The Political Obsession with Middle-Class Markers
Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit writes:
"The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them."
(MP: For example, the political obsession with homeownership turned thousands, if not millions, of good middle-class renters into really bad homeowners and undermined the "American Dream.")
Megan McArdle responds and asks a great question: "Who but a lunatic would loan money to an eighteen year old with no job and no credit record, in the hopes that they will graduate college and begin speedy repayment?"