WSJ Editor Rethinks The American Dream

NPR's Steve Inskeep interviews Wall Street Journal economics editor David Wessel on aspects of the American dream of home ownership that apparently are not working. Not only does Wessel suggest eliminating the tax deduction, but pushes renting too.

Inskeep is quite surprised by Wessel's questioning a system which the federal government has pushed on the American people "for generations". Wessel states that this was of the major causes of the financial crisis - promoting home ownership to those who couldn't afford it. Moreover, he notes that it is not lifting people out of poverty as has long been held.

"Why doesn't the president of the United States ever get up and say, 'You can be a full-fledged American citizen and rent an apartment - it's OK,' " Wessel says. "That's not what presidents have traditionally said."

"How about doing away with the mortgage interest tax deduction? Canadians* don't have that tax break, and as a result, they're encouraged to pay down their mortgages more quickly.

Doing away with the mortgage interest tax deduction "is one of those things that economists talk about and politicians just aren't going to do anytime soon because it's so popular," Wessel says."

[*Contributor's note: Professor Richard Florida of the University of Toronto might dispute Wessel's assessment of home ownership in Canada].

Full Story: Is The Homeownership System Broken?

Comments

Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
$24.95
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95
City Plate table setting

New Arrival! City Plates

City downtown cores printed on gorgeous decorative collectible porcelain plates.
$50.00