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Coins Have Two Sides

Steven Landsburg understands, perhaps better than anyone, what the difference is between the seen and the unseen. I like to say that people hate high prices unless they are receiving them (remember, wages are a price). Landsburg points out that:

We see the sad faces of the people moving out, but we don’t as often see the happy faces of the new homeowners moving in. Nevertheless, those happy faces are out there, and we should not discount them.

All I will add is that this foreclosure business has got me crazy. It is not uncommon to see economists recommending $100 billion bailouts or more. To take a purely utilitarian approach here, is that the best use of $100 billion? Should government worry about keeping people in homes they never should have been in, when I am bombarded by calls for funding for transportation infrastructure, health care for children, educational reform, etc.?

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