As some of you know I firmly believe in individual rights, more than most, but sometimes I wonder at the cost of those rights, right now in the US there are 3.5 million people who will go homeless this year amongst them 842 000 children, at the same time we have an estimated 18.5 million empty houses millions of them owned by corporations looking to sell them when the housing market improves, not only that but those unoccupied houses would benefit from occupants as would the American public health, the stagnant water in and around those houses is creating a massive surge in mosquito numbers and consequently in disease, with one piece of legislation we could fix the homeless problem without negatively affecting anyone's life, but we don't in the name of liberty and freedom. That nags at me.
I think freedom in a society is ultimately allowing everybody to be happy, and that involves providing basic services and opportunities to all. I consider myself libertarian, and I'm for a secure safety net, public healthcare (without a mandate, of course), and social services. Relatively recently, started considering limited monopoly breaking.
Individual rights and freedom are not the same as far-right conservatism. Both extremes limit liberty; freedom is found in the middle.
So Bob would you be in favor of being able to compel corporations to allow people to stay in unoccupied households?
not totally sure i understand your question. If you mean preventing corporations from holding property that's not being productive, the market will take care of that. As property that's not doing anything doesn't make money, corporations will sell it to demand, and if homes are in demand someone will make them into homes.
Well for example right now corporations hold several million homes often in lots of up to ten thousand, they bought them when they were foreclosed and the housing market was at it's worst and they are waiting for the job market to improve to sell them off again, do you think it should be legal to compel them to let the homeless live there in the interim (which has already been several years and likely to be several more)?
For now, no. The reason being this sets a precedent for too much gov power. THis is a serious problem, but it can be addressed by developing into a country (or world) where monopolies are more strictly controlled, to prevent this and other negatives. I don't mean Cuba controlled, but some limits by the public onto these corporations to prevent monopolies.
Well that was my point. I am tempted to agree with you, it's a tough one, I have a couple who had their home foreclosed living in my "Mother in law Flat" and talking to them has put me in the place where I would approve it if I was asked right now, having people homeless particularly children is too high a price to pay for the slippery slope argument.
I think we're in agreement, except for the last sentence, which flips for me. For me, starting on the slippery slope is too high a price to pay even (i'm sorry, world) for those who are unjustly homeless. In the meantime, i strongly support other programs that do not push us off on the slope.
I think this argument pretty much defines our difference politically, I am a socialist because I feel I must place human suffering before intellectualisms and empathy before creed or doctrine. I see the value of both view points.
I don't mean to prioritize "creed or doctrine" above human suffering. I suppose my politics are for the long run. I believe that liberty is necessary for a happy world, and that liberty can only be gotten from a society that doesn't give to much power to the gov and/or majority. But it feels cruel indeed, especially in situations like this, to sacrifice (ugh.. I literally shivered when I typed that. No joke. Never thought about it like that before) short term solutions for permanent reform.
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