To the editor,
Re: Rent freeze during pandemic isn’t fair to landlords, Letters, Dec. 9.
The letter writer, who cries for the landlords “trying to make a living,” should know it’s not an honest living. Landlords do not need our sympathy.
The landlords’ social role, descending from aristocratic enclosure of the commons, is to do nothing but take the product of the working class. They profit by controlling the scarcity of housing while we struggle to stay housed. They demand we work real jobs while they don’t. The rents they charge dwarf the cost of upkeep of our homes. You can tell, because the excess is called ‘passive income.’ We give a third, a half, or more of our working hours to these parasites. The lives of the homeless are sacrificed at the altar of their profit motive.
In short, the landlords’ interests are hostile to ours. Now, with unemployment and eviction hanging over our heads during an epidemic, we are feeling their antipathy acutely. It’s about time we were hostile back.
We can house everyone. But to do it, we have to make housing a public concern, expropriate the landlords, and bust them down to maintenance wage labour.
Rafe Saltman, Nanaimo
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