Randal O'Toole on Rising Rents

The Cato Institute’s Randal O’Toole (aka the @antiplanner) returns to the show to discuss the epidemic of rising rents in metropolitan areas across America. As usual, planners at the federal, regional, and local levels have a policy solution in search of a problem, and are creating new problems in the process. They cite the lack of affordable urban housing near public transit as justification for “growth management”, but their plans end up discouraging developers from increasing the supply of the most-needed kinds of housing. Basic economics predicts the devastating endgame for the lower and middle classes: The rent is too damn high. One solution, on which even partisans can agree, is land deregulation. Yet top-down urban transformations like Plan Bay Area, for example, continue to rule the day. While O'Toole grants that some planning and regulation is necessary to minimize the negative externalities of large numbers living in urban areas, he argues that “urban planning itself has become the externality.” Tune in for the show of ideas, not attitude – on Talk910.com or 910AM in the SF Bay Area.