Monday, January 16, 2012

A Man's Home is the Government's Castle in NYC

In December I had a post about James Harmon, an owner-occupant Manhattan landlord who is going all the way to the United States Supreme Court with his legal claim that New York City’s rent control laws constitute an illegal seizure of his five-story brownstone property on W. 76th Street without just compensation, and violate the Constitution’s contracts clause.

Nicole Gelinas, contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal, has an excellent editorial about NYC rent control laws and James Harmon's legal case in today's NY Post, appropriately titled "A Man's Home is the Government's Castle."

17 Comments:

At 1/16/2012 4:25 PM, Blogger juandos said...

I personally find it hard to sympathize with Mr. Harmon...

I do understand his plight and his stance of a principle regarding personal property which I agree with...

According to the New York Daily News Harmon has fought city hall once before and won...

Still why go through the expense and grief of living in an area run by by clueless moonbats?

What are the upsides?

The smart people (even retired government employees) have been fleeing the area for quite some time now...

Maybe Harmon should take a page out of their book...

 
At 1/16/2012 10:17 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos: "Still why go through the expense and grief of living in an area run by by clueless moonbats?

What are the upsides?
"

Well, if he were to get a SCOTUS decision that overturned NYC rent control, an annual James Harmon day would be established, and a parade in which he would be carried around town on the shoulders of throngs of grateful landlords.

 
At 1/16/2012 11:46 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Well, if he were to get a SCOTUS decision that overturned NYC rent control, an annual James Harmon day would be established, and a parade in which he would be carried around town on the shoulders of throngs of grateful landlords.

Who will then take the opportunity to screw the millions over by shoving rent up to infinity. Congratulations, you just put people on the street, and made things worse off.

If anything, rent control should be expanded along with prompt maintenance requirements. To the whole city area.


The only thing he's being deprived of is the idea that he is above the law. Nothing more.

 
At 1/17/2012 12:00 AM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Wow, just wow, the stupidity of Seth's comments has just hit a new high. It is such irrational thinking by dimbulbs that these politicians constantly pander to. After all, there are only a relative few who are industrious and thrifty enough to own expensive NYC property and there are thousands who would gladly use the govt to steal from them, through these "rent control" laws. Count up the votes and you see why the moron grifters always win.

 
At 1/17/2012 12:04 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 1/17/2012 12:14 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Sprewell said...

No thank you, but getting rid of those protections will make things unpleasant.

If you want to see what happens when you get rid of rent control, see Hong Kong and the various cages put in apartments. You will have made the situation worse. That guy needs to make a trip over there and return when he reconsiders his erronenous decision to litigate.

 
At 1/17/2012 12:30 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Well, if he were to get a SCOTUS decision that overturned NYC rent control, an annual James Harmon day would be established, and a parade in which he would be carried around town on the shoulders of throngs of grateful landlords"...

You know ron h it would be nice have the city's landlords put one up for sainthood even but wouldn't but wouldn't a condo on the beach in the Cayman islands be a lot nicer?...:-)

 
At 1/17/2012 3:44 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Who will then take the opportunity to screw the millions over by shoving rent up to infinity. Congratulations, you just put people on the street, and made things worse off.

If anything, rent control should be expanded along with prompt maintenance requirements. To the whole city area.
"

You are so tiresome, sethstorm, learn some economics.

 
At 1/17/2012 3:59 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos: "You know ron h it would be nice have the city's landlords put one up for sainthood even but wouldn't but wouldn't a condo on the beach in the Cayman islands be a lot nicer?...:-)"

Well, yeah, that would be MY choice.

 
At 1/17/2012 4:27 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>> We shouldn’t have to wait for the highest court in the land to do something that local and state officials could do themselves.


Give up POWER....?

Yeah, THAT'll happen.

I have a bridge to sell youo. It's in NYC no less. Whoodathunkit? Hey, you can make a mint collecting tolls on it!

 
At 1/17/2012 4:41 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>> Who will then take the opportunity to screw the millions over by shoving rent up to infinity. Congratulations, you just put people on the street, and made things worse off.


....And once more seth FILLS the comment section with clueless blathering, demonstrating yet again, for the umpteen kajillionth time, how UTTERLY he fails to grasp even the most basic elements of the concept of supply and demand.

Geee, whoodathunkit? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Seth is hopeless, but I'll explain it for anyone here who is new to economics and might not understand why he's so utterly, woefully, and idiotically wrong:

A) There will be a huge spike in prices, yes, but it will be somewhat short of "infinity". The prices for all units will wind up somewhere in the vicinity of existing market rates, possibly a bit higher.

B) Some people will leave. This will create vacant units, which will lower the prices of those vacant units, and others will move into those units.

C) Some buildings won't be justified at their market rates, and will wind up substantially vacant for a time. The owners will sell them to land speculators, who will tear down the filthy, rat infested units and replace them with a taller, cleaner, and much more comfortable set of units. Some of these buildings will likely be too expensive for Seth and, well, every single person he's ever known the name of and met personally... most especially all his OWS cronies -- but some buildings WILL be in the right price range for most of the people living in NYC. Not everyone will be able to justify living there and paying the expense.

You know what?

IT DOESN'T MATTER. The universe doesn't give you a free gift of the opportunity to live whereever the hell you want to.

You don't get a free large yacht to live on the sea just because you want to.

You don't get a free mountain chalet to go snow skiing in winter and hunting in summer or fall or whenever.

You live in a place you can afford to live in, given your income level.

For some people, as with the sea going ones and the skiers, well, they'll just have to do without the wonders of living in NYC.

How horrifying!! The universe is just sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ***UNFAIR***!!!


*sniff* *sob*

*boooo ephing hooooo*

 
At 1/17/2012 4:55 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

Seth, comparing NYC to Hong Kong is just another example of how abysmally dunderheaded you are.

Hong Kong is a fixed-size place with no capacity, really, to expand.

It is a size-limited zone that can't really expand beyond those boundaries. I'm sure China's government, which has, last I heard, largely taken a hands off policy towards HK, isn't real big on allowing it to get much larger, lest, well, duh, all the people in the more oppressed parts of China flee there.

Not only is NYC a much larger, less fully developed area (just watch any episode of NYPD Blue or Law And Order, and look at the background for a few ideas where someone might actually build something if they could set their rents at will to match what the market would bear) -- it has huge SWATHES of areas where the existing structures are marginal, worthless, and/or readily torn down to make room for even a moderately low 10-15 story structure.

There's a reason so much of NYC looks seedy and run down. There's no upside to the landlords to maintain jack. If the tenants are rent-controlled, they ain't moving out. They aren't going to pay more to live there. And no one else can get in to take advantage of the "renovations" if they were done.

So a simple question OUGHT TO PENETRATE even that bullet-proof skull of yours:

Why would anyone do anything more than the absolute minimum of maintenance to any property?

There's no upside to doing that, and a big downside -- you don't get a damned dime more after you do the repairs etc., than you did before.

===========

On another tack, Rent Control is another form of Price Control. And unless the controls are set higher than they need to be, the price controls do what they ALWAYS DO -- they create shortages.

In summary, Seth, you're an idiot studying to be a moron.... and failing...

*Badly*

 
At 1/17/2012 7:48 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

NYC is very built-up. But, that's not what's important. Innovation and price will balance supply and demand.

You don't have to go as far as Hong Kong. Boston used to have price controls and now it doesn't.

Are people sleeping in the gutter? What benefit is there for landlords to rents going to "infinity" (or whatever Sethy's latest inanity) when nobody can pay that price and the apartments sit empty as fixed costs pile up?

Juandos,

I used to live in NYC. While I am one of the ones who fled the area, I can understand why people may want to live there. If it's your home, where your friends and family are, then you don't want to leave.

Surely you can understand that.

 
At 1/17/2012 9:15 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Hong Kong has the population of NYC living in an area the size of Concord, NH (the actual land size of Hong Kong is much greater, but it is very mountainous and watery). Of course space is a premium! And, even though the apartments are small by our standards, they are not much larger than the rent-controlled apartments on the Mainland

 
At 1/17/2012 11:04 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

OBH/Ron H.:

While not the absolute best way to express it, this might help to explain my perspective on markets:

XKCD: Hotels

(read: If the market was a single person, they'd deliberately be the least civil person you'd meet)

 
At 1/17/2012 12:50 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I used to live in NYC. While I am one of the ones who fled the area, I can understand why people may want to live there. If it's your home, where your friends and family are, then you don't want to leave.

Surely you can understand that
"...

methinks my answer is No!, hell no!, no damn way!...

I can't even begin to understand why anyonne who rationalizes living in the over taxed, over regulated, and over priced five boroughs region 'if' they have the wherewithal to leave...

 
At 1/18/2012 1:31 PM, Blogger Ian Random said...

From what I remember people are complaining that there isn't much interest in building even though land is available. Also there is some nutty stuff too like you can't abandon your property like everyone did in DC. Would you sell candy bars at a price set by the government, knowing full well that your costs will go up?

 

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