New York, the world's greatest socialist place

If you're living in New York City, the combined income tax rates of the federal government, the state and the city will not only shave your income by a total of 46% - nearly equal to the marginal tax rate of 48% in the inefficient, stagnant, socialist economy of France - no, if you want to live in the city and you don't have millions ready to throw away, then just forget about keeping any of your income whatsoever. The city's rigid, centrally planned building policy will make you an indentured servant anyway:
Why Gotham’s Developers Don’t Develop

In 1927, developers built 90,000 new housing units. Nowadays, Gotham throws a party if 10,000 new units go up in a year, when it really needs 40,000 a year to replace crumbling older buildings and to keep pace with the influx of new immigrants.
Old-time New York builders had the luxury of working under the simple, 35-page zoning code of 1916.
Everything changed in 1961, however, when Mayor Robert Wagner and Faustian master builder Robert Moses imposed a new zoning code that swapped the market's invisible hand for the vision of central planners, dictating every jot and tittle of what a developer could build and where he could build it. Wagner's and Moses' key ideas seem crazy from the perspective of hindsight.
Complying with New York's Kafkaesque zoning code and its banana-republic process or approving building projects requires first and foremost a Herculean exercise in politics.
You'll have to lobby like crazy, too. Ten of the top 14 biggest spenders lobbying city hall in 1999 were looking for zoning changes and approval on building proposals for their clients.
New York is nice, I love the place, but why anyone would want to live in the city on these terms...? You have to really like being raped in the posterior financially in order to take this. New York City, a land of the compulsively submissive and the masochist.

Article link thanks to Libertarec (Slovenian).

EDITED - Ah, I have my answer:
While much of America grapples with rising foreclosure rates and slipping prices, homeowners in Manhattan and the District of Columbia are grumbling over the fact that home price appreciation has dropped into the single digits. Dips of 20% in home prices? Equity destroyed? Not for them.
All oppressive and unjust systems are perpetuated by people who benefit from them. Wanna make these hopelessly restrictive building codes substantially free-er? As supply increases, see how real estate prices fall.

There are people who benefit from things getting worse, and it is in their interest that the slide continues. But in the most perplexing and twisted turn, more people still jump onto the bandwagon, not because things are good, but because they too want to eventually benefit from them getting perpetually worse.

What they fail to realize is that things can only get so bad. Real estate prices can only rise so far. Then they break. And then they fall.

People seem to think of real estate investments as a pyramid scheme that magically avoids eventual failure. People genuinely think that real estate prices can rise indefinitely. Politicians can fulfil that belief for considerable periods of time, creating increasingly arcane building codes that force prices to rise. At the expense of people who do not yet own homes, homeowners thus grow "prosperous" and continue to vote for the same politicians. (That's the Slovenian case, anyway.)

Eventually, it turns out that no pyramid scheme can go on forever, the market crashes and people get burned. Then it all repeats again.

Everyone just wants their home value to appreciate. But no one's thinking of the damage done to buyers when supply is artificially restricted. Why should people have to spend the majority of their active lifetimes paying off the humblest of homes?


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