No Rooms At That Inn : Supply And Demand In Old Bethlehem And Today’s Canada
The story of Joseph and Mary looking for a place to stay in Bethlehem is an example in Classical Economics of demand exceeding supply. So is the story of affordable housing in Metro Vancouver and many other parts of Canada. Joseph and Mary found an answer to their problem by taking very humble housing. In Canada, the solution is obvious, but most of the country’s politicians are afraid to even mention it.
According to the Biblical account of the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem for a Roman census. And on that day, they did so probably slightly later than many other Jews. The result was that all the housing supply had already been taken by other travelers. as we all have read many times, Joseph and Mary ended up staying in the housing that usually was reserved for farm animals. And Jesus ended up in a livestock trough (manger) which probably had been used to hold hay and grain at the time Madeline the goat, Daisy the cow and other livestock were fed.
The story of Metro Vancouver’s people is slightly different, but very similar. It is still a story of people looking for a roof over their heads. In the case of Metro Vancouver’s people, they want a permanent roof, not something for a night or a few days—-as Joseph and Mary wanted. So that means Metro Vancouver people want to own or to rent. In both cases, most find the cost to be very high. For those who rent, the cost absorbs a large part of their incomes. For those who want to buy, most find the cost is out of their reach. If it is within their reach, the new home-owners find they are carrying enormous mortgages of $300,000 to $400,000 at least for condos alone.
So the question that is asked by those in government is this : “How can we make housing more affordable?”
And the answer they all give is this : “We’ll increase the supply !!!”
Now the big problem with that answer is that 50,000 to 60,000 people are moving into the area every year. So no sooner do the politicians arrange to build enough for the ones that are already here than another large group arrives and the politicians have to solve the same problem all over again.
So why aren’t our politicians saying something like this : “We’ll decrease the demand.”
We at Immigration Watch are going to say that again because to most politicians, the words in that sentence are as foreign as those in Mandarin, Punjabi, or other non-official language of Canada : “We’ll decrease the demand.”
And for the journalists who have covered the affordable housing issue, and who should have had the capacity to understand this issue and who should have had the backbone to challenge politicians, but who keep failing to do their job, we’ll say it a third time : “We’ll decrease the demand.”
To make the issue even clearer, let’s again point out that unnecessary immigration is the primary and overwhelming cause of the demand for housing and the stratospheric cost of housing.
Let’s be even more specific. In Metro Vancouver, unnecessary immigration has been responsible for about 85% of population growth and housing demand for 20 years. And that percentage is increasing every year.
For those who don’t understand what the word “unnecessary” means in the phrase “unnecessary immigration”, let’s say it this way : most immigration for the past 20 years was not needed. In other words, if you asked any Immigration Minister in that 20 year period, “Why are we taking 250,000 immigrants?”, they could not give you a logical, truthful answer. That’s because there is none. Metro Vancouver and the rest of Canada did not need almost all of the people Canada has taken since 1990.
When something “un-needed” and “unnecessary” causes a major problem like “housing unaffordability”, most people would say that it is logical to remove that “un-needed” or “unnecessary” item.
So here’s the inevitable question : “Why have our politicians done nothing to decrease the demand for housing?”
We’ll say it again, “Why have our politicians done nothing to decrease the demand for housing?
Now there are some politicians who have questioned Canada’s abnormal, high immigration intake and others who live in places unaffected by high immigration. So let’s leave them out of this. But for all the other politicians, the main reason they have not asked questions publicly is that they have allowed the immigrant vote to become the tail that wags the Canadian dog. Most of Canada’s politicians at all levels of gov’t (federal, provincial, municipal, and even school boards) have been afraid to lose their share of the immigrant vote. And so they, like our CBC, have gotten down on their knees and grovelled.
So here’s a suggestion for all of them and for Canadians who have come to accept grovelling as a normal activity :
“Get off your knees. That will save the country hundreds of billions of dollars in public spending whether it is on new infrastructure or on hundreds of other things. Most important, it will save Canada’s soul. That is being altered for no reason. In addition, it will save your own souls. Contrary to what you think now, you will be called to account for what has happened to this country.”
What better gift can they think of giving to themselves and to Canada this December 25 and forever?
Merry Christmas !!