All posts tagged: long run

The Great American Aversion Toward Renting

The Great American Aversion Toward Renting

When the Federal Reserve began jacking up interest rates in 2022, home sales cratered almost overnight; inventory dried up; the housing market “froze.” People who have mortgages with interest rates below 4 percent—which is more than 60 percent of homeowners—aren’t going anywhere. They’re not selling their houses. They’re staying put. The current availability of homes for sale is about 36 percent lower than before the pandemic; this past October, home sales dropped to their lowest level in more than 13 years, and in November, the share of homebuyers looking to relocate to a different metro area was at its lowest level in 18 months. People who own homes have become so reluctant to move that they’re likely to pass up job offers in other cities, one study found. If swapping a low mortgage for a much higher one is plainly undesirable, the way out of the problem—and into a new space—seems plainly obvious: renting. Now is a terrible time to buy a home, but renting would allow more Americans to relocate without becoming “house poor” …

Kissinger’s Inhuman Diplomacy – The Atlantic

Kissinger’s Inhuman Diplomacy – The Atlantic

Henry Kissinger spent half a century pursuing and using power, and a second half century trying to shape history’s judgment of the first. His longevity, and the frantic activity that ceased only when he stopped breathing, felt like an interminable refusal to disappear until he’d ensured that posthumous admiration would outweigh revulsion. In the end none of it mattered. The historical record—Vietnam and Cambodia, the China opening, the Soviet détente, slaughter in Bangladesh and East Timor, peace in the Middle East, the coup in Chile—was already there. Its interpretation will not be up to him. Kissinger is a problem to be solved: the problem of a very human inhumanity. For he was, undoubtedly, human—brilliant, insecure, funny, gossipy, curious, devious, self-deprecating, cruel. In Martin Indyk’s book Master of the Game, about Kissinger’s successful efforts to end the 1973 Yom Kippur War, you meet a diplomat with a deep knowledge of the region’s history and personalities, operating with great subtlety and stamina to bring about a state of equilibrium that led to peace between Israel and Egypt. …

An Unusually Tricky Campus Free-Speech Fight

An Unusually Tricky Campus Free-Speech Fight

Late last month, the chancellor of Florida’s university system, acting in consultation with Governor Ron DeSantis, ordered state universities to deactivate all local chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine. How could dissolving student groups be lawful, given constitutional protections for free speech and freedom of association? Although multiple local SJP chapters acted as apologists for the murders of Israeli civilians or stood in solidarity with the Hamas militants who killed and kidnapped children, even viewpoints that deplorable are entitled to First Amendment protection. But Florida says it is not targeting the protected speech of these groups. It is acting, instead, because the national SJP has run afoul of a state law against providing “material support” to a terrorist organization. Many people associate such laws with providing money, weapons, a safe house, or fake passports to terrorists. But material-support statutes can also render speech and advocacy that would otherwise be protected by the First Amendment unlawful. For example, Americans are free to post “Hurray for Hamas!” on social media. Yet an American could not coordinate …

‘Retribution’ Shows Liam Neeson’s Action Era Is Waning

‘Retribution’ Shows Liam Neeson’s Action Era Is Waning

About 15 years ago, Liam Neeson picked up a cellphone and growled a haunting, threatening monologue that changed the course of his career. Playing the hardened ex-CIA agent Bryan Mills in the movie Taken, Neeson warned the men who’d kidnapped his teenage daughter about his “very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.” It was the beginning of a surprising renaissance for the esteemed actor. In his mid-50s, he became an action star, headlining a long run of cheaply made, typically European-set thrillers in which he played gun-toting men in leather jackets with, well, murderous skills. There are too many of these movies to name, and they tend to be better known by a one-sentence plot description. Neeson on a plane? That’s the marvelous Non-Stop. On a train? The decently schlocky The Commuter. Neeson at a ski resort? Cold Pursuit. Neeson as an ice-road trucker? They just called that one The Ice Road. Further evidence that the studios are …