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Author Topic: Sheb's European Megathread: Remove Feta!  (Read 916734 times)

XXSockXX

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Re: Sheb's European Politics Megathread
« Reply #6180 on: June 01, 2014, 05:46:11 pm »

The best alternative IMO would be subsidizing new apartment buildings, thus driving down market prices.
Yeah, at least in Germany the problem isn't that there isn't enough housing (there are plenty of empty houses and apartments), it's rather that there isn't enough housing in the right places. For the sum you'd have to pay to rent a tiny room in Munich, you can get a decent sized house in other areas, or half a village in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
If you're a landlord you are pretty limited in how much you can raise the rent or when you can throw someone out as it is, there is no need for more regulation there. And with the Energiewende and all the related new regulations owning or building a house has become even more expensive.
Subsidizing apartment buildings might be a way to go, but there is only so much room in the center of a big city where everybody wants to live, so it might not work everywhere.
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Helgoland

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Re: Sheb's European Politics Megathread
« Reply #6181 on: June 01, 2014, 06:01:46 pm »

Why is there a need to create cheap housing in the middle of the city, anyway?
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XXSockXX

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Re: Sheb's European Politics Megathread
« Reply #6182 on: June 01, 2014, 06:17:57 pm »

Well, there isn't really. If public transport is ok, you can easily live where it's cheap and still work in an urban center (you will probably have to do that in some cities unless you're doing really well). I just think high rent is mostly a problem in bigger cities, created by huge demand for a limited resource.
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Helgoland

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Re: Sheb's European Politics Megathread
« Reply #6183 on: June 01, 2014, 06:18:56 pm »

I just think high rent is mostly a problem in bigger cities, created by huge demand for a limited resource.
Why's that a problem, though, as opposed to market mechanisms at work? Apart from... populist reasons.
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Arguably he's already a progressive, just one in the style of an enlightened Kaiser.
I'm going to do the smart thing here and disengage. This isn't a hill I paticularly care to die on.

Descan

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Re: Sheb's European Politics Megathread
« Reply #6184 on: June 01, 2014, 06:21:22 pm »

I think he's using "problem" in the sense of "This is a thing that exists and it can be a barrier to some people" and not in the "We must fix this!" sense.
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XXSockXX

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Re: Sheb's European Politics Megathread
« Reply #6185 on: June 01, 2014, 06:32:36 pm »

I think he's using "problem" in the sense of "This is a thing that exists and it can be a barrier to some people" and not in the "We must fix this!" sense.
Yes. We don't have to really do much to regulate that, it just happens for market reasons.

For example where I live, there is a "student housing crisis", which leads to all kinds of populist demands, like rent control or subsidized building. In reality there is enough affordable housing in the general area, just not in the city center where most people are looking for places. Public transport could be better, but it is good enough that you don't have to live in the city itself. (The university is outside the city too, but the bars aka the cultural life are not.  ;))
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palsch

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Re: Sheb's European Politics Megathread
« Reply #6187 on: June 01, 2014, 06:57:51 pm »

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Sheb

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Re: Sheb's European Politics Megathread
« Reply #6188 on: June 02, 2014, 02:31:41 am »

Well, having people forced to live far away from work means long commute, which are a huge waste of time, resources and money. And create bad externalities if the mass transit system ain't good enough (traffic jam and pollution within the city).

I will also argue that segregating people by income is bad. It creates poor ghetto with all their problems. Since immigrants and their descendants tends to be poorer it leads to a form of racial segregation too (Well, not the only cause of such, but certainly a big part), which slow integration and leads to more xenophobia (because it's always the whitest parts that vote for the xenophobes). Worse, if your school is decided by where you live, like in the US or France, it means poor kids will end up in school with only other poor kids, that will tend not to do as well.

So yeah, I'm not sure we need regulations to generally brings rents down, I fully support regulations to ensure new housing projects ensure income diversity.
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notquitethere

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Re: Sheb's European Politics Megathread
« Reply #6189 on: June 02, 2014, 03:12:21 am »

I'm with Sheb on this. Part of the problem is that land and property in cities are bought as investments and status items by the wealthy (in London, half of new residences bought aren't then occupied), which generally drives prices up. Houses shouldn't be treated as commodities but as the necessary requirement for community. Unfortunately, the political establishment (at least in Britain) is usually on the side of suburban home owners who want the general price of housing to increase so their homes gain in value.
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Sheb

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Re: Sheb's European Politics Megathread
« Reply #6190 on: June 02, 2014, 04:03:02 am »

Unrelated, but I've found this blog post (in French) wonderfully interesting.

Basically, they compare employment in Belgium and the US as a way to test the hypothesis that the way to create jobs is to slash taxes and make work more attractive by slashing unemployment benefits. And the results are interesting: the apparently higher employment rate in the US is driven entirely by less pensions and young people working (not surprising, given the cost of college there).



The conclusion of the writer is that Germany's economic success is due mostly not to net job creation, but to 'stealing' jobs that would simply have ended somewhere else in the EU otherwise. As such, it is futile to try to emulate that model in the rest of the EU.
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Helgoland

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Re: Sheb's European Politics Megathread
« Reply #6191 on: June 02, 2014, 04:56:16 am »

I'd be careful about conclusions like that last one...

In other news: King Juan Carlos of Spain has abdicated. Let's hope he will be remembered as a great democrat rather than as a mediocre elephant-hunter.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2014, 09:23:02 am by Helgoland »
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ChairmanPoo

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Re: Sheb's European Politics Megathread
« Reply #6192 on: June 02, 2014, 05:18:10 am »

Sure. A great democrat


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Una figura excepcional entra en la historia. El nombre de Francisco Franco, será ya un jalón del acontecer español y un hito, al que será imposible dejar de referirse para entender la clave de nuestra vida política contemporánea. Con respeto y gratitud quiero recordar la figura de quien durante tantos años asumió la pesada responsabilidad de conducir la gobernación de estado.'"
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scrdest

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Re: Sheb's European Politics Megathread
« Reply #6193 on: June 02, 2014, 05:22:28 am »

Sure. A great democrat


Quote
Una figura excepcional entra en la historia. El nombre de Francisco Franco, será ya un jalón del acontecer español y un hito, al que será imposible dejar de referirse para entender la clave de nuestra vida política contemporánea. Con respeto y gratitud quiero recordar la figura de quien durante tantos años asumió la pesada responsabilidad de conducir la gobernación de estado.'"
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He looks either sad or slightly constipated in this picture.
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Descan

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Re: Sheb's European Politics Megathread
« Reply #6194 on: June 02, 2014, 07:17:16 am »

what is it with all these people posting in different languages and not translating them?

especially if you're posting that different language as an "explanation" of something.

it's mostly Comrade P. that does it with Russian

I don't know Spanish or Russian and I don't think a great many people here do, while almost everyone knows English (being an English board and all)
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