24 Jun '11, 1pm

The Great Geographic Ponzi - How Sprawl Is Like Bernie Madoff - @Kaid_at_NRDC

The Great Geographic Ponzi - How Sprawl Is Like Bernie Madoff - @Kaid_at_NRDC

“What we have found is that the underlying financing mechanisms of the suburban era -- our post-World War II pattern of development -- operates like a classic Ponzi scheme, with ever-increasing rates of growth necessary to sustain long-term liabilities . . . “In each of these mechanisms, the local unit of government benefits from the enhanced revenues associated with new growth. But it also typically assumes the long-term liability for maintaining the new infrastructure. This exchange -- a near-term cash advantage for a long-term financial obligation -- is one element of a Ponzi scheme. “The other is the realization that the revenue collected does not come near to covering the costs of maintaining the infrastructure. In America, we have a ticking time bomb of unfunded liability for infrastructure maintenance . . . “We've done this because, as with any Ponzi scheme, new gro...

Full article: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kbenfield/how_sprawl_is...

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