Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The basics

Supply and demand each matter. "Everybody" knows this. Well, not exactly. Many land use and housing regulators live in their own world, where their actions presumably make little difference. Then on odd days they fret over housing "affordability."

Actually, there are only trade-offs (another headline grabber). To help us make the point, Wendel Cox has just published his second annual housing affordability index. LA (my hometown) is in the worst shape of all.

And, yes, this morning's LA Times includes stories on plans to extend the County's disastrous Red Line subway. The one that costs taxpayers $8.50 for each and every boarding -- and that chalks up social losses of "only" $8.25 for each and every boarding, once we consider all those externalities.

The third shocker is that there is exit and voice. Until we leave, we only have one choice: keep on making the point, repetitious though it may be. The variation is to find new and better ways to make the point.