gentrification

is it a force for good in the world?

this was a discussion last night. i argue that it is, if only because i find it unpleasant to walk on sidewalks which have recently been urinated on. what neighborhood couldn’t be improved by removing the stench of urine?

a strident mozilla employee responded, “because poor people are unsightly, aren’t they? that’s what you’re saying, isn’t it?”

that’s not exactly true. i don’t care how unsightly they may or may not be. my problem is with their sense of entitlement. when a poor person gets pushed out of his trendy up-and-coming neighborhood due to increased rent, two people benefit from his loss: the landlord and the new tenant. any reason we should protect his interest in remaining in his neighborhood over the interests of the two others? i mean, other than the extremely patronizing argument about how the poor are responsible for the “local flavor” that made the neighborhood appealing in the first place.

pros: less crime, less urine, more businesses, (more interesting) businesses, better landscaping, better lighting, cleaner streets, fewer hoodlums.

cons: all the nasties mentioned in the pros list have to go somewhere, i suppose.

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