Gov't Destruction of Healthy Communities

Don’t know if it’s a case of good intentions gone awry, or a genuine motive of greed and the sort of crony capitalism we still see in force, but I think it’s true that a “poor” neighborhood is not especially a bad neighborhood. I once lived in an area some characterized as a “slum.” It was a friendly place where people looked out for each other.

This neighborhood seemed really healthy in its sense of community, and it seemed to have lots of intact and happy families. Two things our nation sorely needs. Via Reason TV and Hot Air.

YouTube Preview Image

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Chris

    You know what’s interesting; for quite some time I lived in a wealthy neighborhood but felt like I had to move for the sake of my children because it was a “bad neighborhood.”

  • CarolHS

    This kind of story always makes me angry because of the interference by people who think they know better what is good for us. Politicians using a genuine desire by some for helping others to pass legislation that allows them to hand out favors to their cronies is one of the worst abuses of our legislative system.

    On a more personal level, the belief by many that “poverty=crime and ignorance” is offensive to me. I grew up poor (by American standards anyway.) There were times that my parents didn’t know where our next meal was coming from. I didn’t worry about this or even realize at the time. I knew my parents would take care of us. Crime and ignorance is not caused by material poverty, but by spiritual poverty. And spiritual poverty knows no economic or social boundaries.

    [It's interesting that the poverty of the depression honed "The Greatest Generation" and our postwar prosperity (coupled with the destruction of the family and what had been our core values) has produced such chaos and spiritual dolor. -admin]

  • KarenT

    No matter whether the intentions were good or bad, crony capitalism always seems to work its way into the solution. Even in China, crony capitalism has become a feature of life following the failure of the idealistic egalitarianism of the communist philosophy.

    Hayek’s “knowledge problem” comes to mind. Even the purest, best and brightest group of elites cannot have all the information they need to make wise decisions if the input of “the masses” is ignored. Bet nobody asked these residents for their thoughts about redevelopment of their neighborhood.

    Apparently, even back then Democrats sometimes opposed democracy.

  • Sarah Triplett

    In the early 1980s, I lived in a mixed, 50-50 neighborhood in Patterson, Louisiana. You could safely call it low rent. When my dog got out, my neighbors would give her a bone and bring her home.

    While I was there, I engaged in a project of taking the drive train out of a Chrysler Imperial and putting it into my 1970 Dodge Challenger. The Imperial had all the heavy duty parts, called “high performance” parts when installed in a Dodge–440 cubic inch 4 barrel engine with forged crankshaft and “6 pack” connecting rods, 727 automatic transmission with the “hemi” 4 gear planetary gear sets and other parts, a Dana 60 limited slip rear end, normally used in heavy duty trucks expected to move tons of cargo every day, “extra heavy duty” disk front and 3 inch wide rear brakes.

    All the parts it took to build a car able to withstand 500 horsepower. All used in the Imperial so Chrysler could build the most reliable automobile they could. Actually breathed on to produce 485 horsepower in my case.

    It took me months…

    When I eventually got it almost finished, when I fired it up the first time–without mufflers yet–but able to move, all my neighbors came outside and cheered and applauded. The kids ran out to the street side to see.

    I will never forget them for that. They will always have a spot in my heart.

    And, nothing, none of these high cost parts, was stolen.


  • Sharon

    When the Londoners who were moved from their “slums” into tall housing blocks they too lamented the loss of community – a factor not considered by those who moved them.

    I spent my first 12 years in whatI found out years later was considered to be a slum in Syndey Australia. We had a sense of community and everyone was a decent hardworking, working class person.

  • Doc

    PJ O’Rourke paints a great picture of the destruction of low-income communities in Parliament of Whores and, of course, Charles Murray’s Losing Ground is the gold standard in telling this story.