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‘Snob Zones’ And A Divided America

Snob zones.  How two-tiered America is playing out in real estate and zoning.

Watch Hill, Rhode Island (Flickr/Latham Jenkins)

Watch Hill, Rhode Island (Flickr/Latham Jenkins)

Suburban poverty on the rise, was the big headline recently.  But not all suburbs, by any means.  Not in all those leafy towns.

In “income inequality” America, there’s a lot in motion.  A drift toward segregation not by race but by class.  It’s so pervasive that we hardly think about it.  About the privileges that accrue to wealth.  The obstacles that gather round the poor.  The barriers that can quietly climb between the two.  It’s hardly new, but it’s in a new generation now.

This hour, On Point:  Snob zones, money lines, real estate and how we live now.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Lisa Prevost, real estate and journalist and author of the new book, “Snob Zones: Fear, Prejudice, and Real Estate.”

Douglas Massey, professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University. Co-author of the report: “Density Zoning and Class Segregation in U.S. Metropolitan Areas.” Author of “Categorically Unequal: The American Stratification System.”

Bill Bishop, contributing editor at the Daily Yonder, a web publication about rural America. Co-author of “The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart.”

From Tom’s Reading List

Connecticut Post: How zoning protects the rich and harms a community — “In her introduction, the author said she was inspired to do the book by a stormy zoning meeting in Darien Town Hall in 2005 over a proposal to build affordable housing for senior citizens in a very expensive, single-family neighborhood. On her way into the meeting, Prevost was shocked to hear someone who lives in ‘one of the most highly educated, exceedingly affluent communities in the country’ use the foulest language possible in questioning why a TV reporter was attending the session.”

The New York Times: Middle-Class Areas Shrink as Income Gap Grows, New Report Finds — “In 2007, the last year captured by the data, 44 percent of families lived in neighborhoods the study defined as middle-income, down from 65 percent of families in 1970. At the same time, a third of American families lived in areas of either affluence or poverty, up from just 15 percent of families in 1970.”

Boston Globe: Poverty finds the suburbs — “Moving to the suburbs used to mean having made it—having earned the house, the car, the lawn—and being set for the long haul. But over the past decades, the suburbs have changed. Dream houses have fallen into disrepair; dream jobs have disappeared. As urban housing costs soared, immigrants with few resources bypassed cities to be closer to suburban jobs, and low-income families moved further out in search of opportunity. Meanwhile, as the economy shuddered, established middle-class suburbanites saw their incomes shrink.”

Excerpt: ‘Snob Zones” by Lisa Prevost

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  • sjk_90

    What’s the upside for the richer people to live in an economically diverse community?  It seems like the poorer people get more out of living in the “diverse” area because they get access to better schools and a safer environment but I don’t get what the richer people get out of it and why they should be for it.  I live in a suburb that is known to be “diverse” but work in an area that’s very mcmansion-y and a lot less diverse.  The diverse area where I live has better entertainment, restaurants, etc. but it also has gangs, gun violence, muggings, burglaries, etc.  Even the library sometimes feels like a homeless shelter.  The area where I work is very boring because it has a lot less entertainment, culture, etc. but it’s an area with zero crime.  I grew up in a “boring” town and grew up thinking I wanted to raise my family in a more interesting and diverse place but after actually living what comes with “diversity,”  I kinda want to go back to living in a “boring” town.  I’d have much more peace of mind letting my kids run around in the “boring” town that has zero crime than letting them run around in the “diverse” town where kids can get mugged or have to hear about neighbors getting shot.  So, again, why should the better-off want to live around the less well-off?  What are the benefits for the better-off?

    • Bluejay2fly

      If there were any they would do it. You are correct.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Who cares what the benefits for the better off are?

      Snobs wanna snob. At some point we don’t have to kowtow to them in a discussion. Hopefully that point won’t be when the rest of us have pitchforks and torches out.

      • sjk_90

        If people actually want diversity, the better off should be included in the discussion; it would help to create a sense of community.  And just because some people are “rich”, it doesn’t mean that they are all snobs– they just want environments that are safe for their kids and they want to be around people who respect them and their property enough to not be the targets of muggings and burglaries.  In my town, (which is a suburb!),  you get laughed at for leaving your car on in the driveway while you go inside to get something quick.  Because in that minute or two that you are inside, someone will steal your car!  This type of crime was inconceivable where I grew up.  I wanted to be in a place with diverse opinions, ideas, and cultures, but the amount of crime here is starting to get overwhelming.  If people truly want “diversity,” it needs to benefit as many people as possible– both rich and poor.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Point taken about benefitting all strata of people.

          But at some point how walled off do the well off get before they’re just sitting watching the TV news and have incredibly outsized idea of property and personal crime?

          I’m a middle class type, which I figure you are also. When the rich’s perspective is so skewed, how does that do anything but filter down to the upper middle class?

          I grew up in an ordinary suburb where (and when) people committed some thefts on properties like that. And that was, to say the least, some years ago.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1240500500 Michael Ceman

    sjk_90–I understand your perspective.  However, I’d encourage you to take the long view.  It seems to me that the social ills you described in your diverse neighborhood are a result of our country’s persistent wealth divide.  We have a semi-permanent, racialized underclass of citizens who are only one generation removed from de jure segregation in housing and employment.  To answer your question, I think the better-off should want to live around the less well-off because we all benefit when fewer kids are dropping out of high school and instead, become productive citizens with a stake in society, rather than social deviants who end up in prison or worse.  We can’t break the poverty cycle by fleeing into monochromatic communities and taking our tax base with us. 

    • northeaster17

      The well off will not live amongst the rest of us for a number of reasons. One being fear and another being the foul oders that eminate from those people.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      i am not going to send my kids to school in a bad neighborhood for the greater good because i don’t want them exposed to the social deviants

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        News flash: social deviants are everywhere! Misanthropes, backstabbers and pedophiles wear ties and tuxedos no less than leather jackets or hoodies. Gerry Sandusky is one of our most recent examples of a well-to-do sad excuse for a human being. To equate deviancy with poverty clearly demonstrates that ignorance shows no favorites either.

    • sjk_90

      I like the idea of the long-term benefits, but I have to agree with Futo Buddy that kids’ childhoods are not long-term.   

  • Unterthurn

    So where are the housekeepers, gardeners, and nannies living?

    • responseTwo

      They are homeless and having their food stamps cut back.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      modesto?

  • Coastghost

    Poorly written, poorly edited, or both? (I had an inkling of how the Introduction was going to read before I even scrolled to the second page.)

    With the footnote on the second page of her Introduction, our intrepid reporter explains “NIMBY” and on the very next page explains that “NIMBYism” is so regular an occurrence that the term has become a cliche.

    Zoning as a means of defending property values I do not see addressed as such.

    She readily imputes “fear”, “hysteria”, and “prejudice” (to sober New Englanders, of all people!) and imputes an assumption of entitlement . . . to people she assumes feel entitled. (Maybe her incisive reporting bears out her imputations and assumptions, or maybe she’s woefully uninformed: certainly, the excerpt offered here shows no familiarity or acquaintance with the defense of informed prejudice found in Edmund Burke’s REFLECTIONS ON THE REVOLUTION IN FRANCE [Penguin ed., 183f.]: does she discount Burke’s reasoning out of loyalty to our reigning political fashion, which uncritically discounts the virtues of prejudice that Burke ably defends?)

    Agitprop “journalism”, with a most un-New Englandlike cover. (The photo on THIS page of yachts berthed along the Rhode Island shore made me think involuntarily of our new US Secretary of State, sorry, John.)

    Wonder how many snobs will buy her book? how many non-snobs? Wonder how many radio and TV interviews she has lined up . . . ? (An atypical case, but I wonder how the Westchester Co. cannabis entrepreneur would play in this narrative . . . ?)

    • northeaster17

      What makes you think they are sober.

      • Coastghost

        Whoops! Perhaps possibly maybe I intended the meaning “sober-minded”, but again, your objection may be pertinent . . . .

    • nj_v2

      It takes a lot of gaul for someone who writes with this level of mistake-rife, dense pomposity to call out someone else’s “poor” writing.

      • Coastghost

        But are you sure it does not require gall?

        • jefe68

          He could be referring to the Gauls, who were thought of as barbarians by the Romans.

          But you have a lot of gall though.

          • Coastghost

            Or: he may be only partly literate, a common result from exposure to US public education.

            Not only do I have a lot of gall, I have even more in reserve.

      • StilllHere

        You are denser than usual today.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Snob zones; so what is new ? I could show you places today ; companies that do business with “outsiders”, that will not let you use their bathrooms ! All of these people that have hired you, and smile at you, and sell “the team”, and hate unions, and hire temps, and get on the radio and “sell” the statistics that favor themselves, and use the church and use the good name of Jesus; well; you get my drift; would just as soon walk over your body as it gushes blood before you die, than have anything to do with you beyond that which will serve their godless ends. Devils wear nice clothing, they have very white teeth, they tell the best jokes. Folks, the truth is ; the not so funny joke, is on you !

  • madnomad554

    Sounds like the first cousin of racism…

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    I remember a news article on the real estate quandary of the wealthy in some posh resort town in Colorado, or was it Utah, some years back… Developers and the wealthy had driven the cost of housing up so high that blue collar workers could not afford to live there, so there was a desperate shortage of waiters, waitresses, cooks, house cleaners, grocery store clerks… all the people who the itinerant wealthy relied upon to keep everything going were scarce. The posh class had to band together to provide affordable housing just to meet their own needs for a ‘functional’ society.

    That’s what happens when things go out of balance: hell.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      it sounds like they took care of the problem

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      You just described Martha’s Vineyard to a tee. The rich, snobby newcomers there have imported Brazillians by the hundreds to mow their grass, manicure their nails & scrub their toilets. Once, not too long ago, a native  housecleaner could earn a decent living. Not anymore. The disposable foreign imports work much cheaper & sleep 10 to a room. They also breed like rabbits & give birth to new generations of cheap, menial servants. It’s Slavery 101.

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        Have ‘t seen the Brazillians at work. Just visit in the off season and ride past remnants of the middle class holding on to what they’ve managed to acquire. Don’t get to see many great compounds as they are out of sight from the roads that I frequent… Except for one estate which has quite the lawn that is almost large enough to be an airfield. Thankfully they have chosen not to erect a giant wall with iron gates the many wealthy probably view as requisite trappings of those who ‘have arrived’.

  • northeaster17

    I could never understand how just a few people could live in such large houses. I wonder if their closets are as stuffed as mine.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      they have someone who organizes their closets for them

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      It’s not about what they have so much as it is about denying others the right to simply live as sovereign individuals. There’s no “live & let live” in the creed of snobs.

  • John Cedar

    The rich have to travel to get to Wall Street so why shouldn’t their servants travel a little ways to get to work too? I mean unless they have living quarters on the estate.

    One again we have this nonsense about wealth inequality. When the truth is the middle class and poor are living in luxury compared to the middle class in the good old days of the 50′s 60′s & 70′s

    Every old middle class neighborhood within 100 miles of me was built around factories and paid for with sweat from those sweatshops. The homes were smaller than the average apartment is today and built on postage stamp lot. Cookie cutter with one bathroom.

    The cars bought with that sweat would blow up if they were rear-ended, rust out and quit after 2 years. Today you could buy a car with 200k miles on it that is safer, more reliable, prettier and gets better mileage than any of those old Detroit dinosaurs.

    The phones had five foot cords and cost more than an unlimited cell phone plan just to talk to the town 10 miles away a few times a week. And grandma was an our away so we were talking 20 cents a minute. and that is when 20 cents was not something a “poor person” would not bother bending over to pick up.

    The televisions got 3 stations if you were lucky and if you were really lucky it was in color.

    The dentist used to actually hurt. Getting common surgery like a hernia repair or a gall bladder, hysterectomy or tonsillectomy would lay you up for a month or more and hurt hurt hurt.

    Even a shot of penicillin would not let you forget you got it for days.

    The poor in this country are only poor in the minds of the ignorant.

    • jimino

      Using your logic the poorest among us a better off than Louis XIV or any Pharaoh because they have flush toilets and electric lights.

      • Coastghost

        AND air-conditioning. AND cell phones.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        But the Pharaohs did have that being a living god thing going for them.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        in many ways that is true. we take so many things for granted. do you think poor people who live in other parts of the world have flush toilets and electric lights?

        • StilllHere

          And big screen tvs, broadband internet…

    • nj_v2

      You’ve got a lot of gaul talking about other people’s ignorance.

      • Coastghost

        “You’ve got a lot of gaul talking about other people’s ignorance.” A comic gem, masterful, bravo!

        • StilllHere

          Personally, I don’t get French humor.

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        Can you really blame the guy for his handicap? He probably believes every thing he hears broadcast by Fox and Rush.

        He’s a victim of informational poverty.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      being poor in america is like being rich in india or africa.

    • jefe68

      And your point is what? 
      That technology has made being poor better?

      You talk of ignorance, however there is plenty of it in every sentence of this comment.

  • donniethebrasco

    The biggest joke is when someone buys 15 acres.  Builds on 1 acre.  They revalue the land (it goes up).  Then donates the remaining 14 acres to a “non-profit.”  They get a tax break and they also get “constructive use” of the land they donated.

    They get a 15 acre spread for nothing because of the tax break on the “donated” land.

    “the Nature conservancy”

    • nj_v2

      ^ Compelling evidence for an “ignore” function on Disqus.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        ^nj_v2 = Compelling evidence to ignore New Jersey.

    • StilllHere

      I’ve seen it done.

  • donniethebrasco

    Where does Tom Ashbrook live?

    I am sick of all of these lilly-white liberals living in communities like Wellesley, Weston, Newton, etc., then supporting policies that keep minorities poor by sapping their motivation by paying them to stay in their place.

    • Shag_Wevera

      I love it when conservatives pretend to advocate for the poor.  What a joke.

      • Coastghost

        Don’t discount the Risibility Quotient intrinsic to progressive advocacy for the poor. (I’m thinking of Bruce Springsteen, the $200 million populist: surely he hires someone to roll his sleeves up before each benefit concert.)

  • Shag_Wevera

    Not even worth discussion.  Can’t make rich bastards do anything they don’t want to do (including paying taxes).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    The worst thing for friendly, democratic communities is when  affluent urbanites buy up the land and bring their snobbish, exclusionary values with them. Not only do they deliberately drive out the natives, they also replace traditional neighborliness with tight, private security & corrupt the natural environment.

    Ask the people of Westerly, Rhode Island how they feel about pop-singer Taylor Swift’s recent acquisition of beachfront property there. Natives are now banned, scanned & pushed away by 24 hour security guards, whether she is in town or not. Better yet, read Carolyn Chute’s book, “Merry Men”.

    • JustEdith

       I call that economic pollution.  A bunch of money comes in, prices everybody else out, and there goes the neighborhood. 

  • David_from_Lowell

    Wasn’t zoning originally introduced in this country to protect the interests of the wealthy, for instance so that someone couldn’t build a factory next to an urban mansion? Zoning has always been used to protect the interests of the powerful. Despite the post-war middle class explosion, it remains that way, and its consequences of segregation are further enhanced by the quirks of municipal school funding. Many parent friends of mine and my wife’s use the code words of “better schools” to justify their self-segregation into the 1/2 acre zoned suburbs.  Imagine if zoning set maximum limits, not minimum limits.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      There is something useful to some zoning. But where’s the proper mix?

      Texas-style zoning yields a factory placed perfectly legally, within a couple hundred yards of a school and some retirement housing. Then, kaboom.

    • thequietkid10

      Better yet, imaging if there were no zoning laws at all…

  • Jim

    it is not as if you don’t notice… the poors are going to the suburbs… and the rich folks are coming back to the city and urban life. what a change in the guards… 

    btw. i really miss Boston’s combat zone. my memory of the naked eye, pussycat cinema, and the pilgrim books are replaced by ugly high rise luxury condos, the result of forced gentrification.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

      Chinatown is still pretty dirty: it’s the only part of downtown Boston that still feels like a real, working city.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Salt for your wounds anyone? Income disparity is the new racism, now tell us something we don’t know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    plutonoomics dictates that this devide will grow and grow

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Yep, not news. Reagan voodoo economics is working as intended.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    In an aristocracy, the aristos live in their castles and manors and the commoners live in their hovels. As we dismantle everything that grew the middle class since 1929, we’re devolving into an aristocracy. Most folks here know that. And it will go on steroids with cuts in SS and ryan vouchers instead of real medicare, to keep the taxes on the castles low.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

      Please realize that you could tax the top 1% at a 100% rate and only cut the deficit by about 1/3, assuming you were actually able to tax that far out on the Laffer curve. If the deficit problem is one of revenue rather than one of spending, it will require many not-rich people to pay much higher taxes.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        No I don’t realize that. The income of the 1% is in the vicinity of 20% of the total income, which is about $14 trillion, for a total of $2.8 trillion/yr. That would make short work of the deficit. 

        However nobody has ever suggested taxing the 1% at 100% and eliminating the deficit is not necessary or desirable. An extra 10% would be $280 billion/yr, which would be extremely helpful to our “deficits” in infrastructure, R&D, etc.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          If there is a “deficit” in infrastructure, or R&D or anything else it is because Keynesians never care about what the money is spent on as long as it gets spent.

    • toc1234

      “dismantle” = slightly reduced growth rate.

      • John Cedar

        “dismantle” =  replace meritocracy with entitlement society and vilify John Galt

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Would Snob Zones include Hyannis where hypocrites like the Kennedys who are all in favor of creating a socialist state (with other people’s money, of course!) and environmental state oppose the Cape Wind Project because it might adversely affect their plutonic yachting activities?

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Great illustration of how the right is stuck in high school:

      “Fossil fuels are turning the planet into a greenhouse” -> “Algore is a fat rich guy”

      “Reaganomics is turning the USA into an aristocracy” -> “Nyah Nyah the Kennedys are rich”

      Would be nice to have a discussion with grown-ups.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        For that you would have to leave the shelter of the nest.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Great illustration of how the right is stuck in high school

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I really enjoy your posts TomK. I hope you fully recover from the prostate surgery. Glad to hear the small procedure went very well.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            I take it back, I’ve insulted High School kids.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Still so feisty at his age, and after all his medical troubles. He is an example to us all.

          • Jonathan Wallach

             Is this the place for internecine in-jokes among the superannuated? This is really old (high) school.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      You left out a few clauses. Try more breathing exercises to cram all that into one spoken sentence.

    • OnPointComments

      An excellent example of rich liberals and the policies that they willingly impose on the hoi polloi while demanding “but not in my back yard.”

    • geraldfnord

      Please be accurate:
      The Kennedys are in favour of making this country a _more_ socialist state than it is (the army, for example, is already completely socialist), but more of a social-democratic state than a pure socialist state, with their money as well as others’.
      Don’t worry, in their desideratum rich people will still be happier and healthier than poor people, as God intended.

    • Kathy

      As far as I know, none of the Kennedy’s has ever been in favor of the government seizing private industry and operating it for the benefit of the workers. That’s what socialism is. 

      Having a government that provides support for the poor and elderly, that makes sure everyone has health care, housing, and education? That’s not socialism. That’s civilization.

    • OnPointComments

      “But don’t you realize — that’s where I sail!” –Senator Ted Kennedy about the Cape Wind farm
       
      Is it possible to more elitist?

      • StilllHere

        “Why don’t they put it where the poor people sail.”

  • Coastghost

    “Affordable housing” = high-density, low-income housing, with or without state subsidization. Right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cyndi-Armstrong/704124574 Cyndi Armstrong

    In Jacksonville FL, there is the inter-coastal and the people who leave east of it think they are way above those who live west of it.  It’s insane.  I live just west of it but I’m still told I live on the wrong side of the ditch.
    If you come over to do business or enjoy a cultural event and someone doesn’t recognize you then you are an outsider and they get irritated that you are there and preventing them from enjoying “X”.  
    I had that happen to us: this middle aged woman was annoyed that there was a line to see a folk singer who was talking about the release of her book.  She said to us “this is a local’s bookstore and only locals should be allowed here.  I shouldn’t have to stand in line!”  and when our response was to chuckle at her snobbery she turned her back on us and promised to speak to the owner about this.  
      

  • Coastghost

    A Princeton University sociology professor is lecturing US on “illicit segregation” in housing? He works for the same Princeton University that is an elitist Ivy League school? And he’s doing his preaching on a show emanating from elitist BOSTON??? (Irony of ironies, all is irony! to misquote Koheleth.)

  • toc1234

    “income inequality” is probably mostly due to smart people preferring to marry smart people. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      You mean wealthy people marrying wealthier people, don’t you? Intelligence does not equal wealth nor does a good education guarantee an income.
      If intelligence could be bought with money, rich people with bad attitudes would be a lot smarter & nicer.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      What about the Lucky Sperm Club?

      Bill Gates parents were millionaires, and he wasn’t disowned (or run out of the house) when he dropped out of Harvard.

      If any ordinary middle class collegian got into Harvard and dropped out…

      • BHA_in_Vermont

         Agreed. I think this is a point that Romney misses entirely. His life would have been totally different if he hadn’t been born rich, if he had not been born with a much higher than average level of intelligence.

        His “49%” might well be average or below in intelligence. Half the population must fit that description mathematically. Their opportunities are not the same as for those like Romney. But that doesn’t mean they do not work hard at what they do for the little money they get. Romney made $20M in 2010 without working AT ALL. He created no jobs with his income. Who is the taker?

    • DrewInGeorgia

      You’re confusing smart with wealthy.
      Greed is not intelligence.

      • Jasoturner

        Modern America.  Wealth = Worth.

        Sad.

    • methos1999

       My wife got her masters degree with high grades (close to 4.0 I believe). So I’d say she’s pretty smart, but she’s also a elementary school teacher, so the pay discrepancy between her and what an MBA in Wall Street would make is huge. Income inequality can not be linked to intelligence alone. Your comment stinks of snobbery whether you’re wealthy or not.

    • Jonathan Wallach

       We had best ask a smart person about that claim. don’t you think? Oh, you don’t? Think, I mean.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Doesn’t sound a whole lot different than many communities across the country. It’s easy to get the “undesirables” out, just keep buying small houses, replacing them with McMansions. Property taxes go up and the “49%” are force to move.

  • MarkVII88

    In Vermont, our millionaire Governor is in hot water because, after he bought land and built a new house, he bought the run-down property of an adjacent neighbor who happens to be low-income, mentally unstable, and en ex-con for a fraction of its assessed value.  This neighbor owed back taxes of $17,000 on the property he inherited from his parents and the Governor claims he worked out this deal to help him out of a sticky situation.  Interestingly though, this low-income neighbor was eligible for a huge tax reduction based on his (low) income and the Governor who actually helped write the income sensitivity provisions into our tax code failed to mention this to him during their “handshake” negotiation.  Many Vermonters believe this was taking advantage and unethical and I believe our millionaire governor simply didn’t want this guy living 200 yards away from his front door in a broken-down home.

    http://vtdigger.org/2013/06/03/both-sides-of-shumlin-dodge-land-deal-lawyer-up/

  • injun2

    I live in New Orleans, and after Katrina Jessie Jackson and New Orleans mayor Ray Naguin, worried about an influx of cheap hispanic labor, made the famous comment that New Orleans would remain a “Chocolate City.” It’s not just rich against the poor, it’s racial as well.

  • Roy-in-Boise

    In New York’s Orange county there is one of America’s original gated communities called Tuxedo Park. The wealthy have always segregated themselves.

  • Michiganjf

    it’s “out of sight, out of mind” for the wealthy… these people are utterly removed from the reality of just how much they need everyone else, in order to allow their extravagant, detached lifestyles or win their wealth.

     They’ve created a sh!+ future for themselves, just as they have for everyone else… they just have enough money that they’ll be the last to taste the fruit of their folly.
    Taste it they will, however, when ruin is the last tree to bear any fruit at all… of course it will be too late for us all, by then.

  • geraldfnord

    One of the pleasures of some of the wealthy is watching the suffering of the poor; just as with the Abominable Fancy, this were best done at a safe distance.

    (Just as with the Abominable Fancy, watching the suffering of a group is a _great_ way of convincing yourself that you’re a sort of person very different to them—our interpretation of others’ suffering very often translates into ‘they must have done something to deserve it’, which has been said of everyone from slaves to the poor to consumers of advertising to death-camp inmates [as I remember an American liberator of Buchenwald remember someone saying when they saw the walking skeletons there].)

    • Jasoturner

      I know a few truly wealth people, and they have no particular interest in exiting their circle of friends and activities.  They certainly have no interest in seeing people suffer.  It is true that the millionaires I know are all self-made, so that may have something to do with their basic decency.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        What divides the truly wealthy from the nervously-upper-middle-class?

        I don’t know where the monetary line is. Living in northeastern suburbs I’ve seen so many McMansions I can’t tell who’s “rich” by their houses any long.

        • BHA_in_Vermont

           True, a lot of McMansions are owned by rich “wannabes” who will never be rich because they blow the money they have trying to look like they are rich.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Jones’n to be the Joneses.
            Credit Bless America.

        • Jasoturner

          Very true.  I think there are many who would be in big trouble if they were out of work for a month or two. 

          By truly wealthy I am talking about friends who can live very comfortably (six to seven figure annual income) on their investments alone.  Though all of them choose to operate businesses, too.

  • Jacqueline0050

    It makes me wonder if there is also a relationship to segregation by political alignment.

    • Jasoturner

      I live in a nice section of a fairly affluent town outside of Boston.  Million dollar homes are pretty common.  I would say my neighbors trend republican, maybe 80% of them.  Anecdote isn’t evidence, but it is a data point…

      • jefe68

        There are million dollor homes in JP and they tend to vote for the Democrats.

  • geraldfnord

     All cities are always strapped for resources, so it’s important that the people with power get enough to keep them content, and the despised get little enough to remember that we hate them.  If the unfortunate aren’t placed in areas special to them, how else can we make sure that they get inferior city services? 

  • Kevin and Kirstin Worden

    I see it when more and more of my neighbors choose to join the local tennis or country club to swim during the summer than go to the public town beach.  The reasons aren’t really openly discussed, but it feels as if it is to get away from something “undesirable.”

    • Jasoturner

      That’s true in my town too. And I have the same feeling.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Detroit.

  • jpx234

    However, Cambridge Massachusetts is a generally wealthy city currently struggling with this issue… and unlike many of the communities spoken of here, the intention is to be MORE inclusive, in a city which is probably much more diverse than most. 

  • elzarrow

    I grew up in a CT suburb, all levels of middle class, all races & religions, it was great. On summer vacations we would go to visit one set of grandparents on an island in the sound that had a guard post at the entry, and the other set on a private road that wouldn’t allow any race or religion but WASP. I was shielded from these things by my parents, it wasn’t discussed, so it didn’t impact me much. But the point is that these places have existed for quite some time. I now live in a resort development that welcomes all races & religions and has some tiny homes built originally as vacation homes, that less affluent people can purchase, as well as larger homes. There are restrictions to do with what paint color, etc. to keep woodsy ‘character.’ The polarization and separation of income levels is what makes the spread of restricted housing scary. Wendell Berry has an old essay about a police friend of his in a large US city who said his whole job was to keep people from each neighborhood out of other neighborhoods. It is VERY important to have mixed housing!!!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      There’s a whole nother show to be had about “land rich” long-time residents who have to sell because the number of new expensive houses in their town has increased the assessed “value” of their homes.

      Plenty of little-olde New Englande Coastal and Hill towns are now “commuting distance” and getting affected this way.

      To pay it, they have to sell. They can’t pass this on to their kids. It’s messed up.

  • MatthewNashville

    I live in a small, quiet neighborhood historically made up primarily of retired couples and individuals.  I purchased my house from someone who had taken wonderful care of the house during their lifetime, but several people around us are not taking care of their property simply because they can’t or have inherited a property and just don’t seem to care about the state of the property.  This has lowered the value of the houses in the area and it is slowly becoming a rental neighborhood where the landlords rent to whomever and contribute to the deterioration.  My wife and I love our house and have done a lot of work to make it our own and improve the value of the property, but find it frustrating when nobody around us seems to want the same. We have a neighbor living in a duplex a few blocks away who is a known criminal and has been caught breaking into several houses in the neighborhood.  This individual was caught in the middle of the day stealing puppies from the house right next to ours. The people living right next to where this individual lives want to leave because of it, but are the kind of people doing something to make their place nice.  I cannot help but want to do something to keep a known criminal out of the neighborhood and wish we could do something to make others care about what their property, whether owned or rented, looks like. I can understand why you would want to separate yourself from this kind of mentality, but don’t want to just herd every problem away to another place where I’m not.  What is the solution?

  • Scott B

    I live in an area near a lake with a famous institution, and the wealthy have systematically bought more and more smaller properties, to live there for the summer, tearing down the small cottages, to build huge houses. The local towns get greedy because the dwindling population means a smaller tax base, so when small property owners want to deed over the house in a will, or sell a house to an heir, the local government wants the property taxed at was they thing the property would be worth IF it was sold to someone with deep pockets. They even tried inflicting this on  people that weren’t selling or willing over their property, hoping to drive them out, specifically targeting certain “undesirable” people, or properties they though would be prime pickings for the newest “Snob Knob”.

    Now our lake access is further and further limited by people that live here for a couple months of of the year, and see the local people as existing to serve them. 

  • emanresuemal

    Here in North Stonington Ct we have been under siege by developers who want to dump future slums in our sleepy town with a long history economic diversity.  Why? Because we stand in the massive shadow of Foxwoods Casino that hungers for unskilled labor at rock bottom prices.  Ct’s Affordable Housing Statute has become their weapon of choice to force us to subsidize the labor costs for a gambling monstrosity.

  • Coastghost

    A lot of people might want to attend elitist Princeton University or elitist Harvard University to take top-notch sociology courses, but . . . .

    • StilllHere

      You, sir, have the boorish manners of a Yalie.  If only I could see your tie to know for sure.

      • Coastghost

        Ill-mannered, well, maybe on some days, maybe today even after a night of insomnia, but a Yale man? Not ever.
        Haven’t worn a tie in almost eighteen months. (My only blazer is black.) And I do not own or lease a yacht or Lear jet.

  • JustEdith

    I thought the comment by one of the panelists about millionaires and billionaires was very poignant.  It used to be that being a millionaire was enough.  Now it’s all about billionaires and billionaires can do whatever they want.  It undermines democracy.  I don’t care about money.  If it were just about the numbers on your computer screen (which at the end of the day, that is really all it is) and there wasn’t this power over others, it wouldn’t be as big of a deal.  If there was equality in all other ways: high quality public schools and universities for all, possibility of economic stability, life/work balance, good health, access to arts and culture regardless of economic background, then who cares.  When you have people who can buy and sell your whole town at their whim it puts too much power in the hands of too few.  This is not real freedom. 

    • StilllHere

      That’s inflation for you!

  • emanresuemal

    Here in North Stonington Ct we have been under siege by developers who
    want to dump future slums in our sleepy town with a long history
    economic diversity.  Why? Because we stand in the massive shadow of
    Foxwoods Casino that hungers for unskilled labor at rock bottom prices. 
    Ct’s Affordable Housing Statute has become their weapon of choice to
    force us to subsidize the labor costs for a gambling monstrosity.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      It would be wiser to move the casino to, say, Bridgeport, where there is already a massive pool of willing, low-wage workers.  Bringing slums to the countryside in order to serve a bunch of transient gamblers makes no sense at all.

  • jpx234

    Neighborhood diversity is not just a ‘romantic’ social thing. it’s probably also a good economic situation – like having a diverse investment portfolio.  You need people nearby who can be your plumbers, gardeners, waiters, as well as your C.E.O.’s. 

    I believe places like Cape Cod have had problems getting people to work there, because the ‘help’ cannot afford to live there.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      True. Seasonal workers are shipped in, often from overseas, to serve the summer population. Then, they move on.
      In wintertime it’s a different social landscape. A huge population of retirees require lots of medical services. Those are the only jobs available, year-round, on the Cape & Islands. 

  • jenofID

    Any correlation between the housing bubble and this topic?  Perhaps people bought houses they could not afford in order to access the lifestyle offered in these more affluent neighborhoods?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    Slumlords, whose wealth comes from exploiting the urban poor, are the worst kind of suburban neighbors. They arrive in town with satchels full of money and condescending attitudes towards fellow humans, in general. I wouldn’t want to live next door to one of ‘em.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      i blame those housing vouchers

  • http://www.facebook.com/emily.h.lacroix Emily Harvey Lacroix

    I’m a young professional living in an apartment with a few other young professionals, but mostly low income families and retirees. I hope to eventually move on, but I love it here right now. I enjoy spending time with the kids who play on the lawn and meeting new people in the apartment pool. It’s occasionally loud, but everyone seems invested in our little community.

  • Scott B

    I get tired of the idiots with money that move to the country, then bitch about the farm, the rod & gun club, trailer park, the whatever it is that offends their delicate senses, that they knowingly moved in next to, then try to get the farm, the club, et al, shut down or bulldozed over. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      You forgot how noobs take exception to the smells left on the road. Who knew that cattle and the farm machinery that drive on the pasture would leave schmutz on the asphalt?

      (PS I’ve done plenty of bicycling and motorcycling thru farmland.)

      • Scott B

         It reminds me of the song  “What Do Ya Think About That” by Montgomery Gentry .

         Here’s the first couple verses:

        I heard it through the grapevine
        My new neighbor don’t like my big red barn
        A ’47 Ford, bullet holes in the door
        Broke down motor in the front yard

        I got a half a mind to paint a plywood sign
        And nail it up on a knotty pine tree
        Saying I was here first, this is my piece of dirt
        And your rambling don’t rattle me

    • DrewInGeorgia

      It’s like marrying the partner that just knows you’ll change to their betterment as time goes by. Shame the interloped can’t just get a divorce when it doesn’t work out. They can’t afford the legal fees…

    • Tyranipocrit

      no matter how much money you have does anyone like the site of trailer parks or want to live in one?–better if low-icome housing was provided with earthships with gardens integrated.  The countryside remains country, and green, and even greener–a win win.  Down with trailer parks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/emily.h.lacroix Emily Harvey Lacroix

     They also have trouble attracting young people, who may be rich and professional eventually, but can’t afford to start out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/emily.h.lacroix Emily Harvey Lacroix

    There’s also the issue of AGE diversity. Friend of mine jokes that his parents are moving to Duxbury, MA to be old and rich. Another friend couldn’t find any other 20 something professionals when she lived there. The neighborhood is aging because young families can’t afford houses to start out.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Roadside mechanic calling at :50 min?

    Cool. No matter how much money you make, you shut a roadside service truck out at your own peril. Especially in New England in the winter.

    I’d like to tangent onto other zoning bits, like how when only laborers and riffraff drove trucks, and laws had to be rewritten to accomodate the newly-designed luxo-trucks and SUVs that the residents started buying.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    And the truth is spoken in the last 15 minutes of the show.
    An ACTUAL living wage (to include equal access to education and healthcare) would address the problem.

    But we don’t really want to address the problem, do we?

  • Unterthurn

    This sounds similar to the town Disney made in Florida, but one needs money means to gain access. It seems some people are having a harder and harder time living together.

    In Germany and Austria the city planning commission plans for low income housing to be mixed in with other housing and often a builder must designate a certain percentage of their dwellings to be used for such purposes. Also it is common to give the local residents a chance to buy lots at lower rates in new developments. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/emily.h.lacroix Emily Harvey Lacroix

     I want a horse farm in my future, but you have to be so careful not to get taxed on the housing development value of the land. At the moment, in VT, horse farms are recreational, so unless you have a huge parcel, or additional agriculture, you pay housing development tax rates–enough to bankrupt a young business fast.

    • StilllHere

      Are you raising them for meat for the European market?  Otherwise sounds snobbish.

  • OMA_OPINES

    Recently I took care of my 3 grandsons who live in a snob zone outside of Chattanooga. It made me sad when the kindergartener brought home his “public” elementary school’s “yearbook” and I searched in vain for any student that was not lily white. Folks choose these zones for myriad reasons – but often thinking that this will keep them from the crime and social ills of other areas. Obviously troubled people live EVERYWHERE, as the folks who moved to Sandy Hook, CT found.
    In a summer novel I read recently, the wealthy New England main family said “we’re privileged because we work”. To paraphrase one of your excellent guests, often, in this land, we “work” because we are privileged – disparity in education, recreation and interaction opportunities, as well as taxation which favors the wealthy contributes to the vast income disparity we have in this land.

  • Coastghost

    “Snob Zone”: could be the name for an engaging new NPR food or travel or quiz show, as long as it’s produced in Boston, of course.

  • Jon

    Nature of capitalism. An outsider sees it as snob zone yet want to become an insider. It’s a cultural thing and its incurable.

    • thequietkid10

      Not entirely, affluent people in society can use zoning laws to prevent people from building multi-family houses in current areas.  They can also use zoning laws to establish “property standards” which make it impossible for poor people to live in certain neighborhoods.  Neither of these ideas are capitalistic.

      • Jon

        People may get rich without capitalism but tribalization is their nature, and it’s an incurable disease.

    • vishnubrakmamaheswar

      This is universal, Indias Ambani has a Billion dollar mansion in the middle of slums in Bombay.

      Google, ambanis mansion.
      He has the queen, and many western politicians in his pay roll.

    • BenGjones

      That’s a bit like a goldfish arguing that everything outside its bowl is an illusion and fundamentally unreal because it can never touch it.

      • Jon

        You’re absolutely right – man is an upgraded goldfish think he can theorize the universe.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    We don’t all need to be the same but we do all need to acknowledge that we are much more than similar.

    Same species folks, anything less is ultimately cannibalism.

    • vishnubrakmamaheswar

      Ambani has a 1 billon dollar mansion in Bombay India.
      But his neighbors are slum dwellers. ( google it – Ambani house) 

      Humans are wired to group together according to tribes .It goes in different levels, for whites blacks are not human , Chinese are bit better because they have low pigment.
      India has Bhrahamins and castes .
      American life is more than Vietnamese life million times more, even american dog is regarded to be of higher value than a native american life.

      US soldier called vietnamese gooks . make them inferior killing them was easier that way. 
      Now We have this US brhamins , labeling  the rest of us as untouchables.

      Money rules all over.
      To be really human is to accept our common humanity 
      and work beyond simple emotions and automatic reactions. Be analytical speed feeds greed.
      Rich has everything in quantity but no quality.
      Greed is not  about quality.

      • Tyranipocrit

        chinese hate blacks and want to be white–spend billions on bleaching skin and parade whites around like clowns–the mere site of a white is a laughingstock for chinese and chinese talking white is like a talking monkey yet they want to be white…very bizarre.  

  • Steve__T

    Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres: what do they have in common?

    They have Money, but would rather be on the farm.

    That’s TV for you.

  • StilllHere

    Sounds like they could use a high-rise apartment with sufficient outhouses.  That’s progress!

  • http://www.facebook.com/julia.laraway.7 Julia Laraway

    Living in a snob zone(Santa Barbara) and raising kids has been interesting.  We have to talk regularly about the fact that what we know isn’t everyone’s reality, and we are solidly middle class in a small house.  My daughters say that the segregation at their high school is definite, ingrained and self inflicted and they have attended the public, neighborhood schools since kindergarten.  I find it depressing that young families can’t buy into our midtown neighborhood and since prices are going up AGAIN, won’t be able to in the near future.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jacob.lebell Jacob Lebell

    I think this is society returning back to social structures that has dominated history for most of our history, of two main social classes, with a small middle class, only to serve the upper class. And I think this is the price of political inequality of representation. The rich who go to political fundraisers for politicians have their interests represented much more than the rest of us who simply vote for them, and its no surprise that their interests are being represented better than our common interest. And this is what is leading to the economic in equality which is helping us to move into economic segregation.

    • vishnubrakmamaheswar

      We have super rich celebrity journalists who are spin docs who serve their masters.
      It is a matter of values.
      Only value has become money. 
      No other principle.
      Even Chinese communist party’s only value is money, Putin the same.
      Pope – even this new guy is the CEO of Catholic church INc.
      Church o England  owns mining companies that evade  taxes in Zambia . The leader of church of England is a banker .

  • Bigtruck

    Westport CT has a section in the town paper called “Tear down of the day” A modest house is torn down, a huge house is built in it’s place. Another property becomes inaccessible to the middle class. This is the way Snob Zones are created. It is almost  militaristic in its march to stamp out diversity.

    • Pam G.

      Wellesley, MA is also guilty of doing this. 20 years ago it was a middle class town. Now upper class.

  • 2Gary2

    we need to massively tax the rich and redistribute to the middle and poor.  The rich have been stealing worker productivity gains for decades.  Time for payback.  also need to heavily tax corporations.

  • StilllHere

    Complete waste of time.

    Americans have a right to protect their biggest investment by far.

    • Tyranipocrit

      you say you are a complete waste of time and breath.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.mcdarby Jim McDarby

    the snobs are doing me a favor by living near one another. Since I want nothing to do with them it makes it easier for me to not run into them. Their selfish ways are the bane of this good Earth. Give me a world with good hard working full of soul people any day of the week.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      what middle class?

    • Tyranipocrit

       yeah, and this way we know where they are–in case we want to confiscate their wealth, or fly drones over them–we must keep an eye on these evil SOBs–they are criminal.  its time we take back the resources they stole to build these estates.  They of course will be a problem so we need to lock them up.  If they cant be rehabilitated, they cant be released. 

      Im not joking and you cant medicate the truth.  ANyone who advocates medication–is a sinister controlling evil villain that cant deal with disagreement or dissent and so wants to control people by medicating them –another form of incarceration. 

      Only the selfish evil 1% need to be medicated. 

      Im watching you!  Watching me…

      • StilllHere

        Your ability to self-diagnose is noted.

        • Tyranipocrit

          you ability to say stupid things was noted a long time ago. You cant call everyone crazy just cuz you disagree with them. Lunatic. meds. tin foil–real old man. You are slow..well, no–you are just dumb and brainwashed. You dont a fing clus about anything. Your very presence is pollution and the world would be better off without you–but I am guessing you know that all ready. Do us a favor…

        • Tyranipocrit

          har har har

  • stillin

    The lady who called in from Tenn. sounded like she grew up on our street in northern N.Y., Massena. So I will tell the stories of HOW IT WAS to my students, my own kids have heard them their whole lives…and I will continue to point out to them what ELITISM and snobbery is…as one of my administrators told me, he believes he is one of the “entitled” which to me is the problem. I have a millionaire friend who believes that too, she is one of the “chosen” and a blood relative who feels that way. What they mean is “we’re so much RICHER than you” and I continue to believe, they lose at a much deeper level. I will not be bought, swayed by the almighty in this country and I don’t mean God, I mean money.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Every time there’s a discussion of our developing aristocracy some righty says “You could tax away 100% of the income of the 1% and it would just be a drop in the ocean compared to out ginormous, horrible debt” etc etc.

    First noting that nobody has suggested taking all the income of the poor 1%, and that it’s a cheap debate trick to suggest it, this is nonsense. I don’t know where it comes from. I assume it just circulates endlessly in the righty echo chamber, and the ‘bots have to regurgitate it occasionally.

    http://www.cbpp.org/images/cms//10-21-10inc-f2.jpg

    The 1% have about 20% of the total income of the USA. Hello, righties, this is not a drop in the ocean! It is about $2.8 trillion/yr. Even if you say the 1% are already taxed, say at 25% which is way too high (romney under 13%), the remaining 75% is $2.1 trillion.

    Do you really want to say $2.1 trillion/yr too small to make a dent in the deficit? C’mon, righties, how silly do you want to look?

    The fact that the 1% have so much of the total income, a level not seen since the time of the Great Gasby, indicates that we are indeed on the path to aristocracy.

    • HonestDebate1

      Okay, so now I’m confused. Is the reductio ad absurdum argument of taking all their money valid or not? Are you agreeing with the notion taking all the money is futile while making the case that taking some will help? I don’t get it.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Sorry if I was unclear. I’m saying 2 things:

        1. Even mentioning “taxing the rich at 100%” is a cheap debate tactic suggesting that the poor 1% are overtaxed. Nobody has suggested anything but modest tax hikes at the top and top tax rates are low by our historical standards.

        2. Saying that 100% of the income of the 1% is too small to make a difference, as I often hear, is ridiculous. 20% of the total income of the USA is a massive amount capable of paying for anything we could imagine.

        IMO increasing taxes at the top – not to 100% :),  another 10% would be a big help – is the easiest and one of the best things we should do right away.

      • Tyranipocrit

         you dont get much do ya?

  • Pam G.

    I am a realtor. The zoning of septic and wells is purposely done here west of Boston as a reason (excuse) why the town cannot zone for multi-family, condos, apartments or home under 1 mil, due to the minimum 1.5 acres of land. The exclusionary zoning came first, then the septic and well water to give a plausible excuse for the need for 1+ acre zoning. SNOB ZONING.

  • vishnubrakmamaheswar

    World also has snob zones.  The fundamental problem of humanity today is , has been  the powerful nations and the westerners denial of our common humanity.
    They value human rights and value everything according to their financial interests.
    US is looking the other way when, China kills , even North korea does so. 
    They have to look in the mirror . We still kill innocent people
    if they are spendable.
    only American interest – which means interests of the rich 1% 
    of Americans is perceived to be affected the media lay ground work for costly invasions – that kill innocent civilians .  Guatamala Vietnam cambodia, Iraq all unnecessary killing fields.
    Saudis are exemplary democracy , so is Jordan . 
    Libyan guy was killed his oil looted , BP sucks it Libyans get nothing . Tom knows the facts.
    US journalists get paid to lie and perpetuate a wrong image that this nation protects human rights and cares .
    Russians ,Chinese can be bought for the right amount .

    We remain racist and un just and greed driven .

    truth has no place any where.

    Even the pope is just like Obama working for rich and Monarchs 
    who own and control us.

    Truth is simple, journalists hide it.
    Read – Good Samaritans by Ha Joon Chang , a Cambridge Uni guy.
    In short Western values are bad for native peoples all over and 
    the 99% of Americans who are deceived by the 1% and their buddies Queens, moguls, oil tycoons and super rich.
    NPR , CNN , Chinas news papers and BBC are at their service.

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  • andic_epipedon

    Reminds me of Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1091744903 Tracy Estabrook Boal

    Good show on a problematic topic. The biologist in me totally recognizes that high density housing, with diverse neighborhoods of mixed-use zoning, is by far the most energetically efficient way to support large numbers of people with the least impact.
    The sociologist in me found Bishop’s book fascinating and alarming.

    It’s obvious that from a sustainability standpoint, we need to pack more people into smaller areas.

    However, my personal preference is to be FAR away from people and all their ugliness and noise. I currently live in a perfectly decent middle-class starter neighborhood in a mid-size city, and I would prefer to get the heck away from it. I don’t want to see any neighbors, let alone talk to them. I want my home to be a completely private retreat where I can invite people that I like, and not have to drain my energy dealing with everyone else. High densities of people is fine during the work-day, or on brief trips to the city, etc., but I don’t want to live anywhere near high-density housing. Hell, if I could afford 100 undeveloped acres with a sound-proof barrier that kept out people but let in all wildlife, I’d take it in an instant.

    So I am the very definition of the problem LOL.

  • blessingofthefleet

    i’m confused–have 40B developments been good for renters and towns?  are there any studies Prevost cites?  i thought the reason they were unpopular is 40B developments benefit pretty much only the developers, which is why they build them.

  • ExcellentNews

    Now you know why Romney and his billionaire pals in the Republican party really want to defund NPR. The peons need not know how or where the masters live. In fact, after abolishing the inheritance tax, eliminating publicly-funded journalism is goal #2 for the oligarchy.

    • ExcellentNews

      And while we are at it, let me point to the critics of the program WHY is there such resentment by the peons. People of course have the right to live where they want, and localities have the right to do their zoning as they see fit within the law.

      The resentment is about the WAY the wealthy have generated wealth. The vast majority in wealth in the US since the late 90s has come from (a) exporting high-wage American jobs and replacing them with McJobs, and/or (b) indentured lending and other financial service scams. Don’t tell me about Facebook founders. The entire tech industry does not come close to the 2 TRILLION that Bush gave to his crony contractors to “fight terror”. 

      That is not wealth generation. This is wealth redistribution from the middle class upward. The people, even if cannot articulate it, do feel it. No wonder, they begrudge the gilted mansions of the new CEOs and bankers. They see people who have built wealth by destroying and taking from America, not by adding to America. 

    • John Cedar

      Now you know why Romney…and the 47 million (people)* that voted for him…

      *”makers”

    • brettearle

      There are a number of Liberal elites.

      The concept of NIMBY reappears in many neighborhoods, where constituencies, for the party of the Democrats, are high.

      That’s why, in part, there is so much clamor over the hypocrisy of some Liberal social policy.

      If you think that men and women, affiliated with, or employed by, NPR have not shrieked over low-income public housing nearby their high-real-estate-value property, you would be practicing fake naivete, to avoid seeing this issue for what it is:

      Many People, everywhere, NEED to feel superior to others.

      • myblusky

        Yep – doesn’t matter what party line you tow – the rich don’t want those poor people moving into the neighborhood. The two parties are just two sides of the same coin anyway.

  • Regular_Listener

    What about race and population growth?  Could the stunning growth of minority populations in the last couple of decades have anything to do with this situation?  Could the fact that white people will before long be less than half the country contribute to the desire of well-off people to isolate themselves?  Are the numbers of the poor and lower class people growing?  And should something be done about it?

  • Pingback: The Single Greatest Moral Challenge We Face | Cognoscenti

ONPOINT
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Jul 31, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin heads the Cabinet meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 30, 2014.  (AP)

The US and Europe face off against Russia. Are we looking at Cold War II? Something hotter?

Jul 31, 2014
A comical sign suggest the modern workplace is anything but collegial . (KW Reinsch / Flickr)

When the boss is a bad apple. How some pretty dark traits can push some to the top.

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Jul 30, 2014
Janitta Swain, Writer/Exec. Producer/Co-Director Dinesh D'Souza, John Koopman, Caroline Granger and Don Taylor seen at the World Premiere of 'America: Imagine The World Without Her' at Regal Cinemas LA Live on Monday, June 30, 2014, in Los Angeles, CA. (AP)

Conservative firebrand Dinesh D’Souza says he wants an America without apologies. He’s also facing jail time. We’ll hear him out.

 
Jul 30, 2014
Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rises over Gaza City, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the fighting so far. (AP)

Social media is changing how the world sees and talks about Israel and Gaza, Israelis and Palestinians. We’ll look at the impact.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Criticism, Conservatism And Dinesh D’Souza
Thursday, Jul 31, 2014

Best-selling conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza and On Point host Tom Ashbrook disagree about what makes America great…or do they?

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This 15-Year-Old Caller Is Really Disappointed With Congress
Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014

In which a 15-year-old caller from Nashville expertly and elegantly analyzes our bickering, mostly ineffective 113th Congress.

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Our Week In The Web: July 25, 2014
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

Why the key to web victory is often taking a break and looking around, and more pie for your viewing (not eating) pleasure.

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