The “market” is an efficient way to provide for the allocation of scarce goods. Those who want something bargain with those who have it, and the price reflects what a willing seller and a willing buyer agree is “fair.” As between different persons wanting the same thing, the successful buyer is almost always the one who is willing to pay more. That is sometimes called the “Golden Rule.” He or she who has the gold makes the rules.
A problem arises with respect to “necessities.” If everyone needs them, and the person who has the gold gets the goods, it’s possible that those with lower incomes and fewer assets will actually get nothing. This is really not acceptable if what we are talking about is truly “necessary.” Think health care. Think housing.
In Santa Cruz County, which has an "inclusionary housing" program, persons and families with average and below average incomes simply cannot afford housing, which is a basic necessity of life. Santa Cruz County government has tried to do something about this, by setting permanent price controls on a certain percentage of new housing produced in Santa Cruz County. The price set, which applies to both first time sales and resales, is what an average or below average income person can afford, and these units must be sold to such persons.
Other local governments in California have also adopted inclusionary housing programs, but there is no statewide system.
Maybe there should be.
Think about letting our new Governor and your state elected officials know whether you think this ought to be a rule that applies everywhere in California.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
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