“Hidden Costs of Local Population Growth”

The May 2018 episode of “Glen’s Parallax Perspectives” interviews two very knowledgeable guests who have been working to protect the broad public interest in matters affecting our local community.

Typically, local communities assume that they are supposed to grow in population. Local population growth is promoted as good for us, but the promoters avoid disclosing the real costs – the hidden costs – of local population growth. This interview explores the costs of such growth. Although some of our examples come from the greater Olympia area, the principles pertain elsewhere too.

The City of Olympia expects 20,000 more people here in the next 20 years. Who will pay for the roads, sewers, schools, parks, police and fire services, and so forth? Should growth pay its own way, or should all of the rest of us subsidize it? Also, how will we deal with the non-financial costs, such as the increased noise, traffic congestion, and visual clutter?

Two guests help us explore these concerns. I have known and respected them for about 30 years:
• Jim Lazar has worked as a professional economist since the 1970s. He specializes in energy issues but also knows a huge amount about local government and other issues too.
• Bob Jacobs had a long career as a public policy analyst for state government. He was widely appreciated as the mayor of Olympia and has continued serving the public interest as a well informed and vigorous volunteer.

We debunk the assumption that endless growth is good. While we acknowledge some benefits of local population growth, we discuss a number of non-financial costs and spend most of the interview explaining the hidden financial costs that real estate developers and local governments impose upon everyone when local population increases. Although new construction may pay modest impact fees for transportation and schools, those are far less than the actual costs, so ordinary people who already live here end up subsidizing the real estate developers. We explain these hard financial realities in ways that are easy to understand.

We also expose serious inherent flaws in the “Missing Middle” proposal that the City of Olympia is trying to impose upon us.

We offer sources of information so you can learn more.

This program will air on TCTV cable channel 22 in Thurston County WA three times a week throughout May 2018:  every Monday at 1:30 pm, every Wednesday at 5:00 pm, and every Thursday at 9:00 pm.

From now until many years into the future, everyone everywhere can watch this interview – and/or read a thorough summary of what we said.  Here are the links:

Watch the interview at this link:
TV INTERVIEW: “Hidden Costs of Local Population Growth”

Read a thorough summary of what we said at this link:
2018.05 Program Summary — Cost of Growth

After I produced this TV program and posted it to my blog, my e-mail address changed from glenanderson@integra.net to glen@parallaxperspectives.org.  When you watch the TV video and/or read the linked document, please use my new e-mail address (and/or phone me at 360-491-9093) if you have any questions or want more information.




About GlenAnderson 1515 Articles
Since the late 1960s Glen Anderson has devoted his life to working as a volunteer for peace, nonviolence, social justice, and progressive political issues. He has worked through many existing organizations and started several. Over the years he has worked especially for such wide-ranging goals as making peace with Vietnam, eliminating nuclear weapons, converting from a military economy to a peacetime economy, abolishing the death penalty, promoting nonviolence at all levels throughout society, and helping people organize and strategize for grassroots movements to solve many kinds of problems. He writes, speaks, and conducts training workshops on a wide variety of topics. Since 1987 he has produced and hosted a one-hour cable TV interview program on many kinds of issues. Since 2017 he has blogged at https://parallaxperspectives.org He lives in Lacey near Olympia WA. You can reach him at (360) 491-9093 glen@parallaxperspectives.org