Rich Liberals Are Creating 'Unlivable' US Cities

In 'NYT,' Farhad Manjoo says Dems have a NIMBY attitude that belies their progressive stance
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2019 1:12 PM CDT
Blame for 'Unlivable' Cities Belongs on the Left
Manjoo says liberals need to step up.   (Getty Images/ArminStautBerlin)

California is suffering from an "emergency that feels like a dystopian showcase of American inequality." That's the take of Farhad Manjoo in the New York Times, who writes that the Golden State is weighed down by a "livability" problem, plagued with a lack of affordable housing, unbearable traffic, steep education and child care costs, homelessness issues, even streets strewn with garbage and feces. And he's pointing the finger at one specific group for exacerbating things in not just his home state, but in "America's increasingly unlivable cities": the progressive left, including Democrats in power. Citing "NIMBY urban mismanagement" across the nation, Manjoo complains that "where progressives argue for openness and inclusion as a cudgel against President Trump, they abandon it on Nob Hill and in Beverly Hills."

A key sticking point for Manjoo is how Democrats don't walk the walk on affordable housing, often pushing back on legislation (he uses California's SB 50 initiative as an example) that would provide for more apartment buildings and duplexes in neighborhoods that traditionally contain single-family homes. He even muses over an "unsettling thought" on this type of housing resistance—that "what Republicans want to do with ICE and border walls, wealthy progressive Democrats are doing with zoning and NIMBYism," which is "keep people out." How Manjoo ultimately frames it: as a "refusal on the part of wealthy progressives to live by the values they profess to support at the national level." Read the full column here. (More progressives stories.)

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