Sunday, June 05, 2005

Policy analysis -- not

"Downtown? L.A. Doesn't Need One" writes Joel Kotkin in today's LA Times. He points out that times have changed and downtowns are, with very few exceptions, not significant or particularly useful.

This at a time when everyone in sight has signed on to another multi-billion dollar downtown renewal project that will have about the same effect as all of the other ones that we have been through since the 1950s. Insiders will cash in; taxpayers will be ripped off; politicians and their acolytes will preen -- and downtown L.A. will remain what it has been for the last 50 years: of very minor importance.

There is no perceptible learning curve on these matters and (textbook economics aside) there is no equity-efficient trade-off. Just less of both.