City Journal Summer 2014

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Summer 2014
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Nicole Gelinas
Preaching to the Choir on Housing « Back to Story

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I've never heard of government doing a thing to make housing affordable. The best way to make housing affordable are close families, good jobs and a well knit community. Government has shown itself to be destructive of all three. Here is New Jersey we have the Mount Laurel decision, which has been an utter disaster, being used by communities, developers and government for its own ends, with no perceptible affect on housing, despite billions spent.

Public housing? In Newark we had the Scudder and Columbus Homes "expensive, crime ridden failues." Public housing in other areas such as Chicago just as bad. Government somehow never realizes its failures.

There is nothing charitable about government when it comes to public housing. The whole experience was a boondoggle, and wasted billions, which would have been better kept in the hands of taxpayers. Diong nothing would have been the best alternative, given the harm caused by forcing people to live in filthy crime ridden communities. Good intentions have worked to affect the very opposite of what was intended.

And that's what happens everytime when government deals with this issue. There are things that government does, if not well, but it does them - building roads (althought the roads are actually built by private companies), law enforcement, maybe a few other things. But, when it comes to public housing government efforts have been a disaster.

And that goes for New York as well. The pressure of the prevailing culture is shown in this article. The fact that it doesn't work is an irrelelvancy.

We really should fear what's coming when Bloomberg leaves office. Those who recall 1992 should be especially fearful, since the city was in a nose dive - everything that could go wrong was going wrong -crime, racial tensions, and all the rest.

Find it so ironic that you use faith vernacular to posit a point of view that is devoid of any love, faith or charity towards those among us jesus would have wslked with. Shame on you.
Nicole, I love your writing.

But the 6,000 reduction to police is justified by the lower crime rates overall. Lead poisoning went down significantly as the air cleaned up and we are seeing overall health improvements that translate to less crime.

As to public housing, the alternative is slums. You need to do work at comparative economics and reach back to what New York was like when the slums were allowed to proliferate in their Free Market perfection.

Crowded, coughing, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. Life in the slums. And we will always have people with lower intelligence, mental illness, chronic illnesses, or old age who must be addressed communally with our faith, hope, and charity -- the greatest of which, last I looked, is charity. Or should we toss them on a pile somewhere else?