In much of San Francisco, you can’t walk 20 feet without seeing a multicolored sign declaring that Black lives matter, kindness is everything and no human being is illegal. Those signs sit in yards zoned for single families, in communities that organize against efforts to add the new homes that would bring those values closer to reality. Poorer families — disproportionately nonwhite and immigrant — are pushed into long commutes, overcrowded housing and homelessness. Those inequalities have turned deadly during the pandemic.
This is from Ezra Klein, “California Is Making Liberals Squirm,” New York Times, February 11, 2021.
I like large parts of this Klein article, which is unusual for me. One thing I’m seeing is that there seems to be an alliance among libertarians, liberals like Ezra, and a few others to reduce government restrictions on housing. Last month I finished a review of Conor Dougherty’s excellent book Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America. It will come out next month in the Spring edition of Regulation. Dougherty delves nicely into some of the somewhat hopeful signs for housing in America.
I don’t endorse everything Klein says in the op/ed, especially on the Central Valley’s middle-speed rail, euphemistically called high-speed rail. But there’s a lot of good stuff in the piece.
By the way, in Pacific Grove, where I live, you can walk 20 feet without seeing the sign he sees, but it’s hard to walk 200 feet without seeing such a sign.
HT2 Glenn Reynolds.