Tag: Urban Issues

Do You Have a Permit for That Birthday Cake? »

As just another example that the Nanny State is alive and flourishing in San Francisco—the city that delights in calling itself a bastion of “freedom”—here are a few of the rules if you wish to hold your child’s birthday party in one of its public parks: Don’t bring Mylar balloons. Don’t attach non-Mylar balloons...
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Affordable Housing »

Five years ago, as the housing bubble was ramping up, affordable housing was a big issue. Today, as housing prices have fallen after the bubble burst, I may be one of the few people who thinks housing prices are still too high. [Also see the recent book, Housing America: Building Out of a Crisis.]...
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This Week in The Lighthouse: Obamacare, Renewable Energy, Ground Zero Mosque, Counterinsurgency Strategy »

Time for a pop quiz. What does Alvaro Vargas Llosa think about efforts to block the so-called Ground Zero mosque? What does Ivan Eland think U.S. foreign-policy leaders can learn from the military’s counterinsurgency operations? What does Dominick Armentano think about the prospects of the state lawsuits against Obamacare? What does S. Fred Singer...
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Fox News on Montgomery’s Eminent Domain Through the Back Door »

In my capacity as chair of the Alabama State Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights I am featured today in two Fox stories (print and television). Our committee has been investigating eminent domain as a civil rights issue. The stories describe how “eminent domain through the back door” has become commonplace...
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Why More Spending Doesn’t Produce Better Schools »

A new study from Pepperdine University’s Davenport Institute has exposed the fraud continually perpetuated upon the taxpaying public—and visited upon the poor families trapped in criminally failed government schools—that if the state (in this case, California) just had more money it could deliver a good education. The study concludes that, notwithstanding all the talk...
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U.S. Cities at Long Last Begin Grasping the Benefits of Privatization »

Facing a budgetary shortfall of between $56 billion to $86 billion over the next two years, a recent article in the Wall Street Journal by Tamara Audi (“Cities Rent Police, Janitors to Save Cash”) documents efforts by municipalities across the nation to stanch red ink by outsourcing the “public” services they no longer can...
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Viva Las Vegas! »

Jeffrey Tucker reports from FreedomFest. I’m not there, but Vegas is one of my favorite cities. It’s a place that’s coursing with energy. A couple of quick thoughts: 1. Market forces aren’t doing anything about the weather outdoors, but they’re helping alleviate it. My guess is that there’s someone on every street corner who...
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Can Markets Provide Police Services? »

While Americans spend a lot of money on private security, we generally associate police services with a local government monopoly. And indeed, government is where the buck stops. One of the conventional rationales for government provision of police services is that the market will under-provide it. After all, if I subscribe to a protection...
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The Pursuit of Justice and Elected vs. Appointed Judges »

In my earlier post I outlined the way that economics is applied to analyze incentives in the legal system. The most fruitful area of research in this vein, and arguably the most important one, has focused on the behavior of judges. Unlike consumers and producers in market settings, the relevant incentives for judges’ behavior...
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What is The Pursuit of Justice? »

After returning home to the United States from a trip abroad, I almost always experience a comforting sense of security. The surroundings look familiar, traffic is relatively sane, and I always know where to find a great burger when I need one. But there is something deeper going on as well. Here in the...
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