RENT CONTROL: Great for the well to do! Not much good for poor folks!



Great slogans but WHO is listening? I suspect that people who cheer Sawant are the homeless and low income people whose housing options are disappearing.

The problem is that economists say rent control does not work. Now the Sawantist crowd is touting a piece by Jake Blumgart as an answer to Paul Krugman.

I suggest you READ this piece. If anything it calls out the hypocrisy of Sawant and concludes that rent control might be great for rich folks living in apartments along the Magnolia Bluffs but likely not so good for my close friend living in a 1 bedroom $1200 run down apartment in the developping University District. .

Klugman on rent
What Blumgart’s piece says is that there is ONE report by a REAL ESTATE LAWYER, Tomothy Collins, who did a subjective analysis of the literature. There is no claim that this lawyer used or even knew how to use quantitative tools to extract new interpretations from the existing data. In sum Mr. Collins is a former head of New York’s rent control board and now a private attorney. He is a guy who is pro rent control says he has read a bunch of papers and thinks he can come to a different conclusion. HE IS NOT AN ECONOMIST.
BUT ..what conclusion doe Mr. Collins reach? Does he disagree with Krugman? The lawyer says he can!1 find no evidence that rent control does not lower prices. This double negative is a classical statistical faux pas. Not finding stuff is as bad as trying, trying until you fond some data to support your conclusions.
BUT wait the is more ..The same lawyer says the data show that rent control rather than lowering rents for the needy, PROTECTS the “moral” privilege for folks to continue to live in their neighborhood when the neighborhood prices are rising. Put another way, the lawyer says that rent control PROTECTS EXISTING PRIVILEGE OF HIS CLIENTS
This is really great for folks living in a Puget Sound view apartment in Queen Anne or Magnolia, not so much for my friend who wonders where he is going to find anothe 1 bedroom apartment for $1200. Let’s just say that he definitely wouldn’t be able to rent an apartment for New York City for this price, which already prevents him from finding a place to live in one state. How many more will he have to go through until he can find one that allows him to spend this amount of money? If I was to guess, I’d probably say quite a few.

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  1. 1

    When I originally commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox
    and from now on every time a comment is added I recieve
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  2. Roger Rabbit #

    Unfortunately, the owner of this blog died a few days before you submitted this. I’m using my posting privileges to reply in his absence. This post attracted a lot of spam, so I’ve deleted ALL the comments. Did that solve the problem? Otherwise, I don’t know how to turn off those notifications.

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