A friend of mine is a one-percenter and thinks he is self-made. His lack of empathy for the little people is staggering. If you lost your house due to covid quarantining or related job-loss, well, many people have internalized the American Dream but let's face it, not everyone is prepared or qualified for the responsibilities of home ownership. And if a private equity company snaps up the house, along with hundreds of other homes lost to similar misfortune, who is better qualified to manage the house? If the market determines that the US will turn from a nation of homeowners into a nation of renters, that is as it must be, because the market is all-wise.
These companies won't gouge on the rent because the renters will leave (i.e., become homeless). Nevertheless, the market entitles owners to charge the highest rent they can, and if it means warehousing the property until a better class of tenant comes along, so be it. It can be a tax write-off.
Who is a better landlord, a professional property management company, or grandma-with-a-spare-room who may or may not call the exterminators? Grandma also might do unprofessional things like not raise your rent for several years, or let you skip a payment. She would be, of course, a poor specimen of Homo Economicus, and the sooner she loses *her* house the better the country will be.
Addendum: The experimental drug hesitancy causing workers all over the US to resist employer vaccination mandates can only be the result of "ignorance," my friend also said (in the same conversation above).
Addendum 2: Illustration by Ralph Steadman, from Hunter S. Thompson's book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas