Guardian writer Peter Lewis discusses Australian homelessness in his report Government Walked Away from Social Housing. Now We Pay the Price.

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One of my pet peeves is writers not linking to sources.

Lewis never mentioned who conducted the survey or what methods the survey used. He did not even bother naming the study. We have to take it on faith the survey is even in the ball park.

However, I am not all that surprised by the results. People start to worry when massive bubbles collapse.

Demand or Free Stuff

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What to Do?

Like every seriously-misguided socialist, Lewis wants free stuff. Heck, the survey itself shows 79% are in favor of free stuff.

The big question is not whether the government should do something, but what should it do?

Here’s the unspoken truth of the housing debate: it’s not about the transaction, it is about the homes and the responsibility of a decent society to ensure that everyone has one.

Economic Insanity

Lewis is economically illiterate. All socialists are, by definition.

The idea that government has a responsibility to provide everyone a house is economically insane.

Everyone Wants Free Stuff Until

Everyone wants free stuff until they are told the cost.

There is no such thing as "free" housing, "free" medical care, or "free" anything else. Someone has to pay for everything, either by business-destroying taxes, inflation, or both.

Undoubtedly, the poll would have a completely different set of answers if people were asked "Are you in favor of providing free shelter to the homeless if your taxes were to double or triple?"​

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Root of the Problem

The root of the problem, which never occurred to Lewis, is the Reserve Bank of Australia kept interest rates too low, too long, while allowing banks to lend money to too many people who could not afford homes.

None of the major central banks properly factor in housing prices in their inflation estimates.

Spotlight Seattle

If you want to increase the problem, subsidize it.

Seattle spent $68 million finding homes for 3,400 homeless people in 2017. A 2018 Count puts the number of homeless at 8,600 and rising.

That is expected behavior. Homeless people from all over will attempt to get to a place that wants to hand out free housing.

Seattle then passed a head tax to support the homeless. This is what happened: Under Pressure, Seattle Reverses Idiotic Tax on Corporations to Support Homeless

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Some people object to the Medicare cost story. I do not know the true cost of "Free" Medicare for all, and neither does anyone else. But I do know that hundreds of government-sponsored "affordable housing programs" including "low-cost" government loans drove up the cost.

Tuition support did the same for the cost of education.

Government involvement in anything is bound to raise the price, cause massive tax hikes, or both.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock