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Thread: Blog article - How sprawl is like Bernie Madoff

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus
    Jun 2003

    Blog article - How sprawl is like Bernie Madoff


    Sprawl development, says my analyst friend Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns, is basically a Ponzi scheme of its own. Municipalities chase tax revenues by extending infrastructure to accommodate new taxpayers. They borrow money to pay for the infrastructure. But, in order to repay their creditors, they need still more revenue, prompting them to chase more development, requiring yet more infrastructure, perpetuating the obligations.
    Interesting definition.

    Could you agree with this ?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
    May 2005
    New Town
    I think that is a pretty good assessment. Its one of the dynamics that perpetuates leapfrog development: a city puts the breaks on development at its fringe to get a handle on growth and expenses. But then the county that is outside of that boundary encourages development to capture the tax revenue to address their already strapped ability to maintain roads, infrastructure, schools, etc. And on and on we go, paying the debt forward.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  3. #3
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Yes. Guess what happens when 400,000 jobs disappear in one decade? Detroit

    I was listening to WSU's big boss speak last night. He put it plainly as and I paraphrase "of the 2 million jobs that the US lost last decade, Michigan lost 1,000,000 of them, or as much as the other 49 states combined."

    We Maddoffed.

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