2012 August 18 Saturday
Stanley Kurtz: Obama Wants To Abolish Suburbs

It used to be that you had to pay for those with zero or negative marginal productivity thru taxes and by being victims of crime. But you could still pursue your own choice of lifestyle. I think this freedom to pursue a safe middle class suburban lifestyle is going to come under increasing pressure in the future. Stanley Kurtz argues in a a new book, Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities, that Barack Obama wants to wage war against independent suburbs in his second term and he's already pursuing policies to rob suburbanites to support city dwellers.

President Obama is not a fan of America’s suburbs. Indeed, he intends to abolish them. With suburban voters set to be the swing constituency of the 2012 election, the administration’s plans for this segment of the electorate deserve scrutiny. Obama is a longtime supporter of “regionalism,” the idea that the suburbs should be folded into the cities, merging schools, housing, transportation, and above all taxation. To this end, the president has already put programs in place designed to push the country toward a sweeping social transformation in a possible second term. The goal: income equalization via a massive redistribution of suburban tax money to the cities.

Unfortunately, the upper classes are so wealthy and insulated that they do not feel any common bond to the middle class. So the elites aren't going to oppose soaking the middle class for the benefit of lower classes.

One approach is to force suburban residents into densely packed cities by blocking development on the outskirts of metropolitan areas, and by discouraging driving with a blizzard of taxes, fees, and regulations. Step two is to move the poor out of cities by imposing low-income-housing quotas on development in middle-class suburbs. Step three is to export the controversial “regional tax-base sharing” scheme currently in place in the Minneapolis–St. Paul area to the rest of the country. Under this program, a portion of suburban tax money flows into a common regional pot, which is then effectively redistributed to urban, and a few less well-off “inner-ring” suburban, municipalities.

Technological trends are gradually wiping out the utility of having low skilled workers living in the same region as high skilled workers. Not many decades ago factories had engineers, managers, and blue collar workers of various skill levels. People of various gradations of intellectual ability functioned in a mutually beneficial relationship. But today the managers, analysts, marketers, and engineers living in the suburbs do not have economic relationships with poor folks living in decayed cities. Rather, the engineers and managers are tending increasingly automated factories where the number of highly skilled workers hasn't dropped while the number of assembly line workers has plummeted. Other managers and engineers are managing relationships with contract manufacturing plants in Asia. Software engineers are operating portions of factories remotely (I almost became involved with such a team right before the 2008 financial meltdown caused the project to get canceled).

I saw a chart (and I can't remember where) recently of manufacturing employment by skill category. Manufacturing is employing more highly skilled workers and fewer low skilled workers. Anyone know where that chart came from? I'm guessing that manufacturers are employing a lot more machine learning specialists.

There is still some economic demand for less skilled workers in proximity to the more highly skilled. Janitorial work, food services, road repair, gardening, and a number of other service occupations still employ large numbers of workers below 100 IQ. But advances in robotics will cut into the need for humans to do most of that work, leading to a large unemployable lower class. When that happens if the market is left to its own devices we will see the rise of a city and its suburbs which contain very few people below 100 IQ. Whole regions will specialize in highly skilled workers who still have economic value. Other regions will house the unemployable.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2012 August 18 09:59 AM  Politics Redistribution


Comments
Wolf-Dog said at August 18, 2012 11:01 AM:

As for redistribution, let us also investigate the budget under the microscope.

Here is a website that lists the way the budget is allocated:

http://www.usfederalbudget.us/federal_budget_detail_fy13

For example, for this fiscal year, the total budget is $3.79 trillion, but from this budget, we can see from that table that at least $1 trillion is allocated to support the poor. From the current definitions of the poor, at least 40 million Americans are considered poor, and if a typical family has 4 members, this would mean that 10 million Americans are poor. Now let us divide the $1 trillion per year allocated to the poor by the 10 million poor American families, and we see that from this calculation average poor family of 4 is supposed to receive $100,000 of support every year. But we know that any poor family of 4 receives only a small fraction of the said $100,000 per year. Thus it follows that a significant part of that $1 trillion per year that was supposed to be allocated to the poor, happens to be looted one way or another. This begs the following question: looted by whom? It must be the intermediate companies and individuals, various middlemen and bureaucrats connected with the government. The $1 trillion per year allocated to the poor was probably a very conservative estimate from my part, if you look at that website above, it is possible that the real figure is closer to $2 trillion one way or another, but again,the average poor family of 4 doesn't receive $200,000 per year as support, it thus gets looted one way or another, it goes to other rich people. This is why the upper class loves government spending.

Wolf-Dog said at August 18, 2012 11:11 AM:


But if we eliminate the foreign trade deficit, at least the oil component of it, we can support the poor by providing jobs.
If the non-oil component of the annual foreign trade deficit were reduced by $400 billion per year, this would create $400 billion of money for the poor 40 million poor Americans. Dividing $400 billion by 40 million we find $10,000 extra money for each poor American. To be sure, the lion's share of that money will not go to the poor but to the employers who create the jobs for the poor, but it's better than being unemployed, especially at one point it will be impossible to find tax money to support so many poor people.

Brendon Carr said at August 18, 2012 10:44 PM:

Wolf-Dog, well said. And you have therefore identified the Democratic Party as the party of looters. Democrats have created an unholy alliance of social workers and eaters of government cheese, and pitted them against the rest of us who have to pay the taxes.

Mark Thompson said at August 19, 2012 3:09 AM:

The Republicans aren't any better though. They're just as bad. And they're full of closet cases. They really should just call the GOP the Gay Old Pedophiles.

Wolf-Dog said at August 19, 2012 8:19 AM:

Brendon Carr, to be exact, in the past I have always voted for the Democrats because I was in favor of more progressive and more equal systems. But it also appears that in many cases the worst monopolistic capitalists can also be Democrats. I am not sure how I am going to vote in the elections, I am not even sure I want to vote, because it's not clear which candidate is less bad. If Romney wins he will collude with the oil industry to sabotage research on electric cars. If Obama wins, he will cause even more loss of small business jobs to acquire the opportunity to increase government control, and he will intentionally not allow the narrowing of the trade deficit. At least Romney is in favor of reducing trade deficit (that's the main reason I would vote for Romney if I choose to vote for him.)

TJ said at August 19, 2012 7:32 PM:

Brendon Carr, to be exact, in the past I have always voted for the Democrats because I was in favor of more progressive and more equal systems."

How'd that work, you stupid fuck? Seriously, you believed that shit?

Zamman said at August 21, 2012 3:16 PM:

"I am not sure how I am going to vote in the elections, I am not even sure I want to vote, because it's not clear which candidate is less bad."

I stopped playing the voting game long time ago, because.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAzEsp8k-6U

Zamman said at August 22, 2012 3:18 PM:

The U.S. of A. is really becoming a country of a large idiot majority:

http://screen.yahoo.com/mother-asked-to-not-breastfeed-in-library-computer-room-30346395.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/high-school-valedictorian-denied-diploma-a-hell-a-graduation-speech-article-1.1140170

http://www.curvygirlguide.com/daily-curve/arrested-for-missing-school/

I'm so glad I left the country a year ago.

John said at August 23, 2012 6:28 AM:

@Zamman: So which country did you go to?

Zamman said at August 23, 2012 11:54 AM:

>"@Zamman: So which country did you go to?"

Brazil!! It's beautiful and has a government for the people.

President's a woman, by the way. Wonderful lady.

Randall Parker said at August 23, 2012 10:18 PM:

Zamman,

You can find odd stories in any country. Your links aren't making your case.

TJ,

Do not call people "stupid fuck".

Sacha Baron said at August 25, 2012 5:50 PM:

Randall wrote: "There is still some economic demand for less skilled workers in proximity to the more highly skilled. Janitorial work, food services, road repair, gardening, and a number of other service occupations still employ large numbers of workers below 100 IQ."


Are all these workers you're talking about really people with IQ below 100? Or are they rather people who didn't have the money for a university education? Is having high-paying jobs the result of a higher IQ? Well that is pure Grade-A bullshit. There is a wide range of IQ intelligences among janitors, waiters, gardeners, etc. Some of them might even be smarter than you and I, given an education. Don't confuse.

J. said at August 29, 2012 4:29 PM:

Are all these workers you're talking about really people with IQ below 100? Or are they rather people who didn't have the money for a university education? Is having high-paying jobs the result of a higher IQ? Well that is pure Grade-A bullshit. There is a wide range of IQ intelligences among janitors, waiters, gardeners, etc. Some of them might even be smarter than you and I, given an education. Don't confuse.

Randall's statement was not a characterization of those who actually do that work. He was listing some of the jobs that the less skilled (as well as the more skilled, if they want to) can take. His larger point was that there are fewer and fewer such jobs.

Randall Parker said at September 2, 2012 9:42 PM:

Sacha,

What J. said.

As for higher IQ people doing menial jobs:

- The smarter people who do not develop more complex skills are really making life more difficult for the lower IQ people by displacing the lower IQ people from the dwindling supply of jobs that the lower IQ people can do.

- Higher IQ people can train themselves in a larger range of skills. They don't need a formal education for many jobs that are cognitively more demanding and higher paying. I speak from personal experience. I don't use my undergrad degree and I make far more than the average worker.

- The bigger problem with underemployed high IQ people is motivation, not lack of educational opportunity.

- A large fraction of higher IQ people squander their college educations with useless subjects that are easier and more entertaining to study. That's a far larger problem than the problem of smart people who do not have an opportunity to learn anything.

- While some smarter people work as bartenders and waiters and waitresses most jobs that employ lower IQ people are sufficiently unattractive that higher IQ people avoid them. Higher IQ underachievers avoid trash collection, ditch digging, and laying asphalt for example.

- The opportunities for low cost education are exploding. Want to watch high quality lectures on a large variety of topics? Go to YouTube and start doing searches. It amazes me how much is there. The lectures do not get you a degree. But they will get you a developed brain and useful skills.


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