Opinion | America’s Cities Are Unlivable. Blame Wealthy Liberals. – The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/22/opinion/california-housing-nimby.html

This: «What Republicans want to do with I.C.E. and border walls, wealthy progressive Democrats are doing with zoning and Nimbyism.» The hypocrisy is obvious and I think it’s part of why Dems lose elections.

«Not-in-my-backyardism is a bipartisan sentiment, but because the largest American cities are populated and run by Democrats — many in states under complete Democratic control — this sort of nakedly exclusionary urban restrictionism is a particular shame of the left.»

Actually not sure I believe the following bit. There seems to be plenty of local news in big cities; it’s the sparse markets where local news is dying away (has died away):

«One continuing tragedy is the decimation of local media and the rise of nationalized politics in its place.»

….

«Then there is the refusal on the part of wealthy progressives to live by the values they profess to support at the national level. Creating dense, economically and socially diverse urban environments ought to be a paramount goal of progressivism. Cities are the standard geographical unit of the global economy. Dense urban areas are quite literally the “real America” — the cities are where two-thirds of Americans live, and they account for almost all national economic output. Urban areas are the most environmentally friendly way we know of housing lots of people. We can’t solve the climate crisis without vastly improving public transportation and increasing urban density

True. Cars are the single greatest consumer of petroleum, the single biggest cause of global warming.

«Yet where progressives argue for openness and inclusion as a cudgel against President Trump, they abandon it on Nob Hill and in Beverly Hills. This explains the opposition to SB 50, which aimed to address the housing shortage in a very straightforward way: by building more housing.

….

For the first time, something extraordinary looked possible: California’s wealthy homeowners would abandon their restrictionist attitudes and let us build some new housing.

Nope. Instead, Anthony Portantino, a Democratic state senator whose district includes the posh city of La Cañada Flintridge and who heads the appropriations committee, announced that he’d be shelving the bill until next year. In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, he worried that the law would spur lots of people to move near residential bus routes, which he suggested would alter the character of enclaves like his.

And? Why is that so bad?

….

What Republicans want to do with I.C.E. and border walls, wealthy progressive Democrats are doing with zoning and Nimbyism. Preserving “local character,” maintaining “local control,” keeping housing scarce and inaccessible — the goals of both sides are really the same: to keep people out.»

(O hai, Chapel Hill, you quaint college town.)

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