If the economy is doing so well, why are evictions increasing?

(Michael Blackshire/Los Angeles Times)

If the economy is doing so well, why are evictions increasing?

On Ed

LZ Granderson

February 13, 2024

A new migrant crisis is looming. Unlike those on the southern border, this one will be found all over the country.

A recent Harvard study found that half of the nation’s renters spend a third or more of their income on housing. These are the people who are lucky enough to find a home when there is a national shortage of affordable housing. Combine the rent control with the rising cost of child care, and don’t forget groceries, and you can see why evictions have increased and homelessness has reached record levels.

We have lived through an era of contradictions. The United States is the strongest economy in the world and American credit card debt has never been higher. The unemployment rate has been less than 5% throughout President Biden’s first term, and voters disapprove of his handling of the economy. Wall Street has been predicting that in recent years

major domestic product

was supposed to grow at less than 2%, and instead it was 2.5%, yet the economy feels weak to many people.

That’s because for many people the economy is weak.

Right now, the top 1% has more money than the middle class of the entire country. For the lowest-income Americans, rent is just the beginning of their worries.

Unaffordable rent


a continuation of the redistribution of wealth that accompanied President Reagan’s economic policies.

Before disco, the top 10% shared 30% of the country’s income, while the remaining 90% lived off the rest. Today, the bottom 90% have to survive on less than 60% of their income. The top 1% received 14.6% in 2021, which is double their 7.3% share in 1979, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

After 1979, Reagan convinced voters to prioritize capital over people. Give the rich more, and the extras will trickle down, remember? Greed is part of capitalism, but not part of patriotism. Reagan’s characterization of our economy brought these two concepts together, and many Americans embraced that misconception as truth. Those who struggled to achieve prosperity were seen as lazy and unworthy of help. There must be something wrong with them, the thinking went, because there was nothing wrong with this land of opportunity.

This was the era when well-paying manufacturing jobs went elsewhere. This was the time when large, successful companies were able to rake in record profits, while hardworking workers became dependent on food stamps to feed their families.

And now Congress is trying to solve the housing crisis by offering more tax breaks to housing developers. So much for the invisible hand of the free market, right? Although there is a desperate need for more affordable housing, developers


don’t make enough money to want to do it, so the government needs to dangle a carrot to ensure that thriving businesses will thrive even more.

Conservatives often talk about the country’s unsustainable spending. However, it’s not the federal debt that worries them most. How long can 22 million people spend a third or more of their income on rent?

In 2023, some states saw eviction filings increase by more than 50% compared to pre-pandemic levels, and the unemployment rate was higher at the time. That is also not sustainable.

Whether it’s living off loans to avoid taxable income or legally reporting losses while still making money, the different ways billionaire owners end up paying a lower tax rate than many of their employees

are well documented

. When rising costs are passed on to consumer rents, baby food and bacon, we are conditioned to blame the government and not the price gougers. When gas prices rise, many point the finger at the White House, even though presidents obviously have no control over gas prices.

This dire state of the American economy is not entirely attributable to either party or to any particular presidential administration. This redistribution has continued under everyone’s supervision. However, we are reaching a point


Many people are fed up with their hard work not paying off and start taking action. That’s why the Wall Street Journal called 2023 the year of the strike. The workers saw the prosperity at the top and demanded their fair share.

Now more than ever, we need Congress to close the tax loopholes that have allowed trillions of dollars to be siphoned off from the masses and hoarded by a few. Because the rental crisis isn’t a new problem: It’s the latest incarnation of the crisis that started when policymakers started pretending that greed is good.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Hot Topics

Related Articles