Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Megan speaks.

Megan McArdle, a middle-aged single woman with no children, complains about the lack of amenities for families in DC. DC is, of course, rather unique as the capitol of the country, where people working in government or ancillary businesses often come to stay for a few years and then leave again.

Parks are definitely the key to building a city that works over the entire life-cycle. But I'd dispute that DC has done a good job of this. Indeed, this is one of the things that my mother, who has just moved here from New York, often complains about-there aren't really any adequate parks in Northwest, at least east of Rock Creek.

According to economists like St. Milton of Freeman, Megan's hero, the city should be responding to market forces. When enough middle-class families want to settle there the parks and schools will be built or improved. But that doesn't stop her from complaining--or rather, repeating her parents' complaints, something she does rather a lot.

Middle class families are, IMHO, the backbone of a thriving city--they're the stabilizing force that keeps civil society together. And those families will not stay in DC, in part because of the schools, but also in part because DC is not constructed to make it easy to have small children here.
I wonder why she brings up this nonsense at all, except to talk about herself. Or push her concept of "civil society" based on middle-class mores, a lazy assumption that middle class life is the touchstone of civility and morality. I see a cowed middle class terrified by the prospect of identity theft and loss of credit points, yet supine and bloatedly indifferent to our killing and eradication of civil rights. God over science, fiction over fact, surface over depth. No wonder the middle class is suffocating under the weight of its own lies.


Anonymous said...

And somebody should tell her that abbreviations like "IMHO" are for e-mails to friends and casual message boards or texting, not professional print.

Susan of Texas said...

I think Megan is confused about the Atlantic; she seems to think it's another Facebook where she can write any drivel and bask in her friends' admiration.

Ellis Weiner said...

Isn't this like complaining that there aren't enough jungle gyms in Versailles? It's not as though DC is a real place, the existence of which preceded its essence. (I'm making this up, but innit neat?)

DC's essence preceded its existence. It was defined to be a capital.

Careful, though, Susan. Isn't Megan, like, 32? You call that "middle-aged"? Oy.

Susan of Texas said...

Heh, she is 35, which makes her just barely middle aged. (I am older.)

Jim said...

She's also quite insane.
There are parks all over DC, parks that many many many people time in. Lincoln Park, Ft. Reno park, Dupont Circle, and a whole long line of parks along the waterfront, where people stroll, play sports, etc.

That's not even touching on the Mall. Or addressing the fact that DC was designed with a series of parks connected by the "state" Avenues.

I have no idea what she's talking about. Maybe she disqualifies all of these things in her whine - I mean "blog post." I really don't have the energy to read her at length.

Susan of Texas said...

Oh, "facts." Megan doesn't worry much about those.

spencer said...

Heh, she is 35, which makes her just barely middle aged.

Like hell it does! I'm - er, I mean she - is as young as I ever was!

Susan of Texas said...

Maybe 35 doesn't seem so young to me because at that age a woman has to make some serious choices about career and family that will affect the rest of her life. It's often a turning point, and a positive one at that when you become more accepting of who you are and where you are in life.

Or you can flail around acting like an eternal post-grad, as some economics bloggers seem to do.