We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Many of those "slums" that the wrecking ball never got to are among the most expensive and fashionable parts of NYC today, while the government housing projects are bad news in many ways - many of them falling to the wrecking ball now as recognition of an arrogant, expensive, and deeply-flawed policy of our genius government planners.
This is yet another case of liberalism's overweening hubris. Liberals JUST KNOW that their pet program will solve the problem they are looking at. Just know. Just hand over the money, and the program will do great. We know what we're doing
The ten most dangerous words in the English language are "Hi, I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."
The urban renewal people just KNEW that what they were doing was a VAST improvement over what had been there before.
Yes, 99th St in Harlem was a poor area, but that was because poor people were living in it. The building stock had nothing to do with their poverty. The building stock was of good quality, as it had housed well to do people before it became a black neighborhood. Thomas Sowell came from a Harlem neighborhood. In his estimation, the quality of public schools in Harlem in the 1940s were much higher than today. Harlem was poor but filled with people who were trying to move on up, as Thomas Sowell did.
Compare this Harlem neighborhood with SoHo on the Lower East Side. A hundred years ago, SoHo was a teeming slum, full of sweatshops and overcrowded tenements. By contrast, Harlem was a well-off neighborhood at the time. Just looking at the economics, Harlem must have had better quality buildings than SoHo a hundred years ago.
Yet today, although very few buildings in SoHo are younger than a hundred years, SoHo is considered a desirable neighborhood. The buildings that housed sweatshops and overcrowded tenements have been upgraded piecemeal, without the trauma of urban removal. Excuse me: urban renewal.