The New York City Comptroller, Scott Stringer, recently announced his candidacy for mayor. Among his remarks: "when the contributions those residents made, over decades, put their neighborhoods on the map, the real estate companies and other profiteers wasted no time swooping in with luxury development. These speculators had a willing partner in City Hall — through multiple administrations. All the while, people were being pushed out and priced out....When I am mayor, we will end the crushing cycle of speculation, eviction, and displacement. No more giving away the store to developers. No more unaffordable affordable housing. We will put an end to the gentrification industrial complex."
Stringer should be asked for his definition of a "profiteer." Is he opposed to all profits for New York City real estate investors? Or just profits above a certain amount? If so, what is the amount? How does he expect to create more housing units in New York, or to allocate it so that supply meets demand, in a system that caps profits, or denies them? Wouldn't capital just go and invest somewhere else where the politicians are less hostile to profits?
Elsewhere on Stringer's campaign website, he describes the comptroller's role as "manager of the city's $170 billion pension funds." It doesn't exactly inspire confidence that $170 billion worth of public pension funds are being managed by a guy with this kind of apparent hostility to the profit motive. What's he going to do, invest the pension funds in companies that do not seek profits?