SoHo debate on whether the government should act to reduce housing segregation

Particularly interested in this debate because Rothstein is a big name in the YIMBY movement. He was a bit of a killjoy, decrying the opening comedy act as racist and saying he wouldn't have come if he knew about it.

The bias of the audience also showed, they began polling overwhelmingly against the resolution. And ultimately Rothstein lost which I found surprising after the debate. But upon reflection when writing this several days later I don't remember particularly strong points from Rothstein

(1) Rothstein's big argument is that the government didn't just segregate neighborhoods but also created huge wealth inequality. So its too late for blacks to buy into good neighborhoods and desegregation can't happen via market forces. As a back of the envelope calculation he says that intergenerational wealth correlation is 50%. So it'd naive take a generation to halve the wealth gap

(2) Husock argues that the biggest issue is black neighborhoods with high poverty. And the government needs scalable solutions (good schools and policing) to help these neighborhoods. I'm sympathatic to this argument but he provided few numbers here. Its worth noting that based on wealth the median white person couldn't buy into Palo Alto. And that the median income dominated median wealth

(3) Husock also argued that if the gov't caused segregation in the first place why would you trust it to fix the problems now. He points out that people might value neighborhood amenities such as churches (and cited some anecdotal examples). And gov't programs might destroy the wealth of black people. For instance with the community reinvestment act (Rothenstein disagreed strongly here) and say subsidies based on income that discourage getting new jobs

(4) Husock argued that things are becoming desegregated already. They disagreed about this empirically. But that wasn't resolved