I have a series of posts on DontLookNow.org looking for solutions to the housing crisis. Solutions should be cheap, friendly and don’t screw the world up. Using the Sherlock Homes method of eliminating the impossible, the best answer so far seems to be car-free estates of wooden prefabs – with inbuilt market gardens.
Improve these prefabs with modern cross-ply timber…
‘If you drink half a litre of beer with a politician or scientist they will tell you how bad it is – but if you put a microphone there they will tell you some optimistic nonsense about climate change.’
This outlines an old proposal of mine to modify VAT to create jobs.
The proposal gives extra flexibility to the management of the economy, making it easier to achieve full employment.
Below are two pieces I had published in the Computer Weekly in 1978. The first is an introduction from something that got rather technical and the second more concise description of the proposal I have been putting forward since the early 1970s.
The “mixed communities” paradigm for housing development aimed to mix poorer people with more affluent neighbours to avoid the problems of large sink estates. It has been central to housing policy for more than a decade. A Parliamentary Select Committee in 2003 reported:
90. Several witnesses drew attention to the mistakes of the 1950s and 1960s when large council estates were built which tended to include high concentrations of poorer households. In its new programme, the Government must avoid creating ghettos by ensuring that different tenures are integrated into new developments. New approaches are required by private developers and housing associations to create mixed tenure schemes.
In 1976, I wrote a note, “RSPCA News”, about developments for non-motorists, where they are separated from motorists. This outlined financial and legal mechanisms that could make non-motorist developments work.
Climate change & the fallacy of the lump of labour fallacy.
Janesville Assembly Plant is a former automobile factory owned by General Motors located in Janesville, Wisconsin. Opened in 1919, it was the oldest operating GM plant when it was largely idled in December 2008, and ceased all remaining production on April 23, 2009.
Listening to the BBC World Service Business Daily programme on Tuesday morning that old angry amateur feeling came back. The programme, Jobs for the World’s Young, was billed like this:
Young people make up 35% of the world’s unemployed, and it’s a global problem. Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Amy Goldstein, author of Janesville: An American Story, tells us how retraining doesn’t always work when it comes to finding people new jobs in the rust belt of America.
I hope readers will excuse the labourious details
but even I find the theme “The ODI censored me”
rather far fetched.
I reported in a Angry Amateur No 2 that most of my websites are banned in Morrisons supermarkets. Most other websites are available even protest sites like Making Workers Pay or The Canary, a left wing site which The Sun has accused of spreading fake news. With most of my other sites blocked, this looks personal – but why? I am a bit paranoid but there are some out there that want to censor my views (and, of course, other more important views) but imagine my surprise when I discovered that the Overseas Development Institute seems to have joined in.
At the Overseas Development Institute
Lord Adair Turner
Although the ODI are a bit too close to the UK Government, they strike me as good people. They invite me to their presentations and have publications like these:
Andrew Marvell (31 March 1621 – 16 August 1678) MP for Kingston upon Hull
Andrew Marvell was a much better poet than I ever was. His most famous poem is To His Coy Mistress. I encourage readers to go to the Poetry Foundation website and read the whole poem and also forgive me for chopping bits out with my own headings
The world is limited and time is short
Had we but world enough and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day.
Time really is short.
But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found;
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long-preserved virginity
Enjoy life: We can’t stop the inevitable
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Through the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.