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Sinn Féin on universal housing

In Ireland, while I was there, the political party Sinn Fein proposed the concept of universal housing. The Irish already do a good job of taking care of their own — better than anyone in some ways. Housing is an important part of that, and homelessness is not a big problem there.

But, anyhow, the logic behind the Sinn Fein argument about universal housing was based upon the fact that there were, at the end of the first decade of the 21st-century, about 300,000 empty housing units across the Republic, a country of 4.5 million. It is a massive overstock, built of course in the mistaken belief that the bubble wasn't a bubble.

Sinn Fein was essentially saying look here, we've got all these empty houses and look over there — we've got people who need a place to live....

And I come back to the U.S., and back to my native Central Oregon, and what do I see but quite a few houses with plywood on the windows — and I see people living on the street....