Weekly Writers Round-Up: Affordable Housing, China’s Population Control, and the Dangers of Fixing Immigration through Taxation
Each week, we’ll be featuring opinion pieces from the alumni and current participants of AFF’s Writing Fellows Program. A few highlights from the past week are below. For more information on how the program can help launch your career in writing, see here.
How Luxury Units Turn Into Affordable Housing by Nolan Gray (Fall 2015) in CityLab
There’s a fierce argument about housing affordability and supply that’s raging in the urbanist community. The big question: Does building “luxury” (or market rate) housing in wealthy neighborhoods free up more housing for everyone? Advocates in the “Yes In My Backyard” (YIMBY) movement say it does; others are more skeptical.
The market-rate-skeptic’s view, as captured in Richard Florida’s write-up of a new paper by Andrés Rodríguez-Pose and Michael Storper, paints a picture like this: Allowing new market-rate housing citywide will only result in high-end units in already-expensive neighborhoods. At best, developers may win big as the wealthy enjoy new homes. At worst, it could exacerbate segregation in wealthy neighborhoods and displacement in low-income neighborhoods…
China Can’t Use Overpopulation to Justify ‘Two-Child’ Policy by Chelsea Follett (Summer 2017) in The Hill
The abortion debate has intensified following a series of new abortion restrictions in a number of U.S. states. One thing that both those on the “pro-choice” and the “pro-life” side can agree on is that forced abortion disregards women’s choices and constitutes a human rights violation. What many people may not realize is that forced abortions are, deplorably, still taking place in China under the two-child policy. Worst of all, the rationale behind these abuses—fear of overpopulation—is fundamentally misguided.
In 2015, China ended its “one-child policy,” which restricted families to a single child, and has since adopted a “two-child policy,” but coercion still occurs…
Taxing Americans Is Not the Way to Solve Illegal Immigration by Andrew Wilford (Spring 2017) in Townhall
The Trump administration has been threatening to use executive power to unilaterally impose tariffs on Mexico as a policy level to deal with illegal immigration. These 5% tariffs, which could escalate as high as 25%, would be levied on all goods coming into the United States. Ostensibly, this is being used as a bargaining chip to bring Mexico to the table on immigration, but this is wrong in oh so many ways. Using tariffs in this way hurts Americans first and foremost, and using these tariffs to try to “punish” Mexico is not going to lead to the outcomes that the administration is pursuing.
Tariffs punish American citizens. They are a tax that American importers pay, which ends up getting passed on to consumers. Mexican exporters don’t pay a cent to the United States, and any new revenues come directly from American citizens…