By Jimm Roberts, Alexandria
City Councilor Justin Wilson cannot stop opening his kimono, politically speaking. Since he is one of the young, up-and-comers in our local Democratic Party, you need to pay attention to his revelations, tawdry though they may be.
His latest cockamamie proclamation, which I learned by reading the Alexandria Times, is to demand that city government tell property owners the rents they may assess their tenants. And if the city does not have the authority now to do so, then it can at least shame those landlords whom he believes are charging excessive rents.
Where in the world did this idea come from? Karl Marx? Vladimir Lenin? Who gave him the authority — not to mention the wisdom — to declare the correct rent for any given property? He clearly is unaware how prices are established in the free market our nation has espoused since its creation, one that goes hand in hand with representational democracy.
He also is a poor student of history. No government that has sought to allocate resources, establish prices and dictate profits has ever flourished. The few left (North Korea, Cuba, Zimbabwe, to name a few) are not prospering on any measurement scale except misery and deprivation.
I further surmise that Wilson has no idea how wealth is created, and that without it, there is nothing to tax. No tax, it follows, means no government services.
You would think Wilson and his fellow travelers on city council would instinctively know this truism and do all they could to encourage wealth creation. They should be wary of impeding this essential process with gratuitous meddling in the interaction between supply and demand, the mechanism that sets prices and rents in free market economies.