Blackstone Buys Up Some Student Housing
The average student who lives on campus will leave college with over $100,000 in student debt. This is usually accumulated over the course of at least a four-year degree, and it's a very difficult thing to pay back. A lot of students cannot afford off-campus housing so they live in dorms. They spend a lot of their time hoping that colleges don't increase the tuition costs from year to year. Just yesterday, however, August 20, Blackstone purchased nearly $800 million in the US Student Housing Portfolio.
Blackstone now owns hundreds of thousands of houses and apartments, and now also a great interest in student dorms. According to reports, this is an investment by the corporation, in which they formed a joint venture with Landmark Properties. They're capitalizing a portfolio that includes "5,416 beds," which is close to 3,000 dorm rooms.
What strikes a lot of people who have heard this news is that they had no idea at all that college campuses and their dorm rooms were something on the market for public trading. It seems a little crazy for people who were unaware, though colleges have basically been corporations for the past two decades. They work off of government guaranteed loans, and they greatly expand due to the fact that they will make guaranteed money for offering student housing and educations. This is why we have witnessed an uptick in made-up courses like "whiteness studies" and "critical race theory." The college hires a professor to teach these courses, for around $100,000 a year on average, and if over 30 students end up enrolling in college just to take that major, at $25k per year, e.g., that's the college making ten-times in profit what they pay the professor.
Yes, colleges are a business; perhaps the largest business in America. As a business, everything that colleges have are up for sale to the highest bidder.
Anything but a "Free" Market
Capitalism was a system that mathematically worked for a lot of ordinary people about 60 years ago. These days, however, the idea of "capitalism" is really just corporatism, according to a lot of economists. What we see are huge corporations who have the government's complete backing to just buy anything they want, any time they want, and to step all over the smaller competition. Government not only encourages these actions from corporations but also backs them up should they fail. Lest we forget hundreds of billions of dollars given to the very corporations that wrecked our economy a little over ten years ago, government in America goes out of its way to support corporations over citizens; "Profits over people," a lot have taken to calling it.
So whether you are a staunch capitalist or an admitted socialist, one can easily see the issue in allowing a company like Blackstone to just buy up everything in sight. It's not only Blackstone, of course. It's China becoming the number-one homeowner in Texas, and other foreign interests and companies buying properties out from under American citizens. When is enough enough? Offering America up to the highest bidder is fine for politicians. They'll just give themselves another pay raise if they have trouble affording housing, like they did during 2020's lock-downs (that they instituted) due to the pandemic.
The fact that these companies can just purchase anything they want, as long as they have the money, is really killing the idea of the American dream. If one were to work hard for many years and save up enough money to buy a home, what's left for them when the government freely allows all of these properties to be bought up by any corporation willing to pay? Some would argue that people who have the money deserve the right to buy anything they want. But that's not how America works in other areas. You can have the money for alcohol, but must be 21 and sober to buy it. You can have the money for firearms, but must pass a background check to buy them. Why, then, are these huge multi-national corporations allowed to simply buy up everything with no questions asked?
We can hope that Blackstone doesn't decide to make some arrangement that would require students to pay more for tuition in order to be housed on campus. This would result in even more student debt taken on just to get an education. Though what's really scary here: If Blackstone wanted to do that, our government gives this corporation its full blessing.
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