Friday, June 23, 2006

How Soviet-era housing blocks came to Ontario

[I]t may be concluded, that a pure Democracy, by which I mean, a Society, consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the Government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert results from the form of Government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party, or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is, that such Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives, as they have been violent in their deaths.
— James Madison, The Federalist No. 10

Or so we can hope. When property rights are not equally protected, the consequences are corrupt laws that benefit one group of influential property holders at the expense of other groups, or those who do not hold property at all. Anti-development fashions give government the excuse to reward themselves with more authority over private property, and to reward the established urban property owners who voted for them and who stand to benefit greatly from the distortion of property values that result of the various restrictions upon development in and outside of cities. So Dalton McGuinty's government would have you know that if you live in Ontario you are going to live where it wants and how it wants… suckers. From The New Feudalism by Peter Shawn Taylor in the Financial Post:
Last Friday, David Caplan, Ontario's Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal, unveiled the Greater Horseshoe Area Growth Plan, the final component in his government's designs for stopping the organic expansion of most cities in Southern Ontario. By 2031, 40% of new residences must be built in existing downtown areas in 25 designated communities ranging from Waterloo to Barrie to Peterborough and all Toronto environs. There are also strict density targets of up to 400 people or jobs per hectare for urban areas…
If the promise of revenue from artificially inflated property assessments wasn't enough inducement for municipal governments to endorse the plan, the progressive anti-development activist clique that inhabits so many councils will be encouraged to imagine newer and expansive restrictions on the same under-propertied classes they pretend to represent, already having half their agenda implemented for them by provincial fiat. Hypocrites that they are, most of them are already homeowners anyway, and while one hand is waving blood-red banners for equality and justice for the downtrodden, the other is demanding tithes in the form of artificially inflated property prices and rents. Oh, yeah, it's the capitalists fomenting class war, right?

Update: Read Canada's John Galt on social traffic engineering:
Remember: car friendly = people friendly as a rule of thumb.


Anonymous said...

Hmm, titling a report "Growth Plan" when in fact the purpose is to strangle growth. How ironic. Someone should invent an adjective to describe a highly ironic use of language (to the point of implausibility), particularly by agents of government, for the purposes of deceiving, humiliating and enslaving their citizens.

Any ideas?

G. Orwell

Pietr said...

Before Maggie changed the law to allow tenants of public housing the right to buy(after a qualifying period), sixty percent of British people lived in State housing which had initially been expropriated from rental companies then replaced by tax-spend investment.