Kerry Sjelin: Don't blame the free market

January 9, 2014 

Don’t blame the free market

The articles “The shame of denigrating the unemployed” and “America’s sinking middle class” (Opinions, Jan. 5) make for important conversation. How did we get here? The “avaricious banking system” is at fault for our demise, according to the article. I believe the editors were remiss to omit the fact our economic crisis was government-sponsored. Easy credit, 100 percent loan-to-value subprime mortgages were demanded during the Clinton affordable-housing era. Bush did little to slow the government-backed “zero down” housing market. The flood of subprime buyers came, housing values soared, cash-out loans were the ticket to living large. Then the bubble popped. Investors panicked and loans failed.

Since then government intervention (the Dodd-Frank Bill) has chilled economic growth (risk taking). Your article includes many relevant facts and figures but the overall message was “Got wealth? Hand it over.” Wealth distribution is anathema to how America has thrived. The idea of making our health, homes and hams more “affordable” through taxpayer assistance is an attempt to manage a national decline. I don’t resent those who have the resources to grow more wealth. We need free-market solutions, not heavy-handed government-sponsored problems.

KERRY SJELIN

Riverbank

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