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Re: Please End Rent Regulation

Posted by David Kuhlke on April 17, 1997 at 00:42:33:

In Reply to: Re: Please End Rent Regulation posted by TenantNet on April 14, 1997 at 10:49:23:

: First, on this thread, please realize we moderate this bulletin board
: unlike usenet, to ensure any discourse is rational (so far it has been).
: We hope posters air their views (either way), but we draw the line
: where the discourse degenerates into circular regurgitation of economic
: maxims. Another round is fine, but the first one who starts talking
: about "willing buyer and willing seller..."

So you're telling me that my opinion is not worthy of discussion? I hope
you meant that jokingly. Otherwise I shall have to consider this yet
another forum built by militant liberals who would have us believe the
socialist morés of a truly degenerative society.

: You must realize -- and 99% of the people miss this, is that regulation does many
: other things than control the level of rent increases. It guarantees automatic
: lease renewal, stabilizing neighborhoods so people will settle into neighborhoods
: knowing that landlords can't kick them out on a whim.

And you must realize that half the leases written in this city are done so
to protect the landlords regardless of the law. I have a two-year lease,
but what does that mean if the owner decides to sell the unit? Nothing,
nada... I have 30 days to relocate, and that's that. It almost happened,
but the buyer pulled out at the eleventh hour. Landlords CAN kick you
out on a whim.

Why do we want automatic lease renewal? So we can find ourselves stuck in
a lousy apartment because we can't afford anything else out there after
so many years?

: The secondary effects of
: this on the city is immeasurable. Some say it limits mobility, but that's
: a strawman -- it is indeed intended to create stable long-term tenancies. Our best
: neighborhoods are immune from speculative pressures. Regulation also requires owners
: maintain their buildings and continue to provide services that you agreed to in your
: lease.

I thought that speculative pressure was good for the economy. I consider
new growth and construction, renovation, and renewal to be quite positive

: There is no free market in New York City even absent rent regulations.

Oh, there is. I see cigarette prices jumping up and down all the time,
because the guy across the street decided to run a 40 cents off special.
Why do you think the same wouldn't apply to apartments?

The elitists say that rent control destroys the social fabric of the city;
while the underclass hoipalloi say that it keeps them from being able to afford a
decent apartment. The middle class are screaming because they're stuck
in the same place they have been for 25 years. What's good about that?

: Unfortunately some of the more left-wing unthinking tenant advocates
: don't understand this.

Whew! You frightened me there for a minute. I thought you *were* one of
those advocates for a minute.

: And if there is no regulation, they will raise rents however much they can.

That's the point. See how long it lasts. But...

: In the periods of deregulation (last time 1971-74) that's exactly what
: happened -- no market equalization -- no building on new units except
: luxury units. It does not happen.

Not in four years it doesn't! Jeez, did people really expect utopia in
less than 10? If we had left it alone in 1971, and bided our time, I think we
would see a free market economy today.

: There is a demand, so where are they? There
: are many other factors at play.

There's a demand, but because regulation provides an artificial sense that
affordable apartments exists, nobody feels the pressure to change. Take
away that artificial economy and landlords will feel the pressure to

: Again, theory, but not in real life. I wish it were so. Taking away
: regulation does not create a free market where there is none to begin
: with.

Was there a vacuum in New York before rent control? Did someone come in
and say "Hi, I'm Bob. Here are the rent prices this year." ? Where there
is free trade, there is a free market. If it's suppressed by regulation,
that's one thing. Take away the regulation, and the market will act
accordingly. Sure, some people will be forced out of their homes and some
will find that they cannot live in the city for several years. That's
what New Jersey's for. :-)

: Even if there was a fair market in which to transition, is the city
: willing to destroy neighborhoods and its tax base to do so?

The city lets lots sit vacant and businesses to stand empty. The city
also lets the clouds pass by overhead without wrestling them to the ground.
Who's to say the city's responsible? Maybe if they saw it was in their
best interest to give incentive to potential building owners, like tax
breaks or guaranteed loans... but to say that the city would be thrown
into some dark age because of deregulation is stretching things.

: But airlines are not necessary to live. Even telephones are not
: absolutely necessary (although I would argue against that idea).
: Housing is.

I see people living on the streets every day. They're alive. For
whatever reason, they're there. Those of us who have the will, the
strength, and the faculties to endure a long period of high rents (either
by moving out of the city and commuting or living in a low-rent area)
will survive it. What we come back to will be much better than what we

: In this society certain things are regulation and
: even conservatives want this. Do you think we would heve the
: transportation and communication infrastructure without some
: sort of regulation?

Woah! Left field! The existing communications infrastructure you mention was
built primarily by the government and educational institutions. Later,
the government sold licenses to use and resell these lines, and companies
are building on top of the pre-existing infrastructure daily. The only thing
the government will have to step in for is maybe putting in an ATM line from
New York to LA, and that is just to help out with the immense costs of such
a feat.

: Even our economy is regulation with the
: Fed setting interest rates.

Who is the Fed? Is it the government? Nope. You think the
Government controls interest rates? hehe... Alan Greenspan is
an appointee to represent the US government on this board. The Fed
is a collection of private interests that control our interest rates.
"The Fed" does not mean "The Federal Government".

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