August 11, 2013
Blaming Zip Codes for Racial Divisions
By Jim Babka

I, Jim Babka, was interviewed by the Christian Science Monitor last week. The article was titled, 'Fair' housing or 'social engineering'? HUD proposal stirs controversy.

It's great to be called upon by such a well-established publication. And the reporter did a good job. He didn't misquote me or anything.

But I've always preferred live appearances over print, because it's inevitable that if you're not misquoted, some of your most important points don't make it past the editor. Most of the time the reporter has a thesis, and he's looking for the statements you offer that advance it. I'm glad to help.

Still, I would like to share with you, here, some of the other points I made during the interview, the first of which I think is the most important...

  1. In these situations, we always seem to put a band-aid on a failing dam. The root of the problem is the very existence of HUD, something the Constitution never provided for. HUD represents an immoral theft from the productive and charitable sectors of our society, instead turning over funds to the far less efficient bureaucratic and crony segments. One can't even say it's been worth it. Look at HUDs record with public housing. Would you rather be living in public housing or a home built by Habitat for Humanity?
  2. We cannot tell what the outcomes here will be. The rules, as I understand, are vague and don't appear to have an overt enforcement. But if the past is any indicator, we can imagine that towns like the ones many of your readers live in, will find themselves the subjects of federal lawsuits or regulations that will result in higher property taxes.
  3. Let's not forget that HUD played a role in the mortgage and banking crisis. The idea that central planning is going to make our lives better really needs to be weighed on a cost-benefit basis where ALL the costs are taken into account.
  4. It's impossible not to do at least a little good with a nearly infinite supply of stolen money.
Filed under Housing
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