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Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Housing Shortage? Check the Data
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Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Housing Shortage? Check the Data

The chart for your housing shortage article doesn't seem to show a housing shortage. Since some workers hold multiple jobs and some households have two or more job holders, we should expect the number of jobs and workers to be higher than the number of housing units. The number of housing units the chart depicts seems to rise in parallel to the number of workers and jobs, illustrating no shortage.

I attended Transparent GMU's court hearing (the court ruled the Foundation funding most of GMU's president's salary and owning its administration bldg. was not obligated to disclose its donors). Nevertheless, GMU was shamed into making disclosures www.nytimes.com/2018/05/05/us/koch-donors-george-mason.html which show donor influence in hiring decisions. A university with a center studying and advocating for development should no longer be assumed to be objective. How much outside funding would a university or its center studying and advocating for development receive, for example, if it advocated the anti-development policies I and others often do at city hall?

So too with the alleged labor shortage. Wages are rising only grudgingly despite an allegedly huge labor shortage. Were there a true labor shortage, wages would rise much faster to draw people back into the labor force because the employment-population ratio for native-born population has not returned to pre-recession levels https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/LNU02373413. Just as you or I might put off a big renovation project to a time when the construction business might be slow, hoping to negotiate a cheaper price, businesses are not raising wages, hoping that the 2020 election (or impeachment) produces a result which will allow immigration increases to fill many of these jobs at lower wages.

Dino Drudi

Alexandria