Wednesday, March 19, 2008

There Goes the Neighborhood:

Hat Tip Andrew Sullivan. From here.

Shihe Fu estimates that a rise of one percentage point in the proportion of same-sex couples living in an area raises median house prices by 9 per cent even 10 years later, controlling for some obvious other things.

This suggests that gays improve neighbourhoods; they don't just choose to live in nicer places.

This could be because gays higher disposable incomes (they don't have kids) attracts better shops and restaurants. Or it could be that gays' better aesthetic appreciation enables them to spot attractive but under-priced areas, and to care more about urban regeneration.

This is something I've noticed in my anecdotal observations. Though, sometimes it's hard, when dealing with a complicated reality like sexual orientation/"the gay community" to get anecdotes to translate into good statistics. It looks like there are some stats out there that confirm common sense observations. Gays, on average (again -- lots of notable exceptions to the rule) do tend to have higher rates of artistic talent or as the post notes "aesthetic appreciation." There is something to the "Queer Eye," stereotype. And a capitalist, market system seems to value those disproportionate talents such that gays, as a group, don't seem to be economically impoverished. But, again, this shouldn't be counter intuitive if one rejects the simplistic leftist economic notion that discrimination = collective economic impoverishment. Jewish people have suffered terrible Antisemitism in America and abroad, yet still have flourished economically in spite of it. Ditto with gays.

More importantly this shows that homosexuality is actually good for civilization. There are some behaviors that are destructive of civilization and homosexuality (its behavioral elements; homosexuality has both orientation and behavioral elements) is not one of them. Certain types of risky promiscuous sex are dangerous and not good for one's health -- like smoking. But smoking doesn't destroy civilization. Some types of behaviors are bad for civilization -- for instance out of wedlock births by minor teens whose circumstance prevents them from finishing their education. Go and look at the housing prices/levels of civilization in those neighborhoods. And compare and contrast that with gay friendly neighborhoods and you see the polar opposite.

No comments: