“Supply and Demand:” A Quibble

Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson

“At the Hampton Institute, Shi Sanyazi argues that ‘Housing is Determined By Class Power and Profit, Not ‘Supply and Demand’’: ‘The truth is that … our conditions as tenants are determined by the balance of class power, not the balance of supply and demand.’ I know what they mean, of course. In the economic discourse between left and right, a complaint about the price of anything — the low wages paid by McDonald’s or Amazon are a prime example — is met by a patronizing response from right-wing splainydudes: ‘It’s all set by supply and demand! The left just doesn’t understand economics, LOL!’ The problem is that, in framing the article in these terms, Shi Sanyazi accepts the premise that there’s some sort of contradiction between rent (or any other price) being set by ‘the balance of supply and demand,’ and it being set by ‘the balance of class power.'” (05/20/23)