Rent is too damn high

A gubernatorial candidate in New York is campaigning on the theme that rent is “too damn high.” He has a point.

In fact, Thomas Sowell, a famed economist agrees with him that rent is “too damn high” in New York City.

Mr. Sowell, like Jimmy McMillan, is a New Yorker and a veteran. Hopefully Mr. McMillan will see the logic of Sowell’s arguments against price controls.

So, I shared with him some good economic arguments Sowell made, so he can make them in the debate. Sowell’s implicit suggestion — that price controls be eliminated — will actually lead to lower rents and more affordable housing in New York.

My email:


I enjoyed your commentary last night. I did not watch the whole debate, but here is some information you might find useful for future debates. Thomas Sowell’s book, Basic Economics, examines how rent control causes higher overall rent prices and shortages of affordable housing. Pages 20 – 32. The link is here:

All the best to you,


Alexandria, VA

H/T to Famous DC for the video.

Similarly, one reason why rent is more expensive in DC than Maryland or Virginia is due to a reason similar to price controls, namely, land use restrictions. Because D.C. limits the height of its buildings, and few people will want to live underground, expansion of living space must go horizontally, and not vertically.

SOUND OFF ON MY COMMENT BOARD, BOMBLE.NET ABOUT PRICE CONTROLS (Shaq, before you get any ideas, I know my caps are on.)

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4 Thoughts on “Rent is too damn high

  1. Jim, its easy to talk when you have never lived in New York, but 3K for a 675 square foot studio is crazy….and thats what people pay


    Go take your political science degree and suck it

  2. Thanks “Concerned Citizen” for your comment.

    First, I don’t have a political science degree, my degree was in Business Administration, but I digress.

    Second, I don’t doubt that people pay 3K for a 675 square foot apartment. But, a quick search shows you can find cheaper housing than that, and have it be comparable:

    However, the fact remains that if price controls were eliminated, there would be lower rents and a larger supply of affordable housing.

  3. Where is that 3K studio? I have seen 2K studios at much less sq footage within DC limits because it’s a highly favorable neighborhood, like Dupont. Not sure about the economics about it, but the whole rent control issue seems to me a supply and demand thing.

  4. If your rent is too damn high, I recommend finding somewhere else to live.

    And if people PAY the 3K for a 675 square foot studio, THAT IS WHAT THE MARKET WILL BEAR. If you can’t afford that, find a place you can afford.

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