I threw up Friday’s Redistribution post somewhat hastily during my break, but there isn’t much more that I haven’t said before. As a follow-up, I’d like to tie it in with some other interesting reads.
Ryan Avent at The Bellows agreed with Yglesias’ post and added:
Anyway, I saw in Google reader that libertarian intellectual Will Wilkinson had shared Matt’s post, presumably because he agreed with it. And indeed, this is one of those times when libertarians and liberals can find common cause. On the other hand, most of Cato’s planner types vigorously defend suburban sprawl and highway construction, and vigorously oppose smart growth and transit construction, despite the obvious point that it takes an immense web of regulations and subsidies to support rapid suburban and exurban growth.
Over here! Ryan, Will! We’re over here!…
Definitely check out The Bellows post. Will Wilkinson stopped in to comment, too.
I think the “common cause” concept was conveyed well in Ed Glaeser’s recent NY Times piece, called The Case for Small-Government Egalitarianism. Harvard’s Glaeser reaches out for “common cause” between libertarians and progressives – kinda like the links between Free-Markets and Urbanism:
Libertarian progressivism distrusts big increases in government spending because that spending is likely to favor the privileged. Was the Interstate Highway System such a boon for the urban poor? Has rebuilding New Orleans done much for the displaced and disadvantaged of that city? Small-government egalitarianism suggests that direct transfers of federal money to the less fortunate offer a surer path toward a fairer America.
Many of my favorite causes, like fighting land use regulations that make it hard to build affordable housing, aid the poor by reducing the size of government. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, I also argued that it would be far better to give generous checks to the poor hurt by the storm than to spend billions rebuilding the city, because those rebuilding efforts would inevitably help connected contractors more than ordinary people.
Urbanism is an area where free-market folks and progressive city dwellers can work together and share knowledge on so many concepts – I think we’ll find we have more in common than what’s on the surface. As Noah Millman puts it:
But forgive me if I question the proposition that any political group is actually purely rational, and actually acting entirely out of concern for the common good. People who are, fundamentally, more distrustful of big government because they are convinced it will inevitably become the tool of special interests against the common good will be more alive to the kinds of things that can go wrong with big-government solutions than will other kinds of liberals who lack that basic distrust. By the same token, libertarians might be more likely to be won over to liberal perspectives if liberals can articulate arguments that libertarians would respect about how their policy proposals will actually limit government capture by special interests.