June 3, 2007

What do I want? Understanding of Economics! When do I want it? Now!

Yesterday, while walking past Ratner to play tennis, I noticed a small, but spirited protest going on. These protesters were chanting, "What do we want? Rent Control! When do we want it? Now!"This was just naseuating. First of all, the vast, vast majority of economists agree that rent control hurts both landlords and renters, or would-be renters. I say would-be renters because once rent control is implemented there is a shortage of house, meaning many who want to rent, can't. Rent control also denies landlords from any motivation to improve their housing, because it stifles competition.That's just only a couple reasons that rent control is bad policy, and there are many others. But do any of them stop "progessive" U of C students from joining Hyde Park community members from demanding "rent control?" No, but what they don't seem to realize, is that the policy they're advocating would hurt the community it purports to help.