08 July 2010

More Unfortunate Facts for the Right

The right wing likes to blame our financial crisis in large part on the irresponsibility of the poor - those who allegedly took mortgages they knew they could not afford - and on government policies animated by the notion that home ownership is a good thing and that sought to extend it to those undeserving poor folk. As Paul Krugman has pointed out, this analysis overlooks the crash in the commercial real estate markets. How many poor and working people have been dabbling in financing malls and office buildings? But even putting that inconvenient question to one side, it turns out that in the residential real estate market it is the rich folks who are walking away from insupportable mortgages in disproportionate numbers. Now, I don't necessarily think we should be condemning the rich for doing what is in their economic interest. What I do think, though, is that the right wingers should update their assessment of who has been, and continues to be, "irresponsible" in all this. Fat chance of that happening!

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