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Author Topic: urbanization, city and country attitudes, pop density issues  (Read 71374 times)

Rearden

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Re:urbanisation
« Reply #30 on: November 06, 2002, 12:10:05 pm »

Question to those who believe liberty can be made to work in urban areas.
Would city dwellers permit the repeal of the many varied building and fire codes?
Would they permit neighbors or fellow tenants to build anything in any manner?
Specifically, as these are the ones included in our city ordinances by reference.
(each one or two lines in our ordinance incorporates a few volumes of codes)
Note that there are international versions of these that are now being adopted.

The ICBO Plumbing Code
The Uniform Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings
The Uniform Building Code
The Uniform Mechanical Code
The National Electrical Code
The Uniform Fire Code
The Colorado Model Energy Efficiency Construction and Renovation standards for Non-Residential Buildings.
The Colorado REcommended Energy Conservation "Performance" Code for New Construction and Renovation of Residential Buildings.

The above codes are, with maybe one or two exceptions, are not available online because they are copyrighted by the issuing organization. CD's or hardcopy can be bought - for a hefty price.

Joe,  

As a longtime libertarian and city dweller, I have given a lot of thought to what form a libertarian city might look like.  I am in total agreement with you and Robert and MouseBorg about how American cities, with some exceptions, managed to become "sinkholes of statism," as I've heard them described.  I agree that mass industrialization drew people, many of whom came from wildly different cultures that sometimes conflict, to the cities.  

Where they went wrong, I think, is that they made the same mistake the country at large did -- they looked to the government for answers.  For both ruralalites and urbanites, the solution is to recognize that what people have turned to for answers is part of the problem.  Instead, citizens should look to themselves, their families, and their neighbors to solve urban problems without government's help.

So, in answer to your question, yes, I would repeal zoning laws.  My neighbor can build a factory on his property if he wishes.  If his property use causes me discomfort (loud noises, etc) I can turn to the traditional, pre-zoning solution -- the courts.  

Yes, I would repeal building codes.  Caveat Emptor.  You want firewalls?  Fine, make sure they're in the house you buy.  How do you know that your electric and plumbing service is safe?  Look for the seal of an independent electrician/plumber association that attests to competence.  

Furthermore, I would encourage city dwellers to make greater use of property convenants, which could dictate in perpetuity standards of maintenance and use that as a whole would keep neighborhoods in far better shape than zoning ever could.  Government is not involved, except for the recording of the deed.  For example, a friend of mine lives in an exclusive Baltimore neighborhood.  He went to replace his rainspouts, and was told by his neighborhood association that they must be made of copper.  Of course, this is tremendously expensive, and he protested.  I cannot sympathize, because a previous owner attached that requirement, as did all owners in the community, to his deed.  You don't like a provision?  Fine, don't buy the house.  

For vacant homes, or property not being maintained properly, or homes run by absentee landlords that take section eight certificates while their tenants eat lead paint chips and spraypaint on walls, nonprofit community development corporations can intervene, buy the property, renovate it, and sell it.  This is already being done with great success even in the most socialist of cities.  Check out www.ppcdc.org for the one in my neighborhood.  

Yes, increased density does result in more "elbow-rubbing," as my friend MouseBorg described it.  But there are ways to deal with the conflict that results without government involvement.  This is exactly how a libertarian city would and could (and in some places) does work.
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RidleyReport

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Re:urbanisation
« Reply #31 on: November 06, 2002, 12:55:03 pm »

Hi Irish!  When you say urbanization doesn't automatically mean socialism, four words prove you right economically:

20th century Hong Kong.

And one word proves you right socially:

Amsterdam!

Nevertheless I fear choosing the small eastern states until someone can soothe my worries that we will loose a serious housing shortage upon the innocent.
 

« Last Edit: November 06, 2002, 12:58:45 pm by Dada Orwell »
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Rearden

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Re:urbanisation
« Reply #32 on: November 06, 2002, 01:58:59 pm »

Hi Irish!  When you say urbanization doesn't automatically mean socialism, four words prove you right economically:

20th century Hong Kong.

And one word proves you right socially:

Amsterdam!

Nevertheless I fear choosing the small eastern states until someone can soothe my worries that we will loose a serious housing shortage upon the innocent.
 



Dada, thanks for the support in regards to cities.  I can understand your reluctance to choose Delaware, as I have realized that a large number of FSPers want a lot of land, which just isn't feasible there.   But I think that New Hampshire may just be perfect.  The northern counties are huge, with lots of room.  As far as housing shortage upon the innocent, it's not primarily a question of land availability, it's a question of the existing housing market and the amount of laborers ot assist in building new housing.  I honestly think that any of the states under consideration could easily absorb 20,000 people over a five year period; some states are already absorbing people at a faster rate than that.
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caseykhan

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Re:urbanisation
« Reply #33 on: November 06, 2002, 03:19:44 pm »

Dependence on government is just a prevalent in rural areas as in urban ones.  The dependence just reveals itself in different ways.  Many farmers and ranchers depend on federal subsidies.  Indian Tribes live almost entirely on welfare.  What about regulations out in the rural areas about wetlands, grazing, endangered species, and even zoning?  The rural areas, just like the rest of this country, is on the government take.  Let's not forget that.  

Urban Hong Kong and Singapore are good examples of the virtues of urban economic freedom.  Rural China and Russia are good example of the vices of rural collectivism.  One can find freedom in urban and rural areas, and despotism in urban and rural areas.  

Some great historical examples of "free" cities include, Philadelphia, Boston, Amsterdam, New Amsterdam (old New York), Vienna, and Florence.  

I would agree that having cities is just as important to having rural areas in the Free State.  Eitherway, which ever state we choose, who knows what new cities may evolve in the spontaneous order created by a truly free state.    
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Re:urbanisation
« Reply #34 on: November 06, 2002, 10:26:17 pm »

<<people living together in a city, or gated community, should be free to regulate at the *local* level, just not at the state level.>>

Whoa there....too much local governmental autonomy and you won't be able to drive from City A to City B with your liberty intact!  Maybe not even your freedom itself if penalties are severe enough!
« Last Edit: November 06, 2002, 10:27:06 pm by Dada Orwell »
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Re:urbanisation
« Reply #35 on: November 08, 2002, 01:02:51 am »

I grew up in rural Texas, even living for a year in a town with a population of 98 before my family moved there. Now I live in New York City.

I find rural areas to be a lot more restrictive on freedom of expression, association, religion.

I lived in a dry county in Texas, but I've never heard of a dry city. I've never heard of a city trying to force prayer in school.

Also, education levels and opportunities are much higher in cities.

I think the Footloose example is a good one. There are plenty of rural communities that still would ban dancing, drinking, sodomy, gay marriages, etc. That would never happen in a city.

Sure, cities have problems, and there are plenty of lazy, gready people that want to live off the work of others. But I've never heard of klansmen burning crosses in a city, but I've seen that plenty of times in Texas.

Mark
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Solitar

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Re:Ranking states by city and county populations
« Reply #36 on: November 13, 2002, 12:37:19 pm »

Robert has a point.
Quote
we sometimes look at this "urbanization" issue as a choice between either downtown Chicago, Illinois or Sticks, Nebraska.  There are happy mediums out there.
Like Robert, I question why urban metropolites who like big cities assume that any "city" (and they denigrate small "cities") with less than several hundred thousand people is the rural sticks? Regardless of Robert's play on words, I am convinced that many urban metropolites here from really big cities really do think that every FSP candidate state other than Delaware and New Hampshire are 100% rural!!!!!. Similarly, rural westerners assume that eastern states are 100% urban. Please see later posts which put numbers under those assumptions. South Delaware has lots of open farm country, New England has wilderness, Idaho is second only to Delaware for urban pecentage and Wyoming has the greatest percentage in urban "clusters".

Over on the Urbanization thread
http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=5;action=display;threadid=405
some have regarded 50,000 people as the threshold to be a decent sized "city". When they learn that even Cheyenne, Wyoming would qualify they then up the ante to 100,000. When they learn that Billings and Fargo might soon cross that threshold, they up the ante to a quarter million. Oops, Anchorage has that many and they "know" that is not a city worthy of the name since it is obviously not in the same "class" as Baltimore or Boston. Hmmmm, gotta up the threshold to a half million. Oh my gosh, Boise is an MSA that may soon qualify and then be in the same class as Wilmington, Delaware. They can't have that so they then denigrate anything not part of a real metro area of more than a million people as not really a "city" worthy of being called urban. That permits their favorites of Delaware and New Hampshire to qualify because at least some parts of them are part of "real urban areas" of Boston or Philadelphia.

As a rebuttal,  I have to consider  any urban/suburban area much larger than 100,000 people may be poison to State's ability to let people be Truly Free. Communitarian or statist voting trends correlate too much with population density to refute this. Though some western cities are more individualist than similarly large eastern cities, there are exceptions. New England cities have more independent people and the Western cities are being taken over by those from large coastal metro areas who bring their demand for urban laws with them. Thus even little western towns such as mine are getting citified with ever more codes and regs. But some rural western areas are fighting back with a "Code of the West" warning to urban newcomers.
Gunnison County, Colorado’s
"The Code of the West"
or, "How to Avoid Surprises, and Be a Good Neighbor When You’re
Buying, Building, and Developing in Gunnison County, Colorado"

http://www.co.gunnison.co.us/Planning/codeofwest.html
« Last Edit: January 03, 2003, 07:23:02 am by Joe »
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smoorefu

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Re:Ranking states by city and county populations
« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2002, 04:15:14 pm »

Quote
Like Robert, I question Why do urban metropolites who like big cities assume that any "city" (and they denigrate small "cities") with less than several hundred thousand people is the rural sticks?

I can only speak from my own experience.  As a mechanical engineer, I tried for many years to find a job in Ann Arbor, because I like living there and was trying to have a shorter commute.  I only finally managed to succeed because I got a job that allowed me to work remotely and only go to the office once in a while.  But allowing for telecommuting is *quite* rare in the types of jobs I can do.  

I don't have the current figures, but the 1980 census number for Ann Arbor was about 100,000.  I can only assume that it is larger 20 years later.  So my guess is that for me to be productively employed, I'd need a city of 200k or more.

I am probably not the only person who has this issue, so I don't think it is *only* about people who just like living in cities.



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cathleeninsc

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Re:urbanisation
« Reply #38 on: November 14, 2002, 09:30:06 am »

Just a note on this urban/rural debate. Objectively I see the restrictions of urban life and the freedoms of rural life and the exceptions to both. But on the subjective side, having lived in both environments, I felt the most intruded upon by the small town nosiness of rural life. The craning of necks when a cop stops someone, and knocks on the door if an emergency vehicle arrives are examples. The only alternative to participating in the examination of everyone's personal life is to accept the label of hermit.

In the final analysis, real liberty is more important but one's comfort level and peace can't be ignored.

Cathleen in SC
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Rearden

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Re:urbanisation
« Reply #39 on: November 14, 2002, 11:19:01 am »

Over on the "Have You Noticed Thread" Irish in Baltimore wrote in response to my comment about Chicago"
Quote
Quote from: Joe, aka, Solitar on November 13, 2002, 02:39:44 pm  
Quote
Chicago has been broke in many respects for over a hundred years. Yet many still live there in that hive. And people wonder why I abhor large cities and have little respect for the socialist, communitarian, metropolites who live in them.
Et tu, Joe?  It seems like I spend a great deal of time responding to your posts about how cities are pits of socialism, yadda yadda yadda, and how everyone should just live in the great wide open where the deer and the antelope roam, where everyone is free...

4.) I've lived in the country (southwestern Pennsylvania).  I'm not knocking it, but it's not for everybody.  Even the women chewed tobacco, my dog was shot by a drunk hunter while tied up in my yard, and my neighbors were drug addicts that dumped their garbage in the yard and drew rats that found their way even to my home, a quarter-mile away.  Here, in the city, we have some of the same problems, but at least here I can walk to a football game or an art museum if I want to.
Irish,
Though you state you are not posting insults specifically insulting rednecks, your paragraph 4 above certainly does imply that and may be some of the basis for an apparent poor view of rural folk...

As to my insult of some of those who live in cities, I specifically wrote:
 "I abhor large cities and have little respect for the socialist, communitarian, metropolites who live in them."
I realize that not everyone who lives in cities meets the above description. Sometimes via internet or personally I meet people from large cities who are libertarian or classical liberals or intelligent patriotic gunowners who vote for freedom.... I find myself thinking that it would be a tragedy if those cities were nuked and we lost such people.

Well, at least I would be missed!

The word "some" wasn't in your original post, so it wasn't clear that you were only referring to a segment of American urbanites.  I can see how that would happen.  For instance, I certainly didn't mean to infer that all rural citizens are ignorant dirty drug addicts.  I'm well aware that that's only a segment of the rural population.

And that was my point.
Quote
Given the laws and regulations that cities have imposed upon their residents (or, more accurately, the laws that city voters have permitted their governments to impose upon them), I often I wonder why they continue to live there...  You can perhaps see that some of us get as exasperated with a city-centered perspective as some of you do with our rural perspective. So what is a reasonable balance? What size cities and how much urbanization would be adequate for you folks? How large can the present cities we are considering be in the Free State without biting off more than this bunch of neophyte activist politicians can deal with?
I have consistently said that I think the state we choose should be a marriage of both rural and urban, for several reasons.  One, to show the rest of the nation that libertarian principles are applicable everywhere the state should be representative of America.  Two, FSPers have wildly varying preferences, and the state chosen should be able to reasonably accommodate everyone.  Three, companies and citizens looking to relocate for freedom will want and expect a city.  There's a reason why Boeing relocated from Seattle to Chicago, not from Seattle to Bozeman.

As far as how big cities can be and still be winnable by the FSP, it is my opinion that all cities in the candidate states are winnable.  I helped run four campaigns in Baltimore City, with 11,000 per square mile, and won three of them.  The secret to winning these campaigns is that, unfortunately, most don't really care how you feel about taxes, or the environment, or farm subsidies.  They care about what you can do for them.  Can you get their sidewalk fixed?  Can you have their alley cleaned?  Can you get the dead tree at the corner replaced?  

With an army of activists, going door to door and making phone calls and getting the little things done for citizens, winning the cities will be no problem.  I gaurantee it.  

Yes, I recognize Cheyenne and Boise as cities, but I still wouldn't want to live there.  The reason is, in a word, convenience.  There's the convenience you can find in any city: close to your neighbors, close to shopping, and basic cultural assets.  And then there's the convenience you can only find in a major metropolitan area: major sports teams, symphonies, large art museums, etc.  None of the states we are considering contain a major metropolitan area, but three are close enough to easily commute: Delaware, Vermont, and New Hampshire.  If I live in Cheyenne, and want to take my kid to a baseball game, how far do I have to drive?  

This is obviously a preference, one that if necessary I will waive.  I am committed to this project, regardless of where it takes me, and I hope you share this commitment.  If we pick Wyoming, I'll be there.  If we pick Delaware, I hope you follow through as well.  

I think that New Hampshire may be the best compromise for all of us, for reasons that I will shortly post in response to Robert's post at

http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=5;action=display;threadid=82
Quote
Yes, I know you apparently think highly of Hong Kong and Amsterdam. But we are dealing with American cities that have, for the most part, sunk pretty low in the freedom index. Maybe Anchorage or Boise can be saved since they have "only" a quarter million or so people. Maybe increasingly socialist northern Delaware or southern New Hampshire can be turned around even though they each have a half million people or more. Yet many here doubt the FSP can turn around tiny Vermont with only 600,000 people and the Burlington MSA with only 170,000. If the FSP's activists can't handle Vermont, they won't be able to handle northern Delaware or southern New Hampshire.

Your logic is far too simplistic.  I think we probably could handle Vermont.  The primary problem there isn't the size of the population, it's the political culture there.  Vermont was traditionally very freedom-oriented, but it was unfortunately the object of an organized invasion, similar to the FSP, but with very different goals.  Hence, the completely inconsistent application of some libertarian principles (guns, gay marriage, pot, school choice) and some socialist ones (taxes, welfare, etc.)

New Hampshire has a larger population, but it's citizens are much more freedom-oriented.  It was never the subject of such an ideological invasion, and I think the majority of people who are migrating there now from Taxachusetts are drawn there by the kind of freedom we seek for ourselves.  New Hampshire isn't under invasion, it's already a refuge.  Again, if you wait until the end of the day I can provide ample evidence for this at the above thread.
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Re:urbanisation
« Reply #40 on: November 14, 2002, 12:46:47 pm »

Irish, to answer your question if you lived in Cheyenne how long would you have to drive to see a baseball game. The answer is about 100 miles to Denver. Ever heard of the Colorado Rockies? Denver Nuggets(basketball), Denver Broncos(football), Colorado Avalanche(hockey)? Man you really are out of touch with reality.
NH is undoable just for population reasons let alone add any other criteria.
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freedomroad

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Re:urbanisation
« Reply #41 on: November 14, 2002, 02:37:47 pm »

And then there's the convenience you can only find in a major metropolitan area: major sports teams, symphonies, large art museums, etc.  None of the states we are considering contain a major metropolitan area, but three are close enough to easily commute: Delaware, Vermont, and New Hampshire.  If I live in Cheyenne, and want to take my kid to a baseball game, how far do I have to drive?  


Salt Lake City is closer to WY than Montreal is to VT.  Denver is just a little bit further and a large sports town.  So, if you only include the top the states for that you have to say DE, NH, and WY.  WY has two very distant parts of the state that are both close to large cities.  The northern part of WY is close to the largest city in MT.  Jackson, WY is fast become a very rich area and is getting some entertainment for the wealth.  The mid-west part of WY is close to Pocatello which is the 2nd largest city in ID.

WY is much closer to the top of the line in two sports than any of the Eastern states.  Think about Rodeo, it was created there.  Most of the best ski slopes in the country are in CO, which would make an excellent weekend ski trip from WY.  WY also has good skiing, snowmobiling, snowboarding, water skiing, ski diving, fishing, and hunting.  Cleanly, the West has many sports.  

If you look at the growth stats 20,000+ people are already moving to NH every year.  No one would care if the FSP went there.  The state would not even notice us.  

What happens when some people do not move and then some of the people that do move do not like it and leave.  Both of these things will happen no matter which state we pick.  Would you rather have 16,000 FSP activists in NH or WY in 35 years when WY's population is 1/3 of the NH population?
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Rearden

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Re:urbanisation
« Reply #42 on: November 14, 2002, 04:38:16 pm »

Irish, to answer your question if you lived in Cheyenne how long would you have to drive to see a baseball game. The answer is about 100 miles to Denver. Ever heard of the Colorado Rockies? Denver Nuggets(basketball), Denver Broncos(football), Colorado Avalanche(hockey)? Man you really are out of touch with reality.
No, Zion, I'm very much in touch with reality.  We're not looking at Colorado, are we?  I would rather not have to drive two hours to take my kid to a baseball game.  Maybe out there two hours qualifies as just around the corner, but here that's considered a serious trip.  Now, compare that with this: 46 minutes from Nashua to Boston!  20 minutes from Manchester to the beach!  That's the convenience I was referring to, and that's convenience Wyoming and Montana can't touch.  To reiterate, I will go out to those empty square states if the project requires it, but I'm pushing hard for an eastern state.  
Quote
NH is undoable just for population reasons let alone add any other criteria.
This is absolutely untrue, but I won't be so rude as to question your grip on reality.  If the population were too large it wouldn't even be under consideration.  The population might be a concern if the state had big-government tendencies, but as the good people of the New Hampshire have a demonstrated small government tilt they could make very good allies.  I like our chances better in a state of 1.2 million small government citiizens than one with 600,000 big government citizens.  
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Rearden

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Re:urbanisation
« Reply #43 on: November 14, 2002, 04:49:11 pm »

Do you really want to tackle all the services and departments and laws that a large metro city has gotten itself into? Here is the list that will intimidate the most ambitious libertarian.
I copied the list of departments and ordinance sections from the website
and posted the website too.
http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=5;action=display;threadid=338;start=15

Joe, the answer is an unequivocal "YES."  I've never wanted any other career besides city politics.  I always thought I would do that here, in Baltimore, until I realized that my political beliefs are too far out of the mainstream for me to be successful here.  I'm fully aware of the maze of city ordinances (Baltimore has a law against putting ATMs in residential neighborhoods!), and have spent a great deal of time thinking about how to untangle them.  

I'm ready!  
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catsRus

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Re:urbanisation
« Reply #44 on: November 14, 2002, 05:20:22 pm »

Quote
No, Zion, I'm very much in touch with reality.  We're not looking at Colorado, are we?  I would rather not have to drive two hours to take my kid to a baseball game.  Maybe out there two hours qualifies as just around the corner, but here that's considered a serious trip.  Now, compare that with this: 46 minutes from Nashua to Boston!  20 minutes from Manchester to the beach!  That's the convenience I was referring to, and that's convenience Wyoming and Montana can't touch.  To reiterate, I will go out to those empty square states if the project requires it, but I'm pushing hard for an eastern state.  




I hope this isint really an issue. ???
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