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Amusements and frustrations

Came across this funny and touching short memoir of the time the LA Count Dracula Society screened the gay porn film Gayracula (nws), and the poster ended up interviewing, and becoming friends with, the star, Tim Kramer.

Was at a delightful girls grammar school on Thursday--the girls were charming, and some very bright. (Also, the expression "hits like a girl" is getting very dated.) But they have "energy saving" lights, which took a bit of getting used to (you had to just touch the buttons to make them go off, but hold them down for a length of time for them to come on--which was fine, if you knew that). We have an "energy saving" hot water system, which wastes lots of water as you have to run it for quite a while before you get actual hot water. I used to amuse myself when I worked in the public service by considering how much expensive labour was wasted waiting for the photocopier to power back up to save cheap energy.

I had come to be strongly against approval systems (rather than just having explicit rules) before I moved out West, but living in the suburban wilds of the Hopper's Crossing area (where nothing is in walking distance), I am now viscerally against them. They patently fail to result in sensible outcomes, they discourage innovation, are an open invitation to corruption of various levels (even if it just making developers, etc major donors to political parties as they so need access to officials just as a matter of doing business) and they ensure that you only get big developers (since small operators cannot afford the uncertainties of delays in the approval process) who then game the system. So we can't get full speed internet in our less than 3 years old suburb, because the developer put in "pair gain" lines. But I am sure it passed "approval".

Meanwhile, the suburbs have only a few access roads each, feeding into a few single carriageway roads that begin to clog up about 7am. All "approved". But the land rationing the approval system supports drives up the value of "land approved for housing" and means government revenues are only very weakly connected to provision of infrastructure, which is also made much more expensive, leading to said infrastructure being systematically under-provided. Much of the point of having the government provide infrastructure is that it can capture via taxes the increased property values and commercial activity that a private provider can't. Now, not so much.

Then there is the whole "infrastructure is evil" thing: dams are evil, power stations are evil, freeways and tollways are evil, railways are evil (the Doncaster line did not get built because the Hamer Government folded when faced with resident complaints--I wonder if some of the same local activists are now agitating for a Doncaster line?), and so on. But suggesting we lower immigration--that's evil too. Oh, and suburban sprawl is evil, infill is evil. As a set of policy positions, it makes no sense. But if the point is to increase the value of existing inner city property values and to show one's moral "soundness" by accepting the entire, utterly incoherent, package, I suppose it works just fine.

Comments

( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
catsidhe
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:22 am (UTC)
The railing about the "Approval" process might make more sense if you took into account that the council level approval boards want more connecting roads, more local trunks, more heterogenous zoning (with local shopping strips, regional light industrial, that sort of thing), but that this cuts into developer profits, who appeal to VCAT and the minister, and the way the laws on the matter have been written (which may as well have been by the developers' lobbyists), they almost never lose.

Adding feeder roads into a development is expensive. Adding better infrastructure (and paying for the surrounding infrastructure to be improved to be able to take the load) is expensive. Actually planning a working community -- rather than slapping "residential" on the whole block and infilling with ticky-tacky and roads which are almost wide enough for one car at a time, if nobody parks on the side of the road, and everyone likes sunshine, so we'll just go ahead and clearfell the whole suburb no need to thank us -- is expensive. Which is why it doesn't happen. If the boards responsible for approval were allowed to actually disapprove once in a while, you might not get so many Caroline Springs, or Upper Beaconsfields, or Point Cooks. But they in practice aren't allowed to disapprove when it matters most.

I also note that you complain about approvals, when your description on the nixing of the Doncaster line revolves around NIMBY and politics (and the City Loop, and finance, and apathy), and had nothing to do with "approvals" in the slightest.
ford_prefect42
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:38 am (UTC)
Sorry, no. I have worked for years in land development engineering, and I can tell you that the process as you're describing does not favor developers. The strongest incentives for developers is to build high density, gridded developments (highest units/acre, highest value per acre, least infrastructure investment per dollar of final value). Instead, developers are forced by NIMBY to build "neo-traditional" style developments, which involve single point of entry cul-de-sac neighborhoods with vast open space requirements, complicated and labyrinthine access systems, and dump all the cars on main thoroughfares that are not able to keep pace.

This one goes back to the people/government, not to those greedy capitalists. The "greedy developers" would optimize things for resource conservation... As is always the case.
catsidhe
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:43 am (UTC)
"As is always the case."

[Citation needed]
ford_prefect42
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:47 am (UTC)
Not really. capitalism has produced an incredibly streamlined and optimized product delivery in virtually every field where it has been permitted to do so. By contrast, regulation has produced fraud, waste and abuse, while delivering suboptimal services, incredible environmental destruction, and a truly horrific death toll whenever it has been ceded control.
catsidhe
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:49 am (UTC)
So... capital trumps democracy, right?

Who is John Galt?
ford_prefect42
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:55 am (UTC)
Trumps, no. But often, democracy is subject to a dramatically maleducated populace, in which case, that society tends to commit slow suicide. Often by abandoning individual rights in favor of collectivist ignorance and the politics of envy.

Capitalism is *smarter* than democracy. But it's an economic system, not a governmental one. When democracy starts interfering with capitalism, things start getting worse for everyone.
catsidhe
Jun. 13th, 2014 02:00 am (UTC)
Ford_Prefect42 is John Galt.

Or, in other words: yes. In any place where there is a conflict between democracy and capital, you think that Capital should win.

Thing is, we've seen this system. It led directly to the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. To children working assembly lines. To the Ludlow Massacre. To the Highland Clearances and the Potato Famine.
ford_prefect42
Jun. 13th, 2014 02:09 am (UTC)
A fine example of ignorance on display. No, we haven't seen this system. What we have seen is the transition from agrarian to industrial society, and the incredible, amazing improvement in the lives of the poorest people that took place during that time. At the same time, there were some cause celebres for those that sought personal power, such as the triangle shirtwaist fire (a terrible incident, but in no way representative of anything in particular).

Yes, if it comes to a choice between individual liberty and democracy, individual liberty should win. Every single time. Or do you think that segregation should still be in force? Or that miscegenation should still be illegal? Or that slavery should still be legal in the south?

Here's my response to the "children on assembly lines"

http://ford-prefect42.livejournal.com/30302.html

The "Ludlow massacre" was a proportionate response to mob violence, vandalism, and destruction of property, as were virtually all of the massacres perpetrated by union thugs in that era.

The potato famine was the product of government, not capitalism, the landed aristocracy owed their power to government force of arms, not free trade. Same for the "Highland Clearances". Thou mayst not blame capitalism for the actions of government... Or, at least, you sound like a fool when you do so.
catsidhe
Jun. 13th, 2014 02:25 am (UTC)
"A fine example of ignorance on display."

A fine example of projection on display.

The health and safety regulations which would have prevented the Triangle Fire were fought tooth and nail by businesses. By Capitalism. It was public outrage and government imposition upon the rights of factory owners to lock their employees in the factory which stopped that sort of thing, not Capitalism. And if you doubt that, look to places like Bangladesh, where there is a distinct lack of effective regulation of trivialities like health and safety, and this sort of thing still happens with alarming regularity. And Capitalism's first response was not to fix their subcontracting on the subcontinent, it was to try and make sure no-one thought it had anything to do with them, because profits are more important than lives, every time.

The Ludlow Massacre was a private corporation taking advantage of its "rights" to treat its employees abysmally, and then co-opt government and use government troops to kill people whose crime was to claim that they had "rights" of their own.

The Highland Clearances were Landed Aristocracy acting to make the most "efficient" use of their "capital", and they did this by selling the people into slavery (no, really and literally: Highlanders were sent to the Caribbean as chattel) and using the land for sheep. It was because the aristocracy had ceased even pretending to be acting as a government.

Similar for the potato famine. The Aristocracy were acting in defence of their capital, at the expense of the people, and had co-opted government in order to do so.

I could add the Enclosure Acts, where the Georgian Nobility, already owning government, used parliament to deprive whole villages at a stroke. Or are you suggesting that the problem with Georgian England was that there was too much democracy?


I don't think you understand any of the historical processes involved, or, indeed, many of the words you keep using, as well as you think you do.

Edited at 2014-06-13 02:25 am (UTC)
ford_prefect42
Jun. 13th, 2014 02:54 am (UTC)
Perhaps I should have said "maleducation" instead of "ignorance". You clearly know a lot... Just it's all wrong. Not wrong in nuance, but factually, provably, incorrect.

Yes, industrialists fought against the regulation, and they still do not exist in bangladesh, where, as you say, conditions are poor. Do you know why that is? Because when the regulations are put in place and enforced, the industries that comply with them go out of business, and the jobs reappear where they are not in place. Not complicated. In a global marketplace, things will be produced where it is cheap to do so. Today, that's bangladesh, 20 years ago, it was Japan. Japan got rich selling goods to the US, now Bangladesh will do so. Meanwhile, the US will lose jobs, money, influence, standard of living, until the cycle repeats. Profits are never "more important than lives", but the two do have to be weighed against each other in the real world.

The land clearances were government powers ordering uniformed personnel carrying government issued guns to execute their edicts. They had absolutely nothing to do with capitalism. Same with the potato famine.

Perhaps you're not understanding the concept of "capitalism". The base concept, from which all follows is that people trade voluntarily. Nothing that involves a uniform enforcing something you didn't agree to can *ever* be attributed rightly to capitalism. Government mandated monopolies are not capitalism, the Dutch East Indies company was not a Capitalistic entity, and the crown was not an implementer of Capitalism. What you are trying to claim here is that "anything that involves money is capitalism", which is clearly an incredibly uneducated perspective.

I am aware that the highlanders were sold as chattel. Again, the exact antithesis of capitalism.

The Ludlow massacre "victims" were trying to exercise their "rights" to burn private property, interfere with government transportation, murder, beat, and steal from other people. You're a sick, sick individual to defend this.

I am suggesting that the problem with the Georgian Nobility was that government had too many options for trampling the rights of the individual. Which is neither democratic, nor capitalistic. What you're missing here is that I am *defending* the rights of the individual over the rights of the government. In all cases. The capitalistic option for both the land enclosure and the highland clearance was to privatize the public land. Preferably by auction or homesteading, depending on the circumstances.

As miserable as it is, the workers in bangladesh *choose* to work for the factories. They *choose* to accept the risk of fire. They choose this, because it's better than their second option. It's work in the factory (and accept the risks, unpleasantness, and health hazards), or toil in the fields (and die younger and more miserable)... and you want to take away the factory option.

I really don't think that you understand... Well, anything. Mostly, I don't think you understand that resources govern standards of living, not vice versa. The thing is, economics do not respond to bleeding hearts. If you want to improve the lives of the poor, find a free market way to exploit them. You also have some incredibly poorly thought through conflations in your head that don't unpack easily, such as the bizarre notion that the actions of a hereditary aristocracy that can, at a whim, send military force to enforce their edicts has the slightest thing to do with Capitalism.
catsidhe
Jun. 13th, 2014 03:08 am (UTC)
And, having defined Capitalism in such a way that none of its failures can be attributed to it, and having defined "government" such that it's to blame even when it has demonstrably been captured by forces inimical to the public good and dedicated to the private, you have displayed reasoning which would make a Jesuit blush, and demonstrated that this isn't a philosophy to you, it's a religion, and there is no point arguing.

(PS: Capitalism doesn't give three-quarters of a flying fuck who owns the capital, just that it's leveraged to make more capital. It also doesn't care what the capital involved is. If it can be bought and sold, it's capital. Even people. Slavery is Capitalist at its purest. Your half-baked libertarianism is in direct contradiction to your half-baked free-enterprise hard-on.)
ford_prefect42
Jun. 13th, 2014 03:18 am (UTC)
Yes, defining "capitalism" to mean... Well, the way "capitalism.org" defines it
http://capitalism.org

"What is Capitalism?
Capitalism is a social system based on the principle of individual rights. Politically, it is the system of laissez-faire (freedom). Legally it is a system of objective laws (rule of law as opposed to rule of man). Economically, when such freedom is applied to the sphere of production its result is the free-market."

Or the way Ayn Rand defines it.
http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/capitalism.html
Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.

Or the way von mises defined it
http://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.[1] Modern Capitalism is essentially mass production for the needs of the masses.[2]

But, hey, what do they know?

Based on that, and considering the importance of "free markets"in all of those, I CAN exclude the actions of government from the culpability of capitalism, regardless of whether or not money was involved. You, on the other hand, are attempting to ascribe to "capitalism" actions that haven't the slightest thing to do with free markets, trade, or exchange, and are solely the actions of government. That's called lying.

As for your definition of "capitalism" Well, sure, if you want to define it as "things greedy assholes do to hurt other people", then sure, why don't we call Mao a "capitalist" too?

In short, you're delusional. You don't know the first thing about capitalism. You don't even know what the word means.
catsidhe
Jun. 13th, 2014 03:23 am (UTC)
You're quoting Ayn Rand, an Ayn Rand fansite, and an Ayn Rand fanboy.

It really is a religion to you. It's ok, you can admit it.

Just try to understand that you're arguing based entirely on dogma, and that next to nothing of the truths you hold so dear are seen as anything other than ridiculous outside the Randosphere.
ford_prefect42
Jun. 13th, 2014 03:39 am (UTC)
I also quoted a highly respected economist. You, by contrast, have posited no coherent definition other that "bad". Are you so certain that I am the one arguing from dogma?

I was quoting the creators of the philosophy for was the definition of it. Which, when we're talking about whether or not certain historical actions are attributable to that system, seems pretty damned relevant. If we were arguing communism, would you not think it appropriate to cite Marx for the definition?

I'll help you out. Your examples are examples of the abuses of FEUDALISM, not democracy, not capitalism. The potato famine, highlands clearance, etcetera are very very clearly the actions of a system of hereditary aristocracy, government force, and a rigidly hierarchical system. IE, Feudalism.

Do you know how badly you have embarrassed yourself? How poor you have displayed your grasp of these topics to be?
catsidhe
Jun. 13th, 2014 03:54 am (UTC)
Ayn Rand did not define what Capitalism means. No matter how much she (literally) fetishised it.

Von Mises is the fanboy in question, and he's not that respected. Except by Randians, of course.

Seriously, if you're going to quote out-of-date philosophers as definitions of what "Capitalism" means, you'd be better off quoting Marx.
ford_prefect42
Jun. 13th, 2014 04:05 am (UTC)
What definition are you using? Other than "involves money and is evil" then?

Could you provide *something* that indicates you're doing anything other than talking out your ass?

I mean, you've provided a bunch of examples of the evils of feudalism, that I won't dispute. One example of the evils of unions, that I won't dispute, one example of the evils of 2 particular mill owners that I won't dispute... But you haven't said a damned thing that has the least little bit of relation to free market capitalism.

You've accused me of dogmatic thinking, but you've provided no critical thought. What you *have* provided is pretty much the equivalent of pointing and yelling "EEEEVVVVIIILLLLL". I really am not impressed. You've also displayed a massive failure to comprehend any of the topics under discussion, For instance, if we're talking about capitalism, then we're talking about free markets, not government actions.
catsidhe
Jun. 13th, 2014 04:50 am (UTC)
No, I merely reject Randianism's claim to have a monopoly on the concept.
ford_prefect42
Jun. 13th, 2014 05:54 am (UTC)
Well, since you're using the word "capitalism", one would think that the definitions of the term as presented by those created the movement would signify. But hey, If you're using a definition that "capitalism = seeking profit", and choose to ignore all the "private ownership" portions even from your own offered definitions, then, by that definition, I suppose much of what you say is not precisely incorrect. It has nothing whatsoever to do with anything that any proponent of capitalism means by the term, any more than Christianity= crusades, or democracy= segregation would, but hey, feel free to have a complete disconnect with everyone you talk to on the topic for the rest of your life, I have no problem with you failing to communicate, sounding stupid, and making an ass of yourself.
catsidhe
Jun. 13th, 2014 05:58 am (UTC)
If you think Rand invented Capitalism, you've got more serious issues than I thought.

I repeat: Capitalism does not mean what you think it means. Quoting someone else who also does not know what it means does not undo this, not even if they claim to have the right to redefine the word.

Your definition is correct if and only if you are only ever talking to other Randians.

You go have fun with your Economic Hutterites.
ford_prefect42
Jun. 13th, 2014 06:06 am (UTC)
Okay. You're too stupid to bother with.
jordan179
Oct. 2nd, 2014 07:23 pm (UTC)
He here admits that he can't actually argue for or against anything, save by attempting to make it guilty by association with something which is "guilty" by fiat of 'Waaah!!! I don' like it!"
ford_prefect42
Jun. 13th, 2014 04:07 am (UTC)
OH! I see that you're autistic. I realize that I might have been overloading you with issues. Let's narrow the issues. A lot.

Define capitalism, cite the source for your definition.
fizzyland
Jun. 13th, 2014 04:24 am (UTC)
Do you really need to make condescending personal comments like that?
ford_prefect42
Jun. 13th, 2014 04:31 am (UTC)
I was responding to this post on his journal.

http://catsidhe.livejournal.com/191808.html

Click his userid, if you're not friends with him, it'll be the #2 post.

Seriously, if Autism is an issue, and "overload" is a problem, and he runs into problems like "the forest is so big, I can't describe any trees.", then it seems reasonable to try to have the conversation about a specific "tree". Particularly when we do seem to be having a large issue establishing a specific definition of a specific term.

If it sounded rude/condescending... Well, I can't say that I am impressed with his intellectual prowess, so that may have bled through, but the attempt to narrow the issues WRT autism was sincere.
catsidhe
Jun. 13th, 2014 04:49 am (UTC)
Ahaha: fuck you, you supercilious skidmark. I see you're not autistic. I realise you might have difficulty adequately comprehending complex systems.

OED: "An economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state".

Which is, of course, incomplete. For a start, it doesn't define what a "private owner" or "the state" are. It also doesn't admit of shades of grey or degrees of kind. And I don't think "a country's" really belongs in there. But it's a start.

A better definition is at http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/capitalism.asp "A system of economics based on the private ownership of capital and production inputs, and on the production of goods and services for profit. The production of goods and services is based on supply and demand in the general market (market economy), rather than through central planning (planned economy). Capitalism is generally characterized by competition between producers. Other facets, such as the participation of government in production and regulation, vary across models of capitalism."

Communism is not Capitalist, because the State controls economic activity. But a black market is Capitalist, because there is not, nor can there be, a controlling authority. Indeed, that's the whole point. So a Capitalist economy can exist within a non-Capitalist system. And the converse is also true: a Capitalist system can happily include a company which centrally manages the assets and activities of sub-corporations. Or where a monopsony has locked in its suppliers and can dictate terms to them.

Beyond that, it starts getting hazy. Is the stock market Capitalist? It's all about buying and selling things, but does that still count when those things may or may not exist? (Or when you're happily making a profit on short-selling futures or the like.) Does China have Capitalism? Does modern Russia (when most things are owned by the Oligarchs, who take orders from Putin Or Else... does that count as State Control?)

You have claimed that the Highland Clearances were not a result of Capitalism. I disagree. Up until the time of the Clearances, the Landed Aristocracy made their money from the labour of those who used their land. (Through rents and through the sale of produce from tenant farmers.) Around the time of the Clearances, they realised that there were ways that they could make much more money through trade. The trouble is, they needed something to trade. So they, with no need for force or incentive from the Government, gave up the pretence that they cared about their tenants as anything other than sources for profit. As they could get better profits from wool, they quite cheerfully cleared the crofts, and sold Highlanders to the Caribbean. There was no central control making them do this: it was all according to the market. Indeed, there was a free trade in unfree people. And because this was all at the time of Rotten Boroughs and the Georgian parliament, the Private Owners who were working this market controlled the state, not the other way around. Government force and political favour were commodities to be traded. (Much the same as it was for the Robber Barons of the late 19C in America.)

Even in such cases as the various eastern trading companies (the East India Company, the Dutch East India Company, etc), they were the State getting involved in the market as participants, not as a central control. So they were examples of the State being a Private Owner.

In the case of the Potato Famine, the government was controlled by the people who owned the farms. Ireland was an exporter of food during the entire famine, and the free market enthusiasts (largely being the men who owned the farms in Ireland which weren't growing potatoes) deliberately blocked the Government from doing anything to assuage the famine until it was far too late. They were acting to protect their market and their profits. (Because any attempt to address the famine would have been paid for through increasing taxes.)


Not that I expect any of this to change your mind, because sheer cognitive dissonance will lead you to reject all of this as "No True Scotsman", and your Faith will be preserved.
ford_prefect42
Jun. 13th, 2014 05:43 am (UTC)
Okay, we have the beginnings of a conversation.

Here's the thing.

Feudalistic powers are not capitalism. They are feudalism. The reason being, a feudalistic lord is not "private", even though the power is vested in an individual, that individual is the government. He has dictatorial powers, and commands the state's monopoly on force.

A black market is *sort of* an example of capitalism. It has a number of the elements, for instance, the marketplace is relatively free. It lacks, however, in certain other respects. First, it's by definition, illegal, which means 3 things. First, the participants are, by definition, criminals. Second, there is a necessary association between any black market and "unsavory" behaviors. Third, all black market activities carry a risk premium, which varies depending on the penalties and enforcement. That being said, "black markets" are the closest thing you have mentioned to being "capitalistic".

The Russian oligarchy is a "mixed" economy, as are all real world economies.
There are no true capitalistic nations, any more than there are true communisms or true democracies. As far as it goes, the Russian economy has a lot of capitalistic elements, in their small businesses, in their individual farmers, restaurants, markets, etcetera. However, as you point out, there is, on top of that, a great deal of state control, in the form of Putin more or less commanding an oligarchy of wealthy overlords (who wield state power).

In the highland clearances, the non-capitalistic elements are as follows. 1) Capitalism doesn't confer control of the individual. No part of any of the definitions you linked includes "ownership of labor". No part of any of the definitions you linked includes "serfdom" or "slavery". Although I do note that the definitions you have used here don't explicitly *not* permit slavery, it's unaddressed in them. That being said, the modern proponents of "capitalism" do include the references to individual rights from my linked definitions.

In many of the cases of the "robber barons" of the industrial revolution, you're right, they were not what I would call "capitalistic", in that they traded more on state power and grants than free markets. For instance, Jay Gould traded almost exclusively on the favors of political pull, rather than trading for value for profit.

I see that the big disconnect is that you accept the possiblity of the state *as* a private owner. However, that is definitionally unacceptable. This isn't "no true scotsman", it's quite directly definitional. The state and private are incompatible concepts.

This is also why you will clearly see free market libertarian capitalists decrying "crony capitalism". Because crony capitalism isn't capitalism, it's nepotistic feudalism.

And I suspect that none of this will change your mind, because sheer cognitive dissonance will continue to conflate "the state" with "private" in such a way that you just view "profit=bad" and your faith will be preserved.
necromancer1962
Jun. 29th, 2014 06:22 am (UTC)
Typical catsidhe, don't argue the point, just attack the source ...
jordan179
Oct. 2nd, 2014 07:22 pm (UTC)
We note that you haven't actually refuted anything he's said -- you're taking the fact that he's quoting Ayn Rand to be its own refutation.

The message that you are sending is that you're not very good at arguing your own case, or against his.
ford_prefect42
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:57 am (UTC)
Also, to quote "being liberal",

"Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual)."

Which argument is every bit as applicable to gay marriage and economic freedom.
jordan179
Oct. 2nd, 2014 07:20 pm (UTC)
Free enterprise builds things more efficiently than even democratic governments. And non-democratic governments build things less efficiently than even democratic governments. When we get all the way down to your vaunted socialisms, we get things like Chernobyl or that vast and totally-useless skyscraper-hotel in Pyongyang.
erudito
Jun. 20th, 2014 01:01 pm (UTC)
I also note that you complain about approvals, when your description ...
Which is possibly why the paragraph begins with "Then there is ...", as in "now, new subject".

Also, what part of "big developers, who then game the system" did you not understand as developers gaming the system? Really, we should go for the German system, where approval structures are unconstitutional, so you have to make explicit laws where everyone can see what's going on.

Yes, infrastructure is expensive. Especially if you engage in land rationing, so the opportunity cost of using land for infrastructure goes up a lot.
ford_prefect42
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:33 am (UTC)
Actually, it's completely coherent. The entire ball of wax is specifically engineered to bring about the failure of western civilization, the collapse of industrial civilization, and the return to a more "harmonious" lifestyle. Which, of course, will involve killing a few billion people, but, omelettes, eggs, and all that.
necromancer1962
Jun. 29th, 2014 06:30 am (UTC)
Melbourne needs to redefine itself
As a resident of Sydney, I would like to say that people living in Melbourne have no idea what traffic congestion really is. However the real point is that all of your transport infrastructure issues (as you seem them) are entirely self-inflicted.

You all what your own houses and your wide open spaces and then complain that you do not have decent public transport (as you define it). Well here is a tip. If you want to have an effective public transport system and to have small travel times to get from A to B, don't live so far apart from each other. You need high population density to be able to have an effective public transport system. All of the cities with world class public transport have high population densities. Cities that have low density that Melbourne have struggle to provide an effective public transport system.

You need to have (an allow) tall unit blocks with lots of people in a small area to get this to work. The problem is you have so much space and no effective geographical limits to your city growth, you are going to continue to perpetuate the same problem.
jordan179
Oct. 2nd, 2014 07:18 pm (UTC)
But if the point is to increase the value of existing inner city property values and to show one's moral "soundness" by accepting the entire, utterly incoherent, package, I suppose it works just fine.

And of course the people who can meaningfully-speculate in inner-city properties are the very rich, not the moderately rich, let alone the upper middle classes. It is in short a highly-elitist set of policies, at least in its effects.
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