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Flu vaccination rate holds steady but misinformation about flu and Covid-19 persists

PHILADELPHIA – Although the public had been alerted that this winter could be a potentially bad flu season, barely half of Americans said in January…



PHILADELPHIA – Although the public had been alerted that this winter could be a potentially bad flu season, barely half of Americans said in January that they had received a flu shot, a vaccination level unchanged in a representative national panel from the comparable period last year, according to a new Annenberg Science Knowledge (ASK) survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

Credit: Annenberg Public Policy Center

PHILADELPHIA – Although the public had been alerted that this winter could be a potentially bad flu season, barely half of Americans said in January that they had received a flu shot, a vaccination level unchanged in a representative national panel from the comparable period last year, according to a new Annenberg Science Knowledge (ASK) survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

The panel survey, fielded with over 1,600 U.S. adults, finds that many have a base of knowledge about the flu but there is a reservoir of uncertainty about other consequential information about the flu, Covid-19, and vaccination. Among the findings of the ASK survey, which also inquired more broadly about attitudes toward vaccine mandates and the continuing “return to normal”:

  • Nearly half of Americans (49%) do not know it is safe to get a flu shot during pregnancy.
  • Over half of Americans (53%) say the Army should be able to require Covid-19 vaccination for soldiers who do not have a medical or religious exemption – and a plurality (45%) say public schools should be able to require Covid-19 vaccination of all children who do not have a medical or religious exemption.
  • Only 10% of those who had heard of NFL player Damar Hamlin’s on-field collapse think that vaccination was connected to his cardiac arrest – but many more are not sure whether the rate of heart-related deaths has increased among young athletes over the past three years.
  • More than half of Americans (52%) now say their lives have returned to a pre-pandemic normal, up significantly from 47% in October 2022.

“Although the CDC indicated that seasonal flu activity is now low nationally, the fact that the level of reported flu vaccination in our panel was roughly the same in January of this year as a year before is concerning,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center. “Because this has been a more severe flu season than the one a year ago, we expected an increase in the reported vaccination rate.”

The nationally representative panel of 1,657 U.S. adults surveyed by SSRS for the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania from January 10-16, 2023, was the tenth wave of an Annenberg Science Knowledge survey whose respondents were first empaneled in April 2021. The margin of sampling error (MOE) is ± 3.2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. See the Appendix and Methodology for question wording and additional information.

What the public knows: The flu and flu shot

The latest wave of the ASK survey finds that many people know the basics about the flu:

  • Handwashing: 93% of respondents know that washing your hands helps you avoid getting sick from or spreading the seasonal flu.
  • Getting the flu again: 83% know it’s possible to get the flu more than once in a flu season.
  • Vaccine effectiveness: 77% know that the effectiveness of the seasonal flu shot in the United States can vary from year to year.
    • However, 19% of respondents also think, incorrectly, that the effectiveness of the measles vaccine can vary from year to year and 40% are not sure.
    • Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed (73%) think the seasonal flu shot is effective at reducing the risk of getting the flu this year.
  • Mask-wearing: 77% know that wearing a high-quality, well-fitting mask helps limit the spread of flu.
  • Contagion: 76% know it’s possible to spread the seasonal flu to others even if you have no symptoms.
    • 14% of our respondents say they have had the flu this season. Of this group, 8% had no symptoms; 29% had mild symptoms; 43% had moderate symptoms; and 19% had severe symptoms.

A majority of the public knows that the following claims are false:

  • Flu vaccine and Covid-19: Three-quarters (77%) know it’s false to say that the seasonal flu shot increases your risk of getting Covid-19 – though 6% incorrectly think this is true and 17% are not sure whether it is true or false. (See APPC’s project to learn more about the false claim linking the flu shot and Covid-19.)
  • Better late than never: 71% know it’s false to say that if you haven’t gotten your flu shot by November, there’s no value in getting it – though 11% incorrectly think this is true and 18% are not sure. (The CDC recommends vaccination even after November because significant flu activity can continue into May.)
  • Cold weather: Nearly two-thirds (65%) know it’s false to say that cold weather causes the flu – but a third either incorrectly think this is true (22%) or are not sure (13%).
  • The flu can be treated: 64% of respondents know it’s false to say there is no treatment for the flu – but 23% incorrectly think this is true and 13% are not sure if it is true.

Areas of uncertainty

But there are important claims about the flu that substantial parts of the public are confused about:

  • Pregnancy: Almost half (49%) do not know that it is safe to get a flu shot during pregnancy, including the 10% who think it is not safe and 39% who are unsure. Just 51% know it is safe.
  • Get flu from the shot? 46% do not know you cannot get the flu from the flu shot, including 29% who think you can get the flu from the shot and 16% who are not sure.
  • Antibiotics and the flu: 45% do not know that the flu cannot be treated with antibiotics, including 25% who think it can be treated with antibiotics and 20% who are unsure.
  • Antibiotics and viruses: 40% do not know that antibiotics do not work on viruses such as those that cause colds, the flu, and Covid-19 – including 20% who think it is false to say antibiotics don’t work on viruses, and 20% who are unsure.

Attitudes toward flu vaccination

  • Tamiflu: Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed (65%) disagree with the statement that there’s no need for a flu shot because they can always use Tamiflu to treat flu symptoms.
  • Breakthrough infections: 58% disagree with the statement that breakthrough seasonal flu infections are evidence that flu shots don’t work – though 15% agree and 26% neither agree nor disagree.
  • Danger to children: 57% disagree with the statement that children do not need the seasonal flu shot because they are at a low risk of death from the flu – though 18% agree and 25% neither agree nor disagree.
  • Flu shots for all: Just 41% agree that every person older than six months should get a flu shot every year – 33% disagree and 26% neither agree nor disagree. The CDC recommends a flu shot every season for nearly everyone six months and older.

How many have had a flu shot and why

The ASK survey in January 2023 finds that 49% of respondents say they have had a seasonal flu shot, statistically unchanged from 47% in our January 2022 survey and 50% in April 2021. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 46% of U.S. adults 18 and older had a flu shot as of December 31, 2022.

The CDC actively promoted flu vaccination amid concerns that the 2022-23 season would be severe.

When the 49% of survey respondents who said they got the flu vaccine were asked in January why they got the shot (multiple responses were permitted):

  • 69% said I get it every year (down from 78% in January 2022)
  • 64% said to protect myself against catching the flu (up from 44% in January 2022)
  • 8% said to protect myself against Covid-19 (unchanged from 9% in January 2022)
  • 25% said because it is recommended by the CDC (this response was not previously offered)

Concerns: The flu, Covid-19, RSV, polio, myocarditis

Worries about family members contracting flu, Covid, or RSV: About a third of those surveyed say they are somewhat or very worried about family members contracting Covid-19 (36%), the seasonal flu (35%), or RSV, respiratory syncytial virus (33%). Only 11% say they are somewhat/very worried about a family member contracting polio, which reemerged as a public health threat in July 2022 after a case was reported in New York State. ( has more about poliovirus being found in New York City sewage.)

Myocarditis: Rare cases of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, have been reported among those who have had mRNA Covid-19 vaccines, particularly young males following a second vaccine dose. ( has more on the Covid-19 vaccine and myocarditis.) The connection between myocarditis and the vaccine has drawn attention on social media and in news media.

The survey found that over a third of respondents (37%) think that Covid-19 poses a higher risk for myocarditis than the vaccine against Covid-19. But 17% think that is false and nearly half of those surveyed (47%) are not sure which poses a higher risk.

Damar Hamlin and young athletes dying of heart problems

Much of the public rejects the notion that Damar Hamlin’s collapse during an NFL game had anything to do with the vaccine against Covid-19. But the survey finds that many people are uncertain about the broader unsupported claim that more young athletes are dying of heart problems these days.

Hamlin, a safety on the Buffalo Bills, suffered a cardiac arrest during the Jan. 2, 2023, game against the Cincinnati Bengals, triggering a spate of unfounded, anti-vaccine conspiracy theories on social media about the cause. The overwhelming majority of those in our survey (87%) said they had heard, read, or seen reports of his collapse.

But those respondents overwhelmingly reject the idea that a Covid-19 vaccine caused Hamlin’s injury. Only 10% of those who had heard of the incident attribute it to factors connected with the vaccine. Nearly half (49%) say that based on what they had heard of it, Hamlin’s cardiac arrest was most likely caused by being hit hard in the chest; 17% say an underlying heart condition; and 21% say they are not sure. ( writes about what was known about Hamlin’s injury.)

While social media posts with millions of views quickly associated Hamlin’s collapse with vaccination, mainstream media sources noted the lack of evidence for such claims or dismissed them as misinformation. See, for example, stories such as The inevitable, grotesque effort to blame vaccines for Damar Hamlin’s collapse (Washington Post, Jan. 3) and Hamlin’s collapse spurs new wave of vaccine misinformation (Associated Press, Jan. 5).

However, 26% of those surveyed say they think that the number of young athletes dying of heart problems increased over the past three years, and nearly half (49%) are not sure whether the number has increased or decreased. Only 23% say that the numbers of deaths have remained virtually unchanged. (See’s article No Surge in Athlete Deaths, Contrary to Widespread Anti-Vaccine Claims on why this claim is unfounded.)

Covid-19 and MMR vaccine mandates

Schools and military: The ASK survey finds stronger support for a Covid-19 vaccine mandate in the military than in public schools, with over half supporting a military mandate:

  • 53% of those surveyed strongly or somewhat agree that the U.S. Army should be able to require Covid-19 vaccination of all soldiers who do not have a medical or religious exemption and 30% strongly or somewhat disagree (asked of a survey half-sample).
  • 45% strongly or somewhat agree that public schools should be able to require Covid-19 vaccination of all children who do not have a medical or religious exemption and 38% strongly or somewhat disagree (asked of a half-sample).

MMR vaccine: Asked their views on the childhood vaccines for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), 63% agree that healthy children should be required to get the MMR vaccine in order to attend public schools, while 22% say parents should be able to decide whether to vaccinate their children who attend public schools and 15% are not sure.

Getting back to ‘normal’

The return to normal: Asked when they expect to be able to return to “your normal, pre-Covid-19 life,” more than half of Americans (52%) say they already have – up from 47% in October 2022. More than 1 in 5 Americans (22%) continue to say “never,” which is statistically unchanged since July 2022.

Mask-wearing: Six in 10 people (61%) say they never or rarely wear masks, statistically unchanged from the 60% who said this in October 2022. And 18% say they always or often wear a mask, also statistically unchanged from the 17% who said so in October.

See the Appendix for question wording and data and the Methodology for additional information. Read about prior Annenberg Science Knowledge surveys.

The Annenberg Public Policy Center was established in 1993 to educate the public and policy makers about communication’s role in advancing public understanding of political, science, and health issues at the local, state, and federal levels. APPC is the home of and its SciCheck program, whose Covid-19/Vaccination Project seeks to debunk misinformation about Covid-19 and vaccines, and increase exposure to accurate information.

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New Zealand Ousts Leftist Lockdown Loons After Conservative Wins Election

New Zealand Ousts Leftist Lockdown Loons After Conservative Wins Election

Voters in New Zealand on Saturday ousted the party once led by Jacinda…



New Zealand Ousts Leftist Lockdown Loons After Conservative Wins Election

Voters in New Zealand on Saturday ousted the party once led by Jacinda Ardern, and have instead elected the country's most conservative government in decades.

New Zealand's new Prime Minister elect Christopher Luxon

Turns out forcing your citizens to take vaccines, decreeing state news the only 'truth,' and locking up peaceful protesters opposed pandemic authoritarianism did not go over well.

On Saturday, conservative Christopher Luxon was elected New Zealand's next prime minister. While the exact makeup of Luxon's government has yet to be determined, his center-right National party looks set to form a coalition government with one or two minor parties.

The National Party will likely combine its indicated 50 seats with the ACT party (11 seats), to give them 61 seats, providing a slim majority in the 121-seat New Zealand parliament. As Goldman notes, the results are largely in line with pre-election polling, with the incumbent Labour party on track to lose their outright majority in parliament for the first time since 2017.

"You have reached for hope and you have voted for change," Luxon told supporters to rapturous applause at an event in Auckland, alongside his wife Amanda and their children.

Outgoing Prime Mininster Chris Hipkins, who's held the job for nine months following the abrupt resignation of Jacinda Ardern, told supporters late Saturday that he'd called Luxon to concede.

Outgoing New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins

Hipkins said that while the result wasn't his desired outcome, "I want you to be proud of what we achieved over the last six years," he told supporters in Wellington.

On the economic front, Goldman notes that Luxon's party has vowed to reduce effective tax rates on incomes and investment parties. And while National has pledged to offset the fiscal impact of tax cuts with savings elsewhere, Goldman sees the risks as "skewed to more stimulatory fiscal policy in 2024" vs New Zealand's current fiscal projections.

The proposed tax cuts and new spending amounts to around 0.8% of annual GDP, which would boost household disposable income by around 1.5% and also provide a tailwind to house prices in 2024. While National has pledged to offset the new spending and lower taxes with a reduction in spending and new taxes, overall we view the risks as skewed to more fiscal stimulus (compared to the current fiscal projections) and additional rate hikes from the RBNZ (GSe: base case on hold at 5.5%).

Luxon has also addressed crime in New Zealand, telling supporters that it's "out of control," adding "And we are going to restore law and order, and we are going to restore personal responsibility."

He's also vowed to fix the capital's traffic woes with a new tunnel project.

Tyler Durden Sun, 10/15/2023 - 14:00

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“We Can’t Force The Human Body To Accept Foreign Genetic Code” Dr. McCullough On mRNA Technology

"We Can’t Force The Human Body To Accept Foreign Genetic Code” Dr. McCullough On mRNA Technology

Authored by Naveen Athrappully via The Epoch…



"We Can't Force The Human Body To Accept Foreign Genetic Code'' Dr. McCullough On mRNA Technology

Authored by Naveen Athrappully via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough warned that messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines inject “foreign genetic code” into human beings, which the body fails to break down or expel for a prolonged period of time.

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell (purple) infected with a variant strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (pink), isolated from a patient sample. (NIAID via The Epoch Times)

Research on mRNA “has been going on for decades,” Dr. McCullough said during an Oct. 5 interview. The 2023 Nobel Prize for medicine was awarded to two scientists for making “messenger RNA long-lasting in the human body,” he said. “I mean, it has been tested in multiple applications … It's an absolute bust. It was just the worst idea ever to install the genetic code for a lethal protein without being able to shut it off. It wasn't the fact that it was rushed; it's just ill-conceived from the very beginning.”

We can't force the human body to accept foreign genetic code and produce a foreign protein … Messenger RNA for vaccines is a completely failed concept. It’s a dangerous concept, and the U.S. government wasn't honest. They should have been honest. Trump should have come out and said, ‘Listen, it's on our website; our military's been working on this since 2012.’”

During a testimony at the European Parliament last month, Dr. McCullough said, “There's not a single study showing that the messenger RNA is broken down” in the human body once it is injected.

There's not a study showing it leaves the body.” Since the vaccines are “made synthetically, they cannot be broken down.”

He added that the lethal protein from the [COVID-19] vaccines found in the human body after vaccination was found to be circulating “at least for six months, if not longer.”

In the case of seasonal jabs, that is, taking an injection or booster at the end of six months as recommended by the authorities, “there's another installation in more circulating potentially lethal protein.”

Scientist Drew Weissman, who won the 2023 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his role in developing mRNA technology, warned in a 2018 paper that not only did clinical trials of mRNA vaccines produce “more modest [results] in humans than was expected based on animal models,” but that the “side effects were not trivial.”

Dr. Mccullough’s comments come as the Gates Foundation is spending $40 million on countries in Africa and other economically backward nations to produce new mRNA vaccines in efforts to prevent diseases like tuberculosis and malaria.

Concealing a ‘Global Security Threat’

In the Steve Deace interview, Dr. McCullough said that the ineffectiveness of the technology was not unknown to the government since they’ve been testing it for nearly 40 years.

He referred to a February 2023 paper published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), which cited that the U.S. government has been investing billions of dollars in developing messenger RNA technology since 1985.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) began investing in mRNA tech in 2011. DARPA then launched the Pandemic Prevention Platform (P3) program in 2016 that sought to produce “relevant numbers of doses” against infections within 60 days of identifying them.

The ADEPT P3 was a program by the U.S. military “to end pandemics in 60 days.” There is no other technology “that our government has invested more in,” Dr. McCullough said.

Dr. McCullough cited another paper that stated there were “over 9,000 patents on messenger RNA. And all the patent assignees are big entities. At the top is Sanofi, then Cervavac, BioNTech, Moderna, and the U.S. government. No single person invented messenger RNA. Someone who comes up in 2021 and says, ‘You know I invented it’. That's impossible. This has been going on for decades.”

Dr. McCullough pointed out that the United States and China have been in “collaboration for years” in their research on infectious and lethal coronavirus.

However, officials like Anthony Fauci, the former head of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Francis Collins, the former head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and “a whole cadre of scientists, they collaborated to conceal this global security threat.”

“They actually intentionally lied to the world and said the virus came out of nature. They knew it came out of the Wuhan lab,” he said, citing a research paper by Ralph Baric and Dr. Zhengli-Li Shi that was published in the Nature journal in 2015.

Dr. Zhengli-Li Shi is affiliated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, while Mr. Baric is from the Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

They said they created SARS-CoV-2 virus. They called it the Wuhan Institute of Virology 1 virus. That was the prototype SARS-CoV-2. So, that's in 2015. Instead of bringing Ralph Baric out [and asking] ‘Dr. Baric, how do we get ourselves out of this disaster,’ you masterminded this virus funded by the US.”

‘Pull All COVID-19 Vaccines Off the Market’

In his interview, Dr. McCullough made three recommendations. “I say number one, I've called in the US Senate [and] now the European Parliament [to] pull all COVID-19 vaccines off the market before anyone else is harmed.”

“Number two, US, EU and all westernized Nations [should] pull out of the WHO. They're not trustable. And number three, I'm following the World Council for Health. I am recommending a halt on all childhood vaccines, the entire vaccine schedule until this is clarified since messenger RNA is now on the schedule without any concerns for safety.

Cardiologists Dr. Aseem Malhotra (left) and Dr. Peter McCullough (right) in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 29, 2022. (Bao Qiu/The Epoch Times)

While some studies related to the safety of COVID-19 vaccines have shown the jabs to be safe, others have raised concerns about the safety of the shots.

A December 2022 study analyzed trials comparing vaccine recipients with individuals who did not receive a vaccine or were given a placebo.

It concluded that “compared to placebo, most vaccines reduce, or likely reduce, the proportion of participants with confirmed symptomatic COVID-19, and for some, there is high-certainty evidence that they reduce severe or critical disease.”

However, a June 2022 study that looked at mRNA vaccinations found that “Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were associated with an increased risk of serious adverse events of special interest (AESI).”

“The excess risk of serious adverse events of special interest surpassed the risk reduction for COVID-19 hospitalization relative to the placebo group in both Pfizer and Moderna trials.”

‘Shedding’ the Infection

During the interview, Mr. Deace asked about hearing issues that he and his colleague suffered and whether they had any ties with the vaccines. While he did not take a COVID-19 shot, the colleague was vaccinated. Mr. Deace asked if this was “further proof that basically the last few years Peter everybody was a lab rat whether you took the vaccine or not.”

Syringes and vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be administered at a drive-up vaccination site in Reno, Nev., on Dec. 17, 2020. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

“It's true, nearly all of us have been exposed to the Wuhan spike protein,” Dr. McCullough replied. “When I see patients in the office, we check antibodies against the spike protein. Invariably, they're elevated. Rarely, I'll find somebody who hasn't been exposed.”

Dr. McCullough pointed out that there are “clear-cut papers” showing individuals suffering hearing loss after taking COVID-19 jabs. “It's all related to the spike protein,” he said. mRNA vaccines work by instructing cells in the body to produce the spike protein found on the surface of the COVID-19 virus.

Once vaccinated, an individual’s muscle cells begin producing spike protein pieces, displaying them on cell surfaces, which end up triggering the immune system to create antibodies. When such an individual gets infected with the COVID-19 virus, these antibodies will then fight the virus.

Dr. McCullough warned that even people who have not received mRNA COVID-19 vaccines can eventually get affected by messenger RNA through a vaccinated individual via “shedding.”

Shedding means that one has been exposed to the spike protein or to the messenger RNA from close contact with another individual. We know both of them can travel via exosomes which are small phospholipid packets that can be exhaled [via] breath, through sweat, [and] various forms of body fluid, typically you know very close contact.”

“There was a big project called the Eva project in the UK showing 78 percent of women who take a vaccine—they actually have menstrual abnormalities. And those who even didn't take a vaccine, they end up having menstrual abnormalities. There's been plenty of these reports that have occurred.”

Dr. McCullough cited an interview he did with scientist Helene Banoun, an expert on shedding, who believes such things “clearly happens, for sure, in people who've taken the vaccine within 30 days, close contact.”

“Now, two studies—one in the United States, one in Japan—[show] the messenger RNA comes through breast milk. The spike protein may be shedded potentially for a much longer duration of time. It's been shown in the human body now for months, maybe even years afterward. And that's the rationale for what our recent proposal to actually undergo spike protein detoxification.”

The cardiologist pointed out that “every signal” related to cardiovascular disease, neurologic disease, blood clots, immune disease, and cancer “is up.”

“There can be debates on why all these chronic diseases are up, all-cause mortality up in every single area of the world,” he said. “The two big exposures we've had are COVID-19 infection and now COVID-19 vaccines, and I think both mechanisms have led to this wave of disease.”

“I think more powerfully with the vaccines since the vaccines are largely genetic, they're given every six months, and they install the genetic code for the disease-promoting and lethal Wuhan spike protein.”

Tyler Durden Sat, 10/14/2023 - 22:10

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Rent Control Is A Disaster – Don’t Let It Spread Across The Nation

Rent Control Is A Disaster – Don’t Let It Spread Across The Nation

Authored by Betsy McCaughey via The Epoch Times,

America’s renters -…



Rent Control Is A Disaster - Don't Let It Spread Across The Nation

Authored by Betsy McCaughey via The Epoch Times,

America’s renters - more than one-third of the nation’s households - are in for trouble.

Left-wing politicians are demanding rent regulation from coast to coast. Wherever it is adopted, the result will be a disastrous reduction in the rental housing supply, leaving renters desperate for places to live.

New York is the poster child for the failures of rent regulation. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently mulling a challenge to the constitutionality of the city’s rent regime.

Whatever the justices decide, the public needs to consider less destructive, more targeted ways to help low-income people pay for housing. The court of public opinion needs to consider these facts.

Fact No. 1: Rent regulation isn’t targeted to the poor.

In New York, there’s no means test. What you need is luck or connections. The mean income of a rent-stabilized apartment dweller is $47,000, but census data show that tens of thousands of them earn more than $150,000 per year. Some occupants use what they’re saving on rent to pay for a weekend place in the Hamptons or New England.

The pols don’t object—a sure sign they’re calling for rent regulation to help themselves politically, not the poor.

In New York, 44 percent of rental apartments are regulated by the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB), established in 1969, which sets the maximum amount by which landlords are allowed to raise the rent. Those limits apply to all buildings of six or more units built before 1974.

In 2022, the RGB set the maximum rent hike at 3.25 percent on one-year leases and this year at 3 percent. Never mind that last year, fuel costs to heat the buildings soared by 19 percent and overall inflation hit 8.3 percent.

The decisions are political, not economic. Many Democratic politicians vilify building owners as “greedy landlords” and depict themselves as the champions of the downtrodden. It’s a scam.

Fact No. 2: Winners and losers.

The winners are the lucky few with rent-regulated apartments and the pols who count on an army of tenant activists to turn out at the polls. The losers are the 56 percent of renters who don’t score a regulated apartment and have to scour neighborhoods for an unregulated place that they can afford. They’re paying more.

Why? Because regulation causes some landlords to walk away, reducing the overall supply of apartments. The laws of supply and demand mean rents go up. New Yorkers in unregulated apartments are paying the highest rents in the United States for a one-bedroom apartment. They're the real victims, and they should be furious.

Yet the left-wing press pretends that rent control offers only benefits. The New Republic warns that the Supreme Court challenge threatens “laws that have benefitted the city’s tenants for generations.” Sorry, untrue—only some tenants, and not always the neediest.

It’s economic madness. The saner way to help those who need assistance paying rent is with a voucher. We offer the needy SNAP debit cards to help them pay for groceries. No one slaps price controls on grocery stores or designates certain stores as “regulated,” forcing them to sell at below cost.

Yet New York forces certain landlords to pay what should be a public cost shared by all, an argument made to the court.

Fact No. 3: The Marxist fantasy that rent regulation will help the poor is spreading across the United States and Europe as well.

Maine and Minnesota have enacted laws allowing municipalities to impose rent regulations. In November 2024, California voters will be asked to approve a proposition allowing local governments to add additional restrictions to the state’s existing rent caps.

The laws of supply and demand are international. Berlin froze rents in 2019, and the rental supply plummeted, according to the Ifo Institute, a think tank.

Yet London Mayor Sadiq Khan is calling for freezing rents for two years. London provides housing vouchers to the poor—a smarter approach—but when the city froze the voucher amounts during the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer apartments were available in the price range. The answer is to raise the voucher amount. Freezing rents will only make the shortage worse.

Ignore the demagogues. The evidence is in: Rent regulation is a political scam. There are better ways to help Americans afford a place to live.

Tyler Durden Sat, 10/14/2023 - 16:20

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