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Big Box Stores

Easy Payments

Easy Payments

The allure of a silver-bullet economic development project is like that boat you buy for a low, low down payment. You know, the one that ended up sitting in your driveway under a tarp for years. Just ask Memphis.

Everyone Loses in Missouri's Tax-Subsidy Wars

Everyone Loses in Missouri's Tax-Subsidy Wars

Using tax incentives to subsidize retail is a lose-lose game that St. Louis's suburbs, desperate for short-term revenue, have been playing for too long. University City is mortgaging its future and selling out its small businesses with a $70 million subsidy for big-box development.

The Shopping Mall Death Spiral

The Shopping Mall Death Spiral

Cities that tethered their future to this experiment are going to struggle, while those that still have a pulse in their core neighborhoods will have a chance at renewed prosperity.

The Talisman of Colerain

The Talisman of Colerain

Everything that used to be shiny and new in this town is now aging – not all of it well. This town, like nearly every other town of its vintage, is functionally insolvent.

How Local Cronyism Hurts America's Cities

How Local Cronyism Hurts America's Cities

American towns and states are subsidizing big businesses to the tune of billions of dollars a year. In exchange, we get crappy, big box developments and infrastructure we can't pay afford. 

Stuck with Strip Malls

Stuck with Strip Malls

Strip malls are not the result of the free market choosing a preferred development pattern; They're the result of government regulations.