Patterico's Pontifications


Thursday Evening Open Thread

Filed under: General — JVW @ 5:21 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Baseball, Trump, Russia, Rudy, Joker, Lizzo, Trump, Ukraine, Syria, Trump, Kurds, NBA, Trump. Have at it.


Life in a One-Party State

Filed under: General — JVW @ 8:22 am

[guest post by JVW]

As expected, California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday signed into law Assembly Bill 1482, which institutes rent control throughout the state despite California voters overwhelmingly voting against the expansion of rent control this past November. Wait a second, you might interject, AB 1482 isn’t actually rent control, it’s just state mandated caps on how much rent can increase in a given year. I would argue that’s a distinction without much of a difference; the effect of the new law is to control how much rent can be raised. Sure, landlords can boost the rent by five percent plus whatever the annual inflation rate is, which is somewhat less financially restrictive than existing rent control policies in San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles among other cities, but this new law will apply to all apartment buildings built before 2005 whereas existing rent control laws only applied to buildings built before 1995. And this new law mandates that rents be reset according to what they were as of March 2019, which undoes any rent increases that landlords might have imposed this summer in anticipation of this law passing.

I have made my antipathy towards rent control known already, but this law strikes me as too much of an imposition on what ought to be best left as free market transactions. Despite his tiresome happy talk about building quite literally millions of new homes across the Golden State, Gov. Newsom must in his heart of hearts know that these buildings will not materialize any time soon, so this new law is a dirty band-aid applied to a gaping wound inasmuch as it will probably turn out to be counter-productive at best. The law does sunset in 2030, meaning that if it turns out to be the disaster that we expect the legislature can simply let it die without renewal, thus sparing them the indignity of having to vote to dismantle it. Yesterday the governor signed another bill which contains several measures to supposedly spur housing construction, though cynics (like me) think that proponents are grossly overestimating the effect it will have on speeding up the building process.

Back to the title of the post, though: by passing and signing this bill, legislative Democrats and the governor have demonstrated that they care not one whit about how the people of the Golden State vote on initiatives. The aforementioned rent control measure, Proposition 10, lost by nearly a three to two margin, yet less than one year later has substantially been imposed by our elected officials. It’s clear at this point that the progressive nomenklatura of California will do as they please and not let anything so irksome as public sentiment get in the way. Life in a one-party state, my friends. Cuba on the Pacific. Russia with raisins.


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