What the housing “crisis” and health care reform have in common


Boy this is a stretch you are thinking tying mortgages with health care.  In fact, there is one common thread in all this…personal responsibility or rather the lack of it.  A few weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal ran a story about a town where people were simply walking away from their homes and their mortgages.  I reported on it in Quinnscommentary.

On December 17, 2009 the Wall Street Journal has another story on the same topic, that is homeowners deciding that given their mortgage is larger than the value of the house they are better off stopping monthly payments, let the bank foreclose and walk away to a rental and in the process clear several hundred perhaps thousands of dollars a month.  Sounds like a plan…if you have low ethical standards.  However, maybe not, in today’s society apparently there are few standards.  Consider this quote the WSJ article:

Brent White, an associate law professor at the University of Arizona who has written about this issue, says homeowners should make the decision on whether to keep paying based on their own interests, “unclouded by unnecessary guilt or shame.” He says borrowers can take a cue from lenders that “ruthlessly seek to maximize profits or minimize losses irrespective of concerns of morality or social responsibility.”

Frankly, this is not a person I want to lend money to and for that matter not someone I would want teaching my children either.  He seems to worry about banks ruthlessly seeking to maximize profits (he is a lawyer remember) and yet ignores the fact that these people were no doubt out to maximize their profits as well expecting the price of house to keep climbing.  They obviously have little attachment to the house as a home.  These are people who can afford the mortgage; they just want out to maximize their financial situation at the expense of the bank and all who are affected by these losses. 

So, how do you equate this with health care reform, I bet you have been waiting for this one.

In the case of health care, the insurance companies, the drug makers, and the hospitals are the banks.  The ruthless profit seekers who are at the root cause of health care costs.  Weeeeeel, not so much.

You see the root cause of health care costs is us (the homeowner).  Much of what we spend on health care is the result of our own actions and lifestyles, the demands we place on the system to fix what we screwed up cause the system to respond with more and more expensive treatment, more drugs, more specialists, more of everything.  We want good health with no down payment (and no monthly payment).

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=foreclosed+homes&iid=4362650″ src=”3/3/6/e/Boat_Tours_Give_a1f1.jpg?adImageId=8432313&imageId=4362650″ width=”400″ height=”280″ /]   What a way to look for a new home

In both the case of the house and our health, we seek and the politicians are more than willing to provide scapegoats be it the banks and Wall Street or the health insurance companies.  At the same time, we seek a quick fix that does not get in the way of our right to do anything we want.  Apparently, in 2009 that quick fix means more government intervention and control, as long as that control is on someone else.


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