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On the French news program on SBS television, Friday 5th October ( originally aired on France 2, 8pm Thursday 4th October 2018 in France ) they showed a good piece about the rampant foreign investment in Berlin real estate. A young american sales agent talked proudly about investors from all over the world buying off plan before apartments had been constructed. When the sales agent was asked about diminishing rental (and buying?) affordability, being a consequence of the property grab by investors, she replied by saying that the affected people just needed to ask their employer for a wage rise. One elderly man who lived in an older apartment block was told by the investment firm who now owned the building that he was very lucky to have the opportunity to buy the apartment which he was renting. He, of course, couldn't afford to buy it, so now his situation is as precarious as the many tenants who had already been pushed out of the building, since the acquisition. This story is, in my opinion, representative of what is happening in this country also.

The stupid and antisocial real estate agent showed the open and shut case of how increased demand (from globalising the German market) leads to rising property prices and then higher wages and higher costs of doing business. Of course business fights back against wage rises, and a lot of people lose out. Small and medium businesses close because they cannot compete internationally in face of costs and big business, transnationals, replace them and pay rotten wages - as we see, for instance in which finally has agreed to pay desperate workers $15 per hour in America where said workers were forced to get food stamps etc. Land speculation is driven by population growth and it is the root of all evil.