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They’re Coming for Your Lawn Mower

July 29th, 2013 - 6:31 am

Paul Krugman — surprise! — has joined the Left’s War on Suburbia:

Yet in one important respect booming Atlanta looks just like Detroit gone bust: both are places where the American dream seems to be dying, where the children of the poor have great difficulty climbing the economic ladder. In fact, upward social mobility — the extent to which children manage to achieve a higher socioeconomic status than their parents — is even lower in Atlanta than it is in Detroit. And it’s far lower in both cities than it is in, say, Boston or San Francisco, even though these cities have much slower growth than Atlanta.

So what’s the matter with Atlanta? A new study suggests that the city may just be too spread out, so that job opportunities are literally out of reach for people stranded in the wrong neighborhoods. Sprawl may be killing Horatio Alger.

It’s a real theme on the left. The suburbs destroy the environment, the suburbs destroy community, the suburbs destroy upward mobility…

Of course, it’s all a sham. Middle class values are easy to learn, and not that hard to practice. Graduate high school, get a job, get married, buy a house, have kids — and in that order. Of course, the Blue big cities have destroyed their schools, ObamaCare has stunted the starter job market, progressivism shuns marriage, the bubble has put homeownership out of reach, and welfare has allowed babies to make babies for generations now.

But it’s somehow all the fault of suburbia.

Riiiiiiiiight.

Fact is, the suburbs are the closest thing we have left to the farms and ranches of old, where every home is a castle.

Better to squeeze people back into the cities the Democrats ruined, where they can be more effectively controlled.

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Top Rated Comments   
"Because people really just kinda like not being in a shitty city."

Exactly. Along with the concept of bang for the buck. Say you can afford a $700k mortgage. Would you like an 800 square foot 1 bed apartment in Manhattan, or would you like a 3,500+ square foot 5 bedroom home on half an acre of land 30 miles from that city, with free parking, lower taxes, and a significantly higher quality of living? The same value is true for any major urban area. Make big city money, then blow it on your own little slice of nobody-can-tell-me-what-to-do-here.

All other things being equal, that is not a particularly tough decision for most people.


1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's all the fault of the left's other big enemy, the automobile. The automobile gave people the mobility to work in the city, but live in the suburbs. Out in the suburbs they were free of the influence of big city machines.

Liberals can't stand all that freedom which is like they cities and mass transit and hate suburbs and automobiles.

My neighborhood in the suburbs is pretty well mixed racially/ethnically. What we all seem to have in common is the middle class values that Stephen points out. People work, their kids graduate school, couples stay together, all that square old middle class stuff.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (8)
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I'm still surprised the Guardian Ad Litem lets Krugman have access to his word processor.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's all the fault of the left's other big enemy, the automobile. The automobile gave people the mobility to work in the city, but live in the suburbs. Out in the suburbs they were free of the influence of big city machines.

Liberals can't stand all that freedom which is like they cities and mass transit and hate suburbs and automobiles.

My neighborhood in the suburbs is pretty well mixed racially/ethnically. What we all seem to have in common is the middle class values that Stephen points out. People work, their kids graduate school, couples stay together, all that square old middle class stuff.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Exactly right, and the suburb I live in is pretty much the same as yours.

When I was in the market to buy a house some twenty years ago I lived in the city. My choice was a city where the public employees were generally rude if you could actually get one to answer the phone, the roads were potholed and poorly plowed in the winter, the schools were deteriorating, and the politicians buried their heads in the sand regarding the growing, but politically incorrect gang problem.

In the suburb I eventually chose, I found public employees who actually answered their phones and were helpful and pleasant, well-maintained streets and award-winning schools, and dedicated police and fire departments with an attitude of "can do" instead of "we don't have the money for that."

The choice was blindingly obvious, even though I had lived in the city most of my life.

One has to be highly educated to be as stupid as Krugman, because the very simple concept he and his ilk fail to grasp is "If you build it, they will come." And to spell it out for the Krugmans of the world, "it" is simply a place that more people want to live in than want to flee from.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Because Detroit?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have a lot of problems with the suburbs, but their values are not really one of them. They get a lot of unneeded flak for being family-centered and conservative, same with small towns.

The way most of them are laid out is ridiculous. It doesn't resemble urban areas or small towns, and they over-encourage using cars to get around. More of the older-style suburbs are more dense and easy to navigate, while still giving you a backyard and a garage.

If democrats want people to move back into the city, they need to provide security, jobs, and schools. There are neighborhoods in Chicago that provide that, and surprise surprise, they have stable middle-class populations.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
http://www.scribd.com/doc/86684500/

Well, the thing is that the suburbs are hardly a creation of the free market. For years under the New Deal the federal government subsidized loans for (mostly white) families to buy houses in suburban communities and also constructed highways making it easier for suburbanites to commute to their jobs and then return home at the end of the day.

So if you wanted to you could blame the Democrats for actually subsidizing white flight in the first place.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The problem with that is manifold.

1) It was urban flight/middle-class flight, not white flight. The black middle class left the cities, too.

2) Highways are also the things that let supplies get into cities. They're kind of vital to even having cities in the first place.

3) The New Deal is ancient history. The suburbs remain vastly popular even with no particular "mostly white" subsidies, especially.

Because people really just kinda like not being in a shitty city.

People with families mostly prefer some open space and cleaner air, too.

The free market didn't create suburbs, historically in the US. But there's exactly zero reason to believe it won't support them just fine as soon as the State gets out of the way.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Because people really just kinda like not being in a shitty city."

Exactly. Along with the concept of bang for the buck. Say you can afford a $700k mortgage. Would you like an 800 square foot 1 bed apartment in Manhattan, or would you like a 3,500+ square foot 5 bedroom home on half an acre of land 30 miles from that city, with free parking, lower taxes, and a significantly higher quality of living? The same value is true for any major urban area. Make big city money, then blow it on your own little slice of nobody-can-tell-me-what-to-do-here.

All other things being equal, that is not a particularly tough decision for most people.


1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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