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The Best-Laid Plans: How Government Planning Harms Your Quality of Life, Your Pocketbook, and Your Future [Hardcover]

By Randal O'Toole (Author)
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Item description for The Best-Laid Plans: How Government Planning Harms Your Quality of Life, Your Pocketbook, and Your Future by Randal O'Toole...

Drawing on 30 years of experience reviewing hundreds of government plans, Randal O'Toole shows that, thanks to government planners, American cities are choked with congestion, major American housing markets have become unaf-fordable, and the cost of government infrastructure is spiraling out of control. The book makes the case for repeal of federal planning laws and closure of gov-ernment planning offices. Every American who worries about the insidious growth of the Nanny State must read this book.



Citations And Professional Reviews
The Best-Laid Plans: How Government Planning Harms Your Quality of Life, Your Pocketbook, and Your Future by Randal O'Toole has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Choice - 02/01/2008 page 1208


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Item Specifications...


Pages   416
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.5" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1.75 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2007
Publisher   Cato Institute
ISBN  1933995076  
ISBN13  9781933995076  


Availability  0 units.


More About Randal O'Toole


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Randal O'Toole is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who has written four previous books and numerous papers on housing, urban growth, transportation, and public land issues, including his most recent book, "American Nightmare: How the Government Undermines the Dream of Homeownership". He has been a leader in innovative thinking on urban land use, natural resources, and environmentalism.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Law > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General
3Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Law > General



Reviews - What do customers think about The Best-Laid Plans: How Government Planning Harms Your Quality of Life, Your Pocketbook, and Your Future?

This is what Founding Fathers feared would happen to America   Feb 8, 2008
Eye opening to what local government is doing to us, I have seen this first hand.
 
A top pick for any college-level political science or American history collection.  Dec 4, 2007
Government planners claim to know all, from how individuals should be living their lives to how far to live from work and how much money to make, population distribution and more. THE BEST-LAID PLANS: HOW GOVERNMENT PLANNING HARMS YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE, YOUR POCKETBOOK, AND YOUR FUTURE refutes these claims, offering damning evidence on government planning gone awry - and what to do about it. Theory blends with case studies to create an analysis perfect for college-level classroom debate, making THE BEST-LAID PLANS a top pick for any college-level political science or American history collection.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
 
Why government planning fails.  Nov 12, 2007
In his 48 chapters O'Toole covers a wide range of government planning efforts. Rather than a complaint only about the disastrous consequences of a specific government planning effort, he shows why such efforts are doomed by the very incentives that motivate government.

He has many years of first-hand exposure to the Congressionally mandated planning process for our national forests. He argues that the planning process has wasted over a billion dollars and severely impeded the management of those public lands. It has defocused the Forest Service so badly that they are marginally effective.

He description of the various fads that run through the ranks of urban planners are sufficient to suggest they should be called congestion enhancers. Many urban plans in the guise of "traffic calming" actually make congestion worse in the hope that people will chose a high density lifestyle. Like most urban planning this runs counter to peoples wishes. It just makes commutes more time consuming , increases gas consumption, and increases pollution.

"Smart Growth" is anything but smart and relies on substituting planners pipe dreams for the citizens personal plans and cost sensitive traffic engineering.

He includes a number of examples from Portland, Oregon where urban growth boundaries have run home costs up enough that many people settle in Washington instead. When citizens voted overwhelming against more light rail, Metro chose alternate financing and decided to build anyway. That same Metro opines "Congestion signals positive urban development."

His chapters on "The Rail Transit Hoax" and "The Benefits of the Automobile" are worth the whole cost of the book. There have been so many invalid cost comparisons that one can only assume some promoters of rail and transit are willing to lie to get even close to the cost parameters of personal transportation.

He spends 6 chapters explaining the reasons government planning fails. The result is incredibly higher costs, and often a solution more dangerous to the citizen.

His final 9 chapters suggest replacements for government planning and ways Congress could dramatically improve the management of those public functions that remain in government.

This brief outline just lightly touches on a few of the many topics that O'Toole so ably discusses.

Every legislator should read this book! The information in this book will help every citizen hold their government realistically accountable.
 
More focus, please  Oct 22, 2007
I think this book tries to do too much, especially in the middle chapters. I'd rather read a short, focused, very-well-researched book; I thought the chapters on "Peak Oil Panic" and "Building Auto Hostile Streets" were particulary weak, which makes me question the quality of the research in the rest of the book.

The wide scope of issues tackled will give critics opportunities to nit-pick, which is too bad because I think there is a lot of great information and good ideas here.
 
The Best laid Plans  Oct 15, 2007
Outstanding that all elected officials should review. San Jose/Silicon Valley is now doing a General Plan review to take two years and has agreed not to consider expanding the Urban Growth Bounday established in 1974 and never expanded. This results in sky high housing prises averaging $800,000. congested roads and vacanat office buildings.
Hopefully they will read O'Toole's bookThe Best-Laid Plans: How Government Planning Harms Your Quality of Life, Your Pocketbook, and Your Future.
 

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