A recent article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press said that the apartments at the Luther Seminary site in St. Anthony Park would include “roughly 450 market-rate units.”

There is no legitimacy to “market-rate” rents. All capitalism has to justify “market” rents is rent paid and this cannot be trusted because many renters go without food or mediocre care to pay their rent.

How can the foundation for raising everyone’s rent be thousands of renters who cannot afford their rent? More than 42,000 rental households in Minnesota, even though they work full time, cannot afford their rent. Without these 42,000 rental households, the supply side would collapse; there would be no high “demand.” Yet “supply and demand” does not work and is immoral when the purchaser has no choice, when they cannot walk away.

There is no “market’’ that exists outside of landlords banding together and jacking up rents — landlords are the “market.” It has always been this way, going back 1,000 years in the slums of Paris and London. You pay the current landlord extortion rate or you live under a bridge.

Renters are human beings, not fodder for a capitalist system. Renters and their live are more than just cash machines for landlords.

— Frank Erickson
Minneapolis

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