"Housing Markets Should Be More Like Supermarkets
" argues for "liberalizing development regulations" in order to promote housing affordability, but doesn't suggest any means for accomplishing this – and doesn't even seem to recognize that there are reasons why the regulations came to be the way they are.
The author correctly sees elitist zoning ordinances as a large part of the problem of housing unaffordability but fails to note the systemic problem of how the elite are incentivized to create exclusionary zoning rules by the simple fact that it is legal to buy and sell land and livable building space
– considering only ability to pay
while completely ignoring need
, and prioritizing private profit
over community sustainability
– thus creating runaway price-feedback loops in wealth-creating high-density areas and driving housing out of reach an ever-expanding lower economic tier of humanity.
If housing markets had delivered what the free-marketists
are always promising – a reasonably equitable allocation of resources without the concentration of power implied by the obvious alternative – then it would represent the effective coexistence of those two priorities.
Unfortunately, it has become quite clear that housing markets are absolutely abysmal at allocating resources fairly
-- and allowing people to own homes and other buildings when there are other people who need to use them but are not (under a capitalist housing ownership system) allowed to do so is basically saying that we prioritize wealth-concentration over basic human needs
...which of course is right-wing philosophy in a nutshell: it's a dog-eat-dog world; if you're not succeeding it must be your fault and you need to try harder and be more competitive; helping people who are doing poorly is bad for the species
-- totally forgetting that this attitude can only survive by preying on the wealth created by millennia of civilization that proves the exact opposite: We only thrive because we help each other.
The idea of buying and selling housing has had its chance, and we've seen where it leads.Photo: it should be noted that supermarkets thrive in large part because of food safety regulations, business regulations, financial regulations, and other legal measures that make it reasonably safe to walk into a store you've never heard of, buy some food, and eat it.
In many areas of modern life, the market provides a cornucopia of choices to accommodate people’s diverse needs, wants, and tastes: just visit a supermarket to see this. When it comes to housing options, though, the reality is starkly different.(link via Thunkii on Discord)