Joel Miller has seen firsthand what government regulation does to housing costs. When a job at WorldNetDaily took him from northern California to southern Oregon in 1999, Miller saw his cost of living plummet. A year later he got married and relocated to the Red Tape State. After two years of renting without finding an affordable home, the Millers moved back to Oregon. Miller explores how this story plays out across the country for millions of Americans in "The Politics of Sky-High House Prices" (page 24), adapted from his book Size Matters (Nelson Current). Today Miller lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where he's building a house that will cost around $200,000. "It would cost over $700,000 if we'd stayed in San Francisco," he says.
Megan McArdle was surprised when she took an economics course in business school and actually enjoyed it. The "recovering English major" soon decided to pursue economics journalism, which, she recalls, "at the time had the same expected value as becoming addicted to crack." Now a correspondent for The Economist's Global Agenda section, McArdle in this issue reviews Benjamin Friedman's book The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth ("The Virtue of Riches," page 53). The bottom line, McArdle says, is that "getting richer makes us act nicer to each other."
It's good to be from Delaware, says new Assistant Editor David Weigel: "It makes everywhere else you go seem interesting." Even, he insists, Washington, D.C., where the 24-year-old has just joined the Reason staff. Weigel wrote his first piece for the magazine as a student at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and has been a frequent contributor ever since; his work also has appeared in The American Prospect, The American Spectator, Campaigns and Elections, and USA Today. This month he jumps aboard with not one but two pieces: a review of two new books on blogging ("An Army of Bloggers," page 48), and a column on the disturbingly plastic definition of sedition ("Treason of the Clerk," page 18).