• Wages and housing
    March 03,2014

    Wages and housing

    I think I have had a change of heart in regards to the minimum wage. Someone had put some information in front of me the other day that started to make some sense. I saw that a landlord who claims he makes $1 million per year was giving his tenants a hard time over being a couple of days late on the rent. This really got under my skin. Especially when the tenants were friends of mine who would give a homeless person their last $5. I thought what good are these so-called “high income” people actually doing for the community. They donate a couple grand of their millions, come on. The reality is that they are making it worse for everyone.

    According to the 1940 Census data, my great-grandfather earned $1,250 per month as a stonecutter. He owned a house in Montpelier, worth $5,000, which is four months worth of stonecutter earnings. Today that same house still stands with an appraisal value of $230,000. What exactly made it so the price of property rose through the roof like that? So $5,000 is now worth $230,000.

    Well, the easy answer is that a credit score was invented. Today people are paying more in rent than the buildings are actually worth. For instance, to rent a mobile home is about $750 per month. However, a mortgage payment on the same mobile home is closer to $450 a month. That is a big difference and I am sure some will argue that there are other expenses. However, after about five years, the renter has completely paid for the value of the property depending on the size of the lot it’s on.

    This is an injustice to non-property owners. Because people are poor they are paying more. This is actually discrimination, maybe not by law but it is to the rest of us. What I would like to see is for someone to push some legislation through the State House setting a limit that landlords can charge in rent in the state. Not only that but we should also pass a law that says interest rates have to be the same for everyone. Then we would have more people owning homes and paying property tax.

    We would also see a big change in quality of life. That way people are investing into themselves. Rather than giving their money to some jerk, who would like to see people sleeping in snowbanks because they are a few days late on the rent. Especially when the tenant has already paid enough in rent to pay for the whole building. We should be raising the minimum wage every two years just like landlords raise our rent.

    John Anderson


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