Tuesday, April 24, 2007

More Fun with the Economy

A report came out today saying the existing-home sales is down this month to the lowest point since 1989. Before I go into blaming anyone for this, the main issue that is raised is the unbelievable problem of sub-prime (read: predatory) mortgage industry.

Over the past few years we have seen an unreal increase in the number of foreclosure in low and moderate income neighborhoods. The predatory lending is an awful practice that hurts the economy more than it helps the loan sharks who deal in them. This could not be more out of whack with Jewish business practices and it is a shame that more Jewish groups aren't working to stop this practice. There is very limited support from Jewish groups for measures in congress and local laws to stop such lending. But what can you do?

The blame should fall squarely into President Bush's lap, but that won't happen. I believe, like many liberals, that the economy responds to immediate issues. It is hard to use the "trickle down" argument when you look at the response the economy had to 9/11 or Katrina or Bush's second election. But here we can even use the over time argument to see that Bush's agenda has really hurt the US economy. But that is just me, a no-nothing who studied a lot of econ in college. What do I know?

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