Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

October 31, 2013

CRAIG LADWIG: In Indiana, it sometimes pays to be dumb

'Smart Growth' adherents restrict their local economies.

You may not have heard this good news about the Indiana economy: The state has avoided as a whole the mistakes that result in local housing bubbles. And this, among other reasons, is why Indiana remains a relatively good place to live.

This was not intentional, alas, as will be explained, but it nonetheless gives us an advantage.

Wendell Cox, a public-policy consultant who writes on this topic for The Indiana Policy Review, describes the situation in a recent Wall Street Journal article. He argues that Florida has done things wrong while Texas (and by accident Indiana) has done them right — that is, keep local real-estate markets free of the so-called “Smart Growth” plans.

Those of us condemned to cover planning-and-zoning meetings know that Smart Growth has been a green fad for decades. To preserve urban as opposed to suburban aesthetics, not to mention saving the planet, it calls for restrictive land-use policies to limit municipal expansion, prohibiting new housing except in small sections of already dense metropolitan areas. The promise is a more perfect and sustainable city. The reality is a dearth of affordable housing.

Cox confirms what common sense could only suspect, that the municipal planning-and-zoning crowd was ignoring the ruinous costs of its high-minded vision, that being the disruption of the competitive market for land in a community and the driving of prices up for hapless citizens as demand rises sharply in relation to supply.

“These higher prices get passed along to prospective homeowners in higher housing costs — often made even pricier by various other regulations and fees,” notes Cox. “The rapidly escalating house prices, in turn, create the potential for extraordinary profits for speculators — or property ‘flippers.’ Jumping into the real-estate market in considerable numbers, they increase the excess of demand over supply, driving prices higher still, until a bubble begins to expand.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • LoBianco: Bigger ethics questions raised in House Turner review

    Members of the House Ethics Committee who will take up Rep. Eric Turner’s case face daunting tasks as they try to answer two questions: Did their powerful colleague violate any ethics rules in privately lobbying against a measure that would have hurt his family’s business?

    April 18, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor: April 18, 2014

    Attendees at the Tipton County Board of Commissioners meeting April 7 were treated to an appalling lack of both action and concern by the commissioners.

    April 18, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor: April 17, 2014

    On March 20 of this year I attended a public meeting of the Tipton County Economic Development Alliance. Members of this group include the three county commissioners, a member of the county council, two members from the city council, and the mayor.

    April 17, 2014

  • Hicks: Measuring the unmeasurable

    One aspect of economic research I think is especially powerful is the ability to measure or monetize the things that humans clearly value but for which a market price is not necessarily apparent. This is one of the aspects of economic analysis that gives it such dominance over other social sciences.

    April 17, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: Bush presents 'The Art of Leadership'

    On April 5, “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,” opened at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The display, which runs through June 3, boasts “portraits of more than two dozen world leaders” painted by Bush, according to the official literature.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bohanon: ‘Economics is fun’ in Vegas or in Bible study

    I am writing this on an airplane to Las Vegas. I’ll be attending the annual conference of the Association of Private Enterprise Education along with two of my colleagues and six of my students.

    April 16, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor: April 16, 2014

    At the time the agenda for the April 7 commissioner meeting came out, I was happy to see that the neglected commissioner board appointments were finally going to be addressed. These appointments had been in limbo for months on end.

    April 16, 2014

  • Hayden: Want better teacher ratings? Ask the kids

    The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards.
    That was the general consensus of the State Board of Education days after teacher evaluation data were released last week.

    April 15, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor: April 15, 2014

    In a recent “public eye” article written by KT columnist Scott Smith about the proposed industrial wind turbine project; mention was made of the “new deal” brokered by Howard County Commissioners with E.ON.

    April 15, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Mike Pence for president in 2016? Stay tuned Mike Pence for president? The swirl of 2016 national ticket talk surrounding Gov. Pence intensified over the past few weeks. I sat down with the governor in his office on Tuesday to find out what he's really thinking. A few hours prior, the Weekly S

    April 14, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll