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'Depoliticizing' Home Ownership

Published: Aug 3, 2011 by admin Filed under: News Views: 2624 Tags: Senate, Banking, home ownership, housing, finance, depoliticizing, foreclosure crisis, credit, homeowners
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This morning, we were watching a Senate hearing about the housing finance system, and caught a poignant moment about the consequences of "depoliticizing" home ownership. Witness Thomas Hamilton of Barclay's Capital stated that government action is creating more homeowners than the private market would, an objectively true statement. If the housing market were "depoliticized", or absent of government intervention, only those with the ability to front significant down payments (i.e. the well-to-do) would be able to become homeowners.

Would that be a good thing? What would the implications be for our nation's commitment to democracy and freedom, given the central importance of home ownership to financial independence? We can't claim to have a definitive answer to these questions, since such answers reflect values and political beliefs about the proper role of government. But we do hope you consider them with an open mind and come to your own conclusions.

And as we are wont to do, we clipped out the video for you to see for yourself. Watch it here:

This clip is also notable because it demonstrates a textbook use of branding by Republicans and their small government allies. They dub deregulation of the housing finance system as "depoliticization", a sleight of hand that obscures the legitimate ideological debate at play. A policy change to let the market reign free in deciding who can become homeowners may or may not be justified, but it is unquestionably political in nature.


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