Danny Meyer at The New York Times on New York City's rent problems. Thirty years ago, Meyer's Union Square Cafe helped launched a revitalization of a struggling Manhattan neighborhood and became the flagship of his now massive restaurant empire. Now he has to move, because he can no longer afford the rent. "It’s hard to come to grips with the notion that our success has, in part, contributed to our inability to remain in our neighborhood. There are neither victims nor villains in this story; no sympathy is being asked for, and no fingers are being pointed. But as a city, we’ve got a problem." He's not alone, as other restaurants and local businesses get priced out of the neighborhoods they helped create. "We need to consider the consequences of a city economy wired to spit out otherwise healthy businesses — establishments that helped to make it feel like New York in the first place."
John Cochrane at The Wall Street Journal on what Keynesian macroeconomic models can't solve. Cochrane, a Cato and Hoover Institution scholar, gets into a very wonky debate about the nature of our economic troubles. "Where macroeconomists differ, sharply, is on the causes of the post-recession slump and which policies might cure it. Broadly speaking, is the slump a lack of "demand," which monetary or fiscal stimulus can address, or one of structural sand-in-the gears that stimulus won't fix?" Cochrane says the economic models of New Keynesians all seem to arrive at the same solution — more government spending — but that won't fix deeper structural problems. "Even super-Keynesians note that five years of slump have let physical and human capital decay, which "demand" will not quickly reverse. But we are stuck in low gear. Though unemployment rates are returning to normal, many people are not even looking for work."