Carfree Dreaming in Portland

In three weeks Portland State University will proudly host the annual “Towards Carfree Cities” conference. This is certainly appropriate, given that Portland plans to build a new bridge over the Willamette River for light rail, the streetcar, cyclists, pedestrians and skateboarders — but not motorists.

However, as seductive as pedestrian malls are in the abstract, they don’t work in the United States. For instance, in 1971 Eugene closed parts of Broadway, Willamette and Olive Streets to auto traffic in order to create a pedestrian shopping center. The lack of motorized access killed retail trade, leaving behind vacant storefronts and vandalism. Citizens gradually came to their senses and voted to reopen Olive Street in 1992, Willamette Street in 1995 and Broadway in 2001, at a cost of more than $2.4 million.

Portland had a similar experience with its transit mall. For years the mall was a ghost town after 6:00 p.m., described by Willamette Week as a “dark wasteland of sad store fronts, scrawny trees and lifeless commuters.” Unfortunately, instead of learning from the experience, TriMet and the city decided to put the mall on steroids by cramming light rail into the mix, at a cost of nearly $200 million.

Adding rail instead of automobiles will probably turn out to be one of the costliest urban planning disasters in Oregon history. But as all local politicians know, grandstanding for green building means never having to say you’re sorry.

John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market think tank.

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Posted by at 05:20 | Posted in Measure 37 | 45 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jerry

    These people are so clueless it is hard to fathom. How are the people getting to the conference? Bikes?

  • Crawdude


  • dean

    John…have you been to Bridgeport Village? Cars are kept to the perimeter of a faux Italian pedestrian shopping district. Seems like a commercial success so far. How does this differ from what was attempted in Eugene other than timing? And what is an enclosed shopping mall other than a commercial area designed for pedestrians who leave their cars at some distance?

    • let the customer decide

      If Bridgeport Village was not subsidized by the taxpayers and are risking their own money, for the project, I don’t care if they were car free or not.

      I don’t want government to decide using taxpayers money

  • Jerry

    Dean – cars are kept to the perimeter of malls, too. These people want to eliminate motor vehicles. There is a big difference. Plus, and let’s think about this, when you say no cars who shows up? People who can not afford a car. Get it? A great crowd for business.

    That is why Eugene was such as stupid exercise that accomplished nothing except to have to reopen the closed roads.

    Conservation is fine. Common sense is fine. Waste is bad – we all get it. We just don’t need or want legislation that forces these behaviors. People will figure it out. They always do. Give them credit.

    • dean

      Jerry…I’m not arguing for car-free cities. But if you think about it, the Eugene example does not hold up. If you go to the Clackamas Town Center on a Saturday, you park some distance away from the entry, then traverse the parking lot, then enter a car free zone that is probably as large as Eugene’s downtown. And then you walk…one end to the other. You don’t drive up to the front of every store. In Eugene they closed off an area that is no bigger, probably smaller than most large malls. I’m guessing business stagnated there for reasons that had little to do with the car issue.

      Most Portland efforts are not to build “car free” cities, but to build pedestrian friendly ones, meaning that cars are more constrained than what we grew used to.

      People are figuring it our Jerry. I do give them (us) credit.

      • Jerry

        The reason was that government got involved in things it has no business getting involved with.
        Plain and simple.
        Oh, and it was Eugene, too, let’s not forget that.

      • costomers come first

        In order to have a successful mall, you need what the customers want,
        acres of free parking and somewhere they want to go to.

        Usually our downtowns believe they can copy the private sector without serving the costumers and trying to change the habits of the customers, while risking the taxpayers money.

        A lose lose for the customers and taxpayers

  • Rex Adams

    I like the idea.

    Lets make the whole downtown car less. And truck less. All deliveries can be by horse drawn cart (or human power – lets really show the world that Portland can eliminate CO2 and de-industrialize!)

    This will have the following benefits to the whole Portland region:
    1. It will force the government offices to move out to the neighborhoods where they can really serve the people. It will dramatically reduce their costly rent.

    2. The sidewalk restaurants will thrive without all those parked cars lining the street. There are enough un-employed creative class to keep at least a few in business. The rest can simulate a bus mall by simply boarding up.

    3. The Pearl and Sowhat can fulfill their promise of increased transit use, by going 100% transit. Horse drawn, if we really want to get into the de-industrialize to save the earth bit.

    4. The really good news is that the depopulation of downtown will end its being a financial drain on the rest of the region and may actually pay its own way.

    5. We can save millions more by eliminating MAX, as its only purpose was to feed workers into downtown, which will no longer have many workers.

    6. Same for buses to downtown.

    This can be the dream project of the CLF, Sierra Club, Wilderness Society, Wildlands Project, Metro, BTA and Sam Adams, finally proving, once and for all, what idiotic fools they really are.

  • David

    Boulder, CO has a wonderful pedestrian shopping mall that attracts a great many people and retail shops, and has for over 20 years. People seem to love the place.

    • let the customer decide

      So your saying government gets it right somtimes?

      How many cities have spent millions and got it wrong using the taxpayers
      to bail them out.

      I’m all for pedestrian areas built by developers that risk their own money
      for store a nd shopping.

      Governments should stick to parks which we don’t expect to make a profit.

  • mpower

    to the pro-market/low-taxes crowd here i would ask the following question: at what point is creation of a ‘public’ pedestrian mall justified? after approval via voter referendum? after approval of adjacent private businesses and property owners?

    most folks on both sides of this issue would agree that taxpayer’s money should not be wasted on a do-gooders whim, but most would also agree that creating pedestrian-only spaces in public areas should be possible via some viable democratic process.

    to the anti-car crowd here, i would point out that every example of pedestrian mall success posted here (and elsewhere) is an example of private, for-profit development… the point being that private interests are a stronger, more capable partner in the anti-car cause than government ever will be.

    i read this thread/issue between anti-govt. & anti-development partisans, and i see more common ground than differences… the anti-gov’t. folks need to accept activism’s role in changing the status quo, and the anti-development crowd needs to accept the fact that government is the problem, not the solution.

    • dean

      mpower…you had me agreeing until the very end. If “government” is the problem and not the solution, or at least a vehicle for a solution, then why do mall developers choose locations along government planned and paid for freeways and off ramps? And if a community (the people, through a referendum) decided to convert a street or district to pedestrian only…isn’t “the people” actually “the government,” and couldn’t those people be making the same marketing error if they assumed wrong, or failed to do their homework?

      In places like downtown Eugene and Portland, business owners have stores along public streets, public sidewalks, and in a downtown area rely on publicly funded parking lots or structures. If “the government” or “the people” (take your choice) decide they want a particular street to be pedestrian only…then so be it. They (we) own that property and can make that decision, regardless of the impact on the private property owner.

  • David

    > So your saying government gets it right somtimes?

    Boulder has profited immensely from its well-designed pedestrian mall. Even when I lived there 15 years ago, there was a lot of retail activity on the mall — it was a place people wanted to be. My sister just visited there last week, and told me the shops there are even more upscale than they were 15 years ago. I bet they are bringing in a lot of money to the city, the state, and to businesses.

    I’ve seen other nice pedestrian malls in Atlanta, Venice, Grenoble.

    Burlington, VT has a great pedestrian mall, on Church Street — very successful.

  • Jed Williams

    Here’s an example of a car-free neighborhood in Toronto where there is a waiting list to buy a house:

    I find it peculiar how folks here pounce on the idea of car-free communities as if its some kind of communist plot. The irony is that it is our public policies favoring cars, roads, cheap oil, and the internal combustion engine over the last 50 years that have so radically socially engineered us into our single occupant vehicles and left us with communities where there are so few real alternatives.


    • Jerry

      Public policies. I wonder where those came from? Those great, all-knowing politicians, I guess.
      Keep up the good work!

  • Rupert in Springfield

    You know, you gotta love this whole argument of government built this or government built that. Really? Is that true? By what mechanism did government create the money to build the road? I built a shop for my business, I did it through profit earned through my inventiveness. Did government do the same thing?

    The answer is no, it did not. That’s all fine and good, but the problem is the vast majority of road construction is done through either dedicated bonds or dedicated taxes. Gas taxes are implemented with the understanding, and implied consent of the people that they are to be used for roads. Bonds are obtained again through the implied or direct consent of the people to build a bridge, sewer system or road in this case.

    Now, of course the people can always change their mind on the use of the road essentially ripping off those who approved the bond or the tax in the first place. That’s fine, legal and I in fact encourage it. It would be good for people to learn the lesson that a promise, even and in my opinion especially, from government can and often is broken.

    This would then enable us to get on to breaking promises of a more significant nature, those being entitlement programs such as Social Security. I think its high time to start framing the promises made by government a little more realistically. Guess what, we, through our elected representative, or a vote of the people decided to change the us of this road. Guess what, we, through the same process decided to cut your benefits to that which you put in plus inflation. Sorry, things change you know, we the people own that road, and we the people own your SS benefits. We shall do with them what we see fit.

    • dean

      Rupert…I hate to be the one to break this to you, but you also did not “create the money” to build your shop for your business. “Money,” or medium of exchange, is what the government says it is. Nothing more and nothing less. If you don’t believe that then try and print your own and see what happens.

      You can argue that you are “adding value” by producing some widget that someone wants. Fine. How do you get your widget from point A to point B? Government designed, build and maintained roads perhaps? The government Postal Service? Your products protected by government patent? Your property by government fire fighters and police? And courts? And so forth.

      Your business is probably worth squat without a functioning government, but the government can get along fine (minus your minor tax payment) without your functioning business.

      Yes…”government” has the authority to make changes. They can change a road for cars into a road for pedestrians. They can change a railroad into a bike trail. They can beat swords into ploughshares. And they can change the terms of Social Security. This is why we have elections, because if we don’t like what the incumbants have changed or not changed, then we elect others who at least say they will make or not make the changes we either want or don’t want (i.e. out of Iraq, maintain Social Security). If “the people” do not already get this then they have not been paying close attention.

      And by the way…it is the same government economists who you don’t trust to manage Social Scurity who have done the actuarial work that tells us when it is we run low on input versus output. Why do you trust them to get that (and the Iraq war) right but you don’t trust them to design the necessary adjustments to balance the books?

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >Rupert…I hate to be the one to break this to you, but you also did not “create the money” to build your shop for your business.

        And if you don’t understand the difference between creating wealth, and taking it, which is the essential difference between the business of invention and that of taxation, then there really isn’t much point in engaging in this conversation.

        So rather than examine the rest of this from economic perspective, lets look at it from a logical perspective.

        >Your business is probably worth squat without a functioning government, but the government can get along fine (minus your minor tax payment) without your functioning business.

        How inane. I hate to break it to you but this sort of analogy is so logically flawed its absurd. You are saying one (government) can get along fine without a piece of the other (that piece being me, one of a multitudes of taxpayers) but the other (me) cannot exist without the entire whole (all of government) of the first.

        The same logical construct exchanging first and second results in the following true, but equally meaningless statement. I can get along fine without the use of a government water inspector in Detroit, he doesn’t mean squat to me, but government wouldn’t last two seconds without the taxpayers.

  • David

    Rupert, you act like you only spend on government and get nothing in return.

    Do you get a tax break on your mortgage interest payments?
    Do you get to deduct your health insurance expenses?
    Do you get to deduct your office expenses?
    Who paid for you to go to school?

    Do I really have to go on?

    • Rupert in Springfield

      >Rupert, you act like you only spend on government and get nothing in return.

      Sorry if I gave that impression. I do believe I get something in return from the government. I just think that the money sent to government is for the most part wasted, with probably the single biggest waste being Social Security. I consider SS a morally evil program at this stage of its life.

      I would prefer government take less and do less.

      I would not prefer government take the same, and do more through greater efficiency with our tax dollars. I would infinitely prefer our current state of affairs to that situation.

      I view most expansions of government as detrimental to my happiness and well being, damaging to my bank balance, and unconscionably damaging to my children’s future given the current projected tax rate for them, at least according to the comptroller general of the US.

      As for the rest of this:

      >Do you get a tax break on your mortgage interest payments?
      >Do you get to deduct your health insurance expenses?
      >Do you get to deduct your office expenses?

      These above three aren’t exactly government giving me something in return. Not taxing me on a bar of steel doesn’t give me anything in return for something. Government is simply taking less from me than they already do. Government takes slightly more than half of everything I earn. I simply don’t regard the services I get as equal to that percentage.

      And by the way, deduction of health insurance is fairly recent. I really resented all the talk of National Health care going on in the 90’s when I still was taxed on my health insurance, which I have always paid for out of pocket.

      >Who paid for you to go to school?

      My parents and I did.

      I did have student loans for college, which I think were issued by the government. Those were paid back, with interest. At the time there was essentially no penalty for defaulting on those loans. I am one of a small percentage of those in that time who actually paid back his student loans. In that sense not only was I paying back my education costs ( the loans amounted to 25% of my college costs for four years, they were taken out for tax reasons ) but I was subsidizing others as well!

  • Anonymous

    How is it you get everything wrong?
    Have YOU been to Bridgeport Village? Cars are not kept to the perimeter. Parking runs through much of it immediately infront of shops and restaurants. Yes it’s a commercial success. Far more than any government tax subsisidized flop. And there’s no “so far” about it. It’s also a build your way out of congestion as the redsign and added street capacity made it all work without ANY rail transit, smart growth or central planning schemes.

    Our other shopping malls such as Tannasborne, Washington Square and CTC work well too becasue they are auto oriented. Beaverton Crossings is a huge success while down the street at the Beaverton Round the planner’s mixed use transit oriented scheme flops again with another developer default.

    Yet you add in cars “left at some distance” to try and make some correlation to the other pedestrain/transit mall model.

    Just more deanism

    • dean

      Rupert…I think it is you who does not understand the difference between ‘creating wealth and taking it.” Public roads “create wealth” by facilitating trade. As do public ports, dredged by public dredges or contracts. As do railroads built through government land grants. Public education creates wealth by creating more highly productive citizens. Publicly funded basic science research creates wealth by establishing the basis for new products. The internet was largely developed by public institutions. nuclear energy was invented by the government. The land we live on was secured by force or treaty by the government from the original inhabitants. The list is long, and you choose to ignore it or explain it away.

      Wealth is “co-created.” Some is created by individual initiative or invention, but many of these initiatives would be impossible but for the platform established through investment in public infrastructure and institutions. This is where your political philosophy has a blind spot. You imagine “government” as some sort of thief taking your money to waste on stupid things. Welll sometimes it does waste our money on stupid things. Sometimes things you think are worthwhile government endevours I find to be utter wastes (Iraq war). But sweeping your arm across the sky and declaring all government projects to be wasteful only reveals your own conceptual limitations. Stating that you are against greater government efficiency is simply bizzare, and is a demonstration of why conservatives trying to run government has been an utter failure.

      Government would “Not last 2 seconds without the taxpayers.” Okay, ask yourself how long would the taxpayers last, and what would the quality of our lives be without government? We have a mutual dependency here. It is not one or the other.

      And by the way…you don’t pay for that water inspector in Detroit, so what in the world does that have to do with anything?

      Anonymous person. Yes, I have been to Bridgeport Village. There are two intersecting pedestrian only streets in the center, with cars kept to edge parking lots and a parking garage that I believe was publicly subsidized. The model they used is very clearly that of an Italian village pedestrian zone. And every mall you cite has pedestrian only streets with cars kept some distance away. What is the difference between those examples and converting a few downtown streets into pedestrian only?

      I agree Beaverton Round has been a flop. I think the planners got ahead of the market and appear stuck with a bad public and private investment. There are also countless flopping privately built mini malls around the region and nation. Not every idea works. Government did not design and build the Edsel.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        Well, like I said, no point in arguing because you simply don’t understand wealth creation as I stated before and given your examples.

        A public road or does not create wealth, individuals using the road do.

        >Government would “Not last 2 seconds without the taxpayers.” Okay, ask yourself how long would the taxpayers last, and what would the quality of our lives be without government? We have a mutual dependency here. It is not one or the other.

        Inane, poor reading skills. I never argued it was either or.

        Inane, given our past history. We had no income tax prior to WW1.

        >And by the way…you don’t pay for that water inspector in Detroit, so what in the world does that have to do with anything?

        Inane, given that you didn’t read what I wrote. I was pointing out how flawed your logic was. I am not going to go through it again because of your poor reading skills.

      • Rupert in Springfield


        I never said this. I said quite the opposite.

        >But sweeping your arm across the sky and declaring all government projects to be wasteful only reveals your own conceptual limitations.

        Stop engaging in literary masturbation – arguing against points no one but you is making.

        Stop accusing others of saying the first inanity that pops into your head.




        • dean

          Rupert…the income tax in the US was first imposed in 1861. long before WW1.

          Learn to look things up. And learn to own up to what you actually write.

    • Chris McMullen

      The resident Marxist just loves too throw around unsubstantiated claims. Such as the Bridgeport Village subsidy, which there was none of. The intersection of Boones Ferry and i-5 was expanded, which was needed before Bridgeport ever went in. But that doesn’t really count as a subsidy, since it’s paid with user fees.

      He also doesn’t get that government was originally designed for basic services. When they stick their nose into social engineering projects, they almost always fail.

      Beaverton Round ahead of the market?? What an amazingly stupid statement.

      • dean

        Chris…your resident marxist here. The Durham quarry, site of Bridgeport Village, was owned by Washington County for decades. The entire development was a “public-private partnership,” including rezoning of the site for commercial purposes and providing the public funds for the highway improvements. I believe the price of the land was leveraged against certain amenities provided by teh developer, including the parking garage. Don’t you just hate that? Dang government interfering with private enterprise again.

        I did not even know that government “was originally designed.” I thought it evolved out of the historical fact that people live in communities, not as individuals, and have always needed ways to manage the affairs of the group for the benefit and preservation of the group.

        And tell me: how is maintaining a road system for cars any less social engineering than maintaining a road system for pedestrians? In the former case, isn’t government simply social engineering people to be car drivers, whether they want to be or not?

  • Richard Brown

    Anybody up for a protest. If we can get 30 cars were should circle Portland state during the conference. Horns honking or so.

    I lived car free form 1980 to 2001. Mostly due Navy carer from 1980 to 1992 and a personal choice in Portland from 1992 to my first drivers license ever in 2001. The tripling point was in 1997 with the opening of the West side light (lol) rail and dropping of good bus routs as in 59 and 89 to downtown. I face 1.5 to 3 hour commutes each way. But worst is the realization is all this anti car bs is a bunch of little dictators wanting to make me and everybody in Portland ward to the state elitist .

  • Rupert in Springfield

    I never said I was against all government. You simply have poor debate skills, cant read, and when called on it you run off and cry

    Income tax – The current US income tax, which is clearly what I was talking about, was imposed under the 16th amendment in 1913. No I will not consider a childish point about temporary income taxes, to fund specific things prior to that.

    Yet again, you are proven to be one who cant read, cant look things up and cant admit when he was wrong.

    You claimed I was against all government. I said nothing of the kind in that post and in an immediate response, posted before yours, I even explicitly said I was not against all government. Yet you go on to say I said I’m against all government because you simply can not read.

  • David

    Rupert wrote:
    >>Who paid for you to go to school?

    > My parents and I did.

    And the first 12 years? The entire community paid, through their property taxes. Your student loans — subsidized by the federal government. My parents paid higher taxes so you could get a cheaper college loan. How is that fair?

    • dean

      Rupert…of course it was obvious you deliberately omitted the income tax Americans paid from 1861 to 1870 something. It is my fault that I failed to read your invisible words. Your thought was clearly there all along. SoI admit I was wrong for failing to read your mind.

      I claimed you said all government SPENDING was wasted. I did not say you were against all government. You actually wrote that MOST government spending was wasted, particularly SSI. I stand corrected. But only barely.

      And if I can’t reed, then how kum I kin right?

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >Rupert…of course it was obvious you deliberately omitted the income tax Americans paid from 1861 to 1870 something.

        Fine, you have made your childish obtuse point. Yes, apparently you are the one person in the entire universe who when someone speaks of the income tax, immediately assumes the speaker is not talking of the current income tax, but rather a prior temporary one. Great, here’s your lolly pop.

        >You actually wrote that MOST government spending was wasted, particularly SSI. I stand corrected. But only barely.

        No, you were wrong entirely because you cant read. Most is not at all the same as all.

        >And if I can’t reed, then how kum I kin right?

        I don’t think you can write. You rarely support any of your positions with substantive data, call people constantly on theirs, and when its provided you change the subject. You cant admit when you were wrong with any grace whatsoever. And you actually maintain that virtually any word is interchangeable with another, all is the same as most, three is the same as all. With a lexicon as confused and muddled as yours, I would not say your writing ability is of any caliber whatsoever.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      >And the first 12 years? The entire community paid, through their property taxes.

      They did? In what manner shape or form did they do that? I have never attended a public school in my life. I owe the society nothing for my education. Society owes my parents for they were taxed to pay for others schooling while in addition paying for my education.

      >Your student loans — subsidized by the federal government.

      You might have a point to some degree here, but I think it probably amounts to very little in monetary terms. I took out a total of $10,000 in loans. Those loans had to be paid over a ten year period. The interest rate was around 7%. Average Mortgage rates in that period were around 13%. Thus, taking the difference between the two we come up with 5%. This is being very conservative, since I am using a mortgage rate, which is usually twice the time frame of the ten year period I had to pay back the loan. That longer time period results in comparing my student loan interest rate to a higher rate than is probably right to compare, but, just to find out the maximum I was subsidized, lets use it. $10,000 at 5% results in a total interest paid of $2,721.71 hundred dollars.

      Ok – So my education in college was subsidized by the government a maximum of $2727.71.

      I can tell you for a fact that that amount is less than my parents paid in just property taxes in just one year in New York City. Therefore, no subsidy in the aggregate was had.

      >My parents paid higher taxes so you could get a cheaper college loan.

      Unless I miss my guess, all college loans were at the same rate if they were through the student loan program. I didn’t get a cheaper one. If you did not go to college, then yes, you may be right here. However my parents subsidized others far more than the vast majority of the population since we qualified for absolutely no other financial aid, benefit or program other than that and never used public schools at all. If you went to public school, and even if you lived in another state, through the federal portion of education dollars my parents paid higher taxes for that, than what yours might have for my $2,727.71 subsidy.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      Sure wish I could remember to hit the reply button. See below.

      • David

        > Ok – So my education in college was subsidized by the
        > government a maximum of $2727.71.

        Rupert, you are so willingly blind. Colleges and universities everywhere get huge federal grants to do research (a percentage of which goes right to supporting the university, which lowered your tuition). States give money directly to schools to offset expenses and tuition. Localities often discount or eliminate the property taxes that would otherwise be paid by the university, which lowered your tuition. All th is money means other people paid higher taxes so you could go to college more cheaply. Individuals give money to universities in lieu of having it taxed by the government, which lowered your tuition. Through taxpayer money, state and federal governments build the roads your drove, walked, or cycled on to get to school. Through taxes and regulations, they provided clean water for you to drink and clean air for you to breathe. I could go on.

        And, by the way, 13-7=6, not 5.

        • Rupert in Springfield

          >And, by the way, 13-7=6, not 5.

          Duh, yep, you’re right. Obviously not a good idea to be doing amortization calcumalations at midnight. OK, so probably my total subsidy was closer to three grand, I don’t feel like doing the math again.

          >States give money directly to schools to offset expenses and tuition.

          Actually they don’t as it would be illegal in my case . I went to private schools up until twelfth grade, The first was through 7th grade and it was Episcopalian, from then on to 12th grade I went to a Quaker school. Now I don’t have their ledger books in front of me, but my bet is any use of taxpayer funds for religious based schools at that time would have been a big no no. Believe me, the ACLU has a bit of a presence in NYC.

          In addition, my parents paid full boat at these schools up until grade 12, which were quite expensive ( my high school cost then about as much as a private college, $10k per year. ). Those schools offered scholarships. Therefore they subsidized plenty of students directly, as well as removing them from the public school roles. They also subsidized students in the public schools since they paid taxes for them, but did not avail themselves of them. The idea that somehow I was still subsidized through the non payment of property taxes by my schools is guesswork on your part, as you don’t have any idea what the subsidy of those property taxes amounts to in my individual case. Its probably a losing bet in any event as my parents, with the exception of the student loan, which I repaid, not them, then went on to pay full boat for college, again subsidizing students on scholarships. The case you are making, that the subsidizing by my parents of others, is surmounted by the absence of property taxes etc. is pure guess work on your part, as I doubt you have any such figures worked out. That supposition on your part, that doesn’t constitute blindness on my part, it merely means I don’t agree with your guess.

          I owe society nothing for my education as society did nothing, other than the subsidizing of the student loan interest, to pay for it. Society owes my parents big time, as they taxed them directly to pay for the education of others.

          • dean

            This is in response to Chris 12.2.1.

            Let’s assume you have it exactly correct. That Bridgeport Village was developed entirely with private investment, and that the county sold the land to the developer at above appraised value, and that the devloper also had to do $8.5 million in road improvements.

            Doesn’t that suggest to you, Rupert and other government can’t do anything right bashers that we actually have some pretty smart people in government who negotiated this deal? And doesn’t that call into question your core political philosophy?

            If not…explain.

          • Chris McMullen

            I do have it exactly correct. You did your usual assumptions and provided no reputable cites. You got schooled. Suck it up and deal with it.

            It’s really sad to see someone so completely blinded by their ideology that they can’t even admit they made up some bullsqueeze to make their point.

            The only accolades the county deserves is that they allowed private market forces to work — pretty much a no-brainer for anybody with a GED. Hopefully, they learned something. Unfortunately, wacko-greenie Marxists like you berate developments like Bridgeport because they don’t abide by Metro’s asinine “multi-modal transportation” dictums.

            Good thing government got something right. Considering most of them get compensated more than the private sector, you’d think they’d do it more often.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Sure, its really easy to explain. I personally don’t know of anyone, myself included who believes in the philosophy you impute to us. Saying government should not be involved in this particular activity or that does not constitute bashing and it does not constitute a belief that government does everything wrong. You probably just have different beliefs than I as to what government should be involved in. You want far more extensive and intrusive government, I want less.

  • Jerry

    In every instance of recorded history less government has ALWAYS been better for the governed. There is not one example where this is not true. Think about it.
    Not one.
    The more you live your life rather than have others live it for you the better off you are. Simple concept. Hard to grasp for the do-gooder, communists among us.

    • dean

      Jerry…Sierre Leone. Ivory Coast. Somalia. these are just a few places within recent history where the people clearly have not benefited from “less government,” unless being killed by armed gangs is preferable to government in your rather extreme world view.

      Rupert…I do not want more intrusive government….i.e. the Patriot Act, further restrictions on abortion rights, prevention of adult couples getting married and so forth. I do want more helpful, more efficient, more responsive, more environmentally protective, better managed government. Government is an instrument of society to accomplish what can’t be better accomplished through individual or private means. Nothing more or less than that. I don’t reflexivley favor it, nor do I hold it in contempt. You have written in the past that you don’t want more efficient government, you just want less of it. This is what I find odd about your philosophy.

  • Chris McMullen

    “Sierre Leone. Ivory Coast. Somalia…”

    It’s called civil war, Marxist. And for a liberal to act like he’s for a strong police force and military is laughable.

    • dean

      So….did Jerry mean to say “In every instance of recorded history less government has ALWAYS been better for the governed” … except in times of civil war? Okay…how about oh…the 1000 years after the fall of the Roman Empire. A great period of history with virtually no functioning central governments and thousands of self-helping halets and villages built up on hills behind protective walls. The good old days Chris?

      And Chris…what am I now, a “liberal” or a “Marxist?” These are mutually exclusive political categories by definition. Read your Poly-Sci 101 text book.

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