It’s embarrassing to admit this, but I had never thought that much about my rights as an American. I didn’t think of what it would actually mean if a government guaranteed a right to decent housing enshrined in the Bill of Rights. It’s not that it’s all that complicated … I just hadn’t thought about it.
Let’s ignore the problem of defining “decent housing” and declare that a “decent” house means four walls and a roof to keep out the rain … a heating system and a flush toilet.
Someone has to build the house. Any carpenters here? Someone has to install the heating system and the plumbing — anyone here know how to do that? Okay, so does my government-secured right to decent housing mean that carpenter, or roofer, or the plumber, and the furnace guy have to build me a house whether they want to or not? Do I have the right to their labor and materials? Will the government force them to do it?