Editorial: Bernie’s National Rent Control
The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board breaks down Sen. Bernie Sanders’ national rent control proposal.
Bernie Sanders this month unveiled a $2.5 trillion housing agenda, but the price tag isn’t the only shocker. “Under my plan,” he told union members in Las Vegas, “we will establish a national rent-control standard, capping annual rent increases throughout the country at no more than 1½ times the rate of inflation or 3%, whichever is higher.”
Oy. Economists of all stripes agree rent control doesn’t work. A mere 2% think it has positive effects, according to a 2012 survey by the IGM Forum. In other contexts Bernie might cite that statistic as proof of settled science. No less definitive are the in-depth studies. An analysis last year of San Francisco’s 1994 rent-control initiative found that the landlords it affected “reduced rental housing supply by 15%, causing a 5.1% city-wide rent increase.”
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