St. Paul rent control is a good reminder for RI progressives to think before they act.

Even before it goes into effect, a new rent-control law in St. Paul, Minnesota, is backfiring:

“Less than 24 hours after St. Paul voters approved one of the country’s most stringent rent control policies, Nicolle Goodman’s phone started to ring,” the Star-Tribune reports. “Developers were calling to tell the city’s director of planning and economic development they were placing projects on hold, putting hundreds of new housing units at risk.”

“We, like everybody else, are re-evaluating what — if any — future business activity we’ll be doing in St. Paul,” major developer Jim Stolpestad told the newspaper.

When you want more of something (e.g., affordable housing), you have to make it easier and more profitable to create, not harder and less profitable.  Unfortunately, it’s more difficult to address these challenges at their root (where the solutions will often conflict with progressive ideology) than to impose mandates on the effects.

The thing is — emphasizing that this became law by popular referendum — you can vote yourself stuff from other people, but ultimately, you can’t force them to work in order to pay for it.

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