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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Blaming The Poor

Oct 13th, 2010

One of the more disturbing conservative memes this cycle has been to blame poor people for the housing crisis. This view is so divorced from reality that it's increasingly difficult discussing any economic policy with those who endorse it. The primary villain of the right in this debate has become the Community Reinvestment Act. 

Josh Holland writes of the phenomena over at AlterNet:

"It’s an alluring story line for those who are ideologically predisposed to blame “inner city” people instead of MBAs in suits roaming the executive suite. It’s also patent nonsense—a Big Lie that has nonetheless become an object of almost religious belief for some on the Right."

"As Sheila Blair, the chairwoman of the FDIC, asked in a December 2008 speech, “Where in the CRA does it say: make loans to people who can’t afford to repay? Nowhere! And the fact is, the lending practices that are causing problems today were driven by a desire for market share and revenue growth . . . pure and simple.”

This is all very unseemly. Saying the housing crisis is the fault of the poor is like saying ketchup is a vegetable. Oh, right.

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