How Does Jimmy McMillan Plan to Lower the Rent?

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Since his star making turn in the unintentionally humorous New York gubernatorial debate, Jimmy McMillan has racked up high-profile appearances, eye-brow raising endorsements and relentless press for his "Rent is Too Damn High" platform. But while the candidate showed considerable charisma and an authoritative tone, he's been short on actual policy proposals for lowering the admittedly "damn high" New York rent. In a contribution in The Guardian's opinion section, McMillan clarifies his platform and describes how he stumbled upon it while being mugged on a Brooklyn Street.

How He Embraced the Rent Platform

The rent is too damn high.That's what I was thinking when the five guys jumped me as I was walking down a street in Brooklyn at two in the morning. At least, that's probably what I was thinking, since that's what I'm thinking most of the time.... I could figure sending guys after me if I hadn't paid the rent – some of those landlords are straight-up criminals, it wouldn't surprise me – but I had. They wanted me to simply stop talking about it.

Here's His Proposals To Lower the Rent:

  • 1) 'Reverse Each and Every Foreclosure Where Bankers Filed False Documents'  McMillan echos a pervasive sentiment when he calls for "arresting" bankers, rails against the Obama administration $700 billion dollar bailout and argues for treating banks "like any other racketeering organisation that schemes to make millions by breaking the law."
  • 2) 'Nationalise the Banks'  These institutions "hate the free market when it applies to them" and the government should "cut the average top banker salary from $20m a year to $45,000 a year."
  • 3) Seize Foreclosed Properties and 'Transfer' Them to People Without Homes  A self-explanatory suggestion.
  • 4) 'How About a Rent Freeze?'  He puts it simply: "putting cash into people's hands is the best way to boost the economy"

If perhaps, like Sean Hannity, you find the finer details of McMillan's points somewhat elusive, you can watch the quixotic candidate be pressed on his platform by the Fox News host here.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.