An ACA Link, Crime Me A River And The Community Garden Path Of Gentrification

From Future Of Capitalism: ‘Massachusetts Health Insurance Premiums Increase.

The cost/benefit analyses I’ve seen of the ACA are pretty telling; a lot of money being spent to help relatively fewer people:

‘…the law winds up dividing Americans into two groups. One group earns less than the government-approved amount; that group gets subsidies that insulate them from paying the real cost of their health care. The second group earns more than the government-approved amount. That group pays a lot of their own money for health care and then gets socked with major premium increases.’


As I see it, under the progressive umbrella, groups of people (not necessarily individuals) are often claimed to be equal ‘members of the community,’ but some groups can suddenly become more equal than others, depending on the political pressures of the moment.

Unsurprisingly, when unfavorable feedback arrives, or when more political juice is needed, the ideals tend to be dragged out again to keep the levers of justice and/or the voting booth moving.

It would be a shame is if many of the policing strategies generally proven to work, and which generally protect the public safety (esp. the good people in bad neighborhoods), become eroded through too much victim-group agitation and activist political pressures.

Radical chic has its downsides.

Heather MacDonald at the City Journal:

‘Mondayโ€™s violence also should provide advance warning that the New York City Councilโ€™s plan to decriminalize such quality-of-life laws as public drinking and public urination is a recipe for disaster. The decriminalization agenda in New York and nationally is driven by the specious claim that enforcing the law unfairly targets blacks and subjects them to draconian penalties.’

I can imagine healthy disagreement on this, that is to say, which kinds of policies are having which kinds of effects on all groups, not just one’s favored group?

I tend to think that freedom from violence and the protection of life and property ought to come first, which may well mean the kinds of broken-window, little-things-can-be-big-things law enforcement based in a moral virtue and moral authority ignored by many these days.

It’s up for debate.

For the most part, criminals are going to keep criming, and policing will remain pretty dangerous work, so if you’d like fewer stolen phones and car stereos, bums pissing in the street, and general seediness and unease….


Brooklyn’s Highline Park has failed to bring about more social mobility, unfortunately.ย  A sad, collective sigh was heaved from many a rooftop garden.

The word ‘capital,’ is used in this piece, but at least it’s not ‘late capitalism,’ just more marmalade some people are smearing over everything these days:

‘And so now we have the promise of a New York that no longer festoons its capitalist mythologies with promises of social mobility but rather a place where rich people can sell things to each other, and sometimes to slightly less rich people, without having to worry about too much else at all.’

Just back from the Capitalist Mythology Luncheon And Card-Party, I can say that that we’ve redrawn our social-mobility compact between hands of poker and bouts of dirty-joke telling and guffawing. We’ve sent it over to Marketing.

Truth be told, a lot of good urban planning, determination, imagination, and commitment went into the Highline, but at the end of the day, it’s a park on some refurbished railroad tracks.

If you wander up there looking for social mobility, you probably need a lot more than a walk in the park.

Here’s one of the guys that helped make it happen, and guess what, this successful project has raised rents and gentrified the area.

So it goes:

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