Leave it to the marketLeave it to the market

Christchurch. Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee made his point when mentioning that the solution to Christchurch’s rental crisis was best left to the market. He proved that his mind is still focused on the belief that „the market“ will sort things out. So what exactly does the market sort out?Christchurch. Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee made his point when mentioning…

Christchurch. Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee made his point when mentioning that the solution to Christchurch’s rental crisis was best left to the market. He proved that his mind is still focused on the belief that „the market“ will sort things out. So what exactly does the market sort out?Christchurch. Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee made his point when mentioning that the solution to Christchurch’s rental crisis was best left to the market. He proved that his mind is still focused on the belief that „the market“ will sort things out. So what exactly does the market sort out?

Simply spoken, when goods are getting to be short and the demand for them rises, the „market“ will respond with greed reflected in rising prices. If there is a demand, a market for a certain good expands and either existing companies wind up business and produce more or entrepeneurs step in. In the – theoretical result – the prices drop again. Nicely balanced. This could be all true and good when we talk plain theory. In the Christchurch rental crisis, where prices for rental property soared by up to 40% and people do couchsurfing, sleep in garages or in red zone houses this theory is nothing as a inanity. It does not work.

Rental properties are in demand and it takes a while to build new homes. Most people would not have the money at all to start such a project. So it is up to the people with money where most of them are landlords themselves. But let’s not focus on the future when there may be more properties than the demand for it. Let’s focus on the present. Where is the community spirit, the kiha kaha Christchurch? It is apparently not around these days when it comes to plain money.

A landlord forced his tenants recently into homelesness by raising the rent by $65 a week. And Brownlee wants to leave it to the market. He seems the prototype of an outfashioned gender of politicians that mix up social welfare with needs of a prospering economy. While the latter one gains prosperity only for itself – the very few people on top of the line that gain rent and interest, social welfare comprises more than money: Health, education, family, time, friends, freedom to move and express one’s being etc. Brownley would surely agree on that. But here’s his confusion: He would think that a prospering, growing market is the solution to social grievances as it returns money to invest into social development. The only solution to a thriving community is money in the mind of politicians who swallowed the neo-liberal bullshit we got fed with over the recent years.

It is paradox though: People do not need a government that gives them money to live in a socially safe and sound environment. This would be the same as if parents giving their kids money to get them to self-develop. People should be self-sufficient (that is the good liberal thought) and the government is there to intervene when the system gets socially unjust. That’s the case with all existential goods and services, let it be water, power, gas  or property.

Over the past decades governments all over the world gave away their assets like railways, power companies, banks etc., delivering its people to enterprises that rule the market and the prices. Now parliaments (esp. Germany) has external consultants to discuss legal bills that gets enacted unquestioned. It is about time for governments to step in and put a leash on the lose dogs we call companies. A government is there to enable people to not be concerned about money by regulating this market that obviously generating more problems for everyone of us than good.

Simply spoken, when goods are getting to be short and the demand for them rises, the „market“ will respond with greed reflected in rising prices. If there is a demand, a market for a certain good expands and either existing companies wind up business and produce more or entrepeneurs step in. In the – theoretical result – the prices drop again. Nicely balanced. This could be all true and good when we talk plain theory. In the Christchurch rental crisis, where prices for rental property soared by up to 40% and people do couchsurfing, sleep in garages or in red zone houses this theory is nothing as a inanity. It does not work.

Rental properties are in demand and it takes a while to build new homes. Most people would not have the money at all to start such a project. So it is up to the people with money where most of them are landlords themselves. But let’s not focus on the future when there may be more properties than the demand for it. Let’s focus on the present. Where is the community spirit, the kiha kaha Christchurch? It is apparently not around these days when it comes to plain money.

A landlord forced his tenants recently into homelesness by raising the rent by $65 a week. And Brownlee wants to leave it to the market. He seems the prototype of an outfashioned gender of politicians that mix up social welfare with needs of a prospering economy. While the latter one gains prosperity only for itself – the very few people on top of the line that gain rent and interest, social welfare comprises more than money: Health, education, family, time, friends, freedom to move and express one’s being etc. Brownley would surely agree on that. But here’s his confusion: He would think that a prospering, growing market is the solution to social grievances as it returns money to invest into social development. The only solution to a thriving community is money in the mind of politicians who swallowed the neo-liberal bullshit we got fed with over the recent years.

It is paradox though: People do not need a government that gives them money to live in a socially safe and sound environment. This would be the same as if parents giving their kids money to get them to self-develop. People should be self-sufficient (that is the good liberal thought) and the government is there to intervene when the system gets socially unjust. That’s the case with all existential goods and services, let it be water, power, gas  or property.

Over the past decades governments all over the world gave away their assets like railways, power companies, banks etc., delivering its people to enterprises that rule the market and the prices. Now parliaments (esp. Germany) has external consultants to discuss legal bills that gets enacted unquestioned. It is about time for governments to step in and put a leash on the lose dogs we call companies. A government is there to enable people to not be concerned about money by regulating this market that obviously generating more problems for everyone of us than good.

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