Housing Rescue Plan?

The Senate banking panel has passed a housing rescue plan.  Whoop-dee-do.

Let’s examine the term “rescue” here.  Who are we rescuing, or who is being rescued from what?

Individuals who engaged in sketchy mortgages, or those they could not afford in the long term, or both, are not to be held responsible for their actions.  The government is bailing them out.  That much is clear.  Who is responsible?

This is unclear.  The answer is partly you and me, for you and I will pay for this “rescue.”  The answer is partly private enterprise, which is blamed for poor business practices, predatory lending, etc., which supposedly is the largest or even sole contributor to our housing mess.  The answer is partly the government, which has taken the burden of allocating someone else’s resources to solve a political problem in what is viewed to be a critical election year at a difficult economic time.

The rub is that neither you nor I have unfettered access to someone else’s money to solve problems, arbitrarily, at our whim.  We actually have to get a job, get money, and pay for something if we want it.  We have to make money and solve problems the old-fashioned way.

Now what does this “rescue” entail? 

Basically, money is being taken from you and I, either directly through taxation or indirectly through the inflation tax, and being diverted to some other source deemed to be a better use of that money.  In this case, that is a new rescue plan and a new regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 

Who owns this money individuals earn in their paychecks?  Whose money is it?  The notions of private property our country was founded on would suggest that we are the owners of the fruits of our labors.  The continued expanse of government seems to indicate that we are only privy to a federally-determined (and constantly changing) portion of our earnings.  Thus, private property comprises only an arbitrary portion of the fruits of our labors.

Some rescue plan.  I’m enamored with it.

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Filed under Austrian Economics, fiscal policy, Libertarian, politics, role of government

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