Do hippies have the 'right' to live in Venice Beach?

Los Angeles is a pit.  It's hot.  It's crowded.  It's noisy.  It's illegal alien central for Southern California, with many "no-go" zones for the English language.

But it does have one or two almost liveable areas, out at the very periphery, and one of those is called Venice Beach.  Venice Beach is considered desirable because there is a tiny strip of lawn and palm trees literally thirty to forty feet wide by the beach filled with hippies and menacing homeless people, which is also directly downstream from an airport runway.  But since this is paradise compared to the rest of LA, everyone wants to live there.  The WaPo published an article about evil dot-commers who are raising the price of real estate and displacing the existing hippies.  It's an old story in a new place:

For decades, Venice has been the epicenter of weird, a beachy paradise with a gothic twist, where carnival freaks, homeless hippies, yoga instructors and fanny-packed tourists blend into a milieu as colorful as its famous three-story murals.

Now, thanks to real estate speculators and a tech boom featuring the likes of Google and Snapchat, Venice’s mellow charm is under siege.

Hippies are under seige!  How can we help break the siege?

“There are a lot of shenanigans going on to hyper-gentrify this area, almost make it a beachfront resort,” said Laddie Williams, a third-generation Venice resident and community activist. “They are killing our community.”

Do you think the job of "community activist" earns a high enough salary to pay the new rents there?  Come to think of it, who employs "community activists"?

Among the dozens of tenants displaced by Snapchat was the Teen Project, a nonprofit organization that provides housing to homeless young adults.

“They shoved us right out and treated us like redheaded stepchildren,” said founder Lauri Burns. A few months before the move, a Snapchat executive told her he had noticed one of her homeless clients sweeping the street with an old broom, so he offered to buy the organization a new one.

“You could have just slapped me in the face at that point,” Burns said.

An opportunity missed?

Residential bungalows are also being emptied and flipped to highflying investors, many from overseas. In five years, the median home price has surged from $832,000 to $1.4 million. Rents have also skyrocketed.

Ballet instructor Angelina Meany and her husband were booted three years ago from the bungalow duplex they had rented for 18 years. The eviction completely disrupted their lives.

Oh no!  Wasn't it highly inconsiderate of the owner of the property to disrupt their low-rent lives?

Tony Bill, a producer who shared an Academy Award in 1973 for “The Sting,” wonders why anyone is surprised that beachfront property in one of the nation’s largest cities would experience such growth. “It’s like, what did you expect? How long did you expect that Venice would be a depressed, inexpensive, inactive haven for people who can’t find a cheaper place to live?” said Bill, who owns one of the buildings that houses Snapchat.

And this is the key point about gentrification.  A group of people live in an area, paying low rents for years.  The area is or becomes more desirable.  People who are willing to pay more want to move there, but the people living there feel "entitled" to enjoy their low-cost lifestyle.  They could feel this entitlement if they were property owners, but they are not.  They are renters.  But they act like owners with their sense of entitlement.

Meanwhile, the character of the community does change when gentrification occurs.  Urban blight is removed.  Money is pumped into the area, and more businesses and more jobs are created.  People earn more money at local businesses and enjoy a better lifestyle.

If people want to enjoy the hippie lifestyle, let them migrate to a place where it is still cheap to live.  But this story is not one of tragedy, but of property rights, freedom of choice, and people climbing up the economic ladder of opportunity.

This article was produced by, the conservative news site.

If you experience technical problems, please write to