The Tragedy is “the Commons,” Part 5

With no exceptions that I have discovered, commoners dismiss the idea of privatizing the commons. For example, Elinor Ostrom notes that in regard to fisheries “the establishment of individual property rights is virtually out of the question” (Govering the Commons, page 13). She cites a report by the Canadian government that states that “the establishment […]

The Tragedy is “the Commons,” Part 4

According to today’s commons movement, the commons includes much more than resources such as air and water. For example, the website for On the Commons, an organization dedicated to the commons movement, states that the commons is “a social system for the long-term stewardship of resources that preserves shared values and community identity.”

This is […]

The Tragedy is “the Commons,” Part 3

In the 1980s, a school of thought emerged that challenged Garrett Hardin’s alternatives of privatization or regulation. This school was a revival of a movement from the Progressive Era, called Institutionalism, that studied how individuals interact to achieve their own “highest utility”—their self-interest—in utilizing the commons. Today, advocates of this school call themselves the New […]

The Tragedy is “the Commons,” Part 2

When the American West was first settled, the vast prairies were shared by ranchers in what was known as the open prairie system. The absence of trees and similar materials made it expensive to build fences, and the scarcity of water made it necessary for livestock to graze over a large area. The open prairie […]

The Tragedy is “the Commons,” Part 1

The political Left is comprised of many different movements, many of which are dedicated to a particular issue or cause. For example, feminists clamor for “women’s rights.” Environmentalists seek to “protect” nature from human encroachment. Unions seek to expand their power and influence. While each of these movements has a different focus, they agree on […]

The Dishonesty of Statists

Statists aren’t known for their intellectual honesty, but on occasion they exercise such intellectual gymnastics that even Simone Biles would be impressed. A recent example comes courtesy of the Chronicle’s “Gray Matters,” a column that supposedly has the purpose of making us think about important issues.

The article is titled “Houston sidewalks aren’t improving fast […]

Affordable Housing and the Choices We Make

We have heard a great deal about the need for additional affordable housing in Houston. Advocates have told us that over 210,000 households in Harris County spend more than half their income on housing. They have told us that children in low-income neighborhoods suffer from high crime and substandard schools. But in all of these […]

The “Affordable Housing” Crisis

Last week, the Chronicle unleashed two more screeds on the city’s alleged “affordable housing” crisis. The latest target has been the Inner Loop, where rising demand has elevated housing prices. First, the paper informed us that rising housing prices mean that many downtown workers must commute. Then, the paper reported on a new study that […]

Protecting Texans From Their City

The Texas House is considering a bill that would severely limit the ability of local governments to impose historic designations on private property. Under current law, local authorities have broad discretion in designation historic landmarks and subjecting such properties to government control.

As might be expected, preservationists are up in arms. Steve Sadowsky, the historic […]

Choice and Affordability

For months, Regressives, including Mayor Turner and the Chronicle, have been on the affordable housing bandwagon. They have been telling us that Houston lacks affordable housing. But just last Friday, the Chronicle reported that “Affordable homes help Houston attract millennials.” Interestingly, both of these claims are true, but for reasons that Regressives won’t acknowledge.

To […]