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Op-Ed: The Great Rental Gouge — Money launderers need help, give generously

Meanwhile, tax the bastards into the Stone Age for rentals above affordable rates.

Soaring rents have sparked bitter debate in a country traumatised by the collapse of its housing sector following the 2008 financial crisis
Soaring rents have sparked bitter debate in a country traumatised by the collapse of its housing sector following the 2008 financial crisis - Copyright AFP/File Genya SAVILOV, Vladimir ASTAPKOVICH, Gavriil GRIGOROV
Soaring rents have sparked bitter debate in a country traumatised by the collapse of its housing sector following the 2008 financial crisis - Copyright AFP/File Genya SAVILOV, Vladimir ASTAPKOVICH, Gavriil GRIGOROV

The mystification with which vast increases in the basic cost of essentials like housing are treated is as hypocritical as it is imbecilic. Hardship is now a sort of spectator sport according to someone. Somebody’s found a cash cow, more like.

Housing is an economic benchmark for the real economy. For those interested, the real economy is the one you live in. You’d never guess, would you? A lot of people haven’t noticed that.

Billions of people who had barely any money to start with are now having to pay ridiculous amounts more. They’re paying that much more for exactly the same dismal things. Affordability is now a theory, not a practical thing.  

Corporations that are constantly saying how profitable they are now charging that much more. The same dilapidated accommodation, the same neatly folded electrons in your charger, you name it; suddenly they’re all worth more.

Just not worth more to you. On the basis that someone needs “great numbers” for a meeting, you’re paying more for quite literally nothing more. They then call it “growth”. It’s the exact opposite. In real terms, it’s shrinkage. If you have so much less, you’re not growing, are you?

In the same sense that health is now considered a luxury and education impossible, affordable housing buyable or rentable, is vanishing. Everything essential is being methodically priced out of reach.

You’d never guess from the coverage. It’s anyone’s guess why a blatant effectively genocidal attack on the poor is OK. …But that’s not how it’s seen. The economic climate is getting the same treatment as the global climate; deny the obvious at all costs. Then pretend to be doing your job.

These very real hyperinflationary forces are insidious and continuous. Every sector of the economy is now raising prices exponentially. Health alone was already draining trillions out of the global economy. A housing sector meltdown could kill the real economy very effectively.

The Big Gouge

The post-pandemic Great American Gouge for rentals is the poster pig for this phenomenon. It’s gone global instantly. It’s driving massive scales of homelessness worldwide.

Now follow the logic:

Property and money laundering are joined at the hip. Rentals are the glaring issue. Property prices have been talked up by the media for decades. Money launderers have been buying in for decades.  Those facts can’t even be disputed.

There’s also no real competition. This stacked deck of a market dictates. Your simple innocent renter or homebuyer can’t compete with both corporate America and organized crime simultaneously. The entire market acts like a cartel. Terrible pun, I know. They’re deregulated to the point they’re effectively outside the law. Sound familiar?

The trouble with money laundering property is that nobody wants to know about it. The 2008 crash was great for money launderers. All those impossible mortgages were dirt cheap. The infamous corporates who always raise rents to top dollar cashed in then, too. What a coincidence.

There’s no way of knowing how much of the rental market is controlled by these parasitic “business interests”. What’s truly scary is that they seem to need big money all of a sudden, right this minute.

Why? Are these noble Knights of Sleaze suddenly short of cash? Is organized crime in some sort of financial trouble? Should people hack off their limbs, sell their babies, and try to help? Interesting questions.

Another thing nobody seems to care about is where these few lazy trillions or so of rental money go. Why the sudden demand for that much more money? This money also doesn’t go back into the economy, obviously.

Where does the price-gouging money go? Disneyland? Someone’s ego? Be nice to find out, wouldn’t it?

Meanwhile, tax the bastards into the Stone Age for rentals above affordable rates.

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Disclaimer
The opinions expressed in this Op-Ed are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Digital Journal or its members.

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Editor-at-Large based in Sydney, Australia.

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