Monday, April 07, 2008

What we want

Stories of the "credit crunch", potential recession and threatened collapse in house prices are everywhere at the moment. Almost everyone suffers some negative effects.

But some seem immune from this turmoil. From the Times yesterday: The luxury property market shrugs off the slowdown. Prime country houses are holding their value despite turmoil elsewhere.

They describe the perfect residence: “It must have complete peace, away from road or air noise, yet be accessible to a market town or motorway. It must be private, and so ideally come with land, and it must have protected views and some water, such as a lake or stream.”

Seems obvious, and seems uncontroversial. Most people would want that.

But that is why the people who think that only absolute wealth matters are wrong, completely wrong.

Those resources are limited. With high disparity in relative wealth, if some people will have them, then others will not. However many little gadgets people cram into their little homes, these basic "rights" of peace and quiet and seclusion (while still maintaining closeness to nature and historical social and transport links) will only be available to those with the most relative wealth.

It is why immigration matters. Congestion matters. Population matters.

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