Friday, September 18, 2009

Growth Machine Hack Makes a Dishonest Case

...against the Florida Hometown Democracy Amendment (FHD).

And I rebut, in all my fearsome anonymous impotency:

Price is a South FL growth-machine whore and (so sez the google) a booster for a local pol Al Gore in '04 publicly called out as the "single most treacherous and dishonest person I dealt with during the [2000] campaign anywhere in America.".


To digress, that's uber-Dem, face-of-the-party Al Gore, calling out an '04 Democratic Senatorial candidate as a scumbag. The smackdown (contributing to Penelas getting a sickly 10% showing in the primary) becomes much more understandable when one finds this human genital wart ennabled the FL recount debacle generally and the proto-Teabagger turdblossoms behind the 'Brooks Brothers riot' specifically.

This crime against humanity--after all, we're talking about the shameful handing of global hegemony over to the Worst Preznit Ever--apparently was done--by a nominal Democrat, mind you--in payback for the Clinton admin's temerity to have insisted on the lawful return of the orphaned Elian Gonzalez to his Cuban father (Penelas is a South Florida Cuban-American politico, with all the hyperventilated anti-Castro pearl-clutching there implied).

Anyway, Price hates FHD because it'll cause hundred-page-long ballots come election time (though, of course, it won't, and only and idiot or a scoundrel would say so). It'll suppress turnout. It'll expect too much of simpleton voters unable to tell their political asses from holes in the ground even where the well being of their communities and home values are at stake, and would generally undermine all the hard work behind the "necessary illusion" that our political system is a democracy with popular sovereignty.

FHD hates America, you see.

So I sez to the guy, I sez (with some additions):

"Land-use issues are best left to the legislative process, which has sufficient safeguards to ensure due process."

Ye old Lord High King-Shyte "Chairman" Price (apt surname indeed) wrote the above line, and one has to applaud the chutzpah. To lay such a raw turd into the middle of this piece is really something. Note that it's exactly this bald faced lie, along with a poisonous cynicism that allows
(1) this shill to openly peddle it, and
(2) this paper (the Sun Sentinel) to provide a public space for the dissemination of it's transparent dead-wrongness which FHD exists as a reaction to.

And really, whatever one wants to say in favor of a land use regime that remains the exclusive (and demonstrably capture-prone) purview of technocrats and state and local political is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING LIKE an argument in pursuit of "democratic goals" [Price finishes his blathering with an empty Mr-Smith-goes-to-Washington-ism about the valiant 'democratic goals' that FHD is obsessed to destroy].

Literally and precisely, this garbage is the "antithesis" of democracy.

Bear in mind also, that there's always the (weirdly hissy-fit inducing) solution of simply PLAYING BY THE GODDAMN COMP PLAN RULES.

FHD is nothing more than a democratic "trigger", pulled only...ONLY...ONLY in cases where developers find it necessary to insist that a carefully-crafted (with ample developer input!) set of land use rules--the local Comprehensive Planning document--be bent, folded, spindled, or mutilated for their profit.

If such a desired change can be demonstrated as being in the community-in-question's best interest (i.e. more or better
jobs, higher home values, enhanced quality of life is likely to result)...then super! The community will obviously give a green light to the changes, justice will be served, the 'suffocating embrace' of bureaucratism will have been effectively failsafed, and everybody wins.

Where something less noble is found to be at work--Price would say 'more complex', because he's an asshole, and because it is indeed "complicated" work to get a democratic blessing on rule changes that have no public interest component--voters will take a pass.

The FHD will set local growth management systems' 'default' setting to 'off'. An arrangement consistent with the much-lauded 'natural conservatism' and risk aversion of American voters. Developers unable to make the sale with the locals...lose. This is, in a nutshell, why FHD incentivizes better, smarter, more equitable and innovative development. It puts to developers the public's question, "What's in this for us?".

The real problem Price's clients have isn't that FHD would be more work for VOTERS, but that it'll be more work for DEVELOPERS. And the outfits who's 'comparative market advantage' is in cranking out the crappiest, ugliest projects in the least time...those guys are slated for the cleansing fire of 'creative destruction'. Price's clients, in an FHD-enacted environment, will be unable to retreat into the sausage-making of unaccountable political bargains, and instead have to add to their standard operating procedures the job of making a public case for bending growth management rules transparently designed in the public interest.


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