Good luck getting a building permit

Bureaucracy overshadows American ideals of homeownership, entrepreneurship

Last time we heard the story of Dan Ludwig, a cabinetmaker who came to America in 1955, built himself a workshop in his backyard, and went on with the business of making a living.

But times have changed, and not for the better. Here’s how things might go for Dan if he’d been an immigrant in the year 2011 instead of 1955.