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February 27, 2005

Progressives vs. Progress

Why is it that "progressive" types are so adamantly opposed to economic progress? Whether it's anti-globalists trying to keep the Third World from developing self-sustaining economies, or ecokooks insisting that economic growth grind to a halt so that it doesn't inconvenience wood lice, any sort of productive, wealth-generating activity seems to be fair prey for attacks from the Left.

This makes urban renewal a daunting task, especially given the prevalence of moonbattery in exactly the sort of decayed urban hellholes that are in most desperate need of it. For example, in the Real Estate section of today's New York Times, we learn about a righteous crusader who is "Battling A Developer's Mammoth Plans."

Unemployed "peace studies" major Dan Goldstein is the only resident of a converted warehouse in a crappy part of Brooklyn. Everyone else unfortunate enough to have lived in the building has taken advantage of an extremely generous offer by Forest City Ratner, the development company that is trying to convert this particular slum into a new home for the New Jersey Nets, in addition to office and apartment towers — a project that will draw significant revenue into a community in sore need of it. It's believed that residents were given double what they paid for their condos. But Goldstein apparently doesn't need the money, having socked away more than his share back when he worked for a living, for AOL during what calls "the go-go 90s."

Goldstein has lived in the building for only a year and half. For any reasonable person, this would be long enough. The dump suffers from construction defects that include poorly insulated pipes and boiler problems that left it without heat or water for a week and half during a cold snap last month.

Whether his self-righteous "local activist" pose is purely a bid to squeeze more cash out of the developers, or he really is kooky enough to think his neighborhood is better off with a slum than a development project that would draw hundreds of jobs to the area, he is doing all he can to make a costly nuisance of himself.

Fortunately the concept of imminent domain allows society to defend itself against obstructionist pests; otherwise we wouldn't have roads. If Goldstein is on the level (and not just waiting for a number he likes), tedious and expensive legal proceedings will eventually succeed in flushing this rat from its nest.

At least some lawyers will make a profit out of the whole pointless charade. And of course, Goldstein did manage to get his picture in the paper.


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Dan Goldstein: Deranged moonbat, or just pathologically greedy?

Posted by Van Helsing at February 27, 2005 06:41 PM

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