It’s tough to pay 21st century rent on 20th century wages

TryingMyBestsquareThe latest turn in the fight for a $15 minimum wage in Minneapolis shows the absurdity of capitalism. Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal said the “advocates’ ballot petition does not meet legal requirements,” making the wage petition “invalid.” She advises the city council and the mayor to reject it.

Yet Segal, with all her professional training and law degrees, would have trouble coming up with the proper “legal requirements” that give Minneapolis landlords the freedom to raise rents whenever they want. I have a question for the city attorney: If she opposes the raising of the minimum wage to $15, does she also oppose the raising of rents on those making less than $15 an hour?

What gives capitalism the freedom to raise rents with the sky being the limit, but then claim it is not legal to raise wages? Capitalism is ruthless, and what Segal is doing is ruthless. Rents keep going up, but not wages. So we end up with 2016 rents too high for people being paid only 1975 wages.

Forty-two percent of workers in America make less than $15 an hour. These workers make up the backbone of America and they get nothing but being disrespected and taken advantage of.

Segal would do well to spend her time stopping landlords from endlessly raising rents than blocking minimum-wage increases.


Frank Erickson lives in Minneapolis.