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March 29, 2011



Blacks hate being a very small minority. That is why there are few AFrican-American in Hawaii even though the state is the most diverse in the U.S. and Honolulu is urban with public transportation and is warm.

Blacks live where there are black churches, black hair salons, black restaurants, and enough black stores. Also, most blacks would rather attend a crummy school that is 35% black than attend a great school that is 2% black.

Minorities can network in urban areas where they cannot is rural and exurb areas.

Not quite the question you asked before.

Its a bit tough for the poor to live completely rural because it implies they are on a lot of land. With lower density their cost must go up.

Why do blacks, who arent all poor, live in cities? Because they like being employed by government, and government jobs are located in cities. That employed class then creates programs and polices that aid the minority poor in the town.

"So we see, creating public transportation is the worst thing a city can ever do."

Well maybe not the worst thing. But it is a slippery slope. A bad thing to do is to "create a mix of affordable housing" which municipalities often pressure developers to do. The initial occupants may be fine but then they try to help out their less savory relatives who bring their bad life styles with them and things start going down hill.

"The reason why the poor like public transportation is that it’s cheaper than owning a car (which has high fixed costs). The reason why rich people like cars is because it’s faster per mile than public transportation"

I worked with people who made 3x what I did in PDX. They took the bus, I drove even though I had access to public transport.

That seemed really strange to me, but maybe I was the outlier. The reason I WON'T take public transport is because it's gross. The fact that it takes longer is a consideration but secondary.

Once in college I took a Greyhound and, I swear, the couple in front of me was fucking, fucking on a Greyhound bus. Now that's HBD, but they were white.

What happens when self driving google cars make public transport obselete?

Most poor vote in mandates rather than benefits. In chicago, the landlord/tenant law is very anti-landlord. This just makes landlords become more particular about who they rent to and raises rents.

That's an interesting thought, public transportation causing poor people to migrate. Maybe monthly bus passes should be priced to be equivalent to the payment on a new car instead, rides raised to $5 per ticket.

I think I'm approaching upper middle class and yet even though I own a car still like the *ideal* of public transportation. Which probably makes me somewhat SWPL sadly. This is probably due to using the bus so frequently when I was a student.

But I hated the bus! Except for maybe 10% of the riders, everyone looked like they had experienced some sort of traumatic life failure. These "poor people" certainly are causing the demand for public transportation, vs. strictly NAMs, since 90% of the people I've ever met on the bus are "poor" people, though not necessarily monetarily.

Some are poor because their beater is in the shop, some because their entire life has come unhinged and they babble to themselves all day long.

But where would they all go if public transportation were suddenly (ok, gradually) removed? Taxis? Trains? Perhaps like poor Asian countries they all ride those dirty little motorcycle/vespa things? That can't work because the distances are too great in North America, not to mention, half of it is freezing in the winter. Only SWPLs buy a Vespa to travel through an urban community for 5 days of the year.

So I'm wondering HS: When public transportation is taken away, where do the poor people go?

It's certainly not that simple - Boston has one of the best public transportation networks in the US, Detroit has almost none. Yet a lot more poor people live in Detroit. In Washington DC the neighborhoods with access to the metro are often pretty desirable. Philadelphia has a crappy public transportation network - and lots of poor people. New York's great subway system is not attracting poor people to the Upper East Side. In fact, I think you have it exactly backwards - public transportation doesn't attract poor people to the city, it gives the poor people already in the city an affordable way to leave their neighborhoods and go visit, or even move to, white neighborhoods outside the city. This is why poor people in NY can live in South Jamaica Queens, or Newark and still come in to Manhattan to service the upper class. This is why Georgetown, the affluent neighborhood inside DC, fought against a metro stop. Public transportation is good for the cities, and very bad for the suburbs.

Peter A, if you had read the paper, you would see that in public-transportation cities, the rich live in the very center because they value short commutes, and the poor live in a ring around the center because the inner ring has access to public transportation, while the rich once-gain live in the outer suburbs which are only car-accessible.

Also, one shouldn't necessarily assume that public transportation is synonymous with subways. Poor people ride buses, and lots of cities have bus routes.

I just wanted to note that the vicious cycle you mention only applies to places with democratic governments. With no voting privileges, the poor can't change the existing level of government benefits. Thus places like Singapore, where rapid transit exists all over the nation, aren't as susceptible to the effect.

China is another example of course. In fact, there are plenty of middle class residents of cities opposed to democracy simply because they fear the vast numbers of inland poor would immediately demand wealth redistribution.

"The reason why the poor like public transportation is that it’s cheaper than owning a car "

I think it's not just absolute price. Having a car requires saving money to buy a car; having good enough credit to finance a car; making monthly payments on time; having a cash reserve or a credit card to pay for repairs; and so forth.

These are all things that poor people, particularly poor blacks, are not very good at.

"New York's great subway system is not attracting poor people to the Upper East Side."

An interesting example, given that subway service on the Upper East Side is among the worst in Manhattan, limited to one grossly overcrowded line.

"Poor people ride buses, and lots of cities have bus routes."

So what? That's where the paper falls flat. The marginal cost of putting in buses is very low - and buses tend to follow poor people. When people talk about investing in public transportation they usually mean rail. I think the paper actually supports my contention - I suppose it partially defends how you define "city". The paper argues that metro stops in affluent suburbs of DC have caused more poor people to migrate to those neighborhoods. And the same in NYC where the poor congregate around subway stops in Queens and the Bronx. I.e., the poor are following public transportation out of the inner city and into the suburbs. I don't see any evidence that public transportation causes the poor to live in cities (and maybe my definition is more narrow than your), I do see evidence that good public transportation may distribute the poor over a greater area in a metropolitan region, making life worse for more non-poor people outside the city proper. What the paper fails to recognize is that public transportation is not attracting rural and suburban blacks into inner cities - they were already there. The public transportation is just spreading them around the city.

Come down here to Atlanta and take a ride on our heavy rail system where we have musical "performers" like this lovely lady:


"Another reason to stay away from public transportation in large cities:


Actually, being a bus rider was fortunate in that instance. They were in a large, heavy vehicle that offered them considerable protection when the speeding car slammed into it.

Public transport in Europe is great because most cities have few minorities, except London, Paris etc.. Or course, Europe is getting worse. What a pleasure it would be to live in a middle class town with all whites, or 95 % white, and good public transport. Bern, Geneva or Milan sound good.

It's too bad white people can't live in affordable housing without Nams.

A Glaeser paper you might like even more (and I'm pretty sure I've linked here a while back) is The Curley Effect: The Economics of Shaping the Electorate

I live in Jersey City. Tons of poor blacks and poor hispanics have cars. Saw the same when I lived in Philadelphia and Dallas.

Rich people like cities, too, because jobs that make you rich are concentrated in the centers of big cities. But the schools in many cities suck because the kids of poor people are allowed to misbehave, so almost-rich people move out to keep their kids in decent schools. (Rich people just put their kids in private schools.) If there was some way to actually enforce good behavior by poor kids in schools, there would be a lot more gentrification, and cities would end up with lots more rich and almost-rich people inside them.

This reminds me of the occasional study that reaches conclusions that soda will make you fat and that the sky is some shade of blue and that air is only good for you if you breathe it.

"In chicago, the landlord/tenant law is very anti-landlord."

It's exactly the same in Boston, NYC, London and probably every other major (liberal) city. The law in these places allows tenants to get away with murder.

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