Skip to comments.Welfare state failures are at bottom of the crisis
Posted on 10/06/2008 4:08:15 AM PDT by Kaslin
As our financial markets totter, as homes go into foreclosure, as Wall Street executives lose millions, as Americans have more and more difficulty getting loans, can anyone be happy?
Certainly. Those on the left who now, with unbounded glee, pen obituaries for the free market.
One can sense their joy as they have, they think, the last laugh.
Bernie Sanders, the far left senator from Vermont, was almost giddy on Larry Kudlow's TV show recently to hear free-marketer Kudlow endorse the bailout and tell Kudlow that he is glad to see he has become a socialist.
The Washington Post's Harold Meyerson writes, "The old order -- the Reagan-age institutions built on the premise that the market can do no wrong and the government no right -- is dying."
And, of course, there's the thrill in seeing greedy Wall Street capitalists laid bare for the heartless, exploitive monsters they are and see justice done as they fall by the free market sword by which they lived!
But, in fact, what we are watching is not a failure of markets, but the latest failure of the welfare state. The sad part is how few who wield political power seem to understand, or want to understand, that this is what's happened.
As the details behind the current debacle are unraveled, we see how government created one more entitlement -- the right to own a house -- and then devised an array of programs to subsidize in various ways "affordable housing." Like all welfare programs, the subsidies succeeded in influencing behavior, but the wrong behavior.
The greedy part, or, if one wishes to be forgiving, the confused part, of the Wall Street guys is their willingness to play ball with politicians over these years in turning our free country into a welfare state. Wall Street has regularly been a generous contributor to politicians who love to grow government and use it as a tool for social policy.
These smart investment bankers, commercial bankers, and traders could have gotten plenty rich, and stayed that way, by encouraging solid institutions to build our country properly. If anyone should appreciate the power of freedom and markets and want to encourage the proper role of government, the integrity of private property, and the care and nurturing of American families, you'd think it would be our financiers.
But instead of recognizing basics -- the principles of limited government and traditional values -- and fighting political pressures to undermine these basics, our financiers were happy to support the welfare state model.
They should have appreciated, as we must appreciate today, that the problem is not a failure of freedom and markets but of eroding the pillars and principles that make them possible and functional.
The best housing program this nation could have is for the government to stay out, let the price of real estate and credit reflect true realities of supply, demand, and risk, and let private people decide for themselves what they need to do and how hard they need to work to acquire what they want.
As the institution of government grows, we sadly watch the collapse of the institutions that really sustain growth of home ownership: American marriage and families.
According to the Census Bureau, the single largest incidence of homeownership, 86.3 percent, is among married-couple families. Yet, traditional families now amount to barely more than a quarter of our households.
And, sadly and ironically, the problem of family structure is most severe in low- income communities where government housing policy has been most targeted.
Social and economic policy are not separate universes but part of one fabric of institutions and laws that sustain freedom and prosperity.
Those who want to use the current crisis as an excuse to expand government and welfare state policies contribute to laying the foundation for our next crisis.
This post is exactly RIGHT.
As usual, th eresponisble tazpayer gets the bill. No matter how they try to weasel out of it - YOU are paying for this and you did nothing wrong.
I don't blame the poor as much as I think middle class and upper middle class people used the low rates to refi, buy big toys and vacation homes and rentals, and now all of a sudden , they are out of luck....poor me...
This along with the FED lowering interest rates in the early 2000’s all the way down to 1%. This spurred on the credit/debt bubble and more home purchases and construction.
Sadly, Senator Sanders is correct. I've had many nominally conservative friends of mine tell me I am insane to think that the bailout is bad, even though it goes against all of the principles of fiscal conservatism.
I believe that this bill represents the "sovietization" of our economy. The mortgage industry is now effectively nationalized. We might as well burn all the copies we have left of The Wealth of Nations because clearly, Adam Smith got it all wrong.
It's a DEMbacle
And you are correct. The state is now in charge of housing. Energy and health care next then food. All will be “fairly rationed”. But remember “ nothing from nothing leaves nothing” the math of communism. Everything is free but there ain’t none.
And Wall Street ran with it, unfettered and free, creating all sorts of popcorn fart financial “instruments” to sell back and forth to each other.
But that’s ok, we’ll keep pointing fingers at one aspect, and only one, guaranteeing that all points of blame remain intact to do it again the future.
I was always surprised when I heard that Hillary Clinton was the leading recipient of donations from companies in the financial services industry.
I do and I blame government for forcing banks to give mortgages via the CRA law to people on welfare, unemployment and using child support as income.
Alright everyone....today at work you are to just say this
That Obama....Boy he is scarey!
(say it at least three times today).
These Obama people are hypnotized. Its hard to break the spell, but you can add to their Brain with simple suggestions. I am not kidding.
That Obama...Boy he is scarey!
(only two more for me)!
It will only get worse. They didn’t change the laws that created the problem and they made sure that people in houses they can’t afford get to keep the house at a lower principal and interest rate.
We’re caught in a trap. The west have a globally defined ‘mechanical model’ of the social universe. Interchangeable parts daddies, mommies, whatever...The order of the factors doesn’t alter the product. Now like the pre-Galileo flat earthers we have to make this simplistic model work. Back in the day hey called it ‘savng the phenomena’.So we socially engineer and legislate to the lowest common denominator, rape, incest, abortion, sodomy. We have to expose children to deviancy before they learn to read to save them. Still the babies , and the violated corpses of children keep turning up in dumpsters and landfills. It’s time for a new ‘ De Revolutionibus’ about the hitherto undreamed of complexity of the Human Spirit.
And it won’t matter, because those people are in way over their heads and will not be able to keep their homes regardless of lower interest rates.
Some are in homes that cost more a month than they take in after taxes, and that’s a fact.
Probably best to leave out the word ‘’boy’’ - you know how sensitive people are nowadays!
I challenge anyone to name a current problem that isn’t the result of, or hasn’t been exacerbated by,
a liberal policy.
See this is where the McCain campaign and Republicans in general are failing: we’re letting the Dems hang this economic mess on Bush and Republican politics, when it’s actually Democrat-created problem.
But with the mainstream media solidly in the tank for Obama, it’s impossible to get the truth out to a wide audience.
We may never again have a free and legitimate election in this country.
You need to reread my post and read the part of the bill that covers this issue.
If they bought the house for $325,000.00 but can only afford a house for $125,000.00 the bill allows the govt to lower the price to $125,000.00 and can even lower the interest rate. All of course paid for on the taxpayers dime.
The bill is the largest transfer of wealth in the history of our republic.
EXHIBIT ONE Franklin Raines Letter to Shareholders 2003 Fannie Mae Annual Report
EXCERPT...Ten years ago.......the typical conforming mortgage required a down payment of 10 to 20 percent, and low-down payment mortgages were considered too risky. But then we helped to standardize the 3 to 5 percent down payment loan, brought it to global capital markets, and made it available to lenders and communities nationwide.
Now low-down payment loans are commonplace. And we just adopted a new variance in our underwriting standards that will make the $500 down payment loan widely available as well...
In 1994, we pledged to provide $1 trillion in capital to ten million underserved families by the end of 2000. Thanks to our housing and industry partners, we met that goal early. Then in 2000, we launched our American Dream Commitment, a pledge to provide $2 trillion in capital to 18 million underserved families by the year 2010, including $400 billion targeted specifically for minority families (later raised to $700 billion in response to President Bushs Minority Homeownership Initiative).
After four of the strongest years in housing and mortgage finance history, weve already surpassed the top-line goals of this commitment. But our work is far from complete.
So in January 2004, we announced our Expanded American Dream Commitment and pledged significant new resources to tackle Americas toughest housing challenges. Our new commitment has three main goals.
First, we will expand access to homeownership for six million first-time home buyers in the next ten years, including 1.8 million minority first-time home buyers.We also will help raise the national minority homeownership rate from 49 percent to 55 percent, with the ultimate goal of closing it entirely.
Second, we will help new and long-term homeowners stay in their homes through a series of initiatives, and commit $15 billion to preserve affordable rental housing and $1.5 billion to support the revitalization of public housing communities.
Third, we will increase the supply of affordable housing and support community development activities in at least 1,000 neighborhoods across the country through our American Communities Fund, and through targeted investments like Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that help finance affordable rental housing.
It is because of initiatives like our Trillion Dollar Commitment and our American Dream Commitment that we have exceeded our HUD affordable housing goals for ten consecutive years.
And we have increased our financing of mortgages to African Americans by over 400 percent and to Hispanic Americans by 470 percent in the past ten years, compared with a 205 percent increase in overall financing.
Our Expanded American Dream Commitment will help us do even more.
Would you believe some states actually have Ethics Commissions to issue official statements on ethics required of state officials?
Ethics are simply morals in Sunday dress. The concept has been well-defined in places like the Ten Commandments, the Bible, and so on.
Political correctness and moral ambiguity trampled on centuries-old moral traditions of right and wrong. Moral ambiguity translated into politically correct---anything that smacked of "religious judgementalism" was deemed anathema.
Political correctness canonized morally bankrupt behavior. Killing babies in utero is considered a "right."
We've been headed downhill ever since the onset of political correctness. Brick by brick the moral bulwark of Western Civilization has been chipped away.
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