Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Government’s Cure for Alcoholism—Whiskey, More and More Whiskey (Bob Higgs)

Bob Higgs on the government's continued and insanely stupid attempts to "stimulate" the economy:

Robert HiggsFor nearly a decade, Americans acted as though taking on more debt posed no problem. After all, they owned real estate, and all the experts told them that real-estate prices always go up. The mightiest magnates of finance acted as if they believed this stupid story—I say stupid because the merest child might easily have confirmed that real-estate prices have always risen and fallen cyclically and that real-estate booms have often been the precursors of financial crashes and economic recessions. But things are always different this time, are they not? At least, all the experts say so, just as they said so during the past however many booms, each of which was said to have heralded a “new era.” So, we can hardly blame the nearly destitute wannabe homeowner who signed up for the mortgage proffered to him by the agent of one of those Wall Street moguls. After all, the borrower put nothing down, made interest-only payments at a low teaser rate, and cheerfully anticipated seamlessly refinancing the loan when the time came for the interest rate to be adjusted upward. Couldn’t lose, eh?

Moreover, you could use your house as the basis for a line of credit and live high on the hog while you waited for your house to appreciate as surely as the sun rises in the east.

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