Let's start at Apartment 11-D, which on the one hand sees the benefits of urban gentrification (it helps that the village has solid middle-class values, particularly for exerting influence on the schools) but on the other hand sees that such neighborhoods command a premium, which might be greater, the higher are commuting costs (whether raised by congestion or by gasoline prices is for the moment irrelevant.) It is always instructive to see noneconomists discovering the Say Aggregation Principle, as one sociologist evidently just has.
"I don't know how people are doing it," said Rachel Ranis, a sociology professor at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. "It's very hard for any family to buy in this market unless both parties are working."Further confounding matters will be the manifestation of the backward-bending labor supply curve, which has been spotted outside Apartment 11-D as well. (There are some longer articles linked at the site also worth a closer look, but not this morning. Time crunches at the Shops.)
It appears as if Senator Kerry is grappling with the conflicts between Pigouvian taxation and suburban mobility (which the Superintendent does not see as bad per se.) Here's Winds of Change:
One of my major discomforts with Bush is his unwillingness to put the nation on notice that we're at war, and that this war will require sacrifice from those of us who don't wear uniforms as well. A gas tax or tax on oil imports would be a good start. We need to wean ourselves from dependence on easily-interrupted foreign oil, and at the same time, make the public point that our troops are not in the Middle East to steal the oil, but instead to respond to a violent threat.(There is another option, to develop the Alaskan oil fields, explore around the Great Lakes, and stop using natural gas in power plants, where fission is less polluting. Don't get me started on running trains of Powder River coal to the east coast.)
Kerry could have taken that issue and run with it. But instead, he's pandering to his suburban constituency, and doing it in a way that shows how unserious he is about our current situation.
Mickey Kaus argues that Senator Kerry might have stuck with the Pigouvian tax idea (or repackaged it as a war tax??) On the other hand, that would have the effect of raising housing prices near transit lines and near work places relative to those at a greater distance. It's a fifteen minute bicycle ride to work, in case anybody wonders whether this Pigouvian tax would help me or hurt me.