Think more deeply about self-storage bans.

Justin Roias — the Providence City Councilor for the ward covering the North End — doesn’t like self-storage facilities. That’s fine, but his response and reasoning raise crucial points of organization and problem solving:

Justin Roias maligns self-storage facilities

I came across Roias’s tweet via Rachel Miller, who is participating in “the effort to update our zoning laws to prohibit new self storage facilities in Providence.”

Rhode Islanders must come to understand (and soon) that this sort of thinking lunges into a downward spiral. Even if we go along with the premise that “the self-storage industry is exploitative,” such businesses do not create the “times of disruption and desperation” to which they’re responding.  We could also say that flies are exploitative of festering wounds, but the appropriate response isn’t to spend time batting away flies; it’s to tend to the wounds.

Personally, I’d go farther and insist that progressive policies are to blame for the disruption and desperation, which is why progressives spend so much time chasing down the symptoms as a means of denying the illness.  If I’m too extreme in this, however, bans are still not the best solution.  Create opportunity for individuals and for businesses in the city, and self-storage will cease to be the most profitable use of the land.  It’s that simple.

If Rhode Island progressives can’t bring themselves to support pro-growth policies, even then they should recognize a fundamental truth:  the need for people to downsize and the belongings that they are therefore looking to store do not simply disappear when the city makes their lives more difficult and expensive by banning nearby storage facilities.  To the extent it doesn’t result in even-worse outcomes like street dumping, Roias’s apparent approach will make self-storage facilities more valuable and able to be more exploitative.

We must stop accepting governance by those who don’t see people as autonomous beings trying to make rational decisions in the exchange of services, but as exploiters and victims who all just need to be told what to do by enlightened politicians.


Featured image by Joshua Coleman on Unsplash.

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Rhett Hardwick
Rhett Hardwick
1 year ago

Having grown up with a basement, an attic and a barn, I am not sure how anyone can survive with just a self-storage unit.

Chris Leech
Chris Leech
1 year ago

I agree with the author because without corporate personhood, we will only have bigger government. Bigger government equates to the erosion of our Constitutional rights. Councilman Roias, who is a social worker, falsely believes that storage units equates to homelessness and evictions. Furthermore, this councilman has an issue with landlords because he is a “renter”. This is a service and of his own choice. However, feels “hurt” by his personal situation and is a far left socialist. Many others have risen up thru poverty, thru capitalism and hard work business ventures, and have helped others in need with training and development and charity However, his stance that all landlords are evil is dangerous and he seeks rent control while diminishing property owner rights. Meanwhile, he makes no valid efforts to quell the homelessness and more encampments are propping up in his ward due to all the crime and drug problems. The ward he represents has no commerce, is filled with lawlessness, and he and his city council counterparts have no viable solutions for economic development.

Rhoda Blum
Rhoda Blum
Reply to  Chris Leech
11 months ago

Right on! These hack politicians on city council are a shameful bunch of socialists. Vote them out!

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