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There should be little sympathy for denizens of the Arthur Capper and Carrollsburg Dwellings in Southeast (“‘Hood Winked,” 9/27) who allege that they were hoodwinked by the D.C. Housing Authority and will ultimately be forced to move when those public housing projects are replaced by mixed-income town homes. If they had any sense at all, they’d have picked up and headed toward the lower-cost-of-living suburbs long ago.
Since animal life mastered locomotion, species—including humans—have instinctively migrated toward habitats in which they could more easily survive. In mobile, postwar America, the rich, poor, and middle class constantly relocate to pursue better real estate values and schools, lower costs of living, you name it.
Yet in still largely dysfunctional D.C., many who simply can’t afford to live in a major city seem oblivious to this trend. If they won’t change their behavior so as to escape poverty (and the District’s catastrophically high out-of-wedlock birthrate suggests they won’t), and they’re not smart enough to cut their living expenses in half with a voluntary move to Prince Georges County, North Carolina, or elsewhere, then three cheers for those deceitful devils at the DCHA for using any means necessary to move them along.
Cities always have been and will for the foreseeable future remain very competitive places to live and work. Why should the District be any different? When Sinatra sang about “New York, New York,” he declared, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere…” He did not sing, “If I can leverage liberal guilt into an infantilizing nanny-state subsistence there…”
The latest budget deficit offers an opportunity to begin rationalizing D.C.’s radically redistributive tax structure and nonsensical devotion to anti-Darwin government handouts. If we’re ever going to achieve tax parity with neighboring jurisdictions—and if we ever hope to teach people to stand on their own two feet—we’ve got to start less-than-subtly urging the poor to redistribute themselves throughout these other jurisdictions.
Loose Lips (9/27) quoted D.C. school-board member William Lockridge lamenting the deficit’s likely impact on children: “We’re living in a sea of sharks that puts politics over kids.” Damn right we are, Bill. And if those you’re worried about can’t or won’t swim with the sharks, they’d best get outta town.