Skip to content
CityLab
Housing

Why Your Skyrocketing Rent Is Bad for the Economy

It hurts when that money leaves your bank account. But where does it go?
relates to Why Your Skyrocketing Rent Is Bad for the Economy
Shutterstock

Michael Lind is in the midst of a three-part series over at Salon on the rise of rentier capitalism in America, with some pretty unambiguous headlines (yesterday: “Private sector parasites”; today: “How rich ‘moochers’ hurt America”). His premise is that the true “takers” in America are not the impoverished families on food stamps or the retired workers using medicare. They are, among other people, the landlords who've been sitting comfortably on the other end of the astronomical uptick in rent prices we've been wringing our hands over here, here, here and here.

Last spring, The New York Times reported that rents in Manhattan had reached an all-time high. By September, our own Richard Florida noted that it had become cheaper to own a home than to rent one in every one of the country's 100 largest metros. Earlier this year, it appeared as if the average rent for an apartment in San Francisco had finally leveled off... at $2,741 a month.