Saturday, April 25, 2009

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff 24

Happy Birthday Live Oaks
I began this blog one year ago today. My initial goal was to build a library of literature defending property rights in Houston. Somewhat to my surprise, Mayor White, city council, and many others have provided an abundance of topics to address. It has been an interesting and fun year, and I look forward to many more.

I'd like to thank all of my readers for your comments, suggestions, and support.

Another Medal for Houston
Forbes Magazine recently announced that the Houston area is home to 29 Fortune 500 companies, second only to New York City. (HT: Houston Strategies) Texas continues to lead the nation, with 64 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the state. The state also continues to be an economic powerhouse, landing the magazine's top five large metropolitan areas for job growth--Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Ft. Worth, and Dallas.

Advocates of liberty know that economic prosperity is the practical consequence of freedom. Unfortunately, our legislators haven't made that connection and are doing their damnedest to emulate the statist policies of California and the Northeast. If they are successful, we will wind up with the same economic results.

Hey Mayor, Look Here
Mayor White has ordered department heads to find ways to cut expenses, according to the KTRK political blog. White is willing to bring in an outside consultant to find savings:
If I can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get millions of dollars of efficiency, I'm willing to do it.

All he had to do was ask me. I have already pointed out how the city could save nearly $100 million:

More than $60 million can be cut from the city budget by eliminating building inspections and similar functions. Building codes, regulations controlling occupancy of residential and commercial buildings, and similar ordinances violate the rights of individuals to use their property as they choose.

Save $5 million by eliminating sign administration. Ordinances regulating and controlling billboards and signs violate the rights of individuals to use their property as they choose.

Nearly $10 million can be cut from the city budget by eliminating the Mobility Response Team. Clearing roadways is not a proper function of government.

Eliminate the Planning and Development Department and save $9 million. Planning and development are not government functions and should be left to the discretion of private individuals.

Privatize solid waste collection over a four year period. This will translate to a savings of about $19 million each year.
The good news for the mayor is that this advice won't cost him a penny--I am offering it for free.


Rational Jenn said...

Happy Blogiversary!

Brian Phillips said...

Thanks. It has been an interesting and informative experience.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your one year anniversary. You have a really wonderful blog...I read it every day.

Brian Phillips said...

Thanks for the compliment and thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

I live in an African city where there are no building inspections. We have at least one building under construction collapse every year. and it's not because we don't knw construction: With the sector booming, cutting corners is a market-driven activity!

Brian Phillips said...

Anon--I disagree that cutting corners is a "market-driven activity". I do not know what you mean by "market-driven", but I use the term to mean the values, needs, and desires of individuals. Satisfying these is what drives the market.

If the contractor is cutting corners, he is violating his contract with the developer or building owner. He is committing fraud. He is satisfying nobody's values, needs, or desires, except perhaps, his own momentary whims.