May. 29th, 2017

On Wednesday, August 19, Dr. Fred Foldvary spoke about Walt Disney World as a Proprietary Rent-Funded Community. You can click on the link and read what he himself wrote about the matter.

There are other examples of proprietary rent-funded communities, like shopping malls, hotels, the private neighborhoods of St. Louis, Missouri, a condominium in Alexandria, Virginia, etc. You don't pay a fee to use the elevator in a hotel; you pay rent on your room, which finances services Ike the elevator.

WDW is like that on a bigger scale; it occupies forty square miles in Orange and Osceola counties (mostly Orange), and has 70,000 "cast members." The land assembly was done through dummy corporations, with $5 million paid for 28,000 acres, and the price around $180 per acre by 1964. When it was learned that it was Disney buying the land, the price climbed to $1000 per acre. There is something called the Reedy Creek Improvement District, 98% of which is owned by Disney, which enabled to use innovative methods. This is not like Disney Land in California, where the hotels and such outside the theme park are privately owned. Disney World mostly does not enrich privat land speculators. Disney Land does, and the frenzy of land speculation raised land prices, and made it hard to actually build the hotels required to make the theme park viable.
I paused, this Memorial Day, to give thought to those who gave the last full measure of devotion. I was moved to look up the Gettysburg Address, from which that famous phrase is taken, and went on to read other Lincoln quotations. In his September 11, 1858 speech at Edwardsville, the great statesman and orator said:

"What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, every where. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors."

I leave it to my Dreamwidth friends to consider for themselves certain political events and cultural trends in light of these words.

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