Charles Hugh Smith makes some great points here about equity extraction, the decline of the middle class, and the fakeness of the current "boom" - a $4 Trillion debt fueled orgy of greed.
Now the music has stopped, and reality is setting in. Doom and gloom you may say. Reality I say.
And I'm especially pissed off at the Bush Administration's "Ownership Society" push on the lower classes. Yup, go buy a house from rich whitey right when its value peaked. The rich got richer, and the poor, well, F the poor.
(Extra HP credit for any discussion of the photo)
A great con has been played on the most vulnerable aspirants to the American Dream--those striving mightliy to join the middle class. Just buy a house, the doctrinaire pitch has it, and soon, thanks to rising housing prices, you'll have equity and thus some measure of wealth. After all, house values never drop, they only rise.
Only there was one little problem: millions of households didn't have the traditional 20% down payment--a standard which became ever more unattainable as housing prices exploded.
American homeowners are no longer sitting on paid-in-full homes; they're sitting on heavily leveraged mortgages they've taken out.
The cheerleaders are missing one key point. The collapse of the housing bubble won't just take out an isolated 10% of households; it will take them out first and then move down the economic chain in domino-like fashion
You do see where this is going, don't you? A political revolution is brewing. Not a violent revolution, of course, but one fueled by the catastrophic loss not just of whatever small capital those 150 million people (half of our nation's population of 300 million) might have acquired, but more importantly, perhaps, the loss of their belief in the American Dream--of home ownership and a life of luxury paid for by painless extraction of ever-rising equity.