Instapundit: Generous amenities for the wealthy and eviction notices for the poor
. . . the Romans beat them by a good 2000 years.
By the Empire period, wealthy Romans were suburbanizing. They clearly understood the city was a mistake but the economic needs of the nation required cities. Until just recently little has changed, so we find ourselves still saddled with the city, the least worst alternative, but regardless, a mistake.
The upper middle class, and the wealthy during the progressive era hit upon a brilliant mechanism by which to manage neighborhood, and ultimately cities for their own benefit. They began to implement zoning laws, and urban growth and/or services boundaries. The common arguments for these changes was to alleviate ghettos, slums, and to encourage the separation of commercial, and industrial zones from residential. But more commonly what happened was the upper middle, and upper classes communities were segregated from the hoi polloi by a wall of impenetrably high property prices.
The urban growth, and services boundaries performed this task as well, and more. By deeply limiting property available for development, they drove the price of property ever higher. This forced the poorer classes out of homes and into apartments, which were increasingly segregated away from the upper middle and upper classes.
Talk about missing the 900 lb gorilla in the room . . .
"San Francisco bay area has a huge amount of land, 4.5 million square acres in total, and all of the development is only on about 0.8 million square acres. But nearly all of the rest of the land is off limits for development. There is apparently between 300-500 thousand square acres which could be developed but which lunatics are attempting to make into land permanently unavailable for development.
The reason San Francisco's property values are insanely high, is lack of land to build more housing, and this is purely a man made catastrophe. Releasing 400,000 acres of land for development would quickly return the San Francisco housing market to rational pricing, but it would also cause the interstellar individual house prices to fall, likely by half or more, and then remain low. And existing homeowners would be apoplectic with that outcome."
With less than 20% of the total land in the San Francisco bay area developed, "There is no more land for housing" is a lunatic allegation. But that seems to be the claim.
The upper middle, and upper classes, however, realize that there are some in the middle classes who they need to remain and live in the Wealthy Wonderland of San Francisco, including teachers, and firefighters.
The wealthy always want apartheid . . .
And if I were to look long enough I would probably find extensions of this idea to police, and other necessary services workers.
"Just as Chicago is the poster-child for the destruction wrought by blue city budgeting brought to its logical extreme, San Francisco is a case study in what happens when pie-in-the-sky progressives are allowed to set housing policy. The Golden Gate City is a idyllic haven for the tech and financial elite, who enjoy access to luxurious apartments without a high-rise in sight, a Whole Foods on every corner, and as much high-end shopping and dining as their hearts desire. Meanwhile, working class people—including, ironically, many of the progressive artists and activists who historically backed San Francisco’s exclusionary zoning laws—are being forced across the bay to places like Oakland and San Leandro, and the city’s homeless population is so large that the city is installing outdoor urinals in its public parks."
I think there is a film about this, isn't there? Metropolis springs to mind. Perhaps if we had listened to the insightful back at the beginning of the progressive era we would not now be saddled with this nonsense.
Metropolis is a brilliant film, I recommend it to you, and I really like it paired with Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here. The animation of the robot scene is excellent, the special effects are wonderful. I often thought that this should have been replicated with Frankenstein.