Struggling with a name for your new development?

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Land developers:
In your rush to accommodate population growth (often called "economic growth"), do you sometimes draw a blank on what to name your latest subdivision? Many of those trendy names like "River's End" are getting stale. No need to worry about a lack of creativity. Just fall back on an old standard: name your development for whatever piece of nature it replaced or destroyed.
Some examples:
If grassland once existed where Yukon Denials and 6,000 sq. ft. castles stand, don't mourn that cheap remnant of nature. Just call it THE MEADOWS. Average people won't notice. They're too busy pushing paper and drawing debt so they can afford your creations. Money is the judge and jury for everything that's right.
If hundreds of oak trees were reduced to dozens, call that development THE OAKS. A very common name, that one. Many oak trees fall to the dozer as the U.S. population grows by 3 million annually. Revel in the glory of world population growth that exceeds 70 million per annum (net gain). Think of all the homes that will be needed, even if you aren't personally building them. The sound of hammers ringing in the morning is like.....victory.
If your "master planned community" just invaded 500 acres of wetlands or vernal pools, call it THE LAKES. The existence of an artificial pond can justify that title. Just make sure you can steal water from somewhere to fill it. Of course there's no shortage of water, even in the desert. All it takes is imagination and total lack of concern for anything else.
If you just won a battle against Godless environmentalists and pushed 50 homes into national forest boundaries, call that piece of paradise THE PINES. Pray it doesn't suffer the recent fate of a Lake Tahoe community where homes have blocked natural brush-clearing fires.
It's easy to divide, conquer and pretend the landscape is fine by using name-psychology. It also makes potential homeowners believe they're not really destroying wilderness. After all, if you surround wilderness on all sides by development and leave a pocket in the middle, can it really be considered nature?
Ringing an area with sprawl, then cutting to the core is a good strategy for your long term plans. Nature is wasted space begging to be filled with houses. If it stays empty, some dirty animals might find a stronghold and the ESA may be invoked. Too bad they dumped Mr. Pombo but you have plenty of conservative allies. Funny thing about the word "conservative." Most people of that ilk think conservation is beneath them. They're all about consumption.
Home-builders have decades of expansion to look forward to. Sure, it has to end sometime (finite planet) but you can make a buck now, so who cares about the future? The California State Department of Finance released a report saying California's population may reach 60 million by 2050. Third-world America is well on its way. This means white flight to the hills and they must be developed!
Developers, you must always focus on what really matters for human progress. If the land doesn't get MORE CROWDED every day, we are failing our children. At some point, all but the harshest habitat will be vanquished, paved, and renamed, and you can bask in the glory of it while sitting in 5 MPH traffic.
E.A.
http://enough_already.tripod.com /
Housing starts are a leading indicator of mindless population growth.
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So what do you suggest? We kill every other baby? Shoot those who have IQ's less than 120? Hold a lottery for houses, and have everyone else live in camps outdoors in the area between the runways at the local airport?
There are few things that are as sure as death and taxes. Some of them are that people have to have a place to live, a place to work, and highways between the two so they can drive from home to work.
Unless you can solve the problem of how to run a country without having anyone go to work, then all you are doing is blowing smoke out your butt. Your posting might have been funny, but it was not at all constructive.
-john-
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John A. Weeks III 952-432-2708 snipped-for-privacy@johnweeks.com
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Change zoning laws to allow more dense development, and discourage excessive suburban-density development? Tax fossil-fuel-based carbon emissions[1], so that the true cost of long commutes is borne by those choosing where to live? Use the proceeds from said tax (along with general funds) to subsidize dense development, mass transit, personal rapid transit, and alternative energy? Cap the number of children one can claim a tax credit and other government benefits for, with exceptions for children who were adopted, or already conceived when the rule change went into effect? Get rid of abstinence-only sex education? Free contraception for all?
There are many things that could be done that fall short of the drastic measures you list.
Obviously, many of these things would need to be phased in gradually, so as to give people and the economy time to adjust (the goal is to change behavior, not to impose crippling taxes), but continuing down our current path is a recipe for disaster.
-Scott
[1] Yes, gasoline is already taxed, but not nearly enough.
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You betchya. Your idea. So you shouldn't mind send me a buck extra for every gallon you buy, would you?
Stupid idea? Yeah but so is yours.
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But why do any of them unless there is a need. People have been predicting the end of the world every year for the past 2006 years, and so far, life has only seemed to improve. If you just leave things alone and don't meddle with the economy, things will work itself out based on economics. 100 years from now, we my have 50-billion people, and life will be 10 times better.
For the most part, these extremest groups that want to control population or dictate where people live are far less interested in ecology and welfare and are far more interested in trying to tell others what to do and gain control over the masses. We have to be vigilant and not fall for these totalitarian ideas.
-john-
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John A. Weeks III 952-432-2708 snipped-for-privacy@johnweeks.com
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You don't consider global warming and exhaustion of oil supplies to be a need? Hell, even if you don't care about that, the unaffordability of decent housing in many areas that isn't a long commute from the bulk of the jobs is enough of a reason to revise the zoning in a lot of areas. Do you like sitting in traffic?

Some of those claims are more credible than others.

Keep on telling yourself that.

I didn't suggest forcibly controlling population, or dictating where people live -- just providing economic incentives for more people to make choices that lead to a sustainable society (and helping people who would like to make such a choice but currently can't afford it due to artificial scarcity caused by density restrictions).

Because you say so?

Yawn.
-Scott
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That last question has always fascinated me. What DO growth-addicts think causes traffic jams, and do they really think there's an infinite amount of land for building more roads? Is job-creation in the construction industry some sort of Holy Grail? Everywhere you go where there's endless road construction, endless population growth wipes out the benefits and they have to build again. Growthism is analogous to how people drive; tailgating, pushing and rarely thinking ahead.
Zero population growth would allow us to _recover_ from these messes and actually find the security we as a society claim to seek. Growthism is no better than drug-addiction or any hyperactive, pointless pursuit.
E.A.
http://enough_already.tripod.com /
A corrupt equation, passed off as progress: Overpopulation + Depletion = Economic Growth
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Yes and no.
In general, many aspects of life in the U.S. has gotten better, but other aspects have gotten worse. For myself, driving is a nightmare, anywhere I want to go (when I want to go) I face traffic, nuts on the road, congestion, and more and more traffic lights. Don't blame NIMBYs for this, my state DOT says there is no money to expand roads to accomodate. [They spent quite a bit of money to "improve" a diamond-interchange by basically using the shoulder as another lane. Helped a little but not much.]
Many people have lost important fringe benefits from work once taken for granted. This becomes an effective decrease in compensation but doesn't show up in official statistics.
The cost of housing has climbed dramatically. Years ago one spouse could be a homemaker, but today both spouses must work to achieve the same lifestyle as in the past.
I don't consider any of this improvements.

When one speaks of "economics" working things out, that requires a good deal of open competition. But in our "open" society we have had many companies merge or acquire reducing competition. For suppliers, it means one buyer calls the shots. For workers it means one company calls the shots and one can't change jobs to get a better deal. Cities used to have three or four full service department stores, now we basically have two national chains. Banks have greatly consolidated.
Today, we have very high corporate management making a very high order of magnitude pay compared to the lowest workers as compared to some years ago. We see corporate leaders screw up a company but leave with a generous golden parachutte while the every day workers lose their jobs with squat.
Back in the Great Depression this country realized it simply can't depend on "economics" to "work things out".

True.
But there are extremist groups on the other side of the coin as well.
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snipped-for-privacy@bbs.cpcn.com wrote:

The traffic problem is your choice. You made that choice by picking the place that you live. 99% of America (by land area) has no traffic problem at all. You happened to pick the 1% that is congested.

Again, it boils down to choices. I bought a brand new home 5 years ago, and my payment is only $500 a month. That got me a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, with modern kitchen, laundry, 2 car garage, and home theatre room (aka, den). You are free to make that same choice. There are not too many income levels where a $500 a month payment for housing is a major problem.
If you con yourself into accepting the myth that you have to be mortgaged up to your eyeballs, then both spouses may have to work, and life can be a real grind. But you don't have to fall for that plan--all it does is transfer wealth from you to the rich folks.
-john-
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John A. Weeks III 952-432-2708 snipped-for-privacy@johnweeks.com
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Most people have these things called "jobs", which tend to be in the 1% you reference.
-Scott
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What a load! Most people have to live where there is water and jobs! Why do you think all major cities are located near some stable water source? You can't just "pick" a trailer in Winnemucca and live happily ever after.
Sparsely populated areas are either too dry, cold, mountainous, or consist of farmland devoted to serving big cities. Land needed for the average American ranges from 3 to 5 acres, depending on standard of living (ecological footprint). Packing people densely in one area doesn't mean they aren't using space elsewhere.
Unfortunately, if growth-addiction continues, those sparsely populated areas will indeed become large cities. Traffic jams also occur hundreds of miles from cities when people converge on popular vacation spots. The math of mindless growth can't be avoided.
E.A.
http://enough_already.tripod.com /
Everything you have comes from nature. A little respect is in order.
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snipped-for-privacy@bbs.cpcn.com wrote:

The eco-nuts are to blame, both for diverting road funds to transit projects (which they know are a total waste) and for changing the public-comment process to make it much easier for NIMBYs to block a project (the system is designed to include only people living within 1-2 blocks of a project site, not the much larger number who would benefit from it).
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wrote:

Yes, more roads certainly have certainly relieved traffic congestion (like hell they have). They keep building and widening and the voids keep getting filled by more people. That's 500,000 - 600,000 more people annually in California alone. It never ends and the construction industry loves it; job security for righteous sons of guns at the expense of nature and general sanity. We mustn't waste all those civil engineering degrees on refinement or improvement. Mindless growth is a mandate from on high.
Instead of using clichs like NIMBY, ask yourself why the backyard "must" get more crowded all the time. Stop accepting population growth as a given; it's unnatural. How would you like it if your own home got filled with a extra person each day? Larger spaces are just as finite in the end.
The weird thing about conservatives who promote growth is that more people means more regulations (bigger crowds are harder to control). Right-wing growthmaniacs are at odds with their own desire for sovereignty. If freedom is the goal, sharing a finite world with more and more people is not the solution.
E.A.
http://enough_already.tripod.com /
Growth is the disease, not the cure.
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50 billion people - are you out of your gourd?! Does open space and nature mean nothing? Let me guess: the 50 billion could all fit in Texas! See http://enough_already.tripod.com/cliches.htm for a debunking of that BS.
People need to realize that economic growth has _become_ population growth and economies of scale (manufacturing efficiency) can no longer be improved with more bodies. There is too much welfare and artificial job creation. In a balanced system, people would rarely be lacking for work. The construction industry is mostly a whore to population growth; generating depletion jobs, not sustainable ones.
In the past few decades, things have only "improved" for crafty folks who chase population growth around the world and play money games. Most people are getting smaller slices of the pie and working more for less real gain. That's exactly what they should expect in a FINITE world.
As the land gets more crowded, housing gets less affordable, energy gets scarcer, traffic gets worse, noise invades rural areas and animal habitat keeps disappearing. Efficiency and pollution-control gains keep falling to sheer numbers of people. Life is only improving in the most superficial sense; fancier gadgets, mainly. Global warming and/or peak oil could wreck the entire system, but I bet you're a "skeptic" on those issues.
I wouldn't mind letting growth-addicts settle on Mars and crowd the hell out of it, but I don't want to be stuck with their ignorant Creationist policies on Earth. We're 20 centuries past the point where the Bible commanded "go forth and multiply" and it's time to apply the brakes.
E.A.
http://enough_already.tripod.com /
If any other species behaved like Man we'd call it a plague.
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Insanity like that keeps me posting in these forums - as a public service. There are many people who know nothing of scarcity or limits. They're fooled by global trade, deficit spending and economic tricks that perpetuate the illusion of expanding wealth when it's actually shrinking. See: http://enough_already.tripod.com/money.htm
It also helps to believe that your personal livelihood (i.e. construction) is the center of the universe. The building industry thrives on constant crowding. As long as they can find a place to drink beer on Friday or cast a few fishing lines, all is OK.
I was in Lake Tahoe last weekend, dealing with crushing traffic, trying to image what it would be like with 60 million Californians in 2050 when it's this bad already. "Keep Tahoe Blue" is a pipe dream without more birth control. The widening of U.S. 50 to Tahoe is inevitable, and like most shallow responses to growth, it will only make the problem worse. Oh, but it will create construction jobs, you say.
Which came first: people, jobs, chickens or eggs? Is there a benefit to making the world more crowded just to say jobs were created that wouldn't have been needed otherwise? Amazingly, California's economy functioned way back when there were only 10 million people. The endless wave of new jobs are just bloat in a strained system.
If the population of any other large mammal grew by even two-fold, we'd declare a state of emergency. And you're talking about 50 billion people improving the quality of life?! You must really like crowds or really hate nature. Un-frigging believable.
E.A.
http://enough_already.tripod.com /
If any other species behaved like Man we'd call it a plague.
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Amen.
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"Excessive" is a little vague for a legal term.
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This is usenet, not a statute. :-)
The decision of how much suburban zoning is excessive should still be made by people, not some formula -- I just think we should elect people who have a different view on such matters than those currently doing the job.
-Scott
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Scott Wood wrote:

The existing-homeowner cartel is doing that now, and all it achieves is to make development "leapfrog" outside the county or state that imposes the zoning. (It has also already forced even some employed people into homelessness and led to the creation of millions of illegal "granny" apartments.)
Such policies might make sense if there were a shortage of farmland or parks -- but if there were, the problem would solve itself because the market price of land for those uses would rise to match its price for building houses. (I include parks because the outdoor activities done there are primarily for rich people and therefore could and should be funded by charging admission. I'm not asserting that the poor can't hike or camp -- only that such activities aren't novel or fun for people who are either homeless or scared that they may be soon.)
Zoning that severely, artificially limits the supply of housing, or of good quality housing is already the law -- and it's the law because it benefits the rich people who own homes today, and existing homeowners effectively own and operate every urban planning agency in America for the purpose of keeping the price of good housing super-God-outrageous. The real shortage they fear is of cash in their own pockets at the expense of the owners of unbuilt land they're now using as "viewshed" without paying for it.

The supply of housing is so severely limited by today's zoning laws that residents don't really choose where to live -- they live in the least bad location they can afford, relative to the job they have available to live on. Blaming them for that is blaming the victim. The people running the cartel (aka the Sierra Club) are the ones who should be paying the tax.

All unnecessary and/or harmful.

William Simon showed that the total externality from having kids is positive. Still, I'm all for cutting the subsidies, or at least means-testing them.

Here I totally agree with you, if only to solve the Marching Morons problem.

True. And that "current path" is more of the "smart growth" zoning laws you advocate. They're the problem, not the solution.
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