Seattle Times, May 7, 2015. By Richard S. Davis
There is never a time for rent controlRent control has been proven to have adverse effects. Seattle should take a pass.
The same people who believe you can increase the price of labor without dampening demand now argue that you can lower the return on property owners’ investment without reducing supply. It’s time for another walk through the looking-glass world of Seattle politics. Like the White Queen, progressive activists here make a habit of believing six impossible things before breakfast.
While economists may quibble about the effects of minimum-wage hikes, there's no such debate about rent control's adverse effects. Fifteen years ago, economist Paul Krugman called rent control one of the best-understood and least controversial economic issues. A 1992 poll of the American Economic Association found that "a ceiling on rents reduces the quality of housing." A 2012 survey of leading academic economists reached the same conclusion.
If the topic were climate change, scientific consensus would be invoked to end the debate.