Affordable housing is a wrong-headed way of dealing with housing for the poor: basically the problem is that if you get minimum wage you can’t afford “market” rents, so the government provides a mechanism to subsidize rents in some locations. But what that really means is that people will agree to work for minimum wage when, in fact, that is not a living wage! So the real benefactors of subsidized housing are the employers who can therefore get away with paying people less. So restaurant workers (for instance) are cheap to hire, keeping our coffee/latte prices low (assuming, of course, that the owners are not gouging us!), but we’re paying higher taxes so the government can pay people to build affordable housing. So the reality is that the subsidies are really going to you and I as coffee drinkers – that is unless they’re going to the business owner. They’re NOT going to “poor” people!

I know that sounds like it will drive up prices a lot, but the tax breaks are costing the government a mere $8Billion, which is a tiny piece of the tax bill. So paying people a wage they can really live on should be do-able, and we ought to be able to afford it by paying less in taxes.

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