Rent control is said to reduce rents. Economists disagree. Only some rents remain low, compared to others, in cities with rent control. If the cities foreswore rent control, most rents would tend to be lower.
There are other reasons to oppose rent control. The policy increases social stratification, as sociologists put it. The people with controlled rents become an elite, and they feed off of insider connections and . . . well, corruption results.
Congressman Charles Rangel is a classic example. He’s one of New York City’s representative to the U.S. House of Representatives, and he chairs the powerful Ways and Means Committee. And yet he nabbed four rent-controlled apartments in New York, thereby gaining a huge advantage over many other New Yorkers. He then failed to report his success at the rent control game, as required.
Rangel proved quite the source for corruption stories last year. He had numerous tax difficulties, failing to report this and that. He wrangled $80,000 from his campaign treasury to his son, for doing website work. The son did scant work. After getting a cool million from an oil company for his Charles B. Rangel Center at City College, he then fought for a tax break for that company.
The list goes on.
It’s been famously said that you can’t buy politicians, only rent them. Well, guess what form of rent control I support.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.