Comedian John Oliver last month dedicated a 22-minute segment of his weekly HBO late-night show to a deep dive on housing policy and rising rents.Mr. Oliver’s contention about “greedy landlords” is not without some merit.
After all, one would be hard-pressed to argue that self-interest — a synonym for greed, to some — is not a part of human nature. Therefore, if a landlord is able to charge high prices, he will naturally do it because it helps him and his business.On its face, this seems like a pessimistic proposition.
Who wants to live in a society where success is zero-sum and people will squeeze every cent they can out of customers? Well, almost nobody. For this reason — and because we cannot change our predisposition towards self-interest — it is our job to create systems that channel human self-interest for good
John Oliver Whiffs on Basic Economics in Viral Clip on High Rent