- Urban planning itself “has become the externality” [Randal O’Toole, Cato, quoting a New Zealand official]
- New William Fischel book Zoning Rules! [Emily Washington, Market Urbanism]
- If you didn’t catch the earlier update, Jim Epstein at Reason has a critique of the New York Times’s claim to have discovered a miscarriage cluster among nail salon workers;
- Now available: latest annual report on bounty-hunting under California’s Prop 65 [Bruce Nye/Cal Biz Lit with analysis]
- Jane Jacobs vs. Robert Moses: the opera [Jesse Walker, Reason]
- Urbanization is good for the environment [Marian Tupy, Cato]
- Regarding those reports that a major witness in the Chevron Ecuador case “recanted” [Paul Barrett, Business Week]
Externality: the cost or benefit that affects a party who did not choose to incur that cost or benefit.
Also the time and annoyance wasted looking up words that are used to impress instead of writing the idea simply.”Instead of making running cities better, simpler and less expensive, “urban planning” has become a major drain on resources.”
“Externality” may be jargon but it is a bit of jargon well worth learning since it plays a central role in modern economic analysis and recurs regularly in policy discussions, especially on questions of law and the environment. It carries a meaning distinct from “drain on resources,” “harm,” “cost,” etc.
re: Urbanization is good. Concentrating people becomes a literal “green mile.” The total distance that “food” has to travel is reduced when all the consumers are tightly clustered. Consider the “traveling salesman” problem with food distribution. Reducing the delivery distance greatly reduces the fuel and resources expended to get food from farm to table.