Sunday, March 05, 2006
Megan McArdle excerpts an article from the New York Times Magazine that examines the connection between the regulation of housing and high home prices.
Homeowners, he points out, have a strong incentive to stop new development, both because it can be an inconvenience and also because, like any monopolist, stopping supply drives up the price of their own homes. "Lack of affordable housing isn't a problem to homeowners," Glaeser says; that's exactly what they want. "The thing you want most is to make sure that your home is not affordable if you own it. And for that reason, there's absolutely no reason to think that little suburban communities with no businesses that are run essentially by their homeowners will make the right decisions for the state as a whole, for the business in the area, for the country as a whole."
Megan goes on to observe that "A high concentration of liberals is certainly closely correlated with high housing prices. Glaeser is the first person I've seen suggest that the link is causative...."
Dan Riehl is soliciting votes for the best war movie of the "right wing" of all time. While I'm not sure that I agree with his category -- glorifying war and "right wing" have only become synonymous in the last generation or so -- it is a fun poll anyway. I voted for The Great Escape, as did Betsy. Given the choices, so should you.
Captain's Quarters is organizing an Army of Davids to deconstruct the Gitmo case files. I'm probably irresponsibly indifferent to Gitmo, which reflects poorly on my character, but Ed Morrissey's effort -- with a boost from Glenn Reynolds -- will be an interesting example of organized distributed analysis (as opposed to other famous examples of spontaneous distributed analysis, such as the les affaires RatherGate, Lott, and Eason Jordan). As I wrote yesterday, I think that partisan Republican blogs would do well to organize a blogswarm to fisk the Conyers report.
Roberto at DynamoBuzz notices that New Jersey's war on employers continues under the Corzine administration. Surprise, surprise.
Gateway Pundit looks at a massive protest in Bahrain against terrorism. This and other such recent demonstrations is good news, and at least some evidence in support of the idea that polarization in the Arab and Muslimm world works against al Qaeda and its allies. Most of these demonstrators, if asked, would evince strongly anti-American attitudes to go along with their vocal opposition to the jihadis. As I have written many times, our rather intentional destabilization of the Arab Middle East will -- all at once -- increase anti-Americanism and increase anti-jihadism at the same time. As long as Arab and Muslim opposition to al Qaeda and its ideology increases faster than al Qaeda's ability to attract support, the counterinsurgency within Islam will prevail, and Islamic jihad will lose its ability to inflict catastrophic losses on the West.
Gates of Vienna has launched its "bloody borders" project, detailing the wars on the frontiers of the Muslim world. Their flash animation of these conflicts is here (broadband only). As an exposition of facts, it is very interesting, and I would love to see it extended back in time at least to 1993. What conclusion we should draw from those facts is an entirely different matter.
Who "won" Libya? This is a question that has become enormously partisan, with hawks pointing to the object lesson of the Iraq war, and opponents arguing that years of sanctions and patient negotiation did the job (notwithstanding this fairly dispositive testimony). Haitham Sabbah posts and translates an Arabic cartoon, which perhaps does not add anything to the force-diplomacy debate(pdf) but which says something interesting about perceptions in his world.
Done. Now I have to advise certain people in the studying for final exams.