Thomas Sowell’s latest book, “The Housing Boom and Bust,” is highlighted in his most recent column. The book and, in a less detailed manner, the column note how the crisis in the housing market (which was the spark that ignited our current encomic downturn) was caused chiefly by government in its desire to promote the “good” of home ownership despite financial realities.
For far too long, too many people have regarded home ownership as “a good thing.” It is certainly true that home ownership has its benefits. But, like everything else, it also has its costs and its risks. Weighing such trade-offs is something that each individual and each family can do for themselves. It is when such decisions are made by politicians– of whatever party– that trade-offs tend to vanish into thin air, replaced by pursuit of a “good thing.”
Politicians often cover their actions in appeals to the “common good,” despite how fuzzy a concept that may be.