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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/8154/liberty-is-worth-the-abuse/

Liberty Is Worth the Abuse

May 29, 2008 by

We get a lot of abuse, those of us who publicly defend private property rights and voluntary arrangements against the varied depredations of government. Having to constantly face such attacks is a substantial part of the cost of speaking out, and probably explains why more people don’t take the risk.

For those who might be considering publicly taking up the cause of “life, liberty, and property,” I offer the following example to give you a taste of what you can expect.

Note that it is far from the most egregious example I could relate; it is not intended to discourage you, but only to prepare you for the cost you may have to bear — to help you develop the requisite toughness. FULL ARTICLE

{ 42 comments }

banker May 29, 2008 at 8:34 am

At one point does one decide to give up and move to a freer place? Leave the country rather than stay and fight the tide?

I am just curious.

flix May 29, 2008 at 9:23 am

My most sincere and heartfelt congratulations on your courage.

It never ceases to amaze me how supporters of using force on others can level the accusation of cruelty at those who favour voluntary arrangements without suffering a logic system failure/brain malfunction in the process.
Must be Doublethink or smtg, I guess it takes a lot of practice…

David C May 29, 2008 at 9:38 am

Banker said:

‘At one point does one decide to give up and move to a freer place? Leave the country rather than stay and fight the tide?

I am just curious.’

yes, but where you gonna go? Last time I looked, there wasn’t any freeer place. Go somewhere there’s no rent control, and find a host of other infirngements on your property or person. (sigh) It was ever thus

severin May 29, 2008 at 10:26 am

The way I argue against rent control, is to ask people who support rent control if they would support “wage control”, where the government came in and says that it is illegal to give employees a raise. Normally people don’t like that idea, but have a hard time explaining the reasoning for their difference of opinion. If the government can artificially cap the income of a landlord, then why can’t they cap the income on any profession that raises its rate on a semi-regular basis as is deemed necessary according to expenses.

When I have talked to bureaucrats about this issue who support these types of laws, then I pose the question to them: “If you support rent control, would you also support a law that restricted increases in property tax?” I then go on to explain that it is unfair for the government to force a landlord to increase their expenses and at the same time use force to restrict their income. Most bureaucrats do not support any restrictions on the amount of tax that can be charged, so they will always trip themselves up or lie.

I really do not believe that rent control can be argued favorably from a logical perspective, but often with free market positions, we argue with logic and our opposition argues with emotion.

Matthew Ellison May 29, 2008 at 10:33 am

Good job Mr. Galles,
We do appreciate all your work. It is still surprising that people don’t understand rent control and its negative effects. Maybe one day.

Matt

Inquisitor May 29, 2008 at 10:35 am

Incredible, how ignorant and aggressive most people are when confronted with true, like a herd of animals reacting with pure instinct and little by way of thought.

Ayez bon courage!

Inquisitor May 29, 2008 at 10:36 am

truth*

magnus May 29, 2008 at 11:04 am

Rent control is a side show, a circus. It’s like the noise generated by politicians over the price of gas — it’s a STAGED problem.

Rental housing prices is a minuscule issue in terms of the economics of this country and the world, but it becomes a huge hot-button for a lot of voters.

Why is this circus orchestrated? So the people who are really pulling the strings — the people who benefit directly from the existence of the Federal Reserve and an aggressive foreign policy — can get the votes of ordinary renters. Passing rent control laws is a way for Democrats to buy votes. Republicans buy votes by being against rent control.

Meanwhile, both the Republicans and Democrats pat themselves on the back and congratulate themselves for having protected the interests of their respective constituencies, while also supporting and protecting a Federal Reserve system that devalues everyone’s money year after year.

It’s robbery with a smile.

Jesse May 29, 2008 at 11:13 am

I think this may be overly simplistic. While I agree that rent control is a damaging enterprise that constitutes theft, we must keep in mind that it is theft from people who benefit tremendously from land use restrictions, housing regulations and the like. In a truly free economy, people would be able to buy and build on unoccupied property as they pleased, and people with buildings could expand the number of units they have available. In short, without restrictions, it is quite possible that rents would have to go down as much or even more than with rent control because of a far greater availability of units and a greater ability to own and build one’s own home.

Rent control is wrong, but it helps to compensate, to some degree, for an even greater wrong from which landlords benefit. Remove land use and building restrictions, and then remove rent control.

Jim May 29, 2008 at 11:18 am

@severin: You’re absolutely right that our opposition argues with emotion. And it’s their freedom and right to be like that. But I always wonder at what point does their freedom to be emotionally controlled animals take over the minds of the vast majority of the U.S. population to the point where nobody thinks logically for themselves anymore? You can’t reason with emotional, logically inept people by definition. So what do we do? We can’t force them to be *logical* because that would be hypocrisy. What to do, what to do…?

fundamentalist May 29, 2008 at 11:48 am

There’s a lot of truth in what Jesse wrote. Zoning laws, building codes and other regulations are designed to protect existing landlords and builders from competition.

Prof Galles is correct that rent control is theft, but he needs a spin doctor to help him sell the idea. The way you frame an argument is very important. You must be seen by the public as defending the poor, not landlords. Just rephrase the argument so that it focuses on the harm done to the poor in substandard housing, housing shortages, etc.

Erik May 29, 2008 at 11:49 am

Education is the only answer. We need more people like Ron Paul out there, talking about these things in public. We need more educators helping students at a young age to learn how to think rationally. Mises.org is a great start! But libertarians need to think bigger.

Unfortunately, I think the biggest thing we could do to advance the education of liberty would be start a television station. (Sometimes, you have to fight fire with fire.) The Neo-Con’s have their TV station (fox news) and the Liberals have most of the rest. Libertarians have none. The propaganda of the welfare/warfare state is all around us.

Brooks Imperial May 29, 2008 at 11:53 am

Defenders of liberty are a shrinking minority fighting an uphill battle against the defenders of the dialectic who make a new battleground out of every idea given them. The cretins can have it. I’m building a wall. Let them eat each other.

Kilmore May 29, 2008 at 11:55 am

Ad Jesse:

First, rent control causes many harms undesirable even from the point of view of those who wish to enact this folly.

Second, one theft cannot justify another. Landlords are no robbers, certainly not more than anyone else who follows the law. It is the law itself that must be corrected, nothing else.

Third, to correct one theft by another is straight way to hell. How do you intend to correct results of rent control? Another control? And then again control of this control? Mises was right. Once you make your first step on this road you are doomed to make all the rest of them.

Jesse May 29, 2008 at 12:04 pm

Re Kilmore:

I never said “let’s keep rent control!” I said, “Let’s get rid of land use restrictions and rent control.” That being said, I do have a certain lack of sympathy for people who complain while making money by virtue of mere ownership, while others struggle and work to pay their rents to keep a roof over their heads. I will admit that my priority is to make things fair for them, first, I really believe that rentals as they are right now should scarcely exist, and that it is an industry created as much by regulation as anything. Both rent controls and building regulation are unjust, but the latter constitutes a greater injustice which harms far more people to a much greater degree.

Daniel M. Ryan May 29, 2008 at 12:18 pm

To the end of boosting morale, here’s a riddle:

Q: Why are pigs zero-sum thinkers?

A: Because they used to be piglets.

Perhaps not funny, but pointed.

Matthew Ellison May 29, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Re Jesse

I understand and agree with what your saying. This is the problem governments have. It allows one dominant power. But the smaller the government is the better so if we can only get rid of some small programs or ideas then we are still better off.

Also I am not sure if rent control’s is a lesser evil than building regulation though. I mean rent control directly hurts the poor in a horrible way. So yes building regulations stifles entrepreneurship and raises prices but because competition still exist it fights to lower the prices making it at least bearable for the people.

Andy May 29, 2008 at 12:53 pm

While I agree with your points and applaud your courage, it may have been more beneficial or enlightening to probe deeper. Rent control was devised to cover an earlier theft – inflation. To protect fixed income people from inflation making them homeless, they created a ‘benefit’ of rent control. By inflating the money supply, i.e. stealing money, they deflected anger of the original theft. The people are happy with their ‘benefit’ and government while it makes the ultimate victims, landlords, at odds with the people in what is viewed as cold-hearted instead of government.

Liberty by Choice May 29, 2008 at 12:53 pm

In response to Banker’s earlier question about when is it time to leave the country and go elsewhere, David C. responded above “yes, but where you gonna go? Last time I looked, there wasn’t any freeer (sic.) place. Go somewhere there’s no rent control, and find a host of other infirngements (sic.) on your property or person. (sigh) It was ever thus.”

Might I suggest that we in the USA have been propaganda-fed to the point that we believe there is no free-er place upon earth than here…where the Patriot Act has deprived us of even basic Constitutional rights? I would assume that David C. has not traveled outside of the USA. I have, and can attest that there are places where personal liberty FAR exceeds what we currently live under within the United States.

Moreover, I have an American friend whose professional endeavors have taken him to an astounding 54 nations of the world. He constantly reminds me of the many liberties he can enjoy in many other nations, but which we now lack in the USA by “majority vote” as Professor Galles has stated within the context of the rent control issue (and some of these countries would surprise you if I mentioned them by name). Consequently, my friend now refuses to live in the USA–choosing bona fide freedom over misguided illusions of “patriotism” which are actually nothing more than government propaganda to control the masses.

Leaving the shores of the USA and traveling in foreign lands can not only help us appreciate in some cases what we have here and have taken for granted…but in other instances can help us realize also what we have lost in the USA due to “democratic” tyranny–imposed upon us by an ignorant “majority vote” and so-called “representatives.” In short, my family and I have chosen our path and have done the necessary research. We will soon be offshore in a much free-er jurisdiction of this hemisphere, enjoying liberties we have almost forgotten were ours here (according to the U.S. Constitution, anyway). Like hundreds of thousands of Americans each year, we are pursuing genuine personal liberty through foreign relocation.

However, let not the discussion at hand obscure the realities of the free market laws–which always bring injustices to a stark end…eventually. Multiple generations worth of debt expansion, market manipulations, and government oppression will soon produce the necessary consequence. As the Bible says in Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man [or nation, or population] sows, this he will also reap.”

Market forces will eventually collapse the current economic system and its injustices here in the USA, and the shocked and dismayed population (like many other world populations before, in many other places, throughout history) will be forced to abandon its economic errors and embrace reality. As with the former Roman Empire (a predecessor to our own), currency debasement and an overreached military will collapse the already bankrupt system and its abuses, and the resulting effects will necessarily return the populations to a free market economy…simply to survive.

Nevertheless, I expect that what we consider the USA today will not exist beyond the aftermath of the greatest economic collapse in world history. I and my family do not plan to swallow the “pill of patriotic-propaganda” any longer, and have awakened to the economic realities upon the near horizon. Thus, we have decided to follow another Biblical course of action found TWICE within Proverbs, “A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, the naive proceed and pay the penalty.” (22:3, 27:12).

I concur with Professor Galles that there needs to be more of us fighting for freedom (and I plan to do so from my new remote location). However, I also encourage others with knowledge to examine the facts already known to many who study Austrian Economics, and take the Biblical approach: namely, prepare for the inevitable.

Best regards.

Kilmore May 29, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Ad Jesse:

Rent control cannot help people, its results are disastrous. Generally quality of housing deteriorates, flats and houses are hard to find, services worsen and so on. This is certainly no way to help people. It can only deepen their misery.

Unfortunately I do not know state of affairs in US, I can only judge conditions here in Europe. Though we suffer from many regulations, they are far from being able to cripple housing construction altogether. Though locally these restrictions may result in higher rents, generally they cannot. Therefore I do not see why rent controls should be only minor injustice compared to those other restrictions.

Moreover, you have mentioned only regulations hampering housing construction. But this is not enough, we should also take into consideration the fact that government builds the roads. Would free market transportation cost be lower or higher? If they were higher than those we observe today population density in urban areas would be higher and consequently rents too. As you can see there is no certainty about free market conditions and therefore you cannot deduce your assertions the way you did.

Stan Warford May 29, 2008 at 1:15 pm

Galles makes the most crucial argument against rent control — the one based on ethics rather than the one based on practicality. All libertarian arguments are based on these two pillars. I used to emphasize the negative economic effects of state intervention, but have switched recently to emphasizing that state intervention is unethical.

The late Harry Browne, a two-time Libertarian Party candidate, always emphasized the negative economic effects of state intervention. He even publicly stated that economic arguments would appeal to the self interest of the voters more effectively than ethical arguments would. I have come to believe, however, that our education of the public must begin with ethics and not with economic arguments for two reasons.

First, economic arguments are more difficult to explain to a layperson unversed in fundamental economic principles. I have no formal training in economics, and it has taken me years to educate myself in Austrian economics. On the other hand, most people already have a basic understanding of what is right and what is wrong. They have just not been challenged to apply their understanding to the actions of the state.

Second, even if you convince someone of the overall economic efficiency of the noninterventionist solution, he can easily counter that it doesn’t matter because justice demands that the socially disadvantaged party should receive welfare from the state. The fact is that moral conviction is ultimately a stronger personal motivator than even self interest. If someone thinks that a policy is unfair or unjust or morally wrong, they will fight against it with a religious fervor.

I now view the libertarian’s primary task to educate the public about the immorality of state intervention. So, kudos to Galles for emphasizing the ethical by identifying rent control as theft.

spic May 29, 2008 at 2:47 pm

“Both rent controls and building regulation are unjust, but the latter constitutes a greater injustice which harms far more people to a much greater degree.”

Rent control produces a housing shortage because of the increased demand from the lower price. There would be a greater number of homeless if rent control is enacted. Even if regulations are not repealed, rent control would produce greater injustice than no rent control. If these regulations are repealed, there would still be high natural barriers to entry on land. Prices would be much cheaper if the government sold their public land to private citizens.

Brooks Imperial May 29, 2008 at 2:54 pm

re: “the immorality of state intervention”

With the floodgates of federal and state redistribution pouring money into every corner of our society and the number of beneficiaries far in excess of contributors and everyone voting their wallet, the governing class has things firmly in hand. Cold hard cash bought the moral sense from the masses long ago. The moral argument is quaint, nice, mildly interesting, but not persuasive.

Figure out a way for the government to reach into the section of their pockets where they keep the fruits of their own labors. That’s where you’ll find what’s left of their moral sense.

Wally May 29, 2008 at 3:03 pm

“Good job Mr. Galles,
We do appreciate all your work. It is still surprising that people don’t understand rent control and its negative effects. Maybe one day.

Matt”

My understanding is that we need to tell people about the negative effects of rent control to change their opinions, and not just wait till ‘that one day’. Mr Galles says educating people is a worthy goal and that not enough people are doing it. I agree, I will keep his words in mind and try to do my part.

Timothy May 29, 2008 at 3:58 pm

Prof. Galles,

Even as a renter in Los Angeles for over fifteen years, and not a particularly wealthy one at that, I have always opposed rent control for the obvious reason you state: property belongs to its owner.

That is radical heresy to many Californians not because it is a difficult concept, but because it is morally difficult to admit that the cherished benefits one receives from the state are simply theft, rather than some kind of dividend to the heroic proletariat. Only by dressing up theft in the language of democracy, freedom, human rights etc. can it be made palatable to the conscience. That is an indoctrination which is universal in my state’s public schools, at least from my own experience.

Stripping away those lofty pretenses reveals an ugly picture indeed, and so it is no surprise that your simple statement of fact should generate such outrage and confused sophistry.

I’m glad you don’t take these remarks personally, because you are doing all of us a favor by beating the drum for simple truth. You are opening eyes at the margins and providing tremendous comfort to those of us who live among those addicted to stolen goods.

Stan Warford May 29, 2008 at 4:13 pm

@ Brooks Imperial

re: “The moral argument is quaint, nice, mildly interesting, but not persuasive.”

I disagree, and offer two historic events to argue my case.

The first are the many wars fought at great personal sacrifice by the combatants because the state convinces them (mistakenly) of the high moral ground on which they stand.

The second is the idea propagated by the socialists of the previous century, and still remarkably persistent today, that socialism is morally superior to capitalism. This idea is a cancer in the ideology of the elite class that must be rooted out for libertarianism to take hold. I hear this argument continually by those who defend the welfare state.

You are right about following the money to see why interventionist policy persists. But Mises and Hayek both show that interventionism is the road to serfdom and cannot be sustained. When the system collapses, the public needs to understand, as many of the U.S. founding fathers understood, the true nature of government. Otherwise the collapse could lead to even more tyranny instead of less.

We simply cannot afford to cede the moral high ground to our opponents. That is an open invitation for us to be dismissed as heartless, greedy capitalists who care about ourselves at the expense of the disadvantaged in society.

Brooks Imperial May 29, 2008 at 4:43 pm

Re: Mr. Warford’s comments

On your second point, make no mistake, a moral argument ought to persuade and certainly persuades me, but I don’t think your average brainwashed statist can be impressed by a non-relative moral argument. They think with their hearts first, heads a distant second. The libertarian ideal, if such a thing can be taken as a whole, is internally consistent, morally constructive, and economically sound. Unfortunately, most political systems, in ideal form, can be similarly evaluated. In practice however, they all create negative consequences, some much more so than others. This isn’t an argument for pragmatism, but perhaps a good way to put it is in the words of Dirty Harry, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” Philosophies that require individual responsibility, prudence, saving over spending, delayed gratification, hard work, intelligence, and moral standards, are a tough sell these days. I’m sure most here agree, they shouldn’t be.

On your first point, you will have a difficult time making a general case for the immorality of war. Hindsight usually clarifies things but moral decisions are not made in hindsight; they are made with the limited information available to decision makers in the present.

Ricky May 29, 2008 at 4:59 pm

One thing I find most interesting is how often the abuse is hurled by people who have no evident interest in the propaganda-fear mongering and the illicit pelf generated by it. Once could expect such virulent attacks and ignorant distortions from bureaucrats, special interest lobbies and maleducated college students. But, in my experience, 90% of this stuff comes from people who stand nothing to directly gain either way as, in this case, renters or immanent domain abusers nor would they consider themselves especially knowledgeable or interested in these areas. It shows how much social norms and standards of reasoning have been warped by state education and media to the point that the people with the least interest and connection to the state’s schemes will often throw themselves into the fray whenever its prerogatives seem threatened. I suppose the same could be said of most people in the military.

Deanne May 29, 2008 at 5:37 pm

ERIK

Check out breakthematrix.com
This has sprung out of the Ron Paul movement, and is run by the guy who planned his major internet fundraisers that made the news back in November and December. They are planning to start a cable channel, and are in the process of collecting pledges from people who promise to switch to their local independant cable provider (ie not Comcast) should that provider be willing to carry the BTM channel. Last I checked they had 3000 pledges.

Initially they plan to broadcast programs already available, and you can preview and rate these programs on their website. A number of them are on economics and reflect Austrian theory. Ron Paul’s speeches on the House floor, Griffith talking about the Federal Reserve, and other programs meant to educate the masses. They also plan to start original programming and you can find details about that at the website, to include comedy sketches, etc.

I have to admit some of the articles and level of discussion on the website are disapointing; but I remain optimistic that if intelligent people get involved, the BTM channel and website will improve and become just what we need. Currently it is a Digg-type website, with social networking and streaming content. Sadly I think this is our one shot at making something significant happen, coming on the heels of the Ron Paul candidacy.

Silverleaf May 29, 2008 at 7:20 pm

Sadly, many people don’t think anymore. For many, it’s just too much effort. After all, why would one want to face the cognitive dissonance that accompanies intellectually challenging one’s initial, emotional, reaction to something that is said or written when there’s reality TV on the idiot box? Along that same vein, I realized the other day, while reading my copy of The Federalist Papers, that there is no way any of those articles, originally published in newspapers, would ever be published today. For one thing, most readers of the newspaper wouldn’t understand them, and for another, they were entirely too civil and wouldn’t constitute “good material” for today’s publishers. Sad, what our society has devolved to…

Pablo Escobar May 29, 2008 at 7:30 pm

“Last time I looked, there wasn’t any freer place.”

Move to Australia. Although you won’t be allowed a gun for self-defence, crime is low enough that you probably won’t mind. We regularly rank above the US in terms of economic freedom, and our record on human rights is far superior to the US in spite of your Bill of Rights. In fact, we don’t have a bill of rights.

New Hampshire is another alternative.

Jesse May 29, 2008 at 7:55 pm

Re: Pablo

Yeah, right, until you say a racial slur (or anything really, that people say is racist) and run afoul of Austrialia’s anti-discrimination gag laws, as praised by B’nai Brith (a chunk of the ADL). Like it or lump it, America is the ONLY industrialized nation where you are really safe to deny the Holocaust, call someone a racial slur and give out copies of “the Bell Curve”.

We may not agree with what people say when they say these things, but Americans, and the Constitution, still by and large believe in the right to say it.

Pablo Escobar May 29, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Jesse,

Australia also has more political freedom because minor parties actually get elected to the Parliament here. They aren’t kept off ballots, there’s no first-past-the-post voting (only proportional and preferential) and you will never find a mess like Florida in the 2000 election because we have a single independent election authority, instead of cronyism in the states.

TLWP Sam May 29, 2008 at 9:16 pm

Well the 2nd Amendment was there for the people and the States to protect themselves against the Federal Government when it doesn’t play nice and runs roughshod over everyone else. ;)

newson May 30, 2008 at 1:39 am

to pablo escobar:
i don’t think i’d be recommending australia as a libertarian destination. check out our asphixiating bureaucracies and punitive tax rates before boarding the plane. you might also want to ask why many of our best and brightest work in hk, dubai, bahrain, and other low-tax jurisdictions.

one positive thing that being australian does have over american citizenship is that the ato (irs) doesn’t require that non-resident citizens lodge tax returns. so for fiscal reasons, running away from australia does make sense.

the third world offers more hope of personal liberty, but at the price of higher corruption.

Michael A. Clem May 30, 2008 at 8:59 am

I got a hateful letter one time after getting an opinion article published in the local paper about the minimum wage and how raising it won’t help the poor. When I responded to the guy with the fact that I wasn’t a wealthy person, he became much more friendly, even though I didn’t change or contradict anything I said in my article.
“Spin doctor” is right–read about the Ransberger Pivot at Advocates for Self-government. Backing up the logical argument with the practical and the emotional POV is important for persuasion.

guy May 30, 2008 at 12:59 pm

The best argument to make is always the practical one because, for the common man, what is impossible cannot reasonably be a moral duty; it isn’t a moral duty to disobey the law of gravity. In the same way (maybe even in a deeper way) when the common man sees that gov. regulations hurt him instead of help him he is less likely to consider this violation of his rights as a moral duty. So for instance the socialist says “we need gov. price controls because if prices are lower then, more poor people will be able to afford nice things and this would only be moral” the libertarian responds “it would only be moral if it were true, for we know that lower prices cause shortages of goods and less things for the poor, so if this is morality who needs immorality!”

It will be a little harder to convince the uncommon man –the theorists behind new trade theory and path dependency etc. because of the more detailed argument involved but austrian economics is fully able to convince these people too.

M May 30, 2008 at 6:05 pm

This latest article from Professor Galles has inspired me to reflect on the responses I have received from non-libertarians whenever I have called for the abolition of a government institution either verbally or through letters to newspapers. I’ve come to believe that non-libertarians are generally afraid of a stateless society perhaps because it would require them to be fully responsible for their own welfare, unless, or course, they can find other people to voluntarily help them out. Unfortunately, many of these same folks seem reluctant to acknowledge this aversion to a personal responsibility because it would expose their moral weakness and puncture their self-esteem. The upshot is that they make little or effort to logically refute libertarian arguments, but either ignore them or merely write them off as “too extreme” and then declare victory.

Matt May 31, 2008 at 11:35 pm

“Rent control is theft” That statement is true but only known so after reflection as to why it is true, it also harms those who in the long run will be denied better housing that they could afford without rent control.

The logical mental work involved is beyond the ability of many who among us are Neanderthal remnants. So many of us are deceived into thinking that they are extinct but aren’t. Trying to educate them is a lost cause especially so when they are mentally frozen below the age of reason, say 12-15 years of age.

P.M.Lawrence June 1, 2008 at 3:10 am

Actually, there is a subtlety here, the same one that escapes many Georgists.

Suppose A rents to B and rent control comes in. A then sells the property to C. If you just come along with the idea “rent control steals from landlords”, you will get the idea that C is a victim. He isn’t – A was. C faced no loss because A had to sell at a price with his own loss embedded in it. Abolishing rent control wouldn’t be getting B to make restitution, it would be providing a gain for C at A’s expense. If C then sold to D, he would realise the whole gain because the new price would be higher to reflect it.

newson June 1, 2008 at 5:39 am

to pm lawrence:
it might not be quite as straightforward as you’ve painted in your scenario.
rent control will freeze much investment in housing, resulting in decreased building. over time, increasing demand meeting stalled supply should see capital values rise more strongly than would otherwise be the case.
so it may be that a’s loss (if he were to sell straight after the control’s imposition) would be well and truly rewarded over time by the tighter general housing market. the eventual value will be more than he could have got had the housing stock been allowed to grow.
(if the tenant cannot be evicted, then a’s gain will be a long time coming).

David C June 2, 2008 at 5:04 am

Liberty by choice said:
‘I would assume that David C. has not traveled outside of the USA. I have, and can attest that there are places where personal liberty FAR exceeds what we currently live under within the United States’.

Response: In my life, I have only ever spent 2 weeks INSIDE the US. I live in Cape Town, South Africa* and have travelled a little , mostly the UK and Australia , and briefly Hong Kong and the US. And everywhere Ive seen, and read about, it seems to be more or less the same: what you gain on the swings you lose on the roundabouts. My point was not to declare that the US is more free than everywhere else (I agree that it isn’t, by a long chalk, albeit there are some considerably worse), but that there is no country that I know of that is fundamentally free by any standard.

At the detailed level, any one country relative to another will have some freedoms that are more circumscribed than in other places, and other freedoms, less so. Moving from (any) one constituency to another will inevitably yield a mixed bag of better and worse – more of some freedoms than where you came from, mixed in with less of some other freedoms you might formerly have taken for granted. The hard part is quantifying the ‘on balance’ net degree of freedom of any one country – how do you even begin to put a number on something like that?

btw, I must aplogise, both for the inadvertant typos and the conversational license used less inadvertantly, (eg. ‘freeer’), which no doubt has my long-dead grammar teachers spinning in their graves.

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