The Daily Pilot published Laguna Beach columnist David Hansen’s final column in the Dec. 30 print edition, and some readers wrote in to bid him farewell:
Many thanks for your articles over the years.
I did chuckle over your comment regarding high rents. I have been in the multi-residential real estate business all my life and can assure you that no conspiracy exists. The problem of high rents is caused by a confluence of factors, but mostly because supply is constrained at a time when humanity is growing immensely wealthier.
With the evolution of the internet, people can take their work with them and flock to the coasts. What’s sad is how special-interest groups are using this perceived crisis to change the laws of our society by attempting to institute capital controls such as rent controls. Our country is built on liberty and freedom, and property rights are a necessary evil to promote these virtues.
As California continues to embrace far-left tactics such as rent control, I fear that the next generations of go-getters will be locked out of the rental market because apartments will rarely become available due to government policy. If this happens, our most productive youth will gradually leave the state in search of better opportunity while the protected class (those lucky enough to have been granted a rent control apartment) will remain hunkered down and deprived of ambition to better their lives.
Your intuitions are right, so let me save you some homework on the housing issue. Either we have to embrace policies that encourage more building (and potentially clog our roads, pollute our air and overrun our infrastructure), or we have to accept the fact that not everybody is entitled to live at the beach. It might seem unfair, but capitalism has always been the best arbitrator of who should live where — not mistaken government policies that unfairly deprive property owners and future renters of their rights to be rewarded for their hard work.
No task force or government bureaucracy is needed to decipher the simple reality of coastal California’s rising popularity in an increasingly mobile world. People can complain all they want, but the reality is that Southern California’s diversity is growing as fast as our rents: Our population is no longer made of primarily whites, blacks and Hispanics but also now includes Chinese, Vietnamese, Indians from India, entrants from former communist countries, Arabs and Jews and more. And I love the culture that comes along with it! It makes for a better, more integrated world where race is no longer an issue.
Yes, some will be displaced and have to make necessary adjustments, but that’s called life. Capitalism isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty darn good.
Thanks for admitting your naivety in regard to high rent values and complete honesty in regard to approaching the issue. That’s why I enjoy your articles!
Best of luck in your move.
Local criticism will be missed
Dear Mr. Hansen,
We were sorry to learn that you will no longer be writing your column about Laguna Beach. Its declining state warrants a forthright critic.
You nailed the problems, but too little has been done to address them. We hope the new council members will stir things up in your absence.
Thank you for your efforts, and best wishes to you personally and professionally in your future assignments.
Edmund and Megan Marsden