Out of Control Policy Blog

Making a bad idea worse

Check this out for an article with a cycle of unintented consequences so complex I keep thinking of more hours after reading it.

A housing task force in Massachusetts strains itself and figures out to blame "overly restrictive zoning, rather than a scarcity of land, for the state's high housing prices." But their solution? Pay "communities to approve new residences near transit stops, in town centers, and in abandoned industrial areas."!!!

So. . . Don't fix the bad incentives you've created, but instead create yet more distortions, but more powerful ones with more money behind them so they overcome the old errors. . . Yeah, that's it. That's the ticket.

Adrian Moore is Vice President, Policy


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