Growth controls have caused the state’s housing shortage, yet a modest proposal to increase supply struggles to gain support.

Economic illiteracy has an astoundingly high cost. In Venezuela, children are dying of hunger but the country’s president, Nicolas Maduro, has a bizarre new idea for making food affordable again. His latest plan is to simply shave three zeros off of the currency to control hyperinflation, so that a dozen eggs will cost 250 bolivars rather than 250,000. The bolivar remains largely worthless, so everyone will just recalculate its value. This is your brain on socialism.

California’s leaders haven’t destroyed the economy here because, thankfully, they aren’t in charge of monetary policy. But they have created a housing crisis thanks to myriad policies that make it difficult — at times, nearly impossible — for those “greedy” developers to build new homes, condos, and apartments even as the state’s population grows. They can’t figure out why the rent is too darned high and U-Hauls (heading east) are so hard to come by.

. . . The housing statistics are daunting. The median home value in the state has topped a half-million dollars. California’s cost-of-living-adjusted poverty rate is the highest in the nation due primarily to housing costs, according to the Census Bureau. Homeless encampments are spreading. It’s a simple supply and demand issue, yet even a bill to address the situation in an infinitesimal way is a huge controversy. And the Left is on the march to make things worse.

Maybe we can pass an initiative that lops there zeroes off the cost of every home and apartment and see if that does the trick.

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