A provocative take on politics and culture from a skeptical, libertarian point of view

Location: Long Island, New York, United States

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Atlantic Yards House of Cards To Collapse?

From the New York Times July 1, 2007Official Sees Possible Risk in Big Project in Brooklyn By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE and ANDY NEWMAN

"Ever since it was proposed, the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn has simultaneously been the borough’s biggest, most controversial and least understood real estate development.
Critics have long suggested that the project is a taxpayer-subsidized bonanza for the developer, the project’s promised jobs and subsidized housing a kind of Trojan horse for the thousands of high-end apartments that come with them. But the developer, Forest City Ratner, and state officials overseeing the project have resisted divulging much information about the project’s financial structure, confining those criticisms to the realm of speculation.

That debate may be revived because of a lawsuit that has wrung free hundreds of pages of internal documents from the Empire State Development Corporation, the state agency overseeing the project. An analysis of the documents suggests that the Atlantic Yards behemoth — 8 million square feet of apartments, offices, stores and an arena planned for 22 acres near Downtown Brooklyn — may in fact be a delicate beast."

Another interesting report from Nicholas Confessore of the Times.

What does anyone really expect to result from eminent domain, corporate welfare, sports welfare and government involvement in economic planning and economic development? Why should this suprise anyone? Where were they when Milton Friedman, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard and many other libertarian economists examined these questions?

Millions of dollars of taxpayer's money and acres of private property will be taken from their rightful owners and given to Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards alias the Nets Arena, thanks to the veiled fist of government in New York City and State. Is it really suprising that rosy predictions underly this attempt to gain wealth through government rather than the market? If you substitute government planning for the market, then you distort economic decisionmaking. It is not enough to stop legalized theft such as Atlantic Yards. Let us abandon the failed notions of government planning and subsidy of economic development.

Abolish the Empire State Development Corporation and its local municipal counterparts.

Defend property rights. Support the Institute for Justice ( and Develop, Don't Destroy Brooklyn ( Follow the story at

Remember that this legalized theft is done at the expense of taxpayers, property owners, and tenants in the name of the people.

Remember, that the New York Times is a partner of Forest City Ratner in the scheme I called Time$cam.

Dump Bloomberg, Markowitz and Spitzer. Vote Libertarian.

Richard Cooper, former Chair of the Libertarian Party of NY (2000-02, 2006-07)

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