Cities, Conservatives and the Future of the Country

Harvard economist Ed Glaeser is recognized as fairly conservative, certainly an enthusiast for market based policies. His new book, Triumph of the City, calls the city man's "greatest invention". He counts the many blessings that come from well planned and well run cities; economic growth, wealth, leisure time, culture, social justice, creativity, invention and more efficient use of resources. He also notes that the Federal and state governments often intervene to undermine cities. He cites rural electrification, farm price supports and excessive road expansion as examples. NY Times columnist David Brooks praised the book in a recent column.

With these two prominent conservatives opening their eyes to the value of cities it's ironic that the GOP controlled House issued a budget that completely wipes out one of the few Federal programs that actually may be favorable for cities. The HUD/DOT/EPA Sustainability Program is on the chopping block, at least on the House end of the Capitol. Don't get me wrong, economy in government is important. Yet in my view they should start with something big and really wasteful like the war in Afghanistan. I served in the US Army and am no pacifist, but Afghanistan has gone on ten years and is crowding out both public and private investment that can build America's future. Whether you agree with me or not if you want to weigh in, here are links to your Senators, House member and the White House. Let them know how you feel.

To see a map of all the Sustainable Communities and TIGER grants awards by HUD & DOT in 2010, click here.

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