The failure of rent control: Sweden edition
Even though both theory and evidence show that rent control is bad public policy, Minneapolis’ city council continues to pursue it as a solution to the city’s shortage of affordable…
Liberals and the “Progressive” politicians to their left love to use the buzzwords of “equity, diversity, and inclusivity,” but politicians like Governor Tim Walz and Minneapolis Jacob Frey have erased decades of equity for low-income families by allowing violence and rioting to run virtually unchallenged for three days earlier this year. The fallout is resulting in a huge drop in the kind of equity you measure in dollars.
Equity For Me, But Not For Thee
Traditionally, the way that Americans build their wealth is through home equity. Investopedia defines home equity as “the market value of a homeowner’s unencumbered interest in their real property, that is, the difference between the home’s fair market value and the outstanding balance of all liens on the property.”
The key phrase here is “fair market value,” and the inept response to the riots by Walz and Frey, and the calls to defund the police by the Minneapolis City Council will disproportionately harm low-income and minority communities by reducing the fair market value properties in these areas. Their actions are erasing years and years of equity.
Property areas will fall in low income and minority communities because violence has escalated where they live. Notice how virtually all the reports of gunfire are occurring in North Minneapolis and South Minneapolis, between I-35 and Hiawatha. Notice where gunshots aren’t being reported, Kenwood, East Isles, or Lake Harriet. In case you’re unfamiliar, these areas are populated by white, wealthy, liberals.
To the degree that there is systemic racism in Minneapolis, this is it.
The white, wealthy, liberals who fund city council campaigns and mayor’s races expect to be taken care of in return. For their graft, they are rewarded with police protection, low crime, and the comfort of knowing that their property values are better protected than those who live in more violent neighborhoods. It must be nice.
Meanwhile, residents in North Minneapolis are severely underprotected. A story in Minnesota Public Radio News details describes the terrifying events as drive-by gun battle near Jordan Park that threatened the lives of 50 children, some as young as 5 years old, who were at football practice:
“Several dozen players on his youth football team, as young as 5 years old, were practicing in a Minneapolis park last week when bullets started to fly over the field.
“It was terrifying — not being in control, having 50 kids out there laying on the ground, and bullets are ricocheting off the ground and pinging off the poles and hitting my parents’ cars and whizzing past our heads,” said Thompson.
He said about 50 gunshots rang out during the drive-by gun battle at Jordan Park in north Minneapolis. Parents and coaches shouted at the kids, ordering them to get down on the ground. The shooting didn’t stop. Players and their families had to seek protection from a nearby building.
Despite the gunshots, there was no police presence:
“After hearing the gunfire, Thompson, the coach, remembers driving on the practice field, loading up the team in his van and taking the boys to his house to get away from the path of the bullets. But equally chilling, he said, was the absence of police after parents called 911.
“It was crazy to have 50 to 60 rounds fired and no police presence,” he said. “It was the worst seven minutes of my life so far.”
This is entirely unacceptable, and every ounce of outrage the people living in North Minneapolis have about this instance is completely justified. This isn’t the only instance this has happened in, either. A July 6, 2020 article in the Star Tribune details a mother finding a bullet in her 11-year old son’s mattress:
“After my house was struck by gunfire, I’m not going to feel safe no matter how many cops go past,” said Crystal Rosebear of north Minneapolis.
Last month, she discovered a bullet lodged in her 11-year-old son’s mattress under his Ninja Turtles blanket after he showed her a hole in his bedroom window. They figured it blasted through overnight while he was sleeping.
Rosebear doesn’t think there are enough police now because of how long it takes them to show up when she calls 911. She’s trying to find the money to move away.
Who wants to live in an area where their kids aren’t safe? Who is going to invest in a community where people live in fear of gunshots and have zero confidence that there will be enough police to protect them? If no one wants to invest in these areas, how can the current residents build any sort of home equity? Home equity is a large percentage of most families’ wealth.
While the white, wealthy liberals who fund the campaigns of city and state officials with wine cellar fundraisers (I assume) are still protected by law enforcement and enjoy increasing home equity, poor communities enjoy no such privilege.
In order to build home equity, or business equity, these communities need to feel safe and confident that they can build better lives for themselves. In order to feel safe, they need to feel like the cops will come when they are called and that they will do more good than harm.
Minority communities need home equity, not empty-slogan equity.