On The $10,000 Bachelor's Degree

@Eric18 Sigh. I hesitate to engage but I can't help noting that Spain, Portugal, and Italy all charge tuition, and well above the EU average. Universities in Germany, on the other hand, are free; if you see any big problems with their economy, the skills of their workers, or their level of technological advancement and innovation I'd love to hear about it!

Posted on May 8, 2014 at 6:57 pm 0

On How Much The Borrowers Owe Us

@blair you can have them back when you return all my chapsticks

Posted on May 8, 2014 at 1:11 pm 0

On How Much The Borrowers Owe Us

I have way too many pens, so many that my pen cup is close to exploding. I never use any of them and have no idea where they come from.

Posted on May 7, 2014 at 4:10 pm 1

On The $10,000 Bachelor's Degree

@Josh Michtom@facebook In much of continental Europe, undergraduate degrees are basically free (or a few hundred euros per year). True, their colleges are not as highly ranked as American ones, but somehow they do maintain a functioning modern society complete with jet aircraft, nuclear power plants, satellites, computers, TV reality shows, fast food, and so forth. Even though they don't have on-campus climbing walls!

Posted on May 6, 2014 at 11:38 am 0

On $1 Million Isn't Cool. You Know What's Cool?

So in rich-people circles "you look like a million bucks" is kind of an insult?

Posted on May 1, 2014 at 11:45 am 3

On What Should a City Do When the Rent Becomes Too High to Afford?

@Carmen Aiken@facebook I suppose if we made it a choice between taxpayers kicking in a proportionately small amount of money for publicly-financed housing or squatters covering Central Park in four-story apartment buildings made from cinder blocks and corrugated sheeting, the political calculus would be different?

Posted on April 30, 2014 at 3:55 pm 0

On What Should a City Do When the Rent Becomes Too High to Afford?

@MrDean I mean, there's nothing intrinsic about putting an apartment building next to a body of water that causes it to soar in value except that people like the views... I just find it hard to believe that even in the absence of any planning or land use regulation whatsoever, where supply and demand worked perfectly, that building a dozen fancy new condo buildings in a formerly riot-blighted neighborhood would not cause the value of existing properties nearby to rise. In real life you can't disentangle these things. I'm not arguing to make areas less desirable so they'll be cheaper, I'm saying that if a city wants to be both a desirable place to live and have some middle and working class people left in it, some kind of intervention is needed or housing prices will rise (almost) inexorably because, unlike other goods and services where supply and demand are both elastic, you cannot readily increase the supply of urban land nor can you readily work in a city without having a place to live nearby. FWIW I favor more density in DC but even if we turned the whole National Mall into Rosslyn I'm not sure it would bring average rents back to where they were in 2000 (i.e. more than 50% lower) let alone to something actually affordable for working people.

Posted on April 30, 2014 at 3:52 pm 0

On What Should a City Do When the Rent Becomes Too High to Afford?

@MrDean As a simple anecdotal example, I'm currently paying $1,250/mo for a large 2nd floor studio with great light near 14th & U, which I moved into just 2 years ago. Now that hundreds of new condo and high-end rental units have been built in the area, I'd like to see you find a comparable apartment on my block for that price.

Posted on April 30, 2014 at 12:01 pm 0

On What Should a City Do When the Rent Becomes Too High to Afford?

@SarahAnne I absolutely agree that more people should move to these smaller cities (and I think it is actually happening, beneath the gaze of the NYC-centric media). If I were an artist or musician I'd much rather live in Philly or Atlanta than try to scrape by in NYC. Plus we'd finally get some fresh new perspectives after the suffocating postwar cultural dominance of LA/NYC.

Posted on April 30, 2014 at 11:55 am 0

On What Should a City Do When the Rent Becomes Too High to Afford?

@garysixpack That is a good point. I speculated above that income and sales taxes from residents would make up for it but possibly not. I'd love to see a serious study of this idea, though!

Posted on April 30, 2014 at 11:47 am 0