Monday, April 23, 2012

Reason #181: Rent Stabilization

So it seems to a lot of people like the wind is blowing against the Supreme Court upholding the individual mandate in Obama's health care package. Even I have to admit that its constitutionality seems iffy, and at the very least, there should be pretty serious limitations on the government's ability to control what people are buying.

It's interesting, then, that the Supreme Court just rejected a suit against New York City's infamous rent-stabilization laws, which seem to me to be both utterly necessary and extremely socialistic.

For a second I wasn't quite sure I was prepared to defend the rent stabilization system, given that it was originally put in place around World War I and hasn't been updated since the 60's. But after reading up a bit and discovering that the rent limits are percentages, often based on the property owners' operating costs, rather than being hard numbers--and on top of that, the limits are only an option when the vacancy rate is a freakishly low five percent or less--it doesn't seem that bad of a system.

I'm not a rabid socialist, but I do think socialism is necessary exactly as often as economic conditions (like Mitt Romney paying a lower tax rate than me) make it - and preventing people from charging three thousand a month for a studio apartment is pretty fucking necessary.

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