AFSCME’s push for rent control proves the importance of the Janus union-dues ruling



By Stephen Frank,  California Political News and Views

If you are a low income worker, forced to join a union (though you can now leave the union Plantation without penalty), you are financing a ballot measure for rent control.  The result of rent control is even less housing and more expensive housing.  So, if you are ready to leave California and want to make it worse for those left behind continue being a union member—you could destroy what is left of our housing market.

“Rent-control is a disastrous policy, of course. There’s no question that California already is not building enough housing, with the Legislative Analyst’s Office noting in 2015 that the state needs “to build as many as 100,000 additional units annually – almost exclusively in its coastal communities – to seriously mitigate its problems with housing affordability.” It’s impossible to measure the degree to which rent controls add to that problem, given that they stop new housing from ever happening. It’s hard to measure what never took place. But such controls always restrict the creation of new supply. And they divert attention from the real cause of skyrocketing housing prices: the state’s growth controls and the California Environmental Quality Act, which encourages litigation against building projects. Instead of capping prices, policy makers need to encourage apartment construction.

Rent control appears to be, as Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck said, “the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city – except for bombing.” We can see that in San Francisco, which has such strict tenant-protection laws that 30,000 or more apartment units sit vacant in a city where average rents push $4,000 a month. Why would landlords forfeit such revenue? Because the city’s laws make it nearly impossible to evict a tenant, so many property owners don’t want to rent their apartments to strangers, given they may never be able to get rid of them.

In the midst of a housing crisi there are 30,000 vacant apartments.  Like to destroy a city?  Want to watch a world class city become a world class slum?  Visit San Fran—and help the unions to further kill housing in California.


Related Article: AFSCME’s push for rent control proves the importance of the Janus union-dues ruling

Stephen Frank: Is the the publisher and editor of the California Political News and Views.  Mr. Frank speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows and is a full time political consultant.

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