As any economist can tell Mayor Wu, rent control never works
by Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe
January 29, 2023
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From the other side of the aisle, the renowned conservative economist Thomas Sowell agrees. Rent control policies, he said in a 2019 interview, turn everyone into losers:
“The tenants lose because they can’t find a place to stay. Landlords lose because they don’t make the profit they would have made otherwise. The builders lose because there’s no demand for apartment buildings if no one can make a profit on them.” By and large, observed Sowell, politicians are the only class of people who come out ahead. “They get the reputation of being for the poor and the downtrodden [and] preventing the evil landlords from raising the rent.”
As if that isn’t enough, rent control is infamous among economists for other negative impacts. It exacerbates racial discrimination in housing. It multiplies bureaucracy. It disproportionately hurts those it is intended to help. And what is true in America is true everywhere. When rent control has been tried in other countries, from Canada to Germany to Sweden, the outcomes have been dismal. Even communist Vietnam abandoned rent control after its destructive impact became apparent.
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Why do “we” have to keep reinventing the wheel? “We, The Sheeple” should immediately give any politician or bureaucrat that mentions “rent control” the pitchfork and torches treatment.