A number of people, including Ilargi and Stoneleigh at _The Automatic Earth_ have long pointed out that the interventions that the government has made in the housing market hasn’t served the people. They observe, for example, that by propping up house prices artificially they’ve benefitted more affluent, generally older homeowners, at the expense of younger, poorer people, renters and those who would like to get into the housing market but can’t afford its (still) inflated prices. The problem with this, besides the generational and class screwage is that these strategies don’t serve even homeowners in the longer run.
Now we see another example of the ways in which interventions in the housing market aren’t helping, courtesy of one of my favorite Science blogs colleagues, Mike the Mad Biologist:
My guiding political principle is “people have to like this crap.” That is, if a policy makes peoples’ lives worse, then it’s a shitty policy*. More about that in a bit.
Last week, a bunch of bloggers went to visit the Treasury Department, and one of the topics for discussion was the Home Affordable Modification Program (‘HAMP’). HAMP has been accused of doing little to help people from avoiding foreclosure, and, instead, has only prolonged their attempt to meet a (doomed to fail) series of payments (this is derisively called “extend and pretend”). In other words, these homeowners would have saved money if they had only entered foreclosure earlier, and avoided HAMP (as Atrios put it, “Hi, we’re from the federal government and we’re here to fuck you over”).
You want to read the whole thing, just another layer of proof that most of what is being done to “fix” the economy is actually being done to “fix” the game so that the remaining affluent folks profit.