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July 09, 2012

Suburbanites: Reptile-Brained, Or Just Heartless Bastards?

Because according to a Harvard economist, you're not a real human being until you're all crammed together in high density urban bliss.

Warning to the Morons: what you are about to read is so witless, so laughably off the mark, you may literally be stupefied by it. AOSHQ cares about its readers and suggests you view this profoundly retarded article through a pinhole camera.

Glaeser argues that the deduction, as well as other governmental policies that encourage homeownership, effectively “bribe” the well-off to segregate themselves from poorer people by abandoning more diverse cities for more homogenous and affluent suburbs.
Because poorer people tend to live disproportionately in cities … bribing wealthier people to leave higher density apartments is increasing the physical, and possibly also the social, distance between rich and poor.

Citing the work of economist Erzo F. P. Luttmer, who found that support for redistributionist policies was greater among those who live near poor people of the same race, Glaeser argues that “[i]f proximity breeds empathy … then distance may reduce that empathy.”

While Glaeser’s argument here remains speculative, it’s in line with a great deal of recent research that suggests wealth (and the attendant ability to segregate oneself from the poor) may make people more selfish and less empathetic. In a cover story in the latest issue of New York magazine, Lisa Miller uses this research to present a compelling case that “Money Can Make You Mean.” As one money-empathy researcher, Berkeley psychologist Paul Piff, tells Miller:

[T]he rich are way more likely to prioritize their own self-interests above the interests of other people. It makes them more likely to exhibit characteristics that we would stereotypically associate with, say, a**holes.

And academics are more likely to prioritize their half-baked social theories above elegantly simple reality. Having lived in, and near, urban areas my whole life, I can assure all these researchers that there is no great glut of 'empathy' burdening the dwellers therein, and definitely, absolutely, no shortage of a**holes. Furthermore, a little 'social distance' between me and some of my apartment-neighbors was refreshing, and the point of every weekend daytrip.

All of this dreck, of course, hinges on what qualities these researchers are implicitly defining as 'selfish.'

Their apparent definition of a**hole: Someone with a desire to protect and remove oneself and one's children from bad schools and the criminal underclass, and the self-reliance and ability to accomplish that goal.

Liberals pretend these two huge urban problems- inferior schools and high crime- do not exist (or at least have root causes that cannot be blamed on the actual local practitioners of ineffective schooling and highly effective crime). Thus their inability to sensibly describe why people leave the city.

So they wail about a 'social distance' arising between people, but only look at one of the parties to answer why. They absolutely cannot and will not look at the other guy to find cause.

Ask a hundred ex-urbanites why they left- it's a safe bet that 'bad schools' and 'high crime' are in the top few reasons.

But no, these intrepid researchers are telling us they were bribed by the US government to leave, and also, they are a**holes.

This article is trying to create a phony moral underpinning for taking long-customary tax breaks from middle class people.

These things are true; you are living well when you have a quiet life of your own choosing, and your neighbors aren't right on top of you, and your kids are safe, and you're comfortable. When these optimal living conditions exist, the correct response of decent folk is to recognize this is a good thing and to be glad for you. And to want more of it, and to encourage everyone with your good example.

This mature and supportive response to your comfort and happiness is also the conservative position.

But to libs, cramping and inhibiting you is better. They claim otherwise, but their every public policy and ideological point keeps pushing you to the same conclusion: you shouldn't be living well. It's bad for society, and also, you're defective! NYAH!

A**holes, heal thyselves.

Thanks to Ben's sidebar link dump.

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posted by Laura. at 12:46 PM

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