The methodology underpinning this posting consisted of a representative survey of land-use and housing documents published by leading free market advocacy groups. Of the 100 groups investigated, 21 were found to have both prominence within the pro-market advocacy community, and to have devoted conspicuous resources to the land/housing issue. From these 21 groups (Cato Institute, Heartland Foundation, Fraser Institute, Frontier Centre, Institute for Public Affairs et al), 33 reports and 35 articles were dissected. To clarify certain statistics, several additional articles and reports from the mainstream media and from government agencies were summoned. A recent Harvard study on housing and a paper on commercial property from the Journal of Real Estate Management also proved helpful. To keep things germane, the canon was restricted to documents published during the last decade.
From the 2,000 pages of free market think tank literature perused, some preliminary observations can be made. The groups surveyed self-identify as advocates of: deregulation, privatization, free enterprise, limited government, property rights, individual liberty, lower taxes, and competitive entrepreneurialism. While some hold up this agenda as an end unto itself, most promote this agenda as a means to achieve: economic growth; poverty alleviation; efficient resource use; and the general enhancement of opportunity, innovation, and prosperity.
While this entire community could be categorized as “classical liberal,” only the UK’s Adam Smith Institute keeps the “liberal” flag flying. The word “liberal” has been anathematized across the English-speaking world’s pro-market community, especially in the USA. Despite this, surprisingly few of the surveyed groups embrace the term “conservative.” Most prefer epaulette collages wherein “free market” and “limited government” find salience......To Read More...