John Riceburg: The day my neighbour was evicted



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Not sure where to start with this.

“A house owner might argue that the rent pays for the house. But the house I live in was built and paid for 100 years ago”

Breathtaking ignorance. Might I suggest you google ‘private property’.

“The woman from the Hausverwaltung who would send a guy to die just so she could pile up a few more pieces of paper?”

But she didn’t send a guy to die, did she?

“Every day in Berlin families are thrown out onto the street because of a few euros’

No they aren’t.

“This nightmarish scene was brought to you by Der Kapitalismus”

If only the world were as simple as you'd like it to be.

I'm speechless that someone could write such an article and expect to be taken seriously. Or is it a wind-up?

georges1 more than 7 years ago

free housing after all...

No-no, Seymour Gris, now I have to support John Riceburg on the capitalist issue:
the GDR system didn't have anything to do with socialism: it was rather some sort of paranoid perverse cronyist regime. There was enough money for investment into housing, but the buggers preferred to spend it for the most elaborate stalking machine (Staasi).

The housing in need of money. Everyday worker is so squeezed now that s/he can't absolutely have anything to invest: the value of the money in Germany has been plumbing, the growth and the investment in Germany has been financed by the 20 year freeze of the wage. So those who are investing are the foreigners: most of them would be from the dodgy regime countries ruined by the stock markets cult like Greeks (everybody knows that immediately after the crises they came and paid cash for property), the corrupt Russians who sucked everything out of their country in hope Europe accepts them and their children, who obviously should not live in the messed up ruins left behind. It was the West Germans who were quick enough to "invest" into rundown Prenzlauberg and did not have a scruple to squeeze the pensioners. And everyone else from abroad where the capital made the living conditions so unbearable, the living standards so appalling, the social inter-human factor so acid and the prices for the property so soaring that they are looking for the "cheap alternatives". The result is devastating…

Let's not delude ourselves: If it were only the investments into the housing rents would go down after the credits were paid back. But everyone knows they would not.

exhe more than 7 years ago

Houses are free?

You can't be serious when you write "A house owner might argue that the rent pays for the house. But the house I live in was built and paid for 100 years ago. Now the owners are just collecting money ..." What do you think a house looks like that's not maintained (and yes invested in) for in 100 years? You can't be that ignorant!

NbN more than 7 years ago


So your counter-thesis, just to make sure I understand you right, is that after a house is paid off, the maintenance costs are just as high as the building costs had been? Because otherwise rents would drop drastically after a house became a certain age, right? The fact that that doesn't happen must be because of maintenance costs. Since renting a house creates no profit, right? In fact, that's why no one with money wants to buy houses in Berlin. Thanks for the explanation!

John Riceburg more than 7 years ago

Not a thesis

Nice try at backtracking and reinterpreting what you wrote. You said "But the house I live in was built and paid for 100 years ago". So if something is bought and paid for it generates no more costs ... following your logic. In Berlin many of the older buildings had bombs flying through the roof (even if they didn't explode) causing all kinds of long term and very expensive issues including "Schwamm". The cost of ripping out entire floors to replace much of the internals of a building and decades of maintenance work and compliance with Denkmalschutz can absolutely exceed the original cost of the building itself.

NbN more than 7 years ago

free housing

Have to agree a little bit with NbN here. Up until the financial crisis, after which everyone put all their money in real estate, creating the current bubble and rental crisis, capitalist financing of housing worked pretty well in Germany. The small, reliable profit you could get from rents was an incentive to invest in and maintain buildings. All public housing or socialism don't necessarily create better housing for people. East Berlin was a mess in 1989, the buildings falling apart because of a lack of investment. Speculation and price gouging are the problem, not "capitalism" as such. Capitalism just needs stronger regulations in place and maybe other safeguards against evictions like the one you describe. Otherwise you're just throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Seymour Gris more than 7 years ago

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