keeping an eye out for that in March or April.Report

  3. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    Times of crisis always need a clarifying moment, and this was ours.

    America now has the Republican Party saying openly that they are willing to grant the President unchecked power whenever it suits their naked interests.

    So the task for the American citizens is to decide if they will meekly roll over or stand up.Report

  4. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    LF10-LF11: I have to wonder what kind of guidance judges are getting for all this? I agree with the concept, but if enough such cases are slipping through the cracks, is it the law, or the judges just not understanding how to execute it (or not faithfully executing it for whatever reason)?

    Personally, I figure it’s the law itself, given how consistently lawmakers fail to game out their creations. For instance, CA decision to not pursue petty theft resulting in an increase in petty theft. Heart is in the right place, but incentives matter.Report

  5. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Here’s a fun link:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlimCLccxpQ

    When it comes to ignorant politicians and guns, this guy is right up there with Carolyn McCarthy (of the “Shoulder thing that goes up” fame). If people want me to explain where he is wrong, let me know, but it’s going to be a long post, because he starts off wrong, and it never gets better.

    I get that not every politician can always be well informed on every aspect of legislation, but things like guns or abortion are such hot topics where ignorance of basic concepts and facts hurt your credibility, I would hope that they would make the effort to talk to experts and get their data correct. The fact that so many are so consistently bad about this just reinforces my belief that legislators aren’t actually interested in crafting good laws, they just want free steak and lobster dinners, and all the other fringe benefits that come with the position.Report

  6. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    PMJB: The trombone is inspired!Report

  7. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Cash bail links: I am largely supportive of ending cash bail. The research shows that the overwhelming majority of people show up for their court appointments and cash bail seriously harms the black community. People lose jobs even if they are innocent. It encourages pleas just to get it over. But these kind of policies are hard sells from a political prospective often but no one said reform was easy.

    Boston and the middle-class: I think it is very clear that our current housing mess is a product of several decades of bad policies and maybe even centuries of social thought. LeeEsq has pointed out that the anglo-ideal for homes has always been the detached or semi-detached single family home. In continental Europe, they were more accepting of apartments even for the rich. The first apartment buildings in New York for wealthy people were considered shocking. Plus restrictive zoning. But apartments in cities need to be bigger for families. So you need to find ways to get developers to do three or four bedroom apartments with good soundproofing.

    But the trend of cities being for the very wealthy, the poor, and/or the very young are not quite new. This basically described New York during the bad days of the 70s and 80s.Report

  8. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    LF13 is a bit overwrought. The median household income in Boston is only moderately higher than the median household income for the entire state of Massachusetts . It’s also worth noting that Boston is a fairly small city, geographically, and moving to “the suburbs” doesn’t necessarily mean moving all that far.

    The claim that it takes 30 years to save up for a down payment rests on a bunch of assumptions selected for maximum sensationalism. First, 5% is a pretty unambitious saving rate. Upping the savings rate to 10% cuts that in half. It also assumes a 20% down payment, which is no longer standard for first-time buyers. The 20% down payment is a relic of a time when mortgage rates were much higher, leading to lower sticker prices on homes. Nowadays you can put up a down payment of 10%, 5%, or even less, depending on your credit rating.

    Comparing median income to median home price is also questionable. Home ownership tends to skew towards higher-income households, so a household with median income should be aiming to buy a house at, say, the 30th percentile, rather than at the median.

    If we correct these assumptions, we get a dramatically lower estimate of the amount of time needed to save for a down payment on a house in Boston, perhaps only 3-7 years.

    That said, housing costs are higher than is ideal, and it’s good to see an article correctly identify building as the solution to keeping housing costs reasonable. Due to the pigeonhole principle, it simply isn’t possible to have affordable housing for 300,000 households when you only have 250,000 houses. Even if some units are rent-controlled, the price has to rise on the market rate units to the point where 50,000 of those households are priced out. And if you have all units rent-controlled, then the only way to move in is to buy a house. True affordability can only come from building, not from “affordable housing” policies.Report

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