Universal Rent Control Coming to Israel

Swedish lefty economist Assar Lindbeck once said back in 1972,

“In many cases rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city—except for bombing.”

Assar Lindbeck, The Political Economy of the New Left (New York: Harper and Row, 1972)

Well, rent control is coming to Israel. The price control frenzy will get worse and worse as the Bank of Israel keeps printing more and more money and the inflation seeps into the consumer sector. Tzipi Livni introduced this gem of a law, teaming up with Pretty Boy Yair Lapid. Those two are the dynamic duo of destruction it seems.

From Ynet:

שר האוצר, יאיר לפיד, ושרת המשפטים, ציפי לבני, הציגו היום (ה’) את הצעת החוק שלהם לפיקוח על שוק השכרת הדירות בישראל. על פי ההצעה, החל מתחילת השנה הבאה ועד סוף שנת 2019, תחול מגבלה על יכולתו של משכיר להעלות את שכר הדירה משנה לשנה. המשכיר יוכל לקבוע באופן חופשי את שכר דירה אחת לשלוש שנים ולאחר מכן להעלותו בשיעור העלייה של מדד המחירים לצרכן בלבד.

Minister of Finance Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni presented their bill today for rent controls. According to the bill, starting at the beginning of next year until the end of 2019, landlords will be prohibited from raising their rents. A landlord can freely decide what rent he will charge once every three years, and after that he can only raise it in accordance with the consumer price index.

Before I tear this apart, a short little thing on the harmfulness of price controls in general. A price is set by supply and demand. The price point is the point at which the number of sellers for a good equals the number of buyers. It is not set by greed, nor by luck, nor by generosity. Rents do not go higher because suddenly human nature changes and landlords get greedier than they once were. Landlords do not raise rents because they get greedier. They raise rents because that’s the price that buyers are willing to pay. It’s what they can get. Rents go higher because the amount of buyers at a lower price are greater than the number of sellers at that price. So the price goes up in order to equal out the buyers and sellers.

That’s it.

If your goal is to bring rents down, you can do one of two things. Lower demand, or increase supply. In order to lower demand, you would either have to kill people, expel people, or else convince them that they don’t really want a place to live and they should go forage in the Jerusalem forest instead. You’d need a really good Zen public education system to get that done.

So really, the only thing that can be done to lower rents is to increase supply. But this is the ONLY THING that the Israeli government DOES NOT WANT TO DO. They love building freezes instead.

So in their genius, loathsome Lapid and Livni propose a rent control law. What this means is that now, by arbitrary decree, the price of housing could end up being lower, by law, than the market price. What will then happen is that the number of buyers will be greater than the number of sellers at that price, and you will end up with a shortage, meaning people willing to rent at that price but unable to do so because there is no more supply.

Or even worse, in the Bronx in the 1980′s, the rent that landlords were allowed by politicians to charge renters was lower than the taxes that the politicians insisted that the landlords pay THEM. As a result, guaranteed a loss if they rented out a place, they simply abandoned their buildings and entire neighborhoods were destroyed and turned into crack houses. The picture below is of rent-controlled Bronx circa 1980.

As for the technical stupidity of this law, to base rent on the CPI index is entirely circular. The CPI depends on housing rents.

The more effective this law is, meaning the wider the spread between the price allowed and the free market price for rents, the more devastating the consequences will be. If landlords are not allowed to raise prices for three years but allowed to ask whatever price they think they can get now, they won’t take a risk of renting it out for anything below what they think they would need 3 years from now to cover their costs and maintain a profit. In other words, this law will push up rents even faster to where they would be 3 years from now assuming constant price inflation.

Batten down the hatches guys, it’s gonna get rough. How rough could it get? See below for more 1980′s Bronx.

Bronx2

 

 

 

LOVELY Satmar Rav Says Jerusalem Massacre Due To Jews Visiting Temple Mount

Leave it to the head of the Satmar Gang to always say the right thing at the right time. Hey, I’ve got no problem with people saying offensive things. There’s nothing wrong with offending people, as long as what you’re saying is true. And maybe it is true that five innocent people were murdered because I went up to the Temple Mount several times and these people died for my sins. If so, I guess I have to thank them.

From Arutz Sheva:

“Regarding the prohibition of ascending the Temple Mount, which all Jews who fear G-d know demands the punishment of karet [a severe punishment; open to interpretation, could mean premature death or spiritual excision - ed.], it has unfortunately become easy for people to take it lightly because of false beliefs,” he stated. “Who knows how many victims were killed by observantJews going up to the Temple Mount, and who knows what it will cost us, G-d have mercy, as a result of them.”

However, I’d prefer accusations leveled against me and Jews like me who visit the Temple Mount regularly, to be logically substantiated.

For example, Teitelbaum could say something like “I had a conversation with God last night while I was blowing my nose with one of the hundred dollar bills one of my Hassidim gave me in exchange for a bracha for parnassa, and God told me that he was going to kill five random innocent people because Rafi Farber went up to Har Habayit the other day.”

I would respond, “You have a recording?”

He would say no, and I’d tell him to bug his house for the next time God informs him personally that people are going to die because of me, and send me the recording, and then I’ll stop going to Har Habayit. I’d ask him to just email it to me in an attachment but then more people might die because I made him use the internet.

So, point is, the Satmar Rav is a schmuck for saying things that he has no proof of, evidence for, or any logical case at all, but we all knew that already.

Everyone has a crazy uncle in his family that likes yelling. So when we hear this nonsense, just tell yourself it’s Teitelbaum shooting his mouth off again. Somebody give this man a joint. It’ll calm him down a bit. He can even roll it in one of the $100 bills he gets from his hassidim looking for a bracha.

INSANE Health Ministry Mafia Forbids Homeopathics to Kids Under 6

The Misrad HaBriut health mafia has decided that homeopathics, which don’t actually contain anything, are dangerous for toddlers, so they issued a decree banning them for kids under 6. No government entity ever decides to ALLOW anything. They only FORBID.

For those new to homeopathics, they are somewhere between physical and spiritual medicine. The concept is to take part of the disease causing agent, mix it with filler, and then dilute a bunch of times until there’s basically nothing but filler left and no active ingredient with the theory that a tiny, immeasurable amount of active ingredient will somehow trigger an immune response or something.

Maybe I got that partially wrong, but that’s because I think homeopathics are stupid. But I also think that if a parent wants to give their kid a tiny sugar pill with essentially nothing in it, the parent should be allowed to give the kid the damn sugar pill.

The health mafia has resorted to serious fearmongering language over these inert sugar pills which they say are a menace to society so something “must be done” to save our lives and the lives of our children.

From Ynet:

בשנים האחרונות הפכו התכשירים ההומיאופתים לנפוצים בקרב הורים לילדים ותינוקות לטיפול בצינון, שיעול ואפילו גזים. כעת מתברר: מדובר בתכשירים שלא נבדקו, שמכילים רמות גבוהות של אלכוהול ושעלולים לגרום לתופעות לוואי קשות, ביניהן חנק. בעקבות זאת אוסר משרד הבריאות על מתן התכשירים לילדים מתחת לגיל 6

In the last few years, homeopathic remedies have become popular among parents of young children and infants for treating colds, coughs, and even gas. It turns out: These remedies that have not been regulated or checked, have a high amount of alcohol in them that could cause serious side effects, including choking. Due to this, the Health Ministry has put a ban on giving these remedies to children under 6 years of age.

Got that? A tiny sugar pill half the size of a grain of rice now contains enough alcohol to cause serious side effects including choking. Did they cite any cases where toddlers or infants got in drunken brawls after being intoxicated on tiny sugar pellets? Have they found any cases where anyone on the planet, assuming his esophagus is wider than a grain of rice, choked one one of these things? No. Has anyone ever seen a headline that reads “TODDLER DIES AFTER INGESTING A HOMEOPATHIC SUGAR PILL”?

Speaking of sugar pills, the Misrad HaBriut DOES encourage mafia day cares to hand out much bigger sugar gummies flavored with flavored sugar, and coated with sugar, fortified with vitamins because “it’s healthy”. They tried to give one of these to my daughter every day last year until we stopped them, explaining to the teacher that sugar based sugar coated sugar flavored “vitamins” are not healthy. She didn’t understand, because after all, it is a “vitamin”.

Leave it to government bureaucrats to conclude that if you put a drop of vitamin into concentrated glucose syrup flavored with sugar and coated with sugar, it’s now “healthy”.

But a grain of rice sized homeopathic placebo is dangerous. You know why? Because it’s not manufactured by one of the companies under the protection of the health mafia. That’s why. The sugar-coated sugar-flavored sugar based vitamins are.

FREE MARKET AT WORK Private Police Force Forms in Jerusalem

Ynet is out with an article this morning about how 300 people have volunteered to be a part of a neighborhood watch group in order to spot lone wolf would-be murderers trying to plow into groups of people or hack at them with pickaxes or shoot them.

The most common objection to anarcho-capitalism is that the free market cannot produce a single, unified police force, and competing police forces would be at war with one another. But 300 people mobilizing to protect private property of their own free will is the same exact thing as a police force. The only difference is they’re not being paid. Are they going to spontaneously start shooting each other because they are not all the same police company?

Sure, sounds totally plausible, in an insane asylum.

But why shouldn’t they be paid? Why can’t a group of private businesses in Jerusalem pool their resources together to hire a few hundred people – maybe even poor homeless people who could use some money, train them in the basics of shooting a gun, and have them patrol the streets?

Why is this such a crazy idea? It’s perfectly sound and doable, much cheaper than supporting a police force, and puts money in the pockets of the poor.

Jerusalem does not need one single cop. All it needs is a cooperative populace to organize around the price system and hire some people to walk around, armed, and secure the whole city. The best guards will get raises. The worst ones will get fired. Eventually, you’d have a pretty damn good citizen’s police force protecting everyone and earning some income.

No taxes required.

SAD BUT BEAUTIFUL Haredim Call to Attend Funeral of Druze Cop Zidan Sayaf

Every so often, groupthink has its moments of beauty. During the murder spree at Har Nof yesterday, the Druze cop who killed one of the murderers was himself shot in the exchange. He died today. His name was Zidan Sayaf, a Druze, and Haredim are now calling for a mass attendance at his funeral, to lay him to rest at his village in Jath Yanuah at 2pm today.

From Ynet:

Haredim call to attend the funeral of Druze Cop

First Sergeant Zidan Sayaf will be laid to rest in the afternoon at Jath Yanuah village. Hundreds of people from the Hared sector have answered the call on social media and are planning to pay their respects at his final resting place. “We will not be thankless. We will give our thanks to people who sacrificed their lives for us.”

The Facebook post is below.

It reads:

The funeral for First Sargeant Zidan Sayaf, the Druze policeman who attacked the terrorists and paid with his life, will take place today at 2:00pm at Yanuah Jath Village in the Western Galilee. He leaves behind his 21 year old wife and a fourth month old baby.

Anyone who can make the effort to come to his funeral is requested to do so. We will salute the Druze community for its sacrifice and its tying in its destiny to Am Yisrael, and we will present a united front against our enemies.

Please, share this post, pass it along to the appropriate people, and make an effort to come.

Haredim have also been passing around one of Rav Ovadiah Yosef’s psak from the book Hazon Ovadiah that reads as follows:

A Druze soldier doing his duty to protect Israel from its enemies who is killed by Ishmaelites while on duty protecting Israel, it is appropriate to mention his name in synagogue in a prayer for the dead, as is the custom for all righteous gentiles.

Now, as nice and right and just as that is, don’t confuse me for someone who gets all sentimental about “Our Loyal Police Force” and “Our Heroic First Responders” and jumps from there to glorifying the State Security Apparatus and lobbying the Knesset to increase the police budget. Zidan was not being a cop when he went in there to fight murderers. He was not being a Druze either.

He was being a human being.

I praise him as a human being fighting to protect other human beings. Not as a cop protecting citizens of Israel, and not as a Druze protecting Jews. Besides, the shul should have been protected by a private security company, not a tax-funded state-backed inefficient monopoly police force.

If any potential murderer (notice I never use the word “terrorist” because it is a meaningless term) were to try to come to my town and shoot up a minyan, he wouldn’t survive two seconds. Everyone in my town is armed to the teeth. Unfortunately, Haredim are not the types to arm themselves, because they rely on State institutions for everything. Hopefully some of them will wake up now and start packing heat.

PSEUDO SCIENCE What do Climate Scientists and Keynesian Economists have in common?

As record low temperatures blast the United States for the second year in a row, the theories behind global warming look stupider by the day. There’s only so much of this freezing cold weather that global warming enthusiasts can shrug off before looking like real idiots.

What about the science behind it? It makes about as much sense as Keynesian Voodoo. Not because it doesn’t have its own system of inner logic, but because climatology and mainstream economics based on econometric equations are trying to use math in order predict the behavior of humans, which is inherently impossible.

The economy is governed by human action, which does not fit into mathematical models. Logical necessities can be deduced from given facts based on the axiom of human action and the basic observation that resources are finite, but that’s it. Beyond that, trying to predict anything with certainty is impossible, not because it’s really really hard to do and we just haven’t figured out how yet, but the nature of human action not following the cause and effect rules of physics makes it impossible intrinsically.

So where does climatology fit in? Climatology tries to measure and predict a system that is chaotic. It is governed by the Butterfly Effect, which means that the flap of a butterfly’s wings on one side of the world can cause a hurricane on the other. Given the Butterfly Effect, then kal vachomer (a fortiori), the action-movement of a human pinky in California can also create a typhoon in Australia, or create a really cold winter in the US.

So at bottom, human action governs the climate as well as the economy, be it one step more removed, which makes it even less predictable.

Sure, it sort of makes sense that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and that the more greenhouse gas the hotter the planet in a positive feedback loop. But when you’re dealing with the Butterfly Effect and an entire planetary system, to simplify the global climate down to such simplistic principles is about as effective as asking your local econometrician which stocks to buy.

It’s all voodoo, pseudo science. Following the forms of science but not getting any real laws.

Here’s Richard Feynman on this issue. Love that man.