An Unalienable Right to Life vs Homelessness

You would think that homelessness in the United States of America would be associated with not having a job. But the situation isn’t that simple. The truth is that many citizens have jobs and/or retirement incomes and still cannot afford basic every day needs including shelter, food, health care, and mobility. In fact, the cost of shelter can be so outrages, people are often forced to be homeless in order to afford to eat. Although the reasons vary, the basic approach of our government to date is to simply throw more money on the fire. This approach is inherently flawed.

There is something fundamentally wrong when a government gives money to people in need and forces them to purchase basic goods and services from for-profit organizations. This supports a cycle where the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. In addition, the cost to the taxpayer providing this money continuously increases because as with all free market enterprises, once a continuous source of revenue is discovered, the cost of the services provided will eventually go up as the demand overtakes the supply. Often the supply is controlled so that prices will go up. At some point, the taxpayer providing the money and the poor receiving the money end up on the same economic plane which pretty much eliminates the middle class and ultimately leads to class warfare. This leads us to a socialist approach involving the redistribution of wealth. In this scenario, everyone ultimately works directly for the government. This eliminates all motivation for and individual to succeed and simply makes everyone poor except those in power. While it is true there will always be those who are poor, rich, and hopefully those in-between, the free market system of capitalism does not always address citizens with low incomes. In fact, in some ways, it creates poverty and until greed has been driven from the hearts of men, it probably always will.

The homeless situation that we have in the United States is the perfect example. There are those who have jobs but cannot afford shelter because the cost of the housing market is too expensive. There are those who have retirement pensions including social security but again, the cost of housing is too expensive. The reason housing is too expensive for those with lower incomes is that there is nothing holding the market accountable to support lower income housing. This is where the government needs to step in to secure the rights of all its citizens to have a roof over their head. The government needs to abandon the approach that re-distributes wealth in the form of taxes to give subsidies to the poor so they can live in housing that they otherwise could not afford. This not only feeds the problem of run away housing costs but actually justifies it in the eyes of landlords.

Our government needs to start acting like capitalists instead of socialists. To this end, the local and state governments, with federal oversight, needs to get into a non-profit business of building / providing low income government housing. The price of living in these homes should be based on a fixed percentage of the persons’ income instead of a fixed price, 30% for example. Those who earn more and choose to live there will pay more. Those who make less and choose to live there will pay less. Either way, the service will be the same and living there will be by choice. This housing will be administered and maintained by the government with strict covenants that will support a safe and productive community. While some people will choose to remain there, others will strive to be more productive economically with the objective to move into better housing situations supported by the free market. Conversely, there may be people who can afford better housing but may enjoy the simplicity offered in low income housing. This would also be encouraged because they would also pay a percentage of their income, helping to offset the cost of lower income people.

In addition, this approach would help to hold the free market housing prices in check. If low income people always have the option of government housing, it could create a market for more affordable housing, something for those in government housing to step into. Either way, the fact that government needs to supply housing for the low income is by no means a reflection that there is something wrong with having a low income. It is required to fill a gap in the free market system that should support those with low incomes but does not. Initially there may be a burden on the citizens of the local or state government, but eventually if the business is managed correctly, it could actually provide tax revenue for the local community. Government housing may take the form of a trailer park in one community, a group of tiny houses in another, a hotel, apartment complex, or even a high rise structure in a big city. This also provides an incentive for the local government to assist people in getting jobs and improving their situation to have higher paying jobs because the revenue of the government would directly benefit. Imagine, a government being rewarded monetarily by helping those citizens it is responsible for.

A roof over a persons head goes a long way in reducing stress while increasing health, reducing sick care costs, and increasing self esteem. This leads to positive contributions in the local community too numerous to count. This is one case where government intervention is not only positive but necessary to secure the rights and well being of its citizens.

Ultimately, we all manifest the God we serve. The only way evil can win is if good people stand by and do nothing. May The God of Israel Bless The United States of America. – Michael Praise Yah!

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