NIMBY vs. Big Box

Today’s Detroit News gives an account of a grassroots organization (Citizens for Orderly Growth) in the Michigan town of Independence Township who are begging – yes, begging – the local government to tax the whole town in order to 'protect' them against "sprawl", "big-box stores" and what has apparently become Satan to the anti-business Left – Wal-Mart.

At the time of posting, the pro-tax side is leading the CyberSurvey by a 3:1 margin (remember that Michigan is, after all, a "Blue" state), and its comments section is quite telling. It's not that I can't sympthize with the entire foundation of the NIMBY [Not In My Back Yard] argument. But while I admittedly understand the disappointment of seeing a wooded area around the corner from your house get torn down for a Home Depot or new subdivision, I get a kick out of the I-Can-Do-It-But-You-Can't crowd.

Haven't the ones complaining about sprawl contributed to it by moving from Point A (inner suburbs) to Point B (outer suburbs) to begin with? Don't the commentators who bitterly gripe about "big boxes", "hyper development" and "faceless corporations who destroy communities" have jobs in buildings and park on asphalt lots that contribute to the bland concrete jungle they so detest?

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[sarcasm]well, yes. your

[sarcasm]well, yes. your point being?[/sarcasm]

Well, just ignore the

Well, just ignore the cybersurvey, the Detnews polls always swing left. Michigan may well be a blue state, but it's really only Detroit tipping those scales.

Having never been there, you

Having never been there, you assumptions about North Oakland County (wherein lies Independence Twp) couldn't be more accurate.

North Oakland County is populated almost entirely by urban-sprawl, and the growth rate has been absolutely unprecedented. For the most part it is relatively wealthy, with a few exceptions, but yes, they all drive H2s, and commute an hour to Detroit or Flint every morning to work in the concrete jungle that affords them the ability to work an hour away from a home on a lake abutting a forest.

10 years ago, those houses weren't there. And I'm not talking a subdivision, I'm talking about thousands of residences in Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, Independence, Waterford, Clarkston, Lake Orion, Oxford, Etc. Five years ago, the strip malls weren't there, the gas stations weren't there, the movie theatres weren't here, the chines take-outs weren't there. The very people complaining the most are those who are most culpable for this particular issue.

Haven’t the ones

Haven’t the ones complaining about sprawl contributed to it by moving from Point A (inner suburbs) to Point B (outer suburbs) to begin with? Don’t the commentators who bitterly gripe about “big boxes", “hyper development” and “faceless corporations who destroy communities” have jobs in buildings and park on asphalt lots that contribute to the bland concrete jungle they so detest?

I agree with your overall point, but these are not contradictions. If the government is creating a bad incentive, one can respond rationally to the incentive while simultaneously protesting it.