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Sara Williams Willard, Poster Child for the Evil of Capitalism

July 1, 2015

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Last year, I posted a blog titled “Steven Flax:  The Conscience of a Genocidal Maniac” based on his tie-breaking vote for a 1% increase in rents for rent stabilized housing.  When the New York City Rent Guidelines Board had their 2015-2016 vote on Monday, June 29, Steve Flax was strangely silent, and seemed to look furtively about for the one who trashed his so-called conscience, and the person mouthing the bulk of the idiocies from the stage was Sara Williams Willard, who at least was hired, unlike Steven Flax, to represent landlords.

Williams Willard looked like a fat cow (the few pictures I could find of her online looked like they were about twenty years old) as she claimed that it was “myopic” and “selective listening” to freeze the rents of severely rent-burdened (legally defined as paying more than a third of their income in rent) and harmful to the landlords.  I’m pretty sure she was the moron I interrupted last year when she lied about the charter of the Rent Guidelines Board mandating that the landlord makes a profit, when it says no such thing.  (I would link to the charter, but I can’t find it.  I was given a hard copy about a year ago at Picture the Homeless, which I assume is now in a bag in my storage unit.)

The data presented showed that landlords’ expenses had gone up on average between -1 and .75%, while their profits had gone up between 3-5%.  Year after year, the Rent Guidelines Board has continued to allow unjustified rent increases based on costs that were never incurred, yet she made an unreasonable argument, completely unsupported by evidence, that .  The figures at the top of this paragraph also do not include such things as late fees and major capital improvements.  I was angry with the Rent Guidelines Board for allowing a 2% increase for two-year leases, which seems to me to be excessive and totally unreasonable based on the figures.  She essentially said, “It is completely reasonable to extract more money out of rent-burdened tenants for negligible increases in cost that are more than compensated by profits.”  She hemmed and hawed, but could provide no support for her argument beyond ad hominem attacks (and yes, I know “fat cow” is an example of one, but I have provided much more than ad hominem attacks).  Unfortunately, the Rest of the Rent Guidelines Board failed to justify why, under the circumstances, a 2% increase on two year leases was reasonable based on the data they stated that I report at the beginning of this paragraph.  What was Williams Willard listening to but greedy, exploitative landlords?  Why does she believe it is ethical to make people homeless for a profit?  The staggering increases in homelessness, particularly in family shelters, were reported by chair Rachel D. Godsil before casting her vote, and the audience echoed that putting people in family shelters is more expensive to the taxpayer than keeping them in rent stabilized apartments.  The primary cause of homelessness is real estate speculation; i.e. capitalism.  It is a fact that there is enough vacant property in New York City to house the shelter population a minimum of four times over.

Cathy O’Neil pointed out in the June 28, 2015 meeting of Occupy Wall Street Alternative Banking, New York City real estate is an example of the inefficiency of the free market.  When supply exceeds demand prices are supposed to fall, but even though there are more vacant homes, both in New York City and nationwide, than homeless people, prices continue to go up.  New York City Council Chair Melissa Mark-Viverito showed in a presentation at El Museo del Barrio on May 20, 2015, that the supply of housing for people making more than $70,000 a year is at an enormous surplus, while housing for people who make less than that is at an extreme deficit.  Apart from Picture the Homeless’s community land trust model, no method of changing this makes the slightest bit of sense.  They all involve severely increasing the surplus of housing for people who make $70,000, when so many of them are lying vacant, to add far too little of housing at the price range where it is severely needed.  This is patently nonsensical, as is the bulk of the religion of capitalism.  This religion also states that when a supply increases, prices decrease, and that has not happened in the real world.  Philip Mirowski has written an entire book, More Heat Than Light: Economics as Social Physics: Physics as Nature’s Economics, which discusses how economists stole their formulae from physics with no evidence that they had any real-life referent if though the math worked out on paper, as though substituting 500 grams for 500 pounds isn’t going to throw off the accuracy of the rest of the formula.

Sara Williams Willard should be forced to spend at least a month in a homeless shelter, preferably one where she will receive the kind of treatment I received at the hands of Robert Green, as well as get the health problems I got from the shelter food.  I can think of endless shaming tactics to use against her, but would need to mobilize a group to do anything.

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12 Comments
  1. Yellowteeth Scott permalink

    WOW, it’s hard to believe that you’re unhireable.

    • Because, for the anonymous coward who posted this, a logical argument peppered with ad hominem attacks to be an inherently less competent strategy than ad hominem attacks with no support whatsoever.

  2. There is no real estate “market” except for the pied-a-terre investment w/ no one living there…. Really is Glass Steagall act or DIE. If these people make endless money on financial derivatives, you have ZERO defense… Of course they will collapse, the bubble will collapse, but who will pick up the pieces? And this is something that Miss Blue Hair will never figure out… after all, she doesn’t want to offend her sponsors.

  3. “Miss Blue Hair” as you call her is always attacking the repeal of Glass-Steagall, which you’d know if you attended frequently enough to do anything more than pimp Larouchepac.

  4. It’s a laundry list… Do they have any concern over the strategic fight for the human race? That with the squeezing of Greece, the looting of Greece, we are on the brink of nuclear war, as the oligarchy demands that no nation, including Russia and China, dare defy it. As long as they have Obama in, we stand days from potential general war. Impeach Obama, and give up the list of 99 demands…

    • Greece has been the major focus of discussion at altbanking lately.

    • I heard we were days away from war when I visited your cult back in February. I didn’t believe it then and don’t believe it now. Schiller Institute is a fearmongering cult that collects money from the gullible.

  5. according to some, PTH is also a cult of leftist belly-achers…. In any case, are you up for Sat?? Still trying to get you in, but pls indicate that you are awake and all that…

  6. It could be thought of as such. Does your organization have a recipe for replacement the old financial system with an new one? Do they have an idea for how to get the United States to cooperate with other major nations of the world?

    • We’re not that macro. We do have a proposal for Bill De Blasio to fulfill his affordable housing plan, and it has been presented to Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios-Paoli.

  7. Ok… If our friend calls me about Saturday, daytime, I will say yes, unless advised otherwise.

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