Thursday, November 04, 2004

Home Rule

Red states--blue states misses the point. The LA Times shows a map of red and blue counties -- along with a county-level population density map. The red counties tend to be low-density counties -- just as David Brooks pointed out on the Jim Lehrer news last night and just as he noted after the 2002 results.

These voters are not simply evangelicals but a large and growing slice of America. People tend to move to smaller communities (and to private comunities) because home-rule is their best hope for property rules (including zone changes) that they trust. Neighborhood change is a source of risk and home-rule is a form of insurance.

Regional planning advocates have not been listening. No surprise that in Oregon they have just been repudiated by (it appears) 60% of the electorate that supports Oregon's Prop 37. If regional land use rules diminish property values, the owners have to be compensated. What a concept!