By Lawrence Samuels – 5/24/2023
From the Libertarian Party of Monterey County – “Committee Against Fascist Rent Control”
Historians agree that the National Socialists of Germany (Nazis) established nationwide rent control in 1933. According to Prof. Graham Hallett, “The National Socialist government was socialistic, in the sense that it extended state control over all aspects of the economy. Wages, prices and rents were frozen.”
The Fascist economics of rent control is not acceptable in a free nation. The National Socialists of Germany created systems and registry lists like those proposed in Monterey and other California cities, which eventually assisted them in identifying properties owned by Jews and other minorities. Such programs were part of the Nazi party’s “social justice” and the “social equity” programs to strengthen their socialist/welfare policies.
It should also be noted that there is insignificant public support for rent control in California. In 2018, a California-wide rent control initiative, Prop. 10, lost by almost 60 percent. And in a rematch two years later in 2020, Measure 21 lost by about the same percentage. Almost every local city’s pro-rent control measure lost at the ballot box, including Measure M in 2018 in Santa Cruz, losing by over 62 percent. The people had spoken. Seeing the unpopularity of rent control, Governor Newsome instead threw democracy under the bus, pressuring state legislators to pass a harsh rent control law that went into effect in 2020.
Now that rent control is the law of California’s political landscape, the city of Monterey is again considering a rental registry in order to spy on landlords and as a way to generate revenue. The price tag is $400,000 a year, which will be charged to landlords. Ironically, such costs will only increase rental costs.
Historians have also noted another major bad result of Nazi Germany’s harsh rent control edicts. Little new housing was built during the Nazi’s 12-year reign. Why would anyone build new rentals if rents and home prices were handicapped by price controls?
We do not need rent control or a rental registry that charges landowners $400,000 annually to operate a bureaucracy that neither protects the consumer nor promotes affordable rent. Such citywide regulatory agencies will simply place heavier costs and paperwork on both renters and property owners alike.