ONE MAN’S OPINION--Since the 2020 election is a year and one-half away, the tea leaves are barely in the cup and reading them is quite premature.
Since when has that stopped prognostication? In fact, the New York Times may have unknowingly highlighted what may be the pivotal issue for November 2020 – The Democrats’ destruction of the cities and of the American middle class. May 22, 2019, New York Times, America’s Cities Are Unlivable. Blame Wealthy Liberals, by Farhad Manjoo .
Don’t let the NY Times’ title deceive you, the Liberals accept zero responsibility and they plan to accelerate the destruction of the cities (while promoting anti-Semitism and advocating extreme “green” proposals which will de-legitimize the fight against Climate Change.) Mr. Manboob shows zero introspection of how California Dems have destroyed urban areas while making California the wealthiest and the poorest state in the nation. It is the wealthiest as it produces the most, but it poorest in that it is the most economically corrupt and regressive state in the nation. As Larry Gatlin sang in 1979, “All the gold in California is in a bank in the middle of Beverly Hills in somebody else's name, . . .”
While the Los Angeles Times is Pravda West for its endless Garcetti cheerleading and false stories about the grand wonders of giving more and more wealth to the 1%, the New York Times can be called Pravda East for the same reason. Mr. Manboob focuses on California’s SB 50 whose shelving he laments as a great failure of California Democrats. As some Angelenos are beginning to see as they peer over rat-infested dung heaps of homeless garbage, the quality of life is deteriorating while the cost to live here is escalating.
The major cause for the decline in quality and increase in cost is vast corruptionism centering around land use where a tiny cadre of developers get all the land wealth dumped in their laps, while everyone else pays the price. Mr. Manboob feels that the aggrandizing of the super-uber-wealthy is too slow and that California needs to significantly densify its urban areas so that the 1% can become as wealthy as Los Angeles traffic is clogged.
Mr. Manboob declares, “Creating dense, economically and socially diverse urban environments ought to be a paramount goal of progressivism.” Just as the GOP has been captured by its right wing lunatic fringe in the Freedom Caucus, the Dems far left wing lunatic fringe is setting the agenda. Here what we know densification brings to a city:
(1) Destruction of Poor People’s Homes
When one densifies the core, that means construction has to take place where people already live which means destroying other people’s homes. As usual, the wealthy developers prey upon minorities and poor since they live in properties with lower values.
(2) Vast Increase in Homelessness
When the rent-controlled units of more than 60,000 poor people are destroyed, the homeless population swells. When the city’s Manhattanization Mania targets the homes of poor people, the evicted people have no option except the street. Since the sole goal of the city is to shovel money to the 1%, there is no money for services for the homeless.
Since he was CD 13 councilmember, Garcetti had his war on the poor. When his own consultant proposed that the lot next to the exit of the north bound Hollywood Freeway at Hollywood Boulevard have showers and other facilities for Hollywood’s homeless, Garcetti stopped the idea. In logic which only an idiot or a villain would endorse, Garcetti did not want to encourage homelessness by providing services! Yeah that’s right. People voluntarily chose to live on the street because there might be a place where they may wash and defecate. Of course, Garcetti admits no connection between his two decades’ destruction of rent controlled units and the homeless crisis.
By proposing more urban density, Mr. Manboob is in effect proposing more homelessness as densification of an urban area always results in destruction of poor people’s homes.
(3) Densification Make Traffic Unbearable
There is a direct correlation between densification and LA’s worsening traffic congestion. After spending over $1 Billion to widen the 405 Freeway in West LA, the 405's traffic congestion is worse. Of course, it is. The massive increases in office density south of the Pass attracted thousands more people into the Basin from the Valley. This is Corruptionism’s basic shell game: claim that more mass transit will reduce congestion, but insist more density is required to pay fort the transit. The density increase is always significantly greater than the mass transit increase so that things are much worse after we spend billions of dollars, but the 1% is vastly wealthier.
What Would Have Reduced the 405's Traffic Congestion?
Reduction of office space in West LA and Century City! But, no the Progressive Dems want to significantly increase the density in the Basin. The 2020 Progressive Theme should be “Forever Dumb” sung to the tune of 1984 song “Forever Young.” The far left wing Progressives believe that voters will not catch on to the cause of urban decay and rot – densification to make the 1% wealthier.
The New Progressivism Is the Old Corruptionism
Pointing out the corruptionism of the Left Wing is no endorsement of His Orange Highness or of the right wing’s attack on inalienable rights with its current attempts to overturn Roe v Wade. The New Progressivism is filling up with rabid extremists who promote Group Right hatreds making anti-Semitism fashionable and who like the right wing see compromise as blasphemy. Above all, the New Progressivism funnels money to the top 1% and away from everyone else. That is why Los Angeles’ hallmark has become dung piles with rats and disease from DTLA into the Valley punctuated with the atrocious traffic and an exorbitant cost of living. With the help of Mr. Manboob and his cohorts, Trump-Grumpy may not only win re-election, but we may see a GOP Congress.
(Richard Lee Abrams is a Los Angeles attorney and a CityWatch contributor. He can be reached at: Rickleeabrams@Gmail.com. Abrams’ views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.)