Please don’t be misled. Although Rothschild emphasizes “urban planning,” this is an affliction that is not unique to the city. It is just as rampant in the small rural towns and their surrounding agricultural lands. That is especially significant on the so-called (and erroneously named) “public domain” lands.– jtl, 419

Written by Richard Rothschild via the American Daily Herald

Sustainability, Smart Growth, and Other Nightmares

There are only two jobs in America where you can “get-it-wrong” on a regular basis and still keep your job: weathermen and government.


Lyndon Johnson instituted Great Society welfare programs to eradicate poverty. Fifty years and $50 trillion later, we have more people on welfare than ever. Why? Because government ignores what every parent knows. If you subsidize undesirable behavior, you get more of it.

In the 1970s, the Environmental Protection Agency instituted Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards (CAFÉ) for cars. To circumvent this, manufacturers produced truck-based SUVs exempt from the standards, leading to a net increase in fuel consumption.

In 1996, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development established programs requiring that slightly more than half of all mortgage loans be placed into the hands of “disadvantaged” Americans. Twelve years later, collapse of these sub-prime mortgages nearly bankrupted the U.S. economy.

So called good intentions of government rarely produce desired results, and frequently yield destructive outcomes. This is because education and intelligence do not guarantee good decisions. Good decisions are the result of wisdom; and wisdom is the product of experience, sound economics, and intellectual honesty, tempered with a dose of biblical principles.

This brings us to the most misused buzzword of the 21st century…  Sustainability.

It sounds good, but the problem is, the word has two meanings.

For most of us, sustainability, with a small “s”, means to make something last for a long time. This is not the case when government uses the word, as it is may better be described as Sustainability with a Capital “S”, and it is a socio-economic movement that promotes increased government control over the factors of production: Land-Labor-Capital, all in the name of saving the planet and promoting social equity.

For those of you that are students of politics, this is also known as Marxism. In fact, 21st century Sustainability might better be described as a hybrid of anti-free-market capitalism, radical environmentalism, and pro-socio-fascist-Marxist doctrine.

People ask me, “Commissioner, what is Sustainability? What does it mean when government says it wants Sustainable Communities?”

I provide the following advice:  Whenever government talks about Sustainable Communities, simply substitute the words, “Government Approved.”

The adjunct implementation buzzword for Sustainable Communities is “Smart Growth.”

Critical premises of Smart Growth are not the product of science or wisdom. They are unproven products of pop-culture politics and wishful thinking. Consider three examples.

Smart Growth assumes residents will choose to live adjacent to huge office parks in order to reduce commuting and traffic. In the real world, there is little evidence to support this. In an economy where people change jobs every three years, it is not practical. People choose their neighborhoods for a variety of personal lifestyle reasons. Large office parks may actually increase traffic and congestion by drawing vehicular traffic into a community and creating chronic day-long traffic problems.

Second, government asserts that Smart Growth will improve a jurisdiction’s tax base. Empirical evidence shows that dense low-cost housing does not produce enough tax revenue to pay the cost of critical services.  If the low-cost units are occupied by non-working recipients of government housing subsidies that pay little or no taxes, the local government suffers a double whammy…. fewer property taxes and fewer income taxes. This of course means that owners of existing single-family suburban homes must pay more taxes to subsidize government services for the recipients of so called affordable Smart Growth development templates.  …Affordable for whom?

The State says, No… that’s not true, government gets more revenue per acre. That’s true, but irrelevant. A 2011 analysis I performed with State supplied data shows that revenue per household may drop by as much as 50 percent. In other words, these units do not generate enough revenue to pay for the cost of government services including schools, police, fire protection, social programs, etc.

Third, dense stack’m and pack’m subsidized housing initiatives are cleverly disguised with euphemisms, including inclusive housing, workforce housing, MPDUs, and HUD block grants.  Empirical evidence suggests these programs have problematic outcomes when buyers who have failed to establish a track record of personal financial responsibility cannot afford upkeep and maintenance within their neighborhoods.

Smart Growth is intellectually dishonest and unwise. It tramples private property rights by changing the fabric of communities with empty promises to improve our quality of life, unsupported by evidence. Crime is also more likely to increase. During an epic debate related to proposed Smart Growth plans in Carroll County, Maryland, more than a thousand citizens spoke-up during hearings, and they were too wise to drink this Kool-Aid.

Government says Smart Growth jurisdictions are more sustainable, healthy, and better balanced. What does that really mean? What makes a town “sustainable, healthy, and better balanced”?

After years of observing effects, I am quite confident I have finally discovered the answer as to what constitutes a so-called healthy, better balanced, sustainable community. Politicians and urban planners, re-engineer communities to promote social equity, with low cost affordable housing because they tend to attract citizens dependent on government services with left leaning voting proclivities.

In other words, a healthy, better balanced, sustainable community is one that contains more left-wing voters.

There are two types of people in the world. The first type includes developers, engineers, and business owners that turn dreams into reality. The second type includes urban planners and liberal politicians. They try to convince us that the nightmare should be our dream.

Learn more about your Constitution with Commissioner Rothschild and the Institute on the Constitution and receive your free gift.



Richard Rothschild


was elected to office in 2010.  He ran under the mantra of “Less Government,” and describes himself as a Constitutional Conservative.  In three short years, Richard received nationwide recognition for his leadership and expertise in epic political issues of the 21st century.  He has appeared in the Examiner, Baltimore Sun, ABC News, and has been a guest speaker on radio shows throughout America, and has made multiple television appearances in defense of private property rights.

Richard was the first elected official in America to officially terminate a government’s membership in Agenda-21 / ICLEI; the first official in Maryland to create a nullification resolution to thwart unconstitutional gun laws, declaring Carroll County to be the nation’s first Second Amendment Sanctuary County; and was also first in Maryland to pass an education choice program for parents that choose private, parochial, or home schooling for their children.

Richard holds a BSEE in electrical engineering; an MBA in Management and Marketing; and has 30 years of private sector business experience.   He has two children and resides with his wife in Mount Airy, MD.

Copyright © Richard Rothschild. Used with permission.


Books by Dr. Jimmy T. (Gunny) LaBaume

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual by Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume.

This guide is a detailed book review of sorts, but perhaps it would be more accurately described as an abstract that condenses 864 pages of detail into 189 pages of concentrated information. No more excuses for failing to properly plan your grazing. The booklet is available from in both soft cover and Kendall versions. Click here. 

CoverA Handbook for Ranch Managers A Comprehensive Reference Manual for Managing the Working Ranch. Click here to buy the paperback version from Land & Livestock International’s Rancher Supply aStore.

Digital media products such as Kindle can only be purchased on Click Here to buy the Kendall Version on

To purchase an autographed copy of the book Click Here


The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsThe Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits.  Click here to buy the paperback version from Land & Livestock International’s Rancher Supply aStore.

Digital media products such as Kindle can only be purchased on Click Here to buy the Kendall Version on

To purchase an autographed copy of the book Click Here

About Land & Livestock Interntional, Inc.

Land and Livestock International, Inc. is a leading agribusiness management firm providing a complete line of services to the range livestock industry. We believe that private property is the foundation of America. Private property and free markets go hand in hand—without property there is no freedom. We also believe that free markets, not government intervention, hold the key to natural resource conservation and environmental preservation. No government bureaucrat can (or will) understand and treat the land with as much respect as its owner. The bureaucrat simply does not have the same motives as does the owner of a capital interest in the property. Our specialty is the working livestock ranch simply because there are so many very good reasons for owning such a property. We provide educational, management and consulting services with a focus on ecologically and financially sustainable land management that will enhance natural processes (water and mineral cycles, energy flow and community dynamics) while enhancing profits and steadily building wealth.
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