I recently read Glaeser's Triumph of the City, Yglesias's The Rent is too High, and Avent's The Gated City. All three books hum along a similar line; they point to cities being the wealth and productivity engines of civilization and all are concerned about discriminatory policies against cities and urbanization. The argument is that we are hurting wealth, productivity, innovation and prosperity through bad policies at the local and national level.
Glaeser calls the city humanity's most important innovation. from historical times to modern history the city has been where people have gathered to create, produce and consume. While we have the modern view of the romantic countryside with its happy peasants and simplified life, history points to rural people moving to cities for a better life and a greater chance in partaking in a nation's prosperity. The current modernization of China and India are good examples of this.
Glaeser has genuine and expressive love the city as a place. He points to Bangalore as one of the great cities despite it seeming inequalities as he sees hope for all the rural poor that have moved there in order to improve their lives.
Cities don't make people poor; they attract poor people. Te flow of less advantaged people into cities from Rio to Rotterdam demonstrates urban strength, not weakness. ... Poor people constantly come to New York and Sao Paulo and Mumbai in search of something better, a fact of urban life that should be celebrated.
Urban poverty should be judged no relative to urban wealth but relative to rural poverty. The shanty towns of Rio de Janeiro may look terrible when compared to a prosperous Chicago suburb, but poverty rates in Rio are far lower than in Brazil's rural north east. The poor have no way to get rich quick, but they can choose between cities and the countryside, and many of them sensibly choose cities.
While Glaeser focuses on modern policy that anti-urban, Yglesias and Avent focus on these aspects of public policy more closely. Avent's thesis is that American prosperity is being hurt by the housing policies of the cities. People are moving to the sun-belt cities because housing is cheaper and a better quality of life can be obtained.
I am one of these people. I moved from Washington DC to Phoenix for the reason I can get a high salary in Phoenix but don't have to deal with the high cost of housing that Washington DC and North Virginia have. Avent writes:
A high salary in a good job is important. But if a household finds that its income is too low to buy a comfortable home in a good neighborhood within a manageable commuting distance, well, what is the point of earning more money? That's the calculation over half a million residents of the [San Francisco] Bay Area made in the 2000s.
Yglesias has the same argument but focuses more on local policies in cities and all the manner of things which stop development of new housing stock. He writes:
Progressives and urbanists need to move beyond their romance with central planning and get over their distate for business and developers. Conservatives need to take their own ideas about economics more seriously and stop seeing all proposals for change through a lens of paranoia and resentment.
Last, politicians of both parties who like to complain about regulation and red tape ought to spend some time looking at the specific area of the economy where red tape and regulation are most prevalent.
Avent and Yglesias argue that location is relevant again. The higher paid service sector jobs are in cities. The higher paid information work is in cities as well. Additionally network and productivity effects are at work in cities which leads to high salaries in total for all areas. However policies are actively discriminating against these processes and as Avent and Yglesias argue, is ultimately leading to less than optimal outcomes.
Phoenix Eats Out
is the restaurant review site for Phoenix
and Old Town Scottsdale
which lists the modernist and contemporary restaurants, taverns and bars in the greater Phoenix area.
This is the list of the most popular restaurants pages from phoenixeatsout.com that have been viewed the most;
My personal favourite restaurants in Phoenix are AZ88
, Humble Pie
, Orange Table
, The Vig
and others coming close behind. View the complete list with the photo-journalistic style images on phoenixeatsout.com
Arizona is an outdoor state and has lots of hiking in the city and around the state. Phoenix is unusual for most cities in having several large mountains in the center of the city with great hiking. Anyone who comes to Phoenix has to do the Echo Canyon trail on Camelback
and the Summit Hike on Squaw Peak
or Piesta Peak. The views of the city, suburbs and surrounding mountains are wonderful from Camelback and Piesta Peak.
For more experienced hikers there is the McDowell Mountains in North Scottsdale that has several difficult and strenuous hikes in Tom's Thumb
and Bell Pass
. Alternatively, you can hike the highest mountain in Arizona. At 12,600 feet Humphrey's Peak
is a long and difficult hike.
Between 2004 and 2009 this site, southsearepublic.org
, was a constitutional blog based on scoop which focused on Australian and global constitutional issues.
One of the strongest aspects of it was the development of constitutions by those involved in the blog. These constitutions are the outcome:
The constitutions were built using principles from Montesquieu's separation of powers, the enlightnment's universal political rights and the ancient Athenian technology of sortition and choice by lot.
South Sea Republic started in 2004 as an Australian constitutional blog in 2004 based on scoop software. It was an immigrative outgrowth of Kuro5hin. The archives for each year since then;
The articles are ordered by views.
I am an Australian living in the United States as a permanent resident.
I am a software developer by trade and mostly work in Java and jump between middleware and front end.
I originally worked in the New York area of the United States in telecommunications before moving to Washington DC and
working in a mix of telecommunications, energy and ITS. I started my own software company before heading out to
Arizona and working with Shutterfly. Since then I have joined a startup in the Phoenix area and am thoroughly enjoying myself.
I do a lot of photography which I post on this website, but also on flickr. I have a photo-journalistic website which lists
the modernist and contemporary restaurants in phoenix. I have a site on the Australian Flying Corps [AFC]
which has been around since the 1990s and which I unfortunately
lost the .org URL to during a life event; however, it is under the www.australianflyingcorps.com
The AFC website has gone through several iterations since the 90s and the two most recent are Australian Flying Corps Archives(2004-2002)
Australian Flying Corps Archives(2002-1999)
which are good places to start.