So, it’s been 10 months since I posted on this blog. Not to worry, I write all over the web, and oyu can find that stuff by google searching me.
But today, I want to talk about a new NIMBY case.
Yesterday I heard a rumor that Wal-Mart is building a new Supercenter about 200 yards away from my house.
Okay, maybe it’s more like .5 miles, but it is close by, and it will be at the edge of a quaint town, the atmosphere of which could be quite changed by the presence of a big box store.
Which is what most people don’t like about the idea, that the character of the town could be changed.
Or, maybe they are more concerned about their homes losing value, a legitimate concern.
What are the legitimate approaches to dealing with a NIMBY situation of this sort? How viable are Coasian exchanges? How serious is the free-rider problem? How expensive could a political battle be?
We could expect people to be willing to expend up to the value they anticipate they could lose in their homes, plus any psychic value, in trying to prevent Wal-Mart from building here. But they won’t because they know it won’t be enough.
And it seems unlikely that anyone would put together an association dedicated to bargaining. People could say they would pay, and then back out. It might be possible to make payment a condition for joining, and then to hold the funds in escrow to be returned if bargaining fails. This is an interesting option, but it still suffers from the free-rider problem where some people will not opt in supposing that others will.
What most likely will happen is that there will be a big political fuss and tons of time will be spent complaining and tons of newsprint will be bled.
And then Wal-Mart will be built anyway.
Which will be nice because then I could ride my bike to go buy paper towels, but it will suck because it will be noisy, and there will be lots of lights on late at night, and traffic will get worse.
But maybe my taxes will go down. Haha!