Jun. 11th, 2017

There was an interview in Reason with Richard Rothstein about discrimination in housing. He has written a book saying that it didn't just happen because of voluntary choices and private discrimination, but because government agencies actually required places like Levittown to be white-only, with restrictive covenants, as a condition of obtaining the credit that enabled them to be built. There's more, but that's one important point.

This meant, among other things, that a white veteran of World War Two could buy a house in the suburbs, and build wealth for his family, while a black veteran could not, even if he was theoretically eligible for a loan as well. This meant that inequalities were passed on, because the black veteran would then be less able to meet emergency medical expenses, or help his child go to college. So what can we do about it now? How do we, or can we, compensate blacks whose grandparents got a raw deal because of government-mandated discrimination?

I will note that "building wealth through homeownership" tends to mean "getting rich through appropriating increases in land value."
To continue with Wednesday, August 17, the second part of "Disney World as an Intentional Community" was a talk by Jim Clark, a historian, a professor at the University of Central Florida, and also a journalist. His aunt sold her twenty acres for $1000 per acre.

Walt Disney couldn't get financing for Disney World, so he mortgaged his television program to ABC. Ultimately, Disney Corporation ended up buying ABC.

In the late 1950's and 1960's, 98% of visitors to Disney Land in California were from west of the Mississippi; it would be nice to get money from people in the East as well. Walt Disney talked with Angie Busch, who owned Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. There are exotic birds and gardens at Busch Gardens.

Walt Disney's parents were the first couple married in new Lake County, Florida. Young Walt didn't grow up in Florida, but did visit as a child. He saw the future site of Disney World from an airplane, and chose the land. It was swampland, with 16 feet of filter on top of the swamps. There is a lake near Disney World, which was dredged out to get soil to put on top of the land elsewhere.

Disney hired a CIA agent to buy up land for Disney World, and he conducted it like a CIA operation. The tipster was "Ford Mustangs," and the second telegraph said "Hay for the mustangs."

Walt Disney (present as "Mr. Brown") was eating with some Disney executives, when the waitress asked whether he was Walt Disney. Someone hastened to say no, that Walt Disney was better looking. Walt Disney said that he was, indeed, Walt Disney, and one of his executives made a "he's crazy" gesture.

A female journalist asked Mr. Disney whether it was true that he was planning to build a theme park near Orlando. He denied it, saying that it was a terrible place for a theme park, with 42.8 inched of rainfall per year, and he also pronounced Kissimmee correctly, with the accent on the second syllable. The reporter figured out that if he knew that much about the local rainfall and pronunciation, he was planning a theme park there, and was behind the mysterious land purchases. The headline read, "Girl reporter says it's Disney."

To be continued.
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