Posted by JWmHarmon on March 24, 2003 at 11:45:28:
In Reply to: Re: I have a great idea posted by Kevin Matthews on March 23, 2003 at 21:15:30:
Posted by Rog the Dodge: "If there was a simple answer to housing the homeless in Western societies (never mind the world at large), do we not imagine that it would have been discovered by now?"
It has been discovered. It is called Habitat for Humanity International. This is an ever expanding answer to the need for decent affordable housing not only in western society but worldwide. Partner Families pay for the materials used to build their homes with a no interest loan, put in "sweat equity," and the money they pay in is continually recycled into new homes for others. I would urge Rog the Dodge and others who agree with Rog to get involved with HFHI by forming or joining a local HFH Affiliate organization. Like the old saying advises: "Put your money where your mouth is."
It is a basic fact of capitalism that one must either make a profit or go out of business. The profits will be taxed to provide government services. The alternative to capitalism is state-sponsored taxation in one form or another. The taxes collected are then distributed by government dictate rather than by personal choice. With capitalism in the USA every single person has the opportunity to own the publicly traded stocks of many different companies. Potentially, every citizen can own stock in every company, IF the person so chooses. Even on a minimum wage, one can make choices that allow one to own stock in a company and share in the profits. Would you rather decide how to spend your own money or have some official of the government decide how you should spend your money?
David on March 21, 2003 wrote: "those 40 million are either living in cars,sleeping on a couch of a friend or relative,or living illegally doubled or tripled up in subsidized or public housing,or they are in homeless shelters... 25%-30% of homeless people work full time..." I would like to know the source of your statistics. If you are living with a relative, you could be saving money to buy or build your own home, unless you are temporarily unemployed. If you are unemployed you have time to work on improving your marketable skills to make you more attractive to employers. (You could also be starting your own business.) You could be learning the skills necessary to build your own home. The exception to this may be the chronically ill either mentally of physically. If you are living with a relative, are you really homeless? Or are you just temporarily without a place of your own? What will you have to do to get a place of your own? If "the government" provides a homeless shelter, then are you really homeless? If so, what do you have to do to change the situation? Are you going to do something about your situation or are you going to blame "corrupt society?" I do not mean to trivialize the problems of the truly homeless, but I also encourage individual responsibility for improving one's life where that is possible. I see it happening everyday.
Posted by Peter B on March 22: "let's be reasonable now that we're talking numbers. That's the cost of a tract house around here (not exactly "here"--right around here the tract homes start at $500,000)." I suggest that we do be reasonable. I do not have to live in a large house to be comfortable. I can live in a smaller used house and have adequate shelter. One thousand square feet for a family of four is not unreasonable. I can build a 1000 square feet house for approximately $30,000 in materials. In some small towns I can but a lot for $3000 - $5000. If I am going to work for minimum wage, maybe I should consider moving from the high land cost areas. It is a choice.
Joe G. and Kevin Matthews point out a common problem with the intent of laws passed and the ways some people try to get around those laws. Again I would point out that one does not have to choose to live in such areas. There are other available choices. One of the problems when faced with such discrimination is that people do not want to make the choices that may be required. "The rich" will always try to zone out less wealthy people either through zoning ordinances or through expensive legal action. Fair or not it is a fact of life. Those of us who are not wealthy have many other choices. We can also choose a path to join the wealthy if we desire to be like "those people."
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