I identify myself (loosely) as a Cato-style libertarian, which often prompts responses of “Oh, yeah, well Cato published this absolutely idiotic article on…” Apparently being of Cato’s style carries the implication that I agree with everything anyone associated with Cato ever writes. Of course I don’t even agree with everything anyone on my group blog writes. In fact I don’t even agree with every thing that I… well, you get the picture.
So here let me demonstrate a case in point, where I disagree with a Cato affiliated scholar. In the great parking space fight between UCLA’s Donald Shoup, the author of The High Price of Free Parking and Cato’s Randall O’Toole, I side with UCLA (and I hate the Bruins) against Cato.
The contretemps was sparked by Tyler Cowen’s positive NY Times commentary on Shoup’s book (and I always side with Cowen–is he ever wrong?), which led to O’Toole’s critique at Cato at Liberty, and then Shoup’s reply at Streetsblog.
Let’s just say that O’Toole, despite representing home-town fave Cato, wins no fan support from me when he a) critiques Shoup’s book despite not having read it, and b) claims Los Angeles is “the nation’s densest urban area.” He also misinterprets a critique of minimum parking space regulations as a demand for maximum parking space regulations.
In the end, it seems O’Toole is, oddly, defending city planners’ parking requirements on the grounds that the free market would demand just as much parking as planners provide for. If that’s the case, then we could follow O’Toole’s advice and nothing would change, except we’d have fewer regulations. What Cato fellow could disagree with that?
So score one point for the visitors. But I’m still a Cato-style guy.