"O'Toole presents an across-the-board indictment of government planning. Whether zoning suburbs, designing rail systems or determining how much timber to cut in national forests, he says, federal, state and local planners are trying to simplify dizzyingly complex problems. Inevitably, they focus on one or two resources, fall prey to planning fads and succumb to pressure from interest groups."
—Alan Cooperman, Washington Post Book World
"A hard-hitting, fact-filled, well-written volume. Fascinatingly, Mr. O'Toole explains why elected officials tend to favor government planning. Namely, they are happy to turn over hot issues to the planning bureaucracy rather than make the decisions—and take the heat—themselves."
—William H. Peterson, The Washington Times
"An outstanding recent book, The Best-Laid Plans
, gives a richly documented account of government actions and their consequences, and shows a far from flattering side of politicians, 'experts,' and environmentalists--who have ruined cities and suburbs in countries around the world."
—Thomas Sowell, Townhall.com
"O’Toole documents example after example of government planning gone hideously awry. He demolishes the widely held belief that government planners are somehow smarter or more capable of managing the future than market forces. Yet despite all evidence to the contrary, many Americans still expect the planners to miraculously get it right the next time around. Better to fire the planners and let free people, free minds and free markets use the genius of their freedom."
—The Washington DC Examiner
"As O'Toole shows, whether it's failed "smart growth" schemes, oppressive zoning policies, expensive light-rail boondoggles or mismanagement of public forests, government planners have caused us trouble and cost us freedoms. Their misguided, top-down, faddish rules and regulations have brought us higher housing prices, more-crowded roads and forests that are susceptible to diseases and catastrophic fires. O'Toole says it's time to liberate society from planners' control."
—Bill Steigerwald, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“Government planners will want to ban this book. But O’Toole’s exorcism of planning should be required reading for elected officials at every level of government.”
—Andy Stahl, Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics
“O’Toole has convinced me that—in some cases—markets can work to protect the environment. Conservationists who always support planning and are always disappointed at its outcome should read this book.”
—Andy Kerr, Former Director, Oregon Natural Resources Council
“O’Toole today looks a lot like Jane Jacobs did in 1961. They’re both outsiders with a detailed grass-roots view of how planners—with the best of intentions—are following a fashion into disaster.”
“Everyone plans. The problem is that people have gotten the idea that government has the ability to plan very large entities, including whole cities and regions. O’Toole documents the problems that occur when this planning fails to work.”
—Peter Gordon, Professor of Urban Planning, University of Southern California