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Could you explain what exactly you mean by constraints on supply if not regulations like zoning?

Of course I'm talking about zoning, I'm just rejecting the black/white corner you're trying to paint me in.

I've elaborated at length on the subject before, both here and at my own site.

Suffice it to say we know zoning and regulation constrains our supply. I'm in favor of loosening that constraint. I like Ryan Avent's approach that states we don't know where exactly we are on that spectrum, but looser regs (in terms of supply, e.g. density) are better and will allow the market to work more efficiently.

Also, if you acknowledge that developers love any regulations that make them richer and hate the ones that reduce their profits, then you must acknowledge that regulations are rules that make a free market run more smoothly, lest one predator get the upper hand consistently, and spoil the stew for everyone, including themselves in the long run.

Your mistake here is to think all developers think the same. Their attitudes vary a great deal, often depending on whether they have a foot in the door or not.

How does DC not "allow supply to increase to meet demand"? Most visitors would marvel at our skyline full of cranes.

Those visitors are asking the wrong question. The question is not "are there cranes, yes/no?," but "how many cranes would there be in a more efficient marketplace?"

And to think one can develope a market that is free of inefficiency is not to understand how brilliantly inefficient humans can be. It reminds me of the modernist ideal of building as a machine for living, which dosen't account for the intangibles that define quality of life, no matter how inefficient something might seem on paper.

You are moving the goalposts here - inefficiency in the sense of economics means something very specific. It does not mean the same thing as you've applied it here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadweight_loss

I'm a free marketer also, but like any good game, we need rules to ensure some modicum of fairness. Not every kid is large, and when the big kids throw an elbow to score a goal, that dosen't make for a good game, that's just shooting fish in a barrel.

I have no idea what you are getting at with this analogy.

Again, show me where I've called for the elimination of all regulation.

Likewise, I fail to see how restricting supply is 'fair.' It favors the haves - those that currently have the land - over the have-nots. That seems rather unfair, no?

by Alex B. on Dec 20, 2012 8:11 am • linkreport

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