Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Mr. President, I am among the lucky few.

Dear Mr. President,

I am in the lucky (and add many more luckies) position to make a home purchase today, in Southern California no less. I have been renting since 1997, hoping to buy, but watching prices bubble up while the sanity of loan offerings turn cold and my income has shrunk to 60% of what it was the last time I owned.

There are many forces at work here, and many forces that you have Executive Power to address directly, and vast influence to address otherwise.  One example is your proposed changes to HARP, which are a start but won't address the fundamental problems. The other is the failed Bowles Simpson plan and the pre-failed Supercommittee; they presume to cut our way out of a hole, which only makes a bigger hole, and they need to be told to address the debt problem by only addressing those elements in our government that caused the debt such as taxation changes and wars, not addressing it by cutting social insurance programs we already paid for or with any other cuts that only hurt those who did not cause the economic meltdown.

The fundamental reason why many of these homeowners are underwater, behind in payments, or foreclosed, is simple, and clear. They were sold mortgages, which were then resold and collateralized, and these securities tanked with small changes and cycles in the global economy taking the rest of the economy with them...our worshipped billionaires faltered, demanded bailouts from the government, fired their employees, and mortgage debt couldn't get paid.

In other words, we deregulated our way to this.

Banks shouldn't be allowed to be brokers, they shouldn't be allowed to sell short to make a profit from their own failures, they shouldn't be allowed to collaterralize debts without potential for devastating loss, they shouldn't be able to socialize the loss while we privatize the gain.

I wish everyone the opportunity to buy a house, if they want, like I can right now. I'm afraid if we let the bankers and brokers buy our elections, legislators, and legislation as they do now, my children and theirs won't have a chance for a home, a good job, and a secure future. I can see that my chances for these have required more work - I work three jobs, and my dad only worked two - than my parents, and I hope that we can move forward to a better system that allows opportunity for all, not just the few.

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