Yglesias on Urban Affairs

After it took my an hour to get home from work today for a normally 15 min drive, I was happy to read this interview with Matt Yglesias in The Atlantic on some of his urban affairs ideas. I’ve been a big proponent of congestion pricing to lighten traffic (here and here), Matt offers up some more ideas to consider. This is a topic that is dreadfully under-discussed.  

Q. You’re a committed progressive. Am I right in thinking that you’re also a supporter of a lot of very market friendly urban affairs policies? Why is it that there isn’t a stronger alliance between the market friendly right and left on these issues?

I think the biggest issue here is simply that American cities are so overwhelmingly populated by liberals. Consequently folks on the right don’t think much about cities and when they do it tends to get lazy and slipshod. Ask a conservative about rent control, and he’ll give you chapter and verse on how it distorts things, likely blissfully unaware that rent control is largely non-existent these days. Ask about parking mandates or FAR limits or whatever and you draw a blank stare. I also want to specifically call out Randall O’Toole of the Cato Institute and the Reason Foundation. I’d like those outfits to be my allies on these topics, but O’Toole is a pawn of the sprawl lobby who’s willfully blind to the ways in which current government regulations are anti-urban. 

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