Scott discusses "How bad government policies make us meaner". It's hard to excerpt, but the basic idea is that if we legislate favorable contracts, we create incentives for discrimination and abuse. A landlord of a rent controlled apartment has no incentive to treat tenants fairly. There will be a line of tenants ready to take the current tenant's place, in any case.
Proponents of the minimum wage frequently reference these factors in defense of minimum wages - the idea of efficiency wages, that there will be lower turnover, and that employers will have a larger potential labor force because workers will be more incentivized to take the higher wage jobs. Among the outcomes, in other words, employers will have more leeway to be abusive and prejudiced in their hiring decisions, and workers will be more apt to put up with indignities in order to keep their jobs.
This is related to my post from the other day about the importance of freedom of entry. Really, this is all related to Mike Munger and Sam Wilson's Euvoluntary Exchange project. I must be honest that in some ways I am still wrapping my head around the conceptual insights of EE. But, a foundational element of the concept is that the availability of nearly equivalent alternatives is probably the most important element in creating a culture of fair dealing. If you crawl out of the desert, parched, to an oasis, the difference in ethical context of meeting one person with some water versus meeting 2 or 3 people with water is enormous.
Policies that intend to help workers or consumers by lifting particular contracts away from available alternatives are very short sighted. They are inimical to a civilized and fair society.