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Housing Preferences, the Drinking Age, and Copyright Schoo

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Housing Preferences, the Drinking Age, and Copyright Schoo

Today in the News

Housing Preferences

Some smart-growth advocates are pointing to the results of the 2011 Community Preference Survey---which suggested people enjoy dense urban living---as proof that smart growth policies are benefiting the public.

Policy Analyst Marc Scribner responds.

"There is good reason to be generally skeptical of supposed evidence for or against a given position that is obtained through surveys. Talk is cheap. Action, on the other hand, is a far better measure of an individual’s preferences — in this case, a snapshot inventory of where people actually choose to live. According to the most recent American Housing Survey from the Census Bureau (an imperfect comparison, yes, but an interesting one), 29 percent of occupied housing units were located in central cities in 2009 (27.3 percent of occupied housing units were located in cities with at least 100,000 residents). I have yet to see anyone seize on the apparent disparity between the two reports and claim that this is evidence that many current residents of dense cities would rather live in less dense suburban, small town, or rural settings."


Drinking Age

Alaska State Rep. Bob Lynn (R-Anchorage) has proposed a bill that would allow anyone 18 years and older with a military ID to drink alcohol in Alaska.

Policy Analyst Michelle Minton praises Lynn for injecting some common sense into the debate over the drinking age.

"The current age limit has created a culture of hidden drinking and disrespect for the law. Regardless of whether a person is in the military or simply an adult civilian, he or she ought to be treated as such. If society believes you are responsible enough to go to war, get married, vote, or sign a contract, then you are responsible enough to buy a bottle of beer and toast to living in a country that respects and protects individual rights. It is long past time the law caught up with that reality."


Copyright School

Google recently unveiled a "YouTube Copyright School" for YouTube users.

Associate Director of Technology Studies Ryan Radia explains the benefits of Google's efforts to educate the public on current copyright law.

"In the ongoing copyright debates, areas of common ground are seemingly few and far between. It’s easy to forget that not all approaches to combating copyright infringement are mired in controversy. One belief that unites many stakeholders across the spectrum is that more efforts are needed to educate Internet users about copyright. The Internet has spawned legions of amateur content creators, but not all of the content that’s being created is original. Indeed, a great deal of online copyright infringement owes to widespread ignorance of copyright law and its penalties."