Friday, October 4, 2019

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman’s newest book, Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future, will be out in January.

From his Q&A with Carol Tannenhauser for the West Side Rag:

WSR: Do you think [changes in commercial real estate on the Upper West Side of New York City] could be the result of a permanent shift in the way people shop? Are mom-and-pops a thing of the past?

PK: What I’m worried about more than a change in shopping habits is gentrification. Big cities in general, and New York in particular, have become desirable places for high earners to live. It’s driving up costs and it does reduce the distinctiveness of the place. There’s a kind of cycle of destruction: someplace is interesting and has character and, because of that, people start buying places and moving in and, in so doing, they drive up real estate prices and destroy the character they came in search of.

WSR: They also drive up the height of buildings.

PK: Well, that’s a funny thing, because I actually, in general, think New York does have to build up. There’s only so much land and you want to be able to accommodate people. While there are places where the buildings are really overshadowing, there are lots of parts of Manhattan that are unnecessarily low rise. Up is the only direction to go.

WSR: If only the tall ones provided affordable housing.

PK: You could have tall ones that do, and, look, if people can...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue