Archive for August, 2009

Disruptive Technologies

I’ve been enjoying Tim Lee’s posts discussing the introduction and impact of a disruptive technology. Let me quote some (a lot) of what he’s been writing: The key characteristic of a disruptive technology is that at its introduction, it is markedly inferior to the then-dominant technology, as judged by the existing base of customers. A […]

We’re Not Done Building Yet

I kind of think that Will Wilkinson ends up making Yglesias’ point for him here. Libertarians have a weird blind spot when it comes to transportation and planning issues. Will agrees, and then proceeds to rationalize that blind spot away, which is something libertarians basically never ever do on the issues they care about. But […]

I’m Curious

What is Tyler Cowen’s preferred answer to the question of how we should move 400-odd million Americans around? I respect Mr Cowen very much, but I think it’s long past time we stopped listening to libertarians on the issue of whether or not to build high-speed rail. Who will ask whether road construction remotely passes […]

Why Do Americans Like Europe?

I have to say, I find this to be a pretty silly conversation. Bryan says Europe is overrated and here is one excerpt from a lengthy post: …almost no one in Europe lives in places as comfortable and convenient as American suburbs: The houses are spacious, the cars are huge, cheap Big Box stores and chain […]

Should We Care for Illegal Immigrants?

Good news: James Surowiecki is blogging again. Bad news: he’s using his blog to tell me I’m wrong about health insurance and illegal immigrants: [N]one of the big European states that we traditionally look to as models of successful universal health care insure illegal immigrants, either. On the contrary, like the U.S., they limit illegal […]

Some Like it HOT

I appreciate the point David Alpert is making here regarding the dropping of the construction of additional lanes, including HOT lanes, on I-95/I-395, but I really would love for the criticism of the project to distinguish between the build more lanes part and the introduce HOT lanes part. Congestion is a problem. It’s costly and […]

We Should All Be Ashamed

This Michael Smerconish radio interview with the president is pretty interesting reading, but there’s one part of it that just really bothers me. I understand that this is all politics, and that Obama is addressing a right-wing radio audience, but still, we should all be ashamed that this is the safe political answer: Q: So […]

“Affordable” Housing in the District

A few commenters are arguing that there is affordable housing in the District, it’s just not in the right neighborhoods. File this under true but unhelpful. Much of the cheap housing in the city is in very bad shape. Properties in neighborhoods that have suffered from disinvestment for decades typically have major structural problems, plumbling […]

HOT News

Merits of the whole project aside, this story on the delay in construction of HOT lanes on I-95/I-395 seems to imply that construction of the lanes has not yet begun. But it sure looks like construction has begun. Does it not count as construction if they’ve just cleared land on either side of the road […]

Affordable Housing in the District

I think this a good post on the issue of affordable housing, and inclusionary zoning in particular. There are a few thoughts I’d add. One is that the affordability of housing in the District is an issue that is largely out of the District’s hands. Matt is right that making it easy to build more […]