Thursday, January 12, 2012

NIMBY and its Converse

NIMBY: Not In My Back Yard

This old saw refers to necessary but unpopular projects like prisons and power plants. We need them but we don't particularly want them, at least not close by. Property values tend to plummet near such things. They tend to get sent to economically depressed areas because, clearly, poor people don't lobby effectively they need the construction money.

The converse would be things that we don't necessarily need, but which we want close to home, usually for the money it brings in, like military bases and contracts or popular sports franchises. NIYBY. Not In Your Back Yard. It's why Ron Paul, and others of his ilk, though theoretically terrible for the Union, wouldn't be able to get anything done. It's why budget cuts never actually happen. We don't mind pork when it's our pork. Your pork is smelly and stupid, but mine's delicious.

Think of them as the fraternal twins of politics. You have the short, ugly, smelly, stupid prison and the tall, beautiful, very well spoken defense contract. Nimby and Niyby. Pretty much conjoined twins, when you think about it.
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