RORSCHACH TEST….I had a (very short) conversation with a friend recently about parking spaces for compact cars. Horrible things, we agreed, a blight on western civilization. Whose fault are they?

My immediate reaction was that the answer was obvious: shopping centers are required by law to have a certain number of parking spaces, and compact spaces are a devious way of keeping parking lots small while still meeting the legal requirements.

My conservative-leaning friend had exactly the opposite instinctive reaction: he figured they were probably mandated by lefty city councils trying to promote the purchase of clean, economical compact cars.

Neither of us, of course, had any idea what the real answer was. What do you think?

UPDATE: A quick Google search suggests the correct answer. This article is typical.