Stossel's "Myths, Lies and Nasty Behavior"

"They will probably do a combination of both public, private, parochial, secular. I want them to have the best possible education that I can provide for them," he said.

So, shouldn't Sylvia Lopez and Ivan Foster have the same options?

Lopez calls politicians hypocrites. "The legislators that send their kids to private schools, but don't think that we should have the power to do that, they're hypocrites.

And would the politicians ever send one of their kids to the public school in her Camden neighborhood? Lopez said, "No way. They would never send their children, their distant cousins. I doubt they would even send their dogs to get training from one of these public schools."

No. 2 -- MYTH -- Urban Sprawl Is Ruining America

Suburban sprawl is evil. The unplanned growth, cookie cutter developments is gobbling up all the space and ruining America. Right?

Wrong.

But in town after town, civic leaders talk about going to war! They want "smart growth." They say sprawl has wrecked lives.

So-called experts on TV say all sorts of nasty things about the changing suburban landscape.

James Kunstler, author of "The Geography of Nowhere," said, "Most of the country really is living in these mutilated and defective environments."

Kunstler and others say suburbs are despicable places. He calls them, "uniformly, low-grade miserably designed environments that make people feel bad." Even ABC News' "Nightline" ran a program called "America the Ugly."

What upsets many critics most is the loss of open space.

But is open space disappearing in America? No, that's a total myth. More than 95 percent of the country is still undeveloped.

You see it if you cross this country. Only a small percentage is developed. Yes, in some places, like some suburbs, there are often huge traffic jams.

But lots of people, while they don't like the traffic or the long commute to work, like where they live.

"I like that I have a nice piece of property, and I have privacy," one woman said.

Another said, "Even with all the congestion, it's a wonderful lifestyle."

The anti-sprawl activists say more Americans should live the way I do. I live in an apartment, and most days I walk or ride my bike to work. But should everyone have to live the way I do?

I like my lifestyle, but I chose it, voluntarily. Other people want to make different choices the critics don't call "ideal."

Some of the critics want to force my lifestyle onto others by limiting where they can build. Portland, Ore., for example. It's widely hailed for its so-called smart growth plan. A central bureaucracy approves all new development. A highway marks the boundary beyond which no new homes are permitted.

But of course that means the other side of the road is dense. The planners hoped the density would get people out of their cars, but it hasn't. And the price of land has skyrocketed.

Portland's great if you're rich. But if you're not, you may be squeezed out. Land prices went way up after land where building is permitted was limited. That's why smart growth is dumb.

I told Kunstler "smart growth" is destroying the lives of poor people, that he's basically telling low-income people who want back yards that they can't have one.

"Well, you can't have everything," Kunstler said.

They can't have back yards? Please! Remember, more than 95 percent of the country is undeveloped.

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