Economics

Higher Home Values and More Affordable Housing?

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Last week, discussing the Obama administration's plan to help homeowners avoid foreclosure by encouraging lenders to renegotiate mortgage terms, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said "it is imperative that we continue to move with speed to help make housing more affordable and help arrest the damaging spiral in our housing markets." Can "we" really do both? To the extent that Geithner et al. "arrest the damaging spiral in our housing markets"—i.e., stop home prices from falling—housing will be less affordable than it would otherwise be. Maybe he just wants to make housing more affordable for people who already have homes but are having trouble making their mortgage payments, as opposed to people who are in the market for housing. But that raises the question of why one group should be favored over the other.

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  1. Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others!

  2. Wouldn’t inflation accomplish both goals?

  3. less filling AND tastes great.
    The same beer…and they said it couldn’t be done.

  4. It’s pretty simple. Provide easy money, supports current value. Make it so only minorities can access easy money, or I guess grudgingly white people if they’re a union steward or something, and you check another democrat party block. Just whistle past the graveyard when it comes to inflation. Not a big problem for the administration who put Holder in as atty general, since he’s whistling past a large part of the constitution daily it appears.

  5. Give people $$ to buy houses to increase demand. Tax the crap out of homeowners to pay for it. Mission accomplished.

    Granted, what the govt giveth in demand-related property values it taketh away in taxes making you no better off, but if you hide the taxes the cattle won’t realize what’s happening.

  6. ?I am a dull and simple lad? …
    I just don’t get it.
    WTF is wrong with the price of homes falling?

  7. Newsflash!

    Obama won!

    We gave your ideology a chance the past 8 years and look where it got us? You obviously don’t know anything about the subject, and you’re questioning the former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York?

  8. “To the extent that Geithner et al. “arrest the damaging spiral in our housing markets”-i.e., stop home prices from falling-housing will be less affordable than it would otherwise be.”

    Not if falling housing prices know a gaping whole in the rest of the economy and lots of people lose their jobs, idiot.

  9. We gave your ideology a chance the past 8 years and look where it got us?

    What ideology is that? Please explain so that we may laugh and laugh at you.

  10. Pamplemousse, I think you took a wrong turn on the information superhighway, there, buddy. You seem to think that free minds and free markets were given a chance the past 8 years. That’s not how it looks from here.

  11. Jacob Sullum is kind of a ignoramus’s Jesuit, isn’t he?

  12. Not if falling housing prices know a gaping whole in the rest of the economy and lots of people lose their jobs, idiot.

    The rare double joe’z Law. Bravo, Lefiti!

  13. And another joe’z Law from Lefiti.

    Jacob Sullum is kind of a ignoramus’s Jesuit, isn’t he?

    Stop it, man, you’re killing me!

  14. What ideology is that?

    Don’t try to be cute. It’s no secret that Bush was a giant shill for free markets and giving favors to giant corporations.

  15. We gave your ideology a chance the past 8 years and look where it got us?

    Newsflash! You’re an idiot!

    EPIC FAIL

  16. I thought it was “Leftiti”

    This is clearly an imposter

  17. Well, if we force the banks to lend money to the poor to buy the houses at inflated prices, then they will be more “affordable”.

    It’s a win-win situation. What could possibly go wrong?

  18. Whoa pimplemousse! You can’t even maintain a decent faux-troll for more than one post? Lame.

  19. Duh:

    2 + 2 = 5

  20. Don’t try to be cute.

    I can’t help it; I just am.

    It’s no secret that Bush was a giant shill for free markets and giving favors to giant corporations.

    If you’re going to troll, try not to contradict yourself within the same sentence.

  21. It’s no secret that Bush was a giant shill for free markets and giving favors to giant corporations.

    What a stunningly breathtaking contradiction. Sadly, a lot of very stupid people believe it.

  22. Gah! Epi!

    From hell’s heart, I stab at thee!

  23. Pamplemousse : You are being too obvious. If you’re trying to parody a Democratic partisan, then you need to make it sound *slightly* more intelligent. They aren’t THAT stupid.

  24. If the government keeps nominal prices high, while providing tax subsidies and/or outright cash assistance to homebuyers, they will have furthered their ultimate aim of making the civilian population more dependent on, and grateful to, them.

  25. Ha ha! I win! Jerk!

  26. What a stunningly breathtaking contradiction. Sadly, a lot of very stupid people believe it.

    Yeah!

    I don’t see what’s so unbelievable about Pamplemousse. Clearly he (she?) is only echoing things that they heard on cable news. Isn’t that what most poeple do?

  27. Thank God the Democrats are going to finally kill that pesky free market. Bush and his GOP cronies kept strangling it, then would let it breathe some, then strangle it again. It’s time to kill it, once and for all.

    And those giant corporations! Why, just the other day, I saw one stomp on a crowd of people as it walked around saying, “Dinsdale?”

  28. To add insult to injury, the over-extended home owner is probably deducting the interest on his mortgage and paying little or no federal income tax while the renter who is looking to buy a home is having his income tax used to subsidizes the other guy’s reduced-rate mortgage.

  29. “My eyes! Ze goggles do nothing!”

  30. Epi, you forget that the left’s idea of “free market” IS giving favors to big corporations. Not an actual free market.

    Kinda like you’re a facist if you believe anything that they don’t.

    Semantics shemantics

  31. Why, just the other day, I saw one stomp on a crowd of people as it walked around saying, “Dinsdale?”

    “He was a cruel man, but fair.”

  32. Sadly, this administration just doesn’t seem very intelligent.

    We gave your ideology a chance the past 8 years and look where it got us?/

    Unfortunately, Bush never followed our ideology. To make matters worse Obama is still following Bush’s ideology. The Callenged One just isn’t very bright.

  33. “and giving favors to giant corporations”

    He, he, he. Geithner helps the LITTLE guy like Bear Sterns and AIG!!

  34. I live in Northern Virginia. When I moved here 4 years ago, buying anything (house, condo, townhouse) was unthinkable. So I’ve been renting a 1 bedroom apartment ever since and saving money.

    I’m one of the few people I work with who is happy about the meltdown. I am now actively in the market, and hope to soon buy a property (and not some dinky condo either!).

  35. Well, he had to, didn’t he? I mean, be fair, there was nothing else he could do. I mean, I had transgressed the unwritten law.

  36. Aaargh. Reminds me of a town council meeting I had to cover a year or so back. There were about fifteen items on the agenda; one of them was a proposal to tighten the zoning laws to require new homes be built bigger, and on larger plots of land … and a few items later, the proposal to start a taxpayer-funded task force to address the question of why poor and middle-class people can’t afford to live in that town anymore, and how much tax money they’d need to provide subsidies to change this.

    I wish to hell I were making this up.

  37. Higher home values also discourages consumption. These people are so contradictory, it ain’t funny anymore.

  38. I was watching the McLaughlin Group this weekend and I think I’ve come up with who Pamplemousse is.

    Eleanor Clift

  39. “It is easy for us to judge Dinsdale Piranha too harshly. After all, he only did what many of us simply dream of doing…I’m sorry. After all we should remember that a murder is only an extroverted suicide. Dinsdale was a looney, but he was a happy looney. Lucky bugger.”

  40. Epi, you forget that the left’s idea of “free market” IS giving favors to big corporations. Not an actual free market

    Maybe “the left” gets that idea from the fact that anyone ever elected espoused “free markets” and the virtues of “privatization” have done nothing but give favors to big corporations and their “privatization” has been nothing but crony capitalism to reward their campaign donors.

    Can someone point me to an “actual free market” somewhere in the US?

    Who are these “real” free marketeers to vote for?? The ones that aren’t guided by greed and self-interest and who view “the market” as a tool to advance the interests of themseleves and their cronies?

    Is it simple a matter of electing the proper free marketeers??

  41. It’s a floor wax! It’s a dessert topping!

  42. What ideology is that? Please explain so that we may laugh and laugh at you.

    Sorry, I guess I was at fault for bringing this particular idiot out of the woodwork.

  43. “[M]urder is only an extroverted suicide.” Brilliant. We need a new Monty Python for the Aughts.

  44. “Unfortunately, Bush never followed our ideology. To make matters worse Obama is still following Bush’s ideology. The Callenged One just isn’t very bright.”

    It’s just like people calling Hoover’s administration a failure of laissez faire econonomics. FDR’s policies were an expansion of Hoover’s interventionist policies.

  45. ChicagoTom,

    No real free-marketer would ever run for office. 🙂

  46. It’s just like people calling Hoover’s administration a failure of laissez faire econonomics. FDR’s policies were an expansion of Hoover’s interventionist policies.

    True, True, but no one remembers it that way. Similarly, Bush will forever be known for free-markets and deregulation. I guess people have forgotten SARBOX.

  47. I was watching the McLaughlin Group this weekend

    Is that show still around? Amazing.

  48. No real free-marketer would ever run for office

    true — they’d be busy out there making money and doing something productive 🙂

  49. Is that show still around? Amazing.

    Would that be considered a market failure?

  50. McLaughlin drinks elixirs he refines from the juices of the dying.

    That’s why Clift and Buchanan are always on.

  51. Is that show still around? Amazing.

    Would that be considered a market failure?

    Well, for a long time it was entirely sponsored by GE, so you may be onto something.

    BTW, excellent parody of them in the Watchmen.

  52. See, the whole economy is unterconnected. Because Reason Magazine stands outside the economy and relies on donations to stay afloat, the interconnectedness of economic phenomena is hard for Reason writers to see. Salvation Army folks have the same problem.

  53. “Can someone point me to an “actual free market” somewhere in the US?”

    Ron Paul

  54. So when should i go ahead and stop paying my mortgage? I’ve still got this vestigial stump of disappointed responsibility that has me writing big checks every month, but i’m starting to think, hey, this is Obama’s America now, and i gotsta get paid.

  55. The Callenged One just isn’t very bright.

    What is this, the joe’z Law Memorial thread?

  56. But that raises the question of why one group should be favored over the other.

    A complex legal doctrine called “dibs”?

  57. See, the whole economy is unterconnected. Because Reason Magazine stands outside the economy and relies on donations to stay afloat, the interconnectedness of economic phenomena is hard for Reason writers to see. Salvation Army folks have the same problem.

    Now, there’s some high quality spoofing for you.
    Pamplemousse should be taking notes.

  58. Is there any situation where a Mark Twain quotation isn’t relevant.

    Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.

  59. “Can someone point me to an “actual free market” somewhere in the US?”

    Most anyone selling weed.

  60. “hey, this is Obama’s America now, and i gotsta get paid.”

    Fuck your payday!

  61. The SF Bay Area does the same thing. They subsidize housing, and require mandatory “affordable housing setasides” for new housing developments, while simultaneously supporting things that guarantee housing can’t ever be affordable: stiff land use regulation, removing thousands of acres of productive land from human use via “open space” purchases and overlay zoning, and complete bureaucratic gridlock.

  62. So when should I go ahead and stop paying my mortgage?

    When you owe more then 130% of the actual value of your home.

    note actual value is relative…you might really like your home so you put more value in it then an appraisal would.

  63. “Pamplemousee says

    You obviously don’t know anything about the subject, and you’re questioning the former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York?”

    You mean the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the one which was suppose to be supervising the Wall Street Banks which are now crashing and burning?

    Of course since the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is owned by the Wall Street Banks and it is the Wall Street Bankers who chose the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York its not surprising that same President is bailing out the banks. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York and all the other Federal Reserve Banks are nothing but cartels owned and run by the banks whose only interest is in maximizing profits using insider connections and access to the US government credit.

  64. Who are these “real” free marketeers to vote for??

    Flake, Paul and a whole bunch of christian fundamentalists (which is both funny and sad at the same time).

  65. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York and all the other Federal Reserve Banks are nothing but cartels owned and run by the banks whose only interest is in maximizing profits using insider connections and access to the US government credit.

    After 9/11 I was actually surprised at the complete lack of a move to dismantle and decentralize Wall Street.

    With this down turn though I think I have lost any illusions. 1000’s of small to medium sized banks nation wide were poised to take over before the Wall Street bail outs. DC must really love New York.

  66. I think this cartoon very effectively explains the administration’s strategy:

    http://www.angryflower.com/buyeve.html


  67. And those giant corporations! Why, just the other day, I saw one stomp on a crowd of people as it walked around saying, “Dinsdale?”

    Thanks for the hearty laugh, ProL.

  68. They subsidize housing, and require mandatory “affordable housing setasides” for new housing developments…

    It’s a totally token effort that creates very little affordable housing, but has a bigger effect as another hurdle slowing down new housing development thus making housing more expensive in general.

  69. OBAMA’S KNOWLEDGE GAP

    Unfortunately Obama is showing the gap in his understanding of critical elements at the core of what drives America.

    http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2009/03/obama-third-tell.html

    This administration does not understand that business and capitalists are not its enemies.

  70. “Would that be considered a market failure?”

    MacLaughlin airs on PBS, like other high-minded quality television shows, which is a safe haven from the cut-throat ravages of the market. So, no.

  71. It’s a totally token effort that creates very little affordable housing, but has a bigger effect as another hurdle slowing down new housing development thus making housing more expensive in general.

    I think I just figured something out.

    When progressives talk about everything being “interconnected”, what they really mean is that they have a total lack of understanding of the concept of “unintended consequences”.

    In other words, since everything they do fucks something else our, they are constantly runnign around going “OMG, how did that happen? I never realized those things were interconnected!”

  72. “The John Galt plan will increase individual freedom while strengthening the bonds of collective responsibility!”

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