Editor: In a Jan. 3 letter to the editor, Sachi Cooper argued for rent control in Arlington, despite acknowledging that “rent control might damper Arlington’s economy” and discourage construction of new housing. She thought such harms from rent control would be avoided if it were only “used as a temporary measure.”

But “temporary” rent control inevitably becomes permanent. In 1943, New York City adopted rent control – the “War Emergency Tenant Protection Act” – and 75 years later, it still has rent control.

Economists say rent controls are destructive. In a 1990 poll, 93 percent of them agreed that rent control “reduces the quantity and quality of housing available.”

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