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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 14, 2008 / 9 Iyar 5768

Too ‘Complex’?, Part II

By Thomas Sowell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Let's face it. Supply and demand will never replace "need" and "greed" in political discussions of economic issues.


Talking about the "need" for more affordable housing or more affordable medical care is what will get politicians more votes this election year.


Voters don't want to hear about impersonal things like supply and demand. They want to hear about how their political heroes will stop the villains from "gouging" them or "exploiting" them with high prices.


Moral melodrama is where it's at, politically.


Least of all do voters want to hear about the most fundamental reality of economics— that what everybody wants has always added up to more than there is.


That is called scarcity— and if there were no scarcity, there would be no economics. What would be the point, if we could all have everything we want, in whatever amount we want?


There were no economists in the Garden of Eden because everything was available in unlimited abundance.


A politician with good rhetorical skills can create a new Garden of Eden in people's minds, though only in their minds. However, that is sufficient, if that vision or illusion can be kept alive until election day, and its failure to materialize afterwards can be explained away by the obstruction of villains.


One of the many ironies of politics is that those politicians who do the most to reduce supply often express the greatest outrage about high prices.


So long as the voters buy it, the politicians will keep selling it.


Make a list of those politicians who do the most to prevent our drilling for our own oil. Then make a list of those politicians who express the most outrage about the high price of gasoline. Don't be surprised if you see the same names on both lists.


Make a list of those politicians who most loudly lament the lack of "affordable housing." Then make a list of those politicians who have most consistently promoted restrictions on the building of housing, under the banner of "open space" laws, "farmland protection" policies, preventing "urban sprawl," and other politically soothing phrases.


Again, do not be surprised at seeing the same folks on both lists.


Is it really too "complex" to figure out that taking vast amounts of land off the market will make the price of the remaining land far more expensive? Or that houses built on very expensive land will be very expensive housing?


Despite the current decline in housing prices, a recent advertisement in a Palo Alto, California, newspaper listed a vacant lot for sale at $879,000. If you build anything more elaborate than a tent on that property, you are talking about a million-dollar home, be it ever so humble.


Many of the places with very high housing prices have very modest homes on very small amounts of land. The San Francisco Chronicle ran a story about a graduate student seeking a place to live, "visiting one exorbitantly priced hovel after another."


It is not at all uncommon for land to cost more than the housing that is built on it, in those places where politicians have made housing unaffordable with land use restrictions under pretty names— all the while lamenting the lack of affordable housing.


So long as politicians can get some people's votes by publicly feeling their pain when it comes to housing costs, and other people's votes by restricting the building of housing, they can have a winning coalition at election time, which is their bottom line.


Economists may point out that the different members of this coalition have conflicting interests that could be better resolved through competition in the marketplace. But how many economists have ever put together a winning coalition?


So long as voters prefer heroes and villains to supply and demand, this game will continue to be played. It is not because supply and demand is too "complex" to understand, but because it is not emotionally satisfying.

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