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The Wealth of Cities
ISBN 0738201340 / 9780738201344 / 0-7382-0134-0
Publisher Perseus Books Group
List price $18.95
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Milwaukee Mayor Norquist, a first-time author, appropriately alludes to Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations in his title. This strongly free-market book blames bad government policy for much of what's gone wrong with cities. He names a few familiar enemies, such as welfare's culture of dependency and the government monopoly on public education. More interesting, however, is his analysis of how government created the suburbs through road construction and housing subsidies--public actions that gave people the means to abandon once-thriving urban cores. Norquist describes how some cities have begun to turn the corner, and also recommends a series of commonsense public policies. Politicians have a knack for writing books that say nothing, but Norquist offers a thoughtful analysis of urban America, one that avoids the tired answers of both Left and Right and sets forth its own unique vision. --John J. Miller [via]