A Price-Tagged Populace

Jacobs really goes after the planning profession at the time, saying basically that the whole process was a sham.  In order to suburbanize urban areas, they had to separate people into income groups by geography.  You have the super rich over here; the rich-but-not-overly-so here; the well-off-but-by-no-means-rich here; the upper middle class, middle class and lower middle class here, here, and here; and the working and poor classes over there, where no one of any means can see them.  It was the only way it could work.  Many small businesses were destroyed in the reconstruction, most of them owned by the lower classes, with little or no constitutional compensation.  Bigger businesses moved in to the higher-class areas, increasing the tax base… but at what cost?

“…Each sorted-out chunk of price-tagged populace lives in growing suspicion and tension against the surrounding city.” (pg. 6)

Guess what comes out of that?  Crime.  Fear.  Health problems.  Political polarization.  Everything that we are seeing coming to a head right now.  But I don’t think we can solely blame the planners and politicians for this arrangement.  I think it is what we wanted.  We wanted to be kings and queens in our own castles, and we didn’t want the “riffraff” coming into our domains.  We got exactly what we wanted, which should make us leery of what we wish for in the future.  It just might come true.

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