Unfortunately, “social justice” is too often used as a code word for pouring tax dollars down a rathole; “curing” poverty.
Replacing or refurbishing the boarded-up and dilapidated buildings of a long-blighted neighborhood costs major money; so does creating greenspace from rust-belt industrial land. When you do so, the value of that neighborhood or that land increases manyfold: people who have jobs and pay taxes to support the improvements want to benefit from them. They buy homes in the restored neighborhoods, and the valuation of housing increases, which in turn raises taxes and rents. Housing near the new parks will escalate in value, because they are now more desirable, and again taxes and rents will go up.
This results in the poor, working or not, being displaced because they can no longer afford to live in their old neighborhood. It’s not their comfy old run-down neighborhood anymore; it’s been gentrified. This is called life in a free economy: if you can’t cope, move out.
To imagine that you can upscale a neighborhood and yet maintain the low taxes and rents that go with a blighted area is just pure fantas... Read more