Saturday, May 08, 2010

Two items in this morning's LA Times bring out my inner conservatism (small though it may be)

(1) The LA City Council is considering forbidding landlords of rent stabilized property from raising rents at all. I am certainly not a Friedmanite, but all credible evidence suggests to me that rent control leads to under-provision and under-maintenance of rental housing, and is distributionally unjust (Henry Pollakowski has shown that the benefits of rent control in New York accrue largely to high income people). But what LA is contemplating is even worse: to tell landlords that they can expect to be allowed to raise their (well-below-market) rents by 3 percent and then renege sends potential investors in Los Angeles the message that they can't rely on anything the city tells them. It may help explain why the city (as opposed to the region) has been unable to create jobs for a long time now.

(2) Al Gore bought a 6500 square foot vacation house in Montecito. I get why he might need to own one large house--if he uses his house for business purposes and has large receptions at it, he needs the space. I even get why a former Vice-President may not be able to fly commercial--the security problems are just too large. But for Al to own two large houses is just rank hypocracy. One of the reasons I can't take the GOP seriously is that it seems permeated by holier-than-thou hypocrites. Even though I generally agree with Al Gore on policy, he does at times make it hard to take him seriously.

4 comments:

Peter Gordon said...

Gore's new house is practically at sea level!

Tony said...

Now we know why Gore needed another house. For the divorce.

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