All’s Fair In Love And Capitalism

Oberlin is a small college town here in Ohio; it is so small in fact, the town’s population has only changed by 4 people in the past ten years. In this small town brews the latest “news tragedy“. There is a retirement community (basically an apartment building for seniors and a people with various debilitating diseases who are still well enough to live on their own) operating at approximately 1/3 of its capacity. The owners contend not only is the property running at a loss, but it will soon force them into bankruptcy, so they made a deal to sell the complex to Oberlin College to operate as a dormitory. Here comes the public outrage. There are a little over 2 dozen tenants in the building now and they don’t have anyplace to go. I don’t think this is an outrage; I am sorry, but it is a fact of life. A property owner does have a right to sell when he is being drained by owning it. It is not as if he wants them to leave by week’s end; they have until March of 2003 to relocate. Originally the owners had planned to rebuild a smaller building for the current tenants on a wooded site nearby, but the cost of the land coupled with the cost to clear it and rebuild was just too high. I think these owners are getting a bad wrap. I don’t want any homeless old or sick people either, but if the owner can’t keep the building open long term, what happens to the tenants when the owners go bankrupt? You guessed it, eviction notices, and those won’t give you 9 months to find suitable arrangements; they will be government enforced. I hope this situation can be resolved in a way that will benefit all of those involved. One of the tenants even offered to live in the dorm with the students; I don’t know if that will work, but I do know the media is orchestrating a witch-hunt. The owners aren’t bad people; they are just trying to save themselves and their investment. Wouldn’t you? The tenants are not unreasonable either; they are just shocked by the prospect of having to move out of a place they call home. Wouldn’t you be? Maybe all of this tv coverage will help find them new homes, or a construction company that can help build a smaller place, but what it all comes down to is, two owners have been made into devils when they didn’t do anything wrong. It’s a shame, but it’s not a crime.

One Response to “All’s Fair In Love And Capitalism”

  1. napier Says:

    hmmm.. this is an interesting story. however, why can’t there be a happy medium in this situation??? i mean, if the population of the college is so small, then why cant the college still rent out rooms to the elderly, and use the space as a dormitory. it would only bring them extra cash. perhaps that makes too much sense.