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Virtue and Terror
Maximilien de Robespierre, Slavoj Žižek, John Howe, Jean Ducange

The Rent Is Too Damn High

The Rent Is Too Damn High - Matthew Yglesias As a dedicated urbanist, I've thought about many of the issues Yglesias covers, yet he digs out so many unexpected observations in 80 pages that I felt I hadn't even started to think or read about the topic. After discussing the many ways in which zoning restrictions (including things that aren't usually considered zoning, like parking requirement) not only inhibit people from living where they want, but force them to move to "cheaper" cities where they, on average, will earn less money. This is not an attack on suburbia or a glossy-eyes tribute to urbanity, but rather an insightful treatise on how zoning restrictions hurt people in almost all sectors of the economy and places in the nation. While Yglesias is a self-identified liberal, libertarians and free-market proponents will recognize the logic in his suggestions. The same is true for those who fear gentrification and new development as a tool for displacing the poor. Yglesias notes that without new development, a newly gentrifying area becomes even more expensive, driving out more lower-income people. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in urban planning, city and suburban economics or just a well-reasoned policy piece.