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      CommentAuthorrickiep00h
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2009
     (6132.21)
    @Ian_M - Think I should clarify. I'm not trying to say "these are perfectly good homes and as such we should force people to live in them." In fact, that's exactly the opposite of what I'm saying. Attempting to force people to live in a situation they don't want to live in is the problem inherent in the situation you linked to. I don't think anyone's suggesting we simply herd the poor into these houses that are standing and force them to stay there and be all authoritarian about it.

    I'm not trying to argue, and I don't think you're wrong, but I think you're jumping to the conclusion that this necessarily has to be an issue of dominance. I think presenting people with an option or three is better than forcing them to take one option. And that's what your link was doing: rounding up people and placing them in their own special area. That's all I'm taking issue with. I don't think it has to be that way.

    Community building is difficult, there's no argument from me on that. But forcing people to do things is a really good way to not accomplish that goal. Giving people options, on the other hand, is a much better way. Until someone comes up with a good, solid idea, that's the best we can do. Keep trying until something works.

    I feel that I'm being imprecise here, so I'm just going to stop before I get eel'd.
    • CommentAuthorIan_M
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2009
     (6132.22)
    I think presenting people with an option or three is better than forcing them to take one option.


    My point, which I wasn't making very well, is that housing in the suburbs isn't a realistic option for poor people*. They can't afford heating/cooling in these huge shacks, and they can't afford the transportation costs. And when a well-meaning sort offers the poor housing in a 'nice neighborhood', and the poor turn the offer down, the next step is for someone just as well-meaning to say "Well, those people obviously don't understand what's in their own interests", and things just snowball from there.

    In-fills are a different situation. They tend to be in more accessible neighborhoods, where someone tore down a small house and stuffed a McMansion onto the lot. Those houses can be and are being refit as multi-unit apartments. And condos typically end up on the rental market within 5 years of first sale.

    * Or anyone, at this point. Even the plywood and plaster walls around the gated communities are rotting now.
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      CommentAuthorrickiep00h
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2009
     (6132.23)
    the next step is for someone just as well-meaning to say "Well, those people obviously don't understand what's in their own interests", and things just snowball from there.


    I think that's a bit of a slippery slope, and that's what I was trying to get at. I wouldn't necessarily jump to that conclusion. I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm just saying I'm probably a little naive and probably not cynical enough when helping neighbors is concerned. The outcome you present is just as valid. I just don't agree.

    As far as the suburbs, though, I completely agree with you on.
    • CommentAuthorIan_M
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2009
     (6132.24)
    I don't see it as a slippery slope. More like a straight path. To put it another way, what happens when the tough-on-crime protect-our-neighborhood types get ahold of an idea like this?

    I also want to point out that crashes like this have happened in the US before. In the early 19th Century with the opening of the old north-west a lot of eastern areas were abandoned in favour of cheap property out west. In the 1930s and again in the 1950s developers went into what they thought were old growth forests and kept digging up revolutionary-era foundations. In the late 19th Century the beech blight, extinction of the passenger pigeon, Great Depression (The first one), and collapse of the whaling industry all happened at the same time that the 'new' old west opened up. Entire towns in the eastern states were abandoned. Whenever this happens the old houses are abandoned, looted or burned out, and eventually demolished. It's an ugly process and it takes decades to fully work through, but it has happened before and hasn't destroyed the US.