For those advocating a public solution to Britain's housing woes

We’re all well aware that there’re a number of people proposing a solution to whatever it is that ails Britain’s housing provision - government should do it. This is to make a basic logical error. That a pure and unadorned free market might not solve every problem is entirely true. There are even such things as market failures. But this does not mean that government is the correct solution to that same problem. For, a truth not universally acknowledged, it is also true that there is such a thing as government failure:

Outgoing Public Advocate Letitia James took a parting shot at the de Blasio administration on Wednesday by dubbing the city’s Housing Authority the worst landlord of the year.

James, who becomes the state attorney general next month, placed NYCHA at the top of her annual Worst Landlords Watchlist, which is typically reserved for private landlords.

In our own system the council, the local housing authority, perhaps the housing association, they will most certainly be different from private sector landlords but there’s not a great deal out there to insist that they’ll be better.

The correct logic to be using here is which will fail least or least badly, government or markets. And it just isn’t always either although obviously we’re of the view that it’s government more often and failing worse.

Still, there’s a certain justice to it being the de Blasio Administration having this pointed out to them:

It was de Blasio who created the Worst Landlord list back when he served as public advocate.

Biter bit, what a nice seasonal present.