Is Housing 'Baggage' Holding America Back?
By Miriam Axel-Lute
Since we recently had bloggers squaring off on the question of whether expanding homeownership really is an important policy priority in and of itself (Alan Mallach: Yes, Tony Roshan Samara: No), I thought it was interesting to throw this New Yorker article into the mix—a reminder that many of our tax subsidies ($200 billion a year folks) don't really increase our homeownership rate compared to similar countries without them, they primarily increase the size and cost of our housing. Is that really the American Dream? As the author writes:
It’s only when you think of all the other things that we could be spending that money on—education, say, or technological or medical research—that the real cost of our addiction to housing becomes clear.
(Mind you, I think he means our addiction to homeownership, or perhaps to housing as an economic driver. Housing as a whole we aren't doing so great with, and it's hard to argue we're addicted to a necessity. We should pay more attention to housing, not less, but in different ways—ways devoted to...