|Free to a loving owner - the declining villages of Southern Europe|
US Gun Ownership
"According to the survey, which was conducted among 1,001 Americans in the aftermath of the Orlando nightclub shooting, 36 percent of U.S. adults either own a firearm personally, or live with someone who does. That's the lowest rate of gun ownership in the CBS poll going back to 1978. It's down 17 points from the highest recorded rate in 1994, and nearly 10 percentage points from 2012."
Not quite what we take from the news about guns in the USA.
Sluggish European economies - a long view
"First, in 1900, European countries were not only the world’s economic and military powers. They were also among the most populous countries in the world. By contrast today, Russia is the only country in the top 10 most populous. Then Germany is 16th and France is 20th. More importantly, some of the new demographic powers, India, Nigeria, Egypt, Mexico, the Philippines and Indonesia, are growing at a healthy clip, as can be seen from their Total Fertility Ratios (TFR, see table) whereas European countries are growing very slowly at TFRs that will ensure stagnation or shrinkage in the sizes of their population."Always good to see geographers taking a long view (unlike most economists) of the reasons for Europe's sluggish economy. Also reminds us why we need immigration.
Brits still think they're working class
"Despite a long-term decline in the size of the working class to just 25%, the proportion of the public who identify themselves as working class has remained stable over time, says the survey. Significantly, it finds that with middle class occupations who still regard themselves as working class are more likely to be socially conservative on issues such as immigration."Some more demography - and yet again a reminder that geography is just as (perhaps more) important as economics.
How left and right miss the point about unaffordable housing
"But I soon discovered, after looking past the cultural distinctions, that both conferences had the same message. Speakers and attendees at each recognized, whether they were predisposed or not towards free-market ideology, that the lack of a true market in cities was causing the affordable housing crisis. That is, existing residents buy homes in destination cities, and then utilize land-use regulations and anti-growth public officials to prevent new construction. This creates artificial shortages, driving up prices and pushing out poorer demographics."And again we're reminded that too much debate about housing simply ignores the spatial realities - that pesky geography.
Brexit doesn't mean we'll need to build fewer houses
"In summary, the current basis for UK estimates of housing need are already predicated on a 45% drop to total net-in-migration by 2021, so for Brexit to have any downward pressure on planned housing targets in Local Plans, it would need to be assumed that Brexit resulted in European net-migration to the UK falling to virtually zero over the medium to long term. This seems unlikely."
A reminder that not only are OAN housing numbers mostly rubbish but Brexit won't change this fact!
The slow death of Southern Europe's villages
"In the southern Italian medieval village of Sellia, local mayor and paediatrician Davide Zicchinella published a decree forbidding locals from falling ill and dying. While Zicchinella has admitted that he cannot fight the laws of nature, he’s hoping that his action will prompt elderly residents to take up healthier lifestyles."
The sad tale of how Southern Europe's ancient villages are, quite literally, dying as demography, migration and crap planning leave them as places filled with the old and poor.