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My Club Stinks; Wanna Join?

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Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:23 pm    Post subject: My Club Stinks; Wanna Join? Reply with quote

Here's what I don't understand.

All around the world smart thinking, liberal environmental types decry the state of modern suburban sprawl. They hate the car. They hate the suburbs. They hate the mall. They hate the goods and mp3 players and gaming stations.

Yet, these same people also decry poverty. Well, what is poverty? It's the lack of cars, suburban houses and malls.
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


I think you are on to something here, though there is an easy answer to the literal meaning to your post.

Real poverty is about housing, health care, utilities, transportation, child care and food. It's about people who need to decide between prescriptions and heat.

For some, taking care of those basics is easy, with plenty leftover for what I consider luxuries (the suburban house, the car, and the shopping mall). For others, it's not so easy.

I'm all for the marketplace giving people the chance to make choices, but I want mechanisms in place to make those necessities available to those who really need them. To some extent, such mechanisms are already in place, via federal, state, and local governments, and from charities and individual actions, but navigating those programs can be very difficult, and they are often underfunded.

I was raised to believe that these kinds of program were not just soft-hearted, but that they also benefited me. I don't want my neighbors to be unable to work because transportation is not available. It benefits me if they can get the prescriptions they need without begging on the streets, or risking their health from the lack of necessities, subsequently putting my health at higher risk.

As far as liberal environmentalism goes, every article I've seen on the topic affirms what a disaster it would be if every human on the planet lived a US-level lifestyle. Perhaps with improvements in technology we'll be able to get there someday, but that day is not soon, in my opinion.

The implication is obvious, to me at least. Live a more modest lifestyle. Consume less, re-use, recycle. Live simply so that other may simply live.

You probably do this already. Maybe you didn't realize that you are a liberal environmentalist.

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Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am seeing more information that it is living the spawl lifestyle that may ultimately be of benefit:

The greening of suburbia ...

Low-density areas, on the other hand, lend themselves to much less expensive and more environmentally friendly ways of reducing heat. It often takes nothing more than double-paned windows to reduce the energy consumption of a two- or three-story house. Shade can bring it down even further: A nice maple can cool a two-story house, but it can't quite do the same for a 10-story apartment building.

Focusing on the suburbs has the added virtue of bringing change to where the action is. Over the past 40 years, the percentage of people opting to live in cities has held steady at 10 to 15 percent. And since 2000, more than 90 percent of all metropolitan growth -- even in a legendary new planners' paradise such as Portland, Ore. -- has taken place in the suburbs.

Another issue is health care. We're told that we have a "bad health care system". Actually, if you have a well paying job, it's a pretty good system...the problem is that poor people have no money. Yes, as stupid as that sounds, we go through all kinds of hoops to create artificial systems, and say things like "the system is broken" -- when, in fact, it's not broken at all, it just assumes an entry fee.

Is that fair? Is it fair to make people jump hoops to get food and health care or that children should suffer because of their parents education? No, it's not. But the answer to helping them is not to create some other system, it's to get them money. Moola. Cash-a-rino.

How about education? We hear that "public schools don't work". But wait, what about the public schools on Long Island...especially in the wealthier Suffolk County? Or in Redmond and Bellevue. They seem to produce a lot of science award winners and college graduates. You can't say that public schools don't work...but you might say that big city, poorly funded public schools don't work.

I just want to establish a starting point, and there are these two conflicting things.

Is the system "good" and therefore we are only working on getting people a ticket into it? Or is it inherently bad and broken, in which case we should reform it.

This post probably belongs in the "Status Quo" area, and you know what I think...that we have a really good system, and we need to get more people in it.
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