NYC needs more billionaire housing: opinion

November 24, 2013 04:00PM

While the electorate seems to have rejected Bloomberg’s billionaire-friendly policies for de Blasio’s affordable housing push, more gilded homes for the super rich may be just what New York City needs, according to Slate’s Matthew Yglesias.

New York currently has more billionaires than any other major city in the world, and Yglesias argues that attracting more can only be a boon to the economy.

“America’s greatest export product is America itself. Whether it’s apartments in Manhattan or beachfront condos in Miami and San Diego, the rich people of the world want to buy dwellings on our shores,” Yglesias wrote. “If we allow for more building permits and denser construction, there’ll be a jobs boom exporting those homes just as Switzerland exports fancy watches or Gulfstream exports private jets.”

And perhaps most significantly, billionaires will pay property taxes on their $100 million sky-scraping condos. Yglesias expects that money to trickle back down to ordinary city residents.

“Take the existing stacks of apartments for rich people and replace them with taller stacks. Then watch the money roll in,” he says. [Slate]Christopher Cameron