March 25, 2015
In the wake of Open Borders Day, Ryan Cooper of The Week laments that for all the talk of inclusiveness and tolerance, rich white folk won”t let the hoi polloi into their neighborhoods. Apparently, this trend is especially prevalent in the nation’s capital, which is ostensibly home to pluralism-loving liberals. Cooper highlights that, according to a new report from the DC Fiscal Policy Center, cheap apartments are rarer than ever in the District. He writes, “affordable housing (which is to say, apartments at $800 per month or cheaper) has basically vanished from the private rental market in DC “ public housing is about all that’s left, and there’s not remotely enough of it to satisfy demand.”
What’s the cause of the shortage in affordable housing? Cooper points out that apartment supply is increasing at “a breakneck pace.” So what’s the hold up? It turns out that not all housing is created equal “ cue liberal outrage! “ and the vast majority of apartments are built for the well-to-do class of bureaucrats and lobbyists. In fact, rents of high-end apartments actually decreased on the average in 2014 because of increased supply.
Not everyone can afford to shell out $1,700 a month for a one-bedroom apartment, however. Affordable housing remains a problem in DC because supply of cheap apartments has stagnated. And it’s all thanks to the rich denizens of chic neighborhoods who purposefully keep non-luxury residences out of their backyard. Cooper notes, “Developers would make a king’s ransom building apartments in Georgetown, but they can’t because their strength is nothing compared to the hysterical NIMBYism of the upper class.”
Oh, the horror! People living in neat, pristine communities don”t want to invite slovenly persons into their midst? Injustice is afoot; and the enemy is once again the pampered rich class, with their townhouses, bike lanes, boutique shops, and cobbled sidewalks. Maybe it’s time the proles grab their pitchforks and invade the land of silk milk and organic honey.
Community, for the liberal ideologue, means we can all be thrown in a pot together, and everyone will suddenly get along. Reality is far different. As Taki Mag’s own Jim Goad points out, diversity isn”t always peaceful. We may all be God’s children, but we have our own families, friends, neighbors, religion, and ethnicity. Is it too much to ask for them to be kept close?
Now, as someone who lives right outside the Beltway, and who has the misfortune of working in the godless District, I can tell you Georgetown’s reputation as a haven of decadence is accurate. The place is home to a cupcake shop with a nearly endless line, for goodness sake! Georgetown also lacks easy access to the city’s metro system. Clearly, the residents aren”t letting down the drawbridge to outsiders. So why not just leave them be?
Because the world must constantly be formed and reformed to fit an egalitarian standard. That means invading the private space of people who wish to be left alone, using force if necessary.
But here is the truth that some people don’t want to hear: the world isn”t an open place you are free to prance around. There are and should be limits to movement. Local governments should have the ability to bar entry to those deemed undesirable. Even eminent anarcho-capitalist theorist Hans-Hermann Hoppe agrees, writing that local governments should have the ability to establish “identity controls not only at ports of entry, but also at the local level, in order to keep out known criminals and otherwise undesirable riffraff.”