My debate opponent contended that without government controls, greedy landlords would raise rents continuously without end, pushing struggling renters to the brink of insolvency or to the street.
I challenged his logic. How can anyone charge more for a product than their customers can pay and still stay in business? No landlord can afford to own rental units that remain vacant because they charge too much. When the top end of the market is achieved, landlords have to halt rent raises and/or lower rents.
The rent control fan could not see beyond current affairs and his own perceptions of a landlord class that abuses and cares little for his or her tenants. For him it came down to visceral animis and displaced compassion: Landlords are always villains and tenants are their captive victims. Logic be damned.
It is scary to think that otherwise
smart people fall
If we are not careful, capitalism will be destroyed or perverted in an expanding regulatory hell. When the public claims a direct share in the wealth of private businesses through subsidies or unfair taxes from owners, few people will continue to provide that service or product.
Unless honest - not biased - political and economic systems, and business fundamentals become part of our educational system, we will continue to see business-busting laws like gross receipts taxes and rent control -- and the mob and society will get what it deserves.