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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Monday, March 16, 2009

Government and Housing

"What is new is the current notion of indulging people who refused to save for a rainy day or to live within their means. In politics, it is called 'compassion' -- which comes in both the standard liberal version and 'compassionate conservatism.' The one person toward whom there is no compassion is the taxpayer. The current political stampede to stop mortgage foreclosures proceeds as if foreclosures are just something that strikes people like a bolt of lightning from the blue -- and as if the people facing foreclosures are the only people that matter. What if the foreclosures are not stopped? Will millions of homes just sit empty? Or will new people move into those homes, now selling for lower prices -- prices perhaps more within the means of the new occupants? The same politicians who have been talking about a need for 'affordable housing' for years are now suddenly alarmed that home prices are falling. How can housing become more affordable unless prices fall? The political meaning of 'affordable housing' is housing that is made more affordable by politicians intervening to create government subsidies, rent control or other gimmicks for which politicians can take credit. Affordable housing produced by market forces provides no benefit to politicians and has no attraction for them. Study after study, not only here but in other countries, show that the most affordable housing is where there has been the least government interference with the market -- contrary to rhetoric."

--Hoover Institution economist Thomas Sowell


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