On 29 January 2009 PewResearchCenter (sic) published a social and demographic trends report “Denver Tops List of Favorite Cities (sic): For Nearly Half of America, Grass Is Greener Somewhere Else.”

The report was picked up by CNN and other media outlets. EMR downloaded it and read it with interest and disbelief.

In Chapter 32 – The Land Resource concerning the problems with “best places” listings EMR said:

“A recent survey by the Pew Research Center finds that nearly half of the citizens of the US of A believe that the grass is greener somewhere else and would like to move there if they could. See End Note Six

6. The January 2009 report by the Pew Research Center titled “For nearly half of America, Grass Is Greener Somewhere Else” is at once an important land mark and an encyclopedia of bad Vocabulary with extensive use of Core Confusing Words and aggregation of data that obscures the importance of the work.”

THE FIRST DISAPPOINTMENT is that a lot of money was wasted asking important questions using a Vocabulary that was not defined. This Vocabulary was guaranteed to generate a wide array of conflicting Neural Linguistic Frameworks – a topic discussed in Columns #s 71, 72, 73 and 75 and in TRILO-G Chapter 26. – Gibberish: The Vocabulary of Babel.

For starters, the title is deceptive. The study focused on the 30 largest MSA’s, not “cities.” Boston (pop 590,000) is included by Charlotte (pop 611,000) is not. That makes a huge difference when one gets to DISAPPOINTMENT SQUARED. David Brooks, demonstrating typical journalistic Geographic Illiteracy, missed this point completely.

Beyond the fact that nearly half of the citizens polled see the grass greener where they are not now living (See TRILO-G Chapter 1. – Wild Abandonment) most of the data is corrupted by poor Vocabulary and superficial analysis. One has to read the questions and the data aggregated to plumb the depth of the silliness but here is a peek:

What do “city,” “suburb,” “small town” and “rural” mean to each of the participants?

Lets take some examples from the northern part of Virginia:

Is Clifton, VA (a Town under Virginia law) that exists in the middle of Fairfax County one of the largest municipalities in the US of A (Fairfax County CONTROLS most of the municipal level services and governance provided to citizens of the Town of Clifton and each of the “local” County Supervisors represents over 100,000 citizens) a “small town”?

How about the Town of Vienna that is one of the Village-scale components of Greater Tysons Corner, the 8th largest commercial center in the US of A?

Is the City of Fairfax City a “city” a “suburb” or a “small town?”

Some who live in each of these three locations would give all four answers as to where they are and what they prefer, given their personal experience.

Similar examples are endless, especially in the R=20 Miles to R=70 Miles Radius band from the Centroid of the National Capital Subregion.

The study reinforced what has been said about Creative Class preferences and provided work for former WaPo staff (some of whom did similarly flawed work when working for the paper) but other than that, the study is largely a waste of time and a waste of a wonderful opportunity.


On 16 February, David Brooks wrote an Op Ed for the NY Times. (Posted as a comment by an “Anon 8:15 AM” in BACK TO “BELTWAY BURDEN.”

David Brooks, like many “journalists” likes to think of himself as a free thinker and is sometime viewed as an iconoclast. He is a “story teller” as defined in The Shape of The Future. Brooks gets paid because he is an entertaining writer. Most important to The New York Times, they can sell Autonomobile advertisements because Brooks along with John Tierney, Joel Kotkin and others appear in the paper. See THE ESTATES MATRIX.

There is not much in the Brooks Op Ed that is “wrong” but it leaves a profoundly distorted impression with anyone who does not understand more that Brooks about Amsterdam and Denver and far more about human settlement patterns than Brooks.

Is Brooks talking about the Zentrum of Amsterdam or the Amsterdam New Urban Region? They are different places and in fact some settlement patterns in the later would appeal to a wide spectrum of those seeking greener pastures.

The places Brooks says people are attracted to are places where “the boundary between “suburb” and “city” is hard to detect.” Like that is not the case elsewhere? The BIG difference is most of the places Brooks lists – and not just Portland – have a Clear Edge around the Core of the New Urban Region unlike the Washington-Baltimore and Houston New Urban Regions.

Brooks does not mention that ALL the places he lists as being attractive have had a explosion of share-vehicle system construction over the last two decades. And an explosion of transit related development. They are LESS auto dependent than many places in the National Capital Subregion – for example Dale City and Bristow.

Denver is known for its Light Rail system and station area development and the BRT system in the Zentrum. There is the Lower Downtown / Coors Field, Invesco at Mile High, redevelopment of Stapleton and other urbane living and working environments. Some are approaching Balance.

Sure there are critics of non-autocentric settlement patterns. Many paid directly or indirectly by Autonomobile Enterprises. The market makes clear that those who believe what the pro-Autonomobile shills spout make up about 20 percent of the population. Those who actually put their money where their mouth is and buy urban dwellings is the pattern and density that Wendell Cox, Joel Kotkin, John Tierney, the American Dream Foundation, Reason et. al. – and relish the David Brooks snarkyness – make up about 12.5 percent of the population.

You would think from their writing that they are standing up for the oppressed masses who are being deprived of the American Dream by demon socialist forces.

But go ahead and write this fun stuff. It sells papers and makes for “balanced journalism” just like Peanut Corp of America represents good old American competition.


Rather than try to use the Brooks Op Ed to understand how to change the unsustainable trajectory of civilization, the Brooks item is used by Bloggers to club EMR. They have not bothered to read the Pew report or consider what Brooks is really saying.

NMM why are you so ready to abandon the market? Why are you so delighted to hop on yet another ideological hobby horse?

The responses to ANATOMY OF A BAD COMMUTE and to BACK TO “BELTWAY BURDEN” show again how ineffective the Blog format is to help citizens understand how to evolve away from dysfunctional human settlement patterns.

If citizens want challenging work, the most interesting companions and access to a sustainable Countryside they need to figure out how to evolve functional Urban settlement patterns. The alternative is places like Dale City and Bristow and in the end, Collapse.

Ok, there are will be places where one can make a living by “taking in one another’s laundry,” over winter by eating root vegetables and driving to 20 year old cars – Cuba in the Heartland.

A sustainable trajectory for civilization that is anything like the current level of amenity depends on real research and real journalism, not story telling.


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24 responses to “DISAPPOINTMENT CUBED”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    “with interest and disbelief”

    Well, I can believe the disbelief part.


  2. Anonymous Avatar


    I agree the blog format is not the best way to communicate. I can sense your frustration about the lack of a common nomenclature.

    While I disagree that our current course of action is not sustainable I can understand why you feel that way.

    The bottom line however is that the data suggests a vast majority reject your viewpoint of urban dense living and prefer a suburban lifestyle close to a major metropolitan area. Those are the facts and that is what the market has demanded for years and still continues to demand. I would also add again a majority also prefer and demand access to automobiles and driving. Thats not an ideological hobby horse those are the facts on the ground.

    I guess in all seriousness I question what you hope to achieve through this medium. I think after several months or years most of us understand what you are trying to do. However you seem to fail to understand the reality of the situation. The world is not a sandbox you can control at will. Like it or not the population has rejected and continies to reject your vision for the future. I would think it would be a better use of your time to try and identify what the people want and then improve from there instead of coming up with a vision and then trying to force people to agree with your plan.


  3. Anonymous Avatar

    “Beyond the fact that nearly half of the citizens polled see the grass greener where they are not now living …”

    But that is the one salient fact. I don’t think we need to know what “city,” “suburb,” “small town” and “rural” mean to each of the participants. And I don’t think that conjuring up a few confusing examples clears up the issue any.

    I see a city where there is more concrete than glass, a suburb as a place where more people live than work, A town where there are as many churches schools and gathering places as there are businesses, and rural where there are more animals than people.

    The Pew study said more rural people are happy with their environment than city people are with theirs. There isn’t much point in haggling over what its rural and what is city: if you want to make more people happy, try to figure out how to put more rural in the city. And try to make life not so hard on those in rural areas. Then you have a win-win opportunity.

    We already know people need more space in the city because the residents of Arlington are battling over whether the open space there should be designed for childrens play or adults play. Based on that it is pretty clear you don’t have enough.

    But, of course, anything that does not reinforce EMR’s views is a waste of time.

    If the New York Times is living on auto advertisements it isn’t from people that live in New York, so what is the problem? Y ou say you have nothing against cars or people owning them, you just think it should be a lot more expensive and newspapers should not make money helping to sell them. Whew.

    Amsterdam was originally limited by its canals, but since then the old city has had at least four periods in which the city center was expanded to provide homes. typically these new spaces incorporated substantial parkland and good roadways. Home buying is very easy in Holland because of their interest deduction: interest is deducted before taxes are taken out, much like our 401k and health savings plans. Now Holland has an explicit policy of “concentrated dispersal” : creatng new places in the countryside.

    Sure there are critics of non-autocentric settlement patterns. But this should not be about one pattern VS another. It should be about how to best balance the good features of shared vehicles and private ones. How to balance parking and moving, rideshare and slugs, Trains and Subways, Taxis and buses.

    I don’t know what percentage of the poplualtion believe anything they read form aut adds to Wendell Cox to EMR, but I do know that 98% depend on and use motor vehicles. This isn’t about “clubbing” EMR, it is about saying there is more than one answer, and anyone who thinks there is only one answer has the laws of probablity long against him.

    Maybe EMR is right, and our trajectory is unsustainable. Well, then guess what? It will stop and correct on its own good time. We will have a calamity and a die-off, and then start over.

    Or we can try to redirect the trajectory, using a little guidance along the way, like a JADAM, hopefully reaching a sustainable spot on landing.

    First we would have to decide what is sustainable. EMR thinks we neeed fewer people consuming less stuff. I think it means we can’t use more energy than falls on the land we use. Both of those probably boil down to the same thing.

    The problem is that EMR is not content to slightly redirect this massive projectile, with all its constituents and interests, he wants to reverse course. That, of course, is going to take more energy than it took to launch the projectile to begin with.

    Even if the Pew report is wrong, and we actually wanted to do this, we can’t afford it. It is practically impossible and unsustainable, and yet EMR sells this as if it is the ony way to reach a sustainable trajectory. ANY OTHER OPTION is sure to lead to ruination, and EVERY idea but his is stupid, has ulterior motives, and is based on faulty data, by his definitions.

    So go ahead and make fun of people like me that still have root cellars, but let’s be fair about it and look at how poor people over winter in the cities, too.


  4. Anonymous Avatar

    The new stimulus package rovides a lot of money to promote EMR’s vision of shared vehicles, but not near enough.

    “Some back of the envelope calculations from Spain, which just added several new high-speed lines from Madrid to all corners of the peninsula suggest it costs about $22 million a mile for modern high-speed rail. (That’s actually smack in the middle of the $2 million to $50 million per mile cost estimate proffered to Congress in 1997.)

    At that pace, even the juiced-up stimulus package will only provide funding for about 363 miles of high-speed rail—or about the distance from Los Angeles to Napa, California. “

    $22 million a mile, just to build the thing, not operate it. you twll me how EMR thinks anything like that is sustainable.


  5. Darrell -- Chesapeake Avatar
    Darrell — Chesapeake


    Prof. Thomas Alberts has been working on this thing down in ODU’s cellar. He has had little to no support from anyone, only 190k a year from the school. I visited him about 3 years ago when he offered a tour of the facility. His ‘lab’ reminded me of my teenage years, tearing apart TV sets to build ham radio gear. The amount of work he has put into this is remarkable. Anyone with lesser devotion would have given up long ago.

    In a world where governments buy transportation packages at Best Buy, I wonder if a little more support for innovators might bear better solutions.

  6. Jim Bacon Avatar

    NMM, You wrote: “The bottom line however is that the data suggests a vast majority reject your viewpoint of urban dense living and prefer a suburban lifestyle close to a major metropolitan area.”

    Think about that sentence. What do you mean by the vast majority rejecting “dense urban living”? Dense like… Manhattan? If so, you’re absolutely right.

    Dense like… Northwest Washington, D.C.? Maybe you’re right, maybe you’re not. I suspect a lot of people would aspire to living in places like NW Washington if they could afford to. (By saying if they could “afford” to, I include paying the taxes and sending their kids to private school. Many people reject NW Washington not for the density but for the high taxes and poor schools.)

    Dense like… The Fan in Richmond? I can’t tell you the number of people I know who LOVED living in the Fan but moved for one reason — their kids. No one wants to send their kids to Richmond public schools. But that problem has nothing to do with density and everything to do with city politics. Indeed, many people who live in the Fan send their kids to Fox Elementary, one of two really good elementary schools in the city — and then move only when their kid graduates to middle school.

    Dense like… Reston? Reston is more compact and dense than most of the rest of Fairfax County. And it happens to be one of the most livable and desirable parts of the county. I would not be surprised if it is more dense than Richmond’s Fan neighborhood.

    That’s why EMR says the use of the words “urban” and “suburban” are confusing. Both terms contain such a broad range of different human settlement patterns (densities, mixed vs. single use, grid streets vs. cul de sacs) that the terms are meaningless. And your statement that people reject “urban dense living” is also meaningless. You need to be more precise about what it is you think people are rejecting.

  7. Anonymous Avatar

    There are some very good aspects to Reston and those extend beyond Reston Towne Center. But many in Reston also avoid public schools — at least where it comes to high school. South Lakes High School is not highly regarded and many people send their kids to private schools.


  8. Anonymous Avatar

    That is a good question on how dense is too dense. Unfortuntaly all I can go by is the results of the survey in the article and anecdotal evidence from people I know who have left the dense orange line corridor as soon as they have wanted to start a family. Also people least want to live in a condo than a townhouse followed by a single family home with at least 1/4 an acre. If people really wanted to live in dense condos we would see many more high end condos instead there are many more high end single family homes.

    My original comment was based on the article.

    “City dwellers are least happy with where they live, and cities are one of the least popular places to live. Only 52 percent of urbanites rate their communities “excellent” or “very good,” compared with 68 percent of suburbanites and 71 percent of the people who live in rural America.”

    “Forty-five percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 would like to live in New York City. But cities are profoundly unattractive to people with families and to the elderly. Only 14 percent of Americans 35 and older are interested in living in New York City. Only 8 percent of people over 65 are drawn to Los Angeles. We’ve all heard stories about retirees who move back into cities once their children are grown, but that is more anecdote than trend.”

    “These are places where you can imagine yourself with a stuffed garage — filled with skis, kayaks, soccer equipment, hiking boots and boating equipment. These are places you can imagine yourself leading an active outdoor lifestyle.
    These are places (except for Orlando) where spectacular natural scenery is visible from medium-density residential neighborhoods, where the boundary between suburb and city is hard to detect.”

    “These places are car-dependent and spread out, but they also have strong cultural identities and pedestrian meeting places. They offer at least the promise of friendlier neighborhoods, slower lifestyles and service-sector employment. They are neither traditional urban centers nor atomized suburban sprawl. They are not, except for Seattle, especially ideological, blue or red.
    They offer the dream, so characteristic on this continent, of having it all: the machine and the garden. The wide-open space and the casual wardrobes.”

    I hate to take this down another tangent again but some points you stated got me thinking again. Most cities say population greater than 250,000k suffer from four main problems, poor schools, high crime or high housing costs depending on the area, and high taxes.

    It would be interesting to try and find a city that doesn’t have these issues and then see if that could be replicated.

    Also on the car front most people if they can afford it have a car even in cities once you take out the people who can’t afford a car.

    I stand by my original post

    What EMR has subscribed has been rejected by the majority


  9. Anonymous Avatar

    “But that problem has nothing to do with density and everything to do with city politics.”

    “Many people reject NW Washington not for the density but for the high taxes and poor schools.”

    I lived in NW when I had no children, and it was a royal pain in the A___. Even with a paid parking spot, I’d come home and find someone in it. Then I’d have to park three blocks away and have them towed. Everything I did was grief, aggravation, and expense compared to Marshall, and I still had to drive about what I drive now.

    Maybe the taxes, poor schools, and indifferent, not to say callous, public service is a function of density. Everything gets more complicated and has more inertia when you get more people involved. Whenever you hqve a project in trouble, the last thing you want to do is add more people to it.


  10. Anonymous Avatar

    “Both terms contain such a broad range of different human settlement patterns (densities, mixed vs. single use, grid streets vs. cul de sacs) that the terms are meaningless.”

    OK, people will have overlapping views of which is what, but even if you had a definition, you would find that the physical characteristics you could measure would overlap as well. I reject EMR’s contention that you would need a definition from every poll participant to understand the real meaning.

    All you would get out of that is more data than you could digest. You would have to aggregate it in a way that some overlap would be inevitable.

    Let’s face it, if you try to take all the combinations of six variables, you have millions of combinations. That’s why no planner or government body can manage “the market” which is managed by millions of computers making decisions based on data from their closest neighbors, like a school of fish, it can turn on a dime, while a cental manager is still collecting data about what happened.

    A major flaw in EMR’s theories is that he doesn’t consider transaction or opportunity costs, and that omission makes the rest of it uneconomic. He says he is in favor of a free market, but it works out that is only true as long as the free market is refereed by the government to his specifications. Same as he is not opposed to autos as long as the government makes them expensive and inconvenient.

    I’d suggest that if you did have a defineition from every poll participant those definitions would not vary as much as EMR thinks. You would have a few groups with some variation in the range of how things are described. But, as J Bacon points out, even with those definitions in hand, you would still have a hard time locating such places in the real world: the places overlap.

    You would have places that have characteristics of both city and town, for example.

    That should not prevent us from identifying those places that DON’T work. Places that DON’T WORK have high taxes, poor schools, congestion, pollution and crime.
    When places don’t work people vote with their feet, eventually. The price we pay is in the latency, of how long that takes to happen.
    Part of that latency is the expense of homes and the cost of exchanging homes: real homes where you can have a boat or an RV or a tire swing or hang out your laundry without a citation from the HOA, not a collection of cubes in a warren. (Granted, cubes in a warren are just what some people need, for their purposes.)

    Which comes to the point. We do know where people move from and move to. Most people still live in urban areas, but they are moving out in droves. If that wasn’t the case we would not hear so many people worrying about sprawl. EMR argues that on a square foot basis urban homes show the most value, yet on a total dollar basis the most expensive homes, and the highest incomes can be found in Western Loudoun and Northern Fauqier.


  11. Anonymous Avatar

    In the planning publications there is considerable debate on how dense is too dense and how big is too big: what is the optimal size for a city?

    In 2002 there are only ten cities and fifty urban areas with population over a million. There are more than 250 places with polulations under 200,000. So there is one measure of what is popular and what isn’t.

    On the other hand the ten largest do have a polualtion greater than the 250 smallest, so that’s another measure.

    Then you would have to go out and come up with some metric of what WORKS for the people that live there.


  12. Anonymous Avatar

    Let’s see what money, costs, and trickle down economics can do.

    In Dec 2007 there were 294,520 home sold in California with a median price of $480,820.

    In Dec 2008 there were 544,580 homes sold with a median price of only 281,800.

    “What we found interesting is that when one multiplies the data through, the total dollar amount of homes sold in 2008 was above that of 2007. In 2008, $1.53 billion was “done” in the housing market in California’s existing single family homes, up from $1.42 billion in ’07. We suspect that few… if any… would have bet that more money was spent on single family houses in California in 2008 compared to 2007. Certainly we would not have. Now we know… and we find it rather interesting.”

    Dennis Gartmann


    The unsold inventory index for California is also falling: from 12.4 months a year ago to 5.6 months today. Of course it is a year later, so if the index is predictive, you would expect it to fall…….

    Amazing. The stimulus package is working already!

    The real point of all this is that you sell a llot more homes and create a lot more business in dollars when the price of homes is lower. This looks like a good point of reference for those that claim lower taxes also lead to more business and higher revenue.


  13. E M Risse Avatar


    Thank you for your response of 6:23 PM (Note this Thank You was written before Jim Bacon’s Post and NMM’s response which will be addressed in a separate post.)

    We will excuse your patronizing “why are you wasting your time” tone because you SEEM to really believe what you say.

    If you have read anything EMR has written you know there is not one scintilla of evidence to support your core assertions and in fact these beliefs fly in the face of basic economics and science – in particular physics and geometry.

    The interesting question is: Why?

    Why does NMM say he believes this? Why does he leap to embrace anything that seems to support this fringe silliness? That is an important because 12.5 or 20 percent of 300,000,000 is a tiny minority but is 37,500,000 to 60,000,000 people.

    We can understand why those who profit or hope to profit from OTHERS acting on this belief would promote it. We can understand why they pay people – directly and indirectly – like Cox, Kotkin, Tierney via Am Dream, Reason, et. al. and why they cheer on the likes of Brooks.

    But why do from 12.5 to 20 percent of the citizens believe this? (Why do about the same percent of the population believe the world is flat?) The answer has to be in the realm of psychology and religious belief. Perhaps genetic hardwiring? It is not new because there are records of similar beliefs since the dawn of the urbanization process, 13,000 years ago.

    Since NMM is a Semi Anon about which EMR knows nothing, NMM may be a member of the Lerner family, a staffer at NAHB (their “economist” is in trouble over deceptive spinning of data) or a student at GMU who fears for the reputation of his ‘free market’ idols.

    We do not have time to explore this issue further at the present time but have filed it under the working title “Anatomy of an Illusion” – thank you Sigmund.

    NMM: Try not to act on your illusion until you have time to sort things out and thank you again for a nice incentive to continue our work per the “BREAKTHROUGH” post.


  14. E M Risse Avatar


    At 6:37 AM Jim Bacon jumped in with several good points but also raised another issue:

    Bacons specific examples of density are both good and bad and go to the heart of any discussion of density.

    Manhattan density: There are hundreds of Neighborhoods and scores of Villages in a number of Communities that are found on Manhattan Island. Some have good Balance and are not the Neural Linguistic Framework that is triggered by “Manhattan.” I recall Jim visiting a friend in Greenwich Village and remarking on measures of Balance there…

    Northwest Washington density: There are scores of Neighborhoods and a number of Villages in the two Communities that are all or party found in Northwest Washington. Some have good Balance. It is hard to tell what the most common Neural Linguistic Framework is triggered by “Northwest Washington.”

    The Fan Neighborhood of Richmond and the Community of Reston (made up of five Villages) are both better examples but again the “density” varies greatly in Reston from Cluster to Cluster, Neighborhood to Neighborhood and Village to Village, as it should in any almost Alpha Community.

    At 7:33 AM NMM replies and throws light on the reasons for his statement but not on his proclivity to believe the unreal.

    The clear conclusion is that NMM never even bothered to read the original post or the two sources cited he skimmed it and then jumped on his hobby horse in search of retort material.

    All his quotes full of references to “city” and “suburb.” EMR has no idea to what he is referring. Even the “dense orange line corridor” is a silly reference. The Orange Line serves seven Villages in three municipalities. Everyone has different characteristics and every one has Neighborhoods with different densities.

    He does not address the issue that the original respondents in the PEW study had wildly different views of what the words “city,” “suburb,” “small town,” and “rural” mean.

    He misses the point (and so did the respondents and Brooks) that New York is the New York Consociated Metropolitan Area or some subset of it. See note on Manhattan above.

    NMM loves Brooks writing because it seems to reinforce his beliefs.

    As long as he continues to use Core Confusing Words he will remain lost.

    The question is, however, why does he relish being lost?

    Is it the same reason humans are afraid to question inconsistencies and contradictions in religious texts?

    So the quest goes on.


  15. Anonymous Avatar

    Irony of irony

    EMR your whole “philosophy” is based off of cherry picking whatever supports your view and bashing whatever doesn’t

    Nobody knows what the heck you are talking about with your Zigerat this alpha that crap.

    I don’t have time for this

    I’ll let Ray continue to argue with you we pretty much agree on most things

    Guess what people in the real world agree with me. Have fun wasting more of your time spouting off your philosophy that the public refuses to accept.

    I’ll let you have the last word.

    I now know better and in the future I will no longer respond to anything you say.


  16. Anonymous Avatar

    ok so that was one of those anger induced posts never a good idea

    Nothing personal EMR. I just have a very different view of things.

    Its sad but I have come to the conclusion it is pointless to try and reason with you.

    Good luck to you sir.

  17. Anonymous Avatar

    “If you have read anything EMR has written you know there is not one scintilla of evidence to support your core assertions …”

    Not necessarily. One might have read everything EMR has written and simply come to different conclusions.

    One might even have done so logically, and based on plenty of other evidence the EMR simply disdains as wrong, stupid, or incorrect.


  18. Anonymous Avatar

    “That is an important because 12.5 or 20 percent of 300,000,000 is a tiny minority but is 37,500,000 to 60,000,000 people. “

    Where is the evidence for 12.5% ?

  19. Anonymous Avatar

    “We can understand why those who profit or hope to profit from OTHERS acting on this belief would promote it.”

    What is it that EMR has against profit? Oh, that’s right, he must be a socialist. And this from someone bashing NMM about economics.


    How do you profit if not from OTHERS?

    Here is how: When the others have voluntarily entered into a deal. The essence of a deal is that BOTH SIDES agree that they are better off. In other words BOTH SIDES of a fair deal profit.

    A fair deal necesarily includes some element of Kaldor Hicks efficiency because unless all the parties feel they benefit they will not enter into the deal: the winners have to pay off the losers sufficiently that they will not feel like losers and will voluntarily enter the deal.

    ECON 101


  20. Anonymous Avatar

    “Since NMM is a Semi Anon about which EMR knows nothing, NMM may be a member of the Lerner family,…”

    The cogent words here are “may be”.

    The odds are overwhelmingly that he is none of the above, but just another random blogger, promoting his version of the “truth” no less than EMR. Infact, by using this format EMR can be seen to have invited response.

    If he does not like this format, he can go publish a book, where it is much harder for a reader to comment or rebut. Or he can elect a format that does not allow responses like tht used at gregmakiw.blogspot.com. or Bacons Rebellion. Then he won’t have to be pestered with what other people think.


  21. Anonymous Avatar

    “Its sad but I have come to the conclusion it is pointless to try and reason with you. “

    Don’t give up so easy NMM. I came to that conclusion long ago. It is pointless to try to reason with EMR but it is not pointless to promote reason and point out folly to all the other readers.

    All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

    EMR has got some good answers, even if they are incomplete. I just expect better ones, whenever and wherever they apply. For some reason he takes a quest for excellence as a personal affront and childishly responds in kind.

    Don’t take it personally, he seems to diss everyone with ideas on an equal opportunity basis.


  22. TMT:

    You make an interesting point about South Lakes High School. You are right in that South Lakes is generally considered less desireable than other Fairfax County high schools. However, that is a high bar. In 2006 (the last year for which I have data) South Lakes High School had an average, combined math and critical reading SAT score of 1048. That same year, the average across all high schools in the state was 1025. As a point of reference, the Fairfax County average for 2006 was 1108. The worst Fairfax County results came from Mt Vernon at 977. The best results (not counting magnet school – Thomas Jefferson) were posted by Langley High School with a very impressive 1209 average.


    Henrico County’s average of 1021 (2006 data) was lower, by far, than Fairfax County and lower than the state average overall. Henrico’s poor performance is particularly hard to understand given the very strong median incomes in that county.


    Meanwhile, Spotsylvania County posted a 1004 average in 2006. This is well below both the state and national averages.The best public high school in Spotsylvania County came in at 1045 which is below the supposedly “undesireable” South Lakes High School in Reston.


  23. Anonymous Avatar

    Groveton – Thanks for the information. It points out how often perceptions are not close to the facts.

    But the preceptions remain about South Lakes. They are strong and deep. I’m glad you were willing to challenge them.


  24. South Lakes is Harvard compared to Groveton in 1977.

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