Friday, October 21, 2011

Selling Out to the Super-Rich?

Once again I find myself returning to Robert Skidelsky's abstraction of the basic argument in Niall Ferguson's Ascent of Money book:

Throughout history men have been more ingenious at finding ways to make money than to make things.

The latest support for this position apparently comes from the domain of policy making in the United States Senate.  At least that seems to be what we can conclude from the following BBC News report:

Two US senators have proposed a plan to offer visas for foreigners buying homes worth $500,000 (£314,000) or more.

Democrat Chuck Schumer and Republican Mike Lee, sponsoring a bill, say it is a move to increase housing demand.

The proposal is similar to an existing Green Card program for foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in an American business that creates at least 10 jobs.

The US Chamber of Commerce has announced its support for the new legislation proposal.

"Our housing market will never begin a true recovery as long as our housing stock so greatly exceeds demand. This is not a cure-all, but it could be part of the solution," said Mr Schumer, a Democrat from New York.

Mr Lee, a Republican from Utah, described the bill as a "free market method for increasing demand for housing".

One way to approach this is as a positive example of bipartisan thinking.  Another would be that it is a continuation of the proposition that only the rich matter and that any benefit for the poor would be at most questionable.  This seems to be an overt declaration that, within the corridors of policy-making in the Senate, anything involving less than six figures no longer signifies.

No comments: