13th February 2016
Actually, the crisis is the number of people ignorant of elementary economics who are allowed to write sky-is-falling articles like this one.
Come, let us fisk:
There is a growing societal divide in Vancouver that is threatening its future.
An assertion for which neither evidence nor argument are presented. Granted that it is part of the Narrative that person A having more money than person B is ipso facto a bad thing, just why it might be a bad thing is never backed up. OF COURSE IT’S A BAD THING! DIDN’T YOU HEAR ME? INEQUALITY! Until your ears bleed. And saying, ‘Yeah? So?’ merely sets off another round of hand-waving.
The city is increasingly becoming an investor haven for the rich. Sure, there are some lucky souls, relatively middle-class people who got into the housing market before prices took off and who are now sitting on a gold mine. Most realize how fortunate they are, the lottery ticket they won.
Much like New York. Or London. Or even San Francisco. I don’t see those cities losing residents like, say, Aleppo or Damascus — the roads choked with handcarts, little children clinging to the skirts of their emaciated mothers, etc.
And they have consciences when it comes to the plight of those who have no hope of buying a house of any description in the city.
How is not being able to buy a house a ‘plight’? Let’s take a look at places where buying a house can be done with pocket change — Detroit, say — and see whether that place is more worth living in than Vancouver. I suspect not. Whatever became of the Narrative trope, Let’s Do Things Like The Europeans? People in Europe don’t expect to be able to buy a house, especially in a hipster part of the city; they rent, as they’ve done for hundreds of years. Don’t hear any whining out of Paris, or Rome, or Berlin, or Vienna, about the lack of housing affordability.
By now, everyone has a fairly clear picture of what is taking place; the confluence of factors that have led to the moment at which we have arrived; the global influx of capital, largely from China; low interest rates, a low Canadian dollar – all of which has created a price ascension that is beyond most people’s comprehension.
Only if you have to take your shoes off to count. The ‘low Canadian dollar’ is the fault of the government (but somehow I suspect that the writer of this article would be glad to give Justin Trudeau a blow job if asked). The ‘global influx of capital’ would, in any other circumstance be celebrated; when it’s housing, it’s a bad thing? How come?
For many young adults, however, the city increasingly represents a place of which they no longer can afford to be a part. Consequently, Vancouver faces an almost existential threat; what happens when the lifeblood of any community, those in their 20s and 30s, decide to leave?
Since when are people in the 20s and 30s ‘the lifeblood of any community’? The lifeblood of any community are people who can afford to buy things in that community and support local businesses; typically people in their 20s and 30s are on the low end of that demographic.
And when people in their 20s and 30s leave, you wind up like the small towns of the Midwest: Unemployment is high, good and services are unavailable, and the local mood is one of quite desperation. If Vancouver were going through the sort of process that, say, Detroic is going through, then there might be a valid point here. But I haven’t heard anything about it. Nor does this author provide any statistics to back up his assertion, as a Real Journalist would. So he’s just blowing hot air up our butts.
This is tiresome, so the rest is left as an exercise for the reader. But it’s just the same old Sky-Falling-Government-Must-Act song and dance we expect out of the Drive By Media these days.
Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off on A Crisis In Vancouver: The Lifeblood of the City Is Leaving