California’s local governments already have too many incentives not to create new housing, and too many tools to block it. The result is a massive housing shortage and rising housing prices and rents.

And a new statewide ballot initiative to make it easier for local governments to control rents.

The logic of Prop 10 amounts to this: the disease – local tools to discourage housing –will somehow cure the disease of costly housing.

That logic has the feel of illogic.

Rent control has a long history of driving up rents and housing costs in two ways. It discourages the construction and creation of new units. And by artificially lowering rents in one place, it drives up rents nearby.

There are other reasons to be skeptical of the initiative, including its proponent the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which has an aggressive (some would say bullying) leadership that recently pursued an ill-conceived anti-growth measure in Los Angeles.

The question, as yet unanswered by Prop 10 advocates, is why their measure wouldn’t simply make things worse.