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Re: Knowledge is Power (he must read the Post)

Posted by TenantNet on September 29, 2000 at 08:02:05:

In Reply to: LINK TO ARTICLE HERE. Knowledge is Power posted by Housing Advocate on September 29, 2000 at 02:32:15:

No, neither the message or the link was removed, but as we've said before -- not just in this thread -- this is not the place for a protracted discussion on the pro's and con's on rent regs. There are other places for that, so this will be the end of this thread.

Having said that (yes, we're breaking the rule a little bit, but it's our board), no one has ever said rent regs were a perfect solution. They have their weaknesses. But they have also been mischaracterized to the point where rational discussion is near impossible. They also don't really work any more, but that's because it was the Democrats (no, not the Republicans) who weakened them to the point where there's no enforcement and have little remaining value, except as a voluntary system.

Even those economists that aren't carrying a right-wing agenda will admit that the criticism (i.e., fair market gurus) is based on economic assumptions that don't alway's exist. For example, Samuelson, the primer of fair-market and Keynesian economics, criticizes rent regs, but does so in a vacuum. He asserts rent regs causes abandonement, but almost every study conducted to confirm this concludes that for whatever valid criticisms may exist for rent regs, there is no support that the system induces abandonment. Indeed, what causes abandonement and creates other problems (such as lack of new construction) are arcane zoning and building regs, not rent regs.

Nor do the economists acknowledge that in certain places, like NYC, there really isn't a free market for economic leveling forces to work. There is no room left. Once can't build a new (and cheaper) apartment complex at the edge of town as might be done in a midwestern city (where rent regs would be inappropriate). And NYC economics are often based on intense speculation, not on real and demonstrated market forces. If there were the possibility that NYC could operate as a truly free market, the discussion could be more open, but that's simply not the case. No room, other regulatory restrictions, public policy to balance the city's need for commercial, manufacturing and open space all influence the inability of a free market in residential issues.

As for benefits of rent regs, when it works there's quite a lot of beneftis, including a stable (albeit increasing) and predictable rent, a stability of neighborhoods, the ability of small business to flourish, tenants who commit to an area for many years, put down roots, pay taxes send kids to city schools, etc. Without stable rents, the major businesses would not be able to staff their back offices. Other studies have shown one of the lrgest problems faced by the larger businesses is that the workers cannot afford to live in an area. Rent regs are about the viability of a city as much as they are about affordable housing [which is not always a code word for the poor].

The so-called elite is over a million tenants, most of whom don't earn more than 50K. And ever since the Democrats put in vacancy deregulation in 1994, we have not seen hoards of new affordable construction (it's all luxury), rents have gone through the roof, we often hear $3,000/month these days where just two years ago $2,000/mo was extremely rare. And the city has become more populated by suburban yuppies that expect malls and the like. But all those dot-commers who email us with problems paying their $3,000 month rents tell us that people do want affordable housing and stability.

So that's it, this thread will not got protracted, but we suggest tenants be very weary of studies endorsed by, signed by or paid by the RSA and REBNY, two NYC landlord groups that do everything in their power to limit your rights, raise your rents and evict you on a dime.

: The link to the article is below. I dare anyone who has read the article to respond to the specific facts it raises.

: Contrary to Tenant Net's worries, this article has not been posted to start an "arguement", and no one has argued. As several people have asked about it I post its link here.

: Perhaps Tenant Net is surprised to learn that most tenants do not benefit from nor want rent controls. Perhaps he is angry that the many hours wasted by housing advocates on the issue has been wasted and benefit only an elite. Read it and decide for yourself. Knowledge is power.

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