Plan, Control, Subsidize–Fail
I will be on the Brian Wilson Show on FM Talk 105.7 today at 1:05.
The topic of discussion will be my latest Baltimore History Examiner post Plan, Control, Subsidize–Fail
Here is an excerpt:
Previously, I discussed the historical examples of the perils of government
regulations and government planning. See here and here. My point was that the more fingers government puts into the market the larger the impetus for big business to buy off politicians and purchase influence. If government is involved then big business has a vested interest in writing the regulations and being part of the plan. The unintended consequences of regulation and planning can be a bitch. In many cases New Deal, Great Society and No Child Left Behind programs created or exacerbated the problems they were intended to solve.
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The state prosecutor’s investigation into Sheila Dixon’s ties to Ronald Lipscomb/Doracon and related developers is just another example of my argument. The Baltimore Sun has reported that Lipscomb and his 57 LLCs are linked to Baltimore’s biggest developers.
In their report released this week, Baltimore’s Flawed Renaissance: The Failure of Plan-Control-Subsidize Redevelopment, Baltimore based researchers Stephen Walters and Louis Miserendino lay bare the failures of Baltimore’s government planning.
In a nutshell, since the 1950s Baltimore has seized private property through eminent domain and then provided tax breaks and subsidies to developers to revitalize the area. It is, dare I say it, a form of a planned economy.
Walters and Miserendino argue that this plan-control-subsidize strategy has made
Baltimore’s “revitalization” a tale of two cities. The Baltimore that tourists see at the Inner Harbor or Camden Yards, and the Baltimore we know from The Wire or The Corner.
In addition to that sad dichotomy, we also get the Ronald Lipscomb’s of the world, who need to lavish money on politicians in order to receive government largesse in the form of taxpayer dollars to fund their business empires.