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Power lust prompting rent-control crusade

April 22, 2003

Regarding Glendale's "Fair Housing Month" (April 11) -- and the

current crusade for rent control -- there is nothing fair about rent

controllers' desire to use the force of law to hold rents below

market levels.

A "fair" rent can only mean one freely consented to by both

landlord and tenant, the only two parties to a rental transaction who

have any moral right to be involved in determining rents. Rent

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control replaces the landlord's consent with a government decree. In

theory, it gives tenants the unfair advantage of having access to

housing they could not afford at market rates. In practice, it

results in housing shortages and poorly maintained housing for all

renters.

And what could be more unfair -- or dishonest -- than the proposal

to use rent control as a form of prior restraint against landlords

who "might ultimately" have a discriminatory motive for the rents

they set? It is evident that this proposal by alleged foes of

discrimination trades on a blatant and discriminatory stigmatization

of landlords, or else we might, by the same logic, put all Glendale

residents under house arrest, since any resident "might ultimately"

go out and commit murder.

What more do we need to convince us that the political motive for

rent control is mere power lust?

DARRYL WRIGHT

Glendale

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