Issues & Ideas Luncheon, May 2001

Listen to Expert Speakers Over Lunch

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is pleased to host monthly Issues & Ideas Luncheons in Lansing. These luncheons, which feature experts on a diverse array of subjects, offer a forum that enhances and broadens the policy debate to include theoretical and philosophical ideals-and suggestions for achieving them. These luncheons, designed to reinforce policy-makers' understanding of the principles of sound economics and the free society, offer a unique opportunity that is open to all legislative staff, policy specialists, and other interested friends.

Legislative staff, policy specialists, and other interested friends are cordially invited to our



"Smart Growth" vs. Free Markets: A False Choice?


Samuel R. Staley, Ph.D.
Director, Urban Futures Program
Reason Public Policy Institute

DATE:   Monday, May 7, 2001
TIME:   12:00 - 1:15 p.m.
PLACE: The Parthenon Restaurant
              227 S. Washington Square, Lansing
COST:   $5.00

The idea of "smart growth" is rapidly gaining steam as government planners at the local, state, and even federal level look for ways to minimize the environmental impact of what has come to be known as "urban sprawl."  The encroachment of new developments on farmland and other green areas is indeed an area of concern.  However, most solutions offered thus far involve burdensome new restrictions on economic growth, which come with their own problems.  Fortunately, the choice between freedom and free markets on one hand and environmental degradation on the other is a false one.  Many laudable goals of the smart-growth movement can be achieved without onerous regulations that limit affordable housing opportunities for citizens.

Join us as Dr. Sam Staley draws on the experiences of communities throughout the United States (including his own, where he chairs the local planning board) to explain how market-oriented strategies can be applied at the state and local levels to encourage "smarter growth" in Michigan.  Dr. Staley brings more than 15 years of experience as an economic development consultant, urban policy analyst, and economist to his position as director of the Los Angeles-based Reason Public Policy Institute's urban futures program.  He is the author of over 50 professional articles and reports, including a major Mackinac Center for Public Policy study on urban sprawl.  He also has produced three books, including "Smarter Growth: Market-based Land-use Planning for the 21st Century," which he co-edited with economist Randall Holcombe.  Dr. Staley received his doctorate in public administration from Ohio State University.

The luncheon begins promptly at 12:00 noon.  Please make reservations for yourself and any guests by noon on May 4, 2001, by calling the Mackinac Center at (989) 631-0900 or send your e-mail to:

The Purpose of the Issues & Ideas Luncheon

The nature of the legislative process is such that public policy debates are often framed by specific constituencies and political pragmatism rather than sound principles.  By offering a forum for wide-ranging discussion, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy hopes to broaden the debate to include theoretical and philosophical ideals-and how to achieve them.  The best interests of Michigan citizens can only be served when legislation incorporates our best understanding of legal, economic, psychological, moral, and scientific principles.


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