betacity


subsidized space

For a country of people who are as interested in money as Americans are, one would think that understanding where debt comes from would be imperative. But in America the pursuit of happiness trumps pretty well everything else and money becomes funny money. So no one sees or talks about the elephant in the room: the obvious link between building inefficient environments and the amount of public and private debt we have. Chakrabarti puts it this way:

As I illustrate throughout these pages, our reckless subsidization of suburban sprawl is arguably the leading cause of our most pressing challenges, from foreclosures, to unemployment, to unfunded schools, to spiraling health-care costs, to climate change, to oil wars. Yet this overarching issue never surfaces in the national discourse. In election after election, our presidential candidates rarely utter the words “city” or suburb” in their speeches, as if the way in which Americans live is irrelevant to the state of the nation.

Vishaan Chakrabarti, A Country of Cities, p 19

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