How does a bill become Law?


Parliament passes laws
that affect the whole country. Everything from communications regulations
to food safety to Canada’s space program. But where do laws come from
and how are they created? Ideas for laws can come from anywhere – a community, a political party’s platform, or issues raised by citizens – like you! Once written out, these ideas are called Bills,
which is a draft proposal for a law. Bills can start
in the Senate or House of Commons, but most begin in the House of Commons. The Bill is introduced in the Chamber and Members of Parliament
debate its strengths and weaknesses. Then, they vote to see if the Bill
should go to a committee for further study. In committee, Members examine
every detail of the Bill, hear from experts and other witnesses, and finally decide
if they need to make any changes. These changes are called amendments. The Bill then goes back to the Chamber, where Members of Parliament debate it
a final time, including any amendments. Then they vote to see
if it passes the House of Commons. If it’s passed, the Bill goes to the other
chamber for review, in this case the Senate. After being introduced in the Senate,
the Bill travels through the same process, where Senators debate, vote,
and study the Bill in committee. Senators do a lot of work in committees, studying Bills closely
and hearing from witnesses. Witnesses may be experts on the topic,
organizations with an interest in the Bill, or citizens like you. But if the Senate committee makes changes, these amendments have to go back
to the House of Commons for approval. Senators then debate the Bill one last time
before putting it to a final vote. After the Bill passes both chambers, it’s signed into law by
the Governor General or their representative. This is called Royal Assent. And that’s how it’s done!
The Bill is now a law. In the end, the Senate and House of Commons
must pass the exact same Bill, following the same steps: It’s introduced, debated,
studied in committee and put to a final vote. This is how Parliament works every day – passing new laws
that affect you and all Canadians.

UKTI: Doing business in China – Dealing with Government Part 2


ROLF CREMER: China is not a democracy, it is a one party state. The government holds
the ultimate power. The future stability of China is one of the main assets of this country
in continuing to attract foreign direct investment. FRASER WHITE: It is not quite an even relationship. When we enforce our contract,
you have to remember we are guests here in this exciting economy. RORY McGOWAN: Some companies come in, do a project, and leave and do not have
to deal with the consequences. Whereas we have got a 20 year track record now. We are seen in the market here as someone who is here for the long haul so we are respected
by the Government Departments, The Ministry of Construction, the various City Authorities:
they know our name. MARK LADHAM: These people are fundamental to the fabric of their cities. They are their cities: and therefore we do business in their cities with their support. It will be wrong of us to say we understand you want to do it this way, but this is our standard. ED RADCLIFF: A clear metric: that they have to attract foreign investment, but it is certainly something that they will aspire to as partly an element of status. KEITH LINCH: If I took YuBei district government as an example: they knew that we
have set up a joint venture company, which which is why we originally went to talk to them
in Chongqing. They actually made a point of saying that they did not want to work with
a joint venture company, but they wanted to work with a foreign side of the joint venture
company. ED RADCLIFF: The Chinese local governments like to attract foreign investment. Why? Because it
brings the standards of technology up, it absorbs labor and it is good for the community. FRASER WHITE: It is much better now if you can set it out with a wholly formed entity which you still need to have partnership relationships with Chinese government, Chinese businesses,
the Chinese consumers but those relationships are often better placed at arms length contractual
relationships rather than having them within rather than having them within a joint venture, within your board. MARK LADHAM: A good solid contract is a starting place. But one cannot go
without the other. Relationships in China are very, very important. That is the same
whether it be a government relationship or a vendor relationship. We need to be seen
to be open. We need to seen to be able to take advice, take criticism. Some of these people in cities or even our vendors have a lot of experience: it would be wrong
of us to say we are big, we are international, stand back. KEITH LINCH: Everybody wants a contract generally nobody keeps the contract once
it has been signed. That is the difference. In our business we are paid according to a schedule in the contract so that is quite
important. The contracts schedule for payment is more important than sending invoices. ALLAN HEPBURN: You know a lot of what I read in the west is spin and hype there is a legal framework for doing business here. You need lawyers, you negotiate a contract,
its binding. if people break it, you can take
them to court, and sue them, and get your
money. So that system exists. Again my experience in Shanghai not throughout China so I can’t
vouch to how it works elsewhere. How you get to the point of contract? that may be a different process I would urge anybody who is thinking about setting up business here: understand the process. “Guanxi: a central concept in Chinese society, describing the basic dynamic in personalised networks of influence” KEVIN DONNELLY: The government provided all the assistance we needed, together with some of the network that we built up in Chengdu so those are the people in the city who we
called upon for advice and guidance. ED RADCLIFF: I never advise companies to rely on any one guanxi, you need a network
of guanxi. If you are looking at any given issue or given industry or something and you
want to know something about it, you wouldn’t rely on necessarily one person You can by all means lobby at the highest levels of the political system, but if you have not won
over the people at the working level, the bureaucracy can come back and bite you. FRASER WHITE: It is not just Guangxi. I have a friend with a minister, therefore
I can do business. You have got to have all the proper bases for your business and make
the proper commercial decisions you make elsewhere. On top of that because so much of your business
decisions and your future approvals tie in with the government, it is important to maintain
good relations with those people who are going to give you those approvals. It is just they
seemed to be more, because the State is more present. You seem to have more of those relations
than you would in other countries. ED RADCLIFF: But I always think even in a joint venture situation for example, if
the relationship is not good, you are not going to be able to sense what the sort of
major concerns of your partner are. And eventually what you might end up doing is ending up with
a situation where there is a vote of the board meeting and you have already got a confrontational
situation then. And so you want to try and avoid any direct confrontation. KEITH LINCH: We have lots of different departments that we have to deal with. KEVIN DONNELLY: And in each government department there is an awful lot of people.
So managing those relationships is quite a challenge. KEITH LINCH: For instance, our accountant, if she is obtaining a tax certificate, so
we can transfer all our money back to the U.K.: She can end up going to 9 different tax
departments, and government departments in Chengdu to actually obtain one certificate.
So, that tells you that the bureaucracy is quite high, and there is a lot of government
departments that are interrelated but do not seem to talk to each other. STEVE GILMAN:But if you find that in any country in the
world. The issue for retailers and for anybody doing business really is to understand what
the issues are and then to understand the way that you can work with the government
or work in the legal framework of the country, to overcome those obstacles. ED RADCLIFF: You probably have to understand when you are lobbying against a given regulation,
that you understand where the opposing side is coming from. And then find organizations,
that have influence over them. And involves knowledge of the Chinese government system,
the party system. And by doing that you can often ensure yourself or protect yourself
against such occurrences happening. PATRIC DOUGAN: There are very few hostile takeovers in China. It is simply not really
the done thing. . The State both central level and local level still plays a very big part
in the business life here. And if there is an understanding that a business is supported
by a local government then that does have business benefits too. BILL THOMPSON: The Chinese partner have been very useful in many occasions for example
in providing funds locally in China. That is something maybe a lot of people do not realize
but a lot of these big state-owned companies have got easy access to funds. And if you are a
small joint venture of wholly owned company, getting you know local borrowing can be very
difficult, It certainly not impossible because I have done it. We borrowed like 16 million renminbi
and it was basically an unsecured loan. KEITH LINCH: China is very good at getting money into China, but they have got this idea
that money should not leave China once its here, which makes it very difficult for foreign
investors. ED RADCLIFF: I would also always look at what is happening on the regulatory side
of the economy. It depends probably how regulated each sector is, but what I would do is just
take a snap shots and say well, are the new policies and regulations likely to support
growth in that sector or hinder growth and that one informed, and that is one overlooked
actually, surprised me in market research. BILL THOMPSON: And also the Chinese government themselves still have guidelines as to what
sectors you can do business in, FRASER WHITE: When you think where China has come from they have had to develop a robust
company, criminal, civil, legal system to support this incredible growing economy. And
they have had to do it in an incredibly short period ED RADCLIFF: The regulatory framework does change quite regularly but often it is
to the foreigners advantage and if you think of what the bigger picture is, China is trying
to comply with the WTO obligations. But there are often small rules and regulations that
catch out the small manufacturer and that you need to often do with your local government. KEITH LINCH: Projects generally, particularly government projects generally move forward
because of personality rather than policy. Policy can be got round in China. It will
be thrown up at every given opportunity. It depends who you are dealing within the government
as to whether that personality is strong enough – whether they are high enough up in
ladder to change that policy. You do get into a position in China where you get used to doing things
quickly and then you come up against some policy that is not changed. ROLF CREMER: This country is reforming at breakneck speed. Or say, just below breakneck
speed. It cannot go faster than that. KEITH LINCH: We were having problems after we signed our joint venture agreement, in
actually obtaining in all our business licenses and taxation licenses and so on. And it got
to a point where I asked the British consulate in Chongqing to intervene and talk to the
high level officials in the government here rather than me talking to them, which the
consulate did in Chongqing, and because it is a foreign government talking to the Chinese
government within three days everything was sorted out.

Why Governments Should Invest in Innovation


I think people are underestimating what we can do in this next generation, if we make innovation a priority. The good ideas, the inventiveness, are waiting to be tapped into. In the energy space, we need a breakthrough that gives us reliable, cheap energy that’s completely clean. We need to back researchers so they can get it to a stage that a risk-taking private company can try to build it into a product. It could really give us a solution that provides energy to the world and solves the climate problem while creating lots and lots of great jobs. We’ve seen with Ebola, and now Zika, that responding quickly with new vaccines and drugs means going in and advancing the research, so that we can protect the world from potential future epidemics. Government R&D budgets are very small, and yet they are absolutely critical to drive innovation forward. Politicians who care about the world at large, and makes sure those budgets are preserved could expect some amazing advances. Like high-paying jobs, great companies. It would be a huge favor for the world.

UNCG political scientist on impeachment.


BOTH PARTIES? BILL: THE DEMOCRATS HAVE BEEN
CONSIDERING IMPEACHMENT FOR
QUITE SOME TIME BEFORE MOVING
FORWARD. WE SPOKE WITH LOCAL LEADERS
ABOUT THE IMPACT OF THE
IMPEACHMENT ON THE YEAR’S
ELECTION. — ON NEXT YEAR’S ELECTION. DEMOCRATS HAVE INVESTIGATED THE
PRESIDENT ON OBSTRUCTION OF
JUSTICE AND USING THE OFFICE TO
ENRICH HIMSELF. A POLITICAL SCIENTIST SAYS ONE
DANGER DEMOCRATS FACE IS IF THE
DOUBLET PERCEIVES THE PART IS
OUT TO GET THE PRESIDENT.>>IS THEY DO JUST THROW
EVERYTHING AGAINST THE WALL AND
SEE WHAT STICKS, THAT COULD GET
THEM INTO TROUBLE BECAUSE YOU
COULD HAVE THE PRESIDENT SAYING
THAT THIS IS ALL POLITICAL. BILL: LOCAL PARTY LEADERS HAVE
DIFFERENT VIEWS ON THE POSSIBLE
IMPACT THE IMPEACHMENT WILL HAVE
ON NEXT YEAR’S ELECTIONS. THE HEAD OF GUILFORD COUNTY’S
DEMOCRATIC PARTY SAID THERE
COULD BE SOME BACKLASH. THE PARTY HAS A MORAL IMPERATIVE
TO MOVE FORWARD WITH
IMPEACHMENT.>>AS THE EVIDENCE COMES OUT, IT
IS UNDENIABLE THAT SOME PEOPLE
ARE CONVINCED. BILL: THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF
GUILFORD COUNTY’S REPUBLICAN
PARTY SAYS IMPEACHMENT IS A SIGN
THAT DEMOCRATS ARE DESPERATE AND
FEAR LOSING NEXT YEAR’S
ELECTIONS.>>NORTH CAROLINIANS ARE
CONCERNED ABOUT BETTER TRADE
DEALS. THAT IS WHAT I THINK MEMBERS OF
CONGRESS SHOULD BE FOCUSED ON AS
WELL. BILL: IS THERE ANY DANGER
DEFENDING THE PRESIDENT AT THIS
POINT?>>THERE ISN’T UNTIL THERE IS. BILL: DAVIS SAYS REPUBLICANS
WILL LIKELY CONTINUE TO SUPPORT
THE PRESIDENT UNLESS HE BECOMES
MORE LIABILITY THAN BENEFIT.>>IF THEY DEFEND HIM AT ALL
COSTS, THAT COULD HURT THEM. WE ARE OBVIOUSLY A LONG WAY FROM
THAT POINT. BILL: THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS
HAS ALREADY BECOME A FUNDRAISER. THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN ASKED
SUPPORTERS TO JOIN THE DEFENSE
TEAM

Local Republicans and Democrats impeachment reaction.


BILL: A SPOKESMAN FOR LOCAL
DEMOCRATS SAYS THE PARTY HAD NO
CHOICE BUT TO MOVE FORWARD WITH
IMPEACHMENT. MEANTIME A SPOKESMAN FOR LOCAL
REPUBLICANS SAYS DEMOCRATS ARE
MAKING A MISTAKE.>>THE MOOD IS THE FACTS SHOULD
ALWAYS STAND, WEIGHT AND SEE
WHAT THE FACTS ARE BUT DEMOCRATS
ARE RUSHING TO ASSUMPTIONS.>>POWERBASE FEELS THAT THE
CORRUPTION IS SO BLATANT, THAT
WE HAVE A MORAL IMPERATIVE TO GO
AHEAD WITH IT. BILL: DURING A PHONE CALL WITH
UKRAINE’S LEADER, PRESIDENT
TRUMP ASKED HIM TO DO US A
FAVOR, URGING INVESTIGATION OF
JOE BIDEN.>>A REASONABLE PERSON CAN
CONCLUDE IT IS THE DEFINITION OF
VIOLATION OF THE PUBLIC TRUST. BILL: THE PRESIDENT’S OWN WORDS
SEEMINGLY MEET WITH THE FOUNDING
FATHERS — WHAT THE FOUNDING
FATHERS HAD IN MIND, BUT THERE
IS NO ROADMAP FOR CONGRESS TO
FOLLOW.>>PLENTY OF WINDS THE ROOM TO
SHAPE THE PROCESS TO THEIR
INDIVIDUAL BENEFITS. IT WILL BE AN INTERESTING
PROCESS. BILL: LEADERS OF THE REPUBLICAN
AND DEMOCRATIC PARTIES SEE
IMPEACHMENT FROM DIFFERENT
POINTS OF VIEW.>>THERE IS A SENSE OF RELIEF OR
THAT IT IS LONG OVERDUE. THERE IS IN THE PARTY A GREAT
DEAL OF SUPPORT TO MOVE FORWARD.>>IT SHOWS HOW DESPERATE THE
DEMOCRATS ARE. NANCY PELOSI SAID IT WOULD
DIVIDE THE COUNTRY. NOW SHE IS THROWING THAT OUT THE
WINDOW AND THEY WILL HAVE A HARD
TIME AT THE BALLOT BOX AND DON’T
WANT IT SOLVED AT THE BALLOT
BOX. BILL: DAVID POLIAN SAYS IF NANCY
PELOSI WON’T BRING IMPEACHMENT
UNLESS SHE WAS CONFIDENT SHE HAD
THE 218 VOTES NEEDED TO WIN. BILL O’NEIL, WXI

Republican Congressman Admits The Truth About His Party: “We Don’t Know How To Govern”


Republican Representative Steve Womack, from
Arkansas, finally said this past week what every single person in this country already
knew. Steve Womack told reporters that his party’s
inability to get a budget passed by April 15th, you know, two and a half months ago,
is due to one fact, and one fact alone. According to Representative Womack, his party
simply doesn’t know how to govern. They don’t know how to do it. There it is, folks. The admission we have all been waiting for. And again, we know this. We have seen it for decades now. The Republican party is a party that literally
has two ideas. That’s it. There are only two ideas that ever come out
of the Republican party. One, cut taxes on the wealthy. Two, reduce regulations on corporations. That’s it. That’s all they have. There is nothing else to this Republican party. They don’t know how to do anything else. That’s why every single thing they do ends
up turning into one of those two things. They tried to work on a health care bill,
that ended up just being a massive tax cut for the rich. Paul Ryan boasts about this being one of the
most productive congresses in history, and the only thing they’ve done is repeal regulations
from the Obama era. That is the only two things they can do. Representative Womack is 100% right. They can’t actually govern. They can’t come up with new ideas. They can’t figure out a way to take care of
the American public, or to make the economy grow, or to help American workers, or to protect
the environment, or even something as simple as creating a budget that they all agree on. This party could be inflicting so much more
damage on the United States right now, and we should all be pretty thankful that they’re
not. When you consider the fact they control the
Supreme Court, they control state courts, they control the majority of state governorships,
they control the majority of state legislatures, they control the House, they control the Senate,
they control the White House, and yet the damage they could be causing has been scaled
back to an extent. They’re still causing damage, but it’s not
as bad as it could be. Why? Because as Womack points again, they simply
don’t know how to govern. They can’t even get along with the people
who think the same as they do. They’re that dysfunctional. And again, we should all be very thankful
that Republicans are this dysfunctional. Because if they had a shred of common sense
to them, and understood how to get along with one another, this country would be in much
worse shape than it already is.

If Jesus ran for the Republican nomination


and that’s the down side to living in a
fantasy world for a Republican candidates and not
disappoint you he would have to be Jesus of Nazareth and even Jesus would be toast after a
few news cycles because feed the hungry sounds suspiciously like welfare and heal the sick, for free that is definitely Obamacare! and turn the other cheek?
maybe you didn’t hear Jesus, but this is the party that cheers executions so here now is the short campaign
timeline of Jesus Christ Republican candidate three days after jesus announces he’s in
a Gingrich spokesman reports that he read Jesuses book and finds some aspects of it troubling Mitt Romney says Jesuses previous
statements make him appear anti business and Rick Perry asks if America is ready
for a jewish President and then Rick eats a paint chip Day Seven at the Republican debate the other candidates pile on the new
front runner Michelle Bachman calls the meat
inheriting the earth a colossal expansion of the estate tax and Newt Gingrich scores the big zinger
When he says “mister Christ, America can’t afford another cheek” Day Nine: teabaggers start getting emails
from their idiot brother-in-law and was born alongside a bunch of
animals in a major and not to harp on it but where’s the birth
certificate and if he’s a carpenter is he
too pro-union Day 10 Jesus is now polling fourth behind Perry
Romney and the pizza guy and in a desperate attempt to gain
credibility he goes to new york and has coffe with Trump who
pronounces him a decent guy but a little effeminate alright, that’s our show

Local 24 News political analyst & commentator Otis Sanford on the TN school voucher bill scandal


NOW TO TENNESSEE’S HIGHLY DEBATED EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNTS… OTHERWISE KNOWN AS SCHOOL VOUCHERS. THE FEDS ARE LOOKING INTO FAVORS IN EXCHANGE FOR VOTES THAT LAWMAKERS SUPPOSEDLY TOOK TO HELP PASS THE BILL EARLIER THIS YEAR. TONIGHT LOCAL 24 POLITICAL ANALYST OTIS SURFACE – OVER WHETHER IMPROPER ACTIONS WERE TAKEN TO GET A CONTROVERSIAL SCHOOL VOUCHER BILL THROUGH THE TENNESSEE LEGISLATURE THIS YEAR. FEDERAL INVESTIGATORS ARE ALREADY LOOKING TO ALLEGATIONS THAT SOME LAWMAKERS WERE OFFERED INCENTIVES FOR THEIR VOTE ON THE EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNT PLAN. THE BILL WAS A TOP PRIORITY OF GOVERNOR BILL LEE. BUT IT WAS FORMER SPEAKER GLEN CASADA WHO GOT THE LEGISLATION PASSED IN THE STATE HOUSE. HE DID IT BY KEEPING THE VOTING OPEN AFTER A 49-49 TIE – SO HE COULD CONVINCE ONE HOUSE MEMBER TO SWITCH HIS VOTE. THE TACTIC WORKED AND THE BILL PASSED 50 TO 48. AS THE FEDERAL INQUIRY CONTINUES, DEMOCRATS ARE KEEPING UP THE PRESSURE FOR A WIDE RANGING INVESTIGATION OF CASADA – THAT INVOLVES QUESTIONABLE CAMPAIGN SPENDING AND IMPROPER BEHAVIOR IN THE FORMER SPEAKER’S OFFICE – IN ADDITION TO SHENANIGANS AROUND THE VOUCHER BILL. GOVERNOR LEE ALSO FACED QUESTIONS THIS WEEK – AFTER HE GAVE SHELBY COUNTY LAWMAKERS MARK WHITE AND TOM LEATHERWOOD A RIDE ON THE STATE PLANE – TO ATTEND A REPUBLICAN FUNDRAISER LAST WEEK IN MEMPHIS. BOTH WHITE AND LEATHERWOOD VOTED FOR THE VOUCHER PLAN. OF COURSE, THERE IS NO INDICATION OF ANYTHING NEFARIOUS WITH THE PLANE RIDE. BUT COME JANUARY, THE LEGISLATURE NEEDS TO REVISIT THE VOUCHER BILL. AND EVEN CONSIDER A REPEAL. AT THE VERY LEAST, LAWMAKERS SHOULD DETERMINE, ONCE AND FOR ALL, IF ANY RULES – OR PERHAPS LAWS – WERE BROKEN. AND THAT’S MY POINT OF VIEW. I’M OTIS SANFORD, FOR LOCAL 24 NEWS.

Urban Geography: Why We Live Where We Do


This is Wendover Productions. Sponsored by the Great Courses Plus. Here’s an interesting question: which city
do you think is more dense—Paris, France or New York, United States? It probably seems obvious: New York, the land
of skyscrapers, the Big Apple… right? Wrong. New York, in fact, has a population density
of less than half that of Paris. Paris’s is 56,000 people per square mile
(22,000 per square kilometer) while New York’s is only 27,000 people per square mile (10,500
per square kilometer.) To find a European city with a comparable
population density to New York’s—the densest American city—you have to go all the way
down to number six on the list: Lyon France (27,000 per sq/mile; 10,500 per sq/km.) New York of course has a super-dense urban
core, but then around it is miles and miles of suburbia—just like almost every other
American city. Paris, on the other hand, packs almost its
entire population into a compact urban core. There’s also another interesting pattern
that differs between the two continents: rich Americans live outside the city, rich Europeans
live city center. Compare the income map of Paris to that of
Philadelphia. Of course it’s not perfect, but you can
definitely see a pattern. The most commonly cited reason for both these
trends is the difference in age. Most European cities have existed for hundreds
if not thousands of years, while all but a few American cities only gathered enough population
to be called cities in the past one or two hundred years. What that means is that European cities existed
when all but the super-rich had to commute to work by foot. In the middle ages, Paris had a population
of two to three hundred thousand people, but you could walk from one side to the other
in thirty minutes. It was incredibly densely populated. You just had to live within walking distance
of work. Therefore, the rich paid more for the houses
closest to the center of the city. This is a similar reason to why in historic
European hotels, you’ll often see the nicest and largest rooms on the lower floors—the
opposite of what you’d see today. Before elevators existed, the rich didn’t
want to have to walk up as many flights of stairs. Walking distance was not only important to
big cities. Small villages across Europe were almost always
the same size because their population was dictated by the walkability of the surrounding
fields. European farmers tended to live in small towns
and walk to their fields during the day rather than the homesteading approach used in America. Therefore, villages would only be as large
as the amount of people needed to work the fields within walking distance. American cities, on the other hand, began
their period of rapid growth in a more modern era when decentralizing technologies were
much more advanced. By the time North American cities grew larger
than the distance people could reasonably walk, there was already the technological
capability to create public transportation systems. The first major public transportation innovation
was the steam train in the mid 19th century. This was a very expensive means of transport
and was therefore only for the super rich. Interestingly, because steam trains take an
enormous amount of time to reach speed, the towns that the rich commuted from, known as
railroad suburbs, were generally not just at the nearest bit of countryside, but separated
from the city by a few miles of countryside. The impact of railroad suburbs remains today. On the track of the old Philadelphia Main
Line, there’s a stretch of super-rich communities with huge estates and country clubs from Ardmore
to Malvern. The demographics just never changed from the
time of the railroad suburb. A few decades later, streetcars emerged and
quickly became an instrumental part of the American commute. Much like steam trains, streetcars also created
new communities—this time with slightly less rich upper-middle class individuals. In Washington DC, the wealthy suburbs of Tenleytown,
Chevy Chase, Bethesda, McLean, Rockville, and more all grew as a result of the streetcar. But once again, walking distance influenced
geography. Streetcar commuters had to live within walking
distance of a stop, so naturally there would be a radius of civilization about 20 or 30
minutes walking distance from a stop, then past that…nothing. That meant that between the lines, there was
all this open space where nobody could commute from. Enter: the automobile. At first the car was only for upper class
individuals especially with the distraction of the two World Wars and Great Depression,
however, by the time young Americans returned from World War Two, there had been enough
technological advances to make the automobile affordable for the middle class. Over 50% of households had cars by 1950. At the same time, the government was offering
loans to returning veterans which significantly increased the number of americans who could
afford to buy homes. Instead of buying a small central city home,
this generation opted to use their new cars to commute from cheaper, nicer, and larger
suburban homes. The idea was that the working parents would
go downtown each day while the rest of the family would stay to enjoy the suburb. It was the perfect deal. So that whole history was absolutely true,
but it doesn’t entirely explain why European cities didn’t experience suburbanization as
well. In Germany, for example, many, if not most,
cities were bombed to rubble during World War Two. They had the opportunity to rebuild in any
way they wanted, but then chose to keep their compact design. Today, the average metropolitan population
density in Germany is four times higher than the US’s. At the same time, other cities across Europe
that survived the war experienced enormous population influxes and still maintained their
mammoth population densities. Perhaps the least commonly cited reason for
suburbanization in the US is crime. It’s a bit of an ugly period in American
history that we sometimes forget, but crime levels were absolutely insane in the 70’s,
80’s, and 90’s. There are a ton of different theories for
why this was—perhaps the most interesting being the that the rise in gasoline emitted
lead caused lower IQ’s and higher aggressively. New York had an astronomical 2,245 murders
in 1990. London didn’t even have that many in the
entire 90’s decade. Violent crime rates are still consistently
10 or more times higher in the US. In 1992, a poll was conducted asking departing
New Yorkers why they were moving to the suburbs, and the most commonly cited reason was crime
at 47%. Cost and quality of living were way down at
lower than 10% each. Crime rates are significantly lower in suburbs
as they are typically havens for higher-income individuals. Europeans don’t have to worry as much about
inter-city crime so they’re much more willing to live downtown. Land for suburban housing is also readily
available in the US because farmers have always been quick to sell their relatively unprofitable
land to developers. By contrast, In France, for example, agricultural
subsidies are 12 times higher per acre of land than the US. That’s a big reason why large European cities
are still closely surrounded by small farms. In many European cities, you can literally
take the city bus to farms. Lastly, all sorts of energy are cheaper in
the US. A gallon of gas costs as much as $7 in some
parts of Europe compared to the US average of $2.20. It’s significantly more expensive to commute
by car in Europe so there’s more motivation to live closer to work where either the drive
is shorter or you can take public transportation. Also, big suburban homes aren’t as attractive
in Europe because electricity and heating costs are higher. Suburban life really didn’t live up to expectations. Americans now spend an average of 4.25 hours
per week sitting in cars, buses, or trains traveling to and from work. That’s 2.5% of their entire lives. It’s also been scientifically proven that
commuting from the suburbs is linked to higher blood pressure, lower frustration tolerance,
and higher rates of anxiety. Also, the suburbs are no longer the countryside
havens that they once were. They’re just a continuation of the urban
sprawl. Rich Americans are therefore beginning to
return to the city. With lower crime rates, higher fuel costs,
and an overall shift in attitude, urban cores are having a second renaissance. So that’s why we live where we do. It’s a complicated, controversial, and surprisingly
political history. I hope you enjoyed this Wendover Production
video. I first need to thank my amazing sponsor—the
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