The Limits of Liberalism?

Utopiastic liberal enclaves (usually college towns like Boulder, Berkeley, Cambridge, etc.) pride themselves on their enlightened caring and sharing mentality, their generosity toward the oppressed and underprivileged, etc.  The residents are always happily smug about their moral superiority to the grasping, bourgeois middle classes of suburbia.

But I couldn’t help notice during my year as an inmate at Boulder that everyone had a really beefy lock for their bicycles. Apparently the good liberals of Boulder just can’t get down with that whole “property is theft” thing.  I mean, why not propose having communal bicycles?

Similarly I enjoyed this story over the weekend from the Boulder Daily Camera, about opposition to a bill in the state legislature to protect the legal rights of the homeless:

Worried About Local Control, Boulder to Oppose Homeless “Right to Rest” Act

When state legislators resume debate Monday on a bill that would protect the right of homeless people to sleep outside and in their cars, Boulder will be among the groups opposing the legislation.

The “Colorado Right to Rest Act,” supported by many homeless advocates and civil libertarians, explicitly seeks to roll back local ordinances that they believe criminalize homelessness.

Not everybody agrees, however:

Some Boulder homeless advocates are upset that the city has taken a position on the Right to Rest Act without any public debate.

“Laws that target certain groups of people are discriminatory,” Joy Redstone, a social worker, college instructor and activist, said at a City Council meeting this week as she asked the city to not take a position on the legislation without discussion. “I’m sure we all agree that discrimination is repugnant and antithetical to the values we hold as a city. . .”

I doublechecked.  This is not a report from The Onion.

Speaking of liberal enclaves, a reminder that I’ll be speaking on a panel tonight in Berkeley at 7:30, at an event of the Matsui Center and Institute of Government Studies.  Details here if you’re in the Bay Area.

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