Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside and
He serves on the Appropriations and Budget Committees. [go to
Assembly Member Haynes
website at California Assembly][go to Haynes index]
Despite government bureaucrats…
One of the
great myths of government since the 1960’s
is that government bureaucrats and politicians “plan” growth.
In response to that myth, government hired thousands of “planners” who
now sit around in offices preparing large reports, and doing
countless studies, planning how growth will take place, and trying
to “manage” how development in their city, county
or state will progress. Much like the Stalinist five year plans
of the 1930’s, however, these growth “plans” usually
is that growth happens. It is not planned. It is not managed.
be made smart. Anyone who talks about
planned growth, managed growth or smart growth is simply fooling
themselves. People buy houses they can afford, work in the places
they can find work, build their businesses in the places where
they can make money, buy stuff they want in the places where
it is the cheapest, and then drive to get to each of these places.
Every single time government tries to “change” people’s
behavior by planning for people to do things the way the government
thinks is the “smart” way of doing things, government
ends up turning everything into a mess. Growth happens, all government
can do is try to ameliorate the effects of growth.
where the problems come in. People like growth, but they don’t
like the effects of growth. Traffic, congestion, crowded schools,
busy stores, delay, and aggravation are not
caused by growth, and will not be stopped by stopping growth.
In fact, growth often pays for the government to fix the effects
of growth, in the form of traffic mitigation fees, traffic light
fees, street improvement fees, park fees, school construction
fees, and the myriad of other fees assessed on new homes. When
a fast growing community stops growing, the usual result is to
freeze the misery everyone is experiencing at the point when
growth stopped, because there are no more fees to build new streets,
schools, traffic lights, or freeways.
that California is having with growth is not the growth, or
the effects of growth, since everyone knew what
those effects would be. California’s problem is that so
many politicians and bureaucrats are spending so much time and
money planning growth that they never do anything to ameliorate
the effects of growth.
A lot of people like to blame developers for growth, and they
like to blame city councils or county supervisors who approve
growth, for the bad effects of that growth. Quite frankly, that
is wrong. Developers only build what you and I will buy. City
Councils and County Supervisors are trying to keep the cost of
housing from going out of control. These council members and
supervisors are also hamstrung by laws that require them to study
everything and plan for everything time and time again, to the
point that all of their time and money is drained for planning
and studying. They spend years trying to build streets, freeways,
schools, dams, traffic lights, electricity lines, and the like
to solve the problems of growth, all the while government bureaucrats
and laws stand in their way. Growth outstrips infrastructure
only because the state does not allow the local government to
meet demand as it arises, only to plan for it.
Government doesn’t have to plan for it.
Government knows it will occur. Rather than study it, plan for
it, worry about it, prepare lots of reports about it, and draw
lots of maps about where the bureaucrats want growth to go, these
bureaucrats should spend their time making sure they are building
roads, schools, and water and electrical facilities, so that
people aren’t miserable when they get new neighbors. Planning
doesn’t help. Building does. CRO
Haynes is a California Assembleyman representing Riverside
and Temecula and frequent contributor to CaliforniaRepublic.org.