Friday, August 20, 2010

Vancouver: Planner’s Dream, Middle Class Nightmare

Original featured at New Geography.

Vancouver is consistently rated among the most desirable places to live in the Economist’s annual ranking of cities. In fact, this year it topped the list. Of course, it also topped another list. Vancouver was ranked as the city with the most unaffordable housing in the English speaking world by Demographia’s annual survey. According to the survey criteria, housing prices in an affordable market should have an “median multiple” of no higher than 3.0 (meaning that median housing price should cost no more than 3 times the median annual gross household income). Vancouver came in at a staggering 9.3. The second most expensive major Canadian city, Toronto, has an index of only 5.2. Even legendarily unaffordable London and New York were significantly lower... (continue reading)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Electric Vehicle Subsidies: Greening the Earth, or Subsidizing the Wealthy?

Here's a great article from Slate Magazine on the futility of subsidizing electric vehicle technology. While EVs may one day be viable, subsidies for EVs are little more than kickbacks to those who are actually wealthy enough to afford them. I wonder if the author read the report I published for the Cascade Policy Institute last summer?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Is Homeownership Overrated?

Originally featured at New Geography.

Home ownership has been considered an integral part of the American Dream for as long as anyone can remember. Now it has come under scrutiny, notably in a June Wall Street Journal piece by Richard Florida, which claims that that home ownership reduces employment opportunities for young adults, since it limits their mobility. To support ownership, others — particularly Wendell Cox — have argued that home ownership levels do not correlate with the economic productivity of cities...(continue reading)