Saturday, March 1, 2008
Running on Blade Runner: LA Weekly unloads its magnum opus on Mayor Villaraigosa's underdebated plan to make Los Angeles a couple of stories taller and a whole lot denser. a) The plans seem to call for 2.5 million more people. But when it comes to population growth, according to the Weekly
the two key causes are illegal immigration and the high birth rate among the poor and working poor.
If somehow various immigration-control measures actually slow illegal immigration--i.e., if the Gran Salida continues--will all those multi-story apartments actually be needed? Put another way, does Villaraigosa's growth plan depend on continued illegal immigration?b) There's a case for greater density. What's most alarming is that Villaraigosa seems to be planning greater density without first building the subway system that might move all those people around. The Weekly provides a helpful sidebar comparison with Mexico City. c) The most powerful anti-growth voice cited by the Weekly is County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. But the city's already-dense West Side would have had a subway years ago if Yaroslavsky and his Democratic ally Henry Waxman hadn't foolishly stopped it in the 1980s and 1990s ... "He blocked the subway his city needed" is one of the things that will be on Waxman's tombstone, along with "He expanded Medicaid." ... "He busted Roger Clemens" is unlikely to make the cut. ...
Update: Emailer S.G. notes that the political system seems structured to produce the worse of both worlds: Powerful private developers are able to push through dense, multi-story housing. The only thing anti-growth forces are able to stop is the subway, because it (unlike apartment buildings) requires public, federal funding. The result: paralysis. Even in Blade Runner, there was a monorail, no? ... 5.55 P.M. link
Friday, February 29, 2008
HuffPo--"Study Suggests Tougher Words for Dems On Immigration": An obvious con job by the Center for American Progress, et. al.. In this "confidential" study, comprehensive reform boosters urge Democrats to seem tough by adopting the rhetorical attitude of their opponents.
"It is unacceptable to have 12 million people in our country who are outside the system," it reads. "We must require illegal immigrants to become legal, and reform the laws so this can happen."
In other words, we will take a tough stand against illegal immigrants by making them all ... legal. Sorry, by requiring them to become legal!That'll teach them to mess with our laws again! ... Of course, you can make any kind of amnesty seem like a triumph for the rule of law through this rhetorical trick: These [insert violators here] broke the law. But now we are bringing them into the system by making them all law-abiding residents again! Before: illegal. After: legal! How much more law-and-orderish can you get? ...
If the pro-legalization Dems do have to adopt faux-tough rhetoric to appeal to voters, however, that does suggest they are losing the public debate-- and bodes ill for the House Dem leadership's attempt at a last-minute Semi-Amnesty Sneak Play that would combine some popular border enforcement measures with a new visa that would legalize illegals for five years. ... 6:53 P.M. link