Obama has a plan for herding his cattle (or should that be sheeple) into cities where they will be more amenable to Democrat machine politics.

That's why I'd like to see high speed rail where it can be constructed. That's why I would like to invest in mass transit because potentially that's energy efficient and I think people are alot more open now to thinking regionally in terms of how we plan our transportation infrastructure. The days where we're just building sprawl forever, those days are over.
People live where they live because of a number of factors. Affordability, commute distance, schools, neighborhood quality, taxes, etc. So what would a new rule look like? Dwellings must be built within x miles of a train station. Of course those who decide what routes the trains will take can make a fortune by adjusting where the stations are located.

There is no doubt government can prevent people from living where they choose to live. All Hail Obama who totally gets the Leadership Principle. I think it sounds better in the original German.

H/T Instapundit

Cross Posted at Power and Control

posted by Simon on 02.13.09 at 05:52 PM


For the so called "progressives" the early 20th century is the future.

dre   ·  February 13, 2009 6:42 PM

How many 5-year plans does he think the people are going to put up with? Or iss there something buried in that Porkula of a bill passed today that makes Obama "President for Life"?

JLawson   ·  February 13, 2009 7:44 PM

Bear with me as I play the devil's advocate here.

What if expanded and improved rail or bus transportation resulted in the following:

a) Fewer reasonable excuses for not seeking out work beyond where you might walk in your inner city, or
b) Fewer reasons to move away from your current support network in the inner cities in order to get a job in the suburbs.

In the case of (a), we can move toward a reasonable expectation that those on welfare could surely find a job after "x" period of time, or possibly be cut off.

In the case of (b), we can support the hard working inner city people by giving them the ability to cast their "job nets" over a MUCH wider area without moving from the only neighborhood and support network they know. Additionally, and perhaps even more importantly, we will have EXCELLENT role models where they matter most...in their neighborhood.

PEER PRESSURE...not just for the kid or thug in us.

Penny   ·  February 13, 2009 8:15 PM

Yeah Penny,

There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you can force people at the point of a (government) gun to do the right thing.

M. Simon   ·  February 13, 2009 9:12 PM


The low IQ end of the skill spectrum is not going to have its prospects improved by increasing the range in which there are no jobs for them.

The problem these days is that microprocessors are cheaper than real brains for a lot of low skill tasks.

M. Simon   ·  February 13, 2009 9:18 PM

Penny -

I live in (actually, near) a city that's got a reasonably decent bus and kind of decent rail system. The trains and busses don't run frequently enough to move massive numbers of people, and stacking up massive apartment block warrens wouldn't really do all that much to improve things.

Not everyone wants to live crammed into an apartment - and forcing people to live like that is a really bad idea. The massive housing projects of the 50s and 60s are all gone at this point, for very good reasons.
it'd be

JLawson   ·  February 13, 2009 10:41 PM

Hey, "Say it in German" is my line.
It's a desperate end-run around lex Godvini but, you know, whatever works.

When mid-sized cities had streetcars and inter-urban light rail, the whole movement against The Man (known then as Traction Trusts) was centered around them. Folks couldn't wait to get rid of the damn things. It was all a rip-off. These people aren't born again, they're just bored. And nostalgic.

comatus   ·  February 14, 2009 1:56 AM

Godwin's law has always been bunk--especially when dealing with the rebranded fascism known that calls itself progressive.

Brett   ·  February 14, 2009 9:48 AM

When both members of a couple work, the logistics of mass transit becomes a lot more complicated. It might have been possible, in the olden days, to find a neighborhood where Dad had a good commuter-rail route work: it's harder to do so for *two* people without exposing at least one of them to transfers and a very long commute.

As dre said, "progressives" really do seem to think of the early 20th century as the future. Speaking of which, see this 1902 analysis of the social impact of the trolley.

david foster   ·  February 14, 2009 10:56 AM

I'd almost forgotten Lewis Mumford, one of the several Smartest Men in HistoryTM when I was in college. He sure did hate cars.

For a glimpse at his influence, use stimuluswatch.org and look up the streetcar line now stimulating Cincinnati. There is no arguing with its proponents, since they know they are right and you're a fascist.

For midsize cities, electric traction created the exurbs. No one really wanted to commute via Ford, but a series of streetcar strikes made car ownership the better part of valor. They tell me they still have these strikes in France. Anyone know for sure?

comatus   ·  February 14, 2009 3:12 PM

It seems that some think that a Euro-style rail system will work in the U.S.

I don't think so. While visiting in Scotland, I enjoyed the relatively cheap train ride from the rural areas to Glasgow, in a touristy sort of way.

However, upon learning how most of these "rural Scots" got to work, I found they drove. I also found that the most common shopping (for food) involved a car trip.

Mass transit just ain't what it's hyped up to be.

Donna B.   ·  February 15, 2009 2:23 AM

"Soma distribution!" shouted a loud voice. "In good order, please. Hurry up there."

All this whining will stop when his Fordship begins issuing the soma.....

JimD   ·  February 15, 2009 7:08 AM

The socialist I work with says they had similar laws - I think in Seattle. To force people to live in the city. She says how great it is that you have parks just outside of town.

Cities are so horrible (I live in Chicago) for so many reasons. I really fail to see why "progressives" want to force people to jam up together. And environmentally they are not more efficient - those mass transit systems and other city services have to run 24x7, which destroys any efficiency you get at peak times. Not saying we should force anyone to do anything, but you'd think they'd want us all to live in small towns instead. The cynical part of me thinks they don't cause then it's harder to control us.

plutosdad   ·  February 15, 2009 11:23 PM

I really fail to see why "progressives" want to force people to jam up together.

People who live together for reasons beyond their control hate each other, and they devolve into easily manipulated factions--"communities" that can be "organized," one might say.

guy on internet   ·  February 17, 2009 1:40 AM

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