Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Money vs. Space

This article about how people can't afford to own stuff, and a friend's remark about Terramagne-America not having the same argument over money vs. space, got me thinking about why that difference exists.

T-America has much less argument about money vs. space for reasons including:

* They have more money. The federal mininum wage is $15/hour. That's enough to live on comfortably in some places, and two of those incomes open up a lot more places.

* Prices are less exorbitant, in part because companies are not allowed to gouge consumers or do other destructive things -- on pain of corporate execution, not penny-ante fines they don't care about.

* There is much more affordable housing and more free government or charity housing. Most street people are there because they can't abide living in structures or putting up with other people in close proximity, as with Turq.

* Size of housing and outside amenities are better balanced. Look at the Skylark Apartment Building -- it has mostly modest units (not counting the enormous penthouse), two amenity floors full of small businesses and recreation spots, and a shuttlebus for shopping and entertainment. Even Shiv's public housing apartment comes with a lounge, community kitchen, exercise room, and reading room on the ground floor. Plus T-America has many more parks, playgrounds, plazas, and other outdoor public spaces. You don't need nearly as much private space if the public ones offer you lots of opportunities for cheap or free activities.

* They're also more gregarious. People are taught to reach out and make connections when they move in. If it's an apartment, get to know the people on your floor, then your building, and on into other buildings in the complex if any. If it's a house, meet your neighbors, then the rest of your block, then farther into your neighborhood. These levels of proximity often play into social events. Apartments have floor parties, building-wide game tournaments, building-vs-building leagues, etc. Neighborhoods have porch parties, street fairs, and park days. It's easier to maintain long-term relationships because citizens are not constantly forced to move. That means people aren't stuck only with their home and their stuff -- they can easily borrow someone else's, the way the neighborhood kids all used to pile into the one house with a TV to watch a show.
Tags: community, economics, fantasy, networking, writing
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