Why don’t they move away, Part II

Yesterday, the SF Chron ran a story about a family that can’t get by in the City on a $53,000 annual income, which contained within it the favored prescription for this ill:  not mobility but money, yours and mine.  I blogged this question:  why don’t people who can’t afford to live in a given place move where it’s cheaper, something that humans have done since time immemorial.  Mine is not a question that will ever reach a politician’s ear.  Instead, as sure as the sun rises in the East, a politician instantly came up with the “appropriate” way to deal with low income people:

A supervisor wants voters to decide whether The City should be required to spend nearly $100 million annually on below-market-rate housing and other residential needs.

I know I sound selfish, but I’ve never understood why it’s incumbent upon me to be forced to pay for housing for people who couldn’t otherwise live in my community.  This is a really hot button issue for me, because a social engineering judge ordered my town (read:  me, the taxpayer) to pay for low income housing to be built within a couple of miles of my home.  I am completely incapable of understanding why this should be forced on me.  To begin with, I didn’t just waltz into this neighborhood.  I worked incredibly hard and scrimped and saved for decades, both to educate myself so that I could rise to a higher income level, and to stockpile money to make a down payment.  My husband did too.  I know other people work hard and don’t have a lot of money to show for it (that would be my parents), but that’s life — it’s not perfectly fair and it never will be.  Frankly, I don’t think it’s fair that I’m not as rich as Bill Gates or as good-looking as Vivien Leigh was.  But what can you do?

As it is, if I were charitably inclined, I could contribute to housing for the poor, or even to turn my home over to a poor family while I find living elsewhere.  Alternatively, if the absence of poor people in my community began to make life difficult for me, I might, in a selfish but beneficial way, work with others suffering as well to create housing for poor (or poorer) people.  But I still don’t get why I should be forced to do so.

Can anyone give me a rational reason why I, who worked for every penny I used to buy into this neighborhood, should be required to subsidize people who just really, really, really want to live here?


8 Responses

  1. I think you ask the wrong question.

    I had an incredibly liberal poly sci prof once say that to understand any political event you need to follow the money.

    So, millions will be spent from taspayer pockets in SF to subsidize people who can’t live there otherwise. Like, hmmm….the money will end up in the pockets of Landlords and Contractors, generally.

    And of course, employers will find some relief from paying higher wages to retain workers.

    So, in the name of social reponsibility, you end up with left wingers transfering tax payer wealth into the hands of economic oligarchs, by way of government compulsion.

    Of course, everyone convieniently forgets that fascist movements were always cloaked as “socialist” or “socially responsible” movements that transfered wealth into the hands of economic oligarchs in exchange for allowing them political power. And, of course, they always claimed to be “sweeping away” an older order for some reason or other, in the name of the peoples freedom or well being.

    Communism is a dead or dying letter, but fascism seems to be doing well, under the guise of social justice.

    And, of course, it must have it’s internal enemies. Much like SF and it’s anti-catholic resolution. They’ve learned that it’s now hard to sell war, so they sell sexual liberty to keep everybody distracted.

  2. The short answer to your question is no. No one can, because there is no rational reason.

  3. It’s about “control”, which is what leftists have to have in
    order to get what they want. There is no way they can
    build the utopia they see in their mind, so long as you
    and the rest of us have control over our own lives, our
    property, our time and energy, and yes, our money.

    This is just one more way of extending the power and
    reach of government (remember “monopoly of force”?)
    with the ultimate goal of complete control. Thinking
    about things in this way helps make sense of a lot of
    otherwise bizarre positions on the left — things like the
    Second Amendment, birth-control pills for 11-year olds,
    and so on.

    Ugly stuff. We’re likely to see one of them running in
    2008 — if she gets elected, don’t say you weren’t given
    a warning!

  4. If you execute all the corrupt bureacrats… then problem solved.

  5. We have to listen to the same swill in Seattle, The government insists that builders provide “affordable” housing and never once recognize that they, through land use regulation, are the worst cause of unaffordable housing. Stupid bureaucrats – I never vote for the bastards but I am hopelessly outnumbered by people who do not “believe” in economics.

  6. I recently attended a brilliant meeting featuring a senior government official in which it was pointed out that the internet, decentralized offices, rural energy generation (e.g., ethanol) and other factors are empowering rural communities in many new ways and shifting the focus of activity away from high-priced, high-taxed cities. The worm may be turning.

    We see this in Chicago, where many quaint, attractive Midwestern prairie towns within driving distance of Chicago are gaining new sizzle. Chicago, meanwhile, does all it can to soak the citizenry with new fees and taxes, drive up dependency with new welfare programs, and drive out small businesses that otherwise would be supporting the economy.

    San Francisco and Seattle are great places to visit…but to live there? Forget it!

  7. I can only commiserate with you, since I have no solutions. But I do wonder why people insist on living in those over-crowded, crime-ridden, dirty cities, when they could live in the middle of the country (what my sister refers to as fly-over country). But it’s clean and friendly and eager to please. Eager to attract business, too. Oh, and uncrowded, did I mention that? And nobody insists on low-income housing, although some do suggest it.

    I want somebody to define “affordable” because that’s a waffle word. Affordable to whom?

  8. “…why don’t people who can’t afford to live in a given place move where it’s cheaper,…”

    Careful, dear. If you go making sense like that in public, someone is bound to notice!

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