Housing Policy

Berliners Endorse Creative New Housing Affordability Plan: Steal Buildings From Private Owners

The nonbinding ballot initiative encourages the city government to expropriate roughly 15 percent of the city's rental housing stock.


Facing a shortage of homes, Berlin voters have endorsed a plan to seize some of the existing stock from its private owners.

On Sunday, 56 percent of voters in the German capital approved a nonbinding ballot initiative that asks the city government to expropriate the holdings of landlords who own 3,000 or more units. That would municipalize roughly 240,000 units, about 15 percent of the city's rental housing stock.

"The majority of Berliners eligible to vote opted for the socialization of the large real estate groups and thus against speculation with living space," announced the organizers of the Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen and Co., according to Deutsche Welle. (Deutsche Wohnen is a large real estate company.)

Organizers of the referendum want Berlin's government to make use of an eminent domain article in the German federal constitution to seize the holdings of Deutsche Wohnen and other large landlords, pay "well below market value" for them, and then rent the apartments at more affordable rates to current residents.

The immediate practical effects of the vote are minimal. It does not require Berlin's government to consider an expropriation law, let alone to pass one. It nevertheless puts pressure on politicians to take up the measure.

"Ignoring the referendum would be a political scandal. We will not give up until the socialization of housing groups is implemented," Kalle Kunkel, one of the Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen and Co. organizers, told Reuters.

It's also a symbolic victory for a particular left-wing approach to solving housing affordability issues in large, high-cost cities—one that focuses more on redistributing existing housing stock than on building new units.

Elected officials from Canada to California see it as an example to follow.

On the ground in Berlin, expropriation proponents face a number of practical hurdles.

It is unclear whether mass seizures of private apartments would be constitutional. In 2019, legal advisors for Berlin's House of Representatives have said that it would be, reports Deutsche Welle. But a real estate lawyer who spoke with the publication argued that the courts would quickly shoot it down, saying that the 3,000-unit cut-off is arbitrary and that paying below market value would violate the country's constitution.

The city's incoming mayor, Social Democrat Franziska Giffey, has said that an expropriation bill should be considered in order to respect the will of the voters. But she doubts the legislation will be constitutional, and she thinks the policy is a bad idea either way.

"Expropriations do not help to create even a single new apartment or solve the big question of affordable housing," she told a local broadcaster.

In addition to not creating any new housing, the plan would be very expensive. The Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen campaign has estimated that compensating the current owners of the targeted property would cost only €8 billion ($10.5 billion)—about €34,000 per unit. But Berlin's Senate has estimated it could cost €20 billion, and some estimates have come in as high as €36 billion (€150,000 per unit).

Earlier this year, the city agreed to buy 14,750 apartments from two large landlords for €2.46 billion (or €166,000 per unit), which is in line with top-end estimates. The city spent a similar amount per unit acquiring 6,000 units of formerly public housing in 2019. That all suggests the top-line estimates of expropriation's costs are more realistic.

And that money would come at the cost of new development for a city that is already suffering from a severe housing shortage.

The real estate company Guthmann Estate estimates that Berlin is short some 205,000 units. A study from the German Economic Institute says the country as a whole has been building only about 80 percent of the homes it needs to keep up with demand.

A socialist critique of Berlin's expropriation plan would be that it would give billions of euros to private real estate companies to purchase existing units when that money could be spent on building new, public housing to accommodate the city's growth.

A free marketer, meanwhile, could argue that seizing 15 percent of the city's rental housing stock would be a massive disincentive to developers to build new, private units. They'd have a very real fear that the state would expropriate their investment and not even pay market rates for it.

Tenants in newly seized units obviously benefit from the lower rents that would come from government ownership. Everyone else would be worse off, as they'd be forced to compete for a smaller share of private units.

This is in effect what happened with Berlin's brief experiment with a law that froze rents at apartments built before 2014. Rents did indeed stop rising in regulated units, benefiting the tenants who lived in them. But prices shot up dramatically for unregulated units. (In April 2021 Germany's constitutional court struck down Berlin's rent control.)

The number of regulated units on the rental market also collapsed, while new listings for unregulated units weren't enough to pick up the slack.

The rent control represented "a windfall to one group of tenants: those, whether rich or poor, who are already ensconced in regulated apartments," wrote Bloomberg columnist Andreas Kluth in March. "Simultaneously, they hurt all other groups—especially young people and those coming from other cities—by all but shutting them out of the market."

There is robust evidence that new housing, even expensive new housing, makes cities more affordable for everyone. Berlin's leaders should consider ways to boost housing production so the city can continue to grow and thrive, instead of just redistributing existing units to benefit a minority of incumbent renters.

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  1. You know else confiscated private property in Berlin?

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    2. The more things change, the more they stay the same…..

    3. He is so proud. Looking up from hell at his children following his teachings.

    4. The GDR concrete wall, barbed wire, and land mine beautification committee?

      1. Damn capitalist barbarians just couldn’t leave the socialist utopia of East Germany alone.

    5. Thought the same thing.

      Something something happened there.

      1. Or so the Germans would have us believe.

    6. I guess memories of the Cold War era have faded.

    7. Yes, this is not a “new affordable housing plan; Germany’s going to produce another Bernie Sanders, and ‘soak the greedy, rich [fill in the blan], who got us in this mess.

  2. Don’t build new housing, provide 15% of the existing housing at cheaper rents, can anyone predict the outcome of this scenario? Will it actually provide more housing?

    East Germany. Once East Germany always East Germany. Next year they vote on whether to bring back the Stasi.

    1. Next year they vote on whether to bring back the Stasi.

      That can be outsourced to Silicon Valley. No need to bring it back.

    2. Not to mention that the government-managed housing will be poorly maintained, have inferior services, attract criminals, and quickly become unlivable.

      1. you sound as if it’s been tried before somewhere

      2. East German Chic. It’s a thing. Really.

      3. Cabrini Greene but with better beer choices

    3. As I’ve said to my son…there’s always a pressing need to steal something or oppress somebody. It takes real morality to not succumb to these pressing needs.

      1. You mean, like stealing property rights from web site owners? If the web site goes to shit, ’cause the site owner gets inundated with horrible posts that the owner can’t take down, and the site owner gets boycotted, we just get Government Almighty to MANDATE buying the site’s magazines? From where do we get the morality to resist the temptation to take over the property rights of web site owners? Maybe Government Almighty can be FORCED, by our votes, to issue us some standard-issue (“GI”) morality? Would THAT work, maybe? Can you study that, please, and get back to us?

        Hey Damiksec, damiskec, and damikesc, and ALL of your other socks…
        How is your totalitarian scheme to FORCE people to buy Reason magazines coming along?

        Free speech (freedom from “Cancel Culture”) comes from Facebook, Twitter, Tik-Tok, and Google, right? THAT is why we need to pass laws to prohibit these DANGEROUS companies (which, ugh!, the BASTARDS, put profits above people!)!!! We must pass new laws to retract “Section 230” and FORCE the evil corporations to provide us all (EXCEPT for my political enemies, of course!) with a “UBIFS”, a Universal Basic Income of Free Speech!

        So leftist “false flag” commenters will inundate Reason-dot-com with shitloads of PROTECTED racist comments, and then pissed-off readers and advertisers and buyers (of Reason magazine) will all BOYCOTT Reason! And right-wing idiots like Damikesc will then FORCE people to support Reason, so as to nullify the attempts at boycotts! THAT is your ultimate authoritarian “fix” here!!!

        “Now, to “protect” Reason from this meddling here, are we going to REQUIRE readers and advertisers to support Reason, to protect Reason from boycotts?”
        Yup. Basically. Sounds rough. (Quote damikesc)


        See https://reason.com/2020/06/24/the-new-censors/#comment-8316852

      2. You’re a fucking authoritarian asshole who can NEVER find the humility to take back the utter, complete asshole things that you’ve said! WHEN are you going to grow up? WHEN are you REALLY going to be a genuinely GOOD (“morality”, my ass!) example to your son?

        “Humility”… Does it mean a DAMNED thing to you?!??!

        Humility is a MUCH underappreciated virtue! See this: https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/12/27/army-has-introduced-new-leadership-value-heres-why-it-matters.html Even in a supposedly “proud” profession, wise leaders treasure humility!

        1. Spastic asshole gets flagged

          1. The below poetry is dedicated to Super-Perv-Predator-Sevo the Pedo, Hippo in a Speedo,
            AKA “SmegmaLung”!

            Sitting on a park bench
            Eyeing little boys with bad intent
            Snot’s running down his nose
            Greasy fingers smearing shabby clothes
            Hey, Smegmalung!
            Drying in the cold sun
            Watching as the frilly panties run
            Hey, Smegmalung!
            Feeling like a dead duck
            Spitting out pieces of his broken luck
            Oh, Smegmalung!
            Sun streaking cold
            A hateful man wandering lonely
            Insulting others the only way he knows
            Brain hurts bad as he tries to think
            Goes down to the bog to spread his stink
            Feeling alone
            The army’s up the road
            Salvation a la mode and a cup of tea
            Smegmalung, my friend
            Don’t you start away uneasy
            You poor old sod
            You see, it’s only me
            By you insulting me,
            The rotting goes to thee!

            1. spastic asshole earns another flag.

              1. The below poetry is dedicated to Super-Perv-Predator-Sevo the Pedo, Hippo in a Speedo.

                He’s a real pedo man
                Playing with his pedo gland
                Dropping his smegma across the land
                Doesn’t have a point of view
                Knows not where he’s going to
                Butt he spews stupid insults at you!
                Pedo man, please listen
                You don’t know what you’re missin’
                Smegma man, the world is at your command
                He’s as blind as he can be
                Just sees what he wants to see
                Pedo man, can you see me at all
                Smegma man don’t worry
                Take your time, don’t hurry
                Leave it all ’til somebody else
                Lends you a hand
                Ah, la, la, la, la
                Doesn’t have a point of view
                Knows not where he’s going to
                Butt he spews stupid insults at you!
                Pedo man, please listen
                You don’t know what you’re missin’
                Smegma man, the world is at your command

                1. Are you trying to smear Sevo for something Shrike did? There’s only one person who posted links to kiddie porn here, and it wasn’t Sevo.

          2. He’s been muted from day one.

            Nothing was lost. I have four people on mute. He was my first.

            1. But then you missed him admitting he’s a racist.

            2. You ALSO put on mute, your small little inner voice of your conscience, don’t you, Damned-And-Sick?

            3. Only four? I have at least a dozen.

          3. Those 3,000 apartments are not already occupied?
            So they take the buildings from the corporation now owning it.
            And give it to whom? A government corporation?
            And lower the rent?
            And then don’t build a single new building.
            I see that helping the people already in the building.
            But everyone else is no better off.
            I predict the current renters will be unhappy with the new, government management very soon.

    4. See something say something, Total Information Awareness, Know Your Customer, deputized Post Office employees…. the Stasi are already here.

    5. Came to say the same. this will actually reduce available housing for people who make to much to apply for government housing but not enough to now buy a home in a shrinking supply of buyable homes whose price will go up. these people are stupid. why build when you can steal

  3. It’s the extortion inherent in socialism.

    “Ve would like you to lower our rents. Dat is a nice apartment building you haf dere and it would be a shame if it vas nationalized.”

    1. *there’s* the violence inherent in the system!

    2. This was a public referendum. Democracy turns into socialism when people realize they can vote for other peoples money.

  4. This is the same Germany looking to replace Merkel with some far lefty socialists so not surprised.

    The far left socialists helped create all of the terrible dictatorships of the 20th century. Oh they tried to say it was “right wing” or conservatives, but of course they lied about it to cover their tracks.

    1. No no no. The German Socialist Workers’ Party was totes right wing.

  5. fallout from letting half of Syria relocate?

    1. A berliner is, also, a donut. A jelly donut, usually.

      1. “I’m a Frankfurter, a Hamburger and a Donut…”

        1. Curiously, in Berlin, a berliner is not a donut. They just call the jelly donut a Pfannkuchen. It’s everywhere else that it’s a Berliner Pfannkuchen.

          I think Frankfurter Wurstchen is older than Weiners, which have pork and beef. Vienna is less of a pork capital than Frankfurt was I guess. But that may be BS as I learned the fact at a sausage stand during the museumsuferfest a while back and they sure seemed exceedingly proud of their sausage. I think we can all relate to that fact, though.

      2. A berliner is also kinderbier. It’s a weissbier with flavored syrup.

    2. And a New Yorker is a magazine. And a deserter doesn’t live in the Mojave. And city chicken isn’t chicken. And Quad Cities contains 5 cities. And there’s 14 teams in the Big Ten. And there’s 10 teams in the Big Twelve……..

        1. Well he did leave sporting a hole.

          1. And made a sport of filling holes.

  6. Up next, SA and communists fighting in the street.

  7. Germans organizing into a mass socialist group. Please I know most shows are reboots, but this one is sooooo played out, next thing you know they will all be donning the Charlie Chaplin mustache, and raising their right arm straight out

    1. Meh, they are no more going down the road to resurrecting Nazi-ism than San Francisco or New York is.

      1. Right it’s not like they’ll start denying unpopular minorities entrance into restaurants or other basic services if they don’t present the right papers. Hah.

        1. That’s different because I want it.

          — Dee

        2. Was in Berlin a month ago, can confirm, had to show vax card to get into a couple of places. Of course, I had to show it to get on the flight into the country, too. Welcome to the new normal.

        3. It is just a gold star you must wear.

      2. they are no more going down the road to resurrecting Nazi-ism than San Francisco or New York is

        So they’re definitely resurrecting Nazi-ism then?

    2. Fun thing, my grandma who was a teacher during the thirties and forties, said that the US Pledge of Allegiance was very similar to the Nazi salute. It would start with the hand over the heart, then the arm would swing out pointed forward and up, just like the Nazis.

      They got rid of that shortly after the Nazis came to power and showed their true colors. I guess in some places they continued it a bit longer.

      p.s. Which all makes sense because the Pledge of Allegiance is a socialist thing. Why the hell do we teach our children to pledge to a flag? While the individual phrases are pablum, overall it’s a pledge that is anti-individual and pro-collective. Pledging to flags and nations is something the Nazis and Soviets did.

  8. Corporations aren’t private owners. There’s no inherent right for a corporation to gobble up stock and force everyone to be a renter.

    1. Sure there is. I have a right to sell my house to a corporation. They can do what they want with it.

    2. This ballot initiative applied to corporation who control 3000 or more units. It is likely they didn’t get to a huge number like that by “gobbling up” existing units. It is likely they financed the construction of large apartment buildings and complexes.

      1. And is anyone surprised that this asshole missed the point by at least a time-zone?

    3. Huh? What? Stock exists solely as a creation of the corporation. So they can no more gobble up stock than a lawn can gobble up grass.

      Corporations are partnerships of human beings. That is all. What differs a three person partnership from a three person corporation is the limited liability. Which is necessary once you have firms owned by more than a few individuals. It’s a way for the free market to provide larger firms without having to resort to government charters and privilege. It does require a legal system however, so government is involved.

      Now there are tax and regulatory structures government has put in place that encourage the corporations of immense size. But the problem are those structures, not the corporations themselves.

      p.s. Treating corporations as “legal persons” is not the source of the problem. In fact, treating a corporation as a legal person is the only way individuals can sue a corporation. Otherwise you’re trying to subpoena the name on a sign in front of a building.

  9. Rhomann Dey : I have a family who are alive because of you. Your criminal records have also been expunged. However, I have to warn you against breaking any laws in the future.

    Rocket Raccoon : Question. What if I see something that I want to take, and it belongs to someone else?

    Rhomann Dey : Well you will be arrested.

    Rocket Raccoon : But what if I want it more than the person who has it?

    Rhomann Dey : Still illegal.

    Rocket Raccoon : That doesn’t follow. No, I want it more, sir. Do you understand?

    We joke about this children’s shows but we live in a world where people who pretend to be responsible will do it if we let them. See, they want it more than the people who have it.

  10. Yeah, that’s one way to keep home prices down, by making owning something a lot less certain. Buy it now, have it stolen later. People tend to not pay so much under those conditions.

    1. What will happen is all the rentals will become co-ops that the corporations will be in charge of no more renters. there is always a lopol for corporations but it will hurt present renters who can’t afford to buy in.

  11. This is why it’s always funny when left wingers cite the rule of law as if it’s something they support.

    1. As long as they can make (and change) the laws, they love rules.

      1. Rule of Law is a bigger concept than following the written law. It includes not subverting contracts and ownership and not creating appropriative laws.

        1. Are you suggesting that law and legislation are not synonyms?

          I said that before. People still haven’t stopped laughing about it.

          1. Not only is legislation not synonymous with law, neither is issuing executive orders. So Biden’s orders aren’t law. But wait for it… neither were Trump’s!

            Congress is asleep at the wheel. It has abrogated its powers to the presidency, and half its powers they stole form the states to begin with, or invented out of whole cloth.

            Which is why we now have an elected king. And both sides want to keep it that way.

          2. That’s not what you said, rather you stupidly misdefined them:

            February.7.2021 at 2:27 pm
            So there’s a difference between law (what society deems to be wrong) and legislation (rules backed with government force)?
            No way!

            Mother’s Lament
            February.7.2021 at 2:50 pm
            Yeah, that’s not the definition of “law”, sarc, that’s the definition of immorality.
            The definition of law is roughly what you gave for legislation (which you also got wrong). To quote an encyclopedia:
            “Law is a system of rules created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,[2][3][4][5]… It has been variously described as a science[6][7] and the art of justice.”


      2. Living constitutions, living laws…
        Why does this kind of life seem to lead to decay and death?

    2. This is a right-wing trait, too. It’s a pretty common human trait.

        1. He repeats that like it’s his only job. When he wakes up in the morning his conditioning requires him to repeat “I must protect the left, I must protect the left” the entire day.

          1. In what sense was my comment protecting the left in any way?

          2. I doubt it’s her only job, but she does get paid to do it.

        2. You’re being facetiously stupid, but it’s true. Both sides. The reason we harp on both sides is because your side seemed to forget all about it when your side was in power.

          Republicans: “Where did you learn to be an authoritarian?”
          Democrats: “From you! We learned it from you!”

          This goes all the way back to Reagan, no wait, Nixon, no wait, Truman, no wait… it goes all the way back to Lincoln. Hang on, I’ll come in again. It goes all the way back to Washington. The growth of the power of the presidency has grown with each and every president, with only the fewest of exceptions. We have now reached the point where presidents have the power of kings. Our next president will be worse still, doesn’t matter if he is Democrat or Republican, he will be worse.

          1. The reason we harp on both sides is because your side seemed to forget all about it when your side was in power.

            You don’t harp on both sides though. You only go after the right usually, as in this case, to protect the left by insisting there is no difference even when there is.

  12. Another opportunity to use a time machine. Just gather all the wanna-be commies to the eastern side of the city and send them back about 40 years. Would they learn anything?

    1. Are they the ones behind this, though? Everyone I personally know who escaped from the Iron Curtain is pretty anti-socialism.

      1. Socialism is a pretty natural belief because it works for families and tribal groups, which is how humans lived for hundreds of thousands of years. Problem is that it doesn’t scale well. Once groups get big enough that shirkers can hide, it breaks down.

        1. Yeah man ya nailed it!

          See “Dunbar’s number” on the scaling thing… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_number

          1. You here stories about successful politicians (for example, Bill Clinton) being scary good at remembering faces, names, and personal details, and being able to talk to someone “like they are the only person in the room.”

            I wonder if they have brains that can handle a higher Dunbar number than the average person’s.

            1. I’m pretty sure Clinton’s Dunbar number was 1. Bill Clinton. The man was a sociopath. That he made others feel like they were more than a tool to him was part of his magic, for sure.

              1. I’ve known people like that. Who remember everyone. Some people are people people.

        2. Once groups get big enough that shirkers can hide

          Shirkers aren’t hiding, they’re the ones in charge. Unless we’re pretending calling everyone who disagrees with you greedy, racist and sexist counts as production.

          1. Everything is personal with you.

            1. Everything is personal with you.

              Considering you admit your purpose here is being an asshole to everyone else it’s hard to give a shit what you think.

              But even aside from this it’s hard to understand how anyone could be stupid enough to conclude opposing scapegoating and demagoguery is “personal”.

              1. Yet another example of how far conservatives have fallen, that they consider ad hominems to be logical arguments. Don’t believe him! He admitted to this! It’s the only truth he ever said! That used to be a leftist tactic.

                1. sarcasmic
                  September.27.2021 at 9:55 pm
                  Flag Comment Mute User
                  Yet another example of how far conservatives have fallen, that they consider ad hominems to be logical arguments.

                  September.27.2021 at 8:56 pm
                  Flag Comment Mute User
                  Everything is personal with you.

                  I think I’ve discovered your problem sarc. You’ve confused hypocrisy with sarcasm.

                  1. Ah you beat me to it. Yeah he literally did exactly what he claimed to hate.

                    1. No worries. He does it a lot, you’ll have many more opportunities to call him a hypocrite.

                2. He replied to your ad hominem. You redirected by attacking personally. Ironically your reply was “everything is personal to you”, then accused him of using ad hominems, by using more of them.

                  Honestly one wonders how you actually function, but it’s fun to kick you in the nuts every day.

                3. It’s amusing you can’t tell the difference between your personal opinions and logical arguments.

          2. You really don’t understand what I said. Google Russ Roberts if you’re actually interested.

      2. I suspect most of the commies-in-training are the coddled offspring of capitalists. Maybe they are just hating on mommy and daddy.

        1. That would be my guess, too.

      3. Everyone I personally know who escaped from the Iron Curtain is pretty anti-socialism.

        These are proles. The people in charge of communist governments never left. They just changed their brand to social democrat while continuing to believe exactly the same things.

        1. Power people stayed. Productive people left.

        2. But this article is about a ballot initiative, which means the people of Berlin voted for it, not the “people in charge”.

      4. Some people didn’t escape. Some people stayed where they were when the walls came down. And even if they didn’t like their regime, they were still raised in a system where all problems were solved by the government.

  13. Been ~30 years, but you’d think dad or grand-dad would point out the ‘advantages’ of government-owned housing.

  14. I guess the Germans were too busy trying to conquer Europe in 1944 to pass their own Public Health Service Act, like we did, which would allow them to enforce an eviction moratorium 76 years later.

    1. By 1944, the national socialists were getting pushed back west by the red army and waiting for the inevitable invasion from the western allies along the English Channel. Stalingrad was in their rearview mirror. They weren’t rolling over but the war was lost as were dreams of conquering anything else.

    2. “I guess the Germans were too busy trying to conquer Europe in 1944 to pass their own Public Health Service Act, like we did, which would allow them to enforce an eviction moratorium 76 years later.”

      Worthy of the spastic asshole, right there.

  15. People need to stop arguing “meh it costs too much money!”

    It doesn’t matter if it were fucking free. The people with Socialism isn’t the cost or that it doesn’t work. It’s that is immoral.

    Individualist / Market economies are not great because they give the best outcomes, that is a nice side effect. They are great because they are the only moral system.

    You have no fucking right to anyone else’s labor. You are a thug if you use the government gun to take what you want. You are no better than a thief robbing someone at gunpoint. In many ways you are worse

    1. But some retards cannot relate labor to product. They only see stuff they don’t have, and since they have no idea how to make or earn stuff, they feel entitled to take stuff (which they again do not correlate with taking the labor of someone else).

    2. Yes, but most people don’t care. Most people will cheat in a game of solitaire if they don’t think people are looking. So you have to appeal to their pragmatic sense as well.

      If everyone operating according to morality we would not need police, and only the smallest of legal system to adjudicate disputes over different yet honest interpretations of contracts. Such a utopia does not exist, and never will. Instead we need to appeal to people’s self interest, thus the emphasis on the costs and damage of socialism.

  16. Take college for example. It is immoral to force people who chose not to go to college to pay for those that did.

    It is immoral to force people who made smart decisions (going to a reasonable college, graduating on time, getting a useful degree, actually worked hard) to pay for those that did not (went to a high prices private school, got a useless degree, took 9 years to graduate, partied all the time or did nothing but ‘activism’)

    It is immoral to force others to pay for your bad decisions. It is immoral to bail people out who made bad decisions while punishing those that did not.

    This is the entire program of the left. Every single policy they advocate for is to punish people who work hard and reward people who don’t.

    I used to live with one of these fuckers. Never worked a hard day in his life, was toxic at his workplace, got a useless degree and just had fun all through college. He did not believe in merit or hard work because of some leftist bullshit about blah blah blah.

    The entire democrat party appeals to degenerates like him.

    1. Looks good, but I can’t understand their crazy moon language.

  17. The retardedness of progs never fails to amaze me. I really do hope they try this in NYC, SF, and DC, but they won’t because they know who pays the bills.

  18. Why not expropriate all housing stock and form a government corporation to manage housing in the public interest.

    After all, this works so well with roads.

    1. Why not declare an eviction moratorium? Then it won’t matter if the rent’s too damn high.

    2. It used to work fairly well with roads. Then something happened and the potholes grew. I think we had a surplus of expropriated funds and built a too many roads for the road bureaucracy to administer.

  19. Mr Gorbachev, bring back that wall!

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    It says that QB needs help connecting to the company file, because it is on another machine and is now running QB error code H202. A QB user will get a problem opening a company file placed on another machine if this issue happens. quickbookserrorfix

  21. Funny how the Soviet Union didn’t even need to fight to win in the end. Seems like the GDR is back, minus the Communist aesthetics.

    Also doesn’t surprise me that Germans have forgotten the lesson of the Holocaust. They’re already back to “profit is evil.” Thank goodness almost everyone left after WWII left.

    1. Woah, slow down. A little over 50% of the people in Berlin voted for a non-binding initiative, which hasn’t been acted on yet. Germany has courts where landlords can challenge the new law if it is actually implemented. It’s a bit premature to announce the return of the Soviet Union.

      1. But the fact that half the people think this is a good idea is rather ominous.

      2. When someone argues we shouldn’t oppose something until it’s already implemented and therefore too late to stop would you consider them opposed to the idea or a supporter of it a la Wormtoungue.

  22. “If rent controls are imposed that are lower than rents dictated by market forces, an excess demand for apartments almost immediately appears, Over time, if the demand for apartments increases, the shortage grows worse, leading to long waiting lists.” – Prof. Joseph Salerno, Pace University
    “In many cases, rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city — except for bombing.” – Swedish Economist, Assar Lindbeck
    “Rent control has in certain Western countries constituted, maybe, the worst example of poor planning by Governments lacking courage and vision.” – Swedish Economist, Gunnar Myrdal
    “Rent-control laws disproportionately benefit the non-poor because the elite pull strings, work the system and are better connected than the non-poor.” – Broadcaster, Larry Elder
    “When we hear about rent control or gun control, we may think about rent or guns but the word that really matters is ‘control.’ That is what the political left is all about, as you can see by the incessant creation of new restrictions in places where they are strongly entrenched in power, such as San Francisco or New York.” – American Economist, Thomas Sowell
    “Rent control is one policy that economists universally would oppose. It is a grossly inefficient way of allocating housing space and, of course, it inhibits construction and creates the very thing it is supposed to alleviate. It is one of those things where people simply don’t understand simple economics and, therefore, put in for political reasons what will damage the very people that it is designed to help. Minimum wage levels are another classic example.” – American Economist, James M. Buchanan
    “Sellers in general maintain the quality of their products and services for fear of losing customers otherwise. But when price controls create a situation where the amount demanded is greater than the amount supplied – a shortage – fear of losing customers is no longer as strong an incentive. For example, landlords typically reduce painting and repairs when there is rent control, because there is no need to fear vacancies when there are more tenants looking for apartments than there are apartments available.” – American Economist, Thomas Sowell
    “These people talk of a “middle-of-the-road” policy. What they do not see is that the isolated interference, which means the interference with only one small part of the economic system, brings about a situation which the government itself — and the people who are asking for government interference — find worse than the conditions they wish to abolish: the people who are asking for rent control are very angry when they discover there is a shortage of apartments and a shortage of housing.” – Austrian School Economist, Historian, and Sociologist, Ludwig von Mises

  23. Why does everyone have to live in the same city? If there is no housing, move elsewhere. Yes, this is a rhetorical question. Socialists have a right to live wherever they want for free.

  24. “Tenants in newly seized units obviously benefit from the lower rents that would come from government ownership.”

    Does this ever actually happen?

    1. Short term, they do. But then the lower rents and absentee (government) management attract undesirable tenants. Vandalism happens. Blocks and then whole communities get overrun with crime and nuisances. And because it’s the law citywide, you have to lose your job to move away from the problem.

      Ultimately this is why the population needs to be armed. So they can draw the line right here and defend it.

  25. Frightening that anyone would think that this could possibly help the housing crisis.
    Just a couple of problems: Do we also do away with credit checks, or income requirements? And when tenants stop paying (as during a pandemic, say), does the city pick up the tab?

    1. And who pays for maintenance, repairs, and modernization? The government is already funding the purchase. Then, the government would have to fund all of the operation cost minus the reduced rent that occupants would produce.

      If viewed for all of the practical problems this proposal would create, it makes one wonder who would vote for it.

    2. At least the Germans got the banks to lend and the developers to build and invest before they talked about confiscation. Construction lending and risk assessment in lefty states will adjust.

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  27. Berliners Endorse Creative New Housing Affordability Plan: Steal Buildings From Private Owners

    There is nothing “new” or “creative” about this. Berliners voted for the same crap in the 1920’s and 1930’s, and Democrats are itching to do the same in the US.

  28. These Germans are amateurs. They should do it the American way. Let an unelected bureaucracy prohibit landlords from evicting tenants who don’t pay their rent.
    What is German for “CDC?”

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