January 11, 2007


Yeah it's France. They can certainly do whatever the hell they please, but the idea needs refutation. Besides, what do you think Cali will try next?

"France to create 'legal right' to housing"

Lemme see...flipping through my cliff notes on Ciccero, Locke, et al... Nope. Nothing on that. Must be new.

"The French government announced plans to create a "legal right" to housing in response to a snowballing campaign that has seen a tent city for the homeless spring up in the heart of Paris."

So it is new. How nice of them - creating a "right" & all. Course he who giveth can taketh away...

& maybe it's just where I was raised or the way I was raised but if you have a friggin’ tent you ain't "homeless". Matter of fact I just got a Coleman Inyo II so I wouldn't ever have to be "homeless" again (actually I'm trying to leave my redneck ways behind & act more refined so I needed something other than the tarp & Para-cord I usually use for tentage when out of doors). I'll grant that it's not comparable to a suite in the Waldorf but if you have no other resources it's a damn site better than cardboard. But I digress...

"The law, if passed, would make France the second European country to guarantee the right to housing, after Scotland which adopted similar measures with its 2003 Homeless Act."

What the hell happened to Scots Wha Hae? They bled with the Bruce so their great great great grandkids could get housing from the state? "...Freeman stand, or Freeman fa'..." my ass.

[Prime Minister Dominique de] "Villepin said the government wanted the right to become legally enforceable by 2008 for 'people in the most difficult situations: the homeless, but also the working poor and single women with children.'

'That is the time necessary to ensure that all the people concerned can be provided with decent lodgings, whether in a transitional shelter or an individual home,' he said."

The pragmatics intrigue me with almost a sick fascination. Will they kick out an existing homeowner to make room for a family (thus swapping say 4 homeless for 1) or force them to be roomies? Cause I think we know damn well that they won't build adequate state funded housing by the projected date of enaction.

"By 2012, the government wants the right to housing to be legally enforceable for all, with a guarantee provided by the state, or in some cases regional or local authorities."

I bet mortgage companies are gonna love that. The real estate market in general should be thrilled too. But for some reason I hear this being explained in the same way that Vader explained to Grand Moff Tarkin how the senate was eliminated & governors will directly control the local systems.

"From that point onwards, 'every person or family housed in unworthy or unsanitary conditions' will able to take legal action to have their rights enforced, he said."

Oh really. Please. Am I the only one who sees that as a real damn legitimate excuse to never clean your own damn house again? Again I'd love to see the precise language used to satisfy my very morbid sense of humor.

"Villepin said the law would 'make France one of the most advanced countries in terms of social rights'. Housing would become the third legally enforceable right in France, along with access to education and healthcare." (emphasis mine)

See why I wanted to start the fisking of this now? Cali & a lot of other states (or their congresscritters) already view education & healthcare as basic human rights. Not the pursuit of, but the granting of. Wanna bet it'll take them long to jump on the housing bandwagon?

"Four months ahead of presidential elections, with the homeless issue thrust centre-stage, the housing measure was seen as a bid by the centre-right to underscore its commitment to social justice."

& this is the center-right of Europe! You'd hate to see what the leftwing moonbats over there want.

"The protest wave started last month when a small group of campaigners -- called Les Enfants de Don Quichotte ('The Children of Don Quixote') -- pitched a 200-strong tent camp along a trendy Paris canal, housing homeless people as well as well-heeled citizens prepared to sleep rough for a few days out of solidarity." (emphasis mine)

Hmmm, if I want to help a homeless person then being a well heeled gent I'd either A: offer one or perhaps a family shelter in my home & help them plan to get back on their feet or B: pitch a tent, "rough it" for a day or two & feel smug about turning traitor in The Bloody Class War? I'll take B for a 4 day work week Alex!

"According to the charity Emmaus, one million people in France do not have a home of their own: 100,000 sleep rough, while the rest live in campsites, hotels or shelters. Another two million people have housing 'problems'."

That's what's at the heart of this. It's much more about trying to equalize the outcome than equalize the opportunities. It's about owning a home. But instead of relying on a free market solution they want a Marxian solution which will make everyone "feel" better After they get the kinks worked out (which in France is almost sacrilegious) they'll set their sites on those poor folks who society is forcing to rent their homes instead of owning them.

Haven't any of these folks ever read Rand? Or at least seen the movie version of Animal Farm? Hell it's got Kelsey Grammar as Snowball so you'd think that something might have sunk in through that.

With France following Scotland's lead by declaring a "right" to housing they're chipping away at the foundations of Lockean based Natural Rights theory. By saying (as I believe they are) that everyone has a "right" to achieve housing instead of a Right to seek housing consistent with respecting the property Rights of others they're pulling out the building blocks of a free society from the bottom.

What will happen if this is not stopped is that every material comfort will be asserted to be a "right" at some point & those that scream the loudest will also demand the state enforce such a "right". Who will they enforce this "right" against? Those that have of course. Either through heavier taxation for state funded housing projects or through direct levies & takings which either force homeowners to share their dwellings or give them up entirely.

It'll be some time yet before the French S.W.A.T. teams are taking folks out of 3 bedrooms houses to put them in 2 bedroom or 1 bedroom dwellings so that a homeless family can move into the 3 bedroom joint but the ideological framework for such actions is being set up right now.

With Cali leaning the way it leans (as well as a few other locales in or around the u.S.) & the recent emboldening of the socialist factions within the u.S. it would behoove us to try to nip this idea in the bud. The time to argue against a "right" to guaranteed housing is when it's in the "Foreign" section of the paper, not when it's in the "Legislative Calendar for Today' section.

Reminds me of an old joke:

"Rabinovich, what is a fortune? A fortune is to live in our Socialist motherland.
And what's a misfortune? A misfortune is to have such a fortune"

Posted by Publicola at January 11, 2007 06:17 AM | TrackBack

I absolutely agree with your post, but I wanted to point out that there was a move for a tent city in Denver (globeville) a few years back:


They said (pg 5 of the pdf): "America's 1949 Housing Act promises 'a decent home and suitable living environment for every American Family'; and Denver's 1999 Housing Plan asserts that 'decent housing is a fundamental right'".

Anyway, I don't live in Denver anymore but there were a lot of well-intentioned socialists who believed this stuff.

So the concept is there, it's just waiting for your new governor to endorse it.

Posted by: Steve at January 11, 2007 06:08 PM