Saturday, October 06, 2007

La Jolla - Slip Sliding Away, with Lawsuits

I used to know someone who lived on Mount Soledad in La Jolla, California near San Diego (friend of a friend). I was certainly interested in the news that a good sized chunk of land there decided to move. La Jolla is not Beverly Hills for chic but homes there were selling for over $1 million well before it was California common. The views are spectacular and the smell of money pungent.

I have driven on the winding roads that twist over that lump of sedimentary sandstone pushed up by the Rose Canyon Fault. It doesn't take a geologist to kick a couple clods of dirt and wonder what in the name of creation is holding those way too steep slopes together. It is inevitable that gravity correct the geologic mistake that is Mount Soledad. Insurance companies knew this which is why the multi-million dollar homes clinging to its slopes were uninsurable for earth movement.

But, the millionaires who buy into La Jolla and Mount Soledad are not without chutzpah. They bought homes with great views on land that any child with experience building sand castles would have known was unstable. They knew their house could toppled into that great view; they didn't care. These are people who didn't get rich by owning up to their own mistakes. They got rich by making other people pay.

Lawsuits have been filed even before the dust settled. Rich people build their homes on shifting sands knowing full well they can make the poor working stiffs living on viewless bottomland pay for their indulgences. The state and the city will spend whatever is necessary to make these millionaires whole. The poor suffer so the rich don't have to. It's the American Way.

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