A reader writes, “Hey Ron, who should I read and follow to better understand the housing crisis?”
But why did Marc Andreessen, billionaire venture capitalist and vocal affordable housing advocate, just block Demsas on Twitter?
Because of her brilliant reporting and scathing takedown of Andreessen in this Atlantic essay, “The Billionaire’s Dilemma”. In thirteen paragraphs Demsas teaches a master class on contemporary American life and the wealth gap more specifically.
The money paragraph. . . pun intended:
“Unfortunately, when local officials charged with overseeing development are confronted with balancing exercises, they almost always default to blocking or delaying projects. This happens in part because the future beneficiaries of new development cannot advocate for themselves. No one knows who will eventually live in new housing, what kids will be born there and go to school in the neighborhood and grow up to make the community better. But the present-day neighbors who are worried about construction, who believe that their home values might “MASSIVELY decrease” if teachers live near them, who are prejudiced against renters and people who live in multifamily housing—those people can and do speak up. And often, local officials bow to the pressure or are elected because they themselves oppose new housing development.”
I listened to an in-depth interview of Andreessen recently and was blown away by his intelligence. Demsas’s piece is a powerful reminder that the heart trumps the mind.