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Old 08-22-2008, 03:04 PM
 
3,368 posts, read 10,275,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DontH8Me View Post
And who will pay for this "someday"? Don't forget, by the time "Someday" comes, the middle class (i.e. taxpayers) will have either fled the country or become part of the poverty class. So who's gonna bring the geld?
Taxpayers will pay for it. They really don't have a say in global warming; it will happen and we will HAVE to deal with it. I don't believe this whole doom-and-gloom "the middle class is dying" scenario anyways.
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Old 08-22-2008, 03:06 PM
 
Location: South Bay Native
13,050 posts, read 21,163,651 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crisp444 View Post
Taxpayers will pay for it. They really don't have a say in global warming; it will happen and we will HAVE to deal with it. I don't believe this whole doom-and-gloom "the middle class is dying" scenario anyways.
And the Flat Earth Society believes....well, never mind, keep believing. Come back to me in about 10-15 years.
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Old 08-22-2008, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Arizona
2,065 posts, read 3,174,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crisp444 View Post
But our population growth is not "unchecked." The birthrate is barely at replacement level and we have approximately 2 million immigrants (both legal and illegal) per year. Doesn't seem too drastic to me.

This country needs to wean itself off of oil and start using alternative energy sources REGARDLESS of whether immigration halts, increases, or keeps going at its current rate. Barely 5% of the continental United States is developed! BARELY FIVE PERCENT! We have room for MILLIONS more in this country if we just learn how to use our resources more efficiently and start cutting back on wasteful suburban sprawl and overconsumption.
First, your figure for immigrants, legal and otherwise, is a tad low. Between legal immigrants and visa overstays we get about 2 million per year. We get at least that many more from illegal immigration. So we're adding a city the size of Phoenix EACH AND EVERY YEAR.

I certainly agree with the need for alternative energy, but how that ties in with the % of 'development' I'm not sure. I would posit that large swaths of land are undevelopable, others have been set aside as national parks and biosphere preserves, and we're shooting ourselves in the foot to continue developing the arable land we have. We've got to grow things somewhere, don't you think?

And don't you think adding all these people, legal or not, is THE MAJOR CAUSE of 'sprawl'?
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Old 08-22-2008, 03:13 PM
 
3,368 posts, read 10,275,065 times
Reputation: 1675
In many cities the proportion of people who can be considered "middle class" has shrunk (LA, NY, Miami). However, this isn't so everywhere. Even though there are areas where the middle class has been reduced in size, that doesn't mean that the middle class is dying. It would be like saying the "white" population in this country is "dying" because more non-white people are moving here. White people aren't going anywhere and the middle class isn't going anywhere based on what I have read and observed. In fact, in places like NYC, factoring in immigration and in-migration from other places in the US, the number of middle class residents really hasn't gone down much at all - they just make up a lower proportion of the population due to the of the growth in upper-income households. And who knows, maybe we'll have a surge in the proportion of people that can be considered "middle class" in the 10-15 years you cite for me to get back to you.
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Old 08-22-2008, 03:18 PM
 
3,368 posts, read 10,275,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyPinestra View Post
First, your figure for immigrants, legal and otherwise, is a tad low. Between legal immigrants and visa overstays we get about 2 million per year. We get at least that many more from illegal immigration. So we're adding a city the size of Phoenix EACH AND EVERY YEAR.

I certainly agree with the need for alternative energy, but how that ties in with the % of 'development' I'm not sure. I would posit that large swaths of land are undevelopable, others have been set aside as national parks and biosphere preserves, and we're shooting ourselves in the foot to continue developing the arable land we have. We've got to grow things somewhere, don't you think?

And don't you think adding all these people, legal or not, is THE MAJOR CAUSE of 'sprawl'?
We need responsible and sustainable growth that is unlike most of car-centric and wasteful sprawl that we are seeing outside of major urban centers like Atlanta, Houston, and Las Vegas. We need more public transportation, more dense housing, and less reliance on cars. That way we can fit more people into less space and save arable land for farming or even for nature preserves. When I compare Spanish cities (an example that I give because I have lived in Spain) to Sunbelt cities I cringe at how much energy and resources we are using to sustain the sprawl. It may be the "American way" to spread out, live in a big house on a lot of land and use as much electricity and gas in your car as you'd darn well please, but THIS is what is killing us when it comes to sustainability... illegal immigration doesn't even come close. The "illegals" often move to more urban neighborhoods that are bikeable/walkable; they rarely buy into sprawling suburbs 30 miles from the city center that don't have a sidewalk in site. Illegal immigration is not the problem when we are talking about sustainability.
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Old 08-22-2008, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Arizona
2,065 posts, read 3,174,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crisp444 View Post
We need responsible and sustainable growth that is unlike most of car-centric and wasteful sprawl that we are seeing outside of major urban centers like Atlanta, Houston, and Las Vegas. We need more public transportation, more dense housing, and less reliance on cars. That way we can fit more people into less space and save arable land for farming or even for nature preserves. When I compare Spanish cities (an example that I give because I have lived in Spain) to Sunbelt cities I cringe at how much energy and resources we are using to sustain the sprawl. It may be the "American way" to spread out, live in a big house on a lot of land and use as much electricity and gas in your car as you'd darn well please, but THIS is what is killing us when it comes to sustainability... illegal immigration doesn't even come close. The "illegals" often move to more urban neighborhoods that are bikeable/walkable; they rarely buy into sprawling suburbs 30 miles from the city center that don't have a sidewalk in site. Illegal immigration is not the problem when we are talking about sustainability.
You know, not everybody wants to live on top of each other. I've lived in Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and believe me, I don't like living like that.

Do you suggest that we all live like ants?
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Old 08-22-2008, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Maryland
15,179 posts, read 15,813,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crisp444 View Post
In many cities the proportion of people who can be considered "middle class" has shrunk (LA, NY, Miami). However, this isn't so everywhere. Even though there are areas where the middle class has been reduced in size, that doesn't mean that the middle class is dying. It would be like saying the "white" population in this country is "dying" because more non-white people are moving here. White people aren't going anywhere and the middle class isn't going anywhere based on what I have read and observed. In fact, in places like NYC, factoring in immigration and in-migration from other places in the US, the number of middle class residents really hasn't gone down much at all - they just make up a lower proportion of the population due to the of the growth in upper-income households. And who knows, maybe we'll have a surge in the proportion of people that can be considered "middle class" in the 10-15 years you cite for me to get back to you.
I admire your optimism. However, I am not so optimistic. The middle-class is dying, whether you choose to believe or not. Between the demise of our manufacturing industries, and the ever-increasing outsourcing and the H1B Visas, middle-class jobs are rapidly being given to foreigners who are willing to work for less pay. Factor in jobs such as construction, which once paid middle-class wages, and now have been depressed due to illegal immigration -- the future looks painfully dismal.
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Old 08-22-2008, 03:30 PM
 
Location: South Bay Native
13,050 posts, read 21,163,651 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyPinestra View Post
You know, not everybody wants to live on top of each other. I've lived in Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and believe me, I don't like living like that.

Do you suggest that we all live like ants?
Not only multiculturalism, but now juxtaposed one on top of the other. Should be interesting, that's for sure!
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Old 08-22-2008, 03:31 PM
 
3,368 posts, read 10,275,065 times
Reputation: 1675
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyPinestra View Post
You know, not everybody wants to live on top of each other. I've lived in Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and believe me, I don't like living like that.

Do you suggest that we all live like ants?
I have a feeling you're not going to like my answer on this one. I don't want to push my values on anyone (I live in a highrise apartment and have a much lower environmental footprint than your average person living in a suburban 30 miles from Atlanta or Houston) but have a feeling that more people will begin to adopt my values when they see that the price of gas and energy is not going down in the long run. I would appreciate not being called un-American when I say this, but most of our urban areas need a good lesson from European ones which often fit 2-3 times the people in less space. Not everyone needs to live in a highrise; we just need WAY LESS PEOPLE living in suburban sprawl and instead in attached townhomes with good bus/train service, lowrise buildings, etc. Even some places that are mostly detached houses (Portland, for example) have good public transportation and are fairly sustainable. It is not normal for a family of four to have four SUV's, consume over a hundred gallons of gas in a week, and live in a 3000 square foot home. This kind of lifestyle should be for the rich and shouldn't be something that middle class salary necessarily deserves to afford.
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Old 08-22-2008, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Arizona
2,065 posts, read 3,174,407 times
Reputation: 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by crisp444 View Post
I have a feeling you're not going to like my answer on this one. I don't want to push my values on anyone (I live in a highrise apartment and have a much lower environmental footprint than your average person living in a suburban 30 miles from Atlanta or Houston) but have a feeling that more people will begin to adopt my values when they see that the price of gas and energy is not going down in the long run. I would appreciate not being called un-American when I say this, but most of our urban areas need a good lesson from European ones which often fit 2-3 times the people in less space. Not everyone needs to live in a highrise; we just need WAY LESS PEOPLE living in suburban sprawl and instead in attached townhomes with good bus/train service, lowrise buildings, etc. Even some places that are mostly detached houses (Portland, for example) have good public transportation and are fairly sustainable.
You're right, I don't like your answer. This is America, not Europe, and I don't want to live crammed next to millions of people. It's a cultural thing, I guess. I LIKE my 'wide-open spaces'!
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