Had lunch yesterday with my friend Brian Oberkirch, and we talked about the shifting economic sands. Today he passed along this great article by Umair Haque called Detroit’s 6 Mistakes and How Not to Make Them. What’s the first big mistake?
“Shifting costs onto others, while striving to internalize benefits. Detroit chose lobbying, marketing wars, and low-cost hardball – to always and everywhere try to socialize costs and privatize benefits. Never was this truer than Detroit’s lobbying against public transport throughout the 20th century. Why does public transport in the States suck? Because Detroit’s lobbying machine doesn’t.”
I never looked at it that way. Did Detroit really lobby against public transportation? I guess I wouldn’t be surprised. Markets are supposed to be efficient, but what that economic bromide really means is that markets are more efficient if you hire lobbyists.