Wednesday, November 09, 2005

contextual stupidity

I've had it to here [motions with hand held perpendicular to neck] with the anti-development crowd in my great backyard of Brooklyn. Call me a crass, uber-vulgar libertarian if you'd like, but I'm sick and tired of playing the vertfrei [dilettante] economist who purports to walk the narrow line of disinterest when making observations about what happens when a landscape of contextual idiots decide to use the immoral power of government coercion to impose an irrational and meaningless "order" upon the spontaneous arrangement of housing and zoning.

So when I came home to read this pathetic rant, I was compelled to respond. (The excerpt blurbs from the rant are in red text)

I wrote:

Geez, "contextual development" is the dumbest non-sequitur invented by statists to date. My head is gonna go splody if someone says it again like it's self-explanatory, and somehow magically justifies government intervention to stop rightful property owners from making use of their property AS THEY SEE FIT.

"Developers, the majority of which do not live in the neighborhoods they prey upon"

You DON'T own your block/community, by the mere fact that you "live there", and it doesn't make a wad a difference if the developer is from intra-community or from Kalamazoo- what the hell does it matter where they reside? Community-ism, like Nationalism, is an irrational distinction where none should be made. Hence, you are not a higher-class member of a certain locale because your mothers' water broke in that district.

"nor stop their predominantly negative impact on the social, economic and architectural landscape of Brooklyn."

Nor Aaron or Mic seem to have a grasp of economics- for the simple reason that if the developers didn't think the market could bear the condo product, they wouldn't attempt to deliver it in the first place. And if ultimately the developers miscalculated and are wrong about it, the units will eventually clear at lower prices. So everyone wins. What the hell are they complaining about again?

Negative social and architectural impacts? First, how does one objectively determine what constitutes a "social cost", and secondly, architecture is a purely SUBJECTIVE discipline, hence there can be no legitimate comparison between styles in terms of "right" and "wrong".

"Our voices have been heard and the issues discussed ad nauseum, but is anyone really listening?"

A better question they should be asking themselves-- why do these punks think they're somehow entitled to decide how other people must deal with their property simply because they spoke up and made a stink of activism?

"Unholy development alliances have formed: Brooklyn mega-developer Isaac Katan teams with architect-of-ill-repute Henry Radusky of Bricolage Designs and demolition mogul Marie Grosso (MMG Designs). Real estate forecasters and consulting firm The Developers Group finds properties for “acquisition” in next year’s hot neighborhood, then links buyers with high-end architects and builders (how a produce purveyor can afford to build a Robert Scarano–designed five-story, 70-foot high, 35-unit luxury condo)."

I read this over carefully a few times, and I couldn't see how this is anything but progress. Used to be that if you wanted to build something you were all alone, and now the market has spontaneously arranged itself in a fashion which it can locate housing opportunities and link it up with all the appropriate people in a sort of production line in a factory. What do Aaron and Mic want, a return to the barter system?

"Such alliances are exploiting communities,"

Another stupid cliche and yet meaningless phrase- how does one exploit an aggregrate of homes?

"utilizing loop holes in zoning and the Department of Buildings (DOB) building codes"

That's great, and I encourage more of it. The DOB has no moral right to meddle in the first place- secondly it constitutes and unjust takings according to the U.S. Constitution's 5th amendment eminent domain clause when property owners are denied the fullest use of their properties according to you supporters of the 14th amendment's incorporation doctrine.

"working at a fast track pace that has created numerous dangerous job sites"

This sentence should continue as follows: "because developers who work hard and put a lot of money on the line are getting shafted by NIMBY statists who are quickly downzoning neighborhood after neighborhood". If it weren't for the recent rezonings, development would have likely continued at a safer, and slower pace.

"These violation-ridden sites not only jeopardize workers, adjacent properties and neighboring residents, but the community as a whole."

Workers, mind you, who CHOSE this dangerous line of work. You're not their grandmother, so stop pretending like you give a shit about their safety. Adjacent properties which suffer damages from improper construction should use the tort system to remedy their unfortunate situation, not some blanket zonings proposal which has diddly-squat to do with it. Communities as a whole!? Tell me, do you ever stop and think about what you wrote? This is as bad as your "exploiting communities" nonsense.

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