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If you're interested in this topic, you might also like the recent Econtalk episode, "Philip Auerswald on the Rise of Populism," http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2017/09/philip_auerswal.htm.... The spread of housing restrictions via zoning has had much larger impacts than is commonly appreciated. I find it interesting especially that Piketty's famous results are really a result of capital accumulation to landlords: https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/2015a_r... who benefit from supply restrictions.

I've been writing about (and to some extent working in) these issues for a while and come at them from another angle here: https://jakeseliger.com/2015/09/24/do-millennials-have-a-fut...




Thomas Sowell is brilliant at highlighting the unexpected nature of many parts of economics as well as the countless government policies initiated in the name of helping the poor or lower class that end up either doing little to help or, more often, ultimately helping the upper-middle class and above the most.

He helped me grow beyond a cliche idealistic libertarian worldview into something much more practical and based in real world policy.

I highly recommend his 'Wealth, Poverty and Politics': https://www.amazon.com/Wealth-Poverty-Politics-Thomas-Sowell...

Or for something more lightweight see his book 'Basic Economics': https://www.amazon.com/Basic-Economics-Thomas-Sowell/dp/0465... --- Despite it's name it's not an economics 101 guide, it basically a teaching-through-example guide by listing policy after policy that were implemented in the realworld, for ex:

- rent control in NYC/Toronto in the 1970s which severely reduced access to affordable housing, disincentivized building maintenance, incentivized arson, and gave countless upper/middle class residents cheap rent for beautiful properties

- various industry licensing pushed by market incumbents not protecting consumers, such as interior designers requiring 4yr bachelors degree to choose the colorscheme of an apartment

- etc, etc

He digs into their good intentions but unintentional self-defeating side-effects. Many of which have countless analogies to today (see Uber vs Black cabs in London).

After reading it I'm hardly surprised Japan's economy has stagnated, to the point where it's almost so obvious it saddens me. They are one of the worst proponents of the type of heavy handed economic-intervention he critiques.


Just adding another plug for Econtalk. They cover a lot of different topics and invite people that really know how things work. I remember listening to a podcast on the housing crisis and walked away with a great understanding of how it all fit together.

The Hoover Institute and Russ Roberts have a neoliberal/libertarian slant, but he does a great job in inviting people to his program that he doesn't agree with, but he asks great questions and gives them an open forum.




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