Monday, August 27, 2012

Ammunition Against the War on Suburbs

Wendell Cox's piece at titled "Regionalism:  Spreading the Fiscal Irresponsibility" is a must-read for those on the suburban side of the alleged War on Suburbs.

It's great ammunition, actually, in any debate where cutting up a piece of the pie favors big cities over their smaller counterparts.  Facts always make great ammunition.

Metropolitan areas are mostly suburban areas.  Too often, the core city of a MSA is perceived as the dominate populator.  The truth, often, is that it is not. Wendell's piece says, "America is a suburban nation. Nearly three-quarters of the residents of major metropolitan areas (over 1,000,000 population) live in suburbs, most in smaller local government jurisdictions. Further, outside the largest metropolitan areas most people live in suburbs, smaller towns or smaller local government jurisdictions.."

Smart growth is neither smart, nor growth.  The Ohio experience is that smart growth tends to be biased towards density for density's sake and anti-suburban.  Smart growth, in Ohio, tends to miss the fact that infrastructure is needed to accommodate growth and expand the tax base so that previous infrastructure can be maintained.  Cox writes, "Smart growth, from our research, also is associated with higher housing prices, a lower standard of living, greater traffic congestion and health threats from more intense local air pollution."

Regionally-concentrated decision making does not automatically promote growth or save costs.  The chart on Cox's piece makes this point very well.  His charts provide facts proving that smaller governments, per capita, perform services for lower costs sums it up:  "The superior performance [of smaller governments] stems from the reality that smaller governments are closer to the people, and decision-making tends more to reflect their interests more faithfully than in a larger jurisdictions."

Now, armed.

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