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Old 02-26-2015, 11:18 AM
 
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But his point is that cities are a political arena - conscious policy decisions (aimed at facilitating developers and other agents of capital) bring about gentrification far more than any "natural" evolution.
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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Originally Posted by regrone23 View Post
But his point is that cities are a political arena - conscious policy decisions (aimed at facilitating developers and other agents of capital) bring about gentrification far more than any "natural" evolution.
A bunch of empty words.

City officials facilitate developers' activities because those activities result in added housing. The construction of housing is a necessity of civilization. Everyone benefits from the construction of housing, and likewise, everyone is harmed by slow-downs in housing construction. In order to promote the construction of good-quality housing, you need to allow private companies to profit from the very expensive activity of building new housing. Developers receive a return profit by selling off their buildings to private parties, who in turn make a profit from renting apartments/housing at market value.

What exactly is the relief sought by the complaints of these gentrification crybabies? Should we all just live in commie blocks with all housing constructed by the government and provided to US citizens regardless of income-levels? That is completely unfeasible since our government doesn't have the resources to build and manage all housing units (unless we were to completely reform our entire government).

I think it's safe to say that most Americans would not want to live in a system that practiced a socialist model of housing construction, except for those few socialists living in America.
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GatsbyGatz View Post
What exactly is the relief sought by the complaints of these gentrification crybabies? Should we all just live in commie blocks with all housing constructed by the government and provided to US citizens regardless of income-levels?
As I've said here before, gentrification is a symptom of urban demand being significantly higher than supply. It is preference expressed in a instantaneously closed system. Gentrification isn't bad in and of itself just as expensive '60s muscle cars isn't "bad."

Gentrification does, however, suggest that something is limiting supply. Assuming people are looking to live in an urban environment--as opposed to looking to live in something with an obviously finite supply, like Queen Anne Victorian houses in a specific location--that demand should translate in to an equivalent increase in supply. If that does not happen, something is getting in the way.

Gentrification is a natural outcome of our economic system. A large gap between regional demand and regional supply as a result of government or politics--impact fees, permit fees, circuitous bureaucracies, blocked permits--are not natural and is preventable beforehand and solve-able after the fact.
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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The fact remains that there's nothing "natural" about the current state of affairs, because there's nothing "natural" about a market. Markets are engineered human systems. Any time an actual "free" market exists, winners get together and collude to try and eliminate risk for themselves - unless the state repeatedly intervenes to make sure they cannot do so. In a sense, you can look at economic activity as being a very complicated "game" with a series of rules which are put in place to punish cheating. Without rules, there is no game. Within any governmental system, there tend to be a mix of rules, some of which stymie innovation, some of which punish cheaters, and many of which favor the already advantaged.

I admit the linked article is long on critique, but short on policy suggestions. It's a common issue with Marxist thinkers I have found. Honestly a common issue with everyone - it's much easier to tear down other's material than to build your own. I should note though there is absolutely nothing incompatible with a form of market allocation in socialism. All the socialist/capitalist question revolves around is whether the workers or capitalists are in control of the means of production. You could easily an engineered "free" market similar to today, but where the surplus value created by new construction flows to the workers rather than a parasitic ownership class.
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
The fact remains that there's nothing "natural" about the current state of affairs, because there's nothing "natural" about a market. Markets are engineered human systems.
There is no such thing as a "free" system. Markets are natural and inevitable. As soon as two or more parties get together to accomplish anything, rules are being created--spoken or unspoken, written or unwritten, it doesn't matter--that define the interaction. You cannot not have a market if you have sentient life interacting.
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
There is no such thing as a "free" system. Markets are natural and inevitable. As soon as two or more parties get together to accomplish anything, rules are being created--spoken or unspoken, written or unwritten, it doesn't matter--that define the interaction. You cannot not have a market if you have sentient life interacting.
You're correct. I flubbed the terminology. Markets are natural in the same sense that any element of human culture is. Just like human culture though, their expression can vary tremendously. And unfortunately, similar to human culture, people have a tendency to not realize the diversity which can exist, and instead draw upon their own localized experience to conclude universal axioms.
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Old 02-26-2015, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
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I absolutely love gentrification.. seeing places that were seedy and run down redeveloped is a great thing in my opinion.
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Old 02-26-2015, 03:22 PM
 
Location: London, UK
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Originally Posted by tdm51 View Post
I absolutely love gentrification.. seeing places that were seedy and run down redeveloped is a great thing in my opinion.
Yeah great that the original people are pushed aside and are priced out to the edge of the city! Just great!
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Old 02-26-2015, 03:23 PM
 
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Quote:
I absolutely love gentrification.. seeing places that were seedy and run down redeveloped is a great thing in my opinion

Joe Cortright on Gentrification | urbanism, gentrification | Strong Towns Podcast Podcast

Here's an interesting talk about gentrification and about it's opposite consistent poverty and decay. According to this talk, decay (in terms of number of population in serious economic decline) is outdoing gentrification by a large margin. People think a lot of gentrification is occuring, but it's really only occurring in a small number of areas, and it occurs much more quickly so it's more noticeable and the people championing it have the resources to anaylze it in a public manner. On the other hand, decay occurs daily and slowly and the number of neighborhoods who cross the 'decay line' into endemic poverty is much more distributed across the US.
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by P London View Post
Yeah great that the original people are pushed aside and are priced out to the edge of the city! Just great!
There are no westerners who can claim to be indigenous to any city much less a particular neighborhood. People from Damascus or Aleppo might have a right to that - at least for those who stuck around and survived. Maybe some people from around the Med, a few Romans, etc - ma questo e tutto.

Americans in particular move an average of every 7 years and change jobs every 4.5 years. They start out in a small place, have kids, get something bigger. Their kids grow up, they get something smaller again. Very few people spend a lifetime in one neighborhood let alone multiple generations.
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