Archive for June, 2010

Immigration and Detroit

A while back, Yglesias reflected on the fortunes of Detroit and America’s immigration difficulties and wrote: There are clearly insurmountable logistical, legal, practical, constitutional, and political obstacles to doing this but I can’t help but think that with 165 million people around the world telling Gallup they’d like to permanently relocate to the United States […]

Heat Warning

My buddy Matt Yglesias wrote an underappreciated book on foreign policy a few years ago, called Heads in the Sand. It was an insightful look at the knots into which Democrats tied themselves trying to outflank President Bush on national defense issues. One of the key points Matt made in that book was that good […]

Papers of the Day

Here: In the Minneapolis-St. Paul region (Twin Cities), the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn-DOT) converted the Interstate 394 High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes (or MnPASS Express Lanes). These lanes allow single occupancy vehicles (SOV) to access the HOV lanes by paying a fee. This fee is adjusted according to […]

Keep Out

Felix quotes from a Fed paper on homeownership: Because owners have a financial interest in their property, they have incentives to take measures that will maintain or increase the value of that property. Some of these measures—such as fixing a leaky roof—are closely related to the house itself. Others, such as investing resources in the […]

Speculative Building

I thought this was a very interesting comment by Scott Sumner: I just read that China is building a 350kph train line from Chongqing to Chengdu.  That’s kind of mind-boggling when you consider the rough terrain.  The track will be 66% tunnels and bridges.  Does this make sense?  My heart says yes but my brain […]

Is Congestion a Good Thing?

That’s the argument Frank McArdle makes here: Congestion is actually a good thing. It tells us that many people see great value in being someplace at the same time. We really don’t want it to go away, since it also reflects the higher values in the economy of places where there is congestion. We know […]

In Soviet Union, Congestion Prices You

In comments, Megan responds: I don’t think you can just dismiss the notion that drivers might know what they want better than we do. The notion that it’s “better” rests on a tradeoff between money and time, with a subjective valuation that they are better qualified to evaluate than we are. We can, actually, say […]

Congestion Pricing is Good For Drivers

Like Felix Salmon, I was bothered by this Megan McArdle comment: There’s a real tendency to tell drivers that congestion pricing is great for them: less traffic! I can kind of buy that argument, and then I notice something: almost no one making it commutes by car… All the people commuting by car seem to […]

How to Get Off Gas

Ezra highlights some nice new language from the president, who may be considering a new push for climate legislation in the wake of the BP oil spill: The only way the transition to clean energy will ultimately succeed is if the private sector is fully invested in this future — if capital comes off the […]