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Links Roundup: Digital Media Startups, Trust, Land Tax, and Slums

+ Kari Kohn

The Startup Dynamic in the Digital Media Industry

“We are just at the beginning of how journalism should be done on the web,” Mr. Klein said. “We really wanted to build something from the ground up that helps people understand the news better. We are not just trying to scale Wonkblog, we want to improve the technology of news, and Vox has a vision of how to solve some of that.”

In making the switch, Mr. Klein is part of a movement of big-name journalists who are migrating from newspaper companies to digital start-ups.

...More and more, it’s becoming apparent that digital publishing is its own thing, not an additional platform for established news companies. They can buy their way into it, but their historical advantages are often offset by legacy costs and bureaucracy.

Establishing Trust in the Sharing Economy

In short, Airbnb is abandoning the idea that peer-to-peer reputation systems can solve the problem of trust, is moving away from the casual “air bed” mentality that gave it its name, and is resorting to traditional centralized systems of enforced minimum standards, documentary verification, and so on.

Detroit Housing

“Detroit doesn’t have a housing problem. Detroit has a habitable housing problem,” Pereira said. “There’s plenty of spots — it’s just not all livable.”

Noah Smith on Henry George

George thought that this was unfair. After all, landlords don’t create land; a location will be there no matter who collects rent on it. By getting paid just for being in the right place at the right time, he reasoned, landlords suck value out of the productive economy. George suggested that the fair thing to do would be to tax the value of the land—not the structures built on top of it, but only the land itself—and distribute the proceeds to the poor, or use them for infrastructure and other public improvements.

Richard Florida on Slums and Growth

Truly functional cities are far more than just clusters of people. They also have the systems, institutions, and mechanisms that improve their productivity. For much of the recent history of the West, these two developments of institutions and population growth have gone hand in hand.

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