March 14, 2012
Yglesias comes to their rescue with a logical solution for his friends” laments (and with a Harvard degree in philosophy, he’s good at logic): There’s room in the sky for everybody! Presumably, those guys who brutalized Yglesias could have a cheap 47th-floor apartment with a killer view of the National Mall.
And what about the School Achievement Gap?
But we only rarely ask why it is that poor families can”t afford to move to nice suburbs. It’s not because construction costs are higher in the suburbs. It’s because it’s frequently illegal to build the kind of dense apartment buildings that could accommodate lower-income families.
Just think how these good schools will be able to salve their scholastic goodness all over the poor children who have moved into the new Blade Runner-like tower blocks in once exclusive suburbs.
It’s easy to make up other reasons for implementing the Yglesias Plan, such as the Obesity Crisis. As you may have noticed, the typical resident of high-rent places such as San Francisco, Santa Monica, and Park Slope is more slender than the diabetic denizens of Nowheresville. It’s a national tragedy that the poor slobs can”t afford to move to Georgetown, Cambridge, Palo Alto, or Aspen.
And what about the 165 million foreigners who according to the Gallup Poll want to immigrate to America? Have you noticed that “if the Golden State were as dense on average as New Jersey over 188 million people would live there?” Think how much global carbon emissions would be reduced by importing vast numbers of Third Worlders and stacking them high. (We wouldn”t have to worry about them trying to get away, would we? Mexicans love high-rises, public transportation, and vegetable oil-powered Priuses, and they hate exurban sprawl and gas-guzzling pickup trucks, right?)
So why haven”t nice, well-educated white liberals told the hinterlands to give them their tired, their poor, their Size XXXL masses yearning to live cheap? Why instead have they erected countless roadblocks to cheap housing?
Because the trouble with living in a low-rent neighborhood is having low-rent neighbors.
Therefore, most of the bugs that the Yglesias Plan intends to fix are instead its features.