Sunday, June 05, 2005

Red Star's idea of "equality"

The Red Star publishes today a story about a new development sprouting up on the North Side of Minneapolis, named Heritage Park. This is a fairly large scale development, which ultimately will include 900 households. It replaces the Sumner Field public housing.

Ok, tearing down dilapidated public housing and replacing it with new residential units (mixed type housing - some rental, some single family) is not the worst idea. That is, if you don't mind shelling out $250 million in taxes. The important thing is that what one gets for the tax-funded expenditure is something that will warm a liberal's heart, "a $250 million, 145-acre, mixed-income housing community envisioned as a culturally rich, socially and economically diverse neighborhood."

The type of housing is not the only thing that is mixed; the status of the residents is mixed also. Here's the rub. As noted, some of the housing is for rental, other units are for purchase, and yet others are for Section 8:

"Heritage Park, bordered by Lyndale and Emerson Avenues N., Olson Memorial Highway and 10th Avenue N., is a mix of housing styles with residents of varying economic levels. But it's impossible to tell by looking which apartments and townhouses are public housing, which are market-rate rentals and which are owner-occupied."
In other words, your next door neighbor may have paid for his unit, roughly the same as you. Or, your next door neighbor, living in exactly the same type of unit as you, may have 70% of his unit subsidized by the federal government, through Section 8 housing vouchers.

How would you feel if you worked hard in school, went on to college, landed a decent paying job, worked hard, saved money, and eventually bought a house in the spanking new Heritage Park housing development. All on your own, without help from anyone else. Then, the unit next to you becomes occupied by a Section 8 tenant. 70% of their rent is subsidized by the general public, including the next door neighbor who worked hard to purchase his own home. They receive food stamps. They are reimbursed for cab fare. The get donations of furniture and household items. If they need a lawyer, the cost is 100% subsidized and provided through Legal Aid. They get reduced price lunches. They get a meaningless part-time job with the city. And they live your lifestyle, right next door.

This, dear reader, is called Socialism. It is redistribution of wealth. It is anathema to our capitalist system. It is pernicious and destructive, because it removes incentive to work hard and succeed on one's own. It shows favoritism of one segment of society (the non, or lesser productive), at the expense of another segment of society.

Only liberals could create such an imbalanced system, and only a socialist newspaper like the Red Star could hold it up as an example of goodness and economic fairness.