Houston's great competitive advantage
Different cities have different competitive advantages, from climate to geography to industry clusters to amenities, but Houston has one that stands apart from every other major city in the world: our free market in land use
. Brian at the Live Oaks blog makes one of the best short cases
I've ever seen for property rights, limited land use regulations, and no-zoning. He starts out discussing the benefits Houston has enjoyed:
For more than 80 years zoning advocates have made dire predictions about Houston's future. Without zoning, we have been told, our city would become unlivable, we would not attract businesses, and we would collapse into a myriad forms of depravity. These predictions have not come true.
Houston's economy has grown steadily and consistently. Housing costs have remained stable. The cost of living has remained well below the national average. All of these economic benefits are the result of Houston's relative freedom.
Next he moves on to an even more compelling moral case for strong property rights. I wanted to do more excerpts, but almost every paragraph makes a good point that builds on the one before it. You just need to read the whole thing
The Star of the Lone Star State
On an unrelated note, I'm traveling later this week to a conference in Austin, so the next post will be next week.
Labels: affordability, economic strategy, land-use regulation, zoning