Comment 24256

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 29, 2008 at 18:34:44

If you are comparing Houston with Hamilton, I think most people would conclude that Houston is more vastly more impressive than Hamilton. You mention "livability", I am not exactly what that means, but i do know that home prices in Houston are extremely cheap compared to almost every other city in the USA.

One of the major costs of buying a home today are excessive taxes, and land use restrictions that reduce the amount of available land to build on. Yes, if you are rich, it is nice to have a large protected green space as your neighbour, but not everybody is rich. Open up the land available to build on, and watch home prices drop significantly. But then again, the only people that would benefit are average citizens, not rich people who want their own private garden of eden right next to them.

You mention that Houston is having a huge problem with "sprawling" development. If only Hamilton had such problems. At least Houston is alive, it may be experiencing growing pains, but Hamilton is on life support. I for one would rather have a problem of too much growth, than a lack of it.

As for Hamilton being a hinterland in 1917, you are either lying, or are extremely misinformed. By 1917, the HSR had been operating in Hamilton for over 40 years. Another interesting fact about the HSR, is that it began as a private business, imagine that. Your love affair with transit began as a business venture.

By comparing Hamilton and Toronto/Burligton and implying that regulation has no effect since Toronto is growing faster than Hamilton, Toronto is also a net contributor of taxes to the province. I have stated previously that government is most harmful when it gives money, not when it takes it. Since things have a way of balancing out, if you want Hamilton to prosper, stop asking for handouts from other jurisdictions, and let the private sector work its magic.

Regarding the King/Spadina issue, you have already stated that the it was a relaxing of government restrictions that led to developers being allowed to build new structures. Had there been zero regulation or restrictions in the first place, the condos would have gone up even sooner. The government's policy was successful, because it removed the restrictions it had established in the first place. It's like taking credit for easing someone's suffering, because you stop punching them.

People talk about democracy, and claim that it is the best way of settling our problems. The free market is just another form of democracy, except people get to vote with their hard earned dollars, and get to do it every day. If no one ever used a parking lot again, than the parking lot owners would go out of business. Problem solved. The fact that parking lots exist in Hamilton, proves that some people like them, otherwise they would stop using them. It is quite simple.

Many people don't accept that individuals should be able to decide if they want to use a parking lot. These same people embrace the idea that government, with the backing of force, can tell others what is "good", and what is "bad". It is the experts, the "urban planners", who get to make all decisions regarding the city. It doesn't matter if a person owns his/her own land, that is irrelevant. All that matters is that people must be "forced" to follow the rules established by the "experts".

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