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I’m fascinated by affordable housing lotteries. For example, One South First is a 2019 luxury high-rise apartment building on the waterfront in the trendy Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn. Evidently, to get permission to build, it promised that a little over one-fourth of its units would be subsidized for low and middle income tenants.

The New York Times runs an article about a Filipino-American white collar worker from Sacramento who moves to New York for reasons Frank Sinatra sang about and gets a job at Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) and rents an apartment in Harlem. But his package deliveries keep getting stolen, so he wants to move some place nicer:

When Everything Goes Wrong, There’s Always New York

Julian Abeleda was optimistic when he left California, but he had a hard landing in Manhattan. A TikTok video about a housing lottery made him think, “Let’s just try.”

By D.W. Gibson
Jan. 16, 2023

… He needed another place but doubted he’d be able to find anything better in his price range of $2,000 to $2,600. Then he saw a TikTok video alerting him to NYC Housing Connect, a city-run online portal for connecting low- and middle-income renters with affordable housing through open lotteries. According to The City, a review of 18 million applications between January 2014 and March 2019 revealed that for every unit designated for income-restricted lotteries, there were, on average, 314 eligible applicants.

“Everyone told me that a lottery would never work, it’d take years,” he said, “but I thought what do I have to lose? Let’s just try.”

Mr. Abeleda applied to the lottery in April 2022. Three months later he was notified that he’d been selected for a studio at One South First, a development in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with just over a quarter of its units reserved for low- and middle-income- residents. He moved in on Sept. 16 of last year.

“Moving in was a breathtaking experience,” he said. “I saw the view on the balcony and immediately started texting my mom.”

So he wins a $3,996 per month studio apartment, for which he pays $2,490.

I used to think these New York lotteries were rigged because the people I read about winning them always seem like the kind of tenants that fancy apartment buildings wouldn’t mind: e.g., a chess-playing Asian data analyst at PwC who dresses like Bing Crosby is probably not going to deal tranq out of his apartment.

But I now think the lotteries are mostly honest, but persnickety: they have a lot of detailed rules about how the application must be filled out and mailed that give careful, rule-following white collar workers a better than even chance at winning.

I understand the logic of extracting something out of the real estate developer. Real estate developers impose externalities (e.g., a 450 foot building blocks the sun for neighbors). It’s so hard to get all the permits to build that those who do get them could make a fortune if they could rent the whole building at what the market would bear.

But, handing $18,000 per year to (literally) random individuals like this guy and nothing to everybody else seems sub-optimal. Has anybody proposed a better system?

 
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  1. Guest007 says:

    How soon until Mr. Abeleda gets a promotion at work, moves to a bigger apartment, and is subleasing his subsidized apartment at market rates?

    • LOL: bomag, Prester John
    • Replies: @Corpse Tooth
    , @George
  2. “the [housing] lotteries are mostly honest, but persnickety: they have a lot of detailed rules about how the application must be filled out and mailed that give careful, rule-following white collar workers a better than even chance at winning.”

    The probability that a careful, rule-following white-collar worker wins a housing lottery is greater than 50%? Based on what data? What is the historical percentage? Doesn’t it depend on the number of persnickety-compliant applicants?

  3. nglaer says:

    the second or third best American chess player is a former Filipino street kid whose talent was discovered there, got a chess scholarship to America and was adopted by an American couple. I always though that interesting in an hbd sense.

  4. EdwardM says:

    Has anybody proposed a better system?

    Yeah, I’d start with Milton Friedman, “Free to Choose.” Let the market decide. No shakedowns and kickbacks to the Marxist hustlers. Minimal permits from the nanny-state.

    “Externalities” are what every wide-eyed would-be totalitarian learns in Public Economics 501 to justify all manner of heavy-handed government intervention. Having the direct sunlight blocked if one chooses to live in a dense city of skyscrapers shouldn’t be an actionable one.

    State solutions to supposed market failures usually bring more harm than they cause, even if we concede the existence of a market failure to begin with. Government “solves” a non-problem, then imposes more “solutions” for the “unintended” consequences of the first “solution,” and so on ad infinitum.

  5. When Everything Goes Wrong, There’s Always New York

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  6. J.Ross says:

    The sun. Listen to the Californian talk about blocking the sun. Steve, there’s no sun in this half of the country, we’re grateful to large buildings for blocking the snow and rain.

  7. @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

    The probability that a careful, rule-following white-collar worker wins a housing lottery is greater than 50%? Based on what data? What is the historical percentage? Doesn’t it depend on the number of persnickety-compliant applicants?

    And don’t the Preferred Oppressed have teams of social workers who line up the right forms and ‘help’ fill them out?

    • Replies: @Simon in London
    , @bomag
  8. I understand the logic of extracting something out of the real estate developer. Real estate developers impose externalities (e.g., a 450 foot building blocks the sun for neighbors).

    I too understand the logic of heavy-handed Government screwing with businesses. I just think it’s wrong, that’s all. If they can do this, then we’re all agreed they can do anything, such as demanding landlords settle for 25% rent payments without evictions during the next ginned-up PanicFest.

    (If there are externalities, then they can work out a way to pay or reimburse those costs.)

    BTW, it’s kind of a biased story, if this guy is one out of 300-odd applicants, and no one who didn’t get a unit was interviewed.

    Has anybody proposed a better system?

    Yes. It’s called the free market. You eliminate the Welfare State completely. If NY is too pricey, this guy can move back to California.

  9. Giving cheap apartments to “careful, rule-following white collar workers” seems to me about as optimal as any regulated system is likely to get.

    • Agree: Inquiring Mind
    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  10. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Virtually all people here are- white. Interesting …

  11. I have a mortgage with a company that uses the ability to follow directions as a filter of who it gives loans. When I applied for the loan included in the acceptance was a directive that if the loan fails to close in 30 days I’m out of luck. And in order to close in 30 days I had to promptly provide all the documentation demanded. Oh, and the process was all online / remote so I had no “agent” to hold my hand.

    I’m a satisfied customer but I see what the company is doing and how it is using “process” to keep costs and problem clients, low.

    As for how to solve the housing problem? Reduce the cost of permits and the permitting process and enable the construction of more units. This isn’t rocket science, just common sense.

  12. Anonymous[422] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    In Massachusetts 10% of apartments must be set aside for low-income residents (NAM minorities). So when a new luxury apartment opens in a Boston suburb such as Needham or Wellesley 10% of the apartments will go to government-subsidized residents. So the town will get a little NAM diversity in its stats and its schools will get a little NAM diversity in its stats. And the upper-middle class white and NE Asian libs in the town will feel good about themselves.

  13. Bugg says:

    Strong suspicion the lotteries are fixed, exactly by rules so arcane that they practically disqualify plebes. Among the winners; the girlfriend of former City Council President Christine Quinn and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. What a coincidence; Quinn has left politics. Imagine there are a lot of connected people who don’t readily advertise their good luck..

    Builders get tax breaks to throw up these projects, and throw NYC a bone of a few “affordable” units. But they don’t really check the qualifications for “affordable”, and they don’t follow up if the occupants’ income climbs above the thresholds of application.

    NYC has a long term cooperative apartment program called Mitchell-Lama that allows people within certan incomes thresholds to buy into a low cost coop apartment. Most of those buildings are occupied by middle class people and are well-kempt. But again when occupants’ incomes jump above the threshold, nobody gets asked to leave. And you can pass it on to a relative. Whole point being along with rent controls and “stablization” NY has made a total mess of the housing market. And that is without even discussing around 476k underclass people living in old ugly NYCHA public projects run disasterously by the City.

    • Agree: Art Deco
  14. @The Last Real Calvinist

    It’s pretty easy to make the forms too complex for the typical social worker to be able to fill out correctly. They could hire in lawyers to do it, but practically speaking I suspect you would need to get young volunteer graduates doing Pro Bono ‘help the needy’ to do it. There may be plenty of those in Boston or New York.

  15. TGGP says: • Website

    Yes, Robin Hanson has proposed a better system.
    https://www.overcomingbias.com/2019/01/fine-grain-futarchy-zoning-via-harberger-taxes.html
    Unusually for a libertarian-leaning economist, he also has a proposal for a kind of public housing:
    https://www.overcomingbias.com/2020/11/universal-basic-dorms.html

  16. Dumbo says:

    Has anybody proposed a better system?

    What about just stopping massive immigration, so that housing prices go down?

    Demand and supply, I thought it was a basic law of economics.

    • Agree: Colin Wright
    • Replies: @Anon
  17. Art Deco says:

    I’m fascinated by affordable housing lotteries.

    I’m not. Subsidizing people’s mundane expenditures (food, housing, utility bills) is a waste as it incorporates administrative costs and, now and again, opportunities for graft. If you’re concerned about the real income of the impecunious, add an increment to Social Security, unemployment compensation, SSI, workmen’s comp, and also to a modified version of the Earned Income Tax Credit, and leave the subsidies for problem markets like medical care, long-term care, schooling, and legal services. Democrats won’t do that because their priority in the economic realm is to generate job opportunities for people with MEd and MSW degrees and Republicans won’t do that because the only thing it ever occurs to them to do is to institute tax cuts which have to be repealed three or four years down the road because they cannot figure out how to cut public spending.

    As for housing costs, you might try (1) to stop sequestering land, (2) to reduce the opportunities for the people Roger Rosenblatt calls ‘the preventers’ to tie up building projects in court, (3) to delineate an area of the metropolis (incorporating about 15% of the populace of the whole) where a simplified set of building codes and land use codes are in effect (but enforced vigorously in their simplified form), (4) to fix the annual property tax levy in that section of town at 0% of assessed valuation and institute a substitutionary value-added tax to make up for the lost revenue to municipalities and school districts, (5) to institute procedures to phase out rent-control in those municipalities where it is in effect, and (6) to streamline eviction procedures (in which endeavour eliminated ‘affordable housing’ programs will help, as these commonly impede landlords from ejecting deadbeat tenants and abusive tenants). You might also reduce the amount of vagrancy if you can add sum rungs to the housing ladder which were there in 1948 but which have since disappeared (e.g. flop houses, boarding houses, apartments with shared kitchens, &c). Also, quit pestering banks and finance companies to make bad business decisions; there’s deadweight loss in that.

    • Thanks: Bill Jones
  18. Anon[126] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Yes. It’s called the free market. You eliminate the Welfare State completely. If NY is too pricey, this guy can move back to California.

    ….or the Philippines.

  19. JimDandy says:

    Hey, the system you’re describing sounds a helluva lot better than I imagined: “a chess-playing Asian data analyst at PwC who dresses like Bing Crosby is probably not going to deal tranq out of his apartment.” “they have a lot of detailed rules about how the application must be filled out and mailed that give careful, rule-following white collar workers a better than even chance at winning.”

    I just got a notice in the mail that a developer is proposing a building just behind mine in Chicago. It will include some low-income units. I’m fucking pissed. Somehow I doubt that Lori Lightfoot’s dystopia is going to send quirky Asian intellectual aesthetes.

  20. Art Deco says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Yes. It’s called the free market. You eliminate the Welfare State completely.

    Nothing wrong with the welfare state. It’s just that the proper objects of common provision are the elderly, the disabled (l/t and s/t), the s/t unemployed, low-wage workers, juveniles and the infirm subject to criminal conduct in domestic settings, and impecunious people in the cross hairs of the court system. (Vagrancy is a problem small enough to be addressed via private charity, provided local police help with order maintenance). This man is not in any of those categories. Also, the most efficient approach is commonly to improve people’s cash income, which ‘affordable housing’ programs do not do. They just distort the housing market.

  21. eric says:

    Price rationing maximizes social welfare using utilitarian logic. That is, given consumers have preferences for things like apartments, and their utility increases at a decreasing rate and producers maximize profits, allocating stuff–housing, shoes, widgets–to those willing to pay most generates the most aggregate ‘stuff’ and generates a ‘Pareto optimum’ (you can’t make someone better off without making someone worse off).

    Alternative mechanisms like lotteries or queueing are strictly inferior, even if done honestly. In practice, there are great incentives for cheating, so bribery and corruption become common, which damages social trust, and makes policy discourse hypocritical and corrupt.

    This mechanism arises naturally among individuals when they are given property rights: the right to buy or sell things. Most third-world countries do not have strong property rights, so anything big like a house or factory requires complicated conspiracies that are inefficient and do not scale. If a single person articulated this approach before it was observed, that person would be in the pantheon of human geniuses and given more weight because it is not intuitive that an optimal mechanism can emerge without explicit foresight. Many clever people think they could improve on it, a conceit usually predicated on the assumption that those in charge understand what consumers ‘really’ want/need as opposed to what they will pay, or they uniquely understand what is most sustainable (e.g., high rise apartments for poor people).

    • Agree: Pixo
  22. Rooster16 says:
    @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

    The main characteristic that a tenant possess is that they aren’t White. I’ve been involved with lottery housing for nearly three decades. The city I live in is “just” 12% black, yet every lottery housing tenant I’ve ever ever encountered is black. As for filling out forms, they have social workers and law students to do that for them; all provided by the city.

    • Agree: HammerJack
  23. Rebunga says:

    Steve, heads up from Memphis, which has been bracing for riots due to police beating a Black motorist to death after a chase. People who have seen it, say the video is worst ever. But there’s a plot twist. . . .

    https://www.localmemphis.com/article/news/local/tyre-nichols-death-memphis-police-officers-city-disciplinary-action/522-3cd95228-17c2-46e3-bd66-44590319099b

    • Replies: @Dmon
    , @Colin Wright
  24. @EdwardM

    Well put.
    I think it was the economist James Buchanan who said that before we entrust government to correct “market failure” we should ponder the prospect of “government failure”.

    • Thanks: Achmed E. Newman
  25. @EdwardM

    You’ve got total agreement here, Ed!

    (I’d posted my comment before yours appeared.)

    • Thanks: EdwardM
  26. @Art Deco

    They just distort the housing market.

    You should extrapolate this thought to everything else you wrote here, Art. Government involvement distorts EVERY good thing.

    I know, what about the old and infirm? There is something called charity.

    Americans are pretty damned generous with their own money, but people give up when their “charity” is being wasted. Government spending of taxpayers’ money to “help” is not actual charity. It also takes from those who may have otherwise given money and help to those they KNOW need it. Additionally those potential donors get pretty turned off on helping anyone after seeing the tremendous grift.

    See the big picture, Art. This housing stupidity is just a small example.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    , @Mike Tre
  27. bomag says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Yeah, but the system depends on social workers doing some social peace filtering and not sending too many tranq dealers down the line. And the largest filter would be those running the lottery; finding ways in the Baroque applications to keep out said dealers.

  28. @Art Deco

    Um, reduce immigration at all socio-economic strata?

  29. $4000 per month for a STUDIO apartment is ludicrously expensive by global standards. $2500 is still pretty expensive, and it probably doesn’t even include the utilities, Wi-Fi etc.

    It makes sense to subsidize some of these apartments for the sake of the community, otherwise where will your lower paid workers or recent graduates live?

    You’ll end up with a community of rich people with no local stores, because nobody can afford to live there who works in an ordinary job like retail.

    OK. I know that wages are incredibly high in New York, but then how can anybody afford to even buy a hamburger if the fast food employees have to be paid $30 per hour to survive?

  30. When I moved to Manhattan back in the Koch Days, the lottery took the form of a few thousand dollar ticket bought from the leasing agent. Mine won me a thousand dollar below market rent controlled apartment on lower Fifth Ave.
    By the time I left a decade later, I reckoned I’d saved about $200k.

  31. Hodag says:

    In Chicago it is not unheard of for the lotteries to be won by alderman’s sister, girlfriend etc. As you say they make the rules really weird and obscure.

    • Replies: @JimDandy
  32. Art Deco says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    I know, what about the old and infirm? There is something called charity.

    Chuckles.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  33. J.Ross says:

    OT — next time somebody talks about peak oil, and specifically says that Saudi Arabia is tapped out (I saw a guy arguing this a week ago somewhere else): 80% of SA’s new capacity will come from offshore drilling.
    https://archive.ph/Icps8

  34. My grandmother got a one-bedroom apartment in Yorkville, the very nice East 80s, in the 1970s for about $135 a month because she was a regular at the local parish Bingo session and the priest who ran Bingo was in tight with the city housing authority. In principle, I was appalled, but she was my grandmother, so I was glad.

    Could not real estate taxes, set by location and zoned use, capture the excess value of prized urban locations?

  35. @Achmed E. Newman

    If NY is too pricey, this guy can move back to California.

    Like many Americans you see everything through the distoted lens of a kind of Laputan individual morality.

    Obviously millions of people all over the world move to different places for economic benefits like higher wages or a lower cost of living. For example many people these days come to live in Ecuador and several other countries because they can work online and live better then in the US or Canada.

    For example you can live in a very nice apartment with spectacular views in one of the most beautiful cities in South America for $550 per month including utilities and Wi-Fi and health insurance that has minimal deductibles.

    On the reverse side, many poor people from Ecuador move to New York and work under the counter and live 6 people to a room so that they can become rich too, and retired to a comfortable hacienda in Ecuador.

    However all this individual choice does not solve the immediate problems of New York being too expensive for ordinary workers to live there and provide services to their fellow citizens. Perhaps one day New York will be abandoned all together like Detroit as people seek greener pastures

    • Replies: @Stealth
    , @Achmed E. Newman
  36. Batman says:

    Has anybody proposed a better system?

    Willingness to pay is the best proxy we have for the value a good brings to the consumer. What if we allocated these apartments to the persons who value them the most using willingness to pay?

  37. Since nobody talks about anything of relevance on iSteve, why not let YouChat do some content generation. Here it tells us about buckyballs.

    Buckeyballs, also known as fullerenes, are a form of carbon molecule made up of 60 or more atoms arranged in a hollow, spherical shape. They are named after the football-shaped buckyball, which was first discovered in 1985. Buckeyballs have a wide range of applications, including use in nanotechnology, drug delivery, and biomedical research. They are also used as catalysts and in batteries, solar cells, and fuel cells.

  38. @Art Deco

    You either never lived in old “Weird” America, Art, or you have absolutely no imagination. It was the way. There is life beyond government.. it’s out there … somewhere …

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  39. @EdwardM

    Indeed.
    As an old adage has it, if you want to get the money out of politics then get politics out of the money. How do you splell money (particularly, in a service economy)?
    R e a l E s t a t e.
    Or, as iSteve likes to put it: Equity.

  40. Why not offer the special price for apartments that are much smaller, even if in the same buildings? The winners would still have the benefit of the location.

  41. Mike Tre says:

    “But, handing $18,000 per year to (literally) random individuals like this guy and nothing to everybody else seems sub-optimal. Has anybody proposed a better system?”

    Yes! I call it the repatriation lottery. So when Senior Abeleda and his ilk believe they have won some kind of lucrative US taxpayer funded welfare entitlement, they are instead escorted to a shipping container vessel, where they are housed in a converted shipping container with a 360 degree view of the ocean, as they return to the Philippines, never to return to the US again.

  42. Guest007 says:
    @EdwardM

    The free market solution to places like NYC is to have the workmen, service workers, and blue collar workers to drive in from another state or county.

  43. How’s about the getting a job with a gas company lotto. First Ukraine and then China.

    Hunter Biden and his uncle, Joe Biden, were brokering a deal to supply up to 25 million tons of gas from Louisiana to the Asian nation on behalf of Chinese energy giant CEFC, their business partners at the time, according to the Daily Mail.

    https://thepostmillennial.com/hunter-laptop-email-about-china-gas-deal-specifically-names-joe-biden?utm_campaign=64466

  44. In principle, I was appalled, but she was my grandmother, so I was glad.

    Human nature has seldom been described so succinctly, and this is why there is no answer to anything.

    There are two, and only two, economic movers in the world. There is the prime mover of physical reality, which sets the ultimate bounds to production and consumption; and within those bounds, there is the gift economy of redistribution. Everything else is scribbling. None of it is “fair” inasmuch as it cannot satisfy the yearnings of a rational soul, but physical reality at least has an implacable nature that, like a roaring lion, can be respected on its own terms. The closest thing we can have to justice in this world is to make each man bear just so much of the burdens of nature as his own choices determine, with a law that protects the property of each. Free markets and a good king—this is the most you can ask.

  45. Pixo says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Think through what you just wrote: we need to subsidize housing of poors in order to indirectly subsidize fast food labor so hamburgers are cheaper.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    , @Guest007
  46. Art Deco says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Whether I have any imagination or not, philanthropic donations of all kinds amount to about 2% of people’s personal income, and only a fraction of these go to support of the impoverished. There’s a reason my grandmother’s contemporaries were pleased with the Social Security program. While we’re at it, Calvin Coolidge’s America was chock a block with public schools, asylums, sanitoriums, and workhouses.

  47. @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

    Just identify as black, or Filipino, or anything but white.

  48. Corn says:

    Has anybody proposed a better system?

    We need to build more housing. Pure and simple.
    https://tinyurl.com/44uxv36v

    I’d also suggest a land value tax. Society should rediscover Henry George.

  49. Stealth says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Perhaps one day New York will be abandoned all together like Detroit as people seek greener pastures

    And I say long live New York City. I’ve been there, and I don’t like the idea of most of them moving out into the rest of the country.

  50. prosa123 says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    OK. I know that wages are incredibly high in New York, but then how can anybody afford to even buy a hamburger if the fast food employees have to be paid $30 per hour to survive?

    Lower-skill jobs in NYC don’t always pay much if any above the $15 minimum because there’s so much competition for them.

  51. I think the applicants should be chosen via fights with those giant Q-tip things over a muddy pond. Ticket sales to the fights would defray the cost of the subsidy.

  52. @nglaer

    The Philippines is a very interesting country for many reasons. One of them is that they were colonized by so many different imperial towers over the years.

    Spain controlled them for 350 years and the United States controlled them for 50 years. Also, their island is a mix of native population with a large percentage of Chinese and Taiwanese admixture.

    The Chinese derived populations were extremely low class when they migrated as indentured labor in the 18 and 1900s and were absorded into the lowest strata of Filipino society. Therefore, Chinese genetics are peppered throughout the Filipino population at all socioeconomic strata. Also, a significant of refugees from the 1948 Chinese civil war fled penniless to the Philippines, adding more to the genetic stock of the island.

    IMO this why you hear so many stories of Filipino Street kids being secret geniuses. You dig a little deeper and nearly always they had a Chinese grandparent or something.

    (Similarly, Dave chapelle has a white grandparent. I would safely bet that his comedic brilliance comes from that mix)

    • Thanks: Johann Ricke
  53. Anonymous[339] • Disclaimer says:

    But, handing $18,000 per year to (literally) random individuals like this guy and nothing to everybody else seems sub-optimal. Has anybody proposed a better system?

    End immigration.

    Why aren’t you calling for that to happen?

  54. @Jonathan Mason

    “You’ll end up with a community of rich people with no local stores, because nobody can afford to live there who works in an ordinary job like retail.”

    This doesn’t actually happen. Wages rise in the local stores until the workers can get by, barely. Prices in the stores rise too but rich people will pay for the convenience.

  55. Anon[366] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    It makes sense to subsidize some of these apartments for the sake of the community, otherwise where will your lower paid workers or recent graduates live?

    You’ll end up with a community of rich people with no local stores, because nobody can afford to live there who works in an ordinary job like retail.

    The free market would solve it.

  56. @Pixo

    No, I’m saying that if cities are so expensive that nobody wants to live there, they will eventually fail and become increasingly undesirable places to live unless there is some sharing of the wealth generated by the city so that it is not all sucked up by developers, banks, and landlords.

    Even the Old Testament prophets like Jeremiah pointed to the ruins of abandoned cities that dotted the landscape, and said that they must have got things wrong.

    “I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down…”

  57. anonymous[376] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    No, I’m saying that if cities are so expensive that nobody wants to live there, they will eventually fail and become increasingly undesirable places to live

    Would that be a good thing or a bad thing? (New York City, especially.)

  58. @Art Deco

    White Flight has had a dramatic impact on the housing market.
    How much varies from state to state.
    Indiana probably has an average amount of disruption.
    Texas probably has much more than average disruption.
    Every state has it’s own story but it’s all driven by federal policies.

    Genotyping technology might let us get a more fine grained analysis.
    Every city could be tested down to the individual level.
    No part of America is exempt from these ongoing forced policies.
    Obama accelerated it but it goes back 50 years.
    Civil Rights laws are used to push anti-white agendas.
    Ideas to further harm whites are being proposed daily.
    Demonic forces have been unleashed against one race, white people
    Every moral person must demand a public discussion of these evil policies now.

  59. Anonymous[306] • Disclaimer says:

    Think about it, Steve.

    Absolutely *everything* in this life – from the genetic hand of cards you are dealt at the precise moment of conception – right up to the day of your death, is a lottery.
    Deny it as much as you like, hate it as much as you like, but that’s just the way it is.

    So raffling off luxury apartments is no better or no worse as actually looking at the right job advert, which happens to be posted at the ‘right’ time, and beating scores of other candidates – many of whom are likely to be more gifted than you, and landing that life changing job.

    Another example, just for a moment imagine if Gavrilo Princep’s parents never met …….

    • Replies: @scrivener3
  60. @Jonathan Mason

    No, I’m saying that if cities are so expensive that nobody wants to live there, they will eventually fail and become increasingly undesirable places to live unless there is some sharing of the wealth generated by the city so that it is not all sucked up by developers, banks, and landlords.

    So you are conceding that a free market would correct the problem without regulation. Cities would become too expensive to live in, people would therefore stop living there, and the cost of living in the city would therefore drop. Developers, banks and landlords would take a haircut. Problem solved.

    • Replies: @Anon
  61. Mark G. says:
    @Art Deco

    There’s a reason my grandmother’s contemporaries were pleased with the Social Security program.

    Most of them received more in benefits than they paid in Social Security taxes. I would have been pleased by that too. It’s a Ponzi scheme, though. Anyone retiring in the future will receive less in benefits than they paid in. CBO estimates are that by 2032 the cost of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and government pensions added together will equal 100% of tax revenues. There would be nothing left over for the other functions of government. Obviously, the system can’t continue in its current form and benefits will be reduced for all these programs.

    I agree with you some provision needs to be made for people unable to take care of themselves such as small children, the very elderly and the mentally ill. No one wants to see elderly homeless people going hungry or freezing to death in the winter. In the case of Social Security, the retirement age could be raised. The program could also be means tested, with high income earners receiving no benefits. The problem here is that it is difficult to win elections by promising voters less. Dishonest politicians are perfectly willing to lie if they think it will help them get elected.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  62. Jack D says:
    @EdwardM

    If there really is an externality (your building is throwing shade), then how does offering below market rents to government selected favorites help, except by creating opportunities for graft and corruption? How many of those apts end up in the hands of political cronies?

    If it’s really such a terrible externality there should be no exceptions and the developers shouldn’t be able to buy their way out of the restrictions. You can’t make a car that pollutes extra as long as you let homeless people sleep in it. If it is really so terrible, why do they let you put up the really tall building anyway as long as you have in effect paid the appropriate bribe. This is just a system of legally sanctioned bribery.

    There should be minimal restrictions but to the extent that the restrictions exist it should be a level playing field and the government shouldn’t create these artificial “credits” that you can use to offset your supposedly evil deeds. These are not real markets, they are just government created BS. Apparently most of Tesla’s profits came from selling their BS pollution credits to automakers who were still making giant gas guzzling SUVs. What did this actually accomplish?

    • Replies: @Pixo
    , @Art Deco
    , @Bill Jones
  63. Pixo says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    “ No, I’m saying that if cities are so expensive that nobody wants to live there”

    Which has never happened in human history.

    Also “expensive” is not binary, if NYC gets too expensive and becomes a bad value, rents and home prices will eventually fall into a more reasonable equilibrium than “NYC is abandoned.” Which is exactly what happened the past two years.

    “sharing of the wealth generated by the city”

    Affordable housing lotteries are a stupid way to do this. All economically productive residents benefit from more amenities and higher wages and more valuable social capital and most benefit from the real estate appreciation.

    • Agree: Travis
  64. OT:
    An adult male and a much younger female: the ultimate tabboo, the last forbidden love.

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
  65. Pixo says:
    @Jack D

    “ Apparently most of Tesla’s profits came from selling their BS pollution credits to automakers who were still making giant gas guzzling SUVs. ”

    Pollution credits are the ideal way to control unavoidable pollution. Tesla specialized in low emission vehicles while Chrysler/Fiat (Stellantis) focused on SUVs trucks and sports cars.

    Without the credit trading, Chrysler would have had to create a large money losing and duplicative electric car division instead of focusing on its strength, and Tesla would probably have gone bankrupt or at best remained niche and unable to achieve its current economy of scale.

    An even better way to reduce car emissions would be to just raise the gas tax, but Americans have a bizarre hatred of gas taxes beyond other much larger and more intrusive taxes.

    • Agree: HammerJack
    • Replies: @Jack D
  66. Jack D says:
    @Art Deco

    There’s a reason my grandmother’s contemporaries were pleased with the Social Security program.

    Your grandmother’s contemporaries were also pleased to invest with Ponzi, at least at the beginning.

    Social security was and is a politically brilliant (FDR and his advisors were political geniuses) muddle of a mandatory pension plan, a welfare program, a Ponzi scheme and a new source of tax revenue (the “trust fund” exists completely on paper – the money that you give to the gov. for your social security “contributions” gets spent right away just like any other tax revenue and the gov. puts an IOU slip in the safe of the “trust fund”. If a private pension fund tried to do this, they would put the managers in jail.) Everything was muddled enough to make the average person happy. In those days, 65 was practically dead anyway so in the beginning they hardly had to pay out at all, certainly less than was coming in. This is true of every Ponzi scheme.

    • Agree: Inquiring Mind
  67. Jack D says:
    @Pixo

    So bribing Tesla to make even more “non-polluting” cars (that are really not non-polluting) made it OK for Chrysler to sell gas guzzlers? If gas guzzlers are really bad they should have just banned them period. If they are not so bad, then leave them alone. If people want gas guzzlers and the politicians try to ban them, the people will be unhappy (see the recent gas stove controversy) and pick different politicians who don’t pretend to know what is good for us. The current scheme is basically like the Catholic Church selling indulgences. Remember how that worked out the last time?

    • Replies: @James B. Shearer
    , @Pixo
  68. Art Deco says:
    @Jack D

    Disagree. In order to contain externalities, you take steps which compel producers and consumers to internalize the costs. Tradeable permits and Pigou levies are among the tools in the box. The preferred tool depends on the precise nature of the externality.

    • Agree: Graham
    • Replies: @Dmon
    , @Hypnotoad666
  69. Art Deco says:
    @Jack D

    This is true of every Ponzi scheme.

    When you’ve learned the distinction between an income transfer program and a Ponzi scheme, get back to me.

  70. Has anybody proposed a better system?

    Yes. Let the billionaire class take a blighted city block and build quality, attractive housing on it. Not luxury, but quality housing. Sell at market prices. The difference between the costs, which will surely far exceed the prices, is the billionaire’s contribution to urban renewal.

  71. Guest007 says:
    @Pixo

    The flip side is having a town where every city employee lives outside the city. That results in workers who cannot vote.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
  72. @Art Deco

    You’ve pretty much touched all the bases except that you forgot to add the Piled High and Deep (Ph.D) crowd to the other two.

  73. @Buzz Mohawk

    Did they play Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me to the Moon at the wedding reception?

  74. @Guest007

    “?”

    Mr. Abeleda has since moved back to Sacramento. The weather’s better, it’s cheaper, has more trees, has fewer blacks, and hosts a wide variety of Mexican food joints. Judging by the pix Mr. Abeleda is gay, and believes living in a tech-death glass box is quite the fancy. He won’t miss the two sterling qualities that NYC has to offer: a panoply of architectural treasures and huge numbers of young, gorgeous women. Sacramento is no slouch when it comes to heritage buildings, but the stock of desirable females is, well, it’s just fortunate that Mr. Abeleda is gay.

  75. JimDandy says:
    @Hodag

    That’s good news, actually.

  76. @Buzz Mohawk

    In the top pix Mr. Aldrin appears to be asking his Romanian bride to pull his finger. He’s quite a guy, Buzz is. All of those test pilots and Apollo astronauts have/had balls of steel, and American men like them are non-existent now. That said, I’m pretty sure the lead is missing from Buzz’s pencil. So why at his age hook with a game lady if sex is out of the question? Again, astronauts are the top bananas but maybe not exactly big pix guys. I bet his offspring are pleased by his decision [sarc].

  77. Equity in policing services would be where the Federal government calculates the homicide rate for every neighbourhood each year and increases the number of police whenever a neighbourhood is above average.

  78. @Simon in London

    ‘Giving cheap apartments to “careful, rule-following white collar workers” seems to me about as optimal as any regulated system is likely to get.’

    In that case, optimal would be to say so. What’s your job, and have you ever received a parking ticket?

  79. Art Deco says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    People with Alzheimer’s can be quite willful.

    • Replies: @Mike Tre
  80. Dumbo says:

    $3,996 per month studio apartment,

    And they say there’s no inflation…

    I don’t care if that’s in the trendiest neighbourhood on Earth, that’s way too much for a studio apartment. How much do you need to make to live in NY?

    By the way, Williamsburg is not that great. Are all the landlords still Haredim?

  81. It seems to me that grotesquely high rents reflect a problem; too many employment opportunities are concentrated in New York City.

    Surely, in that case, subsidized rents exacerbates the problem. Let the cost of housing be exorbitant. Then Price Waterhouse will think about moving some of its operations to some place where it doesn’t have to pay the lowest gerbil in the company $10,000 a month.

    • Agree: Buzz Mohawk
    • Thanks: HammerJack
    • Replies: @HammerJack
    , @Buzz Mohawk
  82. @Jonathan Mason

    “No, I’m saying that if cities are so expensive that nobody wants to live there ..”

    This is ridiculous like the restaurant nobody goes to anymore because it is too crowded.

    “…they will eventually fail ..”

    Cities don’t fail because they have too many rich people, they fail because they have too many poor people.

  83. Arclight says:

    The thing that stuck out most in this story is that while the current culture encourages POCs to blame externalities (hah) for the obstacles in life, this guy just kept hustling and had a healthy attitude about trying to find his place in the world. If the subject had been black, female, etc. there would have been at least one nod towards how hard it is to get head because of their identity.

    Anyway, in high demand locations like NYC, there really are no good answers for housing affordability if you want to combine that with achievable rents/newer construction. Obviously there is land cost, secondarily sellers do not have to put up with long escrows until closing, so the developer takes on a lot of risk and spends a lot of up front money during the entitlement, design, and construction period that not only has to be recovered but provides a sufficient return to the limited partners before the developer makes anything. The only thing I could really think of is if the local government was willing to provide construction and perm debt at substantially below market interest rates 0r even make some cash flow contingent in exchange for affordability, which really means the taxpayers are subsidizing developer loans. There is some of that through tax increment financing but usually that’s not a massive share of the perm debt on a real estate deal. But even for any of these ideas, there are only so many projects a year any city would be willing to finance and basically lose money on for a social purpose.

    • Replies: @Renard
  84. @Jack D

    “…If gas guzzlers are really bad they should have just banned them period. If they are not so bad, then leave them alone. ..”

    There is a middle ground between banning and leaving completely alone. Lots of things are better restricted or discouraged than totally banned.

  85. PwC’s major NYC office is right near Grand Central. I found 185 studio apartments for $1800 – $2500 per month below 79th street in Manhattan on apartment.com in about 2 minutes.

    The article makes it sound like he was living in some shithole overrun with cockroaches and had no other choices. Sorry, but I’m reasonably current on the NYC housing market, and with a $2,500 per month housing budget, you can: (i) find a studio, or (ii) share a 2-bed with one other person (which is what many, many 29 year-olds do who live in NY and want to stay in the city) or (iii) live about a 15-minute commute away in Hoboken.

    What’s the public purpose in giving this (literally) random guy a major lifestyle upgrade?

  86. Dmon says:

    This country’s been giving away land forever, but you used to have to work for it, by farming or killing Indians or something. So instead of this lottery crap, which is just the latest local government graft scam, NYC should return to tradition and make sure they perform land giveaways in a manner that will benefit society or result in increased economic productiveness. A couple of things that spring to mind:
    -The Indian Territory solution: Initially populate new housing with section 8s, junkies, etc. , under the rubric of “helping the homeless”. Then, offer new applicants possession if they move in and kick out and/or kill whoever is currently occupying the unit.
    -The Oklahoma Land Rush solution : When a new building is ready to be occupied, line up all the applicants outside and fire a pistol. Applicants rush in and claim their unit, first come first served.

    NYC should also be able to recoup some expenses by monetizing the videos of the proceedings.

  87. You also seem to be overlooking the rather distinct possibility that The New York Times chose the most innocuous candidate it could find for its profile. Cha-Fon may be dealing from his cool new digs and making sure no one on his floor complains — but that won’t be who the Times focuses on.

    They’ve decided the lottery is good, and works. That could be — but The Times claiming it’s so is hardly conclusive, these days.

  88. @Jack D

    If there really is an externality (your building is throwing shade)

    And why doesn’t the Developer charge the locals for the health benefits of reduced skin cancer because of protection from those harmful sun’s rays.

  89. @Buzz Mohawk

    And the Romanian, never missing a trick (Isn’t there a Roma in Romania?) gets to grift off the US taxpayer by picking up Buzz’s Government pension when he shuffles off next month.

  90. AceDeuce says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    If NY is too pricey, this guy can move back to California the Philippines.

    And take back the rest of those who don’t belong. THAT will fix things over here.

  91. @Art Deco

    Nothing wrong with the welfare state.

    Yes, there is. The problem is not the welfare, it is the state. It is a thicket of moral hazards and conflicts of interest. It turns a huge portion of the populace into “soup eaters”.

    Northern Europe’s “worked” because a century ago these countries were ethnically and religiously homogeneous. (Yes, even Germany, by Land rather than nationally.) It was essentially the state doing the church’s job, and eventually pretending to be the church itself. (They certainly preach!)

  92. From lotteries to meritocracy! This is behind a paywall, but sounds quite fascinating in light of Steve’s AI post earlier this month.

    AI chatbot’s MBA exam pass poses test for business schools
    ChatGPT earned a solid grade and outperformed some humans on a Wharton course

    Okay, it can pass a Wharton exam, but can it write books like Adam Grant and Jonah Berger?

  93. Daniel H says:

    But, handing $18,000 per year to (literally) random individuals like this guy and nothing to everybody else seems sub-optimal. Has anybody proposed a better system?

    Well, here’s my proposal: end all immigration, all of it. This will free up housing as the elderly die off and it will compel management/capital to pay hire wages to, share the national wealth with, the lower wager earning stratum, enabling this stratum to afford newly built construction. Sound proposal, if I say so myself.

  94. Anon[317] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

    I read “better than even” as meaning better than random, in other words, given a lottery among 100 people the smart, conscientious, conforming, well-behaved applicant has maybe a 1-in-50 chance, not a 1-in-100 chance. Half of would-be applicants screw up somewhere in the application process, which is basically an IQ test proxy.

    Webster’s Third defines even as “equal in size, number, or quantity,” with the example “even shares.” The unabridged Collins gives one definition s as “equal, level.” Equal doesn’t mean half if more than one person is involved. For n people, it’s 1/n.

  95. Daniel H says:

    …. a chess-playing Asian data analyst at PwC who dresses like Bing Crosby

    He’s probably gay, to boot. Another bonus point. Capital/managment loves gays.

  96. Daniel H says:

    No, I’m saying that if cities are so expensive that nobody wants to live there, they will eventually fail and become increasingly undesirable places to live unless there is some sharing of the wealth generated by the city so that it is not all sucked up by developers, banks, and landlords.

    There’s a lot of ruin in a city. Would it have been that cities like Mexico, Bombay, New Delhi failed 100 hundred years ago, lost 90% of their population like imperial Rome did, but they didn’t, they just keep on keeping on.

  97. Sink the Bis… eh… Moskva!

    Reminds me of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry US Army exhibit in the 1960s where tourists had an interactive exhibit to engage enemies in battle.

  98. @Jack D

    In those days, 65 was practically dead anyway so in the beginning they hardly had to pay out at all, certainly less than was coming in.

    Much of the rise in life expectancy since then is due to falling infant mortality. Falling infant mortality, though it raises average life expectancy, has no effect on Social Security, for obvious reasons.

    You are repeating a canard made up by heartless GOP looters who are salivating at the prospect of stealing from old people and cripples while they simultaneously send billions to Israel, the Ukraine and too-big-to-fail grifters. (And no, I am not a Democrat, they’re just as vile, but in other ways.)

    • Replies: @Recently Based
  99. Muggles says:

    Yes, interviewing lottery winners is a great story idea. All seem quite happy.

    Few if any interview losers in lotteries. No news value there. They are just suckers.

    So if you believe in getting random selection of outcomes is a “fair” and a good idea, ask yourself how many important life choices do you make based on a random “lottery” outcome? Any?

    One hidden element of these procedures (other than corruption, hey, it’s NYC!) is that winners end up with a long term “property right” which others don’t receive. Years of cheap rent that you don’t complain about, which your neighbor won’t receive. Then you sublease (off the books of course) and get paid closer to market rent by your new “tenant”. Just like the Old NYC Rent Control.

    Has the sharp eyed NY Times ever done a review of who actually ends up with subsidized apartments like these? A suspiciously large number awarded to relatives of politicians and insiders? Mobs of family clan members, ethnic groups, religious sects and others who make sure their hundreds of “members” sign up for these lotteries?

    What happens when the initial lottery winners move out, die, etc?

    Does any suburban dweller choose to live in a neighborhood where their neighbors are a checkerboard of randomly subsidized lottery winners selected by some government agency?

    You pay full price, they don’t. Is this how the Biden regime is going to house the millions of new illegal “migrants”? How many willingly choose to live in neighborhoods where their neighbors are much poorer than they are? How common is that a free choice decision? (That is of course contrary to fundamental human nature…)

    The more “random” choices foisted upon the unwilling public, the less freedom.

  100. Pixo says:
    @Jack D

    The flaw of your argument is that you imply I need to decide if a Dodge Durango is either bad or not bad. But I correctly view it as a good thing with a correctable negative externality.

    I don’t think credits are the best way to fix the externalities of large ICE vehicles, and I think those externalities are overstated, but nothing wrong with the structure of CAFE and similar Euro rules.

  101. Mike Tre says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Why do you bother with this dishonest troll. It couldn’t be more clear that he argues in bad faith.

  102. SafeNow says:

    I was intrigued by the fact that the Bing Crosby guy who plays chess with himself does not have any blinds or draperies to afford the option of privacy. So I went to the One South First website and clicked on “photos” and it appears that the no-blinds / no-draperies architectural feature is standard. I feel a disconnect between my sense of modesty and privacy and what appears to be the modern hipster sensibility. I think he is not Bing Crosby after all; and the photoshoot crew brings the cardigan and chess set with them.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  103. @Jonathan Mason

    Perhaps one day New York will be abandoned all together like Detroit as people seek greener pastures.

    Sounds like a plan. Not my problem.

    As for you, you’ve bailed out a 2nd time, and that seems to have worked out great for you. My individual choices are one thing (have ZERO desire to live anywhere like NYC), but I’d like for choices to be available for other Americans too. Big Government takes choices away.

    Hasta la Vista, Muchachos.

  104. @Art Deco

    … philanthropic donations of all kinds amount to about 2% of people’s personal income, and only a fraction of these go to support of the impoverished.

    Yes, and what amount of their income goes to taxes?

    How are you not getting this point?

  105. Mr. Anon says:

    OT – the new Dysfunctional America:

    A “Green” lighting system installed to save energy resulted can not be turned off and has been wasting energy for over a year.

    The lights have been on at a Massachusetts school for over a year because no one can turn them off

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/lights-massachusetts-school-year-no-one-can-turn-rcna65611?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_ma

  106. OT

    Steve, you have to post on this. The Bantu admisistrators were forewarned about this black child’s murderous cravings and they ignored the teachers’ concerns about him.

    https://nypost.com/2023/01/21/boy-who-shot-abigail-zwerner-told-another-he-wanted-to-set-her-on-fire/

  107. FR says:

    Note that this lottery also amounts to an indirect corporate subsidy to Price Waterhouse, which gets to pay its employees less.

  108. @SafeNow

    Where I live, the joke is that White people don’t cover their windows.

    The joke originated with non-Whites in other locales, who cover their windows for good reasons and who notice that some of us here do not.

    Apparently many here don’t because we are high-trust and we live in high-trust places surrounded mostly by trees and land. Well, that’s my guess, anyway.

    At my house, though, we definitely close the curtains at night on windows where there is a chance a human could see in. Some of our neighbors do not, though, and I always think that’s both funny and stupid. Sometimes I take long walks at night for exercise, and I’m surprised that I can see from the road how many people have their lights on inside and their curtains wide open when it’s dark outside.

    • Thanks: SafeNow
  109. Guns For Your Ladies.

    Never heard of this.


    [40:25]

    Glitter Gunz
    https://www.glittergunz.com/

  110. Dmon says:
    @Art Deco

    Depends on how external your externality is though. All those cool green lithium power stations come from China, where they are made using electricity generated from burning coal, and they use chemicals of which the residue and by-products are simply dumped into the nearest river and hence to the ocean. Maybe if you have some sort of all-powerful world government which can somehow keep track of everything and all the future ramifications of everything, you can run some sort of system which will provide correct incentives to everybody without destroying progress, but any sort of carbon control scheme which excludes China is a racket, pure and simple.

  111. @Buzz Mohawk

    Aren’t you just down the road from Philip Johnson?

  112. @Reg Cæsar

    LOL, Yes, a few miles. Different town, same woods.

  113. So $2,490 a month is better than $3,996 a month? That’s like saying infinity a month is better than infinity a month. Jesus Christ. Who makes that kind of money and why?

    • Replies: @AndrewR
    , @Buzz Mohawk
  114. The housing lotteries in nice buildings in New York City might not be technically fixed, but they tend to benefit upper middle class people who can play the system. In this way, not very different from the charter school system that was developed under Bloomberg which benefitted the diligent upper middle class strivers who could work the system to find a school of their choice. Mayor Adams in the eternal quest for equity has largely abolished the charter school application process and instituted a pure lottery system. It will be interesting if this lowers school performance over the next few years. We all know it will.

    Educated wealthy people who take jobs at NGOs and arts organizations can secure good deals, but are not a threat to the upscale environment. I also get a sense that local pols help loyalists navigate the system. City council offices in neighborhoods tend to promote the openings and oftentimes offer assistance for applicants who are “locals”. So there may be a bit of a spoils system at work on the city council level, but I do not have evidence of this.

    It does not do much to address the housing crisis and I am always interested in how many of the people benefitting from the subsidy may not have high wages, but come from family wealth. This is a large pool in New York City.

  115. But, handing $18,000 per year to (literally) random individuals like this guy and nothing to everybody else seems sub-optimal. Has anybody proposed a better system?

    LOL

  116. Anon[377] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dumbo

    Has anybody proposed a better system?

    What about just stopping massive immigration, so that housing prices go down?

    Demand and supply, I thought it was a basic law of economics.

    It’s crickets from Sailer these days when it comes to mass immigration.

  117. anon[184] • Disclaimer says:

    Steve, nothing against your regular commenters, but I would not want to live in the same apartment building as most of them, and almost everyone I know who makes more than 100K a year would gladly (if they lived in an apartment building) chip in towards the 18K it takes to have a guy like the Filipino chess-player in the picture as a near neighbor in one’s apartment building, if the alternative were to have an average “rent-free apartment lottery winner” applicant living there, and, to be perfectly honest, I would gladly chip in towards a 36K goal to prevent an average ‘STEM-expert’ or “history buff” Unz commenter living there.

    • LOL: Meretricious
    • Replies: @Meretricious
    , @Cagey Beast
  118. Anon[824] • Disclaimer says:
    @rebel yell

    Cities would become too expensive to live in, people would therefore stop living there, and the cost of living in the city would therefore drop. Developers, banks and landlords would take a haircut. Problem solved.

    As would the treasonous super rich globalists and the hostile super rich foreigners. What’s not to like?

  119. AndrewR says:
    @obwandiyag

    If you’re making more than $8k/month (not exactly a rare thing in NYC) then 2.5k/month isn’t gonna break the bank, especially since NYC residents aren’t really renowned for the ownership of the money-sinks known as automobiles.

    Having said that, I have absolutely no desire to live in NYC, especially after the aftermath of Rev Dr Saint George Floyd’s overdose.

  120. Pixo says:

    Physiognomy Post:

    Big collection without annoying listicle ads of old politicians in HS and college.

    https://acidcow.com/pics/34190-politicians-as-they-were-in-high-school-69-pics.html

    Quite surprised how good looking they are. Pelosi was a 9 and Warren a perfect 10 you could picture as a model dating Paul McCartney. More than half the men have high-T chad jawlines and muscular and symmetrical faces. This includes very short men who aged poorly like Bloomberg and McCain. Of the remaining ones, they are still mostly above average.

  121. prosa123 says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Philip Johnson’s Glass House didn’t need curtains or shades for privacy because it was on a large tract of private land and not visible from any road.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  122. Art Deco says:
    @Mark G.

    t’s a Ponzi scheme, though.

    Libertarians need to dream up a different silly meme. This one’s a bore.

    • Replies: @Mark G.
    , @Muggles
  123. @EdwardM

    Let the market decide.

    Steve’s question is pretty much “duh” territory.

    Housing isn’t a commodity like say “January Maize”, but it works according to supply and demand. Want more “affordable housing” … let the builders build! Doesn’t even matter what they build, as long as it is “more” the supply curve shifts down.

    If the government wants to actually improve things …

    Close the $*@#&!%& border!

    America has net replacement/sub-replacement TFR for two generation now. The of sort population restraint that is supposed to benefit the natives with less pressure on everything–from jobs to housing to traffic to pollution to open space. With the Fauci pushing US deaths up over the 3 million mark, the US would now be in net population decline with correspondingly relaxed housing market for our young folks ….

    but for the 70 odd million extra people jostling around in here for space because of the immigration insanity of the last 60 years. 70 million odd extra, 95% of whom don’t do jack for improving the lives of Americans but just take up jobs, lower wages, raise housing and generally take up space.

    That’s your “affordable housing crisis”. Keep tossing another couple million a year into this pressure cooker and in 100 years you’ll really have some tremendous “home equity” some future shekel counting nimrod can crow about as “people’s greatest asset”.

    • Replies: @Technite78
  124. anonymous[146] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Some of our neighbors do not, though, and I always think that’s both funny and stupid.

    What is stupid about it? What is the risk?

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  125. @obwandiyag

    Sure. It’s $1,506 a month better, which is almost enough to pay for a month of his morning Starbucks.

    An old girlfriend of mine from an upper-middle-class family is living in a two-bedroom Denver condo she bought, government-subsidized, for $80,000 and something a decade ago right after it was built. Her father was an architect who had done work for the government, and I’m quite sure he helped her find the subsidized unit and navigate the system. Who knows, technically her individual income may have been modest enough; I don’t know, but she’s not exactly the kind of person from the kind of family you expect your tax dollars to buy housing for.

    And people wonder why real estate prices are high. One way or other, our government and banking systems are pumping money into it.

  126. @Achmed E. Newman

    Yes. It’s called the free market. You eliminate the Welfare State completely.

    That would of course be the optimal solution. However, if you begin by accepting the premise that the government is hell-bent on wasting a particular amount of money, at least we could be a bit smarter about how to waste it.

    For example, using a realistic discount rate of 7% or so, the $18,000 per year lottery windfall is actually worth north of $250,000. Instead of giving this lottery winning to random Yuppies, the government could require the developer to pay this amount into a fund that provides rent subsidies to, you know, actual poor people. It’s so crazy it just might work.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  127. Mark G. says:
    @Art Deco

    Libertarians need to dream up a different silly meme. This one’s a bore.

    It’s more accurate to call it a Ponzi scheme than a “trust fund”:

    “Politicians love to talk about the Social Security “trust fund” and assure us that it will not be raided. But the unfortunate fact is the “trust fund” is an accounting fiction without any real assets. In actuality, Social Security is a giant Ponzi scheme operated by the government. Benefits that are paid to existing retirees come from the current taxes from those working today and borrowing. There is no reserve pool.”

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/aug/9/social-security-a-government-ponzi-scheme-headed-f/

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  128. @nglaer

    Likewise the kid who took over Steve Perry’s spot as lead singer of Journey. You don’t have to be a fan to recognize he was pretty amazing.

    https://www.biography.com/musician/arnel-pineda

  129. Dmon says:
    @Rebunga

    Ramparts with black instead of latino cops.

  130. Art Deco says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    That would of course be the optimal solution.

    It’s a nonsense ‘solution’. Markets and welfare programs have different ends.

  131. @prosa123

    That’s all well and good, but it isn’t a long walk from the road to Philip Johnson’s Glass House. I don’t know about you, but I feel vulnerable when it’s dark outside and anybody who walks onto my property can just look in the windows without my seeing them.

    I think there was more trust and safety when Johnson built that house and spent nights in it.

    • Agree: Bill Jones
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  132. Dmon says:
    @Pixo

    “Pelosi was a 9 and Warren a perfect 10”

    Are you gay, or blind?

  133. @Art Deco

    In order to contain externalities, you take steps which compel producers and consumers to internalize the costs.

    Exactly. If emitting one ton of carbon supposedly causes X dollars of harm to the world (or, alternatively, if it would cost X dollars to mitigate or offset the emissions through some other means), then a tax of X dollars should be added to the transaction in order to “internalize the externality.” Once that is done the economy will be emitting the optimal amount of carbon where the true marginal costs equals the true marginal benefit. Thus, an across-the-board carbon tax is the Econ 101 solution to “climate change.”

    But it’s much more useful for politicians to give out special subsidies for virtue than even-handed taxes on vice. Cherry-picking which companies and industries get the “virtue subsidies” is worth big bucks in campaign contributions from the beneficiaries. And politicians get to play Santa Clause without explicitly raising anyone’s taxes.

    Grifters gonna grift. And the Green Grift is like taking candy from a baby.

  134. @anon

    Steve, nothing against your regular commenters, but I would not want to live in the same apartment building as most of them

    Disclaimer, I have a problem living in buildings with ppl who write arrogant non sequiturs. OF COURSE you have a problem with Steve’s regular commenters. My question: Why?

  135. @Art Deco

    Sigh … Mark G. and Jack D. are right.

    OK, if I gotta do this again… FDR recruited me and another guy. We’re gonna get 3 people each to pay for our retirements. The more people investing, the more money we’re all gonna collect. It’s not a Pyramid Scheme – it’s not even a scheme, per se…

    Instead of calling cards, think Social Security payments, with Michael Scott playing Art Deco:

    • Agree: Adam Smith
    • LOL: Inquiring Mind
  136. Muggles says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    This horrible Phillip Johnson house is an abomination.

    In most places, unless surrounded by armed guards, it would be broken into quickly and occupants killed/raped/robbed.

    Aside from that minor problem, you know what clear glass windows look like at night?

    Totally black. Maybe a few minor light sources like stars or the moon on clear nights. The shimmering eyes of curious deer.

    So if you are too rich to be considered insane or stupid, you can merely paint your home walls jet black (if you are the owner) and enjoy the ambiance of your own dungeon living room. And bedroom and everyplace but the shitter. For some reason modesty is needed there.

    I often see photos of uber expensive homes which appear to lack shades, drapes, blinds or any kind of window covering. Some may have special glass which darkens or blocks views, but I doubt most do.

    Are owners of these places simply exhibitionists? In hot climes you roast inside glass boxes without extra robust air conditioning.

    Also, that glass walled home is poorly insulated, no matter how much layered glass is used. And the flat roof in northern snow country is foolish. No gutters either.

    I think there is a reason why Hitler aspired to be an architect. Insanity is no obstacle.

    • Replies: @SafeNow
    , @prosa123
  137. @Simon in London

    “you would need to get young volunteer graduates doing Pro Bono ‘help the needy’ to do it.”

    No wonder Bono is so rich — he’s got all these armies of people doing all sorts of stuff for him for free.

  138. @Guest007

    That results in workers who cannot vote.

    Really. What stops them from voting where they live, like everyone else?

    Meanwhile, there are lots of reasonably affordable neighborhoods in NYC, if living within the city limits is so critical (it isn’t). They’re just not located in Midtown Manhattan.

    And (re your other comment) they certainly don’t have to drive. The entire region is well supplied with commuter rail service, even if you happen to live beyond the reach of the (very extensive) subway system.

    • Replies: @Guest007
  139. @Colin Wright

    People simply don’t understand how or why free enterprise works, much less how or why it’s inherently self-adjusting. Sadly, we see some of them right here in this thread.

    This is not to say it’s perfect, nor that it never requires public controls. But it’s the best system we know, by leagues.

    Commies please note, I also said this:

    https://www.unz.com/article/facial-racial-spatial-how-human-faces-and-brains-have-taken-different-routes-through-race-space/#comment-5770161

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  140. Muggles says:
    @Art Deco

    Libertarians need to dream up a different silly meme. This one’s a bore.

    It may bore you, but “libertarians” are hardly the only ones to notice this “funding” mechanism.

    The SS “assets” are a collection of special US Treasury bonds in the drawer of the Speaker of the House.

    If insufficient cash comes in for SS/MC payments to recipients, a “bond” is cashed. Of course that replaces the special SS “asset” bond with a garden variety one.

    If lenders decide not to add to their USG debt holdings, who doesn’t get paid?

    The “Ponzi scheme” (named after Italian immigrant Charles Ponzi) was formerly called “take from Peter to pay Paul.” As in, take from everyone’s employment income to pay everyone getting Social Security payments. And Medicare.

    Every few years they predict when the current income flow “will run out” due to insufficient SS income. Now sometime around mid 2030s.

    Solutions are: everyone receiving gets X percent haircut. Or increase SS recipient age (already done many times). Increase ceiling on how much income is subject to SS taxes (already done repeatedly).

    Boomers are dying off but not fast enough.

    Anyone relying solely on SS payments in the future is just another FTX “customer” in waiting.

    Sorry if this is a boring subject. Reality can be like that…

    • Thanks: Mark G.
  141. notsaying says:

    I live in NYC area for decades. By the 90s I finally realized what I should have realized years before:

    When it comes to NYC real estate, you are either ripping somebody off or somebody is ripping you off.

    That truism not only still applies today, it is even more true now than ever.

    Public housing and Section 8 has become a Golden Ticket just about everywhere now I think as housing has gone up so much, even in rural areas as rent refugees fan out across the country and hike up rents when they move to places with cheaper housing.

    Housing assistance is grossly unfair, especially in more expensive areas. Only about 1 out of 4 or 5 people who qualify for it get it, unlike our other government aid programs where everybody who qualifies gets the same help (according to family size).

    Every time the Koch Brothers think tanks release figures on how much people who receive government assistance get, they always assume some stupendous amount of housing assistance, as if everybody received that. No, they do not.

    Whether a middle class person like this guy should receive any housing help is a debatable point. New York City subsidized the building of a bunch of Mitchell Lama housing years ago for the middle class. Many if not most of the owners opted out of the program and a return to market rents for new tenants when they could after 20-30 years when I was still there. I think they were one if the few cities who ever got involved with public housing that was not poor.

    You certainly have to question a system that gives so much to the few and nothing to the many who for decades or even forever have to continue to pay a rent amount that the government itself says is unaffordable. We can also wonder why the federal government subsidizes big city rents instead of building more housing in less expensive areas.

    • Replies: @Technite78
  142. @Jonathan Mason

    No, I’m saying that if cities are so expensive that nobody wants to live there, they will eventually fail and become increasingly undesirable places to live unless there is some sharing of the wealth generated by the city so that it is not all sucked up by developers, banks, and landlords.”

    Said like a white conservative. White liberals love living in cities, and they are not going anywhere. Especially NYC, which has like 10% of the GDP of the entire country.

    Even the Old Testament prophets like Jeremiah pointed to the ruins of abandoned cities that dotted the landscape, and said that they must have got things wrong.

    “I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down…”

    Meaningless religious babbling…

  143. @Pixo

    You are a weird idiot.

    If your previous posting history hadn’t already marked you as someone out to sea with nothing but a can of spray paint and Wonderbread bag, this post certainly removes all doubt about it. Head on over to Jung-Freud’s place. You’d fit in better over there.

    • Thanks: Corvinus
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Corvinus
  144. @anon

    If you let a selection of Unz commenters into your NYC apartment building, it would go something like this:

  145. @Intelligent Dasein

    Good job, Pixo. If Intelligent Dasein hates your post, you must be doing something right.

    • LOL: Renard
    • Replies: @Corvinus
    , @Dumbo
  146. @Buzz Mohawk

    Sometimes I take long walks at night for exercise, and I’m surprised that I can see from the road how many people have their lights on inside and their curtains wide open when it’s dark outside.

    I like that effect. Very cozy. Pretty houses lit up in pretty towns is a good thing.

    Buzz, have you happened to view Metropolitan yet?

    • Agree: Renard
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  147. SafeNow says:
    @Muggles

    And the flat roof in northern snow country is foolish.

    Yes, and maybe a flat roof on a house is inappropriate anywhere. Many years ago I read an architect’s definition of what it means to be a house: Sloping roof, and shutters.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  148. Renard says:
    @Arclight

    If the subject had been black, female, etc. there would have been at least one nod towards how hard it is to get head because of their identity.

    • LOL: Arclight
  149. @Pixo

    Physiognomy Post:

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  150. But, handing $18,000 per year to (literally) random individuals like this guy and nothing to everybody else seems sub-optimal. Has anybody proposed a better system?

    In a capitalist nation such as the US, the traditional way, which has lasted now for a few centuries in most parts of the nation, is simply to rent the apartment out at market prices. Whoever can afford to pay the rent, after passing background checks and other such things, gets the apartment.

    Really not that difficult to understand. It’s always worked. NY or not, business is business after all.

    Question not being directly asked, is why exactly should the top 1% want to live next to people that, from a socio-economic standpoint, have no idea about?

    Would Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos really desire to live next door to a random nobody? And, knowing that if that random person soon figures out their identities, might be tempted to ask them for several types of favors (e.g. money being chief among them. ‘Hey neighbor, I’m kinda down on my luck this month. Could I please borrow a million dollars? I promise I’ll pay you in 60 days.’).

    And since Bill and Jeff have no direct knowledge of said random individual, what makes them think that they can full trust them to repay what they might give them? And then, suppose they think that if they don’t hand over the dough, said individual might have friends who could make them an offer that they can’t refuse?

    This can easily go south very quickly. Left unchecked, naive altruism can leave people in very bad situations.

    PS: On the music front, David Crosby (from SoCal area) passed away few days ago.

  151. Art Deco says:
    @Mark G.

    It’s more accurate to call it a Ponzi scheme than a “trust fund”:

    No, it isn’t. The original Ponzi scheme collapsed in less than a year. Social Security has been paying beneficiaries since 1940.

    Social Security’s structural problem can be resolved by assigning cohort-specific retirement ages which fluctuate some during your worklife but freeze at age 55. The point of that would be to have the ratio of beneficiaries to the working population bounce around a set point. The retirement age would crawl upward with improvements in life expectancy. You can improve the soundness of the Disability program by ceasing to award benefits to people for anxiety disorders and mood disorders. Last I checked these now account for about 1/4 of all Disability awards. As for Medicare, one improvement you can make in addition to having eligibility ages crawl upward is to expand deductibles so as to maintain Medicare spending at a fixed % of total personal income flow.

    • LOL: Technite78
  152. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    We got halfway through it and my wife lost interest. I still have to finish it alone.

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
  153. @Rebunga

    Steve, heads up from Memphis, which has been bracing for riots due to police beating a Black motorist to death after a chase.

    Ohmygod. Blacks are going to riot.

    Whatever can we do?

  154. @anonymous

    Uhh, the risk is that some humans do bad things, and it’s harder for them to do them to you if they can’t spy on you at night. You know, people, like, break into houses and rob people and things like that. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  155. But I now think the lotteries are mostly honest, but persnickety: they have a lot of detailed rules about how the application must be filled out and mailed that give careful, rule-following white collar workers a better than even chance at winning.

    Bingo.

    Race realists on the left in many areas snow fellow leftists who all-races-are-equal True Believers. By making certain “equalist” opportunities complicated to apply for –hard deadlines, long forms to fill out, etc.–you weed out the impulsive low-IQ, violent minorities without even having to try. So things like housing lotteries, scholarships, slots in magnet high schools tend to go to Asians, smart whites unafraid to play the game, and those blacks and browns who are more similar to Theo Huxtable than Flavor Flav.

    Of course, the current commie push for “equity” is hurting these things, but lefty race realists have a talent for reorganizing for “fairness” and then just implementing the same policies in a new form.

    It is impressive in the first world how much success involves merely filling out forms, applying on time, and being where you need to be when you need to be there. And how much IQ and civility are correlated with those rather mundane but critical tasks. Ghetto trash just can’t be bothered. As the saying goes, half of life is just showing up.

  156. @AnotherDad

    Well put AnotherDad.

    Subsidized housing almost always distorts markets in a way that creates bad tenants, bad landlords, neighborhood decline, and crime.

  157. @HammerJack

    ‘People simply don’t understand how or why free enterprise works, much less how or why it’s inherently self-adjusting. Sadly, we see some of them right here in this thread…’

    I remember reading a fascinating bit about how some Soviet apparatchnik was visiting New York City in the last years of the Soviet Union.

    He just could not fathom how the City got all the food, cloth, etc it needed without a government bureaucracy to issue the requisitions.

    …it’s actually something we once had that we’ve lost track of. The realization that with a few tweaks, you can make people to do what needs to be done of their own volition. The continental railroads were the most spectacular example of that. Make it profitable, and they will come…

    Self-interest may be tacky — but it’s reliable. We didn’t expect people to be noble, or self-denying, or anything else. We did expect that if we made it lucrative, somebody would show up.

    • Replies: @scrivener3
  158. George says:
    @Guest007

    ” subleasing his subsidized apartment at market rates”

    My understanding is it is not a standard lease, he has to live in it or give it up. Obviously he can cheat, but that might end up getting him in trouble, or might not. That said he might be able to move out and sublet for approved purposes like education.

    If I recall your posts about Chicago housing correctly there was a Black woman who lived in that project that was torn down. She managed to snag an apartment in the market rate building but complained that she was not allowed overnight guests, she had to live like a nun in her words. Accepting the subsidy can mean many restrictions not present in market rate apartments.

    “handing $18,000 per year to (literally) random individuals like this guy and nothing to everybody else seems sub-optimal. ”

    Hey iSteve, y’er old enough to remember the cellular telephone license lottery. Does the name Craig McCaw ring a bell? Did that make any sense? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_McCaw#Cellular_telephone_industry

    As far as the NYC housing lotteries they are honest, but they are not exactly open to anyone and the rules greatly favor public sector workers.

    My recollection from the ones I have seen they had minimum salary requirements, which means the really down and out and burger flippers can’t participate. Off the books workers, like illegal aliens, also are ruled out.

    They also have salary maximums which means most private sector middle class earn too much. Public sector employee compensation is top tier health insurance, “20 and out” pensions, and seemingly low salaries, only the low salary appears on the lottery application. Private sector employees have extra pay for out of pocket health costs from their shoddy health plans and extra pay for their shoddy 401ks, which bumps their salaries above the max. So judicious setting of the max and min salary, but not total compensation, kind of means only public sector employees can play this lottery. Local politicians do constituent service by filling out the paper work.

    I don’t know if they still do it but the city had ‘artist housing’. Artist housing was also useful as a criteria to filter out low life. Basically that 20 year old black male could apply, you know if he could sing opera or dance ballet. I mean who could fear a 20 yr old black guy that can sing Puccini or Wagner and be paid for it? Sounds like a great neighbor to me. Living next to that guy is kind of the reason you are paying market rate to live in NYC. But my point is that beyond salary there can be all sorts of other requirements to enter the lottery.

    Why artist housing is just another kind of affordable housing
    To support priced-out arts communities, cities look to housing and studio support
    https://archive.curbed.com/2018/4/3/17192722/affordable-housing-artists-workforce

    • Replies: @Guest007
  159. @notsaying

    I knew a woman whose parents won a Mitchell Lama apartment in Yorkville. Her parents were both professionals earning a decent middle class wage; as a result of winning the housing lottery they were able to hire a nanny to (poorly) raise their children and invest in vacation real estate in eastern Long Island and northern Connecticut. At the same time, my parents had pooled together their savings to buy a small single-family house in Queens, and saved money to pay down the 30 year mortgage in 12 years.

    Who wound up with the better investment 50 years later? It wasn’t the subsidized co-op in Yorkville.

    • Replies: @notsaying
  160. I love that image. Smiling kinda-white guy with his yuppie sweater sitting behind a chess board.

    Yep: The Times really picked him at random. Pretty candid photo, too. Who could possibly object to having him as a neighbor?

  161. prosa123 says:
    @Muggles

    This horrible Phillip Johnson house is an abomination.
    In most places, unless surrounded by armed guards, it would be broken into quickly and occupants killed/raped/robbed.

    Phillip Johnson lived in the Glass House for almost 60 years and died there at age 99.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  162. @Buzz Mohawk

    I still have to finish it alone.

    Awww, sorry. I say stick with it. Re-watch from the beginning, on a cozy evening, maybe with a drink or two. It can be a ‘polarizing’ movie, in the sense that an initial viewing either thoroughly charms, or turns off the viewer. First seeing it while younger (e.g. the same age as the characters) is likely more compelling (the characters’ social and romantic stakes and choices feel more consequential) than first watching it later in life. Also, ‘class’ differences between viewer and characters can be a barrier. I figured you might appreciate it given your region of residence.

    my wife lost interest

    Given your wife’s provenance, if she hasn’t seen it already, I recommend Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

    I keed, I keed. Good movie though. 🙂

  163. anonymous[345] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    You know, people, like, break into houses and rob people and things like that. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

    Does it actually make it easier for them to break in?

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  164. @Buzz Mohawk

    I think there was more trust and safety when Johnson built that house and spent nights in it.

    He was also a homo and possibly an exhibitionist. Most architects are, at some level.

    Who wants to see a naked nonagenarian, anyway? Here’s another, also a homo:

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  165. @Art Deco

    JD: This is true of every Ponzi scheme.

    AD: When you’ve learned the distinction between an income transfer program and a Ponzi scheme, get back to me.

    Two functional differences between income transfer programs and Ponzi schemes are one is legal and involuntary, whereas the other is illegal and voluntary. Another key difference is income transfer payments can legally be reduced through the introduction of inflation without cost of living allowance increases, whereas Ponzi operators have no way of reducing their obligations to the people paying in.

  166. @Colin Wright

    You’re absolutely right. Take note: Years ago, General Electric moved its headquarters out of NYC to near where I live — to get away from the city. Now they have moved again, because taxes here have gotten too high. It seems Boston or Massachusetts have given them a better deal, and GE likes the techiness there now.

    My father’s company relocated all of us HQ families from the NYC area way back in 1972. Thank God!
    They bought a ranch at the foot of the Rockies and never looked back.

    Dad’s office was here:

    Now it belongs to Lockheed. Once again, Steve wins.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
    , @Guest007
  167. Corvinus says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    I don’t understand their fetish on Physiognomy.

  168. Corvinus says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Coveting for Pixo only shows your insecurity..

  169. @anonymous

    That’s a reasonable question, but you need to think strategically. If you can watch somebody, see if they are defenseless or not, what kind of dog they have, etc., then you can decide when and how to strike.

    Also, women are particularly vulnerable to weirdos looking in at them. I would never ask my wife to live in front of uncovered windows at night. Are you serious? The whole point is that you can’t see or know if someone is watching. I don’t care how much land you have around your house, and we have some space. It’s creepy, and that creepy feeling is your nature of thousands of years telling you something is not right.

    Yes, it makes it easier for a home invader to go in if they can see where you are and how defenseless you are. It is an invitation! Here’s another aspect to this: If you are at least a little bit affluent, you should consider yourself a target in today’s America. I’m sorry, but you should. Reveal as little as you can, and have cameras, a trained dog, and a Winchester (sorry, my favorite.) I am far from rich, and my property is modest, but I say this in all seriousness.

    • Agree: Kylie, HammerJack
    • Thanks: Muggles
  170. @Reg Cæsar

    My neighbor is an architect, and he is weird.

    That’s only a sample of one, but hey, he’s weird.

    Also, as I alluded to earlier, I dated the daughter of an architect, and she was weird (but I liked weird then.)

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  171. Anonymous[256] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    That’s pretty funny.

    • Thanks: Jenner Ickham Errican
  172. Anonymous[256] • Disclaimer says:
    @Pixo

    I’m not surprised. I’d say they definitely tend above average, but not exceptionally so.

    Also, keep in mind people today–male and female, young and old–have gotten much fatter. So being decent-looking today is a significantly lower bar to clear.

  173. Art Deco says:
    @prosa123

    It looks like an enlarged bus shelter. For those who like that sort of thing, that is the sort of thing that they like.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  174. anonymous[422] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Yes, it makes it easier for a home invader to go in if they can see where you are and how defenseless you are. It is an invitation!

    Thank you for your perspective. Do you think these considerations apply with the same force to apartment buildings?

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  175. @Buzz Mohawk

    My neighbor is an architect, and he is weird.

    That’s only a sample of one, but hey, he’s weird.

    Minoru Yamasaki was about as boring as architects come. But late in life he divorced his first wife– like him, a native Seattleite born to immigrants from Japan– and married a white woman. Then he divorced her and married another white woman. Then he divorced her and remarried his first wife, this time for good. She told a reporter this time she’d try harder to be a good Japanese wife.

    (Actually, I don’t know which one filed in each of these cases. Nor am I sure if both middle wives were blond. At least one was.)

  176. @Art Deco

    In defense of Philip Johnson, he built his house in 1949, when nobody had seen much like it. I consider it an architectural stunt (or “statement” as those more refined might call it.)

    Glass structures were just beginning to appear everywhere, thanks to people like Johnson, and, more importantly, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Technology in the form of better glass, abundant heating energy, etc. made it all possible, and it grew to great heights.

    Read From Bauhaus to Our House, by Tom Wolfe.

    This continues today whenever people with enough disposable money build rectilinear habitations consisting mostly of glass walls and supporting structure.

    Personally, I have always liked it, and I don’t care if this makes no sense. The thing itself is stupid, but I like it the way I like the Lamborghini Countach (and I can’t even fit in the driving position for that.)

    • Replies: @Muggles
  177. notsaying says:
    @Technite78

    That is an interesting and unexpected outcome, isn’t it? I cannot say I am glad property went up so much. Still, I am certainly glad your parents got lucky. But if you are like most, nobody in the family could afford to buy into that neighborhood now or even anywhere in the area. One generation wins, after that everybody loses.

    As for the family who got the Mitchell Lama: Their Golden Ticket is one reason nobody’s doing projects like that anymore. Please tell me nobody in that family ever complained about high NY taxes or other people getting benefits.

    I used to go to a bar in Chelsea where some old guy who used to work in insurance had the usual geezer complaints. Come to find out he lived in one of those nearby middle class housing projects, I think maybe Phipps. Anyway, when I said something in a polite way he was very indignant because he had always paid. Well yeah you did but it was much less than everyone else because the government had and maybe still was subsidizing the building.

    One of these days I will work up the courage to look up my two old places and see what they are going for today. Much much more than my last rent not that long ago since they were market rate.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  178. @SafeNow

    And the flat roof in northern snow country is foolish.

    Yes, and maybe a flat roof on a house is inappropriate anywhere. Many years ago I read an architect’s definition of what it means to be a house: Sloping roof, and shutters.

    I remember chasing frogs one night during a Honolulu cloudburst. It was fun. The next morning’s paper featured a photo of a supermarket roof collapse across town. Flat roof, of course.

    I was in the shadow– well, rain shadow– of a Yamasaki building. (See previous comment.) The monstrosities of the original World Trade Center were primarily the fault of the Rockefeller brothers, but the flat roofs were the architect’s idea, and “Yama” insisted on them.

    Bad idea. It was the first time in history that the world’s tallest building had a flat roof. Maybe I’m superstitious, but it seemed to mock God (Yamasaki was Presbyterian) and was doomed. Indeed, it was destroyed by another architect. Who had his own opinions on he subject, quite reasonable ones.

  179. @notsaying

    I used to go to a bar in Chelsea where some old guy who used to work in insurance had the usual geezer complaints.

    Well, you’re the perfect one to write the real estate version of “Lola”, aren’t you? Complete with Wolfe whistles.

  180. @anonymous

    Very much the same on the ground floor and close to it. The higher you go above that, the less risk.

    People in big cities with high rises often see each other at distances at night, but this is kind of a joke and almost entertainment. That’s up to them.

    Okay, side note I can’t help: One girlfriend in Denver owned and edited an adult publication. When we were dating, she appeared as a guest on a nationwide, syndicated daytime talk show. The topic was “Women’s Sexual Fantasies.” The one she talked about was the one of hers that I had become very familiar with:

    It involved having sex in the window of a high rise hotel in the city, where people below could see us.

    I guess “exhibitionist” is the word, but that’s never really been me. We didn’t date long.

  181. @Buzz Mohawk

    That looks for all the world like an architectural model.

    Possibly in a terrarium. Mind you, I love the West.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  182. Mark G. says:
    @Pixo

    Most people only have a short window of time when they are really physically attractive. I’ve had friends tell me they went to a twentieth high school reunion and were surprised when some fat bald guy comes up to them that they don’t recognize and then find out they knew him when he states his name.

    People don’t really change their personality much, though. Personality is pretty much set for life by high school. One of your photos is of a young Senator Richard Lugar. My mother was in his high school class and told me he was already the political type then and was elected class president. Another boy in her high school class she knew named Dan Wakefield was on the school paper and ended up being a writer who wrote several books. Another boy, a bit older than Wakefield, named Kurt Vonnegut also worked on that same high school newspaper and he too became a writer. I have a friend who said the class clown in his older brother’s high school class was a boy named David Letterman. He ended up a comedian.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  183. @Mark G.

    And there was a boy at this school in Indiana that made up clever songs. His name was Cole Porter.

    • Agree: Mark G.
  184. @Buzz Mohawk

    The whole point is that you can’t see or know if someone is watching. I don’t care how much land you have around your house, and we have some space.

    At 1:40 …

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  185. Dumbo says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Well, at least this is a direct admission that Sailer really loves empty sycophants like Jack D, Pixo, Twinkie, Johnson & Johnson, etc etc.

    I looked over Pixo’s commenting history and couldn’t find s single interesting thing he said. Well, at least he’s not as bad as Corvinus, which is, let’s admit it, the worst of the worst, “the most uninteresting man in the world”.

  186. Guest007 says:
    @HammerJack

    The Urban Institute evaluates a town/city has what percentage of housing could be purchased/rented with the median police, fire fighter, school teacher salaries. In many cities in Northern California, the result is zero percent. A large percentage of law and fire fighters in NYC probably do not even live in the same state.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  187. @Herbert R. Tarlek, Jr.

    In 1940, a 65 year-old could expect to live about 13.5 more years. (https://www.ssa.gov/history/lifeexpect.html)

    Today, a 65 year-old can expect to live about 19.5 more years, or about 45% longer. (https://www.claritywealthdevelopment.com/what-is-the-average-life-expectancy-for-a-65-year-old/#:~:text=For%20females%2C%20the%20average%2065,of%20an%20additional%2018.2%20years.)

    It’s also the case that (i) people have fewer children on average, so there are fewer workers per retiree, (ii) the disability program has become a vastly bigger component of Social Security, and (iii) the average retirement benefit as a percentage of the average working income has risen.

  188. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    I remember that. It was great, and that’s the feeling I’m talking about.

  189. @HammerJack

    It’s real.

    That cylinder on the left end contains a spiral ramp that goes to parking on the roof. Another one comes down on the other end.

    Eagles kept a nest in the red cliffs just off to the right of the picture. From his office, my father watched new generations of them take their first flights. Our house was 30 minutes up in the mountains behind here. Life sure sucked so far away from New York City.

    • Thanks: HammerJack
  190. Guest007 says:
    @George

    I would assume that any sublease would be off the books. think about leasing the apartment to the lower paid intern or entry level staffer at one’s work until the intern gets lucky in the lottery and gets their own place. The issue for subleasing would be how much would the neighbors be willing to look the other way.

  191. Guest007 says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    NOt the kind of building that is going to appeal to Gen Z workers. Nothing else around the building.

  192. NOTA says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    He was already living in the city in a market rate apartment–this was just a nice windfall he got from a screwy law. The problem isn’t now, it’s that he will nevwr wanr to leave the apartment, even if it would make sense otherwise, because he’s locked in such an amazing rent for where he lives.

  193. @Anonymous

    Absolutely *everything* in this life – from the genetic hand of cards you are dealt at the precise moment of conception – right up to the day of your death, is a lottery.
    Deny it as much as you like, hate it as much as you like, but that’s just the way it is.

    So raffling off luxury apartments is no better or no worse . . .

    In one way it is worse. As Peterson says, people tend to organize themselves in hierarchies of competence. I don’t care why someone is competent, luck, genetics, environment, family.
    I want my airline ran by competent administrators, flown by competent pilots, etc. I am not dispensing cosmic justice (lets adjust for that crappy pilot’s disadvantaged youth and unfortunate genetic makeup). Same for my neighbors. I want people who for whatever reason can run their lives well enough to be able to afford living as I do.

    It is different selecting my neighbors by lottery. Maybe not in the cosmic justice sense, but definitely in the actual results of what type of people I am forced to live next to.

    And I am not saying rich people are necessarily better neighbors but expensive hotels and neighborhoods sure seem better on average than cheap SRO hotels and slums.

  194. Muggles says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    This continues today whenever people with enough disposable money build rectilinear habitations consisting mostly of glass walls and supporting structure.

    I am not sure how accurate this is. I see the WSJ “Mansion” section each week for very expensive multi-million dollar homes and estates.

    Many are of the classic European “Chateau” homes or multi story plantation type places. Not many seem to have glass walls other than some dramatic windows in some larger rooms.

    The homes you describe are seen mainly in southern California in semi desert areas. Glass walls are good for high views but need shading and coverings. Also tend to be very hard to keep cool or hot as the case may be. I think when home energy was cheap they were show pieces but now are seen as monstrosities needing huge expensive heating and cooling.

    Immediately post WWII using big glass plates was seen as modern. Now obsolete idea.

    Glass is a poor insulator and even with modern tech, layers, etc. isn’t very climate friendly. Also sunlight is very warming and damaging to interiors.

    I live on the Texas Gulf coast and it surprised me when I moved down here. Many apartments, older and cheaper, had occupants totally cover windows with aluminum foil. To keep out sunlight.

    Of course if you are very rich, like Phillip Johnson, you can live weirdly and pay the freight.

    Most people are modest and do not like strangers or neighbors peering into their private spaces. I don’t want to see my neighbors inside their dwellings and I don’t think they want to see mine.

    Of course too many architects, like modern artists, are full of absurd “theory” about how “people should live” replete with communal philosophy and back-to-nature nonsense.

    There is something fundamentally “off” about people who hate privacy. Nosy busy-bodies who tend to have the urge to tell others how to live “correctly.” Now a feature of fatuous Green worshipers.

    • Replies: @Cato
  195. @Guest007

    A large percentage of law and fire fighters in NYC probably do not even live in the same state.

    There are quite a lot of places in New Jersey that are effectively suburbs of New York City.

  196. Lotta stupid comments on this thread, one of the stupider threads I’ve seen.

    But some people seem to get it. Three (actually four) word answer….

    Q.: How do you solve the affordable-housing problem in ZFUSA?

    A.: Simple. Deport all immigrants.

    Will never happen of course, because of the Z and the F in the ZFUSA.

  197. @Colin Wright

    I remember reading an interview with the bureaucrat in India responsible for allocating oxygen tanks to Indian regions. He was taking heat because Mumbai did not get enough tanks during covid and people were needlessly dying for lack of oxygen where it was needed.

    He said I sent them more than they got last year, in fact I sent them more than they requisitioned. He could not fathom that in the US no one was in charge of allocating oxygen tanks to the various hospitals. He could not imagine how the price mechanism could allocate oxygen better than a wise bureaucrat.

    We may get mad when shortages cause prices of something we need or want to go up. However, that is not a failing of the price mechanism. Higher prices are the solution to shortages – they cause less consumption and more production. The USSR tried to replace it for forty years without success.

  198. Cato says:
    @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

    It’s not that a particular “careful, rule-following white-collar worker wins” — it’s that the pool of people who end up having complied with the rules for entering the lottery consists of “careful, rule-following white-collar worker[s]”.

  199. Cato says:
    @Muggles

    too many architects, like modern artists, are full of absurd “theory” about how “people should live” replete with communal philosophy and back-to-nature nonsense.

    The great Jane Jacobs railed against architects and planners with their absurd aesthetically based ideas of how people should live. Her “Death and Life of Great American Cities”, from 1961, is still one of the wisest books written about urban planning.

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