The limits of rational thought

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has eloquently opposed two local living wage bills championed by New York’s left-wing City Council:

 “Government cannot bend the laws of the labor market,” he said, arguing that the bills would destroy jobs, and that taxpayers would ultimately pay for the increased wages.

This month, on his weekly radio show, he compared the living-wage bill to Soviet economic policies, saying, “The last time you really had a big managed economy was the U.S.S.R., and that didn’t work out so well.”

And yet, Bloomberg urged the Supreme Court not to hear a case challenging New York’s hoary rent regulations, defending them

as a necessary response to a housing shortage and as a way to prevent “rent profiteering.”
Last month, [he] certified that there was still a state of housing emergency, defined as a vacancy rate of less than 5 percent, which is a requirement for the regulations to be in effect.

The emergency has been in effect for more than 40 years.

There is actually a stronger case to be made for living wage  bills as they apply to government-funded projects than for rent regulations, an insane, demonstrably counterproductive policy far more akin to Soviet-style central planning, one which inevitably produces the very “housing emergency” which Bloomberg cites as justification for it.  Apparently, Bloomberg does understand the workings of supply and demand, except when it comes to New York’s  sacrosanct rent controls, virtually the last in the country.  A very depressing demonstration of the power of politics over principle. 


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