What? Have you tried to hire a tradesman? Any kind of tradesman?

I live in New Hampshire. Here the average age of licensed electricians is over 50 years.

Seems to me there's a TON of work for non-college males in skilled trades - everyone in that business I know is hiring desperately and has no idea where the next generation of tradesman is going to come from. All the competent people seem to be going to college and then don't want to work in trades. (Then they graduate with lots of debt and get a job stocking shelves at Target.)

Yet most trades already pay better than the median wage for college graduates, and it seems will soon pay far better.

I have a friend who's an aircraft mechanic - he runs his own shop at the local airport, servicing small private planes. His customers are all tradesman, all owners of local trade businesses. They fly for fun, because they can afford it. He's got zero white-collar customers.

The culture has a lingering idea that people who don't graduate from college are somehow losers and poor candidates as mates. Despite higher wages and no vast college debt.

That needs to change, and it will change as wages go higher.

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I'm not sure what a national conservative is, but I don't think they would be against housing construction.

What libertarians could do is focus more on the causes of NIMBYism. Its disingenuous to claim it's about incumbents wanting to raise home prices, as this seems to be little of the issue.

In my town the NIMBYs have firm control and the main issues seem to be traffic and school crowding. I.E. nobody wants more housing until the government installs the highway bypasses and school construction to accommodate more housing. So its intimately tied up in government.

In a nearby city the issue is where they are going to locate a trailer park because nobody wants to be near the trailer park. Again, seems like the kind of demographic related crime/school issues that drive so much of zoning.

For YIMBY to be a true success, it will need to get buy-in from residents. It seems unlikely to me that top down imposition can be sustainable. Addressing issues with schools, crime, and transport would do more for the YIMBY movement then more race/class guilt tripping.

Finally, I think we should be pretty honest about what more housing is likely to look like. It probably won't look like new skyscrapers in SF. It's a lot more likely to look like even more Ryan Homes developments in the suburbs/exurbs. One thing libertarians could do is try to make work at home more friendly as this vastly increases the value of the virgin land that most people want to build on these days, rather then fight usually fruitless battles in the inner city.

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I agree with everything that Bryan says but add that we should also have manual arts education. Boys and girls not interested in college could learn trades like carpentry, plumbing, electrical, etc. The best way to provide this is to have privatized K through 12 education. Education entrepreneurs would create specialized trade schools to meet the demand. This would be financed with vouchers, educational saving accounts or tax credit scholarships.

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Skyscraper housing is not cheap, even if ridiculous entitlement process is streamlined. Construction costs will still be at least 2X per foot compared to wood-framed single family houses in suburban and exurban areas.

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> “Just imagine all the honest toil required to demolish those silly two-story homes in San Francisco and replace them with skyscrapers.”

Well that’s easy to imagine, and awful!

First off, I was a construction worker for ten years as a plumber (sometimes on skyscrapers, which I hated), and before that masonry and roofing with my Dad, and the problem with that work is that it is crippling, dangerous, and miserable!

A better world would provide other jobs in air conditioned environments with women around, Lord almighty I hated construction work!

Second, where there’s two story housing in San Francisco is nice, but where there’s skyscrapers the sidewalks have beggars and hypodermic needles on them!

A way for more men to earn a living is nice, but that it’s a miserable and quality of life destroying way isn’t.

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I live in the Pacific Northwest- an area I’m sure you would agree has repressive restrictions on housing construction. There are not out of work laborers. Quite the opposite. It is nearly impossible to find someone who can do construction. I’m having repairs done now and i had to wait months for the project to start only to have it drag out painfully because my general contractor is constantly struggling to get workers.

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What's your plan for addressing the public choice problem of people who own existing housing in a region being the ones voting for that region's policies?

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I have no further comment. Statements made by DW seem to come from someone not living in Realville

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interesting: gonna take these points to debates in sweden, to promote deregulation of housing and promote more building to get more jobs

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Since residential covenants are frowned upon because of their past misuse and zoning is to be so modified, what protections will individual homeowners have to safeguard their investment in their homes and neighborhoods?

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Wow -- pretty horrible during W's administration. Yikes!

I think you should team up with Matt Yglesias on this. My understanding is the main problem is NIMBYism.

I'm all for not trying to rebuilt the rust belt. I couldn't get out fast enough and I'd never go back.


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