Not So Abstract Now, Is It

8 Feb

23 Responses to “Not So Abstract Now, Is It”

  1. Denizen February 8, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

    Look up Lehigh acres on google maps and you’ll see how immense this area is–a gigantic grid of streets with mostly-empty blocks. You’d be lucky to see 3 or 4 completed houses on a given block.

    Lehigh serves as a grand temple to America’s mess delusion on exponential growth and an infallible housing market. The land was originally a Chicago businessman’s tax shelter, turned cattle ranch, then subdivided into an entire city grid of street as a hopeless exercise in delusional land speculation. Even it the height of the area’s “boom,” 90% of Lehigh’s lots remained vacant.

  2. Ike February 8, 2009 at 12:13 pm #

    Am i supposed to feel bad for these people? or want to dump federal money to somehow turn this bad idea into a living community?

    Obama should go tour the ghost town of Bodie, CA…why don’t we dump some money into there and get people to move back?

  3. al l. February 8, 2009 at 2:01 pm #

    Schadenfreude, anyone?

  4. Steve February 8, 2009 at 2:23 pm #

    or why not the east side? Its not my fault that people took a chance and failed. Isn’t that the essence of capitalism? They are afforded the right to live out their dreams and if not, pack it up, start over and build towards that dream again.

    Also, how about some personal responsibility. F these bailouts.

  5. Prodigal-Son February 8, 2009 at 3:11 pm #

    I second Steve’s take. Why is this “worse” than the East Side of Buffalo. Because its new? Because its in Florida? Because the tenents were suburban middle class whites, and not low-income blacks in the inner city? Ground zero of a housing crisis is Bailey and Delevan.

  6. pauldub February 8, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    Lehigh Acres is an example of the current housing crisis. Problems on the East Side were not caused by speculation, poor estimation of demand, and plain old greed. My sister lives in a development not far from Lehigh Acres that is doing fine. Of course it is smaller, built probably when there was an actual demand. East Side/Lehigh Acres is apples/oranges. One is decaying and needs help, one was rotten from the get go and should never been started.

  7. mike February 8, 2009 at 5:22 pm #

    nice music, could of saved the airfare and filmed love canal with some fake palms.

  8. AnswerLady February 8, 2009 at 6:22 pm #

    Government policies and spending that focuses money into the burbs doesn’t help much either.

  9. Denizen February 8, 2009 at 6:42 pm #


    Considering the fact that UB’s primary campus is located in Amherst, wouldn’t it make sense that a majority of its staff also live there? Blame Rockefeller & Co. for locating the new campus out on the swamps rather than pointing fingers at high-paid faculty for exercising their right to live wherever they choose.

  10. Marc February 8, 2009 at 8:17 pm #

    Pauldub nailed it. Both are a problem but comparing the east side to lehigh Acres is apples and oranges.

    This was a chance to show WNY’ers what the current housing crisis looks like. A little sneak peak if you will at the news you’ll be seeing on Tuesday when the President heads to this area.

    If you want to feel sorry for them, that’s your choice. I don’t.

  11. STEEL February 8, 2009 at 10:26 pm #

    So here is an idea.

    If your state gets bailout money you in turn should raise your state taxes to share the burden of the problem created by your own citizens. For many years states like Florida sucked the wealth from places like Buffalo while leaving the burden of the poor behind for a weaker and weaker economy to deal with. Time for Florida to buck it up raise its own taxes and stop asking Buffalo to pay again.

  12. Prodigal-Son February 9, 2009 at 12:08 am #

    Give me some credit (pun intended) – yes, I know that the root causes of the housing crisis in Lehigh Acres and the Buffalo East Side are different.

    My broader point, though, remains. Risky loans, bad mortgages, and securitized debt may have gotten us in this crisis. But that doesn’t mean that pushing people back into speculative new housing developments, rejected by the free market, is the answer.

    We need homeowners in homes. Those homes can be anywhere. Why not encourge resettlement of our cities, to shorten commutes, reduce energy costs, increase efficencies, and strengthen our urban areas. Just because the Inland Empire of California got overbuilt and is a wasteland doesn’t mean that when the credit spigot gets turned on again that’s the first place we encourge people to move.

  13. Ben McD February 9, 2009 at 12:39 am #

    “For many years states like Florida sucked the wealth from places like Buffalo while leaving the burden of the poor behind for a weaker and weaker economy to deal with.”

    Please explain.

  14. STEEL February 9, 2009 at 1:32 am #

    People with means move to places like Florida Arizona etc. They take their means with them leaving behind a higher concentration of poverty with fewer people with means to deal with.

    The people moving out of the Buffalo area are not the poorest of the poor. This is a benefit to states with high growth and low taxes because the poor who stay behind require a lot of government services that they can not pay for themselves. Erie County has fewer well off people to foot the bill for the poor that remain. They then need to raise taxes to pay the bill which drives out more business and people.

  15. Ben McD February 9, 2009 at 2:38 am #

    Or they could lower taxes and lure those people right back. I just can’t get behind the idea that if states like Florida and Arizona make themselves prosperous, then they should be punished.

  16. ike February 9, 2009 at 9:57 am #

    STEEL, you are one crazy fucking socialist. Your ideas are completely discredited in mainstream economic/political thinking, and for good reason. T

    The reason people moved was to get away from the high taxes of NY. Unfortunately for people who think like you, doing so is constitutionally protected.

    Ben McD is absolutely right.

  17. STEEL February 9, 2009 at 10:12 am #

    Ben, Ike,

    Who said anything about punishing them? I am talking about them [Florida] taking responsibility for their own mess. You apparently think that the American public in general owes Florida a free ride on this. Your plan sounds a lot more socialistic to me.

  18. ike February 9, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    you’re begging the question.

    I don’t presume that Florida should get any money. I don’t think any states should be getting federal bailouts, just like i didn’t thinkt he banks should be getting federla bailouts.

  19. AnswerLady February 9, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    Not pointing fingers, simply point out that as an economic driver, UB has delivered quite well for Amherst.

    Can we expect to see the same for Buffalo, with the downtown campus they want to spend $hundreds of millions of our tax dollars building? Based on UB’s past performance, probably not. Buffalo gets a bunch of tax exempt buildings that empty at 5 when the rubber hits the road to the burbs.

    I’ll be contacting my state reps to ask them to spend the stimulus money on fixing the sewage treatment plants and other infrastructure improvements. I prefer my sh*t straight up, not disguised in academic wrappings.

    How much will it cost to “Free UB”

  20. STEEL February 9, 2009 at 10:58 am #


    You criticized my comment which asked the State of Florida to clean up its own mess. If that means they need to raise their state income tax then tough for them.

  21. mike February 9, 2009 at 11:33 am #

    How come everyone thinks just the money went south? Don’t the homeless like warm weather too?

  22. Denizen February 9, 2009 at 11:59 am #

    Answerlady, I can agree with you mostly there. Though, one has to admit that moving the medical school to the med. campus would probably drive up residential demand and property values in Allentown and maybe Downtown.

    Steel, as long as English is still the official language in Florida and the Southwest, expect people from the northeast and midwest to want to flock to the warm weather.

  23. STEEL February 9, 2009 at 4:33 pm #

    Warm weather may help but there are plenty of healthy cold weather economies. T

    he trick is to keep your taxes low, let the feds step in and fix your problems and let some sucker state like NY take care of the problems left behind.

Contribute To The Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: