To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Monday, June 23, 2008

House Rent Boogie

An op-ed in today's Washington Post by Charles Steele Jr. argues that blacks and Latinos are taking the brunt of the mortgage meltdown:
The subprime mortgage fiasco is sending tremors through Wall Street and has brought the U.S. economy near (if not into) recession. For African Americans and Latinos -- the primary victims of the debacle -- the mortgage meltdown may widen the considerable gap in wealth that already exists between whites and people of color. Even worse, some proposals to fix the problem of limited access to credit may end up doing more harm than good.

"We estimate the total loss of wealth for people of color to be between $164 billion and $213 billion for subprime loans taken during the past eight years. We believe this represents the greatest loss of wealth for people of color in modern U.S. history," the Boston-based organization United for a Fair Economy noted in its report "Foreclosed: State of the Dream 2008."
A little later in the same article Steele notes this factoid:
As a result of laws enacted to address housing discrimination, the rate of African American homeownership rose from 42.3 percent in 1994 to 49.1 percent in 2004, the highest level in U.S. history. As great an achievement as that is, a 49.1 percent rate is about where white U.S. ownership stood in 1900.
Umm, Chuck, did it occur to you that there might be a connection between these two things? That adjusting the laws to put people whose finances may not be that great into homes may be one reason why we're having so many foreclosures? Just throwing it out there ...

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