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Monday, April 29, 2013

The Most Depressing Thing You Will Read Today

Posted by on Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Daily Beast:

“We’ve reached the limits of suburban development,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan declared in 2010. “People are beginning to vote with their feet and come back to the central cities.” Ed Glaeser’s Triumph of the City and Alan Ehrenhalt’s The Great Inversion—widely praised and accepted by the highest echelons of academia, press, business, and government—have advanced much the same claim, and just last week a report on jobs during the downturn garnered headlines like “City Centers in U.S. Gain Share of Jobs as Suburbs Lose.”

There’s just one problem with this narrative: none of it is true. A funny thing happened on the way to the long-trumpeted triumph of the city: the suburbs not only survived but have begun to regain their allure as Americans have continued aspiring to single-family homes.

If this is true, it shows that nothing compares with or can make a dent on the American will to bring the only world we know to an end.


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Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 1
More suburbs means less hunting ground, which means fewer gun owners. So there's that.

Though the gun owners that are left are crazier, and they stockpile more guns than ever. So there's that.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on April 29, 2013 at 8:22 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 2
What the fuck, are you on drugs or something? The more urban things get, the more proliferation of guns you see.

Time for you to dry out for a while.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on April 29, 2013 at 8:25 AM · Report this

While they’ve weaved a compelling narrative, the numbers make it clear that the retro-urbanists only chance of prevailing is a disaster, say if the dynamics associated with the Great Recession—a rise in renting, declining home ownership and plunging birthrates—become our new, ongoing normal. Left to their own devices, Americans will continue to make the “wrong” choices about how to live.

And in the end, it boils down to where people choose to live. Despite the dystopian portrays of suburbs, suburbanites seem to win the argument over place and geography, with far higher percentages rating their communities as “excellent” compared to urban core dwellers.

So everything Seattle did in the last 20 years was based on a myth.

It can happen.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on April 29, 2013 at 8:25 AM · Report this
Look at the bright side, Charles, because the bullshit that you and these other urbanist" frauds continue to spread is on its way to solving the world fertilizer shortage.
Posted by Fuck cities and the urbanist" scum who promote them on April 29, 2013 at 8:28 AM · Report this
It hasn't happened in every city yet, but a lot of places have reached the limit of exurban development beyond which commuting is impossible. People aren't willing to drive more than an hour or two each way to work. When the exurbs are built out to that point, people turn around and start coming back in, white picket fences or no.
Posted by Prettybetsy on April 29, 2013 at 8:39 AM · Report this


That's not what the article says.

And if you follow the stats on Jobs Sprawl, most people prefer to jump in their car, and drive into a suburban office park with free parking.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on April 29, 2013 at 8:46 AM · Report this
TVDinner 7
Americans have a distinct preference for single family homes, especially when they have young kids. I think part of that is because the vast majority of multi-family housing is so crappily built. When you can hear your neighbor snoring next door, you're going to have to exert a lot of energy in either making sure your kids are quiet or suffer the hatred of your neighbors. That's fucking stressful. Add to that the lack of open space for kids to run around, let alone streets safe enough for them to walk to that open space, and it's no wonder people would rather have a single family home. To say nothing of getting to turn up the volume.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on April 29, 2013 at 8:48 AM · Report this
That's assuming that everyone is going into the city to work. Around here there's quite a bit of commercial development including high tech on the outer edges.
Posted by swing state voter on April 29, 2013 at 8:48 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 9

Silly 5280, guns don't kill people. People kill people. Don't you know that?

I'm not talking about the increase in the number of guns. I'm talking about the decrease in the number of gun owners. People. Not guns.

There are fewer people with guns every year, and each of them has more guns than ever. They have no place to hunt any more, yet their desire to warehouse more and more guns in their closets is insatiable. Which could might explain the increase in crazy.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on April 29, 2013 at 8:49 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 10
Once again, you've demonstrated that your reading comprehension is abysmal.

It's really a crime that they don't teach you kids anything in school any more.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on April 29, 2013 at 9:04 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 11
You know, it's really kind of a shame, because you seem like you're at least semi-intelligent. But ignoring and/or misreading anything that anyone says in opposition to you, substituting your own paradigm in its place, and then screaming and yelling at the top of your lungs does not contribute to an intelligent discussion.

Maybe you should work on that.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on April 29, 2013 at 9:13 AM · Report this

#1, 9, 10

Where's the thread hijacking gif now?

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on April 29, 2013 at 9:15 AM · Report this
AFinch 13
While what @5 says is somewhat true, it only holds when the job growth isn't also located in the sub/ex-urbs. I live near the DC area and have occasion to spend some time in one of those >1hr commute ex-urbs. I'd kill myself. That said, yes, given the space constraints and costs, for families, the inner-urban existence just doesn't make sense. A lot of urban environments just aren't kid friendly yet. The cost differential in housing and school costs (very few inner city public school systems score well - poor cohort) are hard to offset, even when gas is expensive.

My personal take: the return to the city centers is somewhat real, but it's driven mostly by childless people who have deferred marriage and children until a decade later than their parents, creating a new group who are financially and life-style able to thrive in a city. Now, if you hit a tipping point in terms of school cohort and those urban hipsters start feeling their public schools are safe and offer good quality, along with safe and accessible public spaces for their kids to be outside, then high-density housing starts to win again.
Posted by AFinch on April 29, 2013 at 9:16 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 14

You're talking as if the country is becoming more urbanized. The whole point is that the hype about urban cores isn't true. The suburbs continue to grow. It's why Charles is depressed.

It's why the number of hunting licenses issued declines year after year. The recession slowed suburbanization a bit, but it hardly reversed the trend. Without hunters, American gun owners became a rump band of scary dead-enders. Much lIkes yerself there buds.

You're working with some kind of secret internal NRA polling data aren't you? None of that Gallup and Nate Silver for you. You guys make your own reality. Liberal media statistics give you old white men a sad, so ignore them and get your own numbers.

That's how President Romney got elected, right?

Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on April 29, 2013 at 9:19 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 15
Once again, if you try talking to me, instead of at me, you might actually get a meaningful response.

Until then, you're just trolling, so fuck you.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on April 29, 2013 at 9:36 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 16

Angry, angry, angry today.

Gun owners are old, white, male and Republican. With each passing year, they became older, whiter, more male, and more Republican. And they drink ever deeper of the gun kool aid.

We know the NRA supported background checks a decade ago, when they represented a somewhat broad slice of America. A few decades before that they supported actual gun control, like the Mulford Act. Gun ownership used to be mainstream and bipartisan. Most regular people hunted, at least every once in a while. Those days are long gone.

It's ironic because if you old white men had supported a little growth management (big gubmit!) there'd be someplace to hunt, and there's be more gun owners. You'd still be in the majority instead of on the wrong side of history.

So you old white Republican guys are on the wrong side of history, and that explains the anger. And the craziness.

Do I have to bury you in links to the data behind all this? Are you denying that the number of gun owners is in decline? That the number of hunting licenses is in decline? And that's due to exurban sprawl? Denying that gun owners skew white, male, old, and Republican?

Is that the issue? Because the data here are overwhelming.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on April 29, 2013 at 9:46 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 17
the suburbs will grow as long as gas is cheap. >$5/gallon might be the breaking point.

and, at some point in the future, there will be no more oil.
Posted by Max Solomon on April 29, 2013 at 9:46 AM · Report this
GeneStoner 18
Most people don't want to raise their kids around crime, regardless of how easy it is with your commute.

Minority communities TEND to be in the city (unless there is gentrification occurring). More crime TENDS to be in the inner city.

Ergo, raise your kids away from the corrupting influence of the big city in the suburbs...
Posted by GeneStoner on April 29, 2013 at 9:47 AM · Report this
AFinch 19
@18 - I used to spend some time in an older, core urban DC neighborhood, where gentrification was definitely under way. There were children, but it's not clear the tipping point had been reached - the point where the public school cohort meant safe environments and good scores. Of course, this was changing and the displaced had cashed out and headed for...the 'burbs! Sadly for them, the problems simply followed them, and yes, the 'gentrified' places were...gentler. This is a story about socio-economics, not test scores reflect student body makeup (cohort) which individually reflect economic and educational background of parents...which seques nicely to...

The folks spouting off about guns, suburbs and hunting are....clueless. There are fewer and fewer gun owners (regardless of the number of guns) not because suburbs are eating up hunting land (WTF? Basic geography fail there) but because whether it's to cities, sub-urbs or ex-urbs, fewer and fewer people live in a rural setting, which is where most regular-hunter, gun as a tool types live. They're replaced by "gun-as-a-penis-extender" types - which, I suppose you can make the case a penis extender is a tool - who just like to shoot off lots of rounds and have paranoid self-protection fantasies.

Spend some time in a rural "gun-as-a-tool" area, and you'll find that quasi-vigilante rambo mentality (the stink of impotent rage) is much less. Sadly you are entirely wrong about this being an old-white-guy thing: this is a 'anywhere people are fearful of the "other" thing' - which includes a lot of women and younger people.
Posted by AFinch on April 29, 2013 at 10:12 AM · Report this
Drooling troglodyte 20
I didn't even have to click on the link to know that the byline belonged to Joel Kotkin. He's been banging on the same drum for years -- cherry-picking data to suggest everyone's just dying to move to some sprawling suburb of Houston, Dallas, Atlanta or Phoenix. Next!
Posted by Drooling troglodyte on April 29, 2013 at 10:15 AM · Report this
camlux 21
The reasons why people prefer single family dwellings are freedom, flexibility and space. At my single family dwelling, I can play the stereo as loud as I like without annoying the neighbors below me. I can plant a garden that is limited only by my money and imagination. I can raise bees or chickens, and let a dog run around on my own grass. I own a plot of land that may increase in value and can possibly be sold for a future profit. If I owned or rented an apartment (as you espouse), none of this would be possible.
Posted by camlux on April 29, 2013 at 10:21 AM · Report this
support states rights platforms. The blue states go density, rewilded, ecotopia and the red states burn out and eventually take up the model; then it spreads around the world like bluejeans. But... your a total pussy and slave by conditioned nature so I dont expect you to come around for a few decades.
Posted by worldwarterror will force yr hand on April 29, 2013 at 10:48 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 23

Here I googled that for you:

"Suburban sprawl has consumed prime hunting land, forcing many hunters to choose between driving for hours to get to the woods or staying home. " NYT

"A lot of factors go into causing license declines, but a lot has to do with urban sprawl and the lack of public hunting areas." Savannah Morning News

"Gary Fujak, one of Allegheny County’s three state Game Commission wildlife conservation officers, said part of the decline in small-game hunters rests with suburban sprawl eating up natural woodlands habitat." Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

"Sprawl Sends Hunters Away From Suburbs" Detroit Free Press

etc etc etc

Geography fail? This is a universally recognized fact. It's been happening for years and everybody knows it. The main reason regular people own guns is for hunting. Take that away and you're left with paranoid kooks.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on April 29, 2013 at 10:54 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 24
"The main reason regular people own guns is for hunting."

Fail. Try again. You're still doing more talking than listening.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on April 29, 2013 at 11:02 AM · Report this
McJulie 25
People don't want to live in the city? What are they building all those apartments in South Lake Union and Capitol Hill for, then? If people really don't want to live here, shouldn't my rent be lower?
Posted by McJulie on April 29, 2013 at 11:09 AM · Report this
Look on the bright side, Chuck. Eventually the suburbs will be so full, they'll need to build apartments. If it's so inevitable that we're all going to eventually live in dense urban settings, why do you care whether we do it here or in Redmond?

Posted by beef rallard on April 29, 2013 at 11:28 AM · Report this
Baby Blue 27
@7 nailed it. I haven't lived in a multi-family structure since 1996 when my two older boys were 3 & 4. It was a nightmare. My neighbors hated me (not because I entertained, which I NEVER did at the time) but because they could hear my boys in the hallways coming and going. They complained to the building manager (who could have bothered to mention there were no other children when I was looking but that's another story) constantly even though the noise was in no way excessive. It was just normal kid noice. That 9 month lease was the longest 9 months of my life. I now have just an 11 year old at home but I entertain regularly so I still don't feel that we'd fit in a multi-family building. We're in the process of buying a house and made sure to talk to the neighbors to be sure they wouldn't be bothered when we have parties. I didn't for a second consider a condo or townhome.
Posted by Baby Blue on April 29, 2013 at 11:38 AM · Report this
It is about lawn mowers. Suburbs equal lawn mowers. Lawn mowers are the ultimate everyman fantasy. Power, noise, destruction and then praise and refreshment follow. Yep, the mower is the surrogate for big 4 wheel drives, guns, Mixed Martial Arts and a small penis. And of course, for the OCD types, the discussions over proper clip heights, which blade style, rider or push type and to clip morning or evening are always beneficial.
Posted by pupuguru on April 29, 2013 at 12:07 PM · Report this
#25, look at the numbers, if you dare. Of course, the typical Seattle fuckwit hates numbers, but what the hell.

In 1990, King County outside of Seattle had 991,060 people. In 2012, it had grown 40% to 1,386,662 people.

In 1990, Seattle had 516,259 people. In 2012, it had grown 20% to 620,778 people.

King County outside of Seattle has grown twice as fast as Seattle since 1990. King County outside of Seattle has added 395,602 people. Seattle has added 104,519 people. The total growth was 510,121 people. Seattle was responsible for 22% of the population growth. The rest of the county was responsible for 78% of the population growth.

In 1970, Seattle had 46% of King County's population. In 2012, it had 31%. For the last 40 years, people have been voting with their feet and their money, and as a result Seattle's relative weight in both King County and Washington State has declined.

All the king horses, money, and apodment hovels aren't going to change that.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on April 29, 2013 at 12:29 PM · Report this
Dougsf 30
What's the tipping point for a suburb to become something more than a suburb?—which is a question, not a point I'm trying to make. Is it numbers, amenities, autonomy, or something less tangible? Berkeley, CA is just sorta Berkeley, but Bellevue, which is arguably as important to the region as Oakland, CA is to the Bay, is still just kinda Bellevue.

And so true what @7 said. Anyone with both children and the normal human capacity for guilt is going to have a much higher standard of living if they don't share a common wall. I really wish it did take a village, but people in the village got their own lives, too.
Posted by Dougsf on April 29, 2013 at 12:33 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 31

There's also the other side of that, where people who need to work a normal 9-to-5 or have kids who need to go to school at 8 a.m. every morning are going to be poorly served in an apartment full of 20-somethings who like to crank up the volume until 3 a.m.
Posted by keshmeshi on April 29, 2013 at 12:57 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 32

Here you go.…

"In 1999, 49% said they owned a gun mostly for hunting, while just 26% cited protection as the biggest factor."

In 2013, 48% said the reason is "protection" (paranoia, IMHO). "Protection" has increased by 22 points, hunting has declined by 17 points.

In years past, regular people owned guns and they owned them for hunting. Now regular people don't need a gun because they can't drive hours to find a place to hunt.

The shift is from hunting to "protection" and that explains the increased paranoia and extremism among gun owners in America today. It explains how we have more guns than ever, but concentrated in fewer hands.

I'm not making any kind of radical, fringe points here. This is dull, everyday stuff that has been observed again and again by numerous pollsters and researchers. You just don't like it, because it spells doom for the NRA's kooky views.

It runs parallel to the Republican Party's shrinking base, turning away from the mainstream and toward the kooky Teabaggers and such. Not an original or radical observation on my part.

You have no data. You're just angry and you're in denial.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on April 29, 2013 at 1:11 PM · Report this
AFinch 33
@23 - thanks, yes, I too can google. I'm not sure a bunch of newspaper articles are my favorite sources of information for this, but the line about "having to drive several hours" certainly rings true.

In my time in Washington and Oregon, I've noticed that most of the suburban and urban areas - most of the population - is really crammed in the western 1/4-1/2 of the state. That leaves a heck of a lot of land quite rural and rugged.

Back east here in the mid-Atlantic where I live, we have the ginormous megalopolis of Bos-Ny-Balt-DC, which has effectively reached Richmond VA and really down to Norfolk, VA as a single ex-urban corridor where the population is too dense for hunting. However, in all of these states - like PA which one of your articles mentioned - the majority of the land is outside of those heavily urbanized areas and the hunting grounds are not there and have not been.

We are losing hunters because we're now getting 2+ generations away from "rural connections" for most people. Grandparents may have lived, pre-WWII, on farms, and returned to those to hunt, maybe even with their kids, but those links are now broken or lost, and hunting goes with that.

Hunters are not some kind of species facing extinction due to habit loss though; more through reproductive failure. There are plenty of hunting clubs and national forests and other lands available.

Posted by AFinch on April 29, 2013 at 2:35 PM · Report this
AFinch 34
@32 - I do not disagree about your points regarding the shift in reasons for gun ownership: there is no doubt most of the new owners are paranoid types - and interestingly, the ones living in relatively safe sub and ex urbs (where they do very little to nothing statistically for protection).

I'm not sure the paranoid group are quite the rapidly vanishing demographic you wish they are though. There are an awful lot of younger people in that group - I don't disagree that the majority of the GOP is disappearing the way you describe, but the gun nuts are surprisingly diverse.
Posted by AFinch on April 29, 2013 at 3:04 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 35

Here you go:…

It's not just the safety of the suburbs. The increase in "protection" as a reason to own a gun has been accompanied by a steady decrease nationwide in both violent crime and property crime. These guys who think they need guns -- and not just one gun, but a personal arsenal that could outfit a platoon! -- for protection are safer now than ever, yet their perception is that they're under siege.

The disconnect between reality and what the typical American gun owner thinks is reality is at the heart of what's gone off the rails here. Note that the NRA flatly denies the number of gun owners is going down, and pretty much flatly denies all of these surrounding facts. Listen to 5280 here -- he's an NRA stalwart. He used to work for them. Yet he denies and denies and denies. He thinks these statistics are part of a vast conspiracy. The crazier they get, the less likely they are to listen to reason. It's a vicious cycle.

Consider the casual racism in the comments from guys like 5280 and Gene Stoner and Cascadian Bacon. Crime is down, but every day they see more and more brown faces. Their racism makes them imagine crime in progress just seeing a black man walk past their house.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on April 29, 2013 at 3:22 PM · Report this
McJulie 36
@29 Pre-accusing me of being a fuckwit who hates numbers is a great way to win an argument, I must say.

So, you have numbers. According to said numbers, Seattle grew a lot from 1990 to 2012, but the entire rest of King County grew more. What do those numbers mean? Well, they don't mean that Seattle sucks and people aren't moving there, because they are, which was my point. And they don't mean that people are leaving the suburbs for the urban core, which was Charles' point.

What was your point supposed to be?
Posted by McJulie on April 29, 2013 at 4:48 PM · Report this
#36, yes, you're a fuckwit, and and oh-so-typical Seattle fuckwit. You asked about people wanting to live in the city. Turns out that a fuck of a lot more people want to live in the suburbs. I gave you only King County numbers. Should I expand that to Snohomish and Pierce counties? Fact is that a few hundred fuckwits who want to live in S.R.O.s called apodments are nothing compared to what's happening in this region.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on April 29, 2013 at 5:43 PM · Report this
Let's see: Seattle grew 20% from 1990 to 2012. Non-Seattle King County grew 40%. Snohomish County grew 57%. Pierce County grew 38%. But fuckwit $25/#37 refuses to see it, and ask me what my point is. What a douche bag.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on April 29, 2013 at 6:31 PM · Report this
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