Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pushy SF1

I always find the opposition to more density and urban neighborhoods quite perplexing. Even more so when its backed up using vulgar libertarianism. Bill Fulton discusses the issue of libertarians and thier exceptionalism on single family housing trumpeted through a recent article in the OC Register.
Most amusing of all, however, is the way the Register conflates the free-market idea of what people want with the socially conservative idea of what people should want. Simply put: Despite its supposedly free-market orientation, the Register can’t imagine a world in which some people might answer their derisive question –“Want to live in a condo by the tracks?” – by saying yes.
This is a pretty common theme by urbanists who aren't trying to get rid of people's choices, just give them more. In fact Ryan posted on an Atrios comment today as well:
It never ceases to amaze me how angrily people react to advocates of pro-urban policies, as if the very idea of improving such places is equivalent to war on the suburbs and the people who inhabit them. It’s also strange to be told how people don’t like to live in cities by folks seemingly incapable of grasping the fact that some people don’t like living in suburbs.
I've said this before but I believe if there were more urban neighborhoods in cities, more people would be able to afford to live in them. I understand why people live in the burbs. I grew up there and it was a great experience. Right now though, I'm liking my urban neighborhood in San Francisco. And it sure has helped me save gas money.


Anonymous said...

Makes you wonder how things would be if Cox or O'Toole had to work for a living.

arcady said...

I think on some level, they do understand that their preferred way of life is massively subsidized and encouraged by the government. That's what I don't like about these so-called libertarians: they claim that the market should choose, but that really, they already know the "right" answer, and if you know the right answer, why not have the government help the market to its inevitable conclusion?

Cap'n Transit said...

I'm not sure that they're inable to grasp that people like to live in "a condo by the tracks" as much as that they've convinced themselves that people who like urban living are not like the rest of us, and can thus be easily dismissed as effete intellectuals. They also vastly underestimate how many potential urbanites there are.