October 11th, 2008

No bullshit

What Presidential candidates won't tell us about money

Via Lifehacker, I think this post by Ramit Sethi is (pun intended) right on the money. The portion quoted in Lifehacker especially hit home (pun also intended):
Not all homeowners deserve to stay in their houses.
Renting is a perfectly reasonable alternative, but the idea of Americans “losing their houses” is politically untenable. Why? Because America perpetuates a mistaken culture of homeownership. Owning your own home is the kind of BS sacred cow that got us into this mess: Our parents tell us to buy a house. Our friends are impressed if we own a house in our twenties. The government literally encourages us to own a house by offering tax deductions. Homeownership is the American Dream!

The truth is, if you’re making the largest purchase of your life, you need more than a slogan—you need to take the responsibility to do some research. (And note that you can’t advocate for increased homeownership and also argue for Americans to keep their houses. By not reducing the prices, younger people cannot buy houses at these inflated prices.)
I've never been more glad to be a renter, and honestly, I don't think anyone is too good to be one. Especially on my "people not to be taken seriously" list are those who espouse concern for housing the poor on one hand and yet wig out that people could lose ownership of "their" homes. Homeownership and housing are not the same thing, and simple math tells us that for more people are to be housed, home prices need to drop and rental must be an option for more of us. Perhaps it's time to dream a different dream for America in regard to housing.