Stanley Kurtz has a must-read piece in National Review about President Obama’s regionalist agenda, an agenda he never mentions in public, by the way. You’ve probably heard about HUD’s plan to map the diversification of communities, and you were probably scratching your head wondering what they’re up to. Well, Kurtz explains it. Under the guise of racial diversity, what they really want to do is make cities even more populated, and turn the suburbs into cities.
Yet even critics have missed the real thrust of HUD’s revolutionary rule change. That’s understandable, since the Obama administration is at pains to downplay the regionalist philosophy behind its new directive. The truth is, HUD’s new rule is about a great deal more than forcing racial and ethnic diversity on the suburbs. (Regionalism, by the way, is actually highly controversial among minority groups. There are many ways in which both middle-class minorities in suburbs, and less well-off minorities in cities, can be hurt by regionalist policies–another reason those plans are seldom discussed.)
The new HUD rule is really about changing the way Americans live. It is part of a broader suite of initiatives designed to block suburban development, press Americans into hyper-dense cities, and force us out of our cars. Government-mandated ethnic and racial diversification plays a role in this scheme, yet the broader goal is forced “economic integration.” The ultimate vision is to make all neighborhoods more or less alike, turning traditional cities into ultra-dense Manhattans, while making suburbs look more like cities do now. In this centrally-planned utopia, steadily increasing numbers will live cheek-by-jowl in “stack and pack” high-rises close to public transportation, while automobiles fall into relative disuse. To understand how HUD’s new rule will help enact this vision, we need to turn to a less-well-known example of the Obama administration’s regionalist interventionism.
Please take the time to read the whole thing. Kurtz uses the example of the San Francisco “Plan Bay Area,” but this is happening in other places. Here in my upstate New York county the RINO County Executive has signed onto a “sustainable development” plan that sounds a lot like the plan in San Francisco. Small towns are losing the authority to develop and grow while the county changed how it divvies up the sales tax so only the city of Syracuse gets a cut, leaving the towns scurrying to find a way to make up for the lost revenue.
This war on the suburbs isn’t anything new, but it is picking up steam lately. Vodkapundit noted the other day how Paul Krugman chimed in after reading some study about upward mobility. No need to link to Krugman, but here’s Vodkapundit’s conclusion:
It’s a real theme on the left. The suburbs destroy the environment, the suburbs destroy community, the suburbs destroy upward mobility…
Of course, it’s all a sham. Middle class values are easy to learn, and not that hard to practice. Graduate high school, get a job, get married, buy a house, have kids — and in that order. Of course, the Blue big cities have destroyed their schools, ObamaCare has stunted the starter job market, progressivism shuns marriage, the bubble has put homeownership out of reach, and welfare has allowed babies to make babies for generations now.
But it’s somehow all the fault of suburbia.
Fact is, the suburbs are the closest thing we have left to the farms and ranches of old, where every home is a castle. (Read More)
Well, they can’t have us thinking of our homes as our castles, because that would mean we believe we’re in charge of our own lives. Better to round us up into their littler urban centers, where we all share germs on public transportation, wait in line for Obamacare treatment, and believe that our destinies are controlled by government bureaucrats. How very utopian.
Update: Be sure to read Pam Gellar’s take on this. She says this will send people to the mountains of Montana or fracking states. I agree. Then again, I plan to hang on to our little acre, and when the town we live in changes the setback rules (because if you’re going to cram as many people as possible into a small area you can’t have setback rules), we’ll be sure to develop our property to suit our needs. Instead of going to the hassle of moving, shouldn’t we all start fighting back?
Update 2: Linked by The Pirate’s Cove – thanks!