“Californians overall made sensible, or at least understandable, decisions with the various ballot measures presented to them this Election Day.
Among the better calls made by California voters was the resounding rejection of Proposition 10.
Prop. 10 called for the repeal of the 1995 Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which limits the ability of local governments to impose rent control policies.
Passage of Prop. 10 would have encouraged rent control advocates across the state to push for well-intended but economically counterproductive rent control policies.
While superficially appealing because it promises lower rents — who wouldn’t want a lower rent? — rent control has long been established to have the effect of stifling housing development, undercutting property values and contributing to higher rents on non-rent controlled units. That rent control doesn’t work is one of the few fundamental laws of economics that academics both liberal and conservative are in almost unanimous agreement on.
By defeating Prop. 10 by over 20 percentage points, Californians demonstrated an important ability to see through superficially compelling appeals for artificial government intervention in the housing market.
Now, we urge all who should be concerned about the high cost of housing to shift their attention toward policies and reforms that might actually help make California a more affordable place to live.
Another positive set of votes were the rejection of special interest backed Propositions 3 and 8. Prop. 3 was a water bond that would have given away too much money to Central Valley water agencies with too little vetting. Meanwhile, Prop. 8 was a cynical attempt by the SEIU-UHW unions to lash out at certain dialysis companies.
Voter rejection of these measures should discourage special interests from misusing the initiative process.”