Friday, September 26, 2008

Proceed with Bailout and have Toll Brothers rebuild North Philadelphia

I'm very disappointed that the bailout failed. What I think many Americans don't understand is that we have nothing approaching a free market in the United States. We have a regulated, mixed economy in which government agencies provide many services, enfranchise businesses to provide many services, regulate businesses in an enormous variety of ways, and step in and save businesses when deemed necessary. Obviously, the size of this bail-out shows that huge mismanagement has occurred. Placing blame for it will be a fun parlor game for many years. But the credit crisis can be solved with this bold dramatic step. If the government also takes steps to improve the real estate market, they would not have to deploy the full face amount of the bailout and the investments they do make might well be pretty good ones. But the success of the legislation will itself have significant ameliorative effects on the credit market.

To improve the real estate market they should read my entry of January 26, 2008. I'd like to see the government buy some land and shrink new home development in overbuilt places like Las Vegas and Phoenix. That would be hugely helpful to existing homeowners and their creditors. Even if they bought the land someone like Toll Brothers has on inventory. I'd like to see them put Toll Brothers to work re-building North Philadelphia.

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