Rafael Solari 
Member since Mar 26, 2016


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Re: “Why Is There a Housing Crisis?

Professor Walker, I took your class at UC and I've read several of your books. I've always been a fan of your work, but I don't think your take on this issue is quite right.

"There is simply no way housing could have been built quickly enough to avoid the price spike of the current boom." This is simply not true. The Bay Area's restrictive zoning and lengthy planning process are political choices. We can change our choices.

It's disingenuous to say that economic growth caused the crisis. Economic growth combined with a restricted housing supply caused the crisis. Many places in the world – capitalist and non-capitalist – have built enough housing, even during times of job growth, to avoid price spikes, speculation and displacement.

There's a failure here, but it's not a failure of capitalism or a market failure. It's political. The local land-use system is captured by homeowners, and it has failed everyone else: renters, young people, newcomers, immigrants, small businesses, and others.

Posted by Rafael Solari on 03/26/2016 at 8:27 AM

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