Our public narrative has taken on Soviet dimensions in this country. While the media crows about how many different races and creeds have come together to help each other in Houston during the Hurricane Harvey flood, most Houstonians are trying to avoid the constant looting which is generally done by one ethnic group to another, not within ethnic lines.
To an outsider, this is being portrayed as a tragedy, but really, it is a preventable tragedy because the only really destructive force at work is the ineptitude of the drainage system. Much rain has fallen, but the city is built on a flat plain; if there were enough drainage, none of this flooding would have happened at all.
Why, you might ask, is there no drainage? The answer is that Houston has always been run by two industries, oil and builders. The builders want the ability to throw up subdivisions cheaply, and so the city spread out like poured cement. They leave it to the city to make drainage projects, but the city — which is 24.9% white — has spent its money on social projects: schools for the steady flood of Californians and Mexicans coming into the city, community centers, diversity programs, and benefits for its employees.
The hard fact is that Houston is dead broke because it spend the money on benefits and civil rights programs, and now has nothing for infrastructure, much like the rest of America:
This push for 401(k)-style “defined contribution” plans, however, would do nothing to solve the primary source of Houston’s spiraling pension costs: the $8.2 billion in debt Houston has accumulated after years of underfunding its pensions and the pension funds falling short of their investment goals.
Its budgets have long emphasized borrowing from the future to pay for yesterday and its politicians have hidden the disaster behind “odd” accounting practices. Especially as the most numerous generations retire, Houston will be paying down debt for past obligations, which sets up the condition for the real debt bomb.
Developers (what they call “builders”) have forced this process by building incessantly in three compass directions, which requires the city to build more roads and spend more on expanding its many freeways. On top of that, the expanding population has required the construction of many schools, which are paid for through property taxes which are among the highest in the nation causing Texas to lag in rankings despite having no state income tax. Its school district, which is 8.4% white, absorbs most of these costs, but the students are about 80% “disadvantaged” and often receive state and federal aid.
That school district, however, is only for the City of Houston, not the much wider world of outer suburbs. Houston extends for fifty miles in every direction and most of that space is taken up by smaller cities who are dependent on Houston, and from whom people commute to Houston, but are technically independent. In each of these, the figures are similar to HISD, and so are the challenges. Despite its reputation as the most diverse city in America, Houston is in fact highly segregated by income, mainly because of white flight from the city to the outer suburbs. Places like Tomball, Spring, Katy, The Woodlands, Pearland, Kingwood and Magnolia attract the white population, which otherwise confines itself to the Northwest corner of the metropolitan area, having ceded most of the rest to other ethnic groups:
“In 1980, Anglos made up 63 percent of the population,” Klineberg says. “Now they’re less than 33 percent.” Hispanics in Harris County today constitute 41 percent, he adds, African-Americans 18.4 percent, and Asians and other races 7.8 percent. “The change is even more extreme if you look at the population under 30,” Klineberg says, “where 78 percent are now non-Anglos.”
…Perhaps the most disturbing is that, according to the Pew Research Center, Houston is the most income-segregated of the ten largest U.S. metropolitan areas, with the greatest percentage of rich people living among the rich and the third-greatest percentage of poor people among the poor. And the new waves of immigrants are split between highly skilled college graduates (especially Asians), who effortlessly join the upper echelons of Houston, and poorly educated manual laborers (especially Latinos), who trim the lawns and wash restaurant dishes. “The great danger for the future of America is not an ethnic divide but class divide,” Klineberg warns.
In other words, in diversity paradise, the dream of equality has not been realized; instead, it has been displaced by a vicious competition for class status. The white population (“Anglos” in the above text) have been fleeing this for some time, either going to the Memorial area or one of the outlying sub-cities. This follows the classic pattern in Houston, which has to been to establish “Chinatowns,” or neighborhoods which are mostly one ethnic group, so that its members can coexist while not coexisting at all. The developers like this just fine because as soon as a neighborhood reaches a certain threshold of mixture, the previous ethnic group moves on, probably to brand-new homes made by Hispanic labor in the outer suburbs. This separation means that until something like a hurricane hits, the city’s relatively high amount of crime is relegated to each neighborhood, with most crime being gang-related in a fight over the city’s lucrative drug trade.
All of this adds up to the actual issue behind Hurricane Harvey and the related floods: while the storm dropped a lot of rain across a wide area, the cause of the flooding was the inability to get the water out of the city, mostly because of the huge area built up by the ethnic tension in Houston. You can drive from I-10 just outside of Sealy all the way through Channelview without seeing any substantial interruptions in the concrete. Newer homes are constructed within a few feet of the property line, and the endless roads, parking lots, shopping centers and sluice ways create a nearly unbroken plateau of concrete. This concrete not only raises the risk of flooding, but creates hotter local temperatures. The effect on flooding is dramatic however:
“It pales in comparison with the other driving force, which is the built environment. If you’re going to put 4 million people in this flood-vulnerable area in a way which involves ubiquitous application of impervious surfaces, you’re going to get flooding.”
In other words: there is a lot of concrete in Houston. In 2000, 4.7 million people lived in the Houston metropolitan area. Now the population is about 6.5 million. While efforts are under way to densify and improve public transport in the urban core, much of the growth has been suburban, where houses are big and cheap and commuters drive long distances on some of the world’s widest freeways. The city keeps loosening its belt: a third ring-road cuts through exurbs some 30 miles from downtown, spurring more expansion.
People were able to buy in the city cheaply, then fled to the exurbs, creating a plane of concrete which roasts the city at night and also channels all that water into a narrow series of bayous and drainage ditches, which worked back when the city was smaller, but now have made it the perfect disaster waiting to happen — or, as you read this, happening. White flight, illegal immigration, and migration from high-tax states like California have created runaway growth. In turn, that gave native Houstonians somewhat of a commandment to sell their homes. As with other forms of white flight, it is a race to the bottom, meaning that no one wants to be the last white person to sell out in their neighborhood, since the price between the first white family leaving and the last will represent a radical drop in value. People leave their homes and go to the outer areas, then move again, trying to flee the disaster that has been created. This is why Houston has street signs in seven languages, vibrant diversity in demographics, many ethnic restaurants and lots of neighborhoods dedicated to avoiding one another. We might go so far as to say that Houston demonstrates the “minority-based profit model,” where founders sell out to newcomers who move in on the promise of the type of society that the founders could create, but the newcomers, who can only create the type of environments they are fleeing from, cannot replicate.
With coming generations being mostly minorities, there is no indication that the white exodus will end soon. For now, the oil companies stay because they can hire people local to their West and East Houston locations, and settle them out there in comfortable homes; when those go, their only hiring pool will be a vast surge of minorities, and while they will favor Indian and Oriental candidates, that grand vision did not work out so well for Silicon Valley, and it will likely equally fail in the high-stakes oil business. If all of the white people and their industry leave, Houston will resemble a multicultural Mexico City, with many people living in near-poverty under conditions that would not strike most as consistent with a major American city. Already many businesses have been forced to hire private security to compensate for the lack of response from the police department, who seem to excel in taking notes after crimes have occurred but not preventing them, even when they are repeated on a regular basis. These effects are diminished in the outer suburbs, which have their own private security or sub-city police forces.
As water closes over the top of Houston, hopefully not only cleaning it but perhaps ending it, we can autopsy this disaster. At a time when cheap housing made the city expand faster than ever before, its government delayed working on drainage projects in order to pay for social services and pensions, despite warnings of high risk of catastrophic floods. Because diversity destroys social trust, white people fled the city, depriving it of the income it had when it attracted not just white people, but independent-minded and therefore more productive white people who made it a wealthy city during the boom years. In this way, the city reflects America’s future.
Third world people come from the third world, which is not “poor” so much as it is disorganized and individualistic, therefore people do not come together to create the shared institutions that allow for productive economies like law enforcement, legal systems, communications, banking and other services. As a result, they stay in a band of subsistence living where they produce little and have little, which creates conditions where a few very wealthy people control everything and pay all the taxes for that privilege. Over time, like Brazil and Mexico, however, these third world empires degenerate because this arrangement is unsustainable, at which point the wealthy are sacrificed as in Zimbabwe and South Africa, leaving behind only a permanent mob of people living under primitive conditions. In the USA, this will be accelerated by the impact of the loss of white wealth as these people flee to the countryside.
The Houston story is in fact a story of white flight to Houston. Back in the 1970s, this was a small town known as a rather backward place despite being mostly Anglo, mainly because of its Wild West style origins and lack of much social order, being essentially an extended dormitory for the oil industry. White people fled there after being in Detroit, New York or California and having seen the disaster of the big city, which is not just ethnic but existential, because it is a high-stress low-trust existence that rewards sociopaths and parasites. They could go to Houston and be paid less, but pay much less for housing, and in exchange for not being highly erudite and hip urban center dwellers, could have a comfortable life. The news never reported on Houston, and most people viewed it as a hick town. These were, in retrospect, the glory days for the city, because everyone there was a pioneer of sorts and so it had a very do-it-yourself outlook. Once the city became popular, these types were driven out and replaced by the same people who make other cities into madhouses, and since then, it has endured a series of Leftist mayors who have pandered to its Leftist and minority voters at the expense of little things like, you know, drainage.
As the world watches the waters close over all that nice cheap housing and many taco stands, we have yet another glimpse of the lesson of this period in history: Leftism does not work. Equality discourages pioneers and encourages parasites; diversity makes people abandon the civic resources that make a city first-world and not third-world; socialist style pensions, social welfare programs, and benefits deplete the productive and increase the number of unproductive; “freedom” allows cynical industries to take over, cover the place in concrete and kill off the wildlife and its ecosystems, and then expand outward until they create a crisis. This model does not work. It is the model used across most of the West and if it does not desist and take on the cost of un-doing these bad ideas made into bad policies, it too will find itself under water, floating past signs in seven languages and endless diversity, wondering where it all went wrong.