The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Wednesday, November 19, 2003  

Welcome to the Real World

As an ardent opponent of “rent control” and “rent stabilization” in any form and in any place, it truly pleases me to read articles like this one. (At least the parts about “rent control” and “rent stabilization.”)

It’s about time New Yorkers, particularly those who think it’s their divine right to live in Manhattan, faced the real world.

[Post-publication addendum (November 20): Predictably, this post has generated more than the usual amount of e-mail from readers. I say predictably because the same thing happened the last time I dared to raise this incredibly touchy (especially among Manhattanites) subject. Look, almost every reputable study of rent control has demonstrated, to my satisfaction at least, that the ultimate and primary beneficiaries of a lifting of, or the absence of, rent controls are tenants. Furthermore, no one has “a right” to live anywhere, or anywhere he pleases or wishes to, nor does any municipality have the obligation, moral or otherwise, to promote, let alone ensure, the socio-economic diversity of its residents, however laudable such an aspiration might be. (I’ll hedge a bit here and add that if a city insists that certain of its employees live within city boundaries, mandates that are themselves questionable, matters become more complicated.) You know, I would really, really like to live in Villanova (Pa.), Weston (Mass.), Bedford Hills (N.Y.), or Atherton (Calif.), but, frankly, they’re all a little out of my reach at the moment, but neither do I expect anyone in Villanova, Weston, Bedford Hills, or Atherton to do anything about that.]

[Full disclosure: When I lived in Manhattan I lived in apartments not covered by rent control. The first apartment rented for $2,550 a month, the second for $2,900 a month.]

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