Op-Ed: Regulation Has Urban Progressives Confused

According to Aaron M. Renn, left-leaning urbanists chafe against a regulatory culture their ideology supports. Favoring "regulation for thee but not for me," they want to bend the rules, but only for enterprises they like.
June 1, 2015, 1pm PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Dominic Simpson

In an article for City Journal, Aaron M. Renn argues that, increasingly, "People identifying as urban progressives increasingly find their own goals stymied by laws and regulations, and they're demanding that these restrictions be overturned or limited."

He cites cases where progressives have sought deregulation for marijuana, urban agriculture, food trucks, and other leftist causes. Then he points to places—such as the environment—where progressives pursue stringent controls. From the article: "What these part-time freedom lovers don't understand is that, absent a wider culture of liberty, calls for selective liberty will probably go unheeded."

For Renn, urban progressives sense the benefits a "culture of liberty" could bring to cities. He challenges them to pick a side. "What the urban Left doesn't recognize is that the regulatory mind-set is nearly impossible to turn on or off, depending on what you like or don't like." 

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Published on Sunday, May 10, 2015 in City Journal
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