Landlords Are Parasites
Why do we reward extractors and not contributors?
Today’s article is simultaneously a heart-breaker for renters and an infuriator for landlords.
I received an email from a working mother this week who has paid nearly $40,000 in rent in the past eighteen months.
She and her husband both work full-time, but their rent keeps going up. Facing yet another price hike — from $2,200 to $2,600 per month, with no other viable options for a family with three young kids since their town got devoured by investors and Airbnbs — they decided to move nearly 300 miles away from their parents, shattering the day-to-day family relationship between three generations. The grandparents wept as their kids and grandkids moved five hours away.
The young couple’s landlord once joked to the couple that their rent was paying for his children’s education.
In fact, while the young working couple is now down $40,000, the landlord is not only up by $40,000, but the house has increased in value by more than $100,000 — a nearly $200,000 swing in the direction of inequality and anti-meritocracy.
Despite the fact that the landlord left a long list of needed maintenance undone throughout their tenancy, when they moved out he asked them to re-paint multiple rooms in the house.
The young family encouraged the landlord to rent the house to another young family for $2,200. Instead, the landlord decided to rent it to three college guys for $2,600. (Because the market always knows what’s best for society, right?)
And that’s just one family.
Rents have been soaring for a decade and have gone into overdrive since 2020, despite the fact that landlords are providing zero additional value, and tenants are living in buildings that have aged two years. (In Australia, single-bed sleep pods rent for $900/month.) Wasn’t the promise of capitalism that value would increase and prices would fall over time?
At a crushing national median rent of nearly $2000/month, nearly $2.8 trillion will flow from the pockets of the contributor class to the extraction class this year.
The question moral people must ask is: Why?
What is the legal mechanism by which landlords are allowed to reap $2,791,663,968,000+ off the backs of the working class?
The answer, of course, is that for-profit landlording is a massive act of fraud.
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