Thursday, June 14, 2001
Published and understood,
Your thoughts are ever so kind,
Asking readers for a piece of their mind.
Many loving expressions every Thursday,
Those Weekly copies in racks don't stay.
Many cafes to wine and dine,
In the Weekly you will find.
Artists write and bare their souls,
Sending happiness to readers as bells toll.
To your many readers I offer this boost,
"Until read thoroughly, never turn it loose."
--ROBERT J. NICTHER, SALINAS
That Authoritarian Shtick
Passion. Not logic, but passion, sheerly clothed in the seductive veil of the unquestioned belief in market economics. This is what the Monterey Bay area landlords are using to exercise their little totalitarian campaign to increase rents.
"The market!" they cry. "The market!" Then they pretend to know more about economics and what rules our market than the layperson knows. In this authoritarian manner, they pretend to reason that our rent increases are dictated by some force outside of themselves.
Well, let us examine what precisely is "the market." The market is the place of exchange of goods or services, using a means of exchange: money. A supplier and a demander agree on a price and carry out an exchange.
If a renter pays $600 per month for a two-bedroom apartment on Spaghetti Hill, and the owner/landlord accepts that amount, that is the market. If they agree, instead, on $900 per month, then that is the market. If they settle on $1,200 per month, that is the market price.
There is no moral imperative to raise rents. I argue that, on the contrary, on behalf of the creation, practice and maintenance of democracy on our Peninsula, there is a moral imperative to lower rent prices. Yes, it is time for landlords to listen to the people with whom they are negotiating their contracts. The market is not a one-way street, nor is it dictated only by supply and demand. Do you want small government? GOVERN YOURSELVES! RIGOROUSLY! Otherwise we will exercise our majoritarian power and regulate you.
Use some reason: lower rents on the Monterey Peninsula. If you can't be that rational, at least moderate your increases relative to the cost of living.
--MARK POEHNER, MONTEREY
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