Friday, September 15, 2017

Gentrification- Is It Really Ethical?

Gentrification. A process that has been going on for years, especially in the city of Los Angeles. Many of the city's neighborhoods are gentrified or are currently gentrifying. Hollywood, Venice, West LA, Silver Lake, Echo Park, West Adams, and Downtown are among the most notable, but the process has gone on to other areas, such as Highland Park. While gentrification does beautify these areas, is it really ethical?

To put it bluntly, no.

In gentrification, the area is beautified and rebuilt, but for a different demographic than the demographic currently in the neighborhood. This demographic is mainly the Young Urban Professional, better known as the "yuppie". These people are generally first time homebuyers, and have a strong desire for a close commute to the inner city, as well as a strong nightlife scene. Nothing wrong there, but that's not the unethical part. In order to make way for this new demographic, landlords will resort to many tactics, including ridiculously high rent increases and refusal to fix anything wrong in the units, in order to entice the tenants to move out. For homeowners, property taxes increase rapidly. Also, gentrification is often accompanied by gang injunctions, which are court orders against certain members of a gang that heavily restrict their activities. A prime example is the border of two Los Angeles suburbs, Monrovia and Duarte. Two of the three gangs in the area are now under a gang injunction, and have been since 2009. Did the area only start to get bad? No, as these gangs have been around for years and have always been rivals. What has gone on since 2009? A Light Rail extension to Downtown LA has been built. Not true gentrification yet, as there's no bustling nightlife scene there, but whose to say that it won't happen in the future? Was that the reason for the injunction? Not to protect the already existing Latino and African American demographic in the area, but to protect a possible newer and more wealthy demographic because of the new train? The Scorpio Moon in me says "yes".

Don't get me wrong, I am all for development and improving bad neighborhoods, but not when it involves kicking out the already existing demographics. In a way, they're being punished for not only their lack of wealth, but also their ethnicity as well. The best way to improve bad neighborhoods is simple: Universal Basic Income. If everybody is on an unconditional living wage, the economy will boom due to people having more spending power, crime will decrease because everybody will have what they need because of the boost in their incomes, and people would be more free because they wouldn't have to be enslaved to a system that's not in their best interests in order to survive. A working class Latino or African American neighborhood can become a middle class neighborhood if everybody over 18 had a Universal Basic Income, so why isn't it implemented?


The more income equality, the less power the corporations that own our governments have, and they really don't want that to happen. We have to elect ethical politicians into office, and the best way to do that is to understand human nature, which astrology is the most reliable tool for. Until then, we're at risk of continuing to elect politicians who are prone to compromising their beliefs for money and power. Gentrification is just another way of punishing people for being low income or an ethnic minority, which is reprehensible.

An example of a good development that benefits the existing community:


Big difference.

A gang territory map that I'm working on. Lots of the shaded areas are gentrified or undergoing gentrification.

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