Best-Laid Plans: How Government Planning harms Your Quality of Life, Your Pocketbook and Your Future

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Drawing on 30 years of experience reviewing hundreds of government plans, Randal O'Toole shows that, thanks to government planners, American cities are choked with congestion, major American housing markets have become unaffordable, and the cost of government infrastructure is spiraling out of control. The book makes the case for repeal of federal planning laws and closure of government planning offices. Every American who worries about the insidious growth of the Nanny State must read this book.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933995076
  • Publisher: Cato Institute
  • Publication date: 9/25/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 276
  • Product dimensions: 6.55 (w) x 9.51 (h) x 1.46 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     1
Forest Planning     7
The Case of the Fake Forests     9
Garbage In, Gospel Out     15
A Process of Natural Selection     23
Analysis Paralysis     33
The Return of Fire Dominance     41
Why Planning Fails     45
Radical Doctrine or Rational Decisionmaking?     47
Human Barriers     57
Planning Is Not Necessary     69
Land-Use Planning     73
Urban Renewal     75
Turning Portland into L.A.     83
How Smart Is "Smart Growth"?     93
Smart Growth as Oppression     105
Homeownership     111
Housing Affordability     117
Housing Bubbles     127
It's Supply, Not Demand     133
Portland Housing     137
Smart Growth and Crime     143
Portland Planning Implodes     149
Why Planners Fail     157
The Planning Profession     159
The History of Planning     167
The Ideal Communist City     171
Urban Renewal in the United States     179
From Radiant City to SmartGrowth     185
Typical Planning Methods     189
Transportation Planning     195
Planning vs. Chaos     197
The Benefits of the Automobile     203
Costs Exaggerated     221
The Panic Over Peak Oil     227
Planning for Congestion     237
Building Auto-Hostile Streets     243
The Rail Transit Hoax     249
Transportation Myths     267
Why Government Fails     279
Power and Rationality     281
Legislators: Seeking Reelection     289
Special Interests: Looking for Handouts     293
Bureaucrats: Maximizing Budgets     297
The Executive: Distracted by Detail     303
Courts and Voters: The Last Lines of Defense     307
Instead of Planning     311
246 Varieties of Cheese     315
Make the Market Work     319
Turn Open-Access Resources into Property     325
Protect Public Goods with Trusts     329
Understand Government's Limits     335
Reforming Public Land Management     339
Reforming Transportation     343
Reforming Land Use     349
The American Dream      353
Notes     357
Index     393
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  • Posted June 3, 2009

    This Book saved my life

    I was so involved in politics and elections and worrying about this or that issue, until I read this book, and realized that the problem is Communist Central Planning. Both parties are big Government Communist Central planners, and once you accept this fact, you can accept that the two party system is two identical Big Government big spending Nazi Communist Central planners who simply trade places every now and then. Like the planned out WWF matches, the two parties argue about small un-important issues like gay marriage and abortion, while they both engage in Big government spending, bailouts, planning health care, education, transportation, housing, to the tiniest detail.
    The chapter on the fancy expensive Forest Service computer planning software for the forests, that became completely useless after the first Un-planned forest fire kind of sets the tone. this book puts planners in their place. The main idea: "Planners cannot know the future".

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