The price is right

first_imgUrban demographic patterns in the United States often defy logic, but a new research paper co-authored by Harvard Kennedy School Professor Edward Glaeser is shedding light on why many Americans continue to move to cities that are on the downturn.“Unhappy Cities,” published by the National Bureau for Economic Research (NBER), unpacks the myriad factors that play a role in inducing people to relocate to metropolitan areas that they would otherwise not find suitable.“Self-reported unhappiness is high in [many] declining cities, and this tendency persists even when we control for income, race, and other personal characteristics,” the authors write. “Why are the residents of some cities persistently less happy? Given that they are, why do people choose to live in unhappy places?”Detroit was unhappy even during its heyday, but its residents were well-compensated for their joylessness, according to the study. In this photo, abandoned buildings line the streets during Detroit’s financial decline. Credit: sneurgaonkar/Flickr Creative CommonsThe authors use data culled from the General Social Survey (GSS), the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to track citizens who move to areas where there are high levels of unhappiness. They also examine the ways in which urban unhappiness can be offset by the benefits that may derive from higher incomes and other amenities.The study also utilized life satisfaction survey data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), which, when controlling for demographics, rank the top four “happiest” American cities as Charlottesville, Va.; Rochester, Minn.; Lafayette, La.; and Naples, Fla. Examples of cities that are in decline and unhappy are Eire, Pa.; Scranton Pa.; and Detroit. According to the second view in the study, Detroit was unhappy even during its heyday, but historically, its residents were well-compensated for their joylessness.Glaeser and his fellow researchers report finding significant differences in well-being across American cities, and at least three examples in which unhappiness is correlated with urban decline. That said, they do not conclude that population decline itself is responsible for the unhappiness.“Differences in happiness and subjective well-being across space weakly support the view that the desires for happiness and life satisfaction do not uniquely drive human ambitions,” the authors write. “If we choose only that which maximized our happiness, then individuals would presumably move to happier places until the point where rising rents and congestion eliminated the joys of that locale. An alternative view is that humans are quite understandably willing to sacrifice both happiness and life satisfaction if the price is right. … Indeed, the residents of unhappier metropolitan areas today do receive higher real wages — presumably as compensation for their misery.”The authors also conclude that many cities with high degrees of unhappiness today were similarly situated in the past, leading the authors to deduce that citizens in previous generations may also have enjoyed higher wages and lower rents as trade-offs for remaining in unhappy cities.Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. He is director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at Harvard Kennedy School.last_img read more

Lecture explores relationship between laws and justice

first_imgAlthough laws are created to form a more just society, Martin Luther King Jr. demonstrated that laws themselves can be unjust, according to Fr. Dominic Legge, an instructor in systematic theology at the Dominican House of Studies.“Sometimes it is possible that the positive law makes something legal that should be illegal. It certainly happened in totalitarian states like Nazi Germany, but it also has happened in the United States in the 1960s. Even a democratic society can create an ‘illegal’ law,” Legge said. “It was actually illegal to help fellow Jews in Nazi Germany, but would we not have helped these oppressed?”Legge spoke Monday afternoon on “Martin Luther King Jr. and the Question of ‘Illegal Laws’: Civil Law Justice, and Morality,” an event sponsored by the Constitutional Studies Department and the Tocqueville Program for Inquiry into Religion and Public Life. “Part of Dr. King’s argument concerns … the relationship between justice and the dignity of the human person. Because of the people we are, we have dignity and claims to this dignity that other people should respect,” Legge said. According to Legge, Dr. King argued individuals cannot appeal to the opinion of the masses to determine if a law is just. “His argument is that discrimination goes against this dignity, and this is his basis for arguing that racial segregation is unjust,” he said. “He appeals to the basic truth of what human beings are, and no law can go against that basic human dignity.”Legge focused on the fact that racial segregation was never actually illegal, according to the Constitution or even local law. For examples of this reality, Legge said one can look at some Supreme Court decisions in which even the highest court has gotten it wrong. “Think, for example, of the Dred Scott decision, or the 1944 case in which the Supreme Court upheld the internment of Japanese citizens without a trial. In King’s own day, this is a very poignant question,” he said. Supplementally, Legge contended that King argued for the natural moral law, without the bounds of a higher lawgiver. “He does not appeal to a higher law-giver like God, which is a really important point. It’s not because God gave us Ten Commandments, it’s because there’s a sort of moral ordering to this world,” he said. “Both law and justice are concerned with the basic good of the human person.”Legge said the more important argument was about not violating basic moral law. “Moral theology is about what’s good for the human person, and that means that our laws should be framed with what the human person is. No positive law ever has the right to make those things illegal,” Legge said. “There is no law that can be abstracted from moral understanding.”Fundamentally, Legge said, we need to seek what is good for the entirety of society. “There are some things about the kinds of beings we are that lead us to flourish, and some things that really hurt who we are, so we need to find what is good to help us to flourish,” he said. “There are also some things that are fundamental to who we are, and they belong to a higher level.” Legge also spoke on the justification of civil disobedience, particularly in King’s case. “When you have this kind of systematic injustice … civil disobedience is a way to address this issue, and if you do this, then you’re appealing to this sort of higher justice,” he said. “And when is that justified, I mean, we could go on and disagree, but I think that we can agree that this was grave injustice and civil disobedience was in fact justified.” Legge emphasized the importance of celebrating this holiday. “It’s right for us to celebrate MLK on this day, and we are right to be proud of his legacy. … It’s a shining episode in our history,” Legge said. Tags: Constitutional Studies, Martin Luther King Jr., MLK, MLK Day, natural lawlast_img read more

Party leader funds attack on MPs

first_imgNZ Herald 19 Feb 2013Conservative Party leader Colin Craig is using his personal wealth to make a nationwide drop of leaflets which criticise MPs who do not follow their electorate’s wishes. His office has published and distributed 200,000 leaflets at a cost of $55,000 – a figure which Mr Craig expects to double as he ramps up his party’s electioneering. The leaflets have accused MPs of ignoring their electorates in making changes against the wishes of the majority, such as the anti-smacking bill and asset sales. Mr Craig was especially critical of Prime Minister John Key for backing a bill to legalise same-sex marriage – a move he felt was out of tune with Mr Key’s Helensville electorate.…. The Conservative Party’s survey, which had a margin of error of 5 per cent, also found that a third of respondents did not know the same-sex marriage bill would also permit gay couples to adopt children. At present, gay individuals but not gay couples are able to adopt. Mr Craig felt that if it was widely known that adoption laws would be altered by the bill, public opposition to it would grow. “It’s one thing to be talking about what two people do in the privacy of their own home. It’s another thing when that becomes a discussion about parenting kids who need a family. “From looking at the debate overseas, that is one of the things that makes people more conservative rather than liberal on this issue.” read more

Mike Napoli retires from MLB after 12 seasons

first_img Former MLB players Luis Valbuena, Jose Castillo killed in car crash in Venezuela “After much thought and consideration with my family, I have decided to retire from the game of baseball,” Napoli wrote, in part. “I dreamed about playing baseball since I was a little kid growing up in Hollywood, FL and I was lucky enough to get paid to play a kids game for 18 years.”THANK YOU…— Mike Napoli (@MikeNapoli25) December 8, 2018Napoli played on four different teams during his career as he spent time with the Angels, Rangers, Red Sox and Indians. He last played in the majors in 2017.  Related News “I hope to be remembered as someone who always tried to keep the clubhouse atmosphere light and inclusive, making sure that everyone was respected by his peers while leading by example, both on and off the field.”Napoli ended his letter with one more thank you as he explained he’s looking forward to the future and his next venture.”This is the end of my playing career, but the beginning of the next chapter in my professional life – one window closes and another one opens. I look forward to exploring opportunities in the baseball world as I plan to continue giving back to the game that has given me so much. Until then, again, thank you.” Mike Napoli is ready to call it a career after 12 seasons in MLB as he announced his retirement Saturday. In a lengthy letter posted on Twitter, the 37-year-old explained his decision while thanking everyone who helped him throughout his career.  “The memories will last forever – my first big league homerun in May of 2006 with Los Angeles; behind the plate for the 2011 postseason with Texas and 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City; at first base for the playoff runs with Boston in 2013 and Cleveland in 2016; and the list goes on and on.” Napoli ends his career with a .246/.346/.475 slash line with 267 home runs and 744 RBI. He owned a career .228/.322/.396 line in the postseason and hit eight homers with 30 RBI in 66 games over the course of eight playoff runs. Napoli hopes he is remembered not only for what he did on the field, but also the impact he had on his teams. last_img read more