Saturday, April 03, 2010

A perfect continuation of the previous post (now a run of three).
I won't get into Greenwald v Kerr, I'll just offer again the old examples where Farrell was unwilling fully to admit to the implications of the writings of someone whose ideas attract him. Remember also that Farrell defends limits on free speech under law (in Germany), thinks tenure is "an institution whose general merits I am somewhat ambiguous about" and has
...suggested that academic freedom is a good thing on pragmatic grounds, but also made clear that it fundamentally depends on public willingness to delegate some degree of self-governance to the academy. If the public decides that academic freedom isn’t working out in terms of the goods it provides, then too bad for academic freedom.
The above linked here.

They're a confused bunch: Brighouse's concerns about the "legitimate partiality" in parenting, Bertram's defense of hate speech laws, the ridiculousness of Rawls and G.A. Cohen and then the interest in some sort of intellectually serious libertarianism. They go back and forth between schoolmasterish authoritarianism and individualist barbarism.
The right frame, in my view, is to think of the state as “we, the people” and to ask what conditions need to be in place for the people, and for each citizen, to play their role in effective self-government. Once you look at things like that then various speech restrictions naturally suggest themselves.
I'm a little embarrassed by my first comment, mostly for misspelling 'neatnik'. The anger was mostly hyperbole. Abb1 supplies context. It was at the end after I'd asked not for the first time if anyone was willing to describe the following as what it is that Bertram said that he'd never met Tyler Cowen and banned me from the site.
An Economist Visits New Orleans
Instead, the city should help create cheap housing by reducing legal restrictions on building quality, building safety, and required insurance. This means the Ninth Ward need not remain empty. Once the current ruined structures are razed, governmental authorities should make it possible for entrepreneurs to put up less-expensive buildings. Many of these will be serviceable, but not all will be pretty. We could call them structures with expected lives of less than 50 years. Or we could call them shacks.
What is the advantage of turning wrecked wards into shantytowns? The choice is between cheap real estate or abandonment. The land will not sustain high-rent, high-quality real estate. Given the level of risk, much of it will not even support bland, middle-income housing. Imagine that the government took a spot suitable for a McDonald's but mandated that subsequent restaurants should have fancy décor and $30 steaks. The result would not be a superb or even middling bistro but rather an empty spot. No one would set up shop because the market could not be made profitable at that quality and price. A similar principle applies to New Orleans real estate. If various levels of government try to mandate higher values than the land will support, the private sector will simply withdraw its participation, leaving nothing behind.

...To be sure, the shantytowns could bring socioeconomic costs. Yet crime, lack of safety, and racial tension were all features of New Orleans ex ante. The city has long thrived as more dangerous than average, more multicultural than average, and more precarious than average for the United States. And people who decide the cheap housing isn't safe enough will be free to look elsewhere—or remain in Utah with their insurance checks.
Shantytowns might well be more creative than a dead city core. Some of the best Brazilian music came from the favelas of Salvador and Rio. The slums of Kingston, Jamaica, bred reggae. New Orleans experienced its greatest cultural blossoming in the early 20th century, when it was full of shanties. Low rents make it possible to live on a shoestring, while the population density blends cultural influences. Cheap real estate could make the city a desirable place for struggling artists to live. The cultural heyday of New Orleans lies in the past. Katrina rebuilding gives the city a chance to become an innovator once again.
Henry still reads Tyler Cowen:

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