New York City, NY

NYC's All-Time High Rent Reflects a Downside of Capitalism

Genius Turner
The record-breaking high cost of living in the City That Never Sleeps is keeping some renters up all night.(Marco Arment/Wikimedia)

Renting an apartment in America’s financial capital hits a record-breaking high

New York City — "You can have your piece of the American Pie in the Big Apple!" an older gentleman once told me. He then whispered, "But first, you'll have to pay a big price for a small slice."

Weeks ago a friend called me. "Landlord just notified our building that, starting next month," she said, "there's going to be a 40% increase from the previous month."

I mouthed "wow" to myself, not wanting to alarm her anymore, given the alarming news. Indeed, alarming and rent seem to be a compound word around NYC these days, eh? Yes, "alarming-rent" sounds about right.

In Manhattan, the median rent right now is roughly $4,100. Unfortunately, utilities and other amenities aren't included. You don't need to be a math whiz to know that comes out to about 50k a year. As for "50," no wonder the CNBC report says:

In both Brooklyn and Manhattan, renters are putting more than 50% of their paychecks toward rent

If we extend the above "50" theme, New York City native "50 Cent" cites his relocation to Houston for that very reason. After all, NYC rent prices now cost "more than double what people in Houston pay."


From SoHo to subway platforms, grumblings can be heard around the city.

Of late, the word landlord has become shorthand for "public enemy number one." Though I feel my fellow New Yorkers' pain, I'm numb to the general source of frustration. And here's why...

Don't hate the player, hate the game
Scholars consider Adam Smith's classic book, "The Wealth of Nations," the Bible of Capitalism.(Bradford Timeline/Flickr)

...This great nation of ours is called the "Free World" for a reason. And because we operate in what's known as a free market, our fellow Americans are free to make as much money as humanly possible. Even if that comes at your or my or anyone else's expense.

For whoever is interested in seeing a CliffsNotes version of capitalism, no need to borrow ole' Cliff's notes. No, no. In fact, even spare yourself from reading the father of capitalism's notes, Adam Smith.

I've read The Wealth of Nations before. Ahem, it's well over 500-pages long. An interesting read, but not fun. But I'll tell you what is fun, and informative too, as far as understanding the Game of Capitalism goes.

Capitalism 101 can be learned simply from playing an old board game called Monopoly.
Monopoly's objective is simple: the winner attempts to monopolize all the rental property.(William Warby/Flickr)

In short, because the word monopolize is to capitalize what the word movie is to film, it only makes sense in the Game of Capitalism — each player strives to capitalize as much as possible. Landlords included. Such goes the downside of capitalism.

Or as the old idiom goes:

Don't hate the player, hate the game.

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My writing is popular in academia (biology, psychology, etc.) and on websites such as Quora (millions of views) and Medium. Also, I'm signed to the same literary agency as Eckhart Tolle. In short, I'm an ordinary guy serving an extraordinary God.

New York City, NY

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