My Family's Been Having Problems With Immigrants Ever Since We Got To This Country Department

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With a complete lack of irony, in an article on "slow growth" former Fairfax County and now new Loudoun County resident Christopher Romano tells the Washington Post, "I don't want Loudoun County to turn into another Fairfax. I grew up in Fairfax, and I saw it get just ridiculous. I moved to Loudoun for this reason."

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  1. That’s some qualilty suburanite reasoning right there.

    I like the people who say they bought a house a 60 mile drive from work to get away from the air pollution.

  2. Is it really that ironic when immigrants complain about the next generation of immigrants? On the contrary, I would expect older immigrants to be the fiercest opponents of immigration. After all, they came here to get away from other people like them, it can’t be fun to see the rest of the village following after you.

  3. Now that he’s ensconced in Loudon County, maybe Mr. Romano can persuade Bill Gates to put a system of moat and drawbridges around the County?

  4. It’s not just “suburanites” whose reasoning can be a little faulty, joe. Just think of the urban middle class hipsters (artists, grad students, et al) who move into shady neighborhoods and then bitch and moan a few years later when other middle class people move in and “gentrify” the place.

  5. As much as I hate hipsters, I believe they have a better case for bitching and moaning since they are likely to be renters and therefore priced out of their neighborhood when gentrification arrives. This wanker in Virginia has nothing to bitch about except the rising cost of his house.

  6. The title of this thread immediately made me think of this column from The Forward, which has sections that read like they were intended to be excerpted by neo-Nazis in future mimeographed handouts:

    http://www.forward.com/articles/7979

  7. In other news, notice this morning that when you type “reason” into Google, reason.com is now the first result. It used to be some propellerhead software thingy.

  8. libertarian killed the 303 star?

    “Is it really that ironic when immigrants complain about the next generation of immigrants? ”

    yes. yes it is.

  9. One of my favorite episodes like this (in the Maryland suburbs of DC) was when I was wearing my ‘Pave the Planet’ jokey T-shirt (us highway engineers, you know), and some guy, with a BMW or Benz, saw it, looked again, and then, aghast, said to me “How horrible! I drive 90 minutes every day just so I can be closer to nature, and you want to pave everything?”

    I just walked away…

  10. If he had a clue, he would’ve moved out to warrenton or further.

  11. Land use restrictions in urban areas raise the price of housing in urban areas, and drive people to the suburbs. (Pun intended). Land use restrictions in the suburbs raise the price of housing in the suburbs, and “drive” people further out. Land use restrictions there do the same thing.

    Anti-development policies encourage sprawl. They also hurt poor people looking for affordable housing.

  12. happyjuggler0,

    And with taxation and spending authority divided up across the region by municipality, despite the land and housing supplies being regional, you end up with everyone in a region having an economic self-interest to restrict housing development in their own municipality, even as they also have a self-interest in seeing more housing development in the region as a whole. And the cost to each municipality of new housing within its borders will be higher than that municipality’s share of the benefit that accrues to the whole region from the increase in housing supply from that new housing.

  13. “Anti-development policies encourage sprawl. They also hurt poor people looking for affordable housing.”

    You’ve just described the imperatives that produced the New Urbanist movement, and why its primary objective is undo the land use restrictions that growing towns have imposed over the past half century.

  14. If you abolished this asinine system of funding schools through property taxes, this likely wouldn’t be such a problem, anyway. How else do you explain “Having more taxpayers live here will cost us too much money?”

    If you have to pave a mile of road, your paving costs are the same whether there’s one person or 100 people living on it. It’s building enough schools for the children of the residents that’s costing money.

  15. If you abolished this asinine system of funding schools through property taxes, this likely wouldn’t be such a problem, anyway.

    Property taxes aren’t the culprit. When local taxes pay for local services, the taxing mechanism has little effect on the tax burden.

  16. See this type of attitude all the time here in Central Florida. Some jackass was on TV recently bitching at a local gov’t meeting that new developers were building more houses in the area while his precious lil’ young ‘un was languishing in an evil, awful trailer at her elementary school.

    The news didn’t mention his residence status, but given his heavy northern accent, and the fact that he also lived in a recent development, I’d have to guess he moved here within the past couple years. He should have just said “now that I’m here, I want all development to stop!”

  17. Property taxes aren’t the culprit. When local taxes pay for local services, the taxing mechanism has little effect on the tax burden.

    In many if not most localities, school costs take up more than HALF of local taxes.

    And if property taxes aren’t the culprit, then why does the article discuss Loudoun resident’s complaints about how their taxes are high and keep getting higher? Water and sewer costs? No–that’s a problem in desert cities like Phoenix or Vegas (I can see those cities having legitimate reasons for wanting to reduce population growth), but that’s not an issue in Virginia: “Don’t let any newcomers in because we don’t have enough water for them!”

    Traffic? Yeah, traffic sucks, but the traffic is mostly DC-generated. If you don’t let commuters live in Loudoun they’ll move even further out from DC, and they’ll still have to drive right through your town on their way to work anyway.

    No, it’s the idiotic school-funding system that leads to “Oh, shit, if more taxpayers move into town we’ll have to pay MORE, not LESS, taxes!”

  18. Q: What’s the definition of an environmentalist?

    A: Someone who already HAS a summer home.

  19. “Anti-development policies encourage sprawl. They also hurt poor people looking for affordable housing.”

    My observation has been that the same people incessantly bleating about “affordable housing” are prime drivers of ever-escalating housing costs.

    And let us not forget single-use zoning as a driver of sprawl and traffic. Joe?

  20. No, it’s the idiotic school-funding system that leads to “Oh, shit, if more taxpayers move into town we’ll have to pay MORE, not LESS, taxes!”

    You still haven’t made an argument as to why it is idiotic for the local residents to bear the burden of their local public costs, including schools. Unless you are an advocate of redistributive state funding mechanisms, local taxes for local services is the most sensible approach.

    It may not sound fair that long term residents have to share in the up front costs of expanding the infrastructure to support an increased population, but it is no more fair to pass on those costs to others outside of the growth area.

    The strict libertarian solution is of course to reduce “public” infrastructure to its bare minimum, which includes the elimination of public schooling. But I suspect that is a conversation for another day.

  21. “Land use restrictions”

    A lot like single-use zoning. Skimming again; more self-chastisement.

    But I’d still like to hear the further thoughts of Joe on the topic.

  22. You still haven’t made an argument as to why it is idiotic for the local residents to bear the burden of their local public costs, including schools. Unless you are an advocate of redistributive state funding mechanisms, local taxes for local services is the most sensible approach.

    Assume two identical houses, one housing a childless couple and the other housing a Catholic family with ten kids. Both pay the exact same tax bill to fund the school. I have no problem with local residents bearing the burden of their public costs. It’s bearing the burden of other people’s that annoys me.

    Also, I’d say it is asinine for the reason I’ve already described: take the schools out of the equation, and ignore the possibility of a desert city with limited water supplies, how can you possibly have a situation where “more taxpayers” equals “higher tax bills for all?” It would be more taxpayers equals more people to share the tax burden equals lower tax bills.

  23. how can you possibly have a situation where “more taxpayers” equals “higher tax bills for all?” It would be more taxpayers equals more people to share the tax burden equals lower tax bills.

    Becuase “more taxpayers” often means “more *poor* taxpayers”.

  24. Becuase “more taxpayers” often means “more *poor* taxpayers”.

    Good point. And yet, considering housing prices, I don’t think that’s the problem with Loudoun County. The poor taxpayers can’t afford to buy there in the first place.

  25. one housing a childless couple and the other housing a Catholic family with ten kids

    Do we have to pick on the Catholics? Couldn’t the first couple have been practicing the rhythm method? or could the second couple have been godless polygamist Mormons? Enough with the stereotypes!

    By the way, do you know any young lads looking for some spiritual guidance?

  26. Lucky for Romano, no one thought of limiting inflow into Loudon before he decided to move there. NIMBY, BANANA, whatever.

    (I moved from Fairfax cause it was too expensive.)

  27. Illegal immigrants are becoming a rather serious issue here in the mid-south, with their stubborn refusal to go to public schooling institutions, or even to learn the country’s primary language! What is even more outrageous is that we are forced to learn THEIRS instead! They should go back home and have a revolutionary war, as I suspect may be needed here as well, but not as desperately(‘twould be bloody, as all wars are, but the results would be a loss of a government that takes the money from the country’s activities and hoards it for personal interests, such as drug and weapon sales, instead of improving the country with it). Further, they work for wages similar to those of chinese slave workers(slight exaggeration), live 10 persons to a studio apartment(no exaggeration), cannot seem to understand proper bathing(I’ve taught many a man how to use a shower and bought many a man soap and shampoo), and many also refuse to stay sober. Our culture is dissolving, our workforces are forced into poverty and our employment is being taken by the lowest bidders, who would work for a pittance due to the fact that there are 10 of them earning for a single person’s bills. Additionally, those that get a green card report their low income in order to attain government assistance(though a few I met are legitimate families struggling to survive and learn english – I am honored by their tenacity and respect), effectively defrauding the government and DHS by not claiming their 8-or-so relatives/friends and use the food stamps to buy food for the small organization. I know this because I have on numerous occasions worked with(and for and around) illegal immigrants. I’m in Oklahoma, and a construction tradesman. Most of the immigrants are from mexico, but some are arabic(and can’t keep up with the pace), some are chinese(and can’t understand the work – it requires at least 120IQ), some are from india(and hate the job but do it anyway for the money), and others from africa(the africans typically hate work but love money and will shirk a job but gladly take the pay).
    I know this has little to do with a rather financially overabundantly endowed neighborhood whose only primary concerns are not annihilating the foodsource in preparation for pavement and open hungry mouths, but the issue must be pressed.
    I have much more to say but due to the fact it’s off-topic(though remotely related) I relent.

  28. I’m not sure that reasoning is faulty. I go to a dance club which has a great dance floor because it has space to, well, dance. I like it and become a regular. But other people notice it and start coming. So the owner decides to have a limit, because past a certain limit it becomes worthless to all. Does that sound crazy? I guess we should wait for the magical market to work stuff out, but ‘the market’ is a concept of things occuring in the aggregate, and while the ‘market is working things out’ this fellows club goes under ne’er to return. So he himself is no fool to limit it at some maximally efficient number.

  29. What is even more outrageous is that we are forced to learn THEIRS instead!

    Yeah, just the other day I watched as the language police led a bunch of people off at gunpoint to the spanish instruction camp. Luckily I heard them coming and had time to hide in the crawl space.

    Oh, the humanity.

  30. Most of the immigrants are from mexico, but some are arabic(and can’t keep up with the pace), some are chinese(and can’t understand the work – it requires at least 120IQ), some are from india(and hate the job but do it anyway for the money), and others from africa(the africans typically hate work but love money and will shirk a job but gladly take the pay).

    It must be hard work keeping all those stereotypes straight in your head.

  31. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to research population trends in the area you’re moving to, nor to come to the conclusion that lots of other folks are going to want the same “country” idyll that you think you got. If you want to live in a no-growth area, there are lots of places in upstate NY to choose from…

  32. happyjuggler0

    Anti-development policies encourage sprawl. They also hurt poor people looking for affordable housing.

    But it’s for the environment. And the owls. And the squirrels. And the ozone layer for god’s sake, can’t you think man? We can’t keep having things get better and better for people all the time.

    What did they teach you in school anyway?

  33. – Assume two identical houses, one housing a childless couple and the other housing a Catholic family with ten kids. – Jennifer

    What Fr. Pat said. Of course, when my Ma & Pa brought up our brood, which was not quite that large, they grumbled about all the property taxes they paid to the local school district while we all attended parochial grammar and high schools.

    Pop “beat the system” by being employed by the next school district over. What, you don’t think a publik skool teacher would be dumb enough to consign his own kids to one of those hellholes, did you? 🙂

    Kevin

    *sniff* The online radio just played Phil Coulter’s The Old Man for Father’s Day.

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