Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 12, 2009
POLITICS: Cutting Off Our Noses

Megan McArdle on the Democrats' latest folly:

New York City's main industry lies in ruins; its finances are in peril; its housing market is falling. What does the city need? That's right, tougher rent controls!

In times like this, it's easy to believe that if you laid all the economists in the world end to end, they still wouldn't reach a conclusion. But here's one of the things that basically everyone, left to right, agrees on: rent control is the surest way to destroy a city's housing stock short of aerial bombing, and one of the major culprits behind New York's painfully low vacancy rate.


This bill, if it passes the Senate, will represent the third time that New York has reneged on its promises not to control new housing. From what I can tell, it's trying to claw back decontrols of units that were built under laws providing for time-limited stabilization in exchange for tax breaks. Just like the first two times, it's a good bet that New York City will now have a damn hard time getting anyone to build anything except another skybox for rich patrons who do not arouse the sympathy of the New York State legislature. Every time a New Yorker curses their dirty, run-down shoebox of an apartment, they should save an especially juicy oath for Sheldon Silver.

Economics is not their strong suit, to put it mildly.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:40 PM | Politics 2009 | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

Integrity apparently is not the strong suit of New York's Republicans in the Senate, as they have been using taxpayer dollars to fund their think tanks and cable access shows, while reserving 800 parking spaces for themselves to about 30 for the minority Dems. Things discovered after the Dems recently took over the majority position. NYT, read it and weep.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at February 12, 2009 6:53 PM

I hold no brief for Joe Bruno; the need for cleaning up Albany extends beyond the Democrats. But this sort of horrendous, brain-dead economic policy is exactly what you vote for when you put the Democrats in charge anywhere.

Posted by: Crank at February 12, 2009 7:23 PM

I happen to totally agree with you about rent control. A fool's errand.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at February 12, 2009 7:35 PM

On rent control you are, for once, on solid ground. As to the generalization about the parties, not so much.

Yes, let's get those expert economists from the Bush Administration. You know, the ones who allowed the conditions that represent the worst economic conditions since the 1930's. I hear they are currently looking for work.

Posted by: Magrooder at February 12, 2009 10:07 PM

Joe B is going to jail, rightfully so. I'd be delighted if he took the Empty Suit with him. Shelly is far more dangerous with a rookie majority leader and a lame duck Gov.

Posted by: dave at February 12, 2009 10:08 PM

I don't know whether to be amazed at your ability to write things, presumably with a straight face, that imply that Republicans are masters of economic policy given the current real world situation or to be completely impressed with your hutzpah (sp?) to do so.

Posted by: jim at February 13, 2009 1:31 PM

Lol Jim its Chutzpah. And youre right. Crank loses a lot of credibiilty when he diverts from the narrow issue (rent control is bad) to the broader smear of entire political parties. Hey perhaps the Republicans engage in groupthink and groupvote, but it is obvious that Democrats dont.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at February 13, 2009 1:55 PM

Obama promised change if elected President.
Since the election, Republicans have been spouting about being fiscally responsible and are worried about the deficit. Kudos to Obama for keeping his "change" promise.

Posted by: Berto at February 13, 2009 2:22 PM

The hypocrisy of the GOP worried about deficits after sitting by passively while Bush spent us into unprecedented deficits unfortunately is not the least bit surprising.

Posted by: Magrooder at February 15, 2009 2:24 PM
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