Holding people hostage if the ‘market will bear’ it

Maribel Garcia’s rent went from $1,095 to $1,400 in one single increase, for the two-bedroom apartment she and her family have on Pleasant Avenue. “I can’t leave, I’ll be on the street with my children,” said Garcia in the Star Tribune, August 4, 2017.

These rapid rental increases are a form of violence. “What the market will bear,” is all the capitalists have to justify this form of financial violence upon renters. A recent study shows that rents are not bearable.

According to the Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation, 47 to 100 renters in the U.S. live in a unit they cannot afford. This is more evidence that this is a hostage situation where landlords are holding renters hostage.

And just what does “What the market will bear” really mean? Does it mean that it’s okay to hold people hostage to get as much money possible, simply because the system allows it? White landlords are draining the bank accounts of people of color because they can.

Landlords and the capitalists know the truth: rents paid does not mean they are bearable. This is the haves holding the have-nots hostage — so many people who rent are low-income. This is just pitiful behavior by landlords.

 

Frank Erickson lives in Minneapolis.