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Strange cases of NIMBYism

Putting individual interests first can hurt the greater public good
Published on Feb 10, 2012

A recent editorial in my local paper crowed, "Nothing like people power to stop a cell tower," referring to a very upscale neighborhood whose residents had managed to block a cell phone company's plans to build a cell phone mast."The people," it continued, "have won big ... rallying to keep the cell tower (designed to look like a tree) from 'taking root' in their neighborhood." Yeah, they won big, and I'm sure they all got on their cell phones to tell each other the good news. Now, I'd be the last person to stand up for any big corporation, let alone a communications behemoth like the one involved here.But there was more than a whiff of hypocrisy in this NIMBY ("not in my backyard") crowd, each of whom were happy to jabber on their cell phones all day long, but who preferred to banish those frightful-looking cell phone towers to some blue-collar neighborhood where they "belonged." Nor is this kind of me-first thinking always ju...

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