President Biden(‘s handlers) have an infrastructure plan. But there’s a problem: It’s utter horseshit. Excerpt:
After two painful recessions and ever greater national discord, there is considerable support for a new beginning, even if it takes massive federal spending. The question we must ask now is what kind of spending makes sense given the character of the country, its geography, and its economic challenges. America remains a vast and diverse place, and decisions that make sense for one locale do not necessarily make any sense in others. A dispersed country needs dispersed decision-making, not edicts issued from on high by the D.C. nomenklatura.
Unfortunately, Joe Biden’s ballyhooed “infrastructure” plan, coupled with unprecedented stimulus spending, is cast by the obliging media as being about the middle class but seems oddly detached from how the overwhelming majority of the middle class lives, which is in lower-density, automobile-dependent neighborhoods. This dynamic was intensifying even before the pandemic. But Biden’s plan seems mostly about serving the relatively small sliver of transit-riding apartment dwellers living in denser neighborhoods. Overall, dense residential areas accommodate no more than 10 percent of the nation’s population.
Rather than emulate Roosevelt’s New Deal, as Biden’s handlers insist, the plan renounces much of what drove it. The New Deal, whatever one thinks of it, was about improving the material quality of life for most Americans, such as by spreading the benefits of homeownership to an ever-broader part of the population. In contrast, the Biden plan focuses on permanent redistribution through ever more entitlements and dependency — something Roosevelt opposed. It is likely to reduce our competitiveness by boosting energy and regulatory costs as well as taxes.
In other words, these people have no idea what they’re doing. You can rely on the political class for that: When faced with a failure of government, usually in an area where government has no business being involved, the political class’s response is predictable: Government harder.
Here’s the onion:
Historically, both parties have looked with favor on suburbs and the notion of a country where most people own their own home. Franklin Roosevelt insisted that a “nation of homeowners” would be “unconquerable.” But this view began to change under President Obama, who decided that suburbs needed to become denser and home to more poor people. Many Democrats, reading the mainstream media, assumed they were riding a “back to the city” wave that would transform American geography as well as politics. Some deep-blue jurisdictions — Minneapolis, California, Oregon — have moved toward eliminating single-family zoning. At the same time, in deepest-blue California, a citizens’ movement with determined support from minority neighborhoods has so far thwarted such heavy-handedness from Sacramento.
The Left’s embrace of forced density reveals a serious misreading of demographic and geographic trends. Despite what you might read in the New York Times, Americans on the whole never went “back to the city.” In fact, in not one year since 2000 have more people moved into the urban-core counties than moved into suburban and exurban counties. Between 2010 and 2020, some of the largest metro areas — including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Philadelphia, Miami, Boston, and San Francisco — lost domestic migrants, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates. Critically, as new research shows, the people most likely to move are the educated young, previously thought to be permanently urbanistas.
I’m sure the fact that many of our major cities have become riotous, crime-ridden shitholes have nothing to do with it. Right?
It’s been a popular talking point for some time now among the political Left to favor policies pushing increasing urbanization. And their infrastructure plans, such as they are, as well as their energy policies, seem to be intended to make rural dwellers (like yr. obdt.) lives more difficult.
These policy proposals are, actually, a good argument for federalism. What works for Connecticut won’t work for Wyoming – or Alaska – and that’s something that the GOP should run on. Infrastructure is properly a State, not an Imperial, matter.