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UMass economist blames ‘privatized housing’ for Florida condo collapse

‘Housing must be run democratically by all,’ he says

A professor emeritus of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has blamed “privatized housing” for the recent collapse of a Florida condo building, further charging that it “violates democracy.”

The 12-story condo building Champlain Towers South partially collapsed in Surfside, Florida, on the early morning of June 24.

The current death toll, according to several press reports, is at 27, with over 100 more people currently unaccounted for.

An investigation into the cause of the building’s collapse is ongoing.

But Richard Wolff, retired economics professor and author of the books “Understanding Socialism,” “Understanding Marxism,” and “The Sickness is the System,” wrote on Twitter on June 30 that he knows the real culprit.

“Miami’s collapsed condo shows: privatized housing violates democracy. Only condo owners voted to defer building repair. Delivery workers, condo visitors, repairers knew nothing, didn’t vote, risked injury, death. As irreducibly social, housing must be run democratically by all,” Wolff wrote.

NPR and other news outlets reported that the condo association squabbled over the cost and details of the repairs. However, months before the collapse a condo board vote authorized a $15 million line of credit loan for building repairs.

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About the Author
Jeremy founded three of the Real Clear Politics family of websites and has covered subjects ranging from religious trends to space travel to an armed standoff, for hundreds of publications. His books and comic books include The Warm Bucket Brigade: A History of the Vice Presidency, William F. Buckley, and Movie Men. Jeremy graduated from Trinity Western University, where he served as an editor for the Mars Hill newspaper.