I'm always grateful for the stories like this that come from across the sea. However screwed-up I may think things are here sometimes, at least the U.S. government isn't planning to try to goad people into 'eco-towns'. (yet...)
UK has greenbelt laws like Oregon.
With the housing market in the tank in UK and huge limitations on real estate development, the Labour-Socialist government has proposed to open the few areas available to government developed, mandated green towns with populations of thousands.
There are already proposals that would limit, by fees, anyone taking a vehicle out of eco-towns.
Not that I rejoice at anyone else's misguided good intentions (also known as paving stones for a certain road) but that's beside the point...this kind of story should serve as a reminder of what could happen here if the U.S. government is handed over to the wrong people.
Not to disparage one party and laud the other (LOL!)...but Congress is a real mess, and ridiculous (not to mention nasty) with some of these "committee hearings", subpoenas, etc....what's the point??! Valerie Plame? Cover glamour girl on Vanity Fair? Let's all read the National Enquirer while WSJ is reporting on developments in Pakistan/Afghanistan...
Make no mistake...we're at risk of being goaded into "eco-towns" too...that's just what some political candidates think passes as "leadership" to deal with energy shortages. They will pass some laws and mandates, and we the citizenry won't have to worry about high gas prices, supply, or air pollution...certain politicians always have the solution!
Of course, all politicians always have all the solutions to everything, tailored to what audience they're talking to, but that can't be helped right now, alas. Too bad we have the choice we have for November, but I think the "no to eco-towns" candidate is clear, and that's my vote despite all, since the alternative is so extremely problematical (IMHO)...