Tony: Bullets are Cheap and Living in the Suburbs is Expensive

Gentrification is a funny thing.

In Kansas City Proper the so-called “Downtown Renaissance” has turned out to be nothing but an urban legend. But that hasn’t stopped a few committed “hipsters” from continually touting the benefits of urban life, minus, of course, all of the original lower income minority inhabitants pushed out by the new gentry. In the aftermath of the American Mortgage collapse that sunk the world’s economy I’m not completely convinced that most real estate transactions aren’t based completely on lies.

Nevertheless, it’s hard to blame people for wanting to increase the value of their homes. Today, there’s a great post in the local blogosphere that demonstrates the wishful thinking that empowered so many hipster dweebs to buy land, office space, lofts and condos in the Crossroads and similar areas . . . It’s a simple analysis of a graph which explains that living in the suburbs is more costly than living in urban areas. That’s not really a ground breaking idea but let’s examine this sentiment just a bit further. Shall we?

Admittedly, when it comes to straight up addition and subtraction: YES. Living in an urban area is cheaper. I’ve lived in an urban area all of my life and I can vouch for the fact that a human can get by on nothing more Ramen noodles and a bus pass for months on end. Total cost: Less than $50.

But most people don’t like living like hobos.

Factor these costs into the equation when considering life in KC’s urban core vs. the burbs:

Education: Just about everyone has given up on the Kansas City, Missouri School District and most of the yuppies, hipsters and even some of the working poor will spring for private education rather than subject their young loved ones to the failed experiment that is the KCMSD.

Grocery stores: In the suburbs, grocery stores are temples to consumerism and all the best stuff is available at low prices. For the last few years on Kansas City’s Eastside there has been a complaint that there aren’t enough grocery stores and the quality is certainly lacking. The downtown grocery store next to the P&L District was celebrated but the prices are still relatively high and it’s not a place where working families would go to buy food in bulk. For better or worse, the store is aimed at the same kind of loft & condo dwelling dorks who tout urban living.

Banking: Urban areas don’t have enough banks. Banks don’t want to waste resources on po’folk. That’s part of the reason why check cashing places and payday loan stores prosper despite their exorbitant rates. Living in urban areas might be cheaper but that’s mostly because most people living there don’t have any money.

Violence: Today there was a guy probably beaten to death with a baseball bat in KC Proper. It’s wasn’t an unusual story and most residents of KC treat this news casually. The warmer weather is coming, that means more violence, shooting and the typically high murder rate in the urban core. Ancient Chinese military general and strategist Sun Tzu once wrote, “Kill one, frighten ten-thousand.” And that principal is always at play and part of the reason so many suburbanites fled Kansas City. Sadly, there will be stay bullets and innocent people killed in KC’s urban core this Summer . . . While I don’t believe that the suburbs or any other place on this planet is completely “safe” I realize that violence isn’t nearly as prevalent in the burbs.

In the final analysis, there are a lot of hidden costs for urban living that most advocates of gentrification ignore or fail to mention. I think Kansas City proper is a wonderful place to live but it’s not for the timid and there’s no reason to misrepresent any savings.

The fact of the matter is that it’s better for suburbanites who aren’t committed to this town to stay in their tiny hamlets.

Kansas City needs people committed to the future of our town in the face of The Great Recession and so many other challenges. Suburbanites simply looking to save a few bucks should stay home and maybe cutback at the box stores.

Tony Botello
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7 Responses to Tony: Bullets are Cheap and Living in the Suburbs is Expensive

  1. Anonymous says:

    So in other words…Kansas City proper sucks! Stay in the Suburbs if you can help it.

    The End.

  2. Anonymous says:

    midtown miscreant
    The only thing cheaper is the real estate. You get some bang for you buck in Midtown, but you could get shot over that same buck, so it’s kind of a wash. As for grocery stores on the east side. I dont think it’s possible to run a grocery store through those little plexiglass teller windows. Seriously, no grocer wants the liability.

  3. Anonymous says:

    midtown miscreant
    make that bang for Your buck.

  4. Anonymous says:

    For education you still have charter schools, and schools are only an issue for those with kids.

    Grocery stores I agree. More needs to be done about that.

    Banks…sheesh, when was the list time I went to bricks and mortar bank?

    Violence – that greatly depends on where in the city you live. North of the river is very different from the east side which is different from Brookside which is different from downtown. To say one guy got hit with baseball bat = everyone in KC proper should be terrified is ridiculous.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well, this seems to be a social problem we can’t blame on whitey. Unless of course you want to blame whitey for leaving the city while all the latinos and blacks kill each other off. That is the ultimate form of urban renewal. In the meantime the Taurus Judge with the .410 shells is the perfect weapon for conceal carry self defense.

  6. Anonymous says:

    newbaum turk
    I’m a white 40 year-old male.Dad went to Paseo, Mom went to Van Horn. They bought a house in O.P. (what is now older O.P.)in the early 70’s for 27,000.House sold for 7x what they paid for it.Couldn’t call either one yuppies.Neither went to college, dad never graduated high school.So they were dumb for moving to the suburbs?Simple fact anywhere in the country:if schools suck, people that can move will move every time.How’s that billion dollar school on Linwood doing?It improved nothing.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Summer Corallo
    Very Cool post, I was wondering did you hear that Dade County , Florida has decided interference with free speech by pulling ads about Islam. This is outrageous and a huge waste of tax payer money will be pent paying legal costs to defend this practice.

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