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Dori: Sawant’s ‘no evictions’ plan means you shouldn’t pay rent anymore

(File photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

Kshama Sawant is proposing a new law that would ban evictions in Seattle during cold weather months.

She argues that they do it like that in Paris. Of course, we should all aim to be more like the Parisians.

Here is the thing though — despite what she says, housing is not a human right. It is a commodity, like most other things in life. It is not guaranteed to us with our other rights in the Constitution. If you decide to spend $1,200 on heroin and then do not have that money for your rent, you do not have a right to stay in your apartment.

Why do renters get evicted? Evictions usually happen because renters don’t pay their rent, or because they cause damage, or because they break other rules.

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The logical conclusion, then, is that no renters in Seattle should pay rent between November 1 and March 31, the dates defined by Sawant’s proposal. How do you feel if you pay your $1,200 rent at the beginning of the month, and the person in the apartment next to you does not, knowing they are untouchable?

Sawant is essentially proposing that government controls private property for five months of the year. Is the City of Seattle going to subsidize the rent for landlords that the renters have skipped? If not, this is a blatant violation of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Sawant’s plan would turn every private house or condo into public housing. The loss of private property rights is the bedrock foundation of socialism — the government seizing control of private property. Nothing is more essential to free society than private property rights. The Founding Fathers knew this. That is why these rights are addressed in the Fifth Amendment.

But if someone is repeatedly playing their music at 4 a.m., making it impossible for everyone to sleep, under Sawant’s plan, you can’t kick them out. If they are smoking meth in the apartment, you can’t touch them. If they aren’t paying their bills, you can’t evict them.

Every time I hear Sawant open her mouth, I am incredulous at what I hear has happened to my city. This idea of no evictions is just another feel-good proposal. “We don’t want people to be out in the cold. Monson is evil — he wants families out in the cold.”

No, I don’t. I want people to be responsible for their own lives, and I want to defend the private property rights of small-time landlords. Nobody in the media speaks for them, because you are vilified if you do. Somebody has to stand up for them.

I do not hate poor people. I believe in, and do a fair amount with, charities that work with the poor, but they are private charities. Government does not care about the poor. Sawant is just trying to solidify her base.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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