Because the people who populate Washington live for power. In planning there is power. Even if the planning causes all sorts of dislocation and inefficiency, there is still power in the planning.
Local governments love to seize property for projects. Since the Kelo Decision such seizures often are blatant transfers of wealth from the relatively poor and unconnected to the rich and very connected. If your property isn’t generating enough tax revenue for the city fathers (and their underlings) watch out, a bulldozer my be on your doorstep soon.
China is a land of wonders. The joys of state capitalism abound in the ultimate crony capitalist state. Witness this gem of planning, a lovely condo placed smack dab in the middle of a massive highway. Very nice.
The government wants to know everything about you.
This is a great example of why the government should never manage the economy. The more government manages, the more it will mess things up. Over time this is nearly always true. It is absolutely true in China.
I often hear that the USA is a horrible polluter. That we use all the energy, expand our carbon foot print, and so increase the risk of global warming for the rest of the world.
Professor Williams is a favorite of mine, and I stumbled across this short video earlier today.