Nick Zaiac has been an AIER contributor since 2017, and he is a fellow in commercial freedom at the R Street Institute in Washington, DC. His work focuses on land-use policy, housing, infrastructure, and regulation. He has been featured in many outlets, including the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun, and he serves as an analyst at the Maryland Public Policy Institute. He is pursuing his MA in economics at George Mason University. Follow @NickZaiac.
Articles from Nick Zaiac
Simple majority voting would make it easier to allow concessions to bring desirable housing and businesses to towns. Anti-development homeowners, bothersome local NIMBYs, and incumbent local businesses hold less sway when they need to convince more than half a town council to say “no” to new housing or businesses.
Ending the railroad’s long-distance routes would take trains off segments of rural railroad, saving lives. An Amtrak that behaves like a truly private railroad could focus on getting service in major corridors right, investing in improvements to do its job better, and improving overall maintenance to prevent close calls like the Maryland separation. Getting its year back on track will be a challenge, but there is hope for policy change that could make things a little better.
Politicians who ignore pension reform, sapping funds from facilities maintenance, should be replaced. These are real choices for school boards and for taxpayers, between accountability for maintenance and deterioration through thousands of little instances of neglect — choices that could avert situations like the one we see in Baltimore.
This is a classic case of a common-pool resource problem. The decrease in free admission days means less traffic in the parks today, lowering the wear and tear on park facilities that future visitors will use. These visitors will have to cope with the damage from overuse by the current generation without the ability to voice an objection to the subsidized use.