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Discussion of Louro shouldn't be hidden in the "Um Segredo" thread.

You forgot I'm married to Ranitidine? I know he hasn't posted here in years, but I thought he was more memorable than that.

Whatever happened to ditching the menu and asking the chef to cook for you?

As pointed out before, you're obviously not free to do any such thing. What you "own" can change at the whim of zoning and landmark committees, tax authorities, and other regulators. There's no reason to think capping your income directly is different from disallowing adding floors, using apartments to house restaurants, etc.

 

p.s. I wonder what y'all would own if the government / fed hadn't stepped in when the market was bearing zero. ;)

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Overwhelmingly, the rule in free societies is that owners can charge whatever the heck they want for the product they are trying to sell, subject only to their ability to find a willing buyer.

 

There are numerous exceptions. The right of a beloved restaurant to remain in business, if the landlord feels he can make more from some other business, is not one of those exceptions.

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Overwhelmingly, when someone overdoes it or is being a dick, freedom suddenly takes a back seat.

 

http://www.ag.ny.gov/price-gouging (being a dick)

http://nypost.com/2015/05/22/vendor-fired-for-selling-tourists-30-hot-dogs/ (being a dick)

http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/rome-restaurantshut-down-after-charging-japanese-tourists-695-euros (being too Italian)

http://statelaws.findlaw.com/new-york-law/new-york-interest-rates-laws.html (being the mob)

http://www.nycrgb.org/html/resources/faq/rentstab.html (sins of the father)

 

But I'm still not sure I understand the problem - a landlord can do as they please with their property and charge what they want within the confines of the law. If you change the law that continues to be true. Where's the issue?

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In the mid 1800s the U.S. was a model laissez faire capitalist state. Monopolies existed for railroads, steel, and oil. At a certain point people like Teddy Roosevelt reduced their power because it was obvious that they weren't good for society as a whole. (It's possible to nitpick my overly simple explanation but it's indisputable that steps were taken to break up the monopolies.)

 

That legacy is still active today. A few years ago AT&T tried to buy T-Mobile. The acquisition wasn't approved on the grounds that the merged company would have too big a slice of the market. That turned out to be great decision. T-Mobile began to market themselves as the anti-carrier and cut prices while increasing customer choices. The whole mobile market became much more customer friendly.

 

Right now, with the exception of rent control (currently expired, at least in the short term) the commercial real estate market in NY is wide open. Landlords are free to increase rents to whatever the market can bear. It turns out that banks and chain drugstores can pay those rents. A lot of other businesses can't, especially when their long term leases expire.

 

The effects are obvious and are not good.

 

I don't have a pat solution to this problem but I think a consensus is forming that a problem exists. I wouldn't be surprised if government takes steps to deal with it within the next 5 years. (A move like that would be right up di Blasio's alley.) Those steps may be flawed but the alternative is worse.

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See, I think I agree with Orik, if I understand him correctly. If you want to put the brakes on certain kinds of change in the city, whether it be restaurants closing because of rent hikes, or a Starbucks Reade on every corner, you have to support certain policies, and ultimately changes in the law. I always have the feeling that a lot of people (not necessarily anyone here) stand for the freedom of owners to do whatever they want with their property, and the right to complain about Mars Bar and Max Fish closing.

 

That's a tough combo.

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