March 28th, 2008, posted by Brandon
Elaborating on my response to an article in The New Yorker on the downside of home ownership, here’s an interesting letter the magazine published in this week’s issue:
James Surowiecki’s interesting piece on home buying reveals another reason to consider economics as “the dismal science” (The Financial Page, March 10th). He notes that home ownership reduces mobility in the workforce, as, saddled with a house, neighbors, friends, family, schools, and other burdens of ownership, the homeowner hesitates to pick up and move at the first sign of a pink slip. Economists seem to view the ideal worker as an interchangeable part that can be moved and replaced at the whim of so-called market forces. Never mind that such a worker would be a perpetual migrant, never to know the pleasures of roots, community, and belonging. In past decades, it was customary to lambaste Communism as an ideology blinded by economic determinism with no room for “spiritual” factors. Can we not make the same critique of the free-market fundamentalists whose voices dominate today’s debate?
Pastor John S. Kerr
King of Prussia, Pa.
I completely agree with Pastor Kerr: there’s more to homeownership than just economics.