/Should the government step in?, by Scott Sumner

Should the government step in?, by Scott Sumner

Here’s a recent New York Times story:

11,000 Will Die Waiting For Transplants This Year

The actual figure may be closer to 43,000.  These deaths are caused by a government law that prevents monetary compensation for kidney donors.  And this makes the following subhead a bit hard to swallow:

People on the organ wait list say it’s time for the government to step in

It would be as if the New York Times thought the government should “step in” to deal with the housing problems in New York City.  Oh wait:

Behind New York’s Housing
Crisis: Weakened Laws
and Fragmented Regulation

Affordable housing is vanishing as landlords exploit a broken system, pushing
out rent-regulated tenants and catapulting apartments into the free market.

How might the New York government step in?  The NY Times reports that there’s a new rent control bill that looks likely to be signed into law:

“I’m in shock. I think many of us in my industry are in shock,” said James R. Wacht, president of the firm Lee & Associates and a board member of Real Estate Board of New York, the industry’s leading trade group. “It’s a lot worse than we anticipated.”

The bills announced on Tuesday night by the Democratic leaders of the State Senate and the Assembly would abolish rules that let building owners deregulate apartments and close loopholes that permit them to raise rents.

The legislation would directly impact almost one million rent-regulated apartments in New York City, which account for more than 40 percent of the city’s rental stock, and allow other municipalities statewide beyond New York City and its suburbs to adopt their own regulations.

Research suggests that the long run effect of rent control is to make housing more expensive. I imagine this bill is putting a big smile of the face of economic development officials in the state of Florida.

PS.  Perhaps the North Korean government could “step in” to address the shortage of food in that country.

HT:  Frank McCormick

board member