From Sin City to Sim City

Stanley Kurtz drew the outlines of Obama’s second-term plans to redesign the urban areas of the United States in Spreading the Wealth: How Obama Is Robbing the Suburbs To Pay For the Cities. Our friend Katherine Kersten took note of the Minnesota angle and has conducted her own investigation.

Kurtz wrote about Kathy’s work in the NRO column “Meet TOD: The way Obama wants you to live.” As Paul Mirengoff has observed here regarding her work on this subject, Kathy has not liked what she found. Not one bit. Now she is on a midnight ride to let our fellow Minnesotans know that the Obamatons are coming.

The Democrats continue their obsession with the redistribution of wealth and income, but now they seek to add the redistribution of “the poor” themselves to their portfolio. In today’s Wall Street Journal, Kathy tells the story in “Turning the Twin Cities into Sim City” (behind the Journal’s dreaded subscription paywall). Here is the opening of Kathy’s column:

Here in the Twin Cities, a handful of unelected bureaucrats are gearing up to impose their vision of the ideal society on the nearly three million residents of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro region. According to the urban planners on the city’s Metropolitan Council, far too many people live in single family homes, have neighbors with similar incomes and skin color, and contribute to climate change by driving to work. They intend to change all that with a 30-year master plan called “Thrive MSP 2040.”

The Met Council, as it’s known here, was founded in the 1960s to coordinate regional infrastructure—in essence, to make sure that sewers and roads meet up. Over the years, its power to allocate funds and control planning has expanded. Now, under Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton—who appointed all 17 current members—the council intends to play Sim City with residents’ lives…

Consider this:

While minority residents have been streaming into the Twin Cities’ suburbs for the past 15 years, the Met Council wants to make sure there is a proper race-and-income mix in each. Thus it recently mapped every census tract in the 2,800 square-mile, seven-county region by race, ethnicity and income. The purpose was to identify “racially concentrated areas of poverty” and “high opportunity clusters.” The next step is for the council to lay out what the region’s 186 municipalities must do to disperse poverty throughout the metro area.

The project underway in Minnesota represents social engineering at its worst, yet it is only a preview of what Obama and his friends deep within the bureaucratic infrastructure have in store for the rest of the country, perhaps in a town near you. Kathy concludes with a wakeup call that applies to us, but also to others similarly situated:

Once implementation begins…Twin Cities residents will likely realize that Thrive MSP 2040’s centralized decision-making and Orwellian appeals to “equity” and “sustainability” are a serious threat to their democratic traditions of individual liberty and self-government. Let’s hope that realization comes sooner rather than later.

One thing Kathy’s depiction of the Democrats’ Sim City has in common with the Gram Parsons/Chris Hillman depiction of Sin City: “It seems like this whole town’s insane.”


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