What Are They Thinking: Democrats and Duterte

Grind for April 29th, 2019
“Anyone who says he can see through women is missing a lot.”

– Groucho Marx

Deja Vu

The Headline

Democrats are pushing for another socialist idea that won’t work

The Grind

As the average rent in big cities continues to climb, more states are considering rent caps.

Like most socialist ideas, rent caps sound good on paper but don’t work in real life. Here’s why:

Rent prices are high because there aren’t enough places to live. The obvious solution is to build more apartments.

Instead, Democrats want to limit rent increases to make housing more affordable. This will dissuade cities from building more apartments, exacerbate the housing shortages, and discourage landlords from making improvements to existing properties.

The Details

In California, rent control advocates are collecting signatures for a new ballot proposal that would give jurisdictions the ability to impose rent limits on properties that are at least 15 years old.

The proposal also restricts rent increases on empty units.

“Among the 17 million renters in California, the suffering is unabated,” argues Michael Weinstein, who supports the proposal. “Not only do we see increased homelessness, but the affordability crisis has reached epic proportions with many people paying 50% or more of their income to keep a roof over their head.”

Rents in California are notoriously high. The average price for an apartment in San Francisco is about $3,600 per month (that’s about twice as high as Miami and Chicago). But blocking that price from increasing won’t create more homes for people who need a place to live.

Oregon in February passed a law which limits rent increases to 7% plus local inflation. Lawmakers in Colorado and New York are considering similar moves.

The prospect of rent control comes during a time when the apartment business has been strong, and analysts expect the new bills to have a negative effect on the industry.

“It has been proven time and again that rent control does not work,” argues Sid Lakireddy, president of the California Rental Housing Association. “We do not need more distractions and resources spent on failed policies but instead we need policies that encourage more affordable and accessible housing.”

This Means War

The Headline

Philippine President threatens war on Canada

The Grind

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is furious with Canada over its decision to send more than 100 shipping containers full of trash to the island nation.

Canada claimed the containers held recyclable materials and offered to provide educational grant money to the island if it would accept the trash. But when officials opened the containers, they found “household trash, plastic bottles and bags, newspapers, and used adult diapers.”

The containers have been sitting untouched in the capital city of Manila since 2013.

The Details

The situation is likely a violation of the Basel Convention – an international treaty which blocks developed nations from shipping hazardous waste to developing nations without informed consent.

“I will not allow that kind of shit,” said President Duterte on Tuesday, adding that he would “declare war” on Canada if it doesn’t agree to take the trash back.

“I want a boat prepared,” he continued. “I’ll give a warning to Canada, maybe next week, that they better pull that thing out – or I will set sail” and return the trash. “I cannot understand why they’re making us a dump site.”

Canadian officials say they are working on the problem, but little progress has been made.

“A joint technical working group, consisting of officials from both countries, is examining the full spectrum of issues related to the removal of the waste with a view to a timely resolution,” said one official, adding that the waste would be “processed in an environmentally responsible way.”

Did you know… According to studies, men change their minds two to three times more often than women.