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Monday, February 28, 2011

Ghettoizing America

Florida Governor Rick Scott has rejected federal money for a proposed rail system that would have connected Tampa and Orlando via I-4.  Ridership studies indicate that, like some other areas of the US, it would have been a lightly used, expensive to operate and maintain white elephant.  The Dallas Area Rapid Transit light rail system is comparable to that which was proposed in Florida.  The National Center for Policy Analysis reports the following results from Texas.
  • The fixed-route (bus and rail) ridership on DART is less than it was 10 years ago, despite population in the service area growing 17 percent since 2000.
  • In that same period, DART has collected almost $4 billion ($300 million to $400 million a year) in local sales taxes and hundreds of millions of federal tax dollars on a system that makes hardly a dent in area traffic congestion.
  • DART's staff has grown from just under 2,800 employees in 2000 to 3,900 in 2010, an increase of 39 percent.
  • For comparison, the Dallas district of the state Transportation Department -- which includes seven counties with a population of more than 4 million and oversees almost 11,000 lane miles of highways -- has fewer than 1,000 employees.
  • DART's operating expenses from 2000 to 2010 grew from $242 million to $402 million, a growth of 66 percent to operate a system with declining ridership.
  • Meanwhile, as predicted, the agency has reduced the number of bus miles to force ridership onto the light rail system, in many cases making the commute last longer for the regular rider.
Governor Scott helped Florida taxpayers dodge a bullet, but he did much more in the process.  Forcing mass transit down the collective throat of citizens in the more populous states' metropolitan areas is part of the O-bumites' schemes to ghettoize the nation under the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development's Consolidated Planning wealth redistribution plans.

Progressives in the current administration have dusted off this Jimmy Carter-era plan for federally funded, centrally planned utopian urban housing collectives that are intended to eliminate personal transit and privately owned single-family homes and establish equal living standards between all inhabitants of this Brave New Community.  Understand that the prevailing philosophy among HUD's hierarchy is that the federal government should own or control all of the nation's housing.

In order to do this, governments must first confiscate the land. Cleveland is acquiring homes that have foreclosed mortgages and demolishing them.  Flint, Michigan, is taking advantage of a recently enacted state law that allows cities to buy foreclosed homes cheaply and raze them.  While there are potential benefits if the land were to be converted into forests or parks, or if it were sold to private companies in large tracts for profitable redevelopment, this has not been the case so far with this O-buma-approved plan.

This is part of a larger plan, hatched by the Brookings Institute, to "[f]oster the economic and social welfare...[s]ecure a more open, safe, prosperous, and cooperative international system."  That's right, this is a progressive globalist organization that supports O-buma's plans for a New World Order with the US paying the bills and the United Nations running the show.

The Brookings's seemingly benevolent and innocuous plans are, in reality, mercenary and predatory.  They want state, federal, and local government agencies to confiscate most, and eventually all, of the land in the nation's 50 largest metropolitan areas.  Having done this, they can use rezoning to make individual home ownership too expensive for all but the ruling class elite--this would be similar to the Soviet-era dachas for Politburo leaders--then, they could close streets to force the use of mass transit.  At that point, most of us would be living in housing collectives similar to Chicago's Cabrini Green.

In their study, "Metropolitan Areas and the Next Economy: a 50 State Analysis" they conclude that [m]etropolitan areas nationwide boast disproportionate shares of the assets that will drive the next wave of U.S. economic growth.  However, they do not answer the question "Disproportionate to what?"  To successfully transition to the next economy, states should place economic development strategies in the service of metropolitan-led visions for economic growth, building from the distinctive assets and market strengths of these regions to grow quality jobs and promote sustainable, statewide prosperity. 

Prosperity indeed.  What little building that might occur under federal occupation of the states would be planned at the federal level also.  In "Buried Code," The Washington Post reveals that O-buma's Congressional Cohorts want to give the federal government power over local building codes.  The federal government is taking a multi-agency approach to establish totalitarian control of cities.

Bill Barnes writes in "Emerging Issues: Obama Urban Policy Ideas Likely to Have Consequences" that O-buma plans to integrate economic, environmental and social concerns — the new metropolitan reality — with the intergovernmental aspects of this overall policy picture.  The president intends to use a new interagency partnership on sustainable communities that engages the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Transportation along with the Environmental Protection Agency. 

The euphemistically named Livable Communities Act is the typical top down progressive approach to take power and responsibility away from local government and give it to those who know best how all of us should have to live, namely, themselves.  House Member Paul Ryan from Wisconsin argues that the feds intend to put this takeover in effect by leveraging grant money to gain heavy influence over local planning decisions.  He observes that it imposes an urban-utopian fantasy through an unprecedented intrusion of the Federal Government into the shaping of local communities.  

This article in NewGeography echoes Ryan's sentiments.  'Livability' is the latest rallying cry for planners who want to draw lines around urban areas and force people out of their cars and into denser housing.  Our analysis shows that, for most people, livability policies produce less livability, in terms of higher costs and a lesser quality of life, especially in greater traffic congestion, longer travel times and more exposure to air pollution.
The chart to the right shows the effect that this federal boondoggle has had on affordable housing in metropolitan areas that favor these policies.  Given the combined results of this federal intrusion, one might wonder why are they doing it, and who is benefiting?  Whose re-election prospects improve when rising housing costs force more people into subsidized housing?   Who, oh who, could possibly profit from applying the federal housing project model to entire metropolitan areas?  This gerrymandering redistricting in the guise of green communities is merely another example of Corruptocrats trying to steal elections.

May your gods be with you.

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