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Messy cities are more vibrant than cute towns. Lets take San Francisco, CA as an example: It is a overgrown provincial center: If you want that that's fine but don't call San Francisco a global city. Houston on the other hand is a glorious mess of a city whose messiness is the source of its vibrancy!

Messy cities handle diversity better.

Sprawl is how most people want to live; because it is convenient and cheap, and in the market that is all that matters. Before the advent of mass auto-mobility, most people were trapped in 500sq ft shit box apartments 4 to each one. Is that your goal. To have walk-ability at a high level you must have that level of density. For you say you can't build higher that 5 floors, because any building taller than that isolates from the street. You cannot go back to what never was.

There are statistics that increasing density, once widespread automobile usage hits the society, does not decrease car usage.

Link

This chart shows how the anti growth mentality hurts cities over the long haul, and gives me good reason for the fall of silicon valey (esp. in terms of total jobs).

There are two models of multiculturalism melting pots and salad bowls. The Melting Pot model works (if followed slavishly), but the Salad Bowl model is inherently a failure. The model that works or the Melting Pot Model is the model that is traditionally followed in the U.S. It is still followed in Texas and other conservative States. The city that best exemplifies this model is Houston. Houston best exemplifies this model because it is a port city with a conservative Anglo-American base culture. Port cities attract by their very industries a people that are better suited for the melting pot model. But this is not the only factor that makes Houston work: The other factor is its conservative culture which ensures that the melting pot model is followed slavishly.

What are the most important things that make a Melting Pot Culture:

  1. Speak English or GTFO
  2. Jobs and Economic Growth (especially at the lower rungs of the ladder)
  3. Enforcement of immigration laws

Link

You might think New York City, with its swindlers on Wall Street, as the most important city in the world, but it is not, Houston is. Energy is the ability to do work, and is therefore life. Where are the decisions made in the Energy Industry? Where is most of the processing done? And what city lays the foundation for the western world? The answer is Houston!

Like a foundation for a building, the oil and gas industry is only noticed in its absence. This industry works tirelessly providing us with the necessities of life. The energy industry is concentrated in Houston to an amazing degree. A full 25% of the Oil and Gas Extraction jobs in the US are in Houston. In addition 10% of all support personnel for Oil and Gas operations, 9% of oil refinery workers, and 4% percent of all chemical manufacturing jobs are in Houston.

The Chart

Houston has the highest cost of living adjusted average salary in the US and most likely the world. This metric shows how important and productive the work that is done in Houston. But if Houston is so important and productive, why isn't Houston extremely expensive to live in. The answer is the protection of private property.

The lack of zoning enables the production of large quantities of housing allows the city to grow and add population without rising prices, unlike every other big league coastal city. Zoning politicizes what you can do with the your property. In Houston you know exactly what you can do with your property when you buy it, and it will never change except as written in the contract. This is important because asking for arbitrary permission, from city hall, for the use of your property is tyrannical. For this reason zoning perversely increases the power of penny ante despots over the citizenry, this is another reason zoning should be prohibited. For example: Why should I have to ask permission to do something to my property just because I got annexed. Why should people be able to be rezoned so that they can lose their business. Why should a town be able to ban chick-fil-a, or Walmart, in a zone where they should be allowed as of right.

Houston has had three referendums on zoning, they were in 1948, 1963, and 1993. They were rightfully defeated. The Houston City Charter requires a citywide referendum if the city government wants to impose zoning.


The Woodlands Mall.

But what chaos would occur if people could do whatever they want with their property, one may ask? Look at The Woodlands, TX a wonderful master planned community 22 miles north of IAH (Houston's George H.W. Bush Intercontinental Airport.) It is a wonderful suburban community with all the controls and rules you could ever want, and since it is private sector you agree to the rules up front. Also the developer (George Mitchel) planned the place to make a buck so it is planned properly for what people actually want (not what they say they want.)

When I took a trip to Houston a week before the class began, I remember sensing the friendliness and especially the professionalism of the rent-a-car staff. It was one of the best rent-a-car experiences in all my years of traveling. Also the city felt easy (especially for such an important place). I stayed in Tanglewood, a residential area near the Galleria. Our Airbnb host could not be any nicer than they were.

That Houston trip was the least stressful vacation I have been on. And that was me running around with a bucket-list exploring everything you could in a weekend. No one but an extreme iconoclast (like me) goes to Houston for a vacation, that makes the fact that it has such great food even more impressive. Houston has some of the best Barbecue, Vietnamese, Chinese, New American, and overall food that you could find, If I lived there I would weigh more than the Blob.

While I was there I met Tory Gattis (over at a very good and fancy restaurant called Underbelly), a writer of the blog Houston Strategies[1].

There are still slums in this shining city on the plain. Like all big cities Houston suffers from the three standard big city problems: Crime, Poverty, and Governmental Corruption. Crime rates are hard to compare across jurisdictions for the lack of independent statistics, needless to say Houston's crime rates are on the high end of American cities. Poverty is still a problem in Houston, but the opportunities for blue collar employment in, Housing Construction and Manufacturing are still here unlike most other cities.

Americas multicultural future is being played out in Houston. Houston has the largest Vietnamese population outside the west coast. Fort Bend county (the county containing Houston's Southwest Suburbs), is very close to 25% Anglo, 25% Hispanic, 25% Asian, and 25% Black. Multiculturalism only works when the cultures are compatible, and you have a rare base culture that is meritocratic, non self-effacing, and against busybodies of all stripes. Houstonians have all three of those qualities in spades.

Houston (because of its lack of zoning) provides a important control case in how American cities would operate without zoning. Houston has some things in its building codes that would be nice to get rid of such as minimum parking rules and front building offsets would be nice to get rid of. But by in large Houston is proof that zoning is a unnecessary burden on cities and should be abolished, and replaced with deed restrictions (also known as covenants).

Houston is the most important city because look around you: everything is made with plastics; or wood protected with lacquers made with petroleum; the electricity made with natural gas, coal, or nuclear; the cars, trucks, and buses powered by gasoline and diesel; the heat in your house from natural gas, or fuel oil.

Bibliography

  1. Gattis—Houston Strategies (http://houstonstrategies.com/)
  2. Kotkin & Gattis—Opportunity Urbanism 2014 (http://www.houston.org/economy/)
  3. Kotkin & Gattis—Opportunity Urbanism Policy Framework (http://www.houston.org/economy/)
  4. Housing America Building Our Way Out Of A Crisis (https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=-bJDepsNtuQC)
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У Босанској Крајини, подно Козаре
подиг’о се српски народ брани домове

Чујте бандо исламска, муџахедини
стићи ће вас наша рука и у Анкари

Гинућемо за слободу сви до једног ми,
никад наши синови неће бити робови

Чујте бандо исламска, муџахедини
стићи ће вас наша рука и у Анкари

Из немачке престонице Швабе нама прете,
Крајишници поручују дођ’те ако смете

Чујте бандо исламска, муџахедини
стићи ће вас наша рука и у Анкари

Еј господо из Европе и из целог света
зашто вама српски народ сад толико смета

Чујте бандо исламска, муџахедини
стићи ће вас наша рука и у Анкари

Translation

In Bosnian country at the foot of Mount Kozara
Serbian People rose to defend their homes.

Hear the gang Islamic Mujahedin
You will reach our hand in even in Ankara.

Of dying for the freedom of every one of us,
our sons will never be slaves.

Hear the gang Islamic Mujahedin
You will reach our hand in even in Ankara.

From the German capital Krauts threaten us,
Krajišnici [Frontiersmen], come here, they say if you dare

Hear the gang Islamic Mujahedin
You will reach our hand in even in Ankara.

Hey gentlemen from Europe and around the world
Serbian people why you are against it now

Hear the gang Islamic Mujahedin
You will reach our hand in even in Ankara.

The Energy Capital Of The World, and because it holds that title, Houston by definition is the most important city in the world. Why is this the case every industry is a combination of these things

  1. Produces energy for other industries to use to the benefit of man
  2. Processes that energy to a usable form for other things, incl farming
  3. Uses the energy produced by industries in class 1 and 2 for the benefit of man
  4. Is theft

Since the foundation of the modern world is cheap energy from Oil & Gas. The capital of that industry is by definition the most important city in the world. Energy is simply the ability to do work. Therefore he who controls energy, controls the world.

  1. Collin County: A Dad trying to be cool.
  2. Austin: A Hipster trying to be cool. Lives at Urban Outfitters.
  3. Fort Worth: Urban Cowboy.
  4. San Antonio: Fort Worth's tejano buddy.
  5. Houston: A nerdy kid that doesn't care about being cool.
  6. Dallas: A dudebro that blows money at Neiman Marcus.
  7. El Paso: Isn't that in New Mexico.
  1. Dallas: I'm cool because I blew 500 dollars at Neiman Marcus.
  2. Austin: I'm cool because I blew 500 dollars at Urban Outfitters.
  3. Houston: What is cool anyways.

I just went to Houston the shining city on the plain. A polite city of hustle, heart, wealth, and power (thanks to it's dominance of the energy industry.) Houston while being a top notch global city has an ease to it lacking in Chicago even in the suburbs where I live. I stayed at an airbnb in Tanglewood.

I couldn't beleve the array of small buisnesses in Houston. Most places are dominated by chains to a much greater extent than Houston.

CityHoustonSumAnualChicagoSumAnual
Year 1
Sallary$60,000.00$60,000.00
Taxes-$13,918.00-$15,919.00
Take Home Pay$46,082.00$44,081.00
/Month$3,840.17$3,840.17$46,082.00$3,673.42$3,673.42$44,081.00
Tithe-$384.02$3,456.15-$4,608.20-$367.34$3,306.08-$4,408.10
Saving-$384.02$3,072.13-$4,608.20-$367.34$2,938.73-$4,408.10
Rent-$969.00$2,103.13-$11,628.00-$1,375.00$1,563.73-$16,500.00
Car Payment-$300.00$1,803.13-$3,600.00-$300.00$1,263.73-$3,600.00
Insurance-$200.00$1,603.13-$2,400.00-$200.00$1,063.73-$2,400.00
Gas-$300.00$1,303.13-$3,600.00-$420.00$643.73-$5,040.00
Groceries-$270.00$1,033.13-$3,240.00-$300.00$343.73-$3,600.00
Utilities-$175.00$858.13-$2,100.00-$200.00$143.73-$2,400.00
Car Maintenance-$25.00$833.13-$300.00-$25.00$118.73-$300.00
Discresionary Income$833.131$9,997.60$118.731$1,424.80
Normal Savings$384.02$4,608.20$367.34$4,408.10
Total Savings$1,217.15$14,605.80$486.08$5,832.90
Capitalism uses selfishness to produce selfless behaviour, while Socialism uses selflessness to cover selfish behaviour.

All hail the Power of the Steam Engine
And the Industrial Revolution it spawned
Fire into Steam
Steam into Pressure
Pressure into Motion * Force
Yielding Power of a Thousand Horses
Liberating Humanity from Hand to Mouth Existence

We homeowners have been subject to problematic populations moving in, and in doing so have decreased property values, increased congestion, and ruin our schools. What must we do to prevent this from happening?

The Problem of decay

Over time anything made by human hands decays, reducing the amount of equity in our homes. This becomes especially true when there is a lot of housing being constructed to compete against. Especially problematic is as the house values go down due to newer nicer houses that young professional bourgeois can live in. Therefore disadvantaged populations move in to our neighborhoods. This provides diversity at levels that are problematic.

We must protect our homes from this menace.

The Solution

We must implement three policies to protect our homes and livelihoods from the barbaric lower classes. These policies are: Strict Zoning, Strict Building Codes, and Urban Growth Boundaries.

Strict Zoning combined with Strict Building Codes work well at a localized level to prevent: low end apartment buildings, cheapo condos, ratty townhouses, (it also works well against strip malls, and power centers, where the middle classes shop.) God Forbid we have to deal with the world changing or the lower classes.

Urban Growth Boundaries prevent those "Evil" Developers from ignoring our restrictions and building new housing and jobs away from us decreasing our land values further. By eliminating competition from said developers we make more money because we are the sole provider of housing in our area.

What is an Experimental City? An Experimental City is a city that is living, not an ossified version of it's former glory. Architects view cities in terms of an static analysis of what is there, not the processes behind how the city was built.

The economic modeling behind Land Development or City Building, is the art and science of building what people actually want, which is not necessarily what they think they want. Developers do not live in an ideal world. Therefore they must make compromises in regards to what their clientele values, and can afford. Because most people want a best of both worlds for their house, Suburbia Wins.

Shopping Mall The Ultimate Marketplace

The parking garage is the ultimate form of dense housing. Because it allows people from wherever to go to the dense walkable environment while having the privacy and space of their suburban home.

Malls are the ultimate manifestation of this effect. You achieve the benefits of urban life without the drawbacks. Malls far from being dead have been repackaged as town centers; taking the good parts from new urbanism and suburbia. Shopping Malls are nice islands of walkable urbanity in a semi rural space—the kind of space people actually want. The main confusion of urbanites is thinking everyone wants to live like they are a 25 year old bachelor. The flaw in their thinking is the tendency to think everyone else is just like me.

New York City an ugly city full of ugly arrogant retarded mental midgets that read Gawker (and treat it as real news), live in a 500 sqft shithole and think they're smart—but you all are arrogant fools ("Y'all" and "you all" are better than any other form of plural you—only arrogant self-righteous scumbags that think "you guys" is better). One that thinks because I live in New York that I can tell everyone else how to live. Oh I would actually want to live in a 500 sqft shithole—thanks a lot.

One would think someone who prides themselves on "tolerance" would not say in response to finding out someone's from Texas: "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Must be difficult dealing with inbred morons". "Same to you, arrogant vulgar inbred asshole. Have you ever heard: Don't speak ill about a place to someone face, you arrogant fool—Especially if you haven't even been there! And we make more money than you, maggot!" is my reply.

Knowing nothing about anything, but thinking they know everything about anything; is the definition of a fool—New Yorkers fit the bill perfectly. Stay in New York and pay through the nose in taxes for all I care.

Rational Planning should be called Irrational Planning. This is because the planners do not have any objective feedback mechanism (like a price system).

I buy a plot of 640 acres north of Houston for 100 million dollars, and create Rogers Forest. I layout where the Shops and Houses should be, based on a set of rules of thumb on traffic and economics. I build the infistructure using a MUD. I make tons of money if I do well, and go bankrupt if I do not.

I am in charge of Portland Metro. I blow money on stuff, because the taxpayer has my back. I do not know or care about doing a good job because there is no profit motive.

IAH to Hotel ZaZa vs DFW to Hotel ZaZa.

Example of why median income is useless Example of why median income is useless

New York City
1 bed 1 bath apartment in Long Island City, NY $2,000
Subway Pas $116.50
Uber Rides $150.00
Total $2,266.00
Morris Plains, New Jersey
2 Bed 1 Bath Apartment $1500
Car Subaru Legacy
Lease Payment $472
Taxes $6.17
Fuel $116.00
Maintanance/Repairs $57.33
Insurance $112.00
Total Transport $763.50
Total $2263.50
Chicago
2 bed 2 bath apartment in South Loop $1850.00
Subway Pas $100.00
Uber Rides $150.00
Total $2100
Houston
2 Bed 2 Bath in Rice Millitary $1550.00
Lease on a Subaru Legacy $185 + $1855 at signing = $236.52
Car Tax $63 a year = 5.25
Fuel 89.16
Maintenance 63.66
Repairs $0.00
Car Cost 394.59
Cost 1944.59

For a certain set of cities (the set of cities called World Cities) diversity can work, if managed properly. In all other places diversity is a net loss.

There are many requirements of a people to properly manage diversity, and be a Global City

  1. Property Rights & Rule Of Law
  2. English Language & Strong Base Culture

Property Rights & Rule Of Law

Houston's lack of zoning is a sign of its unique ability to be a Global City

Houston's lack of zoning is a result of a unique culture of openness, property rights and rule of law. This is because zoning is a bottom up phenomenon. Only a culture that values freedom can become a successful World City.

Most Citizens of other cities value the static nature of zoning, preventing others from doing stuff on their land. Not the case in Houston; for in Houston land use is determined by developers seeking to make the most money by serving the needs of paying customers. Why would someone put a crack shack in a nice neighborhood, even out of spite, it would be cutting your own nose to spite ones face.

Rule of Law & Zoning

So in actuality you are in greater risk of bad development under zoning, even strict zoning. This is because Zoning is opposed to the Rule Of Law. Therefore if you are not politically connected the planners do not care about what you want. So then they might throw a low income housing project on your street to meet the plan objectives.

The rule of law is important so that people are willing to risk their capital. In most cities in the world you are under risk of rezoning. If one is not politically connected you may see more density you expected for them to allow. In adition one will run into the permiting nightmare of the NIMBY army, and be prevented from building anything.

New York City
1 bed 1 bath apartment in Bedford Stuyvesant $1700
Subway Pas $116.50
Uber Rides $150.00
Total $1966
Houston
1 bed 1 bath apartment in Cinco Ranch $849.00
Lease on a Fully Loaded BMW 340i $713.00
Gas $148.58
Insurance $107
Car Tax $8.25
Maintanance $0
Transportation $976.25
Total $1825.25

This is

2 minutes away from this

The rules of form for great cities have changed with the mass adoption of automobiles. The planners are looking back towords an utopian vision of the past that has never existed. The ugly chaos of sprawl is better than the false cleanlyness of planning.

Urban Planners always are fighting the last war. Saying a place is bad because they are taught that a place is bad. A bad place always bears bad fruit.

Welcome to Essocony a defence of Big Oil!