Is rent control hurting San Francisco's middle class?

Hi All!

In a crowd of progressives clamoring for more government controls to cure all ills, Joel Engardio punches some well-placed holes in the liberal fabric! He will appreciate your comment. And, yes, he does throw a bone to progressives by suggesting targeted tax subsidies, but none of us should expect a perfect Libertarian perspective from an Exaniner article.


Hi Marcy and Michael! I read the article and posted my two cents worth too. The subsidy for low income folks was the one thing I didn't care for in his article, but otherwise it was a good article against rent control. And if you look at the comments and likes and dislikes, it's quite telling that surprisingly more people agree with Joel. That kind of matches what I heard from one of the Ron Paul folks that he noticed in an article about the recent BART strike--the comments were very heavily anti-union in this pro-union city. Maybe all our work isn't for nothing!


Hi Michael,

No lifting tax from anyone in my view. Rent control (a subsidy born by the landlord) would be replaced by an increase in property taxes to assist low income renters (a subsidy born by taxpayers). However, I am happy that Joel brought up the economic distortions caused by rent control, even while appeasing the liberals by mentioning the possibility of a tax to help those of low income.


Hi Aubrey,

Our work is never for nothing :slight_smile: However, I have a feeling that as the City acquires more affluent residents that own property and pay higher taxes, maybe progressive comments will slowly diminish. So let's keep the libertarian activism going to lessen the chances that progressive politicians will lay a guilty trip on everybody in order to perpetrate the liberal agenda.

Speaking of libertarian activism, I thoroughly enjoyed Free Exchange's showing of the movie "Thrive." I visited the Thrive website to search for the activists' actions the movie mentioned, but quickly became overwhelmed with the sheer volume of stuff on that website. I will try again before the day is over. Maybe we can find some type of road map there to guide us through some actions.



  Here's one suggested topic:

  The ban on gay bath houses in San Francisco remains in place, an outdated relic of the misguided public health scare around AIDS during the 1980s.

  And another:

  As reported in a terrific series of SF Weekly stories, most of the people jailed in San Francisco are legally innocent, and only there because they are poor -- , , etc.

  A current angle on this story which may not have been explored yet is what Sheriff Mirkarimi and other officials are doing to address this pressing moral issue, or if they aren't doing anything, why not.

Love & Liberty,
                                 ((( starchild )))

Hi Marcy,

  Thanks, and yes, Joel was copied on the same email you saw. I did not get the impression you were saying anything you wanted kept confidential, or anything that it would surprise or bother him to see, but my apologies if you did not want him seeing anything you wrote in the message to which I replied.

  If you're ever posting something you don't want to go beyond the LPSF activist list, it would be a good idea to make a note of that in the message, although personally I pretty much try to operate on the assumption that any email I send could end up being forwarded just about anywhere, which largely frees me from worrying about it.

  Thanks also for weighing in, in the reader comments.

Love & Liberty,
                              ((( starchild )))

Hi Starchild -- The bath house issue is a very good story, especially since
there are bath houses in Berkeley and San Jose. I wonder if there is an
upcoming news angle for writing about it.

Thanks, Marcy.

I have a question to help me understand your thinking: Suppose in the antebellum south a law was proposed that 100% of the slaves on each plantation could no longer be whipped daily. At least 10% of the slaves had to remain untouched each day.

Would you protest this subsidy to 10% of the slaves and state "no lifting whipping from any slaves in my view?"

Warm regards, Michael

Hi Marcy,

Your thinking and strategy sounds great.

I only raised a theoretical point which had interested me, but it's not a big deal. It was not meant to detract from all the commendable work you're doing for SF liberty!

Looking forward to seeing you at the meeting on Sat.

Warm regards, Michael


  I guess my understanding of the LPSF-activists list has been that it was meant to be a topic-specific forum limited to libertarian activists wanting to talk about local pro-freedom activism and LPSF operations, not that we are necessarily trying to keep the contents secret. If we're trying to do the latter, then we probably should not be using Yahoo to host it since they are unreliable when it comes to upholding privacy (see e.g. -- they get a special positive mention in one area out of six, but fail on the other five out of six). I think many of us have cc'd others on messages sent to this list.

Love & Liberty,
                                 ((( starchild )))

Thanks, Joel. As with the pre-trial detention issue, simply updating people as to what civic leaders are doing to address the issue, and if they aren't doing anything, why not, is a perennial angle that can be used. No immediate news hooks occur to me, but if I think of one I'll try to let you know.

  Another angle on the innocent people in prison story, btw, would be whether the people running the government's local SF jails are collaborating with Jerry Brown (heavily subsidized by the prison guard lobby) and other state officials who are fighting a federal court order to reduce prison overcrowding due to inadequate medical care, etc., by shunting nonviolent offenders off to local jails, who should be simply released. What do you think of writing about these criminal justice issues?

Love & Liberty,
                                  ((( starchild )))

I have a friend at the ACLU who is working on prison issues. I will talk to
him more about it.

I bet a search of old SF classifieds would show constant to declining rents from the gold rush to 1915 when the Fed really got going.
When I ran for Congress the first time , we had an open debate with an empty chair for Nancy.

When the subject of rent control came up , I said that I was for rent control on everything.

I explained that if we ended the chartered priveledges granted banks to create money out of thin air every time theymade a loan, and ended the and ended the guarantees of deposit insurance and last resort money creation by the Fed, we would have constant, if not ever declining rents, not to mention every other cost of living.

Rent control is a natural desire for people who blame landlords for a problem created by the banking charters of incorporation and the Federal reserve guarantees. We completely understand the desire for some protection from the bankers inflation Practices (racket).

Because I understand that the fed will never stop, I am in the process of moving from my uncontrolled cottage into a rent controlled apartment at Fox Plaza. FYI.

Emd the Fed , and rent control will die a natural death because no one will care anymore.

Joel has run for office and I suppose he intends to do so again.

In this town, he cannot win as a reep or a libertarian - but possibly could
as a Dem.

I should hope that everyone here is opposed to rent control. Otherwise, you
are in the wrong group in my opinion.

Is it really possible that somebody could be fired for writing an opinion
piece calling for the abolition of Rent Control?

Sam Sloan

We are opposed to rent control, but unfortunately most of the general public is not. That is why we need to support Joel, because his employer, The San Francisco Examiner is more vulnerable to pressure from the general public than from us.