I am as supportive of the great calibrating power of the free market as any believer of individual liberty should be – and most Democrat politicians and a majority of Republicans, are not. Nothing is more frustrating to students of Adam Smith’s free market economics and proponents of the concept of opportunity and responsibility as when the government thinks it can out plan the economy or use bureaucratic formulas to provide “fairness.” The court ordered manipulation of the economies housing requirements is the paramount example of government planner’s failure in tinkering with the free-market.
Trenton’s central planners claim the economy needs 100,000 Low Income Housing units so people have access to jobs in suburban communities. This is total hogwash. The logic is based on a presumption that private businesses are incompetent and unable to make the most fundamental business decisions necessary to compete and succeed.
Any business that locates in a community that does not offer housing affordable to that businesses employee base should either be able to pay higher salaries to the point the employee can afford housing in that community or relocate to an area that offers that housing stock. If not, they deserve to go out of business.
On the other hand, if a community chooses to limit the type of housing the employer needs to attract and maintain its employee base that community deserves to lose that taxpaying business. Besides, most suburban communities in New Jersey were developed as “bedroom communities” and residents travel to other areas to work. The argument is based on providing government subsidies to create housing for economic development in towns that don’t have any real jobs.
The use of government low income housing mandates under the guise of “economic development” is intellectually bankrupt. There is no greater force than the “invisible hand” of the free market in forcing businesses and communities to meet economic needs for business services and the corresponding housing needs of workers.
The underlying principle of the left is that people have a “right” to own a home. The cornerstone of conservative thought is that individuals have the opportunity to earn that home. That opportunity can only be realized when the government steps back and allows true, economic progress. Government intervention only serves to indirectly subsidize businesses with the hard earned dollars of the taxpayer. The taxpayer will pick up the tab when these housing projects are filled with individuals who can not find jobs. Then the central planners will look to create even more government jobs to justify their failed program.