Growth with Abandon — and Not

by Don Boudreaux on May 7, 2004

in The Economy

My colleague Tyler Cowen — inspired by a recent train trip from Washington to Trenton — makes an absolutely essential point today at Marginal Revolution: abandoned factories and dormant buildings that were once alive with commerical activity are frequently evidence of economic vitality and growth. Read his entire post.

But not always. Like Tyler, take a train trip, but this time from Grand Central Station up to Westchester County. Along the way in Manhattan you’ll notice abandoned factories and apartment buildings. These are evidence not of economic growth but, rather, of New York City’s rent control — a policy about which another colleague, Walter Williams, said “Short of aerial bombardment, the best way to destroy a city is through rent control.”

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