Tuesday assorted links


#2 - Wealthy boomers are just as capable of maintaining anti-competitive monopolies as any other demographic.

"2. Might Seattle move away from NIMBY?
Signaled their intent to seek more input and feedback from lower-income folks, people of color and renters — who now make up 54 percent of the city — and away from the white baby boomers who have long dominated discussions about Seattle’s future."

I would expect those boomers to start moving out to the suburbs.

NIMBY, a good label for anybody one disagrees with about development.

None of the advocates of increased density are coming up with a proposed framework that does not create losers out of homeowners whose neighbors get land use change granted. Our local minor celebrity Kevin Erdman ( http://idiosyncraticwhisk.blogspot.com/ ) refuses to formulate a mechanism to compensate losers in rezoning, refuses even to consider there are losers.

One option is that property owners bid for more valuable use rights, pay a high fraction of the increase in value, where parts go to the local property taxing authority, and parts goes to compensate the neighbors for the increased density that will decrease their quality of life.

Property zoning is a contract, in the absence of a rational win/win mentality where victims of increased density get compensated, it absolutely makes sense to be noisy and yell NIMBY from the highest tower and do whatever possible to punish local politicians that probably receive kickbacks for granting high density building permits.


It's not just about "winners" vs "losers". Certainly in some instances zoning changes could lead to lower property values, but consider a case like the bay area. If there was a massive deregulation of development restrictions in, say, downtown Palo Alto, what do you think happens to homeowner property values? I suspect they skyrocket. Parts of Palo Alto should look like Manhattan given how much economic activity is going on there. The opposition is not due to financial concerns but rather due to *aesthetic* concerns and favoring the status-quo. I know individuals in Palo Alto who wouldn't agree to sell their veto right at ANY PRICE.


Adding some skyscrapers with plenty of office space and housing and fast public transport could certainly be a win win situation. This type of Manhattan like high density development is what it takes to support rail commuting systems. The key is whether the neighbors get the same rights. I certainly agree that if my property gets zoned for skyscraper/unlimited density, that is like getting the proverbial hotel in monopoly. I do agree that insisting that things stay exactly the same is futile, like protesting the tide.

If there was a massive deregulation of development restrictions in, say, downtown Palo Alto, what do you think happens to homeowner property values? I suspect they skyrocket.

Land values increase (because now you can build more, and things worth more), but values of currently built improvements tend to decrease (because everyone else can build more, and does, and so the price tends toward construction costs instead of elevated by the restricted supply) with wholesale deregulation. The people who lose out the most with a wholesale upzoning are people who already got a variance to build at the new standard upzoned level of zoning. In general, you shouldn't expect skyrocketing property values because the latter effect outweighs the former in a hot market; NIMBYs are generally correct that their restrictions on others' property rights do increase their property values by limiting supply.

"Property zoning is a contract, in the absence of a rational win/win mentality where victims of increased density get compensated,"

Property zoning is immoral. Restricting development causes massive losses among all the people who cannot afford to live somewhere. In the absence of a rational win/win mentality where the victims of decreased density and zoning get compensated, by property owners paying massive taxes reflecting what would be built there under a free market, there should be no zoning. It's especially bad because it's a system where the losers don't get to vote, even though they far, far outnumber and suffer more aggregate harm than the current homeowners.

I find it absolutely ridiculous to view restrictive zoning as a sane default, when it's merely people extracting massive rents off of government regulation. You're no different from the people who talk about the need to compensate taxi medallion owners in the case of deregulation.

Is the hypothetical up-zoning going to harm property prices? This is an honest question; what perspectives would economists use to try formulate a hypothesis for what impact up-zoning will have on property values in these neighborhoods? My initial guess is that the rights to build more densely inherent in up-zoning will increase the property values in neighborhoods that are up-zoned, dependent on the supply and demand for housing units in that neighborhood. If you are talking about a desirable neighborhood in an urban environment, adding housing shouldn't detract much, if at all from the amenities that are the drivers of demand for that particular neighborhood. Likewise, the amount of additional housing units implied by the up-zoning may well not have much of an impact on the willingness of prospective buyers/renters to pay a certain amount per sqft. to live in the neighborhood. So long as there are more buyers/renters chasing units versus sellers chasing buyers, the value of property in the up-zoned neighborhoods should increase quite a bit, as a parcel of land containing four 1250 sqft. condos at $200 sqft. sells for quite a bit more than a 2000 sqft. single-family home valued at $225 sqft.

Viking, I don't get into those details because there are many people who are more informed about them than I am. I try to stay on topics where it seems that my input is unique. But, by all means, I'm all for compensating the losers. We should start by overturning Prop. 13 and use those extra taxes to compensate the millions of working class families that had to move out of California because the economic rents being claimed through their ever-rising rent payments were sucking them dry. There would be many recent homebuyers who would suffer terrible capital losses if building was allowed. I agree this is a problem, and an obstacle to reform. Fairness would call for reclaiming the windfall profits of the previous homeowners that sold the properties. That is an unlikely and unwanted scenario in a free society, so I am pessimistic that a solution will be possible. That is why my suggestions mostly involve understanding the problem so that we stop starving the rest of the country of money and credit. Eventually, maybe working class Americans can transition to the post-industrial economy by taking jobs in the non-tradable sector in Seoul or Tokyo. That's probably more realistic than moving to San Francisco or New York City. My silence on the topic is more a product of resignation than obstinance.

SG & P Burgos, I think you are underestimating the scale of the problem. Without political obstruction, the cost of new building would never reach anywhere near the level where market values in those cities are. If those cities were more dense, you are right that the value of the local properties would rise compared to the values they would have in a free market, but the values they have now are much higher than that. Restricted entry can push values far above those that would natural come from added value in an open market.

@P Burgos
I agree that up-zoning might make a neighborhood more attractive, and that can make an individual property more valuable. You do seem to have the assumption that everybody get up-zoned at the same time. The process I am familiar with is that a developer buys a property, then petitions the zoning authority for a variance, allowing some activity that didn't use to be allowed. Then for every single family home that gets replaced by 4-8 condos, the demand for street parking spots increases. Now friends' ability to visit and park in the neighborhood suffers, street sounds increase, and the character of the neighborhood changes, in many people's perspective for the worse.

Here in Portland, this practice is worst within a couple of miles of downtown, where developers often get exceptions from building parking with new apartment developments. The big problem is not the 30 story condo or office building, which has to follow parking guidelines. (In short, if everybody got up-zoned, it would be more fair than today's common practices, but some people would have to move due to the resulting increased property taxes.)

@Viking What you're described isn't really upzoning, it's granting variances, and I agree that that's probably suboptimal. Upzoning, though, is where you rezone an entire area or class of properties as allowing higher densities, which is what Seattle is doing.

Land already zoned multi-family is being slightly upzoned across the city (~1 story), with central areas getting larger upzones. Single-family zones within the 18 (previously-defined) Urban Village neighborhoods will change to "small lot zoning" (i.e. allowing townhomes and duplexes). Single-family zones outside of those neighborhoods will remain unchanged. The mayor had wanted to change all single-family zones to small lot zoning, but dropped it after major pushback.

@Jordan Brooks

Thanks for the detailed information, I stand corrected. The linked article #2 had so much fluff that I was unable to read it in detail. The rule based up-zoning does seem superior to simply playing loose and fast with the rules until the neighborhood is wrecked via variances.

I was excited about the first paragraph of this article. A city is eliminating neighborhood district councils that veto any new development? Great!

Then I read on. Seattle is creating new groups to represent renters and a "community involvement commission" with the same power as the old district councils. Not good.

It was downright hilarious to read the quote from the city council member complaining about the "deadly dull" meetings of neighborhood district councils attended by the same old white folks. Why, this new, multi-cultural commission will be so much more fun!

Other than a few kerflufles, the new commissions will be just as boring and obstructionist as the old ones.

Also, Seattle a year or two ago changed its city council from elected all at-large to elected by wards. In the long run, that should be expected to empower NIMBYs as well. NIMBYs generally implies that people are okay with the concept of development in general, just Not In their Back Yard. That implies that there are some people who might vote for pro-development at-large councillors but will vote for restricting development when voting locally.

#5 is just plain wrong. It is far better to look at what the life expectancy in years is at age 60. this eliminates childhood mortality, most homicides, traffic accidents and some other incidental deaths. this paints an entirely different picture of things: http://www.helpage.org/global-agewatch/population-ageing-data/life-expectancy-at-60/ The Us lies below Japan, most Western European countries and some interesting other countries such as Cambodia, Chile, and Cyprus. I guess this just highlights that we can use data and statistics to prove almost anything.

It is an interesting graphic, especially the leveling off at 60+25. At 60+23 we are not really that far away from the plateau.

A good graphic here showing the global upswing (except poor Russia) to long life:


Is Russia really a role model?

Yes. Moreover, have you noticed that the data given in 5. on life expectancy are for the periods 1980-1989, far in the last millennium? Overall, a thoroughly unconvincing piece.

"on life expectancy are for the periods 1980-1989, far in the last millennium? "

It was 1980 to 1999.

As a disloyal reader, let me introduce you to how Prof. Cowen (and to a lesser extent, Prof. Tabarrok) present information attempting to show that the American health care system is actually stellar - they fall for it every single time. (Yes, that is an extremely charitable interpretation of the facts.)

Genetics dominate country effects, they really need to compare various ethnicities in the US to their home countries. Spanish/Italian descended populations do better than some northern origins (and meso-American genes don't seem to hurt much, so US Hispanics do pretty well), Asians beat all whites, Blacks lag everyone else. This is true pretty much everywhere.

Nope. Kenya has a higher life expectancy today than the US did in 1950 because genetics are less important than immunization, antibiotics, etc.

Not true:



Ha, still pretty good for eyeballing the "rise" chart I linked above. I might have been off by 10 years, 1940 instead.

Immunizations have an insanely huge bang-for-the-buck in QALYs per dollar, but once given you cannot give them again and get the same result.

'Genetics dominate country effects'

See what I mean about special pleading (ref. below)?.

This eliminates childhood mortality, most homicides, traffic accidents and some other incidental deaths

This still leaves big questions of lifestyle out there. The article talks a fair bit about obesity. Obesity doesn't kill you when you are 40. In the modern world, you can take pretty poor care of yourself and still make it to 50 or 60, but you will really feel it post-50.

And I have to agree with the article's headline that most people don't know what they are talking about re: healthcare. Most people have narrative influenced by their politics that cannot be 100% disproven, so they stick with that narrative forever.

Why in the world would you want to remove childhood mortality when talking about the quality of healthcare? Why would you want to take out young people that have diseases?

The US counts a lot of kids dying as deaths rather than stillbirth compared to most countries. We also do a lot more premie intervention than most. All of this counts against us in the stats. A stillbirth in France counts for nothing while the same would be a premature death by 78 years.

Acording to March of Dimes, the US rate of premature births is higher than Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, three nations that have free market health care systems - taxes on the people do not pay for their health care, so either the people pay out of pocket or its charity care or nature takes its course.

The US at 12 is higher than Canada at 8 which is higher than Ecuador at 5.

From the same site, links lead to the Lancet series 2016 which in a lay summary states:

"Among high-income countries (HIC), the US has the largest number of stillbirths (11,300 in the third trimester alone, putting the US at #25 out of 186 countries ranked) but the lowest annual rate of reduction (0.4% per year as compared to Netherlands at 6.8%, putting the US at number 155 out of 159 countries ranked). These data indicate that further improvement is possible. "

So, you are trying to get the free lunch of arguing the US counts death after child birth instead of as still births like other nations, when the US still birth country is much higher than the nation's with low child death rates which you claim count child deaths as still births.

Given the US has high rates of still births, high rates of preterm birth, and high rates of child death, simultaneously, compared to Europe and Canada, you can't arogue that each figure it higher because other nations count the same thing in other statistics without making it clear the US is lower in every statistic.

Which is impossible because the US is higher on bad outcomes in all categories.

America has a higher stillborn rate than Afghanistan?

Does that number sound credible to you?

The biggest cause of preterm births in the U.S. is drugs. alcohol and smoking.

TMC posts about how different countries count births differently and how this biases the stats.

mulp responds by quoting those stats.

Wonderful. My watch had stopped, now I can set it again.

#6 -

Interesting how the post skips right over the Fortas filibuster. It's almost as if the author is attempting to claim he thinks both sides are guilty while also arguing it's all the Democrats fault.

The Fortas filibuster was bipartisan. (Wikipedia has the party breakdown.) Furthermore, adducing the rejection of someone who later resigned under a cloud as an instance of partisan rancor is hardly credible.

But the claim McConnell made yesterday is NO SCOTUS nominee has been filibustered before.

That cloture was voted for by liberal Democrats and Republicans, and against by conservative Democrats and Republicans does not make it principled bipartisanship given Republicans basically ban all liberals, AND MOST MODERATES from the party. The moderate Republican party in the past decade has been limited pretty much to Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, and increasingly Lisa Murkowski, and marginally moderate Shelley Moore Capito. But they can't break with McConnell too much without being attacked and made either powerless or kicked out. Like Arlen Specter was most recently.

The problem with politics today is that liberals won't quit the Democratic Party where no Democrat can win and join the Republican party and run for office and vote in the primary. Forget the general election, but focus totally on winning the only elections that matter, the Republican primaries.

The rejection of Bork was bipartisan as well.

Looks like the data is clear: it is entirely the democrats fault.

It is very strange that we never hear this from the main stream media. Weird. Maybe it is time we start investigations of the media. I think so.

'Fatal injury aside, U.S. life expectancy is at the top.'

Or in other words, 'When excluding some of the dead, U.S. life expectancy is at the top.'

Reading it might help you, if you were interested in moving beyond snark. (What do you contribute other than i) pro Germany paragraphs, ii) snark about GMU and iii) occasional comments on Tyler's reading practices?)

If this article's tables are to be believed, and I see no reason to doubt them, there are two factors re: life expectancy that need addressing. Obesity and something like risk assessment. We are eating and drinking too much of the wrong stuff, and we are engaging in risky, life threatening behaviour, which can mean anything from homemade hang gliders to standard "hold my beer" weekend activities.

Both of these factors seem to stem from -- depending on your priors -- either America's liberating "rugged individualism" or its materialistic "possessive individualism". We have to some extent chosen to eat and drink what we desire (sugar), just as we have to some extent chosen to accept practices that can be dangerous (guns, etc.). To put it mildly it is not clear that throwing more money at the healthcare system is going to help with either of these factors. And we may decide that these are risks we are very willing to take even if it costs us some life expectancy and contributes to non-complacency.

I did - see the comment below.

'To put it mildly it is not clear that throwing more money at the healthcare system is going to help with either of these factors.'

Or essentially, ‘When excluding some of the dead, the U.S. healthcare system is at the top.’

Special pleading is something that anyone defending the U.S. health care system seems unable to avoid.

"The UK really does have "death panels" that refuse treatments because they're extremely costly relative to their tiny impact. "

Hey, the US has zero death panels!

If you are a 30 year old $8 an hour single worker in Texas having moved from Kentucky after Obama killed your coal mining career, you can get all the medical care you want for your black lung for the $1 a week you can afford, thanks to the Texas free market health care, with its tort reform that killed off malpractice lawyering eliminating all wasteful testing, which will make you fit enough to qualify to climb 500 feet to the top of wind turbines to get paid as much as mining paid?

In Texas your life will be better than in Kentucky where Obamacare is promoting billions in wasteful spending on medical care that provides zero benefit. Not paying for medical care in Texas results in much more medical care that is more effective because doctors are only paid a dollar.

Of course, the author goes out of his way to argue that violence is not a health problem, which justifies prohibiting doctors from asking patients about guns in the household, and telling their patients that they are much more likely to die prematurely from those guns. After all, dying or suffering from gun wounds is not a health problem, but simply a moral or economic problem.

Which means, getting shot in the public square or while in bed is simply a sign of your moral depravity. Being run off the road because you obeyed speed limits is a sign of your moral decay.

In the US health insurers and Medicare/Medicaid also will not pay for treatments that do gave proven effectiveness. Shall we call these Death Panels too?

PA, you are a living embodiment of the difference between pith and wisdom.

And not only that, I don't have to come up with excuses why the health care system where I live is actually better than its statistics and costs clearly show it to be.

I know very little about the Healthcare system, except for dealing with some fine doctors and nurses in Tacoma when one of my elderly uncles had a stroke. But I learned a lot from that excellent article on life expectancy. Thanks for that.

PS -- I wonder why some articles merit their very own entry. I should have thought that would be one... (No offence Dolphins and Octopuses.)

Any help with the Straussian reading of Dolphins vs. Octopi? (parts of the internet tell me plural should be octopodes, but I've never heard of that and vote for octopuses or octopi). Anyhow, something Straussian about something you've eaten crawling back up your throat to suffocate you?

7. "Last week, one of G.M.’s large investors, the hedge fund Greenlight Capital, proposed the creation of two classes of stock — one that strictly pays dividends, and a second tied directly to earnings and future growth in areas like self-driving cars and ride-hailing services." Another sign of the coming apocalypse, I mean Great Reset.

Clearly the "market are rational assessors of true value" advocates believe Tesla Motors is more important to the US economy than Ford.

Clearly the market considers electric cars the future, and fossil fuel cars the past.

And this market assessment is ongoing even as Trump tries to make burning more fossil fuels each and every year the American Dream, because we need to be more like China from 1990 to 2015 when they were tricked by Obama into committing to kill jobs by paying millions of workers more to manufacture solar, wind, batteries, electric vehicles, than to continue to mine and burn coal and pay for imported oil from the Persian Gulf with revenue from exports to the US.

And oh yeah, spending every dime of revenue from product sales plus selling more new shares of stock to get more cash paying workers to build more and more factories is the optimal capitalist method of creating wealth. Fords $1.8 billion share buyback in 2014 destroyed wealth along with paying shareholders instead of workers.

Matthew 24:38: ". . . they were feasting and taking wives and getting married, till the day when Noah went into the ark, . . ."

FV is what the market will bear.

Read this week's Barron's, Kopin Tan, "The Pause That Refreshes," " (James Montier) Using a dividend-discount model . . . S&P valuation is "fair" if real rates stay negative 2% for 90 years."

No need for that at Tesla, though, due to the large, sustained operating losses rendering any possibility of a dividend this decade an extremely remote one.

Maybe SpaceX can buy it in a few years and convert it to selling personal rockets.

That certainty of no dividends is clearly the reason new shareholders buy newly issued shares from Tesla to fund those losses, with the increased supply if shares increasing the share price.

Ford, on the other hand, buys back it's shares from shareholders signaling the share prices should fall, as it has in the three years after the buyback.

Since Ford announced plans to buyback $1.8 billion in shares, Tesla has sold twice as much in new shares to pay lots of workers to build more factories and production equipment.

Never change, mulp.

"I see." said the blind man.

I ascribe four causes for the remarkable market valuations: oceans of central bank liquidity, near-zero interest rates/yields, universal fear (emotional, irrational) of "missing out," and HRH Hillary lost.

Type two is mark to market accounting. New Enron is here.

Tesla is over valued and the stock value will plummet like a rock when the wind changes.

That health care link is fantastic.

'In fact, when the Commonwealth Fund did this sort of analysis themselves decades ago, the US ranked among the best of countries. '

Or in other words, 'Decades ago, the U.S. did not look so bad in comparison.'

More snark. Sigh.

From the article, no less.

It's more than snark. He doesn't want the U.S. to have good stats it contradicts his basic beliefs. His opinion is usually anti-American.

'It’s more than snark.'

Of course it is - the author himself attempts to use information from decades ago to apparently demonstrate how the U.S. is good today. One does not have to be anti anything to question such a perspective. For example, decades ago, GM was the world's leading car company. It says nothing about what GM is today, regardless of whether one is pro or anti GM.

It's true however that you cannot compare healthcare systems as if they were the only things that influence life expectancy. In fact, they don't affect life expectancy as much as one might think: high life expectancy is produced by decent living conditions, mostly. The healthcare system is like 5% of total life expectancy.

US low life expectancy is mostly due to high calorific consumption:

US - 3,750 calories
UK - 3,450 cal.
Japan - 2,800 cal.

That can't be true because as the chart shows the U.S. has a high life expectancy once the violent deaths are removed from the equation. So unless your hypothesis is that only high calorie consuming Americans commit the violence your point is wrong. So then perhaps high calorie consumption in fact lengthens your life. Or perhaps statistics is a really poor way to understand issues at both the micro and macro level.

#3...If we are indeed stupider, how would we know?

I would have told you.

"The present review considers an intensifying, though still limited, area of research exploring the potential cognitive impacts of smartphone-related habits, and seeks to determine in which domains of functioning there is accruing evidence of a significant relationship between smartphone technology and cognitive performance, and in which domains the scientific literature is not yet mature enough to endorse any firm conclusions. We focus our review primarily on three facets of cognition that are clearly implicated in public discourse regarding the impacts of mobile technology – attention, memory, and delay of gratification – and then consider evidence regarding the broader relationships between smartphone habits and everyday cognitive functioning. "

(It's a meta-review of the existing literature.)

And by the way the paper concludes that the research is limited because a lot of it relies on self-reported data, or treats all media-multitasking the same, or doesn't consider that phone use and sleep and life-stress are all correlated, or isn't longitudinal.... but with those caveats, MOST studies do find that habitual phone use is linked to reduced ability to sustain attention on difficult tasks, worse accuracy on interrupted tasks, reduced ability to encode new experiences into memory and recalled recently learned information, reduced ability to delay gratification, and increased anxiety when people are separated from their phones.

And I observe all of this every single day as a high school math teacher in an urban high school.

#4. Good link. Interesting.

2. I won't hold my breath.


The health care system can do very little for you if you're shot to death and bleed out in three minutes or if you die instantly in a car crash.

Americans are rambunctious rule breakers who engage in destructive behavior at an alarming rate. The Swiss just don't behave that way.

Just to pick one example, there were only 556 rapes in Switzerland in 2014 from a population of 8.1 million. Virginia has about 8 million people. There were 1,687 rapes in 2014.

Switzerland had 41 murders that year. Virginia had 350.

Switzerland's suicide rate? 9.2/100K. Virginia? 12.4/100K

You can't blame Aetna or Kaiser for the fact that Americans seem to want to harm each other and themselves.


If Americans did not live under a dysfunctional regime that bleeds them dry, they wouldn't be crazy.

If you looked only at the rapes committed in the U.S. by immigrants from Switzerland or children of immigrants from Switzerland the stats would closely approximate those in Switzerland. A similar result would be discovered if you only looked at rape committed by people of Northern European descent. Ditto for murders and other violent crimes. Something else is creating those deplorable stats. Hmmmm! I wonder what that is...

7: Accounting note to NYT (and other business journalists): market cap is not equal to the market's implied value of the business; that would be "enterprise value" that adds the value of the company's debt. It's what it would actually cost someone to buy the whole company. By that measure Ford is still worth several times Tesla.

I guess that's a good way of saying Ford is expected to generate more Operating Income, but it's going to get sucked up making debt payments.

How is the NYT article not describing mark to market accounting?

1) let's see how much that saves them when their idiotic fraud detection system collapses.

#5 "Fatal injury aside, U.S. life expectancy is at the top" is an inaccurate description of the AEI publication cited by the blog Cowen linked to, and both the blog and the AEI publication are highly misleading. (Even leaving aside the fact that the data is two decades out of date.) The AEI authors do *not* adjust for the effect of violent and accidental death by somehow subtracting violent and accidental deaths from US mortality statistics, as one might reasonably assume.

Here is what they do. (The relevant table is 1-5 on p22 of the AEI document.) They have cross-country data on life expectancy y_i, a vector of rates of different kind of injury x_i, and GDP per capita, for 1980-1999. They run a regression

y_i = a + b*x_i + c*log(gdp_i) + year effects + e_i

Their `adjusted measure of life expectancy' is obtained by taking fitted values, and setting x_i to its OECD average. So it is:

a + b*x_ave + c*log(gdp_i) + year effects

In other words, it is an affine transformation of log GDP. The ranking of countries by `adjusted life expectancy' is (based on the authors' description of their methodology) literally just a ranking by average log GDP per capita over 1980-1999. "US life expectancy is at the top" because the US had the highest average log GDP. The ranking contains zero information about life expectancy, the US healthcare system, the price of tea in China, or anything else.

Smartphones will make us smarter, but it will take a few generations of enhanced pedestrian mortality to achieve this.

#4 Eating live whole octopus the wrong way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brpqkBqlLbs

Eating live whole octopus the right way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYDkzqCfJzg

Zombie headless octopus https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxQmOR_QLfQ

#2 ignores two obvious trends: the massive amount of housing construction that is in fact taking place all over the city, including lower Queen Anne and Ballard, two of the neighborhoods mentioned in the article, and many others besides. Ballard is almost unrecognizable from 5-10 years ago, having transformed from a sleepy blue-collar industrial and marine zone into hipster central complete with block after block of stylish apartment complexes and modern townhomes. The second trend is Seattle's worsening homeless problem, which is heavily afflicting areas like Ballard and Queen Anne. Homeless camps and tent cities are all over the place, and theft and property crime have risen dramatically in those areas. Ballard residents in particular have clashed with the mayor and the city for what they see as an overly tolerant approach that minimizes the concerns of long-time homeowners and families while kicking real solutions down the road.

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