Somewhere, at the margin, someone who loves Oakland can’t afford their newly heightened rent, or someone can’t move in to the city, or… somehow, I’m consuming this scarce resource and someone else now can’t.
Airbnb’s racism problem is much bigger than a few racist hosts.
David Robinson
1.2K126

That is an a unavoidable fact. By definition scarce resources can. By definition scarce resources can not be consumed by everyone. There is no way to ensure the undefinable notion of “fairness” by fiat.

The relative scarcity of housing in California is due to the various attempts to create more of it where it doesn’t exist — to somehow create fairness that means different things to different people.

Notice here the context is not ownership but renting. This is one effect of trying to increase population density at the expense of individual ownership. People renting homes do not benefit from increases in desirability of property — and the consequent increases in valuation. On the other hand, they also tend to vote for things which raise property taxes, under the incorrect notion that it won’t affect them.

California’s property tax laws discourage selling of property, especially when combined with higher property taxes. This type of setup always has, and always will, hurt those on the lower ends of the wealth scale. It is untenable to assert that AirBnB has anything to do with has been a trend in California for more than a decade. Every analysis of property valuation, especially overvaluation, amongst the states has consistently shown California, and especially its major cities, as far above the rest of the country. This has been going on far longer than the existence of AirBnB.

By focusing on something which has nothing to do with it, you ignore the cause. By ignoring the cause you don’t actually do anything to solve the problem. Carefully selecting a place to stay will not move the needle on iota of a degree — in either direction.

What services like Uber, AirBnB, and any others in the misnomer of “sharing economy my” expose is the over pressure of government on people who have the drive and ability to better their lives by making better use of their available resources. In other words, it exposes the underlying desire for freedom — and the freedom to pursue one’s capital ideas.

The one thing the lower rungs of the ladder can consistently do is to create their own capital. Whether it be time, labor, or renting out a spare room, when left to their first win devices they will bootstrap to a higher rung. Sadly the popular response to the situation is to increasingly regulate rather than getting the hell out of their way. In other words, to double down on what created the problem in the first place. This, this right here is what has to change if you truly want to decrease this problem. Anything short of addressing the diseased root is painting a dead tree.

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