Call me crazy as I attempt to make sense of the purposeful confusion emitting from progressive forces that control government explanations for regional issues to national policy. To enlist the support of the electorate ultra liberals use words like sustainable, affordable, walkable, fair share, living wage, and smart growth to sell their schemes to a gullible public.
This phenomena has not escaped my friend Peter Singleton, who through his organization Bay Area Citizens, has fought the One Bay Area Plan being pushed by regional planning agencies including the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). In his slide show presentation Singleton comments:
To the extent you have heard about Plan Bay Area, the housing mandates, and associated plans and policies, you’ve heard them described with soothing platitudes like smart growth, affordable housing, and sustainable. These terms have all been carefully selected to create a positive emotional response in the public, while bypassing the public’s critical reasoning. After all, who could be against smart growth? I don’t know what smart growth means, but I know that I am for it, because to be against smart growth means that I must be for dumb growth.
That is, the people that are responsible here are the powerful people and interests who have directed these kinds of terms be created and used to sell, and obscure the objective reality of, these kinds of plans which so sharply limit our ability to live where and how we wish, and to travel the way we wish. I don’t blame the public for being manipulated like this–it’s the people doing the manipulation who are responsible for doing so.
These feel-good terms are simply propaganda tools to put folks in a hypnotic trance so progressives can pull the wool over the eyes of voters. What does “sustainable” actually mean other than existing resources can be recycled without bringing in new materials? Is this what stack and pack housing near transit hubs actually does? To me these projects are not very sustainable as government subsidies will always be needed to prop them up.
The same people talk about “sustainable job creation.” Other than more government positions, what could they possibly be talking about? Apparently it is assumed that private enterprise, which has been taxed and regulated to death in California, is supposed to provide jobs at “fair wages” for those who live in rent subsidized complexes where they can commute via heavily subsidized mass transit to a increasingly subsidized fictional days of employment.
In another segment of the fantasy world we are promised “walkable streets” which sounds good, but what does this really mean? Perhaps the term relates to a new government metric that is the length of time in minutes) that one can go on a stroll from your 15th story apartment in a Project Development Area (PDA) before getting mugged.
How much of a subsidy will to be needed to build and operate these utopian complexes that constitute an “affordable fair share?” Who determines what is a “fair” or “unfair share” or to do nothing? Of course it is the government who makes the rules and says what’s fair.
It is my guess there is an unelected individual sitting behind the curtain who determines when it should be Spare the Air Day. This same person or committee likely moonlights as a reality coordinator for the State Government to play the role of Judge Judy and tell consumers what is affordable and reasonable for taxpayers to purchase.
I would expect the same team evaluates what causes climate change. Using this terminology is much easier than having to prove the catastrophic anthropomorphic global warming theory (AGW) because that would require scientific evidence, not the hyper marketing of a phony consensus. Climate change evaluation only involves a vivid imagination as there is no way it can be disproven because weather changes on its own even without the assistance of mankind.
One aspect that has never been brought up is what would happen if so called climate change caused by humans was proven to improve the environment to provide more sunny days with a higher rainfall to assist in building up water supplies. What would happen then? Spare the Glare Day just doesn’t sound right.
Platitudes are not only limited to urban planning issues. In Washington D.C., controversy surrounds the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obama Care. As it is estimated this program will be running in the red by mega billions of dollars, so for whom will it end up being affordable? One guesses it will be for those recipients who don’t have to pay for it.
One thing for certain is that sticker shock for the ACA will not come until after the conclusion of the 2014 midterm elections as the back lash will not be “affordable” for those running as Democrats in Senate and Congressional races.
Using euphemistic rhetoric to promote public policies is little different than the tactics Madison Avenue uses to influence consumers to buy their products. Who in the world would ever believe Tom Shane is “Your friend in the diamond business,” or I would “like the way I looked” if dressed with a matching, shirt, trousers, belt, and shoes combo from the Men’s Warehouse in order to conform with approved, casual Friday attire?
How many “can’t miss” investment opportunities involving swamp lands in Florida or partnering up with a Nigerian Prince to procure the estate of a late oil magnate can there be? How does one measure what constitutes doubling your pleasure just is paying extra shipping and handling charges to procure the beauty secrets of Cindy Crawford or a year’s supply of Flex Seal?
In reality, many (but not all) of us know when we are being bamboozled. How many people think they will ever be contacted when a politician says “I’ll get back to you.” Sounds like a car salesman saying “trust me.” When one is dialing an 800 number world number and Chuck from Bombay says, “Your call is being recorded for quality control purposes,” can we be confident that he actually cares about us?
Does Round Table’s The last honest pizza actually exist? Are there lie detector tests in place that guarantees the integrity of pepperoni, anchovies, and extra cheese?
In short, things can be a bit confusing for those trying to make informed decisions on much of anything.
How many people who contribute to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) know it has a policy of euthanizing any household pet they have in their pocession that happens to be breathing?
Nothing is safe. Even the makers of Viagra warn of the perils of a “sustainable erection” that lasts over 4 hours that requires medical attention. Are we ever to be believe there is anything that involves world peace, or best value about anything?
Which brings us to the reality of all knowing experts who do nothing but dispense bad information. When these people bring forth their recommendations I can only strap on my P.F. Flyers and run like hell to find an affordable, smart, sustainable, and walkable solution to those trying to sell me a “fool proof” mouse trap that involves “some assembly required.”