Joe Meglen: Free market approach to affordable housing
Not every problem requires a government solution. For government to subsidize housing, it must first confiscate wealth from one class, then redistribute this wealth to another class. This is an unconstitutional attack on property rights.
Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize housing for seasonal or lower-paid workers. To do so is to subsidize the cost of labor for the benefit of the private companies that employ these workers. In order to attract seasonal or lower-paid workers, a free market approach would cause the businesses that hire seasonal or lower-paid workers to pay a wage that allows their employees to be able to afford housing in Steamboat Springs or in our neighbor communities.
An alternative free market approach is for the businesses that utilize seasonal or lower-paid workers to provide housing as part of the benefit package. Granted, the price of a ski pass would increase. However, this would be offset by a reduction in taxes no longer necessary to subsidize the cost of the seasonal workers for the benefit of the businesses that employ them.
Allowing the free market to establish the real value of wages and, by extension, the cost of seasonal housing, also eliminates the nonproductive expense of a government agency and its employees to administrate socialized housing.
With the exception of government and the companies that benefit from taxpayer subsidized labor, everyone wins.
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