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Housing Fix

What are we to make of the pending fix the Administration has proposed for the foreclosure mess? I think the first thing to consider is that President Obama has indeed put forth a proposal he believes will keep Americans in their homes. That effort should be applauded, despite any criticisms of the actual plan itself.

Let’s consider the merits of the plan. This is where it becomes more difficult to be complimentary. For the proposed fix does seem to put in place a subjective system of determining who should be bailed out of their mortgage. How does any set of criteria for identifying those eligible for a housing bailout avoid accusation of being arbitrary? The devil is, of course, in the details.

Between the economic stimulus law provisions allowing a Bankruptcy Judge to “pencil” in changes to one’s mortgage, and the proposed housing fix, personal responsibility becomes a casualty.

The destruction of personal accountability is quite serious, if it cannot be restored. The message from the Administration to the public is that “they” know better than you do in managing your financial affairs. The message to the business community is that the American landscape is no longer subject to free market principles. Capitalism is at least temporarily, they say, finished.

The demise of private ownership to the means of production presents a terrible prospect for personal freedoms, once this recession passes. When the housing market and our stock markets do recover, which they undoubtedly will, how quickly will the current reforms be shelved? I doubt it will be nearly as quickly as the reforms or fixes that have been put in place.

What other personal freedoms will be sacrificed in favor of collectivism under the guise of saving the economy? Let us hope the answer is none. Let us also hope that when matters improve, the prospect of private ownership and the puritanical work ethic can be restored.

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