The Cato Institute has been debating, bizarrely, with Donald Shoup over his book [book: The High Cost of Free Parking]. It’s bizarre because Cato is ostensibly libertarian, yet they’re trying to argue that government-mandated parking (in zoning laws and so forth) is okay because, essentially, the market would have arrived at the same solution on its own. They have no reason to think that.

The discussion started when Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason and contributor to the Marginal Revolution blog, took to the [newspaper: New York Times] to channel Stroup’s [book: High Cost of Free Parking]. Randal O’Toole came back with a bizarrely non-libertarian post that purports to be libertarian. (Might I suggest that the Cossacks work for the Czar?)

Shoup came back yesterday with what can only be described as an epic takedown. It is well worth your time. Short version: it helps to have the faintest idea what “evidence” means before you try arguing with someone who wrote a 700-page book on parking regulations. Shoup’s rejoinder is wonderfully well-written, too.