Housing America: Building Out of a Crisis

Books, Future of Money, History of Money, State of Money — By on February 23, 2011 at 9:54 AM

“About seventy percent of American households own their own homes, and for many their homes represent the majority of their net worth. As evident by the cascading mortgage market meltdown and widespread defaults and financial bankruptcies, housing policy not only affects the quality of community life but also has a direct impact on their economic well-being of entire nations.

Although most housing in the United States is allocated in the private market, this market is heavily regulated and subsidized, with government policies dictating whether people can build, what type of housing is allowed, the terms allowed in financing and rental contracts, and much more. Involving the work of sixteen economists and policy experts, Housing America now critically examines government housing policies in the United States and how they impact housing at all levels.

Could government’s pervasive involvement in housing be related to the very real problems of affordability, availability, mortgage defaults and loans, and much more? If so, the appropriate policy response would be to significantly reduce, not increase, government involvement. In reassessing government housing measures, Housing America is the authoritative and most comprehensive book available on resolving the housing crisis.” Get it here

Housing America: Building Out of a Crisis 
Edited by Randall G. Holcombe and Benjamin Powell 
Via the Independent Institute.

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  • Ronald Grey Jr. says:

    @Tom Duncan: Thanks for your reply!

  • T&I says:

    It depends what the bricks are made from ;) .

  • Tom Duncan says:

    In some respects, you could make the case that Somalia has done this with their currency. It has been counterfeited down to the price of ink and paper, meaning it's relatively stable. Such a strategy would be effective at tying the hands of the central bank. It would be just as unprofitable for the bank to expand the money supply as it would be for anyone else. But as Hardy and Friedman point out in that article (1951 in the Journal of Political Economy), there would be great difficulty in convincing people to accept bricks.

    A further question would be to what extent we want the money supply to vary versus letting the prices vary. And to what extend the latter actually happens.

  • Ronald Grey Jr. says:

    On a related note, what do you think of economist Milton Friedman's recommendation to use bricks as a basis for sound money?

    See: http://wp.me/sZiAD-bricks

    Ronald Grey

  • T&I says:

    And, too many people are overly interested in other people's living arrangements/relationships. The fact is, the USA is WAY overly housed in the median square feet per person ( http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/… ). I'd have 1 to 4 more people living in our house in a properly libertarian scenario. I am a big fan of Ayn Rand. However, I think the living arrangements described in Galt's Gulch, with all the rich, high-ego (megalomaniacs?) people in their separate houses was an unfortunate feature. Some of us who are more gregarious and share one of the appetites of Dagny and her intimate friends, would prefer to have more people per household.