Stay rational, Alameda

Thank you for the rational article (“The Economics of Rent,” Oct. 24) that pointed out, quite reasonably, the costs of being a landlord. Unlike some commentaries that I feel tend toward emotions and blame “corporate profiteers,” this article goes into considerable detail on the fixed and variable costs of being in the rental business. The piece concludes with a request that “maybe someone else can suggest something.”

Accordingly, let me suggest that supply and demand have a direct bearing on pricing, including rent. If we had an abundance of housing as found in many parts of our country, our rents and property values would be very similar to theirs. 

It seems to me that many of our governmental units believe that rent control and planning boards are the answer to obtaining more housing and reasonable rents. Unfortunately governmental action, as well as inaction, can remove or reduce the profit motive and fewer rental units are constructed resulting in insufficient supply to meet demand. A free market and capitalism can work wonders in correcting imbalances, particularly in the supply and demand realm. Our city leaders should give it a try.

Let me hasten to point out that profit is not a four-letter word. Also a corporation is simply a form of ownership and should not be used to connote evil.


Donald L. Kittleman