Riddie 28.5

An old apartment building caught fire, most apartments were damaged badly and many people were left homeless. An investigator arrived from the fire department. A shady man pulled him aside into a dark corner of the building and handed five hundred dollar bills. “It would be better for both of us,” said the shady man, “if something went wrong with the investigation. Those the papers or whatever.” The investigator looked at the money and protested, “But the landlord will want to file an insurance claim and needs a report.” “He won’t mind,” the shady man replied, “be nice to other victims and don’t ask questions.” The investigator pocketed the money and conveniently forgot the case. Why did the landlord not get upset?

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The landlord set fire to his own building. It was occupied by tenants who paid a low rent that was restricted by law. If they moved out, then he would vacant apartments that could be offered at much higher rent than before. Incurring fire damage was a sensible investment for it removed low rent tenants and permit elegant remodeling into luxury apartments that could fetch very high rent.