09 September 2008

What is this "we" business, kemo sabe?

Megan McArdle — Housing: put it down

Liberals are blaming the banks, and conservatives the government, for the push into no money down housing purchases. But the fact is, we're all at fault. Everyone in the country--buyers, sellers, financial advisors, bankers, regulators--became convinced that owning a home was a surefire ticket to wealth, and that therefore everyone could and should buy one. Now we're surprised that we've gotten into exactly the same trouble as everyone else who thinks they've got a way to make money without working.
I strenuously disagree that "we are all at fault." I know people who purchased property responsibly, borrowed responsibly and and generally behaved as a rational human beings endowed with reason and restraint. They are not responsible. I know other people (myself included*) that refrained from getting on the house bandwagon when everything seemed too good to be true, because they are rational human beings endowed with reason and restraint. Neither are they responsible. Both groups are now partially on the hook. So to everyone who decided to buy a house they couldn't afford, and everyone who enabled and encouraged them to do so: F--- You. You got us into this mess, and now everyone else is picking up the pieces you all left behind because you thought you couldn't lose. F--- you two times.



* Friends who know me and are wondering when I had the opportunity to purchase property — rest assured there are a lot of ins, a lot of outs, a lot of what have you's. And that's cool. That's cool. You know.

5 comments:

  1. Everyone in the country--buyers, sellers, financial advisors, bankers, regulators--became convinced that owning a home was a surefire ticket to wealth

    What the ring-tailed rambling heck, Megan?

    I wanted a place to live, is all. The kind of houses up here for rent that would contain four kids were easily as much as my mortgage.

    The ones that weren't were in the not-so-nice part of town. Next to the train tracks. I can afford not to live in a house where I can spit on passing trains, so I don't.

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  2. So there's at least one person in the country that still thinks a house is primarily a form of shelter and not an asset class category. I knew it.

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  3. Well .. we did keep an eye on the resale value: we wanted a _home_ but we're not chumps.

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  4. Never meant to insinuate any lack of savvy on your part

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  5. I never thought you did.

    Also not that any savvyness on my part is due to my wife being a sharp cookie. Without her I am 'chump' personified.

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