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Muda69

Like Most Government Central-Planning Schemes, Zoning Laws Raise the Cost of Living

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https://mises.org/wire/most-government-central-planning-schemes-zoning-laws-raise-cost-living

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In the classic video game Sim City, players acting as the mayor of a simulated city begin by allocating space by industrial, residential, and commercial zones. There is no option in the game to have overlapping districts, where a department store might sit next to a middle-class home. The very idea would seem absurd to modern minds, which typically accept city zoning as an intuitive and unquestionable element of city governance. But prior to the twentieth century, zoning did not exist in the United States.

Zoning laws grew out of a European city-planning movement pioneered by municipal socialists, such as the British Fabian Society members who advocated socialism by municipal governments. Various ideas for the aesthetic planning of cities were implemented in different countries, but zoning was a German innovation. Building regulations were not unknown in the late nineteenth century, but in 1891, Frankfurt became the first city to divide its territory into different districts with distinct regulations. Berlin passed a similar ordinance the following year. Like other city planning policies, one of the original aims of zoning was to limit land speculation — this being the height of popularity for Henry George’s single-tax plan, even in Europe.

Once the idea was conceived, though, the broad potential of zoning laws for city planners was easy to see. By passing strategic regulations for specified zones, planners could decide — as in Sim City — what parts of the city would be industrial, what parts would be commercial, and where people would live. Aesthetic considerations were quickly adopted by regulators, but at its core, zoning was a scheme to allow city planners to escape the tyranny of market prices. As historian Daniel Rodgers puts it, “At its most ambitious, zoning was a device to map out in advance of the price system the shape of the city’s development.1

With the benefit of Austrian price theory, it is easy to foresee the consequences of evading the price system in city development. The choice of location—for businesses and residencies—has to consider a complex array of variables, each of which interact with the rest of the economy. City planners attempted to consider economic factors when outlining zones, such as the proximity of industrial zones to railroad lines and commercial harbors, but as Mises would demonstrate in 1920, only individual entrepreneurs — using market prices — could determine the most economical allocation of resources. Industrial operations that required larger tracts of land, for instance, may find it more cost-effective to absorb higher transportation costs in favor of cheaper land outside of the allocated zones. Zoning can raise the costs of living and doing business, but it can never lower it.

...

California and New York not only introduced zoning laws to the United States, they remain home to some of the most zone-regulated districts in the country. In a recent study of the twenty-five least affordable housing markets , California counties claim seventeen spots on the list, with New York occupying five (Hawaii takes the last two). By contrast, Houston is famous for its lack of zoning laws (though they do have building regulations), and it is consistently one the most affordable housing markets for large cities.

One of the original selling points of zoning regulations that survives today was that zoning protect and enhances property values. This is certainly true, but the very argument is a roundabout way of admitting that zoning laws make it more difficult for people to become home owners. Rising property values are nice for those who own property, but they raise the barriers to home ownership and business startups for everybody else.

Agreed.  Draconian zoning regulations need to go the way of the dinosaur, and let the free and open market determine values.

 

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14 minutes ago, Impartial_Observer said:

Here's your answer:

 

Rory Reid.jpg

Sorry I don't know who that is,  other the name "Rory Reid" is in the picture filename you uploaded.

 

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2 minutes ago, Impartial_Observer said:

Rory Reid knows how to zone a city.

But don't stand between him/his Chinese puppet masters and their profits.

Thank you, but that really doesn't tell me who exactly Mr. Reid is.

 

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Quick Google search says:

He's good at money laundering in the guise of campaign contributions.

He's in bed with a Chinese solar company.

He's an attorney.

Served as HRC's Nevada chairperson

Failed miserably as the D candidate for Nevada governor 2010.

Served as chairperson of the Clark Count Commissioners and can plan the hell out of a city. 

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5 minutes ago, Impartial_Observer said:

Quick Google search says:

He's good at money laundering in the guise of campaign contributions.

He's in bed with a Chinese solar company.

He's an attorney.

Served as HRC's Nevada chairperson

Failed miserably as the D candidate for Nevada governor 2010.

Served as chairperson of the Clark Count Commissioners and can plan the hell out of a city. 

Ok, thanks.  He is one of Dante's buddies.  That explains everything.

 

  • Disdain 2

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5 hours ago, Muda69 said:

Thank you, but that really doesn't tell me who exactly Mr. Reid is.

 

Image result for You are Clueless meme

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5 minutes ago, Impartial_Observer said:

Pretty sure we've been down this road.

Probably,  but I've slept since then and really don't care all the much about Mr. Reid, whoever he is.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

Probably,  but I've slept since then and really don't care all the much about Mr. Reid, whoever he is.

 

 

Dude I'm telling you, our resident expert on everything says he's your boy for zoning. 

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4 hours ago, Muda69 said:

Ok, thanks.  He is one of Dante's buddies.  That explains everything.

Soon IO will also have a boat load of animosity against Richard Lugar and Andre Agassi.

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