Saturday, September 24, 2016
The Irony of Suburban "Covenants, Codes, and Restrictions" Is That Private Government Is More Intrusive Than Real Government
Many suburban subdivisions are minutely regulated by Covenants, Codes, and Restrictions. These can cover just about anything that is visible from outside your house. Legally, it is like living in a shopping mall.
Suburban homeowners give up a great deal of their freedom in the interests of keeping up the property values of the whole neighborhood. The task, and bane, of Homeowners Associations is enforcing these rules.
The irony is that these same suburbs are also more likely to be home to the kind of conservatives who resent government regulation of their lives and property.
There is no logical contradiction here - choosing to enter into a private contract to give up your liberty is different from being subject to regulation whether you personally chose it or not. But in practice the homeowners association restricts many "small government" conservatives much more than the government does.
And the people who live in the super-liberal bohemian neighborhoods in the city have, in practice, much more freedom about what they do with their property.