So this is an item that trundled across the transom (boldface mine):
It’s just a crumbling strip of asphalt barely big enough to fit two cars one behind the other — lined by weeds, hard against a brick wall, hemmed in by a utility pole. The closest thing it has to an amenity is straight white stripes.
For this, a crowd gathered for an auction in the rain Thursday, because it wasn’t just any piece of pavement, but a pair of tandem parking spaces in one of the most parking unfriendly sections of the city: the Back Bay.
Bidding began at $42,000. It shot up to six figures within seconds. When the auction ended 15 minutes later, the lucky winner agreed to pay $560,000 — nearly double the $313,000 median sales price of a single-family home in Massachusetts.
“This is just amazing,” said Ken Tutunjian of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, declaring the price a new parking space high. “God bless America.”
There is a reason people will pay this much for what is an elongated parking space–because they can (boldface mine):
Said Beth Dickerson of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty: “The demand is not about value. It’s about wanting the parking spot at whatever cost.”
Fine, you say, it’s just crazy rich people bidding up a parking space in a wealthy neighborhood. Let them piss away their money. But they are also able to bid up other inelastic goods–things you care about, like housing or a college education at a good school. And this has a trickle down effect in that the prices of other less-valued goods–homes in not such snazzy places, or second tier colleges–can then charge more. The wealthy can outbid the rest of us to such an extreme that we now have a two-tiered economy, separate and unequal.
That is how an independent middle class becomes extinct. This is how republican virtue dies.
And the congregation responds: This is yet another reason why we can’t have nice things.
Because we need some humor: This.