Interesting report today on KUER about the Utah foreclosure crisis. Apparently Utah is one of the leading states for people losing their homes, but Utah’s Legislature did little about this in its last session.
The story could be interpreted by the listener as making it seem as of Legislative inaction is a bad thing. The Mayor of Layton is interviewed telling how Bank of America led him down the rosy path thinking his home was being put into a federal program to help his mortgage problems, while all the time Bank of America was setting him up to lose his house.
And of course that is evil and we can’t abide evil.
But on the other hand, we have the Legislature that turned down extra unemployment benefits because the unemployed need to get off their butts and find jobs. Seriously, that was the reason given. Those guys staunchly believe in the free market and capitalism and getting government out of people’s lives. I presume they feel the Mayor of Layton is responsible for his troubles and should just man-up and deal with it.
But, the article on KUER makes clear, homes being foreclosed have an affect on society. Short sale and foreclosed homes lower the values of neighboring homes. Abandoned homes turn neighborhoods into slums, if you get enough of them.
It’s a quandry. People who screamed during the last bit of the Bush administration that TARP was an abomination, or told Obama to let GM go bankrupt, are much like those who say, now, that the state has no business helping foreclosed homeowners.
But if the state (the federal government, actually) hadn’t helped with TARP, or saved GM, how much worse would the suffering of the entire nation have been?
Quite a bit. But that’s not pure capitalism, which is apparently what the Utah Legislature wants to practice, come hell or high water. Ask any Tea Partier.
Speaking of which, better hope they leave funding for emergency services alone, or homeowners will have to start buying their own sandbags as the spring runoff starts.