Quotes About Rent Control

“Rent control is a law that supposedly is passed to help the people who are in rental housing. And it does help those who are in current housing. But the effect of rent control is to create scarcity, and to make it difficult for other people to get housing.” – Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize Winning economist

“The analysis of rent control is among the best-understood issues in all of economics, and — among economists, anyway — one of the least controversial. In 1992 a poll of the American Economic Association found 93 percent of its members agreeing that ”a ceiling on rents reduces the quality and quantity of housing.” – Paul Krugman, Progressive Economist & NY Times Columnist

“If rent controls are imposed that are lower than rents dictated by market forces, an excess demand for  apartments almost immediately appears. Over time, if the demand for apartments increases, the  shortage grows worse, leading to long waiting lists.” – Prof. Joseph Salerno, Pace University 

“In many cases, rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a  city — except for bombing.” – Progressive Swedish Economist, Assar Lindbeck 

“Rent control has in certain Western countries constituted, maybe, the worst example of poor planning  by Governments lacking courage and vision.” – Progressive Swedish Economist, Gunnar Myrdal 

“Rent-control laws disproportionately benefit the non-poor because the elite pull strings, work the  system and are better connected than the non-poor.” – Broadcaster, Larry Elder 

“When we hear about rent control or gun control, we may think about rent or guns but the word that really matters is ‘control.’ That is what the political left is all about, as you can see by the incessant  creation of new restrictions in places where they are strongly entrenched in power, such as San  Francisco or New York.” – American Economist, Thomas Sowell 

“Rent control is one policy that economists universally would oppose. It is a grossly inefficient way of  allocating housing space and, of course, it inhibits construction and creates the very thing it is supposed  to alleviate. It is one of those things where people simply don’t understand simple economics and,  therefore, put in for political reasons what will damage the very people that it is designed to help.  Minimum wage levels are another classic example.” – American Economist, James M. Buchanan 

“Sellers in general maintain the quality of their products and services for fear of losing customers  otherwise. But when price controls create a situation where the amount demanded is greater than the  amount supplied – a shortage – fear of losing customers is no longer as strong an incentive. For  example, landlords typically reduce painting and repairs when there is rent control, because there is no  need to fear vacancies when there are more tenants looking for apartments than there are apartments  available.” – American Economist, Thomas Sowell 

“These people talk of a “middle-of-the-road” policy. What they do not see is that the isolated  interference, which means the interference with only one small part of the economic system, brings  about a situation which the government itself — and the people who are asking for government  interference — find worse than the conditions they wish to abolish: the people who are asking for rent  control are very angry when they discover there is a shortage of apartments and a shortage of housing.” – Austrian School Economist, Historian, and Sociologist, Ludwig von Mises 

“Politically, sometimes you get situations where rent control will go through. It is especially true in an emergency, where there is a sudden, sharp increase in demand for housing or a cut back in supply.  People will simply not allow the marketplace to allocate housing resources and so you get pressures for rent control. Once you have it, it is hard to eliminate.” – American Economist, James M. Buchanan

“If we don’t like rent control, we ought to oppose it on political and social grounds – and not just by  arguing that, thanks to smartphones and social networks, we can create new, more efficient markets for matching short-term renters with tenants.” – American Writer, Evgeny Morozov

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