How the Rich Rig Regulations

How the Rich Rig Regulations
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

If you rent or buy a place to live in New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., or any other high-priced city in the country, you're taking a big financial hit from restrictive land-use policies designed to reduce the supply of housing. That's done in the name of “preventing over-development” or “protecting the quality of life,” but in practice, it's a huge transfer of wealth from those who need places to live to those who own existing housing stock, including both homeowners and owners of apartment buildings. The resulting high-priced housing discourages people from moving to where they can get good-paying jobs, thus making the economy less productive and worsening inequality. It also tends to lengthen people's commutes, damaging their physical and mental health and exacerbating air pollution.

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