Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

"Adults Only" in New Jersey

So, what do you do when the property tax burden for education gets too high? Create new communities where children aren’t permitted. New Jersey, a state where the cost to educate the average child is over $12,000 a year, is now home to one-fifth of the country’s "adults-only" developments.

Discussions - 4 Comments

Yes, this has been going on for a long time. The real estate developers and real estate brokers figured out that they can turn over the housing stock more rapidly if they induce voluntary segregation of child-bearing couples and elderly couples. The elderly die within a few years of moving in to the `senior citizen’ or `retirement’ communities, so that’s a plus for the developers and realtors, and the child-bearers get out of town as soon as the last kid is out the door--again, resulting in properties being sold more often. Sometimes the kids defeat the purpose by returning home after college, but generally they go to cities and rent apartments: another `plus’ for realtors. Winners: realtors and parents who equate extra school spending with better schools. Losers: families.

As Will points out, a lot of this might be solved if they stop spending that much "per child" in educating them. As a product of NJ public schools, I can assure you that it did not feel as if they were spending that much on me!

Houston had "adults only" apartments, but they made it illegal in the late 1980s. I think none of this "voluntary segregation" will survive the first court case, and it shouldn’t (unless you think that ’private’ property can legitimately be used to create racial, ethnic, or age-related enclaves). That’s the hitch with radical individualism...regardless of volunteerism, "group-ness" is disallowed whenever it violates individual rights.

Tony, I feel your pain, as our ex-president would say. The breaking point for me came when the good citizens of my hometown approved a referendum for a college-size gym for the elementary school. Seems that the guys in the local adult basketball league wanted a nice place to play, and the high school gym just wasn’t good enough.

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