By John Laurits
In 2015, studies estimate that US renters paid $535 billion to landlords in residential rents. To put this in perspective, $535 billion is about enough to give $15,000 to every human being in the US state of California. It would also be enough to replace every page of every book in the US Library of Congress¹ with $100 bills. And if a person stood outside of Walt Disney World every day from open to close, handing $30,000 in cash to each individual visitor, it would take a year to hand out $535 billion. But what exactly did this massive sum of money actually pay for? Why did people start paying landlords in the first place? And do lands really need lords?