Capitalism Rewards Sociopaths
Instead of rewarding people for hoarding houses, we should do this instead
“Sociopaths are interested only in their personal needs and desires, without concern for the effects of their behavior on others.” — Dictionary.com
I have beloved friends on Vancouver Island who are farmers.
They’ve produced 2.4+ million eggs in the past two years.
That’s enough to feed 8,000+ people eggs for a year.
Their veggies feed 500+ people per week.
They each work 60–80 hours per week at a minimum — tough, outdoor, physical work, not cushy temperature-controlled desk jobs.
These people are contributors, givers, heroes — the sort of people who quite literally sustain civilization and keep us all alive.
For my farmer friends, the past two years have been brutal:
Vladimir Putin started a war in Russia, which gave greedy corporations the perfect cover story for jacking their prices, soaking up all that Covid-printed money, and blaming inflation on the big bad government instead of admitting the cold hard reality that inflation is 100% caused by sellers raising prices.
Even before rising input costs, profit margins for farming were outrageously thin. To add insult to injury, my friends also made the horrible mistake of being born and raised in Canada, one of the secretly most corrupt fake democracies to ever exist, and home to the biggest real estate pyramid scheme in human history. As such, Canadian house owners are all essentially paper millionaires but are so skinflinty, cash-poor, and real estate-obsessed that they cannot fathom paying a nickel more for eggs.
In the past two years, my hard-working nation-feeding friends have luckily broken even, but haven’t made a dime in profits.
Meanwhile, I know literally hundreds of house-owners whose net worth increased $200,000+ for doing nothing.
This is how you destroy a society.
Capitalism is all about incentives
Houses shouldn’t be investments.
They are, after all, depreciating assets. Houses literally start to fall apart the moment you move in. So why the heck are they increasing in value?
If builders actually built enough houses to keep up with demand — and we banned the moral crimes of interest and for-profit land-lording — house prices would slowly but surely fall as houses experienced the physical and biological reality of entropy.
But because the housing market is fixed by banksters and institutional investors, prices will keep rising until literally no one you know will be able to afford a home and will have to rent-slave for a land-lorder instead.
Homeowners know this.
And they secretly love it.
Rather than doing any actual contributive work, they’re perfectly happy to watch their net worth inflate for doing nothing, quietly voting for candidates who won’t rock the boat and permanently fix the shelter affordability crisis.
If you track the money, you soon realize that everyone who votes against the interest of the poor has blood on their hands.
Houses could and should cost max 2–3X the annual income of a single earner.
Instead, passive extractors like banksters and land-lorders are reaping lifetimes of wealth off the backs of the contributor class, while the temporary homeownership class regularly re-finances their ever-rising house to pay for their decks, boats, cottages, and stock gambling.
This is, frankly, an abhorrent way to structure society.
So what should we do instead?
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We need to flip the script.
Rewarding passive investors instead of active contributors leads to inevitable societal disintegration.
No one should be rewarded for sitting on property. Society can survive just fine without banksters and land-lorders and property squatters, but we’re dead in weeks without farmers.
I have a family member who has paid $39,600 in rent in the past eighteen months. In that time, the house they were renting went up in price by well over $100,000. Their land-lorder gained $140,000+ in eighteen months for doing nothing but monopolizing a human necessity, and still had the gall to ask them to repaint some rooms before they move out.
I don’t give a rip what the “the market” (read: the moneyed elite) says — this is a grossly evil way to structure society and a hateful way to treat other human beings. We should be crushing self-seeking sociopathic behavior, not bankrolling it.
If we banned interest, rent-seeking, and corporate profit, built sufficient housing to meet all demand, and taxed all unearned wealth, house prices would permanently stabilize at broadly affordable levels, and the vampire class would have to actually make a contribution to society or wind up as broke as the renters and borrowers they currently exploit.
When you incentivize passive speculation over active contribution, society falls apart.
When you incentivize contributors over do-nothings, you build a civilization worth inhabiting.
Put another way:
Eggs should cost triple and houses should cost a tenth.
Jared A. Brock is an award-winning biographer, PBS documentarian, and the cell-free founder of the popular futurist blog Surviving Tomorrow, where he provides thoughtful people with contrarian perspectives on the corporatist anti-culture. His writing has appeared in Esquire, The Guardian, Smithsonian, USA Today, and TIME Magazine, and he has traveled to more than forty countries including North Korea. Join 21,000+ people who follow him on Medium, Twitter, and Substack.