Progressive policies only seek to manage increasing hostilities and problems.

The headline of a Alexa Gagosz’s recent Boston Globe article asks, “Will tenants unions make a difference in Rhode Island’s housing crisis?”  The answer, we can be confident, is “yes,” although it will make a difference by making it worse.

The state’s problem is insufficient housing, and the only durable, healthy way to give tenants, workers, or any group of people, more power is to give them more options.  Using progressive-style union activism power creates disincentive for people to work together, and working together includes one person creating an apartment for another to rent.

A street protest against a big landlord will make people considering becoming landlords rethink.  When the easy compromises are exhausted and landlords simply refuse demand, politicians will take it as an excuse to tighten the legal noose.  That will lead to even less housing.

As with most policies, what’s needed is to think of both sides as human beings, to think of the incentives that govern their cooperative interactions, and to get constraints out of the way, not build up more hurdles and obstacles invented by politicians.  They serve special interests (note that one of the elected representatives in the story is actually a union organizer) and have no expertise.

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