Category Archives: United States

After Kelo, Governments Keep Nabbing Property

Kelo v. The City of New London, perhaps the most derided Supreme Court case in recent memory, has finally received the thorough review it deserves. George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin’s new book, “The Grasping Hand,” chronicles what led to the infamous decision a decade ago. More importantly, he shows why people of all political persuasions should care about eminent-domain abuse. Somin also adds to the literature by evaluating the effectiveness of the many state laws passed in Kelo’s wake to curtail government abuse of eminent domain.

The facts of the case are well-known. Susette Kelo, a long-time resident of New London, Connecticut, fought back against a private body called the New London Development Corporation that wanted to destroy her Fort Trumbull neighborhood and replace it with new development to increase city tax revenue. In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with New London, and forced Kelo to move out of her little pink home.

Read the rest on The Federalist here.

Baltimore’s New No-Frills Bus System Is Public Transport at Its Best

Mass transit options vary wildly across US cities. Some rely heavily on rail lines, like subways or commuter service to suburbs, or light-rail lines, which run along the ground. Some employ ferries to move people across bays and rivers, and others might even use more exotic forms of transit, like inclined planes and monorails.

Yet in nearly every city, the most important form of transit for many riders is the public bus. Research makes clear that buses are both widely used and unpopular among riders, especially among middle-class citizens with the financial capability of trading the bus for a car. But we also know that, of all mass transit options, buses are the most flexible and cost-effective way to move people around cities.

For transit planners, then, the key is to make bus services both efficient and appealing.

Read the rest on the PanAm Post here.

Embracing Uber Would Be Good for New York

Will Uber create 13,000 jobs in its first year of operation in New York State, or will it destroy 11,150 jobs? As state policymakers in Albany debate crafting a legal framework that would allow Uber to move Upstate and to Long Island, the answer to this question is important for New Yorkers and the state’s economic future.

The projection of 13,000 new jobs comes from Uber. The projection that 11,150 jobs will be destroyed comes from the Committee for Taxi Safety, Uber’s opposition. It is clear after evaluating both reports that welcoming Uber will be a net gain for New York.

The committee “is comprised of licensed New York City taxi agents managing approximately (20 percent) of the yellow [taxis] in New York City.” It has taken an interest in the rest of the state because the committee’s members are worried that state regulation will force New York City policymakers to reverse their hostile stance towards Uber.

Read the rest on Reason here.