What if Section 8 housing voucher recipients were given $15 million vouchers, good for use in Malibu or Beverly Hills? The only question would be whether it would take a full five seconds for elite support for this federal housing program—which provides welfare families with a monthly rental check to move from ghettos to more stable working-class neighborhoods—to evaporate.
Given the well known NIMBY effect when oil wells and/or windmills come into play - see Ted Kennedy et al and Martha's Vineyard - there is little doubt that the above is true, was true and will be true.
They just can't help it. They know what's good for you, and by golly they are going to be sure you take your medicine. Whether it be $4.00 .... soon to be $5.00 gasoline to force you into public transportation or people who have nothing invested in the neighborhood being given a free pass into it.... the elites stand ready to spend your money to fix what they see as a problem.
That's what makes this article so juicy.
The gorgeous sea-and-mountain community of Topanga Canyon, just south of Malibu, may have gotten a little taste of what such an experiment in serious social engineering might look like....
In 2000, Los Angeles paid $15 million to Javier Francisco Ovando, a Honduran illegal immigrant and member of the 18th Street gang, in compensation....
In 2001, Ovando used his settlement money to buy a 6,000-square foot, $2.2 million house in Topanga Canyon. He also financed his drug habit, pleading guilty that year to transporting 50 grams of cocaine, 37 grams of marijuana, and an illegal gun in his Cadillac SUV after being stopped for speeding on his way to Las Vegas. The public record goes silent on his subsequent doings until this week, when the Los Angeles Times reported two recent arrests. On June 22, Ovando was arrested for criminally threatening the buyers of his Topanga Canyon mansion, who had been allowed to move in during escrow while liens on the house were resolved—apparently, $15 million was not enough to keep Ovando out of debt. Then, this past Sunday, he was arrested again for an hour-long, high-speed police chase in his Hummer through San Fernando Valley streets and freeways.
I do hope all his neighbors voted for John Kerry in '04 and look forward to voting for Hussein come November.
The misguided theory behind the Section 8 program is what might be called morals by osmosis: if you put an underclass family in a working-class neighborhood, the thinking goes, its members will absorb the character traits that have allowed the working class to escape multigenerational poverty and to move into better surroundings. It turns out, however, that the goal of moving up the housing ladder—and the necessity of doing so through one’s own efforts—have a strong effect on character. Accumulating the capital to buy or rent property in a wealthier neighborhood requires a worker to defer gratification and act responsibly. Section 8 housing vouchers short-circuit that character development with a welfare windfall. The program is thus bound to fail all too often in its mission of remoralizing the underclass poor.