Re: CULTURE: Interesting Chicago Statistics

From: James Rogers (
Date: Wed Jan 03 2001 - 13:30:33 MST

At 12:01 PM 1/3/01 -0800, Olga Bourlin wrote:
>There are cruelly real problems in Chicago and in many of our cities -
>warning people to stay away from the troublesome areas addresses
>survivability of the individuals to whom the post is being sent, but the
>deeper problems will keep growing until people/politicians show they care
>about the survivability of our disenfranchised brothers and sisters.

The partitioning of cities into good and bad areas is the *result* of
society dealing with the problem effectively, short of banishing all the
riff-raff to some remote colony. These people have to go somewhere; where
society/culture has been effective at reducing riff-raff in their midsts
you have good areas, and different degrees of "badness" in the rest
depending on how concentrated the riff-raff ejected from the good areas
actually are. The best solution is to let people move freely and deal with
the problem on their own turf.

Of course, it seems that you are coming from the arguably absurd position
that "bad" areas don't need to exist. Unfortunately, as long as riff-raff
exist, you'll have bad areas because creating the "good" areas also tends
to create the "bad" ones. It is pretty close to a zero-sum game no matter
how you organize the bodies in a free society (in a non-free society, you
have "other" choices for dealing with the problem). Over the years, you
see these dynamics happen in any city; some formerly bad areas become
better, while formerly good areas become worse. But I've never seen
anything resembling a free society where all the neighborhoods became
"good" without any areas becoming bad. Riff-raff happen and they have to
live somewhere.

-James Rogers

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