Carpe Diem

Monday morning links

1. Markets in Everything: Space-friendly 3-D printers – “flying factories” for space travel, see video above. See related Fox News story here. (HT: Hitssquad)

2. Swedish economist and socialist Assar Lindbeck commented years ago that, “In many cases rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city—except for bombing.”

Exhibit A: Scores of people were feared trapped or dead after a five-story residential building collapsed early Friday morning, the fifth deadly collapse this year in and around Mumbai. [One] problem is rent-control rules that allow tenants to live in apartments for a few dollars a month and even pass those rights on to their descendants, giving landlords little incentive to invest in building maintenance. (HT: Vivek Mehta)

3. Due to rising demand and tight supplies for certain drivetrain engine parts, GM can’t make enough of the most popular versions of its new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. GM is having to limit how many trucks dealers can order. (HT: Robert Kuehl)

4. The Great American Energy BoomThere’s more oil and gas underneath South Texas than just the Eagle Ford. Drillers in the region are exploring nearby formations and in some cases striking big finds. Peak what?

5. Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon Granted to All Persons of European Descent, from Professor Walter E. Williams, Gracious and Generous Grantor.

6. New York City rules that Airbnb is legal (sort of).

Obamacare (Unaffordable Care Act) Updates

7. From Investor’s Business Daily: The List of Employers Cutting Jobs and Hours Due to ObamaCare Employer Mandate Rises to 313

8. Here’s an interactive map where you can find out how Obamacare affects insurance rates in your state that accompanies this article “Obamacare Will Increase Avg. Individual-Market Insurance Premiums By 99% For Men, 62% For Women” in Forbes by Avik Roy.

22 thoughts on “Monday morning links

  1. #7, List of companies cutting hours due to Obamacare:

    These are not only companies but many public entities cutting to sub 30 work weeks.

    The sub 30 work week is substantially in the range of 25-28 hours to insure not breaking the 30 threshold.

    • Another point, is these are only the publically announced cuts as well. Many smaller companies, and entities not required to make public disclosure, are making the hour and personelle cuts silently. Would you guess 100 for 1?

  2. Thanks to Vivek Mehta for the rent-control link. It’s hard to think how anyone could think rent-control is a good idea — other than as a way to troll for votes from the gullible. I’d like to also point out that rent-control doesn’t just destroy cities. It also creates traffic jams. How? If it weren’t for rent-control, people would be more free to move closer to where they work. As it is, with rent-control, moving closer to work can be an excessively expensive proposition.

    • Swedish economist and socialist Assar Lindbeck commented years ago that, “In many cases rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city—except for bombing.”

      Rent control is bad, but take a look at Detroit. It wasn’t rent control that killed the city that was per-capita the richest in the country in 1950. It was violent crime and a 47% functionally illiterate population within.

      Anyone who thinks Detroit will rise again should sit down and watch one episode of “Hardcore Pawn” on Tru Tv.

      “What is the city but the people?”
      ~Shakespeare

      • Paul,

        What caused the violent crime and failing educational system? These are symptoms of a greater problem. Crime and illiteracy don’t just happen to the richest city in the richest nation.

        • Ken,

          “What caused the violent crime and failing educational system? “

          Well, it wasn’t rent control.

          I would blame mostly the welfare state, white guilt, and black ghetto culture.

          • paul-

            you left out “unions”.

            at a certain point, a parasite kills the host.

            what’s the over under on how long before gm is back on the verge of bk and getting bailout 3.0? 8 years? 12?

            if you look at midsized us cities that have fallen into decrepitude, they were almost always union towns.

            steel towns. auto towns. the list goes on and on.

            to be sure, the welfare state does not help, but lost of cities seem to survive it.

            cities like bethlehem and pittsburgh did not get driven down by guilt or hip hop, it was because the unions killed the industry there.

          • You blame the welfare state, but claim it had nothing to do with rent control? Rent control has been part and parcel of the welfare state for decades, even in Detroit. In other words, rent control was a big factor in the decline of Detroit.

          • Morganovich,

            yes, I should have included unions, but I don’t think they are the main reason. You used Pittsburgh as an example, so let’s examine. Did Pittsburgh descend into violence and illiteracy when the steel jobs dried up? To the contrary, according to Wikipedia, “Pittsburgh was recently chosen for the 2009 G-20 summit as its transformation is an example of a 21st-century economy. On September 8, 2009 President Barack Obama stated, “Pittsburgh stands as a bold example of how to create new jobs and industries while transitioning to a 21st century economy.”[1]
            On the most recent list of best cities for job growth in 2009, created by Tara Weiss, a writer for Forbes magazine, Pittsburgh secured its spot because of its strength in the health care and education industries with healthy foundations in technology or robotics and banking industries.[2] The most recent list of all cities places Pittsburgh as the 169th best city for job growth.”

            Also, The Economist ranked Pittsburgh as “Most Liveable US City” in 2011: http://www.marketplace.org/topics/life/news-brief/its-official-pittsburgh-most-liveable-city-us

            Forbes did same this yr: http://www.nationalurbanmedia.com/FORBESCOM-RATES-PITTSBURGH-NO-1-MOST-LIVABLE-CITY/

            to be sure, the welfare state does not help, but lost of cities seem to survive it.

            Sure, they do ok depending on the producer to parasite ratio.

            cities like bethlehem and pittsburgh did not get driven down by guilt or hip hop, it was because the unions killed the industry there.

            Take a look at the demographics of both cities and it’s not surprising they weren’t crushed by gangsta rap.

          • Ken,

            You blame the welfare state, but claim it had nothing to do with rent control? Rent control has been part and parcel of the welfare state for decades, even in Detroit. In other words, rent control was a big factor in the decline of Detroit.

            I don’t defend rent control. I just don’t think it had alot to do with Detroit’s demise, and I have never heard, until now, that it was a significant factor. Perhaps I’m wrong, but see here:
            http://www.detroitmi.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=_Sp6NuT2O3c%3D&tabid=2867&mid=3797

          • Paul,

            Did you look at the methodology for the ranking that put Pittsburgh at the top? There’s a heavy emphasis on SWPL, i.e., young, white, rich, urban, and liberal. It heavily emphasizes “artistic and cultural opportunities”, whatever that means. Sometimes, it just means the existence of things like city orchestras, which are indicators of wealth and livability, not drivers of wealth and livability. Of course, many cities invest in these thinking that correlation is causation.

            As an example of this type of stupidity, look at Baltimore of the last few decades. Mayor/Governor Schaefer made sure to carve out a dozen or so acres of prime real estate in downtown Baltimore to make way for a baseball stadium, as well as turning downtown into a non-productive tourist center, rather than a booming economic engine. On top of this, recently a dozen or so more acres were set aside for M&T Bank Stadium and its accompanying parking lots. Weirdly this type of waste is somehow appreciated by voters. Baltimore is by and large a wasteland, with some pockets of niceness. After living there for seven years, watching my taxes go up and up, but city services decline, I left with the intention of never going back.

            Taxpayers bear the brunt of political spending when politicians want to say “I built that”, when of course that’s meaningless when you have to steal from others to build what you want.

            As an indication of just how weak the ranking of Pittsburgh is as a “liveable” city, the population there has been on a decades long decline, which is still declining. People vote with their feet. If Pittsburgh were really such an awesome place to live, it would have a growing population. From 2000 to 2010, Pittsburgh lost 10% of its population. That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of “liveability”.

            Also, I’ve saw that link about rent control you posted. Note that that language was adopted in 1988, literally decades after Detroit’s decline into a ghost town. For my entire life, Detroit has been thought of as the ass of America. It’s not some recent development. By 1988, the damage was done. All ready, decades of rent control did its work on the property of Detroit.

            Rent control incentivizes property owners to not invest in their properties. What’s the point of maintaining, much less upgrading your property if you can’t recoup those expenses through increased rent prices? It’s not a sudden collapse, but a slow rot that becomes apparent only after decades of non-investment.

          • Ken,
            “Did you look at the methodology for the ranking that put Pittsburgh at the top? There’s a heavy emphasis on SWPL, i.e., young, white, rich, urban, and liberal. It heavily emphasizes “artistic and cultural opportunities”, whatever that means. Sometimes, it just means the existence of things like city orchestras, which are indicators of wealth and livability, not drivers of wealth and livability. Of course, many cities invest in these thinking that correlation is causation.”

            Ok, sure. However, a huge factor for “liveability” is, as one would imagine, your ability to stay alive. Pittsburgh is not even listed in this yr’s top 100 most dangerous cities in the US. Detroit is #6.

            “As an example of this type of stupidity, look atBaltimore of the last few decades. Mayor/Governor Schaefer made sure to carve out a dozen or so acres of prime real estate in downtown Baltimore to make way for a baseball stadium, as well as turning downtown into a non-productive tourist center, rather than a booming economic engine. On top of this, recently a dozen or so more acres were set aside for M&T Bank Stadium and its accompanying parking lots. Weirdly this type of waste is somehow appreciated by voters. Baltimore is by and large a wasteland, with some pockets of niceness. After living there for seven years, watching my taxes go up and up, but city services decline, I left with the intention of never going back.”

            Sure, I hate those kinds of government projects. We have them in Phoenix also. But why is Baltimore a wasteland? It ain’t because of the ballpark. It’s the people.

            “As an indication of just how weak the ranking of Pittsburgh is as a “liveable” city, the population there has been on a decades long decline, which is still declining. People vote with their feet. If Pittsburgh were really such an awesome place to live, it would have a growing population. From 2000 to 2010, Pittsburgh lost 10% of its population. That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of “liveability”.

            Well,

            http://www.uhaul.com/Articles/About/1366/U-Haul-Ranks-Pittsburgh-as-2012-Top-US-Growth-City

            I never intended to really glorify Pittsburgh. I only mention it because Morganovich did, and also as an example of how a city can survive the unions and revive if the human capital is high enough. Detroit is negative in the human capital area.

            “Also, I’ve saw that link about rent control you posted. Note that that language was adopted in 1988, literally decades after Detroit’s decline into a ghost town.”

            Ken, check it out again. Take a look at the date of the memo: June 21, 2007. It refers to a voter referendum back in 1987 to implement rent control. The legislation was overturned by the Michigan state legislature. That seems to indicate to me that rent control has not been widespread in Detroit. I don’t find any info to the contrary.

            “Rent control incentivizes property owners to not invest in their properties. What’s the point of maintaining, much less upgrading your property if you can’t recoup those expenses through increased rent prices? It’s not a sudden collapse, but a slow rot that becomes apparent only after decades of non-investment.”

            I don’t disagree.

          • paul-

            i think you are missing the point on pittsburgh.

            that was sure not the case in the 80′s and 90′s.

            pittsburgh managed to recover because it tossed the unions and went in to non union fields.

            thus, they show an excellent example if how you can get out from under and provide a strong contrast to detroit.

            both got hammered, one got bailed out, never changed, and failed again. the other did not get bailed out and as a result had to change and as a result is not thriving.

            if detroit had taken pittsburg’s medicine 20 years ago, it would not be a wreck today. pit gave up on the heavy industry that got dragged under and shifted to technology oriented businesses and higher education. their unions lacked the clout of the uaw and could not survive.

            “Take a look at the demographics of both cities and it’s not surprising they weren’t crushed by gangsta rap.”

            and yet neither were la, dallas, new york, and many, many others.

            many cites with extremely powerful welfare states (like san francisco and seatlle) have thrived. to be sure, it does not help, but it has not generally been enough to produce ruin and bankruptcy on its own in the us. add in powerful union control of key industries though, and you’re cooked, especially if they have the political clout to raid public pension funds…

          • Morg,

            “pittsburgh managed to recover because it tossed the unions and went in to non union fields.”

            Sure, it had the capacity to renew itself because it had the human capital. Detroit has none of that. Pittsburgh is one of themost literate cities in the US. Almost half of Detroit is illiterate.

            “if detroit had taken pittsburg’s medicine 20 years ago, it would not be a wreck today. ”

            That is wishful thinking, my friend. If you get a chance, take a look at thisNBER study on the Curley effect. The wasteland known as Detroit was created out of a conscious effort to drive out the productive class of all races(but especially whites) ensuring Democrat hegemony forever. Worked like a charm. Obama received 98% of the vote there in 2012.

            “and yet neither were la, dallas, new york, and many, many others.”

            All of those mentioned still have enough people pulling the wagon, though it’s getting heavier by the day.

            “many cites with extremely powerful welfare states (like san francisco and seatlle) have thrived.”

            Morg, again, check the demographics of both cities.

          • Pittsburgh is not even listed in this yr’s top 100 most dangerous cities in the US. Detroit is #6.

            So? You were the one changing the topic to Pittsburgh, claiming it’s a great place to live. At no time did I suggest it was more dangerous than Detroit. You can do better than strawmen in your comments. I’ve seen you actually bring forth real arguments.

            But why is Baltimore a wasteland? It ain’t because of the ballpark.

            Of course it is. The ballparks are the type of large scale waste endemic to failing cities like Baltimore. They are huge costs, filled with lots of promise, that almost always lose money, as both Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium have.

            Ken, check it out again.

            I knew what I was saying when I commented before on your link. Yes, the changes in language were indeed made… in the 1980′s, two decades after rent control had all ready been implemented in Detroit. The memo you’re referring to is the implementation of new language to be used in all ready existing rent control regulation.

            That memo was one of the first things I found when googling for Detroit rent control, as I’m sure it was for you, but it didn’t take long before I found many more, talking about rent control in the 1960′s.

          • Ken,

            “So? You were the one changing the topic to Pittsburgh, claiming it’s a great place to live. At no time did I suggest it was more dangerous than Detroit. You can do better than strawmen in your comments. I’ve seen you actually bring forth real arguments.

            Ken, you disputed the Pitt liveability index. I pointed out that staying alive is a rather hefty variable to consider for “liveability”. I’m not sure how that’s a strawman.

            “Of course it is. The ballparks are the type of large scale waste endemic to failing cities like Baltimore. They are huge costs, filled with lots of promise, that almost always lose money, as both Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium have.

            Totally agree. We have the same baseball socialism here in Phx. So do alot of cities that aren’t failing. But add a violent crime epidemic and a certain threshold of layabouts, and you get Baltimore. And you get Detroit. And you get Flint. And you get East St Louis. etc.,

            “I knew what I was saying when I commented before on your link. Yes, the changes in language were indeed made… in the 1980′s, two decades after rent control had all ready been implemented in Detroit. The memo you’re referring to is the implementation of new language to be used in all ready existing rent control regulation.”

            Well, perhaps I’m not searching using the correct words.
            But I also found this: “Conversely, abandonment has been prevalent in cities without rent control, such as Detroit, Cleveland, East St. Louis, St. Louis, and Chicago. ”

            http://www.policylink.org/site/c.lkIXLbMNJrE/b.6644939/k.9948/Rent_Control/apps/nl/newsletter2.asp

            and this…

            Q. Are there state laws against rent control?
            A. Yes. Legislatures in about half of the states have forbidden municipalities to enact rent
            control ordinances. For example, in 1987, after the voters of Detroit
            enacted rent control
            by referendum, the Michigan Legislature passed a law revoking the right of cities to adopt
            rent control laws.

      • “Anyone who thinks Detroit will rise again should sit down and watch one episode of “Hardcore Pawn” on Tru Tv.”

        “What is the city but the people”

        “Double, double toil and trouble”

        (2)Shakespeare

  3. Rent control is a bad idea. But then, so is base housing for US soldiers—should not housing be left to private sector or privatized?

    • benji-troll-

      your endless harping on this issue is tiresome.

      i mean, hey, why would we want soldiers all barracked in one place? it’s not like it would be convenient for training, handling the many items they posses (like automatic weapons, flak vests, grenades, etc), and keeping them in one place in case they are needed to actually defend somehting is just crazy talk.

      get a grip man.

      • A lot of US soldiers get a housing benefit, so they can rent off base. When I lived in an apartment a few years back in San Diego, we had quite a few families that were military from the Miramar base and using the benefit.
        However – the benefit is condered part of their total compensation package and the rent is not part of their income so they can qualify for other benefits like food stamps, which would also be part of the benefits.

        I get similar benefits for working away from home. Part of my salary is Per Diem – meaning it is not taxed because it is being used to pay for an apartment and the extra expenses away from home.

        So I don’t, they get the benefit, but it part of the total compensation, just like a company would give you health insurance, 401K match and sick days – and just like the government gives all people a break for having to work far away from home.

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