The rent is too damn high

The definition of a cartel is a group of “individuals or firms who agree not to compete with each other and therefore keeping prices fixed to maximize profits.” Both local landlords and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are doing the same thing, yet when it comes to White landlords, they call what they are doing “supply and demand” but the Arabs are labeled an illegal cartel. This is racist.

President Donald Trump recently called OPEC’s oil prices “artificially high.” It is amazing that a man who has made millions on artificially high rents in New York City would call out OPEC on the same practice. Trump wishes he had all that Arab oil so he could do some fair and honest White man “what the market will bear” pricing of it.

The foundation of capitalism is artificially high prices. What else motivates the capitalist, other than the freedom to hold people hostage and charge as much as he can? Local landlords are a cartel: a drafty old one-bedroom apartment in South Minneapolis is now $1,100. How can this be anything but artificially high?

Trump doesn’t like OPEC holding car drivers hostage and I don’t like property owners holding renters hostage. But, for Trump, it is only artificially high when he’s getting screwed. Surging rental prices are no different than surging oil prices — they are both artificial.

 

Frank Erickson lives in Minneapolis