Politics

Urban planning, suburban edition

Urban planning, suburban edition

Fox News reports on the latest efforts to design Utopia, by prodding – or maybe even forcing – you benighted knuckle-dragging racist slops out in flyover country to make politically correct real estate purchases:

In a move some claim is tantamount to social engineering, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is imposing a new rule that would allow the feds to track diversity in America’s neighborhoods and then push policies to change those it deems discriminatory.

The policy is called, “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.” It will require HUD to gather data on segregation and discrimination in every single neighborhood and try to remedy it.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan unveiled the federal rule at the NAACP convention in July.

“Unfortunately, in too many of our hardest hit communities, no matter how hard a child or her parents work, the life chances of that child, even her lifespan, is determined by the zip code she grows up in. This is simply wrong,” he said.

Data from this discrimination database would be used with zoning laws, housing finance policy, infrastructure planning and transportation to alleviate alleged discrimination and segregation.

I love the first line of this report.  “Some claim” that a blatantly obvious act of social engineering is “tantamount to social engineering?”  That’s like those old toothpaste commercials where they said 9 out of 10 dentists recommend brushing your teeth.  Dentist Number 10 also thinks a program to “gather data on segregation and discrimination in every single neighborhood and try to remedy it” might not qualify as “social engineering.”

Central planning has been a smashing success in urban areas – just look at Detroit, the glittering Tomorrowland of urban planning! – so why not give politicians a shot at re-designing the suburbs, too?  I know we’re supposed to have all sorts of freedoms – freedom of association, for example – laid out in some dusty old scrap of parchment called the “Constipation” or something like that, but surely progressive America has moved beyond such trifling concerns.

May the tax serfs be allowed to ask our betters how much this glorious new diversity program will cost us?  I seem to recall the wonderful effort by noble Democrats like Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, and then-Senator Barack Obama to cleanse the last tinges of racism from the home mortgage market ended up costing a lot of money.  In fact, it nearly wiped out the financial system of the entire planet.  Obama’s trying to get the same program rolling again, but I’m sure he’ll be more careful this time.  How much will this latest effort to harvest data on law-abiding but suspicious peons set us back?  We’re going to need tons of analysts to collate the data, rules must be formulated for determining when zoning laws and real estate purchases cross the line into sinister racism, and then we’ll have to budget for the brilliant solutions designed by the central planners who created the rapidly growing economy we enjoy today.  Could we get a dollar figure on all this?

Well, no, because much like ObamaCare, this is a blind power grab, an open-ended crusade whose high-mindedness is beyond scoring by the puny gnomes of the Congressional Budget Office.  “Specifics of the proposed rule are lacking. Now published in the Federal Register and undergoing a 60-day comment period, the rule, ‘does not prescribe or enforce specific’ policies,” says Fox News.  I think we can safely assume that when specific policies are eventually formulated, the standard practice of hiding the really gigantic costs outside the 10-year CBO forecasting window will be followed.

The other standard trick for hiding the cost of government is to implement the will of the ruling class through lawsuits and mandates, which compels the unfortunate targets of the State’s wrath to carry the costs in angry silence.  (Actually, they don’t remain silent – the media just ignores them, leaving the general public to think the wonders of central planning are accomplished at a discount.)  The Fox report relates some grousing from town governments, but who are those yokels to question the wisdom of a Washington bureaucracy?

Also troublesome to critics is that the HUD secretary, in announcing this proposed rule, blamed poverty on zip codes – rather than other socio-economic factors that studies have shown contribute to poverty.

Well, that’s just Socialism 101.  Designated wards of the State are not responsible in any way for their lot in life.  Everyone is a victim, except the Evil Rich, all of whom are whiteLook what happened when selfish white people abandoned the paradise liberalism created for them in Detroit.  They took all the money away, which was basically robbery, and the whole place fell apart, despite the best efforts of the super-intelligent, corruption-free, one-party Democrat government to hold it together.  Everyone knows People of Color have no control over where they live, and no say in what their neighborhoods look like.

That’s what you’re saying, isn’t it, liberals?  How long are Americans going to put up with this crap?  How much time and money are we going to let our beyond-bankrupt government fritter away on naked pandering and busted-flush ideology that never brought anything but misery?  How much of our money and freedom will we let Democrats burn up in their ongoing group therapy session to reassure themselves that Detroit wasn’t their fault?

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