This is wrong.
This is sick.
This is corrupt.
And this is another reason for Harvard to FINALLY fire this embarrassment to their fine institution. This man is not an educator or a scholar. He is the paid poodle of the Real Estate Industrial Complex, using his Harvard platform to promote the financial interests of his masters.
You can contact Harvard's president here. And for the mainstream media readers of HP - please do your job and report on this. Follow the money.
The new homeowners
By Nicholas P. Retsinas July 8, 2007
CONGRESS, presidential candidates, and lots of Americans may be giving a tepid welcome to the immigrants settling into America's neighborhoods -- some illegally, most legally. But the housing industry should be sending a welcome wagon. And every baby boomer hoping to sell his home in the next decade should be embracing these newcomers, for they will constitute an increasing segment of the home-buying, apartment-renting market. According to University of Southern California demographer Dowell Myers, immigrants and baby boomers must "forge a new social contract."
The Garcias and Nguyens are buoying the housing industry.
In many respects, that industry undergirds the economy. Including new construction, remodeling, and the purchase of furniture and appliances, housing accounts for 23 percent of the total US economy. Millions of people make their living in this industry.
The cornerstone of housing robustness is strong demand, and the foreign-born constitute a major segment of that demand. From 2000 to 2005, 40 percent of net new household formation was foreign-born, up from 30 percent in the 1990s. In the 1980s only 15 percent of net new households were foreign-born. The United States, a nation founded by immigrants, is very obviously a nation of immigrants today.
Those families need housing. Although they may rent for decades, saving up for a down payment, ultimately they want what many of their native-born counterparts want: a tangible, if mortgaged, asset. For immigrants, home ownership is the quintessential American Dream.
If immigrants want, eventually, to buy, the baby boomers want, eventually, to sell. As baby boom homeowners look to downsize, perhaps to find their dream home in a retirement mecca or a gentrified downtown, they will be putting their houses on the market. The 2004 film satire "A Day Without a Mexican" showed a California that came to a stop without immigrants. A re make of the movie, focusing on housing, would show neighborhoods with permanent for-sale signs.
Forecasting the impact of immigration does not require a crystal ball -- merely an actuarial table. The current statistics are compelling. The nation's sharp increase in immigration over the last decade will shape and define the housing market for the next decade -- and beyond. Welcome to my open house.
Nicolas P. Retsinas is director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.