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Because Price Controls Work So Well in Venezuela

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:


Your criticisms are spot-on of Oregon’s newly imposed statewide rent control (“Oregon, the Rent Control State,” March 4). Affordable rental housing in that state will not only become even harder to find, what relatively little is supplied will disintegrate into dilapidation.

Writing in 1987 about the observed consequences on the stock of rental housing in cities that enforce rent control, my colleague Walter Williams observed that “short of aerial saturation bombing, rent control might be one of the most effective means of destroying a city.” Oregon’s legislators and governor have ensured that this destruction will now rain down statewide.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030