Saturday, May 16, 2009
  Shorelines

Steve Sailer has been dissecting the demographics and politics of location, partly in connection with the subprime real estate bubble.

One of Sailer's main points is the link between location, politics and income: the closer you get to an ocean beach, the more expensive the land, and the more leftish the population.

This led me to wonder: is there an innate connection here? When you have the genetic combination that pulls you toward beaches, do you also have the natural equipment for material success, and the natural tendency toward leftist politics?

The latter two are certainly connected and innate. No mystery there. Top dogs are aristocrats, and the modern Western expression of aristocracy is leftist politics.

But what about the drive to be near an ocean? Natural or learned?

One quick test shows it to be a learned status symbol manufactured through advertising and peer pressure, like the taste for diamonds or caviar. If the basic sensory inputs (seeing and hearing waves, an infinite horizon, fishy smells) were linked to the talents that yield success, then lakeshores would be just as valuable as ocean shores. Lake Erie should be just as unattainable as Malibu. But it ain't.

Example: Luna Pier, Michigan, just north of Toledo. I visited there a few times when I lived in Bowling Green. It's a beautiful place, with charming cottages, lapping waves and an infinite horizon. Is it wildly expensive? Not at all. The real estate prices look similar to any solid but nothing-special Midwestern city: house by house, the same prices you'd find in Enid or Topeka.

While examining the prices, this house grabbed my attention. Showing a picture instead of a link, because I suspect the listing won't be there very long....



One block from the infinite horizon, a clean and cute place for $18k. I could afford that myself, and I'm many light-years down from Malibu-rich. (Tempted? Yes.)

I'll bet this was originally an Aladdin house; many of the 1920's seaside and lakeside cottages were built from prefab kits.

Specifically, I'll bet it's a modified version of this Aladdin model:


 


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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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