50 years ago, United States declared a “War on Poverty”.
For much of the last 30 years, the State of Minnesota has been actively pursuing a top-down housing policy, aggressively trying to jiggle the “mix” of housing found in communities that grew up organically over the course of a century and a half.
And for almost 20 years, the cities have been extremely aggressively squeezing out private market “low income housing”, while “investing” heavily in public low income housing.
In schools in the Twin Cities crummier neighborhoods have been terrible for nobody knows how long.
What do all of these things have in common, besides being functions of the cultural left?
The attempt to use politics to solve social problems.
So it’s perhaps ironic that Myron Orfield, the patron Saint of the dismal, discredited political “art” of “urban planning”, comes perilously close to blaming the right thing – politics – for once in one of his studies.
He’s it cited in the MinnPost::
Specifically, Orfield and his co-authors from the institute — Will Stancil, Thomas Luce and Eric Myott — blame policies and practices that redirected affordable housing programs from mostly white suburbs back to segregated neighborhoods in Minneapolis, St. Paul and first-tier suburbs such as Brooklyn Center and Richfield.
“You can build affordable housing in poor neighborhoods,” he said during an interview this week, “you just shouldn’t build all of it [there].”
Absolutely not. Why, you “should” build low income housing in West Bloomington, and Southwest Edina, and North Oaks, and Kenwood!
Except since the policy is entirely driven by politics, the people with political clout decide how the policy will be implemented. And the people in those DFL-addled areas have decided that poverty is just too hard on their property values.
In the meantime – driven by the same sorts of policies that the likes of Orfield have been peddling to cities for close to a generation – Minneapolis and St. Paul have been making it virtually impossible to be a successful private market landlord in either city. Meaning “affordable housing” is almost exclusively provided by the government – at two or three times its market value.
The DFL takes the likes of Myron Orfield very seriously (except, of course, for putting “affordable housing” next door to their leadership’s homes). The next paragraph explains why I don’t:
The study also repeats an argument Orfield has put forward before: that charter schools re-create school segregation by creating institutions that are too often mostly black or, increasingly, mostly white. “I don’t think the public schools in segregated neighborhoods have been doing very well for a long time,” he said in an interview this week. “I think they’re bad schools. I don’t defend them at all. But the sad thing is, the charters are worse.”
The difference – and it takes someone as highly educated as Myron Orfield to miss it – is this: charter schools are voluntary. They are a free market (well, free-market-ish) response to the rot and decay in our school systems. Unlike the wretched inner-city public schools, nobody forces anybody to go to them. They succeed or fail on their own merits – unlike, again, public schools.
Perhaps poor parents know something that highly educated experts like Orfield don’t; that forcing kids to be proxies for their adults “discussion on race” may make academics like Orfield feel good, but it does nothing for their children’s futures.