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E-M:/ Fw: Socialism and Smart Growth

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2003 9:07 AM
Subject: Socialism and Smart Growth

What "commissars" is Mr. Bray referring to?  ("Land-use proposals have socialist seeds", May 25)  They don't exist.  Mr. Bray claims "Smart Growth" just a misleading slogan, because nobody is supposedly for "dumb" growth.  In reality, it seems like the economic and political powers-that-be in Michigan have strongly supported "dumb" growth for a long time, as indicated by our rotting inner cities and core suburbs, and inadequate infrastructure, destruction of natural features like wetlands, and pollution runoff problems associated with the spreading outer ring, the very situation that led to widespread calls for land use reform.   Mr. Bray doesn't criticize the objectives of the new Governors' Land Use Council: "sustainable communities, a sustainable quality of life, sustainable economic growth, sustainable development."  Instead, he says some unspecified (and nonexistent)"commissars" will decide what is sustainable and what is not.  Invoking "socialism"  is an old corporate/Big Government trick to avoid debating real issues on their merits.  It's been nearly 15 years since the Soviet Union collapsed.  This kind of redbaiting is laughable, and betrays Mr. Bray's profound contempt for democracy.  Mr. Bray should engage with the public policy debates of the 21st century.  Instead of his tired rehetoric: "vague concepts are being used by Greens to trump the age-old property rights at the heart of Anglo-Saxon liberty and prosperity. Karl Marx would have loved it," Mr. Bray should focus on constructive proposals for improved land use policies in Michigan.  His ideological tirade is an abuse of the rhetorical and media power he wields.  
Tom Stephens
Guild/Sugar Law Center
733 St. Antoine, 3rd Floor
Detroit, Michigan 48226 USA
(313) 962-6540
(Fax) (313) 962-4492
The link is: http://www.detnews.com/2003/editorial/0305/25/a15-173444.htm