Feed on

Don Boudreaux sent a fantastic short letter to the USA Today:

Re your editorial “One bright sign emerges in a gloomy housing market” (May 29) and the general dismay about falling real-estate prices and rising gasoline prices: What principle of economics suggests that markets are working well when the price of one asset (say, housing) rises, but not when the price of another asset (say, petroleum) rises?  What principle of ethics dictates that owners of one asset (say, housing) are entitled to capital gains and to enjoy these gains however large they might be, but that owners of another asset (say, petroleum) are not so entitled to their gains?

Finally, what moral precept advises us, in the case of petroleum products, to sympathize with buyers and demonize sellers, and in the case of housing, to ignore buyers and sympathize with sellers?

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