One common argument raised by NIMBYs is that zoning is not harmful to humans, because people priced out of expensive cities can always move to a cheaper one.
But a recent story illustrates why this argument is misguided: the story discusses increased housing prices in small cities like Boise and Grand Rapids. When people are priced out of expensive, they move to cheaper ones, thus increasing demand for housing in the cheaper cities. In turn, this causes housing prices to increase in the cheaper cities. In a nation with lots of restrictive zoning, you can’t escape high rents because the high rents will follow you wherever you go.
To take the argument further: some people justify local control over zoning by saying that what city X does is its own business. But when city X does things that harm city Y, its policies become the business of the state and federal governments. If city X has restrictive zoning, its policies raise housing costs in whatever city takes in X’s rent refugees- so at that point, a higher level of government should step in.