And wherever you live, Washington DC is next door:
Apparently, President Obama thinks your neighborhood may not be inclusive enough, so he has instructed his Department of Housing and Urban Development to issue a new rule called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, which is designed to force communities to diversify.
According to the Obama administration, in too many neighborhoods “housing choices continue to be constrained through housing discrimination, the operation of housing markets, [and] investment choices by holders of capital.” (Yes, that is a quote from an actual HUD document, not a bad undergraduate thesis on Karl Marx.)
Agreed on the last point. At least “rich folks”, however phony, is, well, folksy. “Holders of capital” is straight out of East Germany. But I thought laws against housing discrimination were already on the books.
This is not about blocking housing discrimination, which has been illegal since 1968. It is unlawful for someone to deny you a loan or prevent you from buying a home because of your race, creed or color.
Under Obama’s proposed rule, the federal government will collect massive amounts of data on the racial, ethnic and socioeconomic makeup of thousands of local communities, looking for signs of “disparities by race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability in access to community assets.” Then the government will target communities with results it doesn’t like and use billions of dollars in federal grant money to bribe or blackmail them into changing their zoning and housing policies.
You could say this is a good idea. I don’t, even if I think the goal of diversity of “race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability” is creditable. But if it is a good idea, isn’t it the very heart of the matter for state government?
As the piece quotes Milton Friedman:
“If I don’t like what my local community does, be it in sewage disposal, zoning or schools, I can move to another local community. … If I don’t like what my state does, I can move to another. If I do not like what Washington imposes, I have few alternatives in this world of jealous nations.” Washington has no business imposing decisions about zoning and housing policies on thousands of local communities.
By extension, HUD is also compelling low-income minorities to live in overwhelmingly white communities, even though research has shown for decades that large majorities of blacks have no desire to live in all-white or even mostly white neighborhoods and strongly prefer to live where at least half of the other residents are black.
To which Obama says “that can be arranged”.
Since 1970, segregation has fallen significantly in every decade. In a 2012 paper for the Manhattan Institute, economists Edward Glaeser of Harvard and Jacob Vigdor of Duke wrote that “all-white neighborhoods are effectively extinct” and that the dominant trend in black neighborhoods is population loss.
I can speak for New York City. Where minority residents move out—in Brooklyn and Queens most notably—millennials move in. Populations move where their comfort, interest, and pocketbook take them. Much to Spike Lee’s chagrin.
Massive social engineering projects make everybody miserable. Forced busing comes first to mind. What was sometimes expressed as racism was the justifiable resentment of having one’s kids shipped across town rather than attend their school down the block. Now as then, liberals are ignorant about laudable ends and heavy-handed, Soviet-style means. Especially when the ends themselves are Soviet-style.