In response to Clive Crook's article in the December 2007 edition of "The Atlantic".
Clive Crook has sadly missed the mark of his own story "Housebound-Why home ownership is bad for America", in that he has taken way too many words to explain his disapproval of merely one aspect of home ownership, that of the mortgage interest deduction. His premis that this deductioin tends to put a damper on our economic vibrancy and thereby causes negative social effects is nothing more then HOGWASH!
Yes I agree that there is lost federal revenue from these deductions but is this particularly bad for America? On the contrary, If our already over-bloated federal spending is not reduced to meet current income streams, then it cannot be the fault of the American homeowner but rather the pork-barrel politics of the American government. While one of the biggest incentives to invest in personal real estate remains the mortgage interest deduction, the removal of that deduction will not cure the social problems that may or may not be present in American society. His statement that it is "time to move beyond the subprime meltdown" and look at the baser reasons as to why our current economic and social issues are an end result of the deductions.
Let's look instead at the positive effects that home ownership fosters. Homeowners are economic engines that result in the creation and sustanance of thousands of jobs across our country. From the agents who sell homes, the mortgage companies that lend in honest and ethical ways, to home furnishing, moving, redecorating, building and many other trades, our economy is still viable due to these real estate transactions. Billions of dollars are pumped into our economy as a result of homeownership.
Homowners invest in thier own communities and thereby become more responsible citizens. Homeowners are more likely to vote and be involved in local politics. Homeowners are more likely to contribute to thier local charities and participate in school and social events. And let's not forgret the mere fact that American homeowners take pride in owning thier own home. When people take pride in something, they tend to care a little more, repaire and update more often and at the end of the day, have a better sense of social responsibility.
Therefore, Mr Crook, it is the opinion of this REALTOR who owns his own home, is involved in local politics, invests in his own community, pays his mortgage and taxes, buys from the retail home improvement and repair trades, and is proud of owning a home, that home ownership is good for America.