NIMBY conundrum: live near a prison or McMansions?

Here is a letter to editor that presents a dilemma: would the average American rather live near a prison or a large McMansion development?

After all, the new facility could very well provide an experience so rewarding and beneficial that an inmate would not want to leave. The main benefit will actually be to provide developers the 700 acres of valuable land the prison now occupies in order to build McMansions. I’ll bet the board will surely come up with many ways the prison proposal will benefit all of us. But the “in” crowd will be the only beneficiaries. You and I will suffer a tax increase.

Neither of these options would be very attractive. Prisons involve convicted criminals and ugly buildings. McMansions involve large garish houses and new infrastructure costs. However, prisons bring jobs and McMansions bring new housing options. If presented with only these two options, I suspect more people would settle for McMansions. But, these same people would probably want to do what they can in their communities to avoid a choice like this in the first place.

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