Should People Profit From Housing? Bernie Sanders Says Yes, and No

A plan for national rent control and for reining in speculators, but also for building wealth through homeownership.


Comments: 257

  1. Bernie Sanders may understand economic and political equilibrium, but he cares only about pandering to his ignorant political base. Government regulations have unintended consequences that destroy the ability of any market to set fair prices. Few regulations are appropriate for national application and band aid measures like rent control should never be more than temporary local laws. Mobility, freedom, and revitalization are encouraged only when the government steps aside. Handouts like rent control encourage people to stay put even when their family wealth exceeds any rational reason for continued government support. Those who need less expensive housing suffer because rent control inhibits mobility of those who should move to more appropriate housing. The fact of the matter is that families change is size and employment opportunities change much faster than Mr. Sanders appreciates. More importantly, government has no legitimate interest in promoting or discouraging fluctuations in housing prices or geographic mobility of people. The failure of government planning and control can be seen by asking if the federal government has any legitimate basis in encouraging or discouraging: 1. home ownership 2. property management 3. marriage 4. geographic mobility 5. pregnancy 6. innovation 7. integration 8. diversity of community and housing choices While we all have freedom and opinions about these subjects, only a socialist like Sanders wants the government to take sides.

  2. @Eugene Patrick Devany Really? Could have sworn it was Con's in gov. that redlined many locals, keeping out minorities. Con's love HOA's, to tell people how they can or cannot keep their homes. Con's have been against marriage of many sorts forever. Many Con's have always believed in the separation of races. Again, Con's love nothing but to interfere in pregnancy, or the desire to not be. The whole meaning of Conservative is the status quo, not innovation. Unless of course it is a new way to make money off of cheating someone. Most of the Con's I know are definitely not hot on integration. Diversity of community...see above. So...sorry Eugene, it obviously isn't just your dreaded socialist that seem to have these issues does it. Conservatives love using gov. to inflict their views upon others too huh.

  3. @Dobbys sock Conservative Democrats fought to maintain segregation while real conservatives pushed for the passage of Civil Rights Laws in the 1960's. Democratic States like New York are the most segregated due to single family zoning and school district boundaries. The Democrats would not have it any other way. Blue states could easily pass mandatory firearm insurance and render military weapons and ammunition too expensive. The Democrats don't want to reduce gun violence and compensate victims. If the government reduces regulations on housing, the increased competition will produce more, better, and less expensive rentals.

  4. @Dobbys sock Seems to me that you have been "conned"--racists and bigots and NIMBYs know no specific political party. As to Conservative principles, please read Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk, Adam Smith, much, but not all, of John Stuart Mill. Or even better, read a fair-minded biography of Herbert Hoover. Few people have dedicated more of their life to helping others than Herbert Hoover. Add to that reading, a fair-minded biography of Barry Goldwater. Neither Hoover or Goldwater were the characters slandered by liberal orthodoxy.

  5. And this is how Trump gets re-elected! We do have housing problems but hyper-regulation and bureaucracy is not always the best solution. Reducing the wage stagnation that middle-class families are experiencing, more funding for seniors' social security, and improving education and opportunities for lower-income families to get re-skilled for a changing economy would go further while allowing people the freedom to self-determine. As much as I'm in the Anybody but Trump camp, it's policies like these that make someone pause and consider voting for the orange man. - Thoughts from One 'NeverTrumper"

  6. @Michaela A. Do you really feel that Americans who've lost their homes because the've lost their jobs, who've been priced out of rental housing, who have no public housing to go to, those Americans who comprise the homeless, a homelessness crisis that no other developed country on the planet experiences, those Americans think this is a bad idea? Nonsense! Sanders is addressing a massive American problem, just like unaffordable healthcare, the lack of paid family leave, and retirement insecurity that no other politician has the guts to solve. Bernie is on to something!

  7. @Michaela A. What is your solution to the tremendous lack of affordable housing, NOW? Builders make more profit on high end homes. In my area, the homes are built for people who do not work in the area, but built to attract wealthier people who will "enhance the local economy". The low paid local employees are often forced to have long commutes... not good for the carbon footprint. Too many Americans worship the gods of profit and forever, growing the economy, at the expense of building a strong thriving society.

  8. @Sean "a homelessness crisis that no other developed country on the planet experiences, " Please visit East Hastings street in Vancouver--just east of main. Blocks of people sleeping on the street and pushing around all of their worldly possessions in a shopping cart. Also, please try to rent a 1-BR apartment here for less than 1,500 or more typical, $2,000 a month. Our socialist paradise has run out of other people's money.

  9. Decent housing is a human right, and decent food is a human right, and decent health care is a human right. In short, a decent life is a human right. Maybe it is time we stop prevaricating and accept the fact that our current economic system isn't able to deliver on these rights. It is time to move on.

  10. @Jody Woos So many rights, so few responsibilities.

  11. @Jody Woos This approach has been tried and found wanting too. Ask the French. Ask the Russians. Ask the Zimbabweans. Ask the Chinese. Jody. How do you feel about mass murder?

  12. @Ed Housing and health care were taken seriously as human rights by Clement Attlee in Britain after World War II. The resuilts were glorious! No one (or no one in the current conversations) wants dictatorship or Russians or tyranny. Social housing and social provision of healthcare does not need to be that. As Great Britain of the 50s clearly shows.

  13. Ah, the glories of central planning! It's worked so well in the past, right?

  14. Housing is a human right! Immediately nationalize all housing, with no compensation, that will go a long way toward equalizing wealth. Have the federal government allocate all housing based upon need and poverty. Let no one own any housing, but rather all, under the control of the federal government. Only then will we have true equity in housing. Then let's move on to banning private cars, computers, tvs, cell phones, etc. Government confiscation of all will end wealth inequality. But starting with guns would be wise, as some radical defenders of private ownership might not take kindly to the new utopia, and 100 million armed with assault rifles and automatic pistols could really hinder the transition to the next utopia, Venezuela. Their military doesn't have to worry about millions of highly armed nut jobs hindering the elimination of wealth and income inequality. Confiscate everything, but start with guns !!

  15. The bottom line with this like with most things in life is to avoid the extremes. 1-Avoid rigid rent control like those after WW2. They almost destroyed NYC in the 1970s. 2-Avoid the insane rents of today in NYC with corporate RE greed king of the hill. Put maximums and minimums on most rents and let the market decide the prices in the middle.

  16. @Paul Price controls are the opposite of letting the market decide.

  17. @Paul Greed has nothing to do with rent levels. Whether I am Mother Theresa or King Midas, the relative supply and demand of the moment determines my rent charged. BTW, many landlords suffer negative cash flows and hope to recoup operating losses through price gains. Also, factor in the bad tenant experiences and the "greed" looks more like insanity. One tenant recently cost me $10,000 (actually more but that is the amount of judgement I received-from a tenant friendly court). For that property, 4 years of net revenue to make up that loss.

  18. @David-Thank you for your reply. Extreme price controls or no controls are the problem. They usually end up in disaster as history has proven.

  19. Grown up children making promises nobody can keep. Mr Orton and his grumpy old friend need to spend more time studying history and less time studying Marx and Lenin. Rent controls always have the same outcome: less new construction. Less new construction means constricted supply. Constricted supply means higher prices. If you constrict supply for decades on end, you wind up where we are now. Can you remember the first rule of hole digging?

  20. Somebody is not thinking: "building wealth through home ownership." Does Bernie know that property taxes automatically go up with the increase of the value of the property but your income does not?

  21. @Dr. Ricardo Garres Valdez Bernie Sanders the socialist, who loved the labor movement, Cuba, the old Soviet Union and the Nicaraguan Sandinistas, we knew about. Bernie the millionaire and owner of multiple homes, who knew? Actually, why is anyone surprised that Bernie is now part of the 1%? He owns three homes, including one on the "Vermont Riviera," the shore of Lake Champlain, that cost a bundle. Clearly Bernie has become accustomed to the upscale lifestyle he has long made a career of eschewing and excoriating. Now that he is in a higher tax bracket he is surely getting schooled on tax avoidance and sheltering income, lessons that plutocrats learn at their fathers' knees. And I wonder how much of his considerable income—and property—he is willing to redistribute to the poor. And his wife does their taxes? Right. I guess Bernie will have to stop ranting and raving against millionaires and spend more time explaining to voters 1) why he is not a hypocrite and 2) how socialism will benefit them while he is taking advantage of good old capitalism. As Margaret Thatcher so aptly put it, "The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." As for policies, Sanders' espousal of free everything for everyone, not to mention allowing felons to vote from prison, can only guarantee Trump's re-election if Bernie is the Democratic candidate in 2020.

  22. @Mon Ray That overused Thatcher quote is just an excuse for tax cuts for the wealthy. Have you seen the results in the UK? Widespread homelessness, hunger, closed libraries, increased inequality. Bernie is a successful author, why shouldn't he be prosperous?

  23. Gee - what if we got real about the myriad problems caused by population growth? A declining population would solve the housing crisis and help with air quality, traffic congestion, and climate change. Guess what is a likely cause if the Renaissance? The Black Plague. Why don’t we come up with a humane way to allow the human population to start shrinking rather than growing. This would avoid a lot of human suffering that will only grow if we don’t get smart.

  24. @Paul Sutton Or / humanity should reduce the load on planet earth. It’s mind boggling to consider how much land is used up to support factory farming and our appetite for meat. If everyone gave up meat ... you can get the numbers and do the math - bottom line - there is no need to destroy forests to grow corn and soy for cattle feed / that is simply an inefficient way for humans to get calories...

  25. @Paul Sutton The population growth has started declining in the US and Europe. It is still increasing in the global south but the Fundies in the US don't want us to export birth control.

  26. You can’t regulate greed out of existence or decency into existence. We are where we are, and have the politicians we have, because those two traits are out of balance.

  27. In the vast majority of America, there is no housing crisis. In my urban neighborhood in Ohio, prices over the last 30 years have increased at about the rate of inflation. In many other parts of my state, prices have not even kept up with inflation. The housing crisis is happening only in a few superstar cities. This is partially because these cities are over-regulated through zoning and rent control, leading to undersupply. The solution is simple—repeal those laws. Less-regulated cities like ones in Texas have been able to accommodate fast population growth while maintaining affordability. The housing crisis is also because there is excess demand to live in certain cities. Not everyone can live in San Francisco, and higher prices are the fairest way to regulate this excess demand. People who are priced out can move to the 80% of American cities where home prices are reasonable.

  28. @HO "Less-regulated cities like ones in Texas have been able to accommodate fast population growth while maintaining affordability." True. However, the almost complete absence of regulation of development has produced a LOT of homes in flood plains. I read an article where homes were actually built in a reservoir designed to hold flood water in the event of heavy rain - and NO duty to tell the buyer!!! Surprise, surprise. Somewhere there must be a sweet spot providing just enough regulation. "People who are priced out can move to the 80% of American cities where home prices are reasonable." As another comment pointed out, many of those folks can't afford to move. More importantly, there are folks NEEDED to make San Fran function - cops, teachers, nurses, firefighters, retail workers, etc. - who can't afford to live there and face hours/day to commute. Perhaps copying Britain's council housing is the solution for such high-priced areas. This is a complicated situation. You are spot on that zoning has exacerbated, perhaps created, the problem in CA big cities.

  29. @HO The housing crisis isn't just a problem in SF, LA, NYC etc. It's also a problem in places like Vermont where the homes are lower priced than what one would find in SF, NYC etc. but no one makes those sorts of salaries needed to pay for them. Wealthy people coming in from elsewhere having sold their expensive homes can afford nice homes here. People who have retired and moved from wealthier places can afford homes here. Ordinary people struggle to do so.

  30. Airbnb has created housing crises in small towns where people might like to vacation. Fewer houses to purchase or to rent long term because owners are renting by the week.

  31. National rent control would be a disaster. I manage apartments, and its not just a license to print money, no matter what tenants seem to think. Liability is high. Most of the rent goes to taxes. If you want to lower rents, relax zoning laws to have multi family dwellings in suburbs, and provide incentives to developers. Rent control will simply turn all rented houses into slums as the landlords will not have enough money to fix anything.

  32. @Brian Brennan In the suburbs, where there is no public transit. Terrible idea. More cars, more emissions, more traffic. Relax zoning laws. Multi family dwellings next to single family homes will wreck the value of the existing homes. Property values go down, taxes don't and voila, you have just destroyed a home owners single greatest asset-his home, not to mention the enjoyment of it.

  33. This seems like a GREAT was to disincentivize housing development. I am generally apolitical, but the problem with housing is that liberals support restrictive zoning which limits supply and drives up prices. They also support strict development standards that go beyond common sense. His ideas would work if cities had swaths of vacant overpriced properties. He is blaming private developers? This year alone I saw 3 private developers put forth proposals for affordable housing projects in my community. All 3 rezones were turned down. So 900 units of needed affordable housing will not be on the market and who's fault is that? A majority democrat city council. Not the developers.

  34. Central planning is just nonsense. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to ANYTHING.

  35. "Property is theft". Proudhon (sp?) That is oneway to look at it.

  36. Sanders is getting desperate to differentiate himself from Warren by tagging so far left that no one, saved the progressives, would go near him with a 10-foot pole. And he'll have no chance whatsoever in a general election. Or, maybe Sanders should move to Venezuela or some such latin american countries to continue his preaching.

  37. Warren took most of her ideas from Bernie after endorsing him and campaigning with him in 2016. She is inexperienced and duplicitous. She is another Harvard neoliberal capitalist supporting a system that is corrupt and promotes economic inequality. Bernie is all about leveling the playing field and his housing proposals are at least an attempt to solve the inequity brought on by decades of pro business policies so extreme that corporations are now considered people.

  38. @Another Epiphany Which is why he'll never get elected. The last president to do anything for working people and poor people was FDR. In no-time people went ferreting for communists, creating black lists, and rolling back social programs that created the backbone of the middle class. The problem is that people are not corporations. It's only corporations that are entitled to government largesse. Making a million-dollar movie? Here's millions in grants and don't worry, the government will foot 40% of your labor costs. Selling junk on Amazon you got in bulk from China? No problem, here's a bunch of tax incentives and government programs to help with that. Need affordable housing in a good school district and you're poor? Get out and earn more money to afford that, moocher. Don't ask the government for a handout. How many government agencies exist for the protection/promotion of people's rights and welfare versus corporations? That tells you everything you need to know.

  39. "National rent control"? Yes,and make every city like NYC. As an owner of rental properties in both the USA and Canada, I can assure anyone who cares to face facts, that rent controls NEVER work as advertised. Vancouver (where I live) has had rent controls for 40 years, and rental housing almost nonexistent for new renters--each vacancy that I experience is met with 20-40 applicants. As to affordability, google Vancouver "unaffordability crisis."

  40. @Gerry Professor, indeed, every prominent economist has dismissed rent regulation as ineffective, yet NYC keeps it only because nobody in positions of power have the integrity/strength to stand up against the vast rentocracy who feel that cheap housing in one of the greatest cities in the world is their birthright.

  41. @Gerry Professor Boston gave up rent control and housing there is scarce and very expensive. Find something else to blame.

  42. What is wrong with creating more public housing or the public paying part of the rent for low income people ? This sort of blanket rent control will drive investment elsewhere. Removing the special tax savings on sales of real estate (low capital gains rates, 1031 "exchanges") and investing that extra money in more public housing or subsidies to lower income renters would go a lot father in solving the affordable housing shortage than national rent controls.

  43. Rent control does NOT work.....over time landlords stop doing repairs and the buildings decay and become inhabitable. I lived in rent controlled Portugal. One third of rent controlled housing is dilapidated, empty and boarded up.....the rents are so low now that landlords make no repairs

  44. @jimP Works really well in New York City. Anybody who is not a millionaire, who lives in Manhattan, will concur.

  45. @Carole The correct statement would be "It works really well in NYC for those lucky enough to find a rent controlled apartment. Everyone who is turned away, oh well." Spending your life in rent control means you will never build wealth. In the 1990s, the person with the rent controlled apartment didn't want to "lose" their good deal so they didn't buy an apartment for $300K. In the 2000s, they still had their rent controlled apartment but the house they could have bought is now $500K. Now, when the person dies they have nothing to leave their children and the landlord stuck with a rent-controlled tenant for 30 years won't make that mistake again and sells the place for $2 Million. Rent control benefits a few at the expense of many. Loosen zoning laws if you really want more housing built.

  46. @James, au contraire, people who luck into their rent regulated NYC apartments build wealth by investing in second homes elsewhere. I mean, why not? Because these units are not means-tested periodically, people have enormous disposable income that they can invest elsewhere to build wealth, while in the process depriving more needy people from occupying these units. Rent regulation is stupid because these regulated units have turned into a commodity.

  47. Goodbye Bernie. Having had to rent out houses I couldn’t sell when I had to move I don’t need to be told I am greedy by a guy who owns three houses.

  48. @Rich Murphy But you are. YOU just admitted you’re a greedy person in your remark. You got a tax break for your real estate investments because of Republican chicanery. Being a landlord is not a job, it’s not labor, it is NOT work. I own property I know how it is. Economists say that rent is a drag on the entire economy. $1 out of every $8 of venture capital money awarded to startup companies goes to rent. Completely unproductive. Why are landlords so privileged? You can dismiss Bernie but you will never dismiss the millions of other people who are fed up with this undeserved privilege.

  49. @Studioroom being a landlord is a job and there is labor that comes w it. It’s also a financial risk. There is upkeep, there is finding tenants, there are contracts.

  50. Is it Bernie’s problem that you made a poor investment?

  51. "“I would say to those economists, how is that working out?” he said of the current deference to the market. “That’s what we’ve been doing. When we’ve left this to private developers," What deference to the market? We haven't left this to private developers. We've zoned and made it difficult to build (especially in wealthier areas, letting people build only in poorer areas.) Production of housing is way down from previous decades, but developers would surely love to build more. Landlords and existing homeowners, less so. When the problem is supply, directly building public housing can make more sense than giving people money for rent, but there's room and need to build in all sorts of ways.

  52. @John Thacker, also, wherever rent regulation is rampant, e.g., NYC and SF, the price of real estate is sky high due to this artificial distortion of the market that creates a scarcity of supply resulting from people unwilling/unable to move out of their artificially low-cost housing.

  53. @Ed There are tons of empty luxury units in NYC and SF, no scarcity of supply

  54. Bernie - skip the rent control and go right to building public housing blocks. Seems to be where this is going. The New York City projects are very lovely and well run.

  55. @Reasonable Person. You have got to be kidding!

  56. Priceless, Reasonable Person! Thank you! You gave me a good laugh.

  57. A national policy that seeks to micromanage outcomes on a local level is misguided. But there are many things that can be done at the national level to increase affordability and to prevent housing from becoming a money-laundering enterprise for foreign entities. With the reins of government in Republican hands, the one thing you can be sure of is that none of those measures will be tried.

  58. @WmC "the one thing you can be sure of is that none of those measures will be tried" THANKFULLY!

  59. I almost missed this topic because it was buried in with the rest of yesterday's articles. The lack of affordable housing in our country is one of the greatest burdens on the working class. Finding regulations that address this problem without unintended consequences is not easy because it is hard to project what will happen in every single instance. Most of the existing regulations serve the banks, the homebuilding industry, the mortgage industry, and the investment industry more than they serve working class people, because the latter do not have a seat at the table in the lobbying process. That said, this is a topic that needs to be put on the front page and addressed in the debates, which so far have been more redundant than enlightening. It is also important that the details be read carefully. Ideologically driven responses are not very helpful. Like all proposed legislation on complex topics, the proposed bill can be tweaked to improve it and specific concerns need to be brought forward so they can be taken into consideration.

  60. I managed small apt. buildings in NY area. A whole bunch of painters, electricians, plumbers, etc, in NY area would have a few million dollars more in their pockets if we had an incentive to upgrade, but due to rent stabilization our apts were way below the market rent and vacancies were re-rented in minutes, so why invest good money with literally zero additional return. Multiply that by thousands of buildings and you are talking dozens of billions of dollars that will never end up in the pockets of such tradespeople, not to mention their car dealers, landscapers, accountants, etc. Just a thought.

  61. If you could find said electricians, plumbers, and carpenters. And if you could trust the ones you find to do a good job. I guess you don't know any renovation horror stories. I do. I hear about them even in New Hampshire where, I'm told the good ones work on more expensive homes or go to cities where they work on more expensive homes. And this from an old New Hampshire innkeeper in the same location for forty years.

  62. The fact that the issue is being raised - by Bernie - is significant. It is part of the wealth disparity. A piece of it - but a big one. How to do it, like how to deal with the medicare for all - is not easy..... But please do not murder the goal of income and wealth equality - with not having an immediate worked out solution. There are those doing the same thing to the Green New Deal. It is a goal that needs to be addressed. Stop killing the conversation with why it cannot work. Be constructive - and help figure it out. As Lizzie said in the first debate - why are you running for President if you talk about what you cannot do or change (my words)....

  63. I own a lot in Malibu purchased for 20k. The taxes have tripled because of a school bond based on any parcel, so I pay what my 5 million dollar neighbor's pay. Building requirement are such that getting a permit is 200k. Estimates by government offices are that building requiremments above safety will cost me another 300k. After financing for thirty years the gov will have added 1,000,000 in total cost for no benefit. So I cannot build but I can pay taxes and have for 20 years. Then the gov which created this absurdity runs in to "help" "solve" the problem they created by controlling "investor profiteering:!!. A wonder. God bless the USA - no one else will.

  64. @dan Why do you keep paying the taxes on something that you describe as useless to you? Why not the lot and buy something you can use? Under current law you can do that tax free with a 1031 exchange.

  65. @dan A buildable lot in Malibu for $20K any time in the last 50 years defies credibility. I used to live on the west side of Los Angeles.

  66. @Nancy Perhaps he wants to leave it to his children. Perhaps he wants to sell it for his retirement. Now Bernie wants to slap extra tax him on it for having the foresight to be a long term investor? Bernie has not accounted for the vagaries involved in home and land ownership. I know a woman who doesn’t occupy her house, because she has spent 20 years living with her boyfriend. He is somewhat difficult and she wants to know that she could go home again at any moment. He is wealthier, and this maintains the balance of (her) power in their relationship. Thus she doesn’t rent it except to rent or let nieces and nephews and their friends live in it free when they come to the city for college. Some years it is empty. She was a single mother , it was hard for to make the house psyments after she split up with her higher earning husband. It is her major asset, she wants to leave it to her son for his children to live in so that he can afford to educate them as it is near a major state university. So under Bernie’s plan she gets taxed as a real estate profiteer? Bernie’s heart is in the right place, but he has not thought this one out well enough. This is a policy which could hurt many middle class families.

  67. It is as important for Senator Sanders and other candidates to make new plans addressing the housing pressures in our nation as it is for the Times to critique those plans. The issue is complex, but too many Americans are caught in the vice created by stagnant wages and high housing costs. To continue the discussion, a critique of the critique: 1) We rent the lower unit of our duplex home. We've kept rent increases under Sanders’s proposed three percent cap, and the rent still pays our mortgage. 2) The article criticizes Sanders’s proposed restriction to address house-flipping, the scourge of our housing markets. It says "What about “people we don’t think of as flippers: a small-scale general contractor who remodels two homes a year; a family that buys a home for an aging parent who later dies; a landlord who herself faces financial distress and must get out of the business.” That contractor who "remodels two homes a year”is a house-flipper. They have flipped most duplexes in our community, remodeling them into separate, luxury apartments, sold for hefty profits, and caused the cost of housing all over our neighborhood and larger community to go up. On the other hand, remodeling projects obviated by illness or death deserve a medical dispensation. Additionally, the plan is right to tax empty units. They can be rented.

  68. @Anima Not many landlords keep units empty. They want to collect rent.

  69. @Anima Sometimes my US house has been kept empty over the last 50 years— when I am not sure if I need it, and am coming back to inhabit it, and when It is unsafe to rent and needs repairs ( it is an old house which is difficult to keep up in a marine climate) and I am spending many months trying to find, then waiting for labor that I can afford, given its location in a remote community in a high priced and tight labor market. There are all sorts of situations that a long term home owner can face. Grandma taking a year to recover from a stroke in a long term care facility. Unknown if grandma is going tobe able to go home again. Or you want grandma to have her home for the rest of her life , for the comfort of knowing that it is there and having the hope that she will be able to return. Home ownership needs to remain home ownership.

  70. @Jonathan Katz Sounds like you've never been to NYC, SF or even a small city or town where AirBnB is legal -- tons of empty units with landlords happily profiting off the artificial "housing shortage"

  71. This is why I'm not voting for Bernie. He doesn't understand economics. He wants to subsidize home ownership but regulate, and therefore drive up the cost of, rental housing. Poor people are renters and rich people are home owners, so in the long fun his policies will have exactly the opposite effect from what he's trying to accomplish. Bernie says he's a socialist, and he is. Elizabeth says she's a capitalist, and I think she understands economics. I'll vote for her.

  72. @Kerwin Bernie proposes to cap rents, thereby keeping rents lower. How does that raise rental costs? It seems you've responded to the labels for each candidate, not the proposed policy. I like both candidates because their goals are similar. Warren is just smart enough not to mention Socialism, a word that Americans have been trained (by Republicans and Conservative Democrats) to fear.

  73. @Anima More like Warren is not really interested in structural change because she's convinced capitalism will work if only we tweak this or that aspect of it.

  74. @Anima "Socialism" is not just a word, it is a historical failure. If prices are not governed by supply and demand, the economy always fails. Even "socialist" countries like China have moved back toward market-based economies (the definition of "capitalism").

  75. NY had rent control and still has rent "stabilization" -- and what happened? Not enough new rental housing. Instead, we have "luxury" condos. If investors can't get competitive returns from rental housing, they won't finance it. In fact, New York has cut way back on any form of rent control. Subsidizing low income housing without massive government aid won't motivate investors -- unless it's token "low rent" units and mostly market rate units. Rent regulation doesn't work -- unless government builds or finances it. Sanders just doesn't understand the market.

  76. @Richard Both Singapore and Vienna have a majority of the population in high quality public housing. The very concept is reviled here, much to our detriment.

  77. Bernie Sanders is a socialist and knows nothing about the housing market and it’s pricing dynamics. For example, people that flip houses do so by making an investment in those houses to bring them up to market standards. If those investors were taxed at a high rate, the incentive to do these remodels would disappear and the cost of remodeling homes would fall on purchasers, who often lacks the expertise, money or time to remodel these homes cost-effectively. The housing market is also inefficient and is subject to pricing volatility that would play havoc to Bernie Sanders complicated home pricing scheme. The last thing we need is a socialist meddling with the housing market.

  78. Flippers are bottom feeders. They undermine communities and produce nothing of value. They absolutely need to be taxed at a high rate.

  79. @Raul Campos It's got to be better than the situation we have now, with homeless encampments increasing year by year in major cities.

  80. Focus on tangibles, not on economics. If there isn't enough housing, remove the non-economic obstacles to building it: Get rid of zoning, regulation for anything other than safety, and front-loaded permit fees. Usually, "affordable" housing is more expensive housing that has declined in desirability. Almost by definition, "affordable" housing cannot be built while paying construction workers market wages. It is just a matter of how many hours of labor are required to build a house or apartment. If you create below-market rate housing, you replace money economics by political influence economics. Below-market goods are, by definition, oversubscribed, and only a fraction of would-be purchasers get them. They could be chosen by lottery, but in the real world it is more likely to be by political influence.

  81. Capitalism does not need to be replaced, it needs to be regulated to prevent excesses, but allowed the freedom to function based upon market economics (i.e., regulated capitalism). Bernie Sanders doesn't understand this. However, I think Elizabeth Warren does understand.

  82. @Charles Glass Hard to tell what Warren really represents. Bernie’s proposals have been better than hers until this one. This one unfortunately would turn home ownership into a socialized nightmare. So you buy a house and your company moves you in less than five years . Or you rise rapidly and have the opportunity to buy a bigger house or jump to a better job. Bernie would tax you for that. Bernie has not thought this one through and would be meddling in the economy in ways that not even the most socialist european economies do. What is a good idea are programs to build more high density housing nesr transport, and programs to help the young enter housing markets. Bernie would make it impossible to own a house like the one that has been in my family for over 50 years and has provided a bolt hole that one can always retreat to. He would make it impossible to own a house like that one, as sometimes it has to be empty of renters for long periods as one jockeys for scarce labor for repairs. When my costs are not fixed, I can’t rent for fixed rates, or I risk losing my shirt.

  83. Who would ever build housing if there isn’t a profit to be made? What ordinary Americans have the almost $1m laying around to build a home in the SF Bay Area, including over $130 in fees that the City of San Francisco charges on a new unit? The solution isn’t to take the profit out of housing, the solution is high density housing near transit and removing the impediments to this.

  84. @Dick my landlord in San Francisco owned a dozen apartment BUILDINGS. there are a lot of landlords like that who have effectively monopolized a lot of housing. And yet, Republicans gave them a tax break in 2017.

  85. @Dick The high density transit near housing in the Bay Area is over 3K for a one bedroom, cheaply built, noisy, unaffordable for many.

  86. @Dick The high density housing near transit in the Bay Area is over 3K for a one bedroom, cheaply built, noisy, unaffordable for many.

  87. Typically naive, unrealistic lack of thinking on the part of Bernie and his advisors. They think the system is broken so they suggest absurd fixes can't be worse.

  88. Bravo to Bernie Sanders. National rent control & taxing home flippers is another reason why every millennial in my extended family supports the Senator. Small & big time contractors should be required to renovate AFTER the home is placed on the market & sold, allowing first time buyers & particularly youth to gain home ownership & become adept at DIY or hire to accomplish improvements as they begin to earn more. In almost any town the most affordable neighborhoods are now those with a questionable reputation. That hasn't stopped the flippers & big time landlords from gobbling up houses & driving up rents & to create "market value". Of course, county government is wholly behind this gouging. Bernie, holding true & not to be deterred!

  89. Thank you Bernie, for addressing these and other systemic problems we should not be having in America.

  90. Just build the housing. The federal governments should charter a state corporation to build lots of housing and then rent or sell it at low prices, just above costs. The private sector will be forced to lower their rents to compete with the federal housing corporation. That's the proper way to do "socialism" - with the state directly involved in the economy (and no rent control needed).

  91. The causes of and solutions to the current housing affordability crisis are, as has been noted, extremely complex: land availability, regulatory constraints, increasing construction costs are just a few of the forces at work. The withdrawal of a substantial public commitment to housing over the last 30 years and the extreme commodification of real estate in general (turbo charged by the Great Recession) are two of the most powerful however. A serious investment in public housing, some form of effective rent control, and perhaps the development of community land trusts need to be in the mix for solving this crisis. The significant public benefit derived from stable communities cannot be overstated, nor can benefits be realized when people's homes are viewed as profit opportunities by investors.

  92. Every good idea results in a proposal that requires tweaking, and the legislative process provides more than ample opportunity to tweak. Flipping and holding residential property empty because it’s just an investment are both examples of market abuses that need to be curbed. I’m retired and living comfortably off small residential properties in two jurisdictions with stricter rent control than Bernie proposes and I’m doing just fine - as are my tenants. Capitalism has been good to me. I’m routing for Bernie and Elizabeth because I’m old enough to remember when regulated capitalism was good to workers and renters, too. We called it the New Deal. It required constant tweaking, but it created sane and reasonable economic distribution and thus a degree of civilization I sorely miss in our contemporary jungle of ever higher returns on investment at any social and human price.

  93. @Brian Yup. I remember when regulated capitalism worked just fine. We should try that again.

  94. One wonders what could possibly go wrong. The Soviet Union comes to mind, but that might be seen as an unwarranted crack at the senator's choice of a splendid honeymoon spot.

  95. I believe there are examples of communities restricting speculation by having low-cost home ownership tied to anti-speculation & flipping...i.e. buy the home, live in it, & if you need to move & sell it, you can only sell it with an increase its original cost by 2%. Along with Bernie's sound ideas, let's look at how they can be achieved... This is how Finland dealt with the housing problem: https://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2017/mar/22/finland-solved-homelessness-eu-crisis-housing-first Also, 3-D PRINTED HOMES ($4k to build a 400sq ft unit!) should be considered as an important step in increasing affordability & access (as in no one should have to allocate 80% of their income for a roof over their head): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCzS2FZoB-I https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SK7sptcpNA Funny how we embrace the "disrupting" models of technology for transportation, hotels, etc. It's high time we DISRUPTED the greedy developers & all its parasite middlemen, marketers & real estate agents.

  96. @cassandra If you own a home and hope to sell it at a profit some day, that makes you greedy, too.

  97. @Average Citizen My first consideration is to treat housing as basic shelter, a necessity; greediness comes into play when something is COMMODITIZED---giving that thing an ABSTRACT value. Let's suppose bread was commoditized, & you could sell that $3 loaf for $25---because the "market" could bear it, how ethical would that be? If you own a home & expect a modest return when you sell it, that's fine. But if you're an investor/ speculator (never having set foot in that house) flipping houses at an outrageous multiple of the original cost, how ethical is that?

  98. @cassandra - You CAN sell a loaf of bread for $25 now. Go to a gourmet market in an upscale community. BUT someone else may also sell a loaf for $3 because he can still make a profit at that price. That is called the free market. Zoning laws and NIMBY attitudes prevents the same logic from applying to the housing market in many areas. In Louisa you may buy a nice home for $100,000 or less.

  99. Bernie's ideas are likeable, but his policies need a lot of work. Some things make sense and others sound as if he has no understanding of the issues he wishes to solve. I wish he and his group would talk to people who have experience in the matter. His defensiveness, as demonstrated by his policy person, suggests that this is something he will do willingly.

  100. With progressives, it's always a "crisis," and they alone have a fistful of rules, regulations and laws ready to solve it, for once and for all time. In positions of power, they habitually rush into projects, sweeping aside precedent and always--always!--blowing away debate with charges of racism or any other "ism" they can concoct. When they ram through their measures, they conveniently forget to include any real set of metrics to judge whether this or that utopian idea moves us closer to a "solution' (as if that state of affairs is achievable). And then, things start to go sideways; the iron law of Unintended Consequences kicks in. This does not, however, cause any sort of course-correction. Instead, progressives double-down, extend the time-horizon for a solution, and let any critics know, in no uncertain terms, that they are morally wrong to point out the king's lack of clothing. This was the pattern of the 20th century--ideology morphing into murder. Somehow, this lesson has been unlearned.

  101. @richard cheverton Very cogent, Sir. I think that you should leave the People’s Republic of Portland. You have my sympathy.

  102. @richard cheverton Housing policy linked to genocide? What?

  103. I owned 4 homes at different times in Michigan; three in Detroit, one in a suburb. I was a struggling single parent and the ones in Detroit were liveable. Each time I sold and traded up slightly. The last home in a suburb was my dream, beautiful brick home. When I transferred to VA, I could only afford to rent for 3 years. I finally got an opportuity to buy a run down foreclosed townhome that cost more than the single family home in the Det suburb. There were 7 other bidders; I wasn't the highest but got lucky I guess. I spent 10 years upgrading and fixing and made a profit when I sold. What isn't measured is how much an owner spends to make a place liveable. Like the burst pipes and holes in the wall. I retired and moved to GA, the brand new home I bought cost $100k less than the one I sold in VA. No one solution is going to fix everything. Detroit has plenty of homes available, some as little as $30k. The problem is the needed income to pay for them. I drove down a main street recently for miles and saw nothing but boarded up/abandoned small storefront businesses. Nothing to sustain them. in VA where Amazon is opening, they're building like crazy. But townhome prices are easily $500k. In semi-rural GA where I'm at now, there's affordable housing, how much you pay depends on the neighborhood This problem is something each state/city is going to have to address individually. It's a combo of issues. Washington can't solve this one thru legislation.

  104. @Ann It could incentivise businesses to move where there is affordable housing and a need for jobs.

  105. From Leviticus 25: And the land shall not be sold in perpetuity; for the land is mine: for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.

  106. Here are easier, more effective fixes: restrict the purchase of homes to U.S. citizens only. All home deeds must be assigned to named individuals (i.e., with a Social Security number) instead of corporations, LLCs or hedge funds (exceptions to be made in the case of corporate employee-occupied housing). No single individual can legally own more than two homes. No leaser of a rent regulated apartment is permitted to concurrently own a home elsewhere (which happens ALL THE TIME in NYC). Just getting all of the Chinese and Russian money out of the U.S. real estate market would immediately put downward pressure on pricing.

  107. No single individual should own more than two homes? Tell that to middle-class New Yorkers who have little second houses in the Poconos. Black people too, for what it's worth. I do not mind slapping hefty taxes on LLC owners and foreign investors. From what I understand, Cape Cod has a higher tax on non-primary residences. But communism is no better than fascism, just another side of the coin; a crushing, institutional self-righteousness.

  108. @Ed- Don't your really mean getting Central American and Asian immigrants out of the home buying market?

  109. @Ed Communism and unconstitutional to stop people accumulating more than one home or leasing multiple homes. You can’t put a limit on people’s possessions in America. Tax it yes but can’t prohibit more resource accumulation just because.

  110. Housing is an inherently local concern, and I don't see what part of the Constitution would give the federal government the right to control rents. If enacted it would have terrible consequences, since it discourages the construction of new housing and the maintenance of existing housing. Increasing the supply of housing by reducing zoning restrictions is the best way to reduce housing costs.

  111. @Beliavsky There is no shortage of housing (in fact we have abundant housing - there are huge numbers of empty units in our cities, not to mention the mostly empty McMansions of our suburbs.) The problem is not a lack of housing supply, it is a predatory market that depends on denying people access to something they need to survive (much like the for-profit health insurance industry.)

  112. Why get into the business if you can't make a decent profit?

  113. @Jim - Taking ownership of houses and renting them is not "getting into business" in any sense of the term that is related to productive business. Do you know what a slum lord is? Buying to rent can be just manipulating finance for hoarding a resource and jacking the price, which is the problem in housing because the product is so close to people's fundamental needs. Speculation is not productive business, it is gambling with other people's money and lives. Your sweeping generic question has little to do with the topic.

  114. @Jim Exactly. Housing is a human right, it's something we cannot live without in this world. People who want to make "a decent profit" off of flipping houses, speculation etc. should get out of "the business."

  115. @CK “Buying to rent can be just manipulating finance...” Yes, it can be, but it is more often just a way to make a living. Do you have any idea how much work goes into keeping a house maintained, making sure all expenses are covered, and keeping tenants happy? It’s a business. If you don’t like that, then maybe you think all rental housing should be owned by the government. If that is how you feel, fine, but don’t ask me to make houses available for rent and then tell me I can’t have any control over them. There are bad landlords out there. There are also bad tenants— plenty of them.

  116. Looney toons! Unconstitutional proposals from the collectivist senator. How about a supertax on book advances and books by politicians?

  117. It's a bad idea, and has the potential to hurt Bernie in the primary. However, just housing provision is a very good idea, and the Federal government could go about helping renters in many ways that not offensive to small renters. For instance housing should be considered infrastructure, and the government should both build it, and buy it, in places where rents are shooting up including suburban areas.

  118. @CK Over population is also an issue in some of these big cities. Everyone from the world is moving to New York, LA and the rest which is why housing is so expensive there because there is demand. If there was no demand from over population then rents and prices would go down. There’s not much the government can do about city over population except to build up and incentivise industry and relocation to more rural and suburban towns and communities outside the cities.

  119. Here in Vermont, which is the housing market I know best, housing is a real issue. Home prices have skyrocketed in recent years. Much of what is on the market that is deemed "affordable" is so due to its condition. When you think about it, how "affordable" is a property if the entire home has to be gutted and it needs a new roof, siding, foundation, septic, windows, doors etc along with the interior being fully replaced(and HVAC, electric etc)? They still want a pretty high price for these properties too. Renting used to be the fall-back option but rents are pretty insane here now as well. It's not just a problem in Chittenden County, home to Burlington. This has become a problem all over the state. If you find a place that's more affordable it may be in the middle of nowhere with a long rough commute, especially in our severe winters, to any sort of job. To add to this problem, while VT has always had ski homes, deer "camps" etc. second homes are becoming very numerous. Huge numbers are being rented on AirBnB etc; entire homes and not just a spare bedroom. Some towns have upwards of half of their homes in the short-term rental market. Lower/moderate income Vermonters are leaving the state as they can't afford decent housing. Buying a trailer is not going to provide one with any gains due to housing appreciation as they depreciate like a car does. Far too many are forced into trailers as at least they are shelter. Bernie, how about looking at your own state first?

  120. @Greenie He is looking at VT, what you describe is happening everywhere (and needs to be addressed nationally.)

  121. Why would developers ever build new apartments if we had nationwide rent control? Why renovate a house or apartment if you will face a hefty tax when you sell? As is becoming apparent, the policies of Bernie and his fellow progressives, including Sen. Warren, would kill the profit motive and harm the economy. That said, I favor raising income and capital gains taxes on those who make more than $750,000 a year.

  122. @A Realist Agree. I think taxes are the solution.

  123. @A Realist For the same reason investors buy government bonds, and corporate bonds - guaranteed returns with low risk. For the same reason the corporate bond market is several times bigger than the stock market. Why would you buy a bond with a ceiling on profit when you can buy a stock with unlimited upswing?

  124. @A Realist I agree and I can’t believe more people don’t understand the impact all of these give aways would have. We need the higher taxes and higher capital gains just to pay our existing obligations.

  125. Sanders seems to be the only candidate really willing to talk seriously about housing -you have to give him that. It has always been obvious that using housing for wealth creation has been a game that the US government has supported for the benefit of the middle and upper classes -at the expense of those who rent or are simply looking for a place to live. But addressing this issue has always been politically toxic, since it goes against the interests of the home-owning classes, which are always imagined as the most important constituency (the "American middle class"). Thus all the tolerance for exclusionary zoning, real estate speculation, NIMBYsm, and rejection of public housing options. That's why we talk endlessly about reforming the health system and how health is a basic right, but we barely talk about that other basic need, and the system that blocks the good options. We are still in 1964, when Hans Blumenfeld wrote: "The American (…) people are faced with a dilemma. They want, and want badly, two things. They want to live in an efficient, convenient, healthy, and pleasant environment, and they want, as individuals and collectively as municipalities, to be able to make an honest dollar out of every piece of property they happen to own. The two are basically incompatible. Sooner or later they will have to decide which one is more important to them."

  126. Kudos to Bernie for introducing his ideas about making housing more affordable. Affordable housing is rarely included in political debates. However, rent control is not the best long-term solution. The best long-term solution is to build a limited equity housing market that runs parallel to the market in which people look at their homes as investments. Limited equity housing can be configured in a variety of ways. This approach has been developed in Scandinavian countries, and it is used in the US by a number of universities that provide their new professors with mortgage support so that they can afford homes near campus.

  127. The solution is to stop taxing capital gains on the resale of primary residences as has been done in France from the inception of taxation of real estate capital gains.

  128. @Michel Distel In USA, the first $250K in gains on the sale of your home is tax exempt. Double if you are married.

  129. Bernie, you have lost me and my vote.

  130. Home ownership is for people with bank accounts big enough to pay the window guy when you need a new window, the oil guy when the old boiler crashes, the roof guy when water leaks through the ceiling, the plumber when a pipe breaks, the electrician . . . . Some things I do myself. Other things, you need a licensed pro.

  131. Bernie I have appreciated your work on behave of working families for 25 yrs but this one is way out there. I have owned property after having lived in the house for 12 yrs I moved and used the house to help educate my kids. As a bleeding heart liberal I couldn't refuse people who needed a house to rent and they abused me and my home breaking every conceivable utility. Didn't pay rent and stiffed me for the water bill. This is an area Bernie knows nothing about

  132. @Sean Daly Ferris Is there something in his plan that would somehow make your lousy tenants' behavior legal? Even bleeding heart liberals need to do background checks on prospective tenants. And you know, he owns several houses, I'm pretty sure he's had to deal with real estate issues himself.

  133. @Sean Daly Ferris Sounds like criminal charges were warranted and like they were grifters, not nice people who needed a house to live in. If they really abused your property as you said, I hope they landed in jail.

  134. @Truth at Last never filed charges

  135. Bernie has to say yes to real estate profit as he is one who has profitted from buying and selling properties. Not so different from Trump.

  136. @V give some evidence of this claim. If you don't like him, don't vote for him. Why the need to spread lies?

  137. @Ross I agree!

  138. We live in a country obsessed with keeping gas prices low (we spend billions arming the Saudi dictatorship behind 9/11 and will literally go to war to defend their oil) but heaven forbid we do anything to stop skyrocketing rents and housing costs. That would be messing with the free market! More good plans by Sanders to reverse the disastrous financialization of our economy. Housing should not be a commodity traded on the global market.

  139. I am, for the most part, quite liberal. However, rent control, and its usual accomplice, “eviction for cause only”, while they may seem benign on the surface, just end up causing small-scale landlords to throw up their arms and leave the rental market to the big, faceless corporations. And that’s not good for renters in the long term. In markets where housing prices are rising smartly, landlords can make decent money. But that is not always the case, at all. In most cases, the return, after taxes, insurance, upkeep, etc.— and including appreciation—is something in the area of 4 to 5%. This is not excessive, and of course there are risks, as we saw in 2008. You can buy blue chip stocks that pay you that in dividends. Sanders needs to understand that regulation has to be balanced, and too heavy a hand will smother small businesses. Keep an eye on what happens in California, which just passed such regulations, in coming years.

  140. I believe the solution is building and investing in places that people already live. Let's reduce migration out of rural areas. Let's invest in home ownership in urban, underdeveloped areas. let's prevent businesses from clustering in a city core. create many small cores that reduce the demand for "prime" real estate. if we over supply, the prices will fall.

  141. The point of rent control should be to allow existing tenants some stability in the face of potentially colossal annual increases. In ever-sensible Toronto, existing tenants face similar controls on rent, which protects them against a level of voracious speculation that likely exceeds even NYC. When those tenants leave, landlords are free to jack up the price to whatever the market will allow. There is a difference between communist tenement and a bit of state-imposed neighborhood stability, just as there’s a middle-ground between all-or-nothing American capitalism and Venezuela. Naturally, it is not in the American temperament to find such sensible compromises. That’s something the Republicans and Democrats have in common.

  142. @HH There should certainly be reasonable regulations on landlords. They should be required to maintain properties, supply hot water and heat, etc. So on that I think we can agree. I don’t think using Venezuela as an example of a socialist/communist state is very useful. Venezuela is a fascist state, at this point.

  143. Get rid of 1031 exchanges, tax capital gains at 30 percent and incentivize developers to invest in distressed areas to provide more housing a la the Opportunity Zone program. Until 1031 exchanges are no longer permitted real estate prices will continue to go up on the coasts because investors are churning investment dollars to avoid taxation until death.

  144. @Fifth Circuit Bar Amen brother at the Bar. Way too much abuse by residential owners though I have cautioned many times.

  145. All of his proposals would take money out of the housing market, exacerbating supply. His answer to everything is more government.

  146. Oregon has rent control and good for them! They also don't have Bernie who is going nowhere. He always has ideas. Planning and carry through? Not so much. He loves crowds and blathering but he has accomplished very little and has hardly any impact in the Capitol after all these years. He entertains through grievance and that's about it.

  147. @PugetSound CoffeeHound Actually he really sees the pain that most Americans, not in the Elite circle, suffer. We are so used to putting up with being over charged and having our tax dollars mainly to support the Rich we do not know what good government is like. We have no clue about a fair playing field. The rich are different than you and I. A lot of them pay a lot to our politicians to let them go on cheating us and depleting us of our hard earned money. Yes the trickle up policy is working very well for a few.

  148. @cheerful dramatist Who is rich ? Define cheating ? Who is depleting....please tell me how ? Is this your money that has been denied to you ?

  149. Honestly, it’s not up to him or the government.

  150. @Bob unfortunately Bernie’s point is that it is up to the government to decide just about everything.

  151. When will Mr.Sanders just promise unlimited everything for everyone? Free college. Subsidized housing. Cancellation of student debt. No private health insurance (note to the lefties: 70% of voters are satisfied with their current health insurance plans and even the United Kingdom has a robust private insurance marker!). Non of this will or should happen. But it’s great talking points for Republican attack ads! We rightly laughed at Trump for his outrageous promises (Mexico will pay). We need to realize the left has demagogues, too.

  152. @Will.Note to you . 70 percent of the voters are for Medicare for All and no one likes their current health insurance. Not the high deductibles or the co payments nor fighting with the insurance company over coverage and having the insurance company, not the doctor decide which treatment is to be administered. Those health plans are only for making as much money as the insurance companies can get and give as little coverage as possible. You must be an insurance agent or you actually believe their propaganda.

  153. The cult of personality is destroying democracy. Bernie Sanders is an intellectual who has all of these radical ideas built on the foundation of of the same tired 1980s foundations that his counterparts on the right operate on. We need NEW ideas that are built on foundations with roots in the modern world. Bernie’s ideas are not those ideas. Warren, Harris, Booker, AOC (I know, she’s not running for POTUS), etc. have ideas with roots in the MODERN world. The last thing we need is another world leader stuck in the 1970s/80s. We already have one of those. And he’s terrible.

  154. @Austin Ouellette I am about Bernie's age and I would say he is firmly rooted in the 1960s, and has not had an original idea in 50+ years. It looks like every generation is tempted by the promise of getting freebies at someone else's expense. But to quote Margaret Thatcher, "the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

  155. @Austin Ouellette You're sure about that? Warrens ideas are cribbed from Sanders. AOC is in lock step with Uncle Bernie. Harris and Booker can only respond to Sanders policy's; how either they are like his or not his. Care to elaborate maybe?

  156. @mike Did it ever occur to you that he's rooted in the 1950s because the socialism of the 1930s and 1940s are what brought the prosperity of the 1950s and 1960s to fruition? People who quote Margaret Thatcher always conveniently forget that she was a beneficiary of it her whole life - from her father's grocery store all the way to Oxford, a university financed by people's money, not corporations.

  157. Why must there be a "national plan" for _everything_? We have 50 states, each with its own conditions and preferences. It's one thing to have e.g. national product safety standards so that makers don't deal with 50 sets of rules. But for housing policy, why can't each state set its own?

  158. @Ilya Shlyakhter or just leave it alone and let people decide where to live based on what they can afford

  159. @Bk2 You remind me, was it Shaw? Mencken? "For every complex problem, there is a solution obvious, simple, and wrong." Sure, just move around. Even though your skills aren't needed in Pig Tail, OK.

  160. Bernie will increase the nation debt with all his promises to end all debt including medical debts. Where will this money come from? He's too far left. We have a "too far right. " We don't someone too left. We need a person who can deliver a win, work with both sides of the spectrum and most of all be PRESIDENTIAL and positive for all of us.

  161. Bernie wants to use the profits of capitalism for all his giveaways and now wants to make sure there are no profits in the first place?

  162. So far, Sanders has blessed two ways of getting rich: elected office and selling a book. Well, three: he’s defended the way his wife was paid by a university. Everyone else who makes a buck is presumably guilty of something or taking advantage. Warren doesn’t have that knee jerk reaction.

  163. Bravo! Warren wants to raid your Medicare and pay for illegal’s healthcare with your contributions and then raise your taxes. No thanks!

  164. I will vote for any Democrat over Trump but I hope it’s not Bernie ( McGovern on steroids).

  165. Three things that should be protected from exorbitant profits = housing, healthcare, food. Go Bernie!

  166. @fast/furious So subjective...who defines “exorbitant”?

  167. Robert Shiller of Yale has shown that over the long haul owning your own home is a pretty lousy investment, just about keeping up with inflation. Bonds have returned 2% above inflation and stocks about 6 % above. Curious how few people know this. If you buy a home for 300k and sell it 15 years later for 400k, you've earned about 1.9% per year. If inflation during that time was 2% annually, you've lost money in real terms. Understanding compounding is hard. Perhaps too hard for Bernie. Of course if you buy a house on spec or because you enjoy its comforts regardless of its investment merits, then there is a chance you might not be a moron.

  168. @vbering This isn't about compounding. You conveniently forget that for most people, housing isn't an investment. Does Shiller consider his house in CT an investment? Of course not. You need someplace to live. Always. So unless you are buying 2+ homes, no matter how much your home appreciates or devalues, you have no access to that capital. If you sell it, sure you've cashed into your "investment". But you still need a place to live, and therefore have to buy another home - a home that is also more expensive.

  169. @vbering Depends upon the market doesn't it Here in SoCal. our house is paid off and worth 4 times what we paid for it. (going on 24yrs.) Had we been paying rent we'd have nothing but housing for those yrs., and no investment. The going rate of rentals for a like comp is more than double what our mortgage was. Location, location, location.

  170. @vbering if you can spend 1500 a month on a mortgage and have a return matching inflation or spend 2000 a month on rent...remind me again how a house is a bad investment

  171. We own rental property in Albany, NY. Have been involved in the rental market for the last 30 years. We currently own about 20 units, down from an all time high of 50. It is no longer a decent way to make a living. In the last 10 years we see that tenants don’t think they should pay rent and think they deserve to stay put, regardless. Somehow it’s unfair for that they are expected to pay for housing but we still need to make mortgage and tax payments. Not their problem they say. How have we gotten here?

  172. Zoning laws throughout the country are very strict, especially in and near urban areas, which in turn restrict the amount of housing that can be built to serve the market. Relaxing zoning regulations (for areas that make sense) would make it easier to build more housing supply and therefore create affordability. This solutions resolves the housing crisis at the root, instead of applying after-the-fact rent control regulations. I disagree with the Sanders approach.

  173. But developers would just use that opportunity to build pricey apartments that no one can afford. They tried the same thing in NYC, and all that came of it was expensive units with superfluous amenities. Any relaxation of the zoning laws need to come with a caveat of creating actual affordable units and not new dumping grounds for wealthy investors.

  174. @Jmart.nobody could afford?? So I’m guessing they didn’t sell?

  175. @Jmart Affordable housing cannot be created through the market. It must be heavily subsidized. One method common in other countries to fund projects for the public good (including but not limited to affordable housing) is to fund them with the profits from a public or community bank.

  176. Why not just forgive all mortgage debt- since housing is a right and Sanders is looking to give everything away for free in order to buy votes. He certainly has a lot of family experience with real estate - recalling his wife’s “success” with her land purchase for the now defunct Burlington college. Of course, when housing development dwindles under these policies, Sanders can correct the problem with another new tax to have the government build housing. It seems clear that decades in the Senate have separated the Senator from reality, and certainly from small businesspeople and entrepreneurs.

  177. @LTJ. Isn’t high fashion a “right” too? Bernie needs a plan to forgive credit card debt for Armani, Gucci, Prada shoes, handbags, etc. That or Bernie should decide what these suppliers can charge. He should also put in place free days where people can just take stuff from certain stores.

  178. Like the episode of Seinfeld More anything? More everything!

  179. @LTJ I am so glad our youth have such a focus on the future. They love Bernie.

  180. The intent is good, but the strategy is shaky. If you're going to limit housing price increases to twice the level of inflation, the middle class might be better off just opening an account with a mutual fund. I mean, I guess your housing costs would go toward your asset value, but housing cost includes upkeep and maintenance as well, something people rarely seem to factor in when making their decisions. Idk, as the article mentioned, at least it's a starting point for a more reasonable plan.

  181. We definitely need to revamp how housing works in America. We are all stuck in rentals that cost more than a mortgage that ultimately bring huge profits to landlords but prevent us from ever getting into a home and mortgage and out of this downward financial spiral. We need housing for everyone. EVERYONE. Again, all the money is concentrated in the few in the housing market as it is in the entire country so that the rest of us cannot ever improve our station.

  182. @Maria Saavedra You need revamped zoning so that developers can build. Heck even let the little guy create an apartment over his garage or in his basement. The government does not permit it. The government cracks down on small landlords who do this and forces the tenants out of these apartments. And single family housing is neither efficient or even desirable in urban areas. It creates a car culture with freeways and traffic jams. Allow for density especially in central areas with good transportation. If you want housing encourage development.

  183. If Sanders/Warren are a duo, Liz will have a plan that makes sense. They can beat Trump, that's if you do not play the 2016 plan you had that did not work. Housing will fall into a good place for everyone when people can pay their rent or house payments with ease. That is the main object, of a more equal society.

  184. @s.whether Tax breaks to develop cheaper rental housing, looser zoning and tech solutions for more efficient home building could help greatly.

  185. Affordable housing is a problem for people living in the land of the urban elites. There is lots of affordable housing outside California or the big cities of the northeast. Effort would be better spent getting more jobs in places where there already is affordable housing.

  186. Out of curiosity with no ill intent what do you consider “affordable”?

  187. Bernie is the greatest economic genius in the history of Vermont! He can come up with plans and strategies that really make the USA more competitive that drives $$$$ to people who make this economy work, even if they chose not to work. Just think he has made himself a multi-millionaire while being a public servant, wow, he's out for the little guy.

  188. Who controls the means of production? That’s the fundamental question. And if private investors don’t build, then do you force labor and take control of the market? Anyone, yes anyone who has escaped from public housing, doesn’t support these no skin in the game, crime ridden, failed experiments.

  189. @Brad Man oh man I wish people expressing these sentiments about public housing would do a little research first. Here's a good start. https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/03/the-rise-and-fall-of-american-public-housing/554597/ People living in public housing paid rent; it was adjusted to be 33% of their income, which is a standard assumption for percentage of total income dedicicated to housing costs. The Federal Government was supposed to make up the rest. Yes, this is what a housing program for lower income folks looks like. Fundamentally, though, public housing was underfunded from the get go, and got worse when the (white) public began to see public housing as a place for people of color. What happened when the federal government landlord stopped properly investing in its properties? They deteriorated, no surprise there. So: worse conditions, fewer people, and generally people with less income, end up renting. Its a downward spiral without sound investment from the landlord. The Federal Government set it up to fail. But somehow that is the fault of rent-paying tenants simply because it is public housing.

  190. When did it become anyone’s “right” to live anywhere they choose. There is affordable housing in so many places in the US and many of those places have good job markets. It’s not up to the government to decide how much someone can charge.

  191. @Bk2 The government determines prices in many, many contexts. What's so special about rental housing?

  192. @Aaron what other contexts? I can’t think of another “context” where the government puts a cap on what someone can charge. Even in healthcare, a doctor can charge a private pay patient anything they want. It’s a a consensual relationship. Strange how you said “many, many” and provided “none, none”.

  193. @Aaron How did housing get so expensive in Berkeley if the government there was so effective ? Peace, love and a million bucks for a small shack.

  194. I don't understand why this country is now suddenly all about rent control. We tried rent control in the 70's. It failed and exacerbated the problem. We learned our lesson for 30 years and didn't try rent control. Now, we suddenly think rent control is a great idea again, despite the fact that the laws of supply and demand have not changed in the last 30 years. This time will not be any different. This would be like if the Chinese all of a sudden thought that it would be a great idea if they went back to a 100% command economy where people melted down farm implements to make pig iron in their back yards.

  195. @Todd Short term memory as to the utter disaster created by national price controls in the 70s..time to start teaching non revisionist history in schools and cut out the vaping breaks.

  196. Bernie, will you limit or better yet put a cap on property taxes? They go up every year. What should I should I do with the tenats who destroyed my properties? Oh, can you tell the bankers to give me break when the tenants do not pay their rent on time but I have to pay my loan on time? Maybe they can waive the late fees.

  197. @Socialist Dear Socialist...limit taxes mean limit on services. Got it ?

  198. Why is Bernie introducing another issue of huge complexity with a blast of unexamined solutions along with global warming, free higher education, relief from student loan debts, universal health care by single payer with no private insurance, and no way to avoid printing money to pay for it. I think that he may be playing to lose.

  199. @Casual Observer Bernie Sanders knows it will be complex. The democratic establishment is playing to lose. Sanders' intent is clearly to bring balance in housing; to get money out of politics politics. He knows that a fluid society brings tremendous benefit to just about everything, including a genuine economy that would solve a lot of problems. The the stagnant depressed society we currently have is the result of robbers who don't want anyone to notice what they are doing or stop them. Bernie knows this. More people know this. Jumpstarting higher education, cancelling student debt where necessary creates jobs in education and elsewhere, and better minds; a better culture of justice and a better democracy, instead of a corporate culture trying to eliminate government to capitalize the public commons; education, healthcare, war, prisons, Public Lands, wilderness, utilities, etc. Bernie Sanders will invest in the human capital of a generation and vitally important- in renewable energy. He's on the right track, more than anybody else. The Dem establishment is perilously blind and won't even go after Trump. They can't seem to see that we are at a major transformation as a country. I love Elizabeth Warren too; not sure if she'll capitulate to the wrong kinds of pressure, or not.

  200. Who else is addressing the problem? It is a significant and still complex problem that should be addressed in a just world. I expect Sanders is realistic having been a senator for a long time. The initial proposal is Not the final legislation. It's an opening gambit. It's so curious that people take presidential proposals for what would be final law. In negotiating, usually you don't propose the middle ground as your opening. You propose more than you think you can get, expecting you will have to compromise. That is what is so pathetic about democrats over the last 4 decades. They Start with what should be the barely acceptable final compromise and the get needn't over a barrel to end up supporting Republican/libertarian economic policy. It is refreshing that someone takes a strong principled stand going into negotiations and not mealy mouthed pre-compromised sellout banishments aimed at deceiving voters.

  201. Because nobody else introduces any other solutions. Note how other built on his ideas.

  202. Real estate like finance is a not a rational kind of market. A lot of human psychology introduces irrationality and while real estate represents land and structures needed for human activities, it’s also assets that can provide other uses. The prices and values of real estate are driven by costs of building, supply and demand, speculation, sheltering assets from losses of value, and society’s need to provide shelter. Any national policies must be narrowly focused or they will be unmanageable.

  203. What’s wrong with flipping houses? It makes neighborhoods better by bringing in families to otherwise blighted or undervalued neighborhoods. I’d rather live next to a flipped house then a house that is falling apart and which the owners can’t or won’t take care of.

  204. Because you are paying cash...you are hurting us pre-approved first time buyers that’s why. We can’t afford your flipped house with a 30 to 40 per cent up charge in a good school district.

  205. I’m not sure about rent control but I do know banks and taxes on homes, both property and sales, are out of whack. As I look for a place allowing me to downsize, I notice a lot of foreclosures on the market. That means these homes can’t be purchased by someone like me. A buyer has to come up with a lot of cash up front. The bank that holds the note won’t wait for a seller to sell their home to come up with the cash. That means only an investor with a lot of money has a chance at that home, and there’s a chance the home will be flipped, driving up prices in the neighborhood. Another oddity, as a single seller, I will be able to deduct $250,000 from the price of the home. If I were married, my spouse could also deduct $250,000. I’m not sure of the intent of this deduction disparity since I don’t pay half the price as a married couple for repairs or general upkeep of the home. The taxes and costs, whether single or married, are the same. If the deduction is meant as a bribe to stay married, it’s not working. Taxes and bank regulations on loans seem to be designed to serve the home as a financial instrument for the market, not the home owner.

  206. More specifically, a benefit to banks and lenders. And why is that a surprise? They wrote the rules through "your" representative and "mine". Which are actually the lenders' representatives, even though they don't tell you that.

  207. We don't need rent control. In the age of climate crisis and housing shortages, we need revamped zoning. Allow for more multifamily homes. Make better use of developed land and plant trees on the rest.

  208. As usual, Bernie Sanders spouts out proposals that are either half baked, or based on data that is decades out of date. This article pretty clearly sets forth several situations that Sanders never thought about and how he dismisses them in his public comments. The big one, that everyone is talking about, is Medicare for All, where all he offered was the stuff I carefully recited in National Forensic League high school debate contests in the mid 1960s. Since I won more often than I lost, I guess I did a good job impressing, um, fifteen-year olds. This is not to say that we don’t have problems in many policy issues, but they are constantly clouded by the sound of Sanders barking.

  209. Just because you won, doesn't mean that you were good or right, it could mean that your opponents were bad. After all a number of countries prove that Medicare for all could work just fine, and significantly decrease the healthcare cost.

  210. I think it would be challenging to do, but more efficient to stop subsidizing mortgages with tax deductions for interest. Right now, we subsidize home owners but we don’t subsidize renters (who are outside of section 8 housing). I don’t know that uniform rent control across all markets in the U.S. makes sense as they’re wildly different from one another. I think if Sanders was serious he’d instead talk about this fundamental tax break for owners that leaves renters out. We need to be supporting and encouraging mixed income development and integrated housing that’s sensible in term of carbon footprint and where feasible (in cities) near transit. There are a lot of different ways to provide affordable housing. While the problem is identified here is uniform rent control the best/only solution?

  211. And how do you propose to encourage the mix-income neighborhoods? I can see that home-owner tax break is unfair, but it practically was already cancel in 2018, however, that didn't make the housing more affordable. If anything, it made it less affordable, because people who could not afford taxes will be renters, pushing number of renters, while a number of houses are the same

  212. @Jane Most homeowners under the new standard tax deduction of 12k and 24k, depending on marital status means very few homeowners will be able to even use a tax credit for mortgages and / or the property taxes. The studies show less than 10% of all filers will even itemize their returns. Only the upper middle class coastal elites can effectively use this deduction. They vote Dem all the way these days.

  213. On a local level it has to do without cities are subsidizing development. Right now in Chicago at least it seems to be focused only on the high end of the market (luxury rentals) which further distorts the market but there’s nothing that says that the city couldn’t choose instead to subsidize development at a different price point. It takes imagination on the part of city planners and a desire for people to live in mixed income neighborhoods - both stumbling blocks I realize. I’m just not sure a uniform national policy will be effective when the markets are so varied when you compare different communities. This is also exactly my point about mortgage interest - it only benefits those who don’t need the subsidy.

  214. From private investors to REIT's, the Second Republican Great Depression was a goldmine of opportunity for those with cash. They bought up millions of homes across America that were owned by families before foreclosure. So as people got jobs back - thank you, Obama - they needed housing. Now they can't afford to buy because the number of houses on the market is lower because many are now just being rented. Few homes, higher demand and prices. I'm with Bernie on this one. Hey, also let's limited the foreign owned real estate that sits dark every night. Use it or tax it. Again, housing not available to the masses.

  215. @Jus' Me, NYT The homes were never made available to the little people, even if they had cash. The Great Recession bad loans and foreclosed homes were all sold at extremely low prices in large portfolios to hedge fund billionaires.

  216. “When we’ve left this to private developers, everything from the crash of the housing market to how we’ve seen gentrification just explode in some of the most vulnerable communities, to how we’ve seen people priced out of what would normally be affordable housing — this current crisis is the result of that.” Bernie Sanders just up and went full socialist. Never go full socialist, if only because the implicit totalitarianism is incredibly unsettling. Having values which advocate for a more firm social safety net is one thing. Turning land development into a public utility is a complete departure from a global economic system, which we couldn’t extricate ourselves from if we wanted to.

  217. What are other proposals there to make the housing more affordable?

  218. Bernie has to keep pushing the envelope because he is losing his support to the more articulate Warren. He will be out of the primaries after New Hampshire.

  219. @Bananahead Wait and see if she will do one better on "rent control" than him. "We need to nationalize housing. It's only fair." It's sure to follow. Then, the other lemmings will follow as well.

  220. Affordable housing is an issue but price controls never work. They distort markets in ways never anticipated. Rent control in NYC left elderly occupants in large apartments they did not need while families paid far more for too small apartments. Apartments were kept as rarely used pied-a-terre's by suburban home owners. Relatives put on leases allowed some 20 somethings to have a cheap apartment in Manhattan courtesy of a grandparent while others their age crowded 3 into a one bedroom place. Builders focus on high end expensive units - and get tax breaks for allocating a small number of affordable units won by a lucky few in lotteries. Some tenants know how to play the game and exploit laws designed to protect them. Living in the Bronx in the 80's there was a family on the street renting a house - though they hadn't paid rent on months. The range of rents paid for identical apartments in our building was insane because of rent regulations. Some buildings were owned by large real estate companies who exploited every opportunity to charge more while some buildings were owned by one person who 'invested' in real estate as his retirement plan. The latter could lose a fortune when a tenant would not pay rent, took legal measures to get evicted and left a unit damaged. A common sense approach seems to be lacking as there are always more tenants than landlords.

  221. I failed to see what approach you favor and why.

  222. When you do away with the real estate deduction that has for the last over 2 decades allowed those with large real estate holdings, those like the DT organization, and the Kushner Holdings to pay little if anything in taxes, then, they can't keep accumulating more real estate just because of more access to more loans, when they aren't paying any taxes. That one deduction in the over 70,000 pages of the IRS tax code has driven up the prices of real estate in general. It was lobbyists of the those speculating, lawyers, and the staff members of Congressional members that allowed this to happen. Think that Congress has the average person in mind or cares about how expensive it is for both renting, and buying a property for living in most major cities, where the population lives, think again?! If Congress doesn't want to get rid of that deduction, little will change. Where is the media in asking every member of Congress about their stand on doing away with that real estate deduction? Missing in action! That is how legalized extortion works.

  223. @MaryKayKlassen to this I would add local tax subsidies and rebates that help property developers build luxury housing, much of which sits empty as tax havens for the wealthy.

  224. @MaryKayKlass What makes you so sure of this ? Two bar exams covering all kinds of personal, corporate, partnership, estate taxes and the like ( see e.g. DC Bar exam topics covered) and I would have to this is a trite, media created cliche. Come to the real world, where folks do pay taxes on real estate, depreciation is not that lucrative and you have to eat it eventually. Now if you want eliminate 1031 exchanges, greatly abused in this country, the step up in basis for gifts, bequests, devises etc. than you may have something. If you eliminate capital gains tax treatment, money leaves the US and goes where there zero cap gains taxes in Europe and Asia..

  225. @MaryKayKlassen Interesting that you only mention the holdings of DT and Kushner, as if there are no liberal Democrats with large real estate holdings skirting the laws to make as much profit as possible. In case you haven't noticed, the top .001 percent is made up equally of Republicans and Democrats. That's the American Way. Get used to it.

  226. There are already significant taxes levied on real estate transactions: Transfer fees, recording fees - not to mention property taxes, and capital gains. If voters think that’s not enough, homeowners will find the market significantly less fluid (which overwhelmingly penalizes distressed sellers), and renters will be forced to compete over a dwindling and neglected supply of units in want of capital improvements. Bernie’s proposal can (and will) force businesses out of the housing market (especially smaller businesses), but unless he wants to borrow a page out of Lenin’s playbook, he can’t coerce them into it.

  227. Here’s an idea. Counties with moderate to severe housing shortages should limit single individuals and married couples from owning more than one residence or residential building in the county. This would expand ownership and eliminate speculation and perhaps eliminate the need for rent control.

  228. Take another step back and take another look – true, whatever decreases the incentive to build new housing contributes to increased cost, as demand outstrips availability. That's basic economics. Here's the problem: all of that is predicated on the underlying unshakable assumption, taken as truth, that growth will and must continue. Is that really true? No. A situation with stable population would eliminate the need for additional housing construction, and things would, after a period of adjustment, come to equilibrium. Capitalism says "grow or die". But we can't keep growing, forever. What we need to do is change that mindset to "stabilize and thrive." Yes, this involves finding ways to create incentive for, and societal pressure and normalization of population stabilization. Achieve that, and so many of the problems that we are continually arguing about trying to find solutions for, resolve.

  229. @DS Growth is not necessarily indigenous. Many years ago, one of the warnings about climate change was that it would cause a huge upheaval of populations that could no longer exist in their native lands. We are starting to see the beginnings of that now, with numerous people fleeing from starvation caused by drought-killed farmland. Populations are shifting, and immigration will continue to grow. So how will you attain population stabilization in our country? Keep building walls?

  230. @DS Now you can understand why conservatives see climate change as a Marxist plot. Climate change will kill capitalism just as surely as it will destroy our biosphere as we know it.

  231. In 2007 we bailed out the banks, and the auto makers. We let the Construction industry die. We built very few houses for the next eight years. We add more fees and more regulations for building every year. Driving up the cost of housing. Then we drop interest rates to 1 percent so investees flock to housing as the only way to build a retirement. We all can't collect a government pension.

  232. The idea of housing as shelter, not a commodity, is fascinating! I admire Sanders for having the courage to address the affordable housing issue. The issue is very complicated... and getting a majority agreement for change will be difficult... and no policies will be perfect... and yet, change is needed. During a Sanders administration, I can imagine honest and lively discussions about the serious need for more affordable housing. That discussion is needed! As the US continues on its downward spiral with increasing, colossal income/wealth inequality where the richest .1 percent are taking in over 188 times the income of the bottom 90 percent, bold changes will cost less than coping with a disintegrating society. A civilization built on the foundation of what is profitable is good, and that which is not profitable is bad, is not going to thrive or be harmonious. Cities need to have affordable housing for the people employed in their city. But builders make more profit on high end homes, and cities are always wanting to GROW and attract people with money to spend. American values, profit and unendingly growing the economy, are not compatible with having a decent society. Again, cheers to Sanders for his policy ideas on housing affordability and the role of housing in American society. Serious discussion and change needed! President Sanders 2020! A Future To Believe In!

  233. Any type of rent control is an awful idea that doesn’t work - it’s merely a disincentive to create more rental housing. The solution is easy and three-fold: (1) Actually tax the rich; (2) create incentives to construct and maintain low and middle income housing; and (3) eliminate loopholes like 1031 exchanges, depreciation on appreciating assets and the step up on basis at death.

  234. @Thomas Gibson I am 72 year old small time landlord, 6 homes. After retirement, I bought homes that I could repair myself. The only time I raise rent is when I get a new tenant. Good tenants are gold. I work with people who are late on their rent, and I keep my houses in excellent repair. However, the “loopholes” you mention are part of my profit, and without these “ loopholes” rent would have to be raised. Also, I have read comments saying that landlording is “ just collecting rent money.” The people who believe this should talk to my wife. Rehabbing and renting houses at my level is a part-time job.

  235. Government should be out of the housing market completely. Rent control doesn't help the housing market (and NY just exacerbated the problem with new even tougher rent laws). Don't people ever learn? Government should also be out of implicit mortgage guarantees via Fan and Fred. Canada, elsewhere. seem to function without these.

  236. To me, this is the end of the road for Bernie. I get that he wants to do something big on housing and this country needs something big. But the part of the plan that starts restricting option for homeowners in the sale of their home, and that bars people taking profits out of the sale of a home? No. This is a very bad plan that would never make it through Congress but will cause his candidacy great damage.

  237. Given this latest proposal, it is clear that Bernie is a Socialist, not a social democrat. He wants government controls on almost all areas of the economy.

  238. @Fatso the terms are socialist and democratic socialist. So there really isn’t a difference. Socialism is the economic model in both. I guess the democratic piece just means we still get to vote.

  239. @Fatso I know a woman who lives in a rent controlled apt in SFO. She rents "her" apt on Air-b-n-b and does really well at it. So, she's free market letting the space while the landlord can just look on in amazement. Does this sound fair or reasonable to anyone?

  240. @h king This woman has a rent controlled apt in an International Airport . . . . wow, bet she get's a Gillion a week for it

  241. Rent controls? You can rent for a week rent controlled apartments in NYC from part time owner-occupants (illegal)who inherited them from parents who had them placed under rent controls in WWII to prevent gouging of veterans. This has led to degradation of the inherent value and condition of older apartment buildings in NYC. Sen. Sanders, this is not a good progressive idea.

  242. I would have said that it was impossible to get me to vote for Trump, but if Bernie is the democrat nominee I suppose I'll pull the handle for Trump. Bernie is just like Trump only even worse. Hopefully I'll get to vote for Biden though

  243. Why should I be told when I can and can’t sell my house? I earned the money, I took the loan, I took the risk. This will create permanent underclass neighborhoods.

  244. Programing who should earn what and in what amounts is the root cause of Brexit, the failure of Communism and Socialism. Markets regulate themselves - don't want that ? - great, be ready for the black market where nothing gets done for the tenant unless bribery does it for you - oh dear, are we back to square one? Free enterprise with the lost art of decency works best.

  245. To make this work, we will need to remake the entire economy. Who will build or even renovate ? We will need to control the cost of all building materials, land, contractors, plumbers, electricians, roofers, appliances and labor of all types, which now escalates every 12 months under many states minimum wage laws. Union labor will disappear. Black markets will pop up for everything. Property taxes will go unpaid....Orange County CA automatically increases taxes on property 2% a year.....so much for that 3% annual rental increase. Who will put money in rental properties ! Oh yes...the stock market will be dismantled by the progressive left who is happy to have their money, but won’t allow anyone else that opportunity. So we will all get poorer instead of richer. Bernie has 3 homes. Will he share ? This is really nutty stuff.

  246. What the government should do is use every housing collapse to sell foreclosed homes at bargain basement prices directly to renters and homeowners who lost their homes. Our government should NOT sell ANY foreclosed homes at bargain basement prices to investors, landlords, wall street, or flippers.

  247. This is what should have been done. Instead the foreclosed homes and the mortgages in default were sold only in hundred million plus packages to hedge fund billionaires. They then rented them out. If they had all been sold to homeowners we would not be in this mess today.

  248. Sanders the government to control almost all aspects of our society and life,,,,and then wonders why it is that gun owners feel so strongly about the 2nd Amendment.

  249. Lots of Sturm und Drang here; but nobody is offering up an alternative. In a country were 78% live paycheck to paycheck, and 43% can't come up with $400. in an emergency, our country is facing multiple crises. Affordable housing being one of them. Sanders initiative has done what all his initiatives have done; got us talking about them and how to solve them. Once again he's taking the farther solution and is using his bully pulpit to begin the conversation. His isn't the carrot, his is the stick. DO SOMETHING about it. 'Cause it is a true crises in our country. If we don't he will (if given the chance...). This is how action is started and discussions begun. Sanders was successful in helping the Fight for $15 workers, in places like Amazon, Walmart and Disney by writing punitive legislation when nobody else would. He used his national bully pulpit to bring awareness to the plight of these workers. He used his massive donor base and volunteers to apply pressure and demands directly to the shareholders, the owners and the consumers. The working men 'n women at the largest employers in America WON a doubling of their wages. Not a "plan". Not a "promise". Not a tax gimmick. Boots on the ground action by the workers and pressure brought by We The People demanding fair pay for work. And a politician that cared about the people in America. Larger paychecks in their wallets and purses NOW! TODAY~! This housing initiative is another wake up call. DO SOMETHING or he/we will.

  250. @Dobbys sock "in a country were 78% live paycheck to paycheck, and 43% can't come up with $400."This is the liberal drivel that is driving me bonkers. In 1990 I made $12,000 a year in the Army and in 1995 I made $17,500 starting at the job I remain in to this day. Never in my life have I had to live pay check to pay check and I have always had an emergency fund. No, we did not have new furniture, big screen t.v.'s, designer clothes, new cars or cell phones. But, you know what? My house is now paid for, my four kids are out of college debt free and I don't owe ANYTHING to ANYBODY. Yes, that includes you, you lazy bloodsuckers. I go in your houses all of the time and see how you live. You live like kings and have all of the newest electronic gadgets, t.v.'s, clothes, $1000 cell phones and a new car. You don't save money and run up debts you can't pay and then you want someone to bail you out. You whine about how "life isn't fair, boohoo". Your kids go to college, live off of college loans instead of getting a part time job and party for four years. They never think about how they are going to pay off that $60,000+ debt with a degree in social justice warrior. They didn't fall far from the tree and they too want someone to bail them out. If you don't like the job market, cost of living, or housing market then vote with your feet....MOVE. It is not my responsibility to bail you out for your bad decisions.

  251. Happy to hear Bernie put out a specific detailed proposal that we can actually discuss. I'm all for moral arguments but tell me how we're going to get there.

  252. "a landlord who herself faces financial distress and must get out of the business" This situation, at least, is easily dealt with: A people's committee for social justice can be allowed to judge the bona fides of the situation and offer relief. No chance of that being abused or manipulated.

  253. Landlords will charge the maximum amount that they are legally allowed. The only way to fight unaffordability is to limit that amount. Do non-landlords really think we should not do this?

  254. What really needs to happen is to STOP allowing foreigner oligarchs and billionaires from Saudi, Russia, China and India to buy luxury houses and condos as a place to park their (often laundered) money. Those investment properties sit empty (see London’s “billionaire row”) and drive up prices for real individual buyers who actually need a home. It’s also time to rein in corporate billionaire developers who rate low- to middle-income neighborhoods to build luxury homes... or worse build ticky tacky boxes on the cheap and sell high, also driving up prices for real buyers. An individual buyer cannot outbid a developer when competing for a home on the market.

  255. I largely blame voters who couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Hillary for Donald Trumps victory. So it pains me to say that after reading this article if Bernie Sanders gets the nomination I can’t vote for him. Rent control has never worked anywhere it has been tried and it puts all the burden of solving a societal problem onto the backs of landlords. I’m totally fine if Sanders wants to tax me at a higher rate because I make a decent income, but this policy makes clear that he’s anti-capitalist. At least give people a chance to make money before you take it away from them!

  256. We in Portland Oregon have seen some of these rent control, anti landlord laws being passed that treat landlords as blood suckers. It's not just a cap on rent increases but they've even quashed the ability to sell your house without penalty, loosened ability to reject applicants with criminal background, bad credit history, bad rental history or even inadequate income ratio As a result people like me with a day job that rent out a house or two as a retirement aid are selling and getting out. Only ones left in the market will be big investors who have little relationship with their renters. I was a Bernie supporter last time around but after seeing the fervor of the far left mind, I've had enough. Warren worries me for the same reason.

  257. This is what socialism looks like. Government controlling every aspect of the economy and telling people what they can and cannot do with their property. In addition to his ridiculous proposals on rent control (a disaster on many levels in New York already) he proposes billions to aid first home buyers. Sound familiar? This policy almost cratered the economy a decade ago. Worse, some of the other candidates are walking down the yellow brick road as well. Trump is definitely going to win again if this nonsense continues.