December 26 roundup

  • “Elephant Habeas Case: Steven Wise’s Forum Shopping Apparently Fails” [Ted Folkman, Letters Blogatory, earlier here and here]
  • Right now owners of gas stations in D.C. “need approval from the Gas Station Advisory Board (GSAB) to close. However, there’s one small problem. The GSAB hasn’t had members since 2008, so there’s no one to get approval from.” [Daniel Warwick, Greater Greater Washington]
  • “Jones Act Reform Gaining Momentum” [Colin Grabow, Cato, earlier]
  • “Serving Two (or More) Masters: Civil Service and Bureaucratic Resistance in our Administrative State” [Adam White working paper and related video as part of Hoover Institution’s Land, Labor, and Rule of Law conference]
  • MoCo vs. NoVa in business site relocation, Baltimore policing, charmless climate suit, red flag law and more Maryland policy in my latest Free State Notes;
  • New York appears ready to return to the days of confiscatory rent control, a policy that helped ruin wide swaths of the city in the 60s and 70s [Charles Urstadt, City Journal]


  • The law that gas station owners must get permission to close is pretty insane. If you are going out of business, how can the rule stop that? Does it require that you keep losing money forever? This seems like clear overreach.

    Rent control in NYC plays to “that’s not fair” emotions. The idea is that greedy rich landlords are charging too much and must be stopped by force. This logic requires that landlords have monopsony power over tenants and a cartel. There is no landlord cartel. The fact is rent is high because of government policy (building restrictions) as well as restrictions on landlords themselves. If you are forbidden from evicting tenants, then you are going to charge more to cover your risk. So much do-gooderism is ill thought out and counter productive.

    • “So much do-gooderism is ill thought out and counter productive.”

      Is there any do-gooderism that isn’t ill thought out and counter productive?

      There ought to be a law against people saying “there ought to be a law…”.

      Wait a second….

  • Huh. Bad enough that you needed permission to open, now you need permission to close? And people make fun of Atlas Shrugged.

  • Do-gooderism is usually just power-tripping behind a fake smile.