Send 'Honolulu Advertiser' Editorial Writers Back to School-Basic Economics Teaches Rent Control They Are Advocating for In Hawaii Won't Work

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Did anyone on ”’The Honolulu Advertiser’s”’ editorial board attend Econ 101?

The ”’Honolulu Advertiser”’ printed a February 2nd editorial calling it a “prudent” step
for the legislature to study housing rent control to address the dearth
of low-income rentals.


Such a study would be pouring money down a

Everywhere rent control has been tried it has been an
unmitigated disaster, ”’decreasing”’ the stock of rentals.

Why? My wife and I own a rental house — if rent controls were imposed, that house would be put up for sale the moment the current lease expired.

No entrepreneur wants to build or hang onto rental housing if they can’t obtain fair market rents to cover their costs and make a profit.

The Hawaii State Legislature and Honolulu City Council caused the shortage of low-income
rentals by their meddling with the free market.

Just about everything
they’ve done has made things worse. You can’t fix problems caused by
legislative meddling by further meddling. Restore the free market, lift
all restrictions on what kinds of housing builders can build, abolish the
statewide housing planning commission, remove unjustified zoning
restrictions, lower the taxes and fees on new housing, and sell off all
the underoccupied government housing projects to people with an incentive
to fix them up and keep all the units rented out — now all those would

There — just saved the state the half million or so it would spend on a
study giving the wrong answer.

”’Jim Henshaw, a resident of Kailua, Hawaii, can be reached via email at”’