benjamin-franklin

Don’t leap before you look! Who’s heard that before? Probably all of us have from our mothers or someone in authority in our lives. Well, it’s good advice, and it’s advice that we, as a nation, have tossed out the window when it comes to government policy. Our founders had a great grasp on this concept, as illustrated here:

“All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse.”  ~ Benjamin Franklin

 

Example: Rent Control

 

Sounds great to make rent not so expensive, right! Blast that stupid free market that sets prices at what a product or service is worth based on millions of people and their individual decisions! Let’s FORCE people to ignore that and keep prices low, regardless of market forces. Now, that sounds dandy! Surely this will help “the poor”, right? WRONG.

 

Here’s what really happens. Homelessness increases and the poorest suffer. Why? How could that happen? Well, some people, who can afford it, rent MORE apartments for themselves. That link leads to a NY Times article about Charlie Rangel (a very powerful Democrat in the House, and is the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee) having FOUR apartments for himself. Four. That means that THREE families (or singles) that might wish to rent an apartment are out of luck. And, since the government has made this the law, there will just be NO apartments for these people. Too bad, so sad. There’s a nice homeless shelter down the street…

 

If the rent is really high, poor people can have roommates. It’s not the end of the world, and last I checked a fair sight better than being HOMELESS! Then, people who CAN afford the high rent will only take one because, wait for it…it’s expensive and they don’t want to squander their money. THAT is the reality of life. The free market FORCES people to share, because the cost of things is REAL, not made up government idiocy.

 

There is no Utopia, but there can be a better way. And, roommate vs. homeless is a no brainer to me. (Yes, I have had many a roommate, even when it was two families in one abode. It’s a heck of a lot better than sleeping on the street!

So, Thomas Sowell was right when he said,

“Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.”

 

Rent control: sounds good, is horrible in practice. And, this is just one of the thousands of “solutions” our elected officials have foisted on us. Maybe we should quit electing them? Just thinking out loud here.

 

 

**This post has been updated to correct a grammatical error. That is all. Move along…**