Monday, May 6, 2013

Rich versus poor

It was interesting to go from reading this piece on the lives of the urban poor to this piece from Felix Salmon.  I had not previously heard the term BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything), but it does seem to nicely reflect the sensibilities of the people in question.  But the real issue is why this is a stable state of affairs:

The result is that the normal state of affairs — where powerful individuals get trumped by even more powerful construction-industry inevitabilities — is turned on its head, to the point at which new construction can no longer keep up with the de-densification endemic to gentrification. Bloggers may rail against this state of affairs — both Ryan Avent and Matt Yglesias have written at great length about how important it is to allow new buildings to rise within urban areas — but ultimately the natural conservatism of the rich is winning out, across the nation. If you want to move to a city where density is going up rather than down, you might just have to move to Miami. Or China.
 I mean I like the idea of nice places to live and low density can be really pleasant in a lot of ways.  But I think these thigns should be compromises and it is a sad fact of reality that growth and statis are going to be inevitability opposed. 

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