The More Things Change…

In 1993, during the final months of the last attempt to bring zoning to Houston, I gave a talk to the Houston Property Rights Association titled “Winning the Battle but Losing the War.” In the talk, I warned that without a moral defense of property rights, we might defeat the upcoming referendum, but zoning advocates […]

A Park on the Moon?

This was originally posted on PoodleRose on July 29, 2013. Comments have not been migrated.

Earlier this month, two members of Congress introduced the Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act for the purpose of preserving the landing areas of NASA’s moon missions. Time magazine senior editor Jeffrey Kluger thinks that this is an excellent idea that […]

Davy Versus Davis

This was originally posted on PoodleRose on July 15, 2013. Comments have not been migrated.

In an opinion piece on CNN.com, Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis decries a Republican proposal to close 90 percent of the state-funded women’s clinics, after previously closing fifty such clinics:

Real Texans don’t want any woman to lose control of […]

The Tragedy is “the Commons”

Since Roman times, it has been held that certain resources, such as air and water, could not and should not be privately owned, but instead held “in common.” Today, “the commons” movement seeks to destroy private property rights by equating air and water with such man-made values as the Internet and the electrical grid. This […]

The Practicality of Private Waterways

The following article was published in the Spring 2010 issue of The Objective Standard.

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For centuries, few have questioned the idea that waterways—streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans—are or should be “public property.” The doctrine of “public trust,” with roots in both Roman and English common law, holds that these resources […]

Houston, We Have a (Zoning) Problem

The following article was published in the Spring 2009 issue of The Objective Standard.

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Houston, Texas, my hometown, is one of only two American cities with a population greater than one hundred thousand that has not imposed zoning laws on its citizens. (The other city is Pasadena, Texas, a suburb […]

The Problem Isn’t Term Limits

This was originally posted on Live Oaks on August 12, 2010. Comments have not been migrated.

The Chronicle’s editorial on Wednesday again voiced opposition to term limits:

We continue to believe they entail needless public cost for staging elections while denying the best officials the opportunity to continue serving the city. The system prevents citizens […]

A Tale of Two Walmarts

This was originally posted on Live Oaks on August 4, 2010. Comments have not been migrated.

Two Houston neighborhoods are unhappy with Walmart because of the retailer’s plans to build stores nearby. One is in The Heights, and it has some residents fearing that small businesses won’t be able to compete. As one told the […]

Libertarians and Rand Paul

This was originally posted on Live Oaks on May 28, 2010. Comments have not been migrated.

Kentucky Senatorial candidate Rand Paul is taking a lot of heat for his comments regarding the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Paul stated that the federal government should not be dictating how private businesses operate, and specifically said that […]

Property Rights and Flooding

This was originally posted as a series on Live Oaks in May 2010. Comments have not been migrated.

In response to a post last week, a reader asked:

Why are the property rights of the affected residents any more important than the property rights of the upstream property owners who are flooded through no fault […]