NYT: Middle-Class Americans Must Sacrifice Their Suburbs to Aid Poor Immigrants

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The federal government must force tens of millions of suburban voters to sacrifice their houses’ value, their quiet schools, and their green neighborhoods so poor immigrants can have cheaper rents and investors can build more houses, according to the New York Times‘ editorial board.

“The federal government is an irresistible force when it chooses to prioritize an issue. It is past time to prioritize the availability of affordable housing” for immigrants, says the July 7 editorial, titled “A New Approach on Housing Affordability.” 

The editorial starts with a complaint about housing prices — but it never mentions the obvious fix: Ending the federal policy of annually importing 1 million immigrant workers, consumers, and renters, which inflates housing prices and class competition for good neighborhoods and good schools. Reduced immigration, in contrast, would raise Americans’ salaries, lower their housing prices, improve their schools, and also disappoint real-estate investors.

The editorial declares;

A growing number of Americans are struggling to cope with the high and rising cost of rental housing in the United States. On any given night last year, more than half a million Americans were homeless. Nearly 11 million households managed to keep a roof over their heads only by spending more than 50 percent of their income on rent, sharply curtailing their spending on food, health care and other needs. Millions more cannot afford to live in the neighborhoods where children are most likely to thrive, or in the cities where jobs are concentrated.

Three candidates — Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey; Julian Castro, the former secretary of housing and urban development under President Barack Obama; and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — have proposed that the federal government should pressure local governments to allow more development … Mr. Booker and Mr. Castro have proposed that the federal government should require local governments to adopt land-use reforms before they can obtain federal funding for infrastructure projects. The point is not to mandate construction of skyscrapers in place of suburban subdivisions. Rather, it is to require local jurisdictions to make reasonable plans to accommodate population growth — for example, by allowing small-scale apartment buildings in single-family neighborhoods

The NYT’s “small-scale apartment buildings” link connects to a June 15 editorial by the board which lauds the progressive city of Minneapolis for taking single-family lot zoning away from the city’s homeowners. Suburbia is an economically inefficient “entitlement” for wealthy Americans – READ MORE

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