08 Apr 2008

Worse Than Gentrification

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Many of us living outside the urban communities of fashion have experienced mild astonishment at the capacity of mankind for complaint upon reading of protests stemming from the improvement and rehabilitation of formerly slum neighborhoods by new arrived upper middle-class residents, a process pejoratively termed “gentrification.”

The Onion reports that the a new upscale trend, fueled by increasing affluence and the limited supply of urban housing, has appeared, of even more alarming character.

Hat tip to Frank Dobbs.

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I live in DC, where “gentrification” is a big issue. I’m all for revitalization and getting rid of urban blight. But, I think the problem lies when some people, those with less means, are overlooked and excluded at the expense of newer, more affluent residents. There has to be a way of improving a city without displacing longtime residents, jacking up property taxes, and ignoring the needs of all residents. But, at the end of the day, money talks.


I’ve noticed the same problem at fine restaurants and expensive automobile dealerships. People who haven’t got the money are not served or given new cars.

Gosh, can’t we wave a magic wand and just abolish the economy of scarcity, so that everyone can own townhouses in desirable urban locations, luxury cars, cases of first growth French Bordeaux, and date Angelina Jolie?

Of course, if you happened to be the chap whose house or car or girlfriend was being redistributed in order to assure equal treatment of the unproductive, the poor, and the unattractive, then you would feel your rights had been violated and you’d complain.


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