Friday, May 20, 2016

Get you a philosopher-king

It appears that California is edging closer to a state resolution that pushes back against the collective-action problem of NIMBYism in land use policy. This is by no means a silver bullet--numerous other regulations prevent a functioning market in land use, and this same policy hasn't fixed New York's problem--but it's a positive step towards resolving a yuge dysfunction in our largest and most innovative state. This stuff really matters.

Most notably though, by promoting this policy Gov. Jerry Brown is demonstrating an astounding comprehension of the current policy wonk zeitgeist. This dude is the ultimate insider, having served in various government positions for many decades. Yet he's still 'got it,' identifying the "market urbanist" position as the hot direction to move towards.

Just take a look at his response to this question at a forum, which should certainly inform Hillary Clinton's strategy towards Donald Trump:

Also take a look at this general profile about his re-election:

I don't want to fall into the trap of the Green Lantern Theory of the Presidency, but given the institutional constraints in California government, Gov. Jerry Brown has demonstrated a remarkable effectiveness, foresight, and fluidity. It would've been cool to see him wield more authority over the federal bureaucracy.

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