Planning Leads to Land-use Regulations

Joe Webb, chairman of Blueprint Houston, an organization that helped draft the city’s General Plan, recently repeated the statist mantra that planning isn’t the same as zoning. At the same time, he noted that the plan will help the city control development and make neighborhoods better.

Technically, Webb is correct. Planning is a process of […]

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Statists often like to present their policies and programs as a free market solution. Emission trading, which Wikipedia calls a “market-based approach to controlling pollution,” is one example. Carbon emission trading assigns “property rights” to emissions, which allow the holder to emit a set quantity of a particular substance. Those who emit less of that […]

The Texas Central and Eminent Domain

Texas has a reputation as a business-friendly state. But that friendliness can quickly evaporate when angry constituents start putting pressure on legislators. Last Tuesday, eighteen bills were filed in Austin to stop or impede a privately built high-speed railroad between Dallas and Houston.

Rural land owners are fighting the project, and their representatives are eager […]

Democrats Aren’t Good for Texas Businesses

One of the hallmarks of Regressives is the rejection of principles. They deal with issues in isolation, believing that we must experiment to discover “what works.” Now they are trying to convince Texas businesses to take that same approach. As one example, the Chronicle called for the state’s businesses to consider supporting Democrats. Regressive blogger […]

“Make America Great Again”

Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan was a great success. It resonated with a lot of voters and in my opinion was the main reason he won the election (along with a lot of votes that were simply against Hillary).

But in all the rhetoric associated with that slogan and his campaign, there […]

Another Government Plan Gone Awry

Since 2012, state officials have been encouraging the development of “affordable housing” in “high-opportunity areas”—those with better schools, lower crime rates, and residents with higher incomes. The state has been using tax credits as an incentive to developers. But the program isn’t working as planned, and the reasons aren’t surprising.

Developers are running into two […]

The City of Our Dreams

To many people, the absence of zoning in Houston explains every ill—whether real or imagined—that plagues the city. A comment to a recent Chronicle article illustrates this attitude:

It was too late to build the city of our dreams in 1836. They built a no zoning sprawl in a swamp and never corrected either mistake.

[…]

The Coalition Against Freedom

For decades, Houston has seen a steady parade of politicians and activists advocating rights-violating policies. From the sign and smoking ordinances of the 1980s to the preservation ordinance of the 1990s, from the subsequent amendments to these ordinances in the 2000s and 2010s to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) of 2014, Houston has seen […]

Houston’s Critics

Almost without fail, critics of Houston point to some other metropolis as an example of what a city should be like. The critics want parks and bike trails. They want mass transit and sidewalks. They want walkable communities and sustainable development. Other cities have these things, and Houston should have them too.

Interestingly, the critics […]

A Solution to the Bathroom Bill Debate

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has declared that passage of a “bathroom bill” is a top priority for next year’s legislative session. The bill would mandate that individuals use the public bathroom that corresponds with the gender on their birth certificate. The legislation proposed by Patrick is a response to local ordinances, such as the […]