March 12, 2010

sprawl west, young man

"The ubiquitous commercialism you see as you drive through America is not in itself deplorable. What’s deplorable is that Americans aren’t free to do anything else."

I think that a better way to put it would be that "Commercialism is less deplorable when there are other options in the culture", but that's a bit dense. In any case, the debate on sprawl which sparked that line has been fairly interesting, and worth looking over for folks who care about what makes a city.

What, of course, can never be advanced as policy is reaching ends commonly associated with the values of the Left through the means commonly associated with the Right. The healthcare debate in this country has been struck by a particularly egregious example of this, for anyone who has worked in the industry and thought much about it (which I have, in a fairly grunt-like position, and many of my family members, in more exalted ones). The environmental debate suffers from a subtler example, for which one has to look at how law shapes large corporations which are detached from the ability of even somewhat informed consumers to properly understand and make intelligent decisions about commerce with them. In all cases, it is clear that our current system of governance can provide no way out of the woods that is not just another disgrace.

No comments:

Post a Comment