Today I have for you a surprising reason rent in cities has gone up so much, an executive summary on a dangerous political playbook, hot links and an adorable corgi video I took last week.

—Nick Wolny

How an algorithm f'd up rent prices


It's not just you! Rent is up. In some markets where a certain software was being used, rent has gone up 50-80% in just seven years.

RealPage makes software for landlords. The software, called Yieldstar, helps landlords decide how much rent to charge. Many people think Yieldstar is unfair because it makes rents go up a lot. The software also encourages landlords to keep some apartments empty, even when people need places to live. This is because Yieldstar thinks it's better to charge higher rent for fewer apartments than lower rent for more apartments.

In recent years, some real estate investors have bought apartment buildings for very high prices, thinking they could raise rents further using Yieldstar. But a slew of lawsuits are being brought against RealPage, and now many of these buildings aren't making enough money to pay their loans.

This writeup from Maureen Tkacik at The American Prospect is an interesting exploration of whether algorithms should be allowed to optimize rent prices.

🔗 Read at The American Prospect

Democracy alert: Project 2025


It would be good to know about a far-right playbook recently introduced in the U.S. ahead of the November Presidential election.

Project 2025 is a manifesto of over 900 pages that recommends in detail the actions the next conservative President should take to “rescue the country” from “elite rule and woke cultural warriors.” The project has received support from more than 80 organizations, many of which are known for their extremist Christian nationalism, according to the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism. A detailed recap from GPAHE is here.

Why put this in a personal finance newsletter?

Because part of wealth means feeling informed and civically engaged. And my work is increasingly focused on the well-being of LGBTQ+ people. This project aspires to roll back protection wins queer people have secured over the years, and it would have negative financial and social impact on us.

The project also includes instructions for ending reproductive freedom, offices that study climate change, and, uh... **checks notes** dismantling the FBI. And make sure you're registered to vote!

Even if Trump doesn't win, the project is an authoritarian playbook that is already making the rounds and will likely shape anti-LGBTQ+ policy efforts for years to come. Here's a write-up from The Advocate with basics to know.

🔗 Read at The Advocate

Reading is fundamental


Money and Work

Tests Show Instagram Recommends Sexual Reels to Accounts for 13-Year-Olds. The same tests on TikTok and Snapchat did not yield the same results. (The Wall Street Journal)

For us adults, though, some good news about IG: You can now do an Instagram Live to Close Friends only. (Engadget)

Nvidia’s Rally to Most Valuable Stock in the World: How It Happened. It's gone up 591,074% since 1999 (not a typo), but also has had three plummets of over 50% within that time period. Investing favors the patient! (Bloomberg)

X will make video live streaming a paid feature. (Engadget)

Home prices reached a new record high in May 2024. (CNBC)

Morningstar introduced an LGBTQ+ index. The developed markets LGBTQ+ index will track up to 100 mid and large-cap companies that have strong LGBTQ+ inclusion policies, as measured by ExecuPride. (Morningstar newsroom)


AI and Future Tech

Anthropic claims its latest AI chatbot model is best-in-class. I like Anthropic's Claude the best personally, only because you can attach documents in a prompt. Big pissing content between all the AI companies right now. (TechCrunch)

Apple will push its AI in China, mainly because ChatGPT is banned in China. (The Wall Street Journal)

OpenAI CTO Mira Murati says AI could kill some creative jobs, but that ‘maybe they shouldn't have been there in the first place.’ Someone please come media train these AI executives already. 🤪 (PCMag)

AI Doesn’t Kill Jobs? Tell That to Freelancers. Data sets so far this year have found that job postings on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr are down as much as 21%, particularly in the fields in which generative AI excels. (The Wall Street Journal)

Meta is tagging real photos as 'Made with AI,' frustrating photographers. (TechCrunch)



Remembering the time Ram Dass came out, and how it influenced new age spirituality. (LGBTQ Nation)

An appeals court maintained PrEP coverage under Obamacare in a win for HIV prevention. (The Advocate)

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the Court's recent ruling in an immigration case threatens marriage equality. (The Advocate)

Some good news: Little Gay Pub, a D.C.-based gay bar, will open a second location in Philadelphia, the owners announced. (LGBTQ Nation)

Former Rep. George Santos joined OnlyFans. (LGBTQ Nation)


The owner of the gym I go to brings his two corgis in every day now. Their names are Cedric and Klaus.

Every Wednesday I go to a personal trainer for a mix of resistance training and physical therapy. I get my ass kicked! So I've gotten into this routine of hanging out with the dogs after the session to continue cooling down.

Gyms should totally have therapy dogs. Yes?

Cheering you on,


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A free email newsletter on personal finance, business, LGBTQ+ matters and how they all intertwine. Written by Out Magazine finance columnist Nick Wolny.

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