My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy finds incredible the credulity of people – including those in the Trump administration – who support a new government diktat forcing employers to pay overtime wages to certain workers.
The problem is that rent control doesn’t do anything about the reason that rents are rising, which is that there are more people who want to live in desirable areas than there are homes for them to live in. Housing follows the same basic laws of economics as other goods that consumers need: When the demand for a product consistently exceeds the supply, prices will rise until the quantity demanded is equal to the amount that suppliers have available.
As long as there’s no new construction, controlling that natural increase is just a game of musical chairs. You can change which people get to live in a city, but you still leave just as many people out in the cold. Actually, a few more, because rent control also reduces the incentive to supply rental housing.