The Industrial Revolution transformed America and Europe. In just a century, an economy long powered by wind, water, and muscle became supercharged by steam, coal, and electricity. Canals, railroads, steamships and the telegraph were linking regional economies into a national and global network of exchange.… Read More »Can there be progress without poverty in the 21st century?
States can grant regulatory authority to local governments to amend zoning and tax laws to increase housing affordability and not put a hole in city budgets In this paper we explore three approaches to solving the growing housing affordable housing crisis. First, I summarize some… Read More »A Pathway to Opening the Urban Land Market to Affordable Housing
Methodology and Findings for the ‘California Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program: Evaluating the Use of Cap-and-Trade Funds to Promote Climate Mitigation and Adaptation.’
Tom Daniels, Crossways ProfessorDept. of City and Regional PlanningUniversity of Pennsylvania IntroductionThe research project on the California Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) program combined the broader exploration of how the SALC might serve as a national model—both to preserve farmland from conversion to development and… Read More »Methodology and Findings for the ‘California Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program: Evaluating the Use of Cap-and-Trade Funds to Promote Climate Mitigation and Adaptation.’
After Amsterdam, Rotterdam is the largest Dutch municipality in terms of population. Since the 1970s, this municipality has given out almost all of its new land under ground lease conditions. One of the goals of the ground lease system was to allow the entire community to benefit from the increase in land value, instead of just the individual land owner.
In 2003, however, this objective was explicitly dismissed in Rotterdam. From then on, the increase in value of the land would no longer be collected by the community, but by the user of the land. So the council of mayor and aldermen judged, and probably not entirely coincidentally the first council since World War II without the social-democratic party PvdA. The idea was that individuals should be able to build up their own capital through land ownership and would thus develop a more intensive bond with their living environment. From that year on, private ownership of land became the new standard in Rotterdam and leasehold the exception.
In Amsterdam, too, a council without the social democrats took office in 2014, after the PvdA had been represented in the municipal council for more than a century. More than 125 years ago, Amsterdam had been the first Dutch municipality in which it was decided to issue all land under ground lease conditions. The municipality nowadays still owns about 80 percent of the land. And since its introduction in 1896, the original goal of allowing the increase in the value of land to benefit the community had never been changed.
The Persistence of Poverty Amid Advancing Wealth “What happens when government abandons its proper role? At the top, we get fraud. Corruption. Gross incompetence. For the rest of us? We get unemployment, inequality, poverty, and inadequate healthcare, retirement, and welfare.” L. Randall Wray, Making Money… Read More »The Great Enigma of Our Times: MMT and GCE
In the Netherlands, the government is trying to combat the housing crisis with more subsidies for first time house buyers. But this will only make prices go up even more. There is a better solution, which would make housing cheaper for everyone: a land value tax. But as long as homeowners are in the majority, no politician dares to burn its fingers on this idea.
On a lazy Sunday morning I managed to get my son Miran (9) and his friend Tinus (10), who lives next door to us, to play a game of Monopoly. They were not very enthusiastic at first; they find the game boring and predictable. The player who can build houses first quickly gets ahead in the game. Especially if he reinvests the money he earns in new houses. For the others, it’s hard to catch up. The winner accumulates piles of money, the other players are broke and frustrated. There’s hardly any strategy involved. It’s just a matter of being lucky or unlucky.
The current housing market in the Netherlands looks a lot like a Monopoly game. If you bought a house at the right time, your wealth is growing. If you don’t own a house yet, it is almost impossible to get in on this wealth growth.
In The Privatization of Everything, Donald Cohen and Allen Mikaelian argue that, over the past four decades, private entities have wrested control of many of the functions of federal, state, and local governments. Free-market ideologues and cost-cutting “small government” bureaucrats have cooperated with business firms… Read More »The Privatization of Everything
Over time, social mores and acceptable political views shift; as a result, historical individuals may find themselves seen in an entirely different light than they were in their own time. This is sometimes a matter of interpretation, or a question of perspective. However, at other… Read More »Placing George on the Political Spectrum
On legal process grounds, the U.S. Supreme Court has just ended the Federal eviction moratorium about halfway through its sixty-day extension. But eviction moratoriums in seven states and the District of Columbia continue, as the homelessness crisis the Federal moratorium was intended to curb persists.… Read More »The Eviction Crisis: Noise and Insight