Wed 24 Jun 2015 07:25:36 PM PDT
NIMBY + ISDS = Profit?
Random idea for how to make some cash from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Step 1: Buy a piece of real estate in a city with a severe NIMBY problem. (See How Strong Property Rights Promote Social Equality for more info.) Sell an ownership interest in the property to a foreign company.
Step 2: Get an architect to design a building for the site that is technically 100% legal, but that will provoke a severe NIMBY reaction. Something like "Section 8 housing for TaskRabbit workers and tech bus drivers." Put up posters and buy some newspaper ads, to get the local NIMBYs fired up.
Step 3: When the local government starts giving you grief about the building plans, don't even go to the City Council meeting. Take it straight to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, and get the US Federal government to pay the foreign company for its investment loss.
Buy back the foreign company's share of the property and repeat. Do this enough times and a vacant lot could be more profitable than a luxury condo development. (Sucks to be a person actually looking for an apartment, but hey, are we going to do Free Trade or what?)