In the United States we have something called “Section 8” which is a housing subsidy. The way this works is that if you’re sufficiently poor, the government will make up part of your rent. Say an apartment costs $1000/mo and you claim to be only to afford $700, the government will kick in $300. I live in a particularly high rent area and the subsidy brutalizes the market. Why would landlords bother getting what they can from people when they know they can get that plus a government check? In the end, the subsidy ruins everything. If you want to rent, you’ll either overpay or end up on the subsidy yourself. If you want to buy, prices are inflated due to the potential rental income on any property which is always improved by the subsidy. The people that this program benefits most are not the poor, but rich people that own apartment buildings (by the way, state housing is almost nonexistent here and usually no safer than Mogadishu when available).
What a thought provoking post, OP! For instance, my first thought was "this person has no idea what they are talking about." You see, we really don't have section 8 housing anymore. The Department of Housing and Urban Development now favors a Housing Voucher program. Their website does an excellent job of explaining how the program works. For instance, folks who receive housing vouchers have to pay 30% of their income towards rent and utilities. If that amount were $700, why, then their family income would disqualify them from receiving any vouchers!
OK, since that didn't work...
What I wanted to weasel this into was the idea that we should be building state housing projects rather than handing money to slumlords. Isn't that money better spent?
Alright, OP, I'll bite.
I acknowledge than an undetermined percentage of Housing Voucher funds go to slumlords. However, the Housing Voucher program provides a means for impoverished families to move out of the hood.
OK, so what is it about America that screws up a good idea? A lot of other countries have state housing and it's not the scariest place in town (never is it the nicest). I think we have this inability to take things as far as they need to go in order to work. Rather than build sufficient state housing for all that might want (or even need) it, we build only enough for the poorest of the poor and then warehouse them there. As usual we can't risk socialism taking root and take every step to ensure its failure.
>OK, so what is it about America that screws up a good idea?
That's a valid question. Without any particular research or reason, I would imagine it has a lot to do with politics (is it a great society program or an entitlement program?) Besides, who has better access to politicians of any stripe? Would it be bankers and landlords or the poor?
The only real solution I can see is finding a way to drive wage inflation faster than price elasticity. Government programs like the WPA, rural electrification, and building freeways paid well, and forced the private sector to adjust their wages to compete. The New Deal introduced all kinds of social welfare programs like poverty relief and THE MINIMUM FUCKING WAGE. Unions also had a huge impact on wages and living conditions for workers across the board, even those in non-union shops. Think overtime laws and forty hour weeks.
Hmm... the main thing of interest I saw here was mention of the voucher program offering mobility. I'm not sure that's 100% true. Granted of course state housing might tie them down even more. What I'm trying to say is that the ideal of home ownership works in much the same way. People can't just up and move to follow work because they often have so much invested in their home. They're willing to take lower wages if it means not abandoning their investment and eventually end up in far worse shape than they would have if they could just leave at will (oh yeah, and why do businesses seem to uproot and relocate like clockwork? Or is that just a west coast thing?)
A Australian were warned by bus. Because, he was talking on the mobile phone. And he violated the person.
This is FORIGNER of Japan.