Let Them Eat Cake

I’m hard-pressed to think of a time when otherwise decent, sensible people have argued for something as wicked as what is advocated by The Wall Street Journal’s Holman Jenkins today. Jenkins joins forces with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, among other voices calling for the demolition of housing in order to mitigate falling home prices.

Both men try to dress this up as a safety measure (the elimination of substandard housing) but their words betray the fact that they also see it as a way to reduce the housing supply. Reduced supply, of course, would serve the immediate interests of many homeowners and banks.

It will be a shameful day when this country destroys homes, in the face of homelessness, in order to prop up the bank accounts of the relatively well off. Not surprising, I’m afraid, but shameful nonetheless.

Comments

  1. David Andersen

    I don’t know how unwanted houses could have any downward effect on the value of everyone else’s homes. If anything, given constant demand, I’d expect ‘wanted’ home values to rise. There is no demand for ‘unwanted’ homes, thus no downward price pressure. Maybe I’m not seeing the whole picture?

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