Nothing is easier than to rhapsodize about the waterfront as “a public resource beyond compare.” But, however impressive the San Francisco waterfront may be, no resource is “beyond compare.”
Comparing — weighing one thing against another — is what rational decision-making is all about. Exempting what some segment of the population wants from the process of weighing alternatives is what rhetoric-driven political stampedes are all about.
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Ms. Renne’s assertion that those who own the waterfront should be the ones to make decisions about it is an argument for a policy the opposite of what she advocates.
Constitutionally protected property rights, which have been seriously eroded by judicial “interpretation,” were meant to keep many decisions out of the political arena.
It is not that individual waterfront property owners will get together to make such decisions. Instead, market processes can make property owners “an offer they can’t refuse,” based on how much other people want their property, in order to build whatever there is a real demand for by others. And we will be spared rhetorical flourishes.
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