The Economy

     Because zoning restrictions are imposed at the local level with the blessing of State legislatures, restoring economic prosperity will require nation-wide efforts to eliminate zoning restrictions.

     Many cities and towns misuse zoning restrictions to prevent the construction of residential housing, with a view to prevent people from acquiring a legal residence within municipal limits and thereby reduce school costs. This could be avoided by doing away with public schools altogether.

     Without zoning, builders will have an incentive to tear down a dilapidated single-family house with lead paint, aluminum wiring and asbestos. Of course, completely removing the asbestos is impossible, but they would clean it up as best as they could. Then they could erect a ten-family apartment house, which is much more efficient because there is no heating loss along interior walls and floors.

     Local bureaucrats glance at a site plan and immediately ask, “Where are the tenants going to park their cars?” which is like asking where they will land their helicopters. Adding a parking lot costs money, which drives up rents, and bureaucrats have no right to rob tenants who don’t have cars. People should be free to live closer to places where they can work, shop, or gather to drink together. Bureaucrats have no right to punish people for not driving cars.

     Abolishing zoning will immediately lead to an abundance of new jobs in demolition and construction, and with a glut of new housing on the market, rents will plunge, allowing families to save for college while sending the children to legitimate schools.

     Congress needs to start the process by eliminating zoning in the District of Columbia.

     Congress also needs to repeal federal laws that impede the development of new jobs. I don’t want pollution, but there is nothing in the United States Constitution giving Congress a right to protect the habitats of endangered species. Want a bird sanctuary? Buy some land and start one.