OT - I don't _hate_ McMansions

Stuart Jansen sjansen at buscaluz.org
Sun Jun 22 07:40:21 MDT 2008

On Sun, 2008-06-22 at 00:19 -0600, Corey Edwards wrote:
> On Sat, 2008-06-21 at 22:04 -0600, Josh Coates wrote:
> > >McMansions are  built because people  want them;
> > 
> > ditto to stuart jansen's brilliant statement - (plus a "duh." added by me,
> > directed towards andy. ;-)
> There's quite a difference between a sweat shop and a McMansion, and I
> don't think the analogy holds. Anyone who can afford a house of that
> scale certainly has other options. They may not be ones that fit into
> their idea of style or luxury, but the choice is there.

I know it's hard to remember at this point, but I'm actually the one
that kicked off the whole McMansion discussion when I pointed out that a
lot of Americans are making disgusting, self-indulgent decisions.

I think it's disgusting that in so many families in Utah, when Junior
graduates from high school he gets a Mustang as a gift instead of
working for it. Apparently no one cared enough to disagree with me. On
the topic of housing, however, there was a strong counter argument: "The
market has swung too far, even those who don't want them are being
forced to buy too large homes on too small land."

Why? Wouldn't the market correct itself? As someone pointed out,
developers make more money by building more home on less land. As
someone who wants less home on more land, I have to admit there is some
truth to this argument. Maybe down in Spanish Fork decent homes are
still being built, but I live in Davis county and up here most new homes
are the type I dislike. I have other options. For now, I'm still
renting. Eventually, perhaps, I'll move into a home 30 miles from work.
Neither is a great option. Or maybe I'll get lucky and find a home that
was built back when people had more sense, but there aren't many
families in those homes now in hurry to sell.

There's a limit to how often one can run back to the argument that
"People do X so they must want X." Sometimes "People do X because they
didn't have many other options."

So yes, Americans in general are at fault. But so are developers. And
city councils. When you get down to it, developers are doing nothing
wrong. They're maximizing profit. Saying they're greedy isn't an insult,
it's a statement of fact our economic system is built around. The role
of the market is to moderate that greed. And when the market fails, the
role of government is step in for the good of society. Obviously some
people feel the system is currently malfunctioning and aren't happy
about waiting for a market correction.

More information about the PLUG mailing list