So now the word has come from the corporatistas and the rich, via their mouths in Libertariana: The Government, and Clinton Above All, Is Responsible For Our Housing Bust:
The idea being, of course, that the Government is the Pied Piper who picks the tune and everyone marches in lock-step, unable to do anything other than blindly follow.
Now I’m willing to state that governmental actions affect personal actions (state, not admit; after all I’ve believed this since before the Forerunner, paper mouthpiece of the Maranatha Christian Fellowship, stated this fact in an anti-Abortion article). However, I didn’t see a government force people into crappy loans for overpriced, underbuilt houses in the hope that some other fool would want to further overpay them for said privilege a few years later.
Think of it:
- All the purchases were to some degree voluntary. Even for people who had to relocate due to job concerns, you have to choose to buy a home to buy a home. Anyone willing to look at how things were going could see that houses were getting very overvalued. When people could honestly say that they can rent to save money to buy a house (under normal conditions, where people usually have to save money to buy a house DESPITE renting), the housing market had entered its bubble phase.
- Housing prices were exploding even though wages had stagnated or were falling. You can’t have this split without a developing drop in ownership levels. Since taxes and other costs tend to rise when housing prices rise, it takes more to own a house (and more to rent, obviously). Eventually people have to move to smaller digs, or turn to renting when the housing stock is unable to include them.
- Banks were jumping all over themselves to loan people money for the houses. Libertarians take note: The bankers, who historically have had to take the risk for home loans, figured out ways to shift the risk elsewhere while profiting now. That governing entities were willing pawns in this (I thought the ranking companies were independent entities, not puppets of the government) and the regulations against this stuff disappeared (in part thanks to Clinton) does not shift away from the fact that banks and other loaning entities were busy loaning like there was no such thing as a day of reckoning. For proof of this, look at the smaller towns which still have banks; those places tended to stay away from the wild loans the other places were foisting on needy homeowner-wannabees.
- People were trying like mad to buy these overpriced, underbuilt houses. Let’s not forget this. Lots of people were buying these homes. Some bought them to try and flip them, some tried renting their way to ownership, some felt they could refinance to a better loan in due time (these people REALLY woke up hard to reality), and some just bought what they were told to want. No matter what, a lot of people were trying to join the “Ownership Society.”
- A lot of other entities were working to make people want the homes. Ever wonder why many governmental agencies were overly eager to get rid of the “Projects?” I personally think they were trying to hotwire the housing market with millions of consumers who under normal conditions would have rented long enough to get around to buying houses on their own. Think of it: The projects get destroyed, the residents spread out to other places, people are either displaced or move out on their own find they have to pay more for halfway decent housing, eventually someone who may have wanted to rent for a few more years (or figured renting was better for them) find themselves out of their league and buying too much house for themselves.
Now it’s obvious that Government had a hand in this. They wanted more homeowners. Can’t blame them for this.
After all, if you had to live in a neighborhood, would you rather live around renters or owners? Owners are more stable, more concerned about their property and surroundings, and are usually plain richer than your average renter. Even a single sight of the neighborhoods show this out.
But you can’t blame government without laying blame on everyone else. After all, there’s a lot of people who didn’t go for the chincy stuff, and a lot of people who tried to buy sensibly.