Take us down — all those cringing provincials who still think climate change is a hoax, that being transgender is a fad or that “socialism” means purges and re-education camps. Rid the world of all our outmoded opinions, vestigial prejudices and rotten institutions. Gender roles as disfiguring as foot-binding, the moribund and vampiric two-party system, the savage theology of capitalism — rip it all to the ground. I for one can’t wait till we’re gone. I just wish I could live to see the world without us.
Go Ahead, Millennials, Destroy Us https://nyti.ms/2FNWgMI
Richard Florida has been leading a new understanding of what makes urban places great and how we can harness the innovation and economic success that comes from our cities.
His thoughts on the 2016 election lead him to see a looming decentralization of political power. It sounds good to the staff here, but we wonder how it plays out in situations such as when red country pollution seeps into blue cities.
More housing is needed in most communities experience rapid increases in housing costs. To some extent displacement is a problematic consequence of denser redevelopment. Right to Remain provisions could incentivize developers to keep displaced renters in the neighborhood while replacement housing is built. This would go a long way to reducing the effects of displacement.
Right to Remain could fit into state or local law in a number of ways — but it would be most effective to pair it with upzoning (zone changes that allow for denser housing to be built). Rent is rising in Los Angeles because we build far too little housing to accommodate our children and the job-seekers who move here. That resulting housing shortage gives landlords all the negotiating power. Upzoning allows more housing to be built, giving renters more options — and therefore more leverage with landlords. In combination with the Right to Remain, upzoning can provide enough housing to bring rents down while making sure that no one is displaced along the way.
Access to health care, mental health services, and substance abuse treatment reduce crime.
Another example of how preventative costs are much lower than punitive costs.
We need to get better at accepting evidence based fixes to our societal problems. In this case providing more treatment up front will reduce crime and the need for jails.
One way to increase access to care is to open more treatment facilities throughout the country. Existing facilities often operate at capacity because of limited funding, so that those who want treatment cannot always find help.
The authors found that an increase in the number of treatment facilities causes a reduction in both violent and financially-motivated crime. This is likely due to a combination of forces: reducing drug abuse can reduce violent behavior that is caused by particular drugs, as well as property crimes like theft committed to fund an addiction. Reducing demand for illegal drugs might also reduce violence associated with the illegal drug trade. The authors estimate that each additional treatment facility in a county reduces the social costs of crime in that county by $4.2 million per year. Annual costs of treatment in a facility are approximately $1.1 million, so the benefits far exceed the costs.
Some interesting and timely arguments for getting rid of the Electoral College.
it’s terrible for the rest of the country, which is rendered effectively invisible, distorting our politics, our policy debates and even the distribution of federal funds. Candidates focus their platforms on the concerns of battleground states, and presidents who want to stay in office make sure to lavish attention, and money, on the same places. The emphasis on a small number of states also increases the risk to our national security, by creating an easy target for hackers who want to influence the outcome of an election. Perhaps most important, voters outside of swing states know their votes are devalued, if not worthless, and they behave accordingly. In 2012, 64 percent of swing-state voters showed up, compared with 57 percent everywhere else, a pattern that persisted in 2016. What better way to get more voters to register and go to the polls than to ensure that everyone’s vote is weighed equally?
amending the Constitution is a heavy lift. A quicker and more realistic fix is the National Popular Vote interstate compact, under which states agree to award all of their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. The agreement kicks in as soon as states representing a total of 270 electoral votes sign on, ensuring that the popular vote will always pick the president. So far, 10 states and the District of Columbia have joined, representing 165 electoral votes. The problem is that they are all solidly Democratic, which only adds to the suspicion that this is no more than a partisan game. It’s not: When Mr. Trump is not making up stories about millions of illegal voters, he has argued that if the presidency were decided by popular vote, he would have campaigned differently and still would have won. He may well be right.
Let the People Pick the President https://nyti.ms/2jamIc7
If we want to set smart goals for improving climate change outcomes we need to incentivize adoption of electric vehicles. There is no barrier to adoption in this article that couldn’t be overcome with smart incentives. No new tech needed. Winners: all of humanity! Losers: energy companies too slow to adapt.
The International Energy Agency has estimated that electric vehicles would have to account for at least 40 percent of passenger vehicle sales by 2040 for the world to have a chance of meeting the climate goals outlined in the Paris agreement, keeping total global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
When Will Electric Cars Go Mainstream? It May Be Sooner Than You Think https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/08/climate/electric-cars-batteries.html
There are things we could be doing to reduce the costs and impacts of the opioid crisis. Here are 8. Tucked into #7 is the staff favorite: stick it to those most responsible: The Drug Companies.
America’s 8-Step Program for Opioid Addiction https://nyti.ms/2fG6QwB