There are consequences to every public policy choice we make. An editorial in today's Monterey County Herald makes the argument that one consequence of not providing enough decent, affordable housing for low-wage laborers is crime and violent death.

The Herald's argument may be a bit of a reach in this particular instance, in which a Salinas police officer shot and killed a young man wielding a knife. Still, the fact that overcrowded, slum-like conditions exist in parts of Salinas is not news. Nor would it be news in many cities and unincorporated towns in California. We simply don't have enough decent, affordable housing for people of modest means.

The existence of shoddy, overcrowded housing and neighborhoods in Salinas is the result of public policy choices made by the Salinas City Council, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, the state Legislature, the administration and the federal government. In other words, these are public policy choices made by all of us. And none of the consequences are good.

– Paul Shigley