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Soaring rents in Dublin are just another expression of the principle that underpins capitalism — the ownership of capital, or of a particular resource, puts you in a position to service, or exploit, those people who do not have the means to provide that resource for themselves.
This equation is enshrined in our Constitution by the prominence given to property rights. It seems to me that there would be nothing wrong with this idea if capital did not regularly, and almost naturally, generate a momentum that rewards capital.
It also widens the gap between people who provide services and people dependent on those services.
These issues caused seismic change in our world a century ago. Our failure to put in place international regulations to control the banks, and local regulations to control voracious landlords, suggests that we have not learned one of history’s most obvious lessons — exploitation might work for a while, but it will only be tolerated for so long.
Sean de Paor
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