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Re: E-M:/ Fw: Socialism and Smart Growth

Enviro-Mich message from Andrew Mutch <andrewimutch@yahoo.com>

Mr. Bray has been taking pot shots at Smart Growth
concepts on a fairly regular basis. He's a bit of a
broken record. Among his favorite arguments are:

1) Smart Growth will destroy local control: Note that
this argument doesn't seem to apply when local
communities are pro-active about taking their own
destiny into their hands and resisting Bray's buddies
in the development and business communities.

2) We don't need Smart Growth - only X% of the state
is urbanized. While it is wonderful that I won't find
a Walmart, a traffic jam, or sprawling subdivisions on
Isle Royale, that doesn't do much for anyone in SE
Michigan suffering from constant traffic jams, the
farmers being driven out by suburban sprawl or the
taxpayers forced to subsidize developers' dreams. I
think you'll find few residents in most developing
areas of the state who think we have too much open
space and too many parks. 

Andrew Mutch

--- Tom Stephens <tstephens@sugarlaw.org> wrote:
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: Tom Stephens 
> To: letters@detnews.com 
> 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
> tstephens@sugarlaw.org
> The link is:

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