Re: The Real Cause of Sprawl

Jeffrey Fullerton (
Mon, 04 Dec 2000 14:24:04 -0500

> n conclusion, I am not saying that the big guys have no place in our
> economy, rather, they do NOT have to be on every corner of every town
> saturating the market until the rest of us are snubbed out. This is not free
> enterprise when only a few benefit and zap your choice away. This is what it
> means to support, whenever possible, the local independents...... if
> nothing else..... to spare some greenspace and the places where our beloved
> native fishes come from in the first place. The very habitat that inspired
> us in the first place to appreciate these wonderful creatures!

Have you ever wondered about the real cause of urban sprawl?

One of the biggest problems facing small business is the morass of taxes
and regulatory burdens imposed by government at all levels. Big business
on the other hand often benefits from regulations that squeeze out the
competition from below because they have more resources at their
disposal and can redistibute costs better. They also get all the favors
from local governments that are hungry for the revinue. They way they
see things is that Walmart will employ more people and pay more taxes
than some selfish little entriprenure who is barely making enough to
stay in businuss.

Alot of that is going on right now in our region - esp in downtown
Pittsburgh where Mayor Tom (Eminent Domain) Murphy has pushed small mom
& pop operations aside to make way for a big developer. In this case it
could be argued that it was for the 'greater good' but it was not at all
fair to those displaced - who could have hung on if the city had not
stepped in - people who worked for themselves as opposed to having to
work for someone else.

Environmentalists howl about the evils of urban sprawl but they usually
neglect to address the real cause. Why are people so desperate to run
away from the cities?
The real driving force behind sprawl is that government is it's own
worst enemy - a good example would be city govt of the District of
Columbia - which like many city governments became a veratable gravy
train for city employees. It takes taxes to support that kind of
organization and that translates into higher costs for everything - be
it utilities, food , higher taxes on property owners etc. While
stationed at Andrews AFB I remember the owner of a petshop just inside
the DC city limits saying that taxes were the reason night crawlers
costed double what they cost me here in W. Pennsylvania. People will
only tollerate so much and those with the means inevitably relocate to
outlying districts where the cost of living is lower.
Businesses also migrate where the cost of operating is lower and less
constrained by regulations.

You can't blame people from bailing out. Communities that tax and
constrain private enterprise too much ruin the source of their
prosperity and force people out to displace ecosystems elsewhere. So
then they bend over backwards trying to lure in the mega stores or cut
their own throats to get a factory somewhere else to relocate for the
sake of aquiring a lucrative stream of new revinue!

Of course we are all at fault. Because we allow government grow big
enough in the first place to aquire a ravenous appetite it levies taxes
on a percieved ëfair market valueí of real property with the deliberate
intent to displace existing ownership and encourage over development.
Government should really be in in business to safegaurd life and
property of citizens as opposed to manipulation of land use and
infrastructure development for the sake of revinue enhancement to
finance it's own expansion.

In order to stop urban spraw it is necessary to stop government sprawl!

Only when a sizable majority wises up to this game and decides to do
something will things ever change.


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