To the editor- Government is not the solution
Grabbing the headlines increasingly over the past few years have been the conflicting subjects of affordable housing and near capacity growth in the basin.
It defies logic to hear our elected and appointed government officials pontificate about problems and unworkable solutions, with these ideas unfortunately reinforced by our local big employers.
When on the one hand you continuously pass stringent environmental and developmental restrictions, especially in private housing, and on the other hand try to encourage tourist trade for the Tahoe economy, it does not take a rocket scientist to come to the conclusion that the two goals are incompatible. Tourism requires service; service requires workers over the whole spectrum of skills, from physicians to lift operators and casino workers, etc. These service providers require housing. This is the normal cycle of growth that is incompatible with the goals of Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and city government officials, irrespective of the lofty rhetoric of controlled, nonenvironment damaging growth. This is typical behavior of our elected officials; create a problem, all of course in the name of public good, then continue the charade of trying to solve a problem that cannot be solved under the rules they established in the first place. It seemingly keeps them busy doing the people’s business and keeps the gullible public appeased.
Meanwhile, the clamor for affordable housing goes on from – guess who – big employers, their workers and, of course, the ever-present political figures. The problem, again, is that the laws they passed are incompatible with affordable (a more pleasing word than “cheap” or “inexpensive”) housing. Well, bend the rules just for this occasion, or better yet, build subsidized housing. Why, the taxpayers will certainly go for that! It would be unfair and probably illegal to allow local big businesses to build their own housing for their employees.
So it goes, from one disaster to another; from electricity shortage, affordable housing shortage, congestion, environmental damage, inadequate and overpriced health care, poverty, starvation and the list goes on.
So, what do I offer as the solution to the problem facing all beautiful places on Earth? History has proven government interference makes matters only worse. Free markets – meaning individuals interacting with one another – solve these problems as efficiently, unobtrusively, and economically as possible without bellicose headlines and pontificating politicians. Then, heaven forbid, the people (the taxpayers) can keep their hard-earned money.
Nicholas G. Bennett
South Lake Tahoe
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