Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Economic Freedom vs Livability

The big, blue, Coastal cities are highly taxed, highly regulated, and expensive. Yet they also seem to be full. This needlessly stylized piece in Reason points out that these expensive cities are still a good deal, as evidenced by the fact that lots of people want to live there.

I think it makes more sense to turn the causality around and say that great places to live (New York, San Francisco) can bear the cost of lousy, expensive government because they are great places to live. People will put up with a more annoying and expensive life because the side benefits are worth it. The cities aren't fun because they have costly, lousy government, instead they have accrued costly, lousy government because their fun makes it bearable.

When I moved back to Boston over a year ago I thought it was to stay. But after living in New York (way more fun) and Chicago (way cheaper and easier) I'm pretty confident that I can do better elsewhere. One more year, and then adios.


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