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Letter: There goes the neighborhood

It was a hot Alabama night down at the fire hall. The crowd spilled out of the meeting room, certain in their beliefs, angry, intent, gray-haired, wealthier-than-most, melanin-deprived. Without so much as a good suntan in the room, the keep-them-out crowd, captained by those with an obvious personal conflict of interest, prevailed in what is likely to be an ephemeral victory.

Obviously, what we have here is a failure of communication. Let me offer a Swiftian modest proposal.

Requiring larger lot sizes in certain areas keeps out undesirable kinds of people, including minorities, who can't afford to buy those more expensive lots. This worked well to keep undesirables out in some of the better neighborhoods in southwestern Willmar. Then, an outside group offered a plan to build smaller homes that are closer together so that people who don't have as much money can live in a nice neighborhood. As soon as you start letting those kinds of people in, there goes the neighborhood and down go home prices.

The answer is to zone residential areas according to minimum income and net asset standards so that the wealthiest would live in one area, upper middle-income people in another, and so on. The poorest and most minorities could live in small satellite villages (townships) at some distance so that they would not be a problem. Alternatively, there may be one or two slumlords around town who would rent to them.

The beauty of my proposal is everyone will know their place, everyone will be happier living with their own kind, and the temptation to envy among the less blest will be reduced.

Some may try to argue that Jesus wasn't too big on income and net assets and wouldn't be welcome in our better neighborhoods, but we all know he didn't end up with a nice, prosperous retirement. If you start to make an exception for one, before long you are overrun with them, and there goes the neighborhood and home values. I feel a hot Alabama wind blowing on a cold Willmar day.