Monday, October 13, 2008

The Ownership Society?

As expected, right wingers are now trying to blame the latest financial mess (the mortgage aspect, at least) on poor people and government policy. Two recent pieces refute this meme entirely. According to the Boston Globe, "the subprime mortgages that have failed left and right are the antithesis of the carefully designed, well-supervised loans provided by tightly regulated banks" and are not the fault of government induced loans to poor people. Therefore, "the subsequent meltdown of the nation's entire financial system could not have happened without a huge - and entirely voluntary - inflow of money from Wall Street into a sketchy sector of the mortgage market." McClatchy reports that almost 85% of these loans during their height were made by private sector loaning institutions, and unregulated ones at that, of course. As the Globe concludes, "the current financial crisis grows out of loose regulation that gave big investors plenty of freedom to make foolish bets, and then force their losses upon the taxpayers." Such is the legacy of the "ownership society" that the Bushites loved to tout just a few short years ago. And important talking points to keep in mind when faced with the latest accusations from the right.

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