Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday Night History Class: The Bronx in the 1970s and 1980s

In the 1970s and 1980s, in the South Bronx, annual property taxes were often higher than what a landlord was legally allowed to charge for rent under NYC rent controls. This resulted in landlords justifiably neglecting their buildings or abandoning them. Eventually, many building owners hired professional arsonists to torch the buildings for the insurance money.

"Next to bombing, rent control seems in many cases to be the most efficient technique so far known for destroying cities," economist Assar Lindbeck once wrote.


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